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Wicked Uncle Review… Wicked gifts for kids

We were so excited to be able to work with Wicked Uncle recently.

We first heard of Wicked Uncle when a box of beautifully wrapped Christmas presents arrived for us two years ago from my Uncle with a Wicked Uncle label on the box. Even though he doesn’t have children and we don’t see him very often he had somehow managed to get the presents exactly right for all of us- and he has managed to choose perfectly every Christmas and birthday since then… we know his secret now though!

The Wicked Uncle website is brilliant to help you pick the perfect birthday present for any child. You enter their age and whether you are shopping for a boy or girl and then you get a choice of great gifts for them. When you buy the gift it gets sent straight to the person it is for and you can even pay a bit extra and have it wrapped up in wrapping paper (nice paper that you actually get to choose!) and with a personalised card. They truly have thought of everything as the person receiving the gift even gets a funny little thank you card they can fill in and send back!

We spent ages looking through the website and there was so much choice it was really hard to decide what we would like to test, we eventually narrowed it down and I went with the #Stikbots Zanimation Studio, Lottie picked the Chocolate lolly making set and Sam decided on a basketball set for the bath.

The toys arrived quickly and safely and after we had fun popping the packing material we got down to having a look at the presents we had picked.

Sam loved his basketball set and wanted to have a bath straight away to play with it! The basketballs feel really nice and they double up as water squirters too! The basketball hoop actually manages to stay stuck to the tiles which is good because often this type of toy doesn’t stick well enough and spends all the time falling off but this has been up for two weeks now with no problems. Sam loves it and wants to go in the bath even more than before!

Lottie made her chocolate lollies the very same day and they were DELICIOUS. The chocolate that you got to make them with was really tasty and she found it very easy to do and even let Sam help a bit with the mixing- she just needed help melting the chocolate and then she poured it into the moulds and put the sticks in the right position.

 

It was really good because they didn’t take long to set so we didn’t have to wait too long to enjoy them! They actually came out looking clearly like the animals so the moulds worked properly and Lottie was really pleased with them. My Mum liked the fact that the moulds and lolly sticks were reusable and you can even order more melting chocolate so it wasn’t just a one time activity.

I am having  loads of fun with the Stikbots, I have been wanting to try them for ages and they are really good.  You get figures, some prop boxes, a tripod and a green screen and then you download the Stikbot app.  You can pose your figure and take a photo before using the app to choose your background and you can even make a video once you get good with them.

There are loads of backgrounds to choose from and you can even add other things in to make the scene more interesting. I like the fact that the tripod helps you keep the camera steady. I am looking forward to making some videos when I get a bit more time. I think you could do loads of different things with this set and it is definitely the perfect gift for a ten year old who enjoys technology. I am hoping to get my own phone in the Summer so I will be able to use the Stikbots a lot more then as I won’t have to borrow my Dad’s!

We really loved working with Wicked Uncle, the choice of presents was awesome, so many different things we could have happily chosen and they really do think of everything. We will be doing lots of gift shopping with them from now on!

We're going on an adventure
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Lexicon-Go Review

We have been enjoying playing Lexicon-Go the past few weeks. If you haven’t seen it then it’s a word game where you start with ten letter tiles each and then have a pile to swap one from. Everyone creates a word either using their tiles or swapping one of the tiles from the swap pile, (you have to shout SWAP as you do it) or by attacking another players word by either adding to it or swapping a letter. You can’t actually change the order of the letters but you can add it new ones or add an ending, so adding ‘er’ or ‘ing’ can work well for this, but if you swap letters out you need to take the letter out from the ones you have swapped back into your pile so it counts as part of your score.

 

If you manage to get rid of all your letters first then you shout LEX-GO and win that round if all your words are correct. The first player to win 5 rounds in total is the winner. There is a longer version of the game you can also play where  at the end of each round the other players add their score on the leftover tiles together, if it is over 100 then they are out straight away and the others carry on until only one person who is left and then the last person left in is the winner but we have been playing the quick Lexicon-Go version as that works really well for us.

We like that Lexicon-Go is a fast and noisy game, we liked shouting out and racing each other. We have enjoyed that it doesn’t take ages and ages to play and that it makes you think. Sometimes it is the luck of which letters you get to start with but mostly it’s about how quickly you can see what you have and think about how or where you can use it. This game also makes you think about how words work and the best way to change them and make them into something else.

