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Lottie Loves… Sylvanian Families Cosy Cottage

This review is by Lottie age 5 (with typing help from Mummy and photos by Luke)

I was sent the Sylvanian Families Cosy Cottage and the Chocolate Rabbit family to play with and see what I thought of them. I was really surprised and excited and jumped up and down when they arrived. I haven’t had any of the Sylvanian Families things before but I really wanted to play with them.

I couldn’t wait to open the boxes and have a look at it all. I was allowed to stay up a little bit late that night and see what they were like and have a little play.

The house has a kitchen, a table and chairs, a bed and a ladder that moves. You also get some food and cooking things. Cosy Cottage  comes with Freya who is one of the Chocolate Rabbit Sisters. You can take the top floor of the cottage out and open and close the door and you can make Freya’s bed up and cook her dinner. I really like the house and like setting it up. I am going to save up for bunk beds because I also got sent the Chocolate Rabbit family and so Freya’s twin sister needs somewhere to sleep too.

The Chocolate rabbit family have a Daddy Rabbit, Mummy Rabbit, Sister Rabbit and Brother Rabbit, the all have clothes on, which you can take on and off. They came with a little story book which I liked. I have read it lots of times and have a favourite picture in there. The other Freya rabbit isn’t in the story so I think she must have gone to the shops. The Chocolate Rabbit family are really cute. I love playing with them and sending them on adventures before tucking them up in their Cosy Cottage for the night.

I am so lucky to have these Sylvanian Families toys, they are one of my very favourite toys now and I have asked for some others for my birthday which is in two weeks… I hope I get some! My friend came to play with them the other day and she really loved them too, we had lots of fun making up stories and chatting with the Rabbits.

My Mummy is a bit worried that I have started another collection now…I think she is right!

 

 

 

 

Disclaimer: I was sent the Sylvanian Families Cosy Cottage and Chocolate Rabbit Family to review but all thoughts are my own.

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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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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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Posh Paws International Cars 3 Plush Range Review

We started the Summer holidays with a really good first day. We went to an awesome birthday party in the afternoon and got to see loads of our friends which was great but before that we had a trip to the cinema. I have always liked the Cars films but wasn’t sure if I would now be a bit old for the new one but was happy enough to go with Mum and Lottie to see it. I was pleased I wasn’t the oldest child in the cinema and actually Cars 3 was such a good film it wouldn’t have mattered if I was!.

I think Cars 3 was my favourite of them all, it was a really good story, funny in bits, sad in others and not too predictable (sshh, don’t tell anyone but it made my Mum cry!) We all loved the film and have recommended it to everyone.

Lottie enjoyed the film all the more for having her Cars 3 plush toys by Posh Paws International. We were lucky enough to be sent a plush Lightning McQueen and Mack and Cruz and Jackson Storm plush bag clips from the people at Posh Paws Int which Lottie soon managed to become so attached too no one else got a look in! As soon as we got to the cinema she was showing them to the people who were checking the tickets and fortunately we were at the back with no-one was sitting next to us because it meant she was ok to carry on when she was racing them in time to the film!

Lottie loved having the Cars 3 plushes with her for the film but she has barely put them down since. Sam is quite taken with them too and has been sneaking them away whenever he gets the chance to drive them around his car mat ‘brumming’ and ‘zooming’ and spends a lot of time saying ‘brum brum car, mine? Mine please Lottie’ before taking them off for another spin. They are good to play with because they are quite chunky but then because they are very soft and quite cuddly they make good teddies too. Lottie has been taking Mack to bed with her and has enjoyed cuddling him so they seem to be equally good as toys and teddies.

I am hoping that I might be able to add Lightning McQueen to my toy collection sometimes but I also like the fact that my little brother now loves the characters from the films that I always loved too so I am happy Sam is playing with him and Lottie is having so much fun with them all it keeps her away from annoying me too much!

She now just has the important job of deciding which bag clip is going to go on her new book-bag for next year!

If you like the idea of recreating your own version of the film then check out the whole range from Posh Paws International – you can chose from Lightning McQueen, Mater, Cruz, Ramirez, Jackson Storm, Guido and Mack in lots of different sizes or as bag clips and they are even making them in the Mini Tsum Tsum range that we are all collecting now too! The plush toys range from £5.99 to £19.99 and can be purchased at Debenhams, Sainsburys, Next and many more including Independent Retailers.

 

 

Disclaimer: We were generously supplied with our fantastic range of plush toys from Posh Paws International but all thoughts are our own.

 

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Pusheen Cat-The cat with it’s very own blog!

