Some of my favourite toys when I was little were my Uncle’s old Mirco Machines, they were so much fun. I was really pleased to hear that Jazwares have brought Micro Machines back and Sam was beyond excited to be sent a bundle to review.
The new Micro Machines were everything Sam could have hoped for and more. There are so many different sets to choose from. You can create a whole world with vehicles and playsets and the vehicles look so realistic.
You can watch our video clip below for a peek at what Sam was sent (and to be reminded as to why they say never work with children and animals!- he found his voice again after we stopped filming!!)
We love the fact the vehicles are so well designed, they are really eye-catching and make great collectibles but most of all they are really good fun to play with.
Sam was sent a Micro Machines starter pack which was three racing cars and is great value at just £3.99. We think these will make brilliant stocking fillers.
We also got an Army Micro Machines World pack which consisted of 5 vehicles and a backdrop set which is just £7.99- there are lots of different themes available including Fire and Rescue, Construction and Supercars.
Finally there was the Micro Machines Mini Vehicle Hauler which is £9.99. This comes with one vehicle but fits up to 8 on so Sam has had lots of fun loading up and transporting all his cars around the house. He liked that you can open the top as well as put them on with the ramp.
We have been really impressed with the vehicles, they are great for imaginative play and they are good quality. Sam has played with them a lot, they have also stood up to being transported around in his coat pocket to play with on the school bus! They are great for taking out and about and taking on adventures.
The new Jazwares Micro Machines are ideal for children age 4 upwards and will be perfect to add to Christmas lists for any children that like vehicles or collectibles.
Disclaimer: Sam was lucky enough to be sent a selection of Micro Machines for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are our own. Micro Machines are available now from Smyths, Amazon and many more.
‘Abi and her two step brothers, Max and Louis, find that strange things happen when they are alone in their eerie, ivy-covered new house.
Abi reading alone, finds herself tumbling deep into books, while Louis summons a startling guest through his bedroom window. Even Max has started to see shapes in the shadow in the shadows….
Their busy parents see none of it- but Louis’ secret visitor is growing too alarming to keep secret, and he finds he cannot manage without Max and Abi’s help.
Can they find out where the mysterious creature has come from- and how to get it back there?’
Hilary McKay is an amazing author, she makes you feel like you are really there. I could really imagine I was Abi. The Time of Green Magic is full of mystery and a little bit scary- not enough to frighten you a lot but enough to make you want to keep reading.
The descriptions are so good, you can imagine exactly what the family are like and all that is happening to them. I can see how strange it is for Abi getting used to having step brothers. The book has lots of people’s stories running through it and you get to know all the characters really well and feel like you know them.
I really love this book. I read it within 2 days even though we were still at school when it arrived and have read it again since. I would recommend it to confident readers age 7 and over. If you are looking for something magical to read then The Time of Green Magic is a brilliant choice.
Disclaimer: We were sent a review copy of The Time of Green Magic but all thoughts and opinions are Lottie’s own.
This post contains affiliate links, if you choose to purchase through these we would receive a small commission at no extra cost to yourself.
I absolutely love playing hockey. I started when I was 5 and it’s still the highlight of my week. I train at the local club with the U12’s on a Sunday and now I am at Secondary School I have joined the hockey club there once a week too. I can’t wait until I move into the U14’s as then I get to play on a Thursday as well.
You can imagine how excited I was when the people at Hockeyspullen asked if I would like to review one of their Rofy hockey sticks. I spent ages looking at their website, there are so many amazing sticks to choose from it was like looking at a sweet shop!
It arrived really quickly within just a couple of days which was amazing and as soon as I unpacked it I could see the quality. I have used lots of different hockey sticks and this is by far my favourite.
It looks amazing, it’s a really nice design, stealth-like on one side and bright red and visible on the other side, it’s very eye catching and looks really good.
It feels brilliant to play with, the grip is excellent and whilst it’s incredibly lightweight because it is 100% carbon and is easy to run with it still feels extremely strong especially in a tackle.
I am really enjoying playing with the mid bow, it’s great for flicks. I also like the way the ball sticks to the stick when you are dribbling, it hits so well and is good all round for a game.
The Rofy Stealth is easily the best hockey stick I have ever played with.