I liked the tiles as they seem like they will last well, we did think the instructions seemed quite complicated to start with but we soon got into it once we started playing and it made much more sense as we were going along. Because it is a word game you need to be quite good at spelling and coming up with ideas so I would say it is probably best for children age 8 plus but it does help you learn so children age 6 plus would also enjoy it against children of the same age.

It’s a good game because it is very portable- it’s quite a small case and all zips away nicely and we have taken it with us to play on our trip to the Isle of Wight and our stay in France. It’s good because you don’t need to take lots of extra things with you to be able to play- although if you are like us you might need a dictionary to avoid arguments about whether the random letters someone tried to put down are real words!

We're going on an adventure
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MiniMaster Football Game Review

I went to an exhibition about a year ago and was playing with a golf toy that was really cool- I had never seen anything like it and my Dad and me both really liked it, so I was really excited to find out the same company had now made a football version of the game.

The MiniMaster Football Game is the perfect game for a rainy day. It comes with everything you need for an indoor football game. In the box you get a net, a target, a spinner, marker tape and position marker, a defensive wall, a footballer, a lever, a display stand and plenty of balls. The footballer is very detailed and looks great, it arrives with you in  a plain white kit so you can decorate him for your team or even make up your own kit, you can play with it and then use the display stand to show off your custom painting.

I like the way this game can be played in many different ways. You can either attach the lever to the player and use the spinner to work out how far away you need to shoot from, use the markers and tape, and then aim against the defensive wall or you can  put up the target screen and aim for the different targets which let you get points. The smaller, more difficult holes get you the most points. If you just want to have a bit of a practice you could even just aim at the empty goal and see how far you can score from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once you get the hang of making the footballer kick it is really easy to get into this game. You just have to attach the lever to the player and pull it up to move his kicking leg- there is  bit you can look through to help line up the shot before you take it and then you are ready to go.

I have found the MiniMaster Football Game fun to play on my own but also with other people, my sister, my friends, my Dad and my Grandad have all enjoyed playing it with me. It’s quite addictive and even if you aren’t playing a proper game it’s good to just have a couple of shots every so often- I think everyone who has come into out house over the last few weeks has had a go!

The player is very well made and fits well into the display stand. It is 22cm high and can kick a really long way! I am really looking forward to getting some paints and decorating my footballer. I think it would be quite good if you could buy either some stencils or stickers from MiniMaster to help with customising your player.

I think the MiniMaster Football Game will get played with a lot over the summer, both inside and out and it could easily become a kids against adults challenge!

 

Disclaimer: We were sent the MiniMaster Football Game for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Please note this post contains affiliate links, which mean that if you order through them we would earn a small amount of commission at no additional cost to you.

 

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Decorating my Bedroom – Photowall Canvas Review and a Reader Discount Code

I was asked if I would like to review a canvas or wallpaper from Photowall and was really excited about choosing something nice for my bedroom. They had loads of different ideas you could choose from and you could even have your own one made from your own photograph.

I really liked the Fast Car ones and Football ones but I decided to continue with the Star Wars theme in my bedroom as just about everything else is! This was a really good choice as they had pages of ideas I could choose from. It took me days and days to decide which one I wanted as they were all brilliant and I finally narrowed it down to my four favourites so we could see which would fit best into the space.

My bedroom is quite small (that’s ok though because I don’t have to share with my brother or sister!) but we still managed to fit a really big canvas in- Photowall can do them absolutely huge and you could cover a whole wall with one if you wanted!

The canvas I eventually picked

 

When we ordered the canvas we entered the sizes into the site and adjusted them up and down to make sure the picture worked properly without cutting anything off,  then the site gave us a preview to check, showing us exactly what it would look like with the DIY frame and we were then able to place our order

It arrived really quickly, just a few days later, in a long thin box and one evening when I was in bed my Dad clipped it together, it was a good surprise in the morning as it looked amazing!

I absolutely love my Star Wars canvas, it is a really good picture and it looks fantastic in my bedroom. Everyone who has seen it has said how much they like it and my brother and sister are now looking at one for their bedroom- my little brother wants the BB8 one but my sister would like to go for another theme like the Space and liked the Full Moon one- although she does like the Princess one too. They do so many different ideas, both for adults and children, it’s really tempting to get more than one!

My canvas looks brilliant with some of my LEGO

 

A Note from My Mum:

Luke loves his new canvas and we were impressed with how much choice there was- Photowall had something suitable for every room of our house and the prices are very reasonable.

