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Awesome New Airfix Quick Build Sets

I have been interested in learning about both World War One and World War Two since I went to Ypres last year and have read a lot of books about history and fighter planes. I am now really looking forward to going to see the new Dunkirk film with my Dad, I have read some really good reviews of it.

I was very excited when Airfix asked if I would be like to try out their new Quick Build Sets ahead of the release of Dunkirk. They sent us a Spitfire and a Messerschmitt in the Quick Build version and the same in the normal Airfix starter model sets.

  

I had tried Airfix a couple of years ago when I was 6 or 7 but had found it quite tricky at that time and so although I love any building toys and activities it hadn’t really been a range I had looked at recently. When the sets arrived both my Dad and sister were keen to get involved. The Airfix Quick Build Sets are aimed at children age 5+ so it seemed like it would be alright for Lottie to try and we set a challenge to see if we could build ours quicker than Dad could. I got started on the Quick Build Spitfire, Lottie on the Quick Build Messerschmitt and Dad on the original sets.

 

I was able to get straight on with the Airfix Quick Build, the instructions were really easy to follow and it went together really well. Lottie found it slightly more complicated but still managed to follow the instructions and build it mostly herself with just a little bit of grown up help- sometimes she wasn’t quite sure what she needed to do next and a couple of times she couldn’t quite clip the pieces together fully . We think it was still very good for the first time she had made something like this and we also think if she was more used to building construction type models she wouldn’t have needed any help so think the guidelines of 5+ are about right- she is 5 and didn’t need too much help really. We were both very pleased with the finished models and Lottie was really proud of her building.

 

 

We easily beat my Dad in the challenge- mainly because we kept stopping him to ask him questions but he and I were able to sit down and build the Airfix Starter Set Spitfire over the next couple of nights. I think I am nearer to the right age to be able to do these now too.  It is still a bit tricky to do the fiddly bits but I was able to follow the instructions easily enough and had enough patience to sit down and do it over time including letting it dry. My Dad also really enjoyed it, he likes doing practical things and making things but hasn’t done any model making since he was a child

 

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Once we finished Dad let me paint this one- I think it came out quite well for our first attempt!

We will definitely be revisiting the Airfix range- I loved the idea of the Airfix Quick Build sets. It was good that we were able to get on with it ourselves and it didn’t need lots of setting up or worrying about paint, glue and making a mess. I also like the fact that it comes with a display stand too so you can play with it and also display it like a proper model. I really loved doing the Airfix starter sets too as although I found bits of it difficult I really enjoyed this as an activity to do with my Dad.

 

 

 

Disclaimer: We were sent these Airfix kits to review but all thought are our own

 

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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!

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It’s My Thing with Fruit Shoot

The people at Fruit Shoot are challenging children to find their ‘thing’. Everyone has a thing that is theirs and they want us all to celebrate our different skills and abilities.

Your thing could be something you are amazingly good at, something that doesn’t come easy but you work at, something you do for a hobby or just something you love. The great thing is when you are a kid and are still finding out what your ‘thing’ is you can try everything.

There are loads of things I love- sport, adventure, travelling, reading, technology and anything that involves learning something new so when I got this amazing hamper of goodies from Fruit Shoot I couldn’t wait to try some new activities and see if any of them could be my thing.

We were sent an awesome microscope so we went out on a nature trail and collected lots of leaves, twigs, grass and blossom to have a look at under it. This is really interesting and things look amazing close up under the microscope, you can see some surprising detail. I really enjoyed this and Sam and Lottie loved exploring the countryside to find things to look at under the microscope.

One of the other activities was a kit to make bouncy balls so after school one night we had an evening of making these. I expected it to be quite complicated but it wasn’t- you just had to put the moulds together and then start layering your pattern of different colours before standing it in water for a short time. Once you had done this then you opened it up and ran it under cold water before leaving it to harden for a while. I really enjoyed this. I liked the fact that I had actually made something all by myself that I could play with. I have never done anything like this before and am really glad I got chance to try it. Lottie loves arts and crafts and this was her very favourite activity, she is planning to take her bouncy ball in to school to show and tell because she is very proud of having made it by herself .

  

We also received a Horrible Science Kit, which was absolutely awesome- there are lots of experiments you can do. Lottie especially liked the lab coat and glasses that we were given to use with this set!

We started with a volcano which was really straightforward to do but very effective as it exploded everywhere! The instructions made it easy to do without any grown up help but we decided to add our own twist with a little red food dye to make our explosion more lava like! There are other experiments I am planning on doing next week including making snot and making a rocket.

 

 

Along with all these great activities Fruit Shoot also had the great idea to send us a selection of their drinks to stop us getting too thirsty between activities. We were already aware of the Fruit Shoot Drinks but there was an apple one I hadn’t tried before and enjoyed, these have all got no added sugar and no artificial colours so are great for kids of all ages.  We hadn’t tried their Hydro range before and we all really liked these, they are great when you are busy because they have a sports cap so you can grab a quick drink and keep going and because they are flavoured spring water and have zero calories and no added sugar my Mum was even happy to let Sam try them- he loved it!