Some of the girls in my class have Pusheen the Cat stickers and notebooks but I hadn’t realised what a big thing Pusheen was until we were offered the chance to review a Pusheen plush which has recently been added to the range of soft toys available from GUND.

Pusheen is a huge star- she is a domestic short-haired grey tabby cat who has her own blog and over 9 million facebook likes, along with loads of followers on Twitter and Instagram.

I knew as soon as I was offered the chance to review one of the plushes that this was something my sister would love as she is obsessed with teddies and loves cats too so it would be perfect for her. The new range of Pusheen Plushes from GUND includes Pusheen in different poses, colours and costumes and they also do a Pusheenosaurus, a Pusheenicorn and a new Pusheen Mermaid.

Lottie was so excited to receive a Pusheenosaurus, she has been learning about dinosaurs at school so this was perfect. Lottie loved the teddy- it is amazingly soft and looks really good as a dinosaur. She has taken it everywhere with her recently and has shown all her friends. She says Pusheen is very cuddly even though she looks a little grumpy!

The Pusheenosaurus is £26 which is quite a lot of money for a teddy but it is so soft and still looks just as good as when it arrived despite being dragged around everywhere so if you are a Pusheen fan this would be great for you. Lottie’s Pusheenosaurus has been out for walks, tucked up in bed and dragged around the park so has done very well to stay just as soft! Any of the Pusheen plushes would also make a great present for Pusheen fans of any age, my sister loves the idea of Pusheen as a unicorn!

The Pusheenosaurus is available for pre-order for August from GUND UK

 

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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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Ready, Steady, Dough Swirly Whirly Sweets Review

Ready, Steady, Dough Swirly Whirly Sweets Review

We had quite a busy half term but at the end we were all struck down with coughs and colds and decided to have a quiet day at home doing Arts and Crafts. This can sometimes be a bit tricky as it can be difficult finding something we can all do together with me being 8, Lottie 5 and Sam being a toddler who is keen on wrecking things.

The Entertainer must have known though because at lunchtime there was a knock on the door and a large parcel arrived- the lovely people there had kindly sent us a big Ready, Steady Dough Swirly, Whirly Sweets set to review.

I hadn’t played with this sort of thing for quite a while but Lottie was keen we got started straight away so while Mum put Sam up for his nap I got the instructions out and started putting it together. It was really straightforward to set up and I had it ready in no time so we were soon able to get started using the set.

The main sweet machine allowed you go push the dough through and it turned a thick tube of dough into a neat balls, you can do it as plain or we preferred to mix it togethed make them multi coloured. You can then leave these as ball shaped sweets or use the presser to make them into sweets that are like a box of chocolates.

 

After this we used the icing piece which made a long straight very thin piece of dough- we like this because if you kept putting dough in before you pulled it off you could make it really long! We used these long pieces to wrap together and stick on the sticks to make lollies. There was also plates and knives in the set so you can make your own design and set them up.

I think the set would make great Christmas present for children slightly younger than me- I enjoyed it far more than I expected to and found it quite fun to roll out dough and make shapes, but my sister absolutely loved it. When Sam woke up he joined in too- he was too heavy handed for the sweet machine as we were worried he might break it but he loved rolling the dough and using the icing bit so I think this set is perfect for 3 to 6 year olds but will also be enjoyed by children who are both younger and older.

Thanks The Entertainer, we had a lovely afternoon trying the Ready Steady Dough Swirly Whirly Sweets set and actually all managed to play together without arguing!

 

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Making New Discoveries!

Making New Discoveries-

Discovery Channel Microscope Review


Christmas has come early at our house this year- we have been sent a Discovery Channel 150x Microscope to test and have been having loads of fun investigating with it.

It is really easy to set up and focus and comes with two pre-loaded slides so you can get straight on and start discovering. We have been looking at wings on the pre-loaded slides and have been having fun using the tools to collect our own specimens- it includes tweezers, vials, a magnifying glass and a magnifying petri dish so we have collected and cut up leaves and flowers to examine and have looked at nails and hair under the microscope which come out really well.

The microscope can be set up to three different levels of magnification and is also lit up. It is for age 8+ and it is ideal for any child around 7 upwards who likes science or enjoys studying nature but it is straight forward enough that Lottie who is 4 has been able to go ahead and use it without too much help and whilst we wouldn’t recommend bashing this type of equipment around we can also tell you that Lottie took the microscope in to school and shared it with her Reception class who all had a look and it came home none the worse for it’s outing!

We really liked this product and highly recommend it as a great Christmas gift. If you would like to find out more you can visit the Trends UK website here