We were a little bit wary of the idea of the DIY frame as I was concerned about damaging the canvas but after initially being a little apprehensive it was actually very straightforward and quick to do. We found the instructions in the package helpful but actually it was the video demonstration on Photowall’s YouTube channel that showed us how easy it was and gave us the confidence to just get on an do it! It was actually very quick to put together and hangs beautifully on the wall- it looks really good.

Easy to follow instructions

 

I am planning on getting a couple more for other rooms and would very much recommend Photowall to anyone looking for something special for their house- I am quite keen to try uploading my image for printing as well.

We are so pleased that Photowall have offered us an exclusive discount code for our readers to use across their fantastic range- just enter code WLDNCampaign2018 when you checkout and enjoy 20% off Voucher is valid for the next 30 days only!

Next on our shopping list!

Disclaimer- We were given a Star Wars canvas of our choice for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions remain our own

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Family Game Night- Fun with Telestrations

Now that Christmas is over we have started up our family games night again on a Saturday evening, We make sure we have plenty of snacks and drinks ready and get set up for a fun night. The other week we played Telestrations by John Adams for the first time. I had seen the adverts for it and thought it looked fun so was excited to give it a go. Initially the instructions seemed a little bit complicated but we soon got to grips with it and were drawing our pictures and passing our books on over and over again and it was actually really easy.

Telestrations is for age 8 plus so we added a bit of extra time for Lottie to do her drawings because she is younger and we let her pick the colour topic for the drawings as some were a bit complicated for her to understand but otherwise just got on with it.

 

You pick a colour on the card and everyone writes that word on the first page of their book (they have already put their name in it) and then you set the timer and begin drawing the word. When the timer rings you pass your book to the next player whether you have finished drawing or not. They then get a certain time to try and guess what they think you have drawn. They write their best guess on the next page before passing it on to the next player. The book then gets passed to the next player who reads the guess and draws what they see that guess as before their time runs out. Finally you pass it back to the original player who gets to see what the last drawing is and what people have guessed their original artwork to be. This is where it gets really funny- some of the guesses are no where near the original drawing- it’s a bit like playing a drawing version of the game where you whisper and see what the person at the end of the circle hears and it is even funnier.

You then rub out the drawings and start all over again with a new card. I like the way it is all reusable and you can play over and over again without wasting loads of paper.

I don’t think you have to be good at drawing to play this game. In fact it’s funnier if you are not. I think this will be a brilliant game to play after a family dinner and is good to play with lots of people. It’s a great game because people of all ages can play it together and everyone is able to join in equally so it’s a real family game.

We are excited to be able to give away a game of Telestrations to one lucky family- we are sure you will enjoy it as much as us so to get you started we are asking you to us the link below to tweet us using the hashtag #telestrationsontwitter your guess as to what my drawing below is!

You can keep up to date with all the latest information from IDEAL Games by following their Facebook page.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Luke’s Christmas Recommendations- Gift Ideas for 9 year olds

Like most children at this time of year I am starting to get excited about Christmas (and my birthday!) and I have been looking at the toys to see what I would love to get this year. I have seen tons of great things and decided I would make a list of the my top toy recommendations for 9 year olds this Christmas. I would love to receive one of these things from this list- they all look awesome!

BTCC Touring Car Battle Scalextric– I am actually lucky enough to already have this set and it is amazing, I am going to be reviewing it in full soon but I can definitely say it is a top present for any BTCC fan old or young this Christmas!

 

LEGO Ninjago Lightning Jet– This looks awesome, it comes with 6 mini figures as well which is loads and means you can set up a really good game even if you don’t have lots of other Ninjago LEGO

BB-8 The Last Jedi Set  -I think this would be brilliant to build and would love to add it to my collection.

 

Nerf N-Strike Elite AccuStrike RaptorStrike – This would definitely give me a headstart in any every shot counts battle!

Sky Viper Stunt Drone I haven’t flown a drone before but think this looks excellent!

 

BB-9E App Controlled Droid– This is really expensive but I think it would be great for any huge Star Wars fan, it looks awesome. It is controlled by smart technology and I think you could have loads of fun with it.

LEGO Boost Coding Robot- I have started going to coding club and I really like it and I love LEGO so this is a brilliant toy to combine both, I think this would be a great present for children my age, it gives them something to learn and something to play with.