I would highly recommend Hockeyspullen to anyone looking for a new stick, whether you are a beginner or a veteran, whether you are just training or playing in matches there is a choice for everyone. They even have ones for small children starting out in fun designs which are perfect for my little brother’s age. I don’t think I would ever want a stick from anywhere else. I absolutely love my Rofy stick and would definitely choose that brand for my next one. I am so pleased I was lucky enough to be sent mine
I can’t wait for our next tournament- I have a good feeling about it!
Disclaimer: Luke was lucky enough to be sent his ROFY hockeystick by Hockeyspullen in exchange for a review but all thoughts and opinions are his own.
Luke couldn’t come so my Mum, my friend, his Mum and I headed off to Aylesbury soon after school. We were so excited in the car, we had a very funny journey and couldn’t wait to get to the theatre and see the show.
When we arrived at the theatre it was really busy and felt like everyone else was looking forward to it too. I liked that there was people of all ages there- we had people with little children in front of us, people with children our age one side of us and an older lady and man to the other side of us.
From the minute Madagascar the Musical started to the minute it finished we didn’t stop laughing, it was so funny. The actors were really good. We kept changing our mind about which character was our favourite, they were all so good. I am still not sure I have a favourite as they were all brilliant!
I had been wondering how they would show people as animals but it was actually really easy to believe in the characters- the costumes were amazing and the actors were so good at playing the parts, they just seemed right. My favourite costume was Melman’s, he was such a brilliant giraffe, it must have been really hard work to act in that! I really liked King Julian too, he was so funny, everyone was laughing so much.
The music was great, I only knew one of the songs but they were really catchy and I went out singing one of the other ones!
I absolutely loved Madagascar the Musical. It was such a fun show to see. We came in really excited and left feeling like we had had a really good time. I loved the fact that my Mum and my friend’s Mum laughed just as much as we did. It’s definitely a show for the whole family.
We have a family game night most weeks. Sam is now old enough to join in sometimes but Luke and I find most games for 4 year olds a bit boring so we were excited to be sent Doodle Doo, which although it’s from age 6 up, Sam was able to join in with properly without too much help.
In Doodle Doo you have to make it out of the animal maze with a blindfold on and drawing your way out of the animals digestive system, you keep going until one of the other players squeezes the fart cushion to warn you that you have gone out of the lines. The winner is the first person to reach the end of their maze.
It sounds really simple but it’s surprisingly difficult and very, very funny. We were all laughing and making each other jump with the cushion!
Doodle Doo is recommended for children age 6 and upwards and 2 to 4 people can play at the same time.
4 x Double sided maze boards
4 x Pens
1 x Cleaning sponge
1 x Blindfold
1 x Whoopie cushion
We really like that this game is funny enough to all play together but also easy enough that Sam and I can just play it together on our own without any help. It’s a really good family game.
Disclaimer: We were sent Doodle Doo to review but all thoughts and opinions are our own.
Please note this post contains affiliate links, should you choose to purchase through these then we would earn a small amount of commission at no extra charge to you.
The Geosafari Kidnoculars are really good. As well as being a pair of binoculars they also have ear pieces that amplify sounds so you really feel like you are close to nature.
Kidnoculars give you 3 x magnification so you can spot things really well. We like that they are bright coloured and that you can wear them around your neck when you are out on an adventure. My Mum says they are very well made (Sam has dropped them a couple of times and they have been fine) and that the strap for around your neck is a safety strap so we can’t hurt ourselves.
You can change the volume of the sounds if you want to hear them a little bit better or if you don’t want it to be too loud.
Sam has absolutely loved these Geosafari Kidnoculars, he has taken them everywhere; in the garden, on nature walks and even to France when we went away for the weekend- he liked using them to look at the birds at the seaside and the boats at the port. He has also taken them to show and tell at nursery and all his friends loved having a turn with them.
Sam said- “Lottie, can you tell everyone I LOVE my Kidnoculars”
The Geosafari Kidnoculars are aimed for children age 5 to 9 and I think that is perfect. We both really loved these and even Luke wanted a turn. I think these will be a brilliant toy for the Summer holidays, we will be taking them with us on lots of days out and adventures.
Sam has that book for a bedtime story at least once a week and he loves it, it’s definitely a favourite in our house. I was very surprised it could be a show because I thought it might be a bit too short but they had made it just right with a few extra surprises to the main story.
Aylesbury Waterside is a really nice theatre, it’s big but not huge or scary and very new and clean looking.