We loved trying these new activities and were really pleased to be part of Fruit Shoot’s campaign to find what our ‘thing’ was. I can definitely say I have added science as one of my things!

We were even sent an arts and crafts set too, which is perfect for my sister who is always making things and let us turn our Fruit Shoot bottles into something fun to represent one of our ‘Things’.

We set ourselves a challenge to see what we could make our bottles into in 15 minutes- Lottie made a twirling baton for ballet and I have made a HYDRO rocket for science and space- not only is it made out of a Hydro bottle but I am also going to use it for an experiment to set off a water rocket… that’s for another post though!

 

 

 

 

 

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Aquabeads Disney Princess Playset Review

My sister likes to watch the adverts between her favourite TV shows and see what she would like to save her pocket money for and for the last few weeks she has had her eye on Aquabeads– or as she calls them Aquabeads just add water’!

She was really excited when we were asked if we would like to review a set and even more excited when they arrived and she found she had been sent the Aquabeads Disney Princess Playset.

Lottie was desperate to get started straight away but we thought it would be best to wait until after Sam was in bed because he is still a little young for them so one night once he was tucked up we opened the set up and had a proper look.

It was really easy to use- she had to chose a template and put it in the holder. This showed her which colour beads went where. For her first attempt Lottie chose to make Ariel because she loves Mermaids.  She soon got into putting the beads on the grid and before long the princess started to look like an actual princess.

Once Lottie had finished putting all her Aquabeads in place she got to spray the design with water and then drain some of it off before leaving it to set for ten minutes and using a special tool to lift them up off the template. The first time we tried they didn’t come off very well so we pushed them back into place and added a lot more water and left it another ten minutes. This time it came off perfectly well so we think she perhaps hadn’t used enough water to start with. We left it to dry over night as although it was all set it was a little sticky and by the next morning it was perfect.

Lottie said she loved the set and that she wanted to make another princess straight away! She says it is really  good fun and easy to do and she thinks she can make a princess for each of her friends- it’s a good job Aquabeads do refills as even though there was 1000 beads in the pack I think she is going to go through them very quickly! She really liked the jewel beads and the fact that she had so many different colours to choose from.

I think these are good because Lottie was able to do the nearly whole thing by herself without too much help and because they set with water it’s much easier for children to use than other products that need heat or ironing.

This was a great way for Lottie to keep busy for an hour and she enjoyed matching up the colours- although she put a couple of beads in that were different to the template it didn’t really matter and her first attempt still looks really good.

Lottie’s first attempt

 

I think this is a good activity set for children age 4 plus and like the fact there are lots of different types of Aquabeads sets you can choose from so there is something for almost everyone.

 

 

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Mother’s Day Craft Ideas for Kids

Mother’s Day Craft Ideas for Kids…by Kids

 
Ssshh…. Don’t tell my Mum! Mother’s Day is coming up soon and I am putting my mind to something nice to make for her, I have to be a bit careful so I don’t show her all my ideas but I thought I would share with some of them here as they are all things children can make with little or no help and whilst spending very little money.
 
You might have seen that last year we made my Dad a special message with chocolate and I plan to do something similar for my chocolate loving Mum – obviously I can’t show you the secret message here as she will know what she is getting but below is the version we made for Father’s Day last year- which went down a treat!
Last Year’s Father’s Day treat, to be recreated with a different message for Mother’s Day

 

Like most Mum’s my Mum loves to receive flowers (and doesn’t get them very often!) so I thought we could give her some that she can keep and enjoy the whole year round. I plan to make this using each of our hand prints and writing a different message on each. We have started setting it out and it will all be stuck down on some nice card once it has finished. I have drawn round mine and Lottie’s hand and we have written our messages together so once we add some in with Sam’s hand shape then it will be ready



 
 
Whenever she gets the chance my Mum enjoys reading a good book and always has at least two on the go so Lottie has been making her a bookmark- this is really simple and she is really enjoying making it. She is only 4 so I have just taught her how to do a normal straight stitch but I think she is doing a fab job!

 
I have seen an idea I really like of painting a piece of wood in a nice colour and once it is dry writing the word ‘LOVE’ in nice swirly writing but using a hand print for the ‘O’ and a pair of footprints for the ‘V’ – I thought I could do this using Sam’s hand and footprints as this would be a really nice way to keep them… I might need Dad’s help though as he is tricky to pin down!
 
We are also going to be making up a batch of gift vouchers for my Mum to use with us- some will be especially related to us and others will be thing like a weekend breakfast in bed or ten mins of absolute silence! I think it will be quite fun thinking up ideas- although I am sure that some of the ideas won’t be as fun to actually do!