 

Base Ace- I love my Base Ace 3D play platform and have been slowly adding expansion kits and other accessories. It can be played with either way round depending on what you want to use the platform for. It is compatible with LEGO mini figures and bricks and I have often had LEGO Star Wars battles with my friends with it, I would definitely recommend this as a more unusual present for kids who love LEGO.

Battleships Game– I taught my Mum to play Battleships when we were on holiday the other week, I couldn’t believe she had never played it before! I would really like my own game of this so I will be putting it on my Christmas list!

 

Nintendo Switch- My friend has one of these and I really like playing on it. They are very expensive but I can still hope!

l hope that’s given you some good ideas for gifts for children around my age. My sister and brother will be doing a list of recommendations for younger children and we will also have another post with ideas for smaller presents and stocking fillers so if you are struggling to know what to buy then make sure you watch out for those!

 

Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links which if you use when making a purchase would mean we would receive a small amount of commission

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Aquabeads Cars 3 3D Set Review

My sister, Lottie, has been doing a little bit of a project with our latest Aquabead set.

She is making a 3D Lightning McQueen from the  Aquabeads Cars 3 3D range. It is more complicated than the Aquabead sets we have reviewed previously because it is built up in layers, so you do a layer, spray it with water and leave it to set before taking it off and starting the next one.

 

Lottie has really enjoyed this and has done a layer each day over the last week. You only need to leave it for a short time before you can remove each layer but we have found the longer you can leave them the better they set so doing a layer each day has worked well.

 

Lottie is really pleased with how Lightning McQueen came out- it’s brilliant how ‘real’ it looks when made out of Aquabeads. You can even drive him around because the wheels really turn but Lottie is so pleased with it she is going to put it on display in her bedroom.

We had already been enjoying our Aquabead sets but Lottie enjoyed the challenge of making a more tricky set. She did need some help with stacking the layers to make the final car but otherwise, other than needing Mum to cut up the templates which are on the instructions for her she was able to do it all herself. Her tips are to use loads and loads of water (far more than you think you need), leave them to set slightly longer than you think they need and be really careful to not use the grey beads instead of white! We also found that you need to try and squash the layers together a bit so it’s useful to have a heavy small box to put on top of them to keep it all flat.

We really like the 3D Aquabead sets, and they do some other ones as well as Lightning McQueen, including Cruz in the same range so you could have a pair! They are aimed at children age 4 plus and I think a four year old could make this with some help but we think they are perfect for children age 6-8 and would make great birthday presents for children of this age group.

 

Disclaimer: We were sent this awesome Aquabeads Cars 3D set to review but all views are my own and my sister’s.

 

 

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Great Gifts for Teachers

If you saw my recent blog post you would know that Lottie and I have a lot of teachers between us that we need to buy gifts for this year and it has actually been really hard to choose what to get them because they are all interested in very different things.

My Mum and I have been doing some research and have found some great presents ideas for teachers and teaching assistants which we thought we would share with you. Even if you are lucky enough to have already broken up for the Summer these will make fantastic Christmas gifts too so well worth keeping in mind.

Funky Tape Measure

We recently reviewed (and have a chance for one reader to win) the Funky Tape Measure and think this makes a brilliant gift for any teacher but especially one who teachers maths, science or design because they would be able to use it all the time.  You can personalise the tape measure with a message and design of your choice and it comes in a nice box so it makes a really good gift.

Choc on Choc Teacher’s Apple

All my teacher’s like chocolate but this Teacher’s Apple is so much better than a normal box of chocolates. The apple looks quite realistic and comes in a little box perfect to wrap as a gift. It is made of white Belgium chocolate (yum!) and looks really shiny, like a nice ripe apple! It is only £6.99 so a great alternative to a box of chocolates. We tried one and it was absolutely delicious and felt like a real treat. Apparently it will keep for a year but I am not sure how you could keep from eating it for that long!

bakerdays

If you are looking for an edible gift for your teacher that is a bit different or perhaps to share between teachers. I would recommend you have a look at the cupcakes from bakerdays They are made from the same delicious sponge recipe as the letterbox cake we recently tried from them and then topped with vanilla icing and an icing disk. You can choose from vanilla and chocolate or a mixture of both. They are £25.99 for a box of 12 so would make a great gift for the staff room. They even offer next day delivery but you can order ages in advance so you could cross them off your Christmas list already!

Luke Drew This

I couldn’t resist having a look at this company because their name was brilliant! They turn children’s artwork into gifts and it looks like a fantastic gift idea. I like the idea of a very personal present that the teacher can use for years to come.