We arrived and got some drinks and treats and went and found our seats. We had a really good view of the stage. The set was like a proper kitchen, it looked really good!
Sam had never been to the theatre before and he was a bit scared and worried it would be too noisy but was excited too.
When the show started the actors- Sophie, Sophie’s Mum and Sophie’s Dad all came running through the audience waving and saying hello and did a hello song which was good as Sam soon stopped being scared.
They told the story of The Tiger Who Came to Tea together and it was very good and really funny.
Sophie’s Daddy was very silly and he tried to put his shoes in the toaster which was very funny! I liked it when his toast popped up as he was going to work and he caught it in his bag.
It was really clever because when the tiger ate the all food and drank all the drink because it all really disappeared! It looked like a very simple set but it was really surpising because there were lots of secret bits. I also liked how they used things to make other things- like using the table and chairs as their car! I really don’t know how Sophie’s Mummy’s shopping basket got filled with food- that was amazing!
There were lots of chances for the children to join in with singing and dancing and they were all jumping up and down and being excited. I didn’t see any that were scared at all, not even the very tiny children- the Tiger seemed like a very friendly Tiger!
My favourite bits were the funny bits (but I can’t tell you them all or it wouldn’t be a surprise when you go) and when the stars came out at night, that was so pretty.
We really enjoyed watching The Tiger Who Came to Tea, Sam said it was all magic and said he would like to go the theatre again- he asked Mummy ‘what else do they do there?’ so I think he wants to go back soon!
We managed to get a program at the end which had a brilliant huge poster, some colouring and some activities in. Sam is taking it for show and tell at nursery tomorrow. Mum also treated us to our own proper The Tiger Who Came to Tea tigers, they are so cute and very cuddly!
We loved the show and think it is perfect for children age 2 or 3 upwards, my Mum thought it was ‘lovely and really well done’ so I think even adults will enjoy taking their children to this one.
It’s our turn on The Titanic Detective Agency blog tour today and we really enjoyed this one.
Written by Lindsay Littleson The Titanic Detective Agency is historical fiction and I really liked the fact it was based around the stories of real people.
I imagined it was going to focus on the sinking of the Titanic straight away. Most books seem to start with people boarding it and waving goodbye and then go straight to the crash but The Titanic Detective Agency reminds you that the people on board were real people and that this was a huge adventure for them. You see how excited they were, and how quickly being stuck on a ship with just adults for company got boring for the children and also realised how seasick some people were, it reminds you that these were just normal people off to start their new lives.
To pass the time until she starts her exciting new life in America, 12 year old Bertha and her new younger friend Madge form The Collyer-Watt Detective Agency. They soon find two mysteries ready and waiting for them to investigate. Firstly there is Mr Hoffman who has two young sons and acts very strangely when talking about his wife who he says died a year ago. Yet the smallest boy, who is only a toddler, remembers her which seems strange to Bertha and even more unusually Mr Hoffman won’t let anyone speak to his sons directly, using the fact that they speak only French to hide behind.
The next mystery comes in the form of Johan, a poor Swedish teenager, who is having to travel alone to join his Father in America. Johan seems to have found a treasure map but it’s in English and he needs help to translate. Bertha is keen to be involved in the hunt for treasure. For her this is a bit of fun but for Johan this could be everything. The big question is whether the mysteries will be solved in time.
You really get into the stories of these people and begin to like them. You can imagine how alone and scared Johan must feel- he is just a couple of years older than me and yet he is crossing the ocean all alone, sharing a cabin in the lower decks with people who resent him being so sick. You get a glimpse of what it was like day to day, the meals, playing games, reading and church services and begin to see what the journey would have been like.
Lindsay Littleson really makes you realise how differently people were treated in 3rd Class to 2nd Class. It’s so strange to think that people in 3rd class where made to line up and be inspected for lice and other illnesses and yet people in 2nd were allowed on even with awful illnesses like consumption.
When the ship hits the Iceberg, even though you know what is going to happen, Littleson really builds the sense of fear. You genuinely felt like you could be there, feeling the cold water seeping into your shoes and not tying your laces in order to get out quickly, trying to find a lifeboat and a way to escape. You want to shout at the 2nd class passengers who don’t realise the water is already pouring in on the lower decks.