They do all sorts of different things but we especially like the look of the bags and pencil cases. Lottie’s teacher’s favourite animal is a giraffe so she would like to make her a pencil case with a picture of one on- these start at £24 and make a really unusual present. It looks like it is really easy to do because you can just email them your picture and they get straight to work.

 

2 Little Boys

We love this Change the World Mug for a gift. Every teacher needs a mug they know is theirs and I really like this message. I haven’t seen this one up close but I have seen lots of other things from 2 Little Boys and have really liked everything they do, we have found the quality to be really good. They told me that these are porcelain and made in Stoke on Trent and are really nice to drink out of which sounds perfect for a teacher’s gift. At £13.50 this would make a lovely present for your main class teacher.

It’s also worth looking at their stationery items if that is more  the type of thing your teacher would like as they have an amazing selection

 

 

Please note I was sent some of the items within this post for review purposes and others are simply ideas we have found. All opinions remain our own

 

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Funky Tape Measure Review and a chance to win

Even though we are still in Lower School my sister and I have got 3 Teachers and 3 Teaching Assistants  to buy gifts for this Summer and it’s quite difficult to find new and interesting ideas for them all.

We were very happy when the people at Funky Tape Measure said they could send us one of their very funky tape measures to review for one of our teachers. We knew exactly who it would be perfect for- our maths and science teacher will love having her very own personalised tape measure.

We were able to choose from a large selection of designs and colours and add our own choice of message.

 

We went with a silver tape measure with a ruler picture and ‘you rule’ across the middle of it with her name at the top but there were plenty of other things to pick- lots of teacher designs and plenty for all other occasions you could imagine.

The tape measure arrived quickly and was in a nice box so it looked like a present. It was protected in tissue paper too which all made it look good.  The print was great- nice bright colours and very clear and the quality of the tap measure seems really good. I think my teacher will love this.

The Funky Tape Measure has a belt clip at the back and a lock for when you are measuring. It also has the measurements on both sides which are good for different types of work and it is rated as EC Class II which the people at Funky Tape Measure explain means it can be used by builders and tradesmen as well as just people who are doing DIY.

My Mum thinks these would be great house warming gifts and I know my Dad and Grandad would like them too so good for Christmas presents. I think I might get one for my own tool box at some stage too- they really are Funky Tape Measures!

 

The lovely people at Funky Tape Measures have offered one lucky winner the chance to win a tape measure worth £10.99  from the range in a design of their choice, if you aren’t lucky enough to win you can take advantage of free delivery on your order using FTMFREE at checkout for a limited time only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note the winner must claim their prize within 14 days of notification and the competition is only open to UK entrants

 

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Buttoonies- Build Your Own Toy Review

We were recently sent some of the new Buttoonies Under The Sea sets from Craft Yourself Silly to try out and see what we thought of them.

Buttoonies arrive in small packets priced at £3.99 each and contain everything you need to make your toy. They don’t need any glue, scissors or needles and you can get straight on with making it. There was a good choice of toys within the Under The Sea range including a Clown Fish, Crab, Frog, Octopus, Pirate and Turtle. The packets are all marked with a difficulty rating out of ten.

Once we had decided what we were making to start with we unpacked the parts and had a look at what we had to do. Each pack contained thread, buttons and foam shapes. It was really easy to understand the instructions- they were pictures of the parts in the same size as they actually were and then these were numbered with a diagram showing exactly where each number had to be threaded on.

I thought the Buttoonies would be really quick to make but actually it took a little while- they weren’t difficult but they did feel like a proper craft activity rather than something easy that was over and done within a few minutes. We did have to slightly enlarge the holes in the foam parts but otherwise threading the buttons on in the right order was simple if you concentrated.

 

Once we had finished threading the parts on the models looked really good and my sister took them to school to use as puppets. She absolutely loved making these and really liked having a craft she could get on with on her own with hardly any help. I enjoyed them too- I liked the pirate as that was more complicated to make (it was rated as a difficulty of 4/10) and Lottie loved them all.

Buttoonies also make bigger versions which are made from MDF which can be decorated- these look good fun, they are £9.99 each.

We really enjoyed the Buttoonies Under The Sea range, they do several other ranges too including witches and bats. These crafts are great for children age 5 and upwards and I think they would be perfect as rainy day activities. My Mum suggested they would be nice to give instead of a party bag so we might do this at one of our birthday parties- she likes the fact there is no mess and that we didn’t even have to get the glue out to make something!