Once again you see the awful differences between how the classes are treated. How can the ship have been allowed to travel without lifeboats for all the passengers? How could people be so uncaring that lifeboats were launched half empty?
The sinking of the unsinkable ship is awful, so vivid and well written and you can feel the shock when the women and children realise their husbands and sons are not going to survive.
This book could never have a ‘happy ending’ but Bertha does realise that strength and bravery comes in many forms and whilst her Mother may not be an aviator or an explorer, she is the one holding everything together when everyone else is falling apart. The reader is also reminded that treasure can come in many different forms too.
I really enjoyed this book and passed it to my Mum who liked it so much she read it all in one night. My little sister Lottie has now started to read it too. They have been learning about the Titanic last term at school and this is a great book for bringing it to life for her.
I think this book is ideal for confident readers age 7 plus and would be good to be read as a class book alongside the topic but is also great for anyone to read as it is well written and keeps your attention throughout.
Make sure you check out the other stops on the blog tour to find out what other bloggers thought of The Titanic Detective Agency.
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of The Titanic Detective Agency to review but all thoughts are my own.
One of the things I like most about winter is that we get back into having our family game night at the weekends. Quite often we have to choose games that everyone can play which means that when you have a little brother and sister means you don’t always get your first choice!
I was excited to be able to try the iKnow Family Quiz game from Tactic Games which is aimed at children age 12 plus because I was keen to play a game that was a bit more challenging and I was excited to get some time to play a game with my parents without my little brother and sister.
The iknow Family Quiz game is a really good concept because not only do you have to know facts and things yourself but you have to be prepared to bet on what the people you are playing with will know- this is a lot harder than it sounds and sometimes they really surprise you.
Everyone gets their tokens to bet against the other players with and their and pieces to start with and there are loads and loads of questions over four different topics. The board and set up is quite simple to get started but then you have to use strategy as well as your knowledge to win the game. You can win points by knowing the answer to your question or by betting correctly whether the other people will know the answers to theirs. You have to have a bit of a strategy as to what type of question you are going to pick and how you are going to bet on the other players
I played this firstly with my Mum and her friend and it was really funny to see questions they found difficult and to see who thought who would know what. Some of the questions are really really difficult but others are much easier and the fact that you are also guessing what the other players know means you don’t have to know the most to win the game and it was actually really close in the end.
The only thing we found that we were a bit unsure about was that if you were reading the questions you were easily tempted to turn the card and check the answer before you had placed your bet on the other players- maybe we are just cheats though!
I have played it with my Dad too and I think it takes a little while to get your head around but once you do it is really easy to play. I think the age rating of 12 is about right as I found some of the questions tricky (although so did the grown ups) but I think anyone from 10 can play if they think about their strategy! iKnow Family Quiz is a great game for general knowledge but you don’t have to have loads to be able to play and you can still have a good chance of winning.
I would recommend this as a really good family game and think it will be perfect for most families. I think I will be asking to play this a lot over the winter!
Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of the iKnow Family Quiz for review but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
My Daddy filmed me opening it and you can watch it on YouTube to see what it is like!
I was so excited, I love my Rainbocorn. Mine is one of the Monkeycorns, it’s really cuddly and I have taken it to bed every night this week. I love sequins and have lots of sequin changing tops because they are my favourite so I was very happy to have a toy that I could change the sequin picture on. You can take the sequin heart off and play with it separately, it has a hidden banana picture for my Rainbocorn! It can either go onto the Rainbocorn or put back onto the egg.
Inside the egg hidden at the bottom was another small egg which has two tiny baby Rainbocorn collectables called Boo-Boocorns which I like because they are small enough for me to take to school for my playtime pocket toys.
The main big egg is able to be put back together so you can either use it for your Rainbocorn to sleep in or to keep special things in.
I really love my Rainbocorn and would like to get another one when I save up my pocket money. There are 12 different ones which are based on six types of creatures- puppycorns, monkeycorns, kittycorns, hamstercorns, bunnycorns and unicorns so my monkeycorn might need a friend! I think these are perfect for children my age and would be good for children from 3 upwards who love cuddly toys, sequins or collectibles.
You can even watch a webisode of Rainbocorns adventures which is fun too.
You can buy Zuru Rainbocorns for £24.99 from Argos, Smyths, The Entertainer, Asda and B&M but you can only get the Monkeycorns from Argos.