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World Tetris Day 2019

Did you know it was World Tetris Day last week? We love Tetris in our house- my Dad used to play it when he was a kid and I got Tetris Dual one year for Christmas which Lottie and I play loads. It’s the 35th birthday of Tetris!

We were really excited to hear that a new game called Tetris Speed has been launched. This is a card game and involves putting one card face down in the middle of the table and dividing the rest of the cards up between the players. The first card is turned over and you’re away. Each card has a picture on it of a Tetrimino piece and then a smaller picture depicting the next piece to be laid, the race is on for the players to search through their hand and find the next piece the quickest, the player who puts all their cards down first is the winner.

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Tetris Speed  is huge fun and had us in fits of laughter trying to beat each other, it’s much harder than you think for what looks like such a simple game- you can’t take your eye off the pile for a second or the other player will be ahead of you. There’s no turn taking either, it’s each player for him or herself! Lottie was running along really well and getting  rid of card after card when suddenly she couldn’t go and I could so I got the momentum- literally anyone can win if they are fast enough. Even though I won twice in a row and dinner was ready Lottie was still asking to play again! I am going to have to beat her again this evening!

We think this is a fab game for all the family, it doesn’t take too long to play but is loads of fun and because it’s in a box we can take it out and about with us too. It’s kind of like Tetris meets snap but for big kids- you really do have to use your memory! You can also make it bigger if more people want to play by adding a second set of cards in which is a brilliant idea.

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We do still love Tetris Dual though and play it quite a lot, we reviewed this with some friends last year and you can find the full review here but were lucky enough to be sent another copy which we were excited to pass on to Lottie’s best friend Emily and her little sister, Isla, for them to try.

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Emily and Isla loved it as much as us, they had a great time playing after school the other day. Isla is nearly 6 and Emily is nearly 8 and they found it perfect to play together.

They told us it was like a jigsaw that you had to really think about but also at the same time had to stop the other person getting their jigsaw finished!

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We love the fact that Tetris are always coming up with new ways that you can play for a game that has been around such a long time and we can’t wait to see what they come up with next.

The people at Ideal and Norton PR have kindly given us a copy of both Tetris Dual and Tetris Speed to give away to one lucky family, so don’t miss our competition below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

Disclaimer: We were gifted Tetris Dual and Tetris Speed but all thoughts and opinions are our own

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UK Games Expo 2019

We had a great day out at the UK Games Expo at the NEC today. This was our first time visiting a games convention and it was awesome.

I couldn’t believe how many games there were and so many great ideas for games that you would have never think of.

We knew there would be chances to play games but literally we could have spent a week there and not managed to try everything we wanted.

The people working on the stands were brilliant, they all knew the games well and were able to show you what to do so you didn’t have to spend ages working out rules and they joined in playing with us which was good fun.

I wanted to have a look at strategy games, I really liked the look of them and would like to get into playing them. I think they might be a bit complicated just yet but I hope as I get older to give them a try. I love the idea of how they expand and evolve as you play them and there were some amazing accessories you could get at the show.

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We were surprised at how many games there were that were suitable for us all to play as a family even with Sam being only just 4. We had a lot of fun playing some silly games and also some slightly more complicated games and he loved being involved.

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We all had our own favourites that we managed to try or chat to people about today- Sam loved playing Deep Sea Adventure on the Zatu games stand, we all had fun with that and think that would be a great one for us to play as a family. He also desperately wanted to play the Silly Sausage game on Ideal Games’ stand but we had run out of time.

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I really enjoyed Lost Galaxy by Rudy Games which was played using an app which guides you through and teaches you what to do. I would like to get that one soon.

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Lottie absolutely loved the look of the new Ravensburger Disney Villainous game- it makes a change from the normal princess games! Unfortunately they had sold out and all the tables were busy with people testing it so we didn’t get to play but she is definitely putting it on her birthday wish-list! They also had a couple of Harry Potter themed games she liked the look of so these will be worth looking out for.

Mum and Dad regretted not going back and buying a copy of Reveal which was a game with no questions and only answers. We had fun trying out some of the questions and they think it will be a good game to play at Christmas so I think we might be ordering a copy. We all really liked seeing the original version of the game that the creator had made for his family to play. It’s amazing to see how a game starts off.

There was also a few other things to see like places selling clothes and jewellery. There was a stall called Geekycool selling handmade jewellery that Lottie loved- lots of Star Wars and Harry Potter things turned into jewellery, Sam didn’t want to leave because he really wanted the figures! They were good, we hadn’t seen anything like it before and the man said he is able to make the items with any character if they are able to be got hold of so my Mum thinks this would make a good presents for Lottie’s friends.

There was loads of other games that we had a great time trying quickly and lots that we only got to have a quick look at but I think we all have a huge list of new ones we would like to play!

We will definitely be going back to the UK Games Expo next year and will probably try and go for the whole weekend to make sure we can see it all, it was well worth a visit for a family day out.

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Disclaimer- We were gifted Press Passes for the event but our review of the day and our comments about individual games are all our own thoughts

 

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Ooze Labs- Slime Experiments Review

By Lottie age 7

I love slime, I really like making it but my Mum doesn’t let me very often because it is MESSY!

We were sent a selection of Ooze Lab slime experiments by Thames and Kosmos to try out and we think this is the perfect way to make slime.

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You get everything you need in a test tube except the water and scissors to open the packet with and it is really straightforward to do. The instructions are very easy to follow. You just stand the test tube in it own lid support it with a piece of cardboard that you get especially for this.

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You then follow the instructions to make your slime, there is a bit of mixing and a lot of shaking and then some special instructions like putting the test tube under a light to make the glow in the dark version.

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The instructions have some interesting facts and information in them that I liked reading.

It was really easy to make the slime. They are £4 each for one of the experiments and they do lots of different types- glitter slime, heat reactive slime, glow in the dark and sunshine slime. My Mum thinks these would be really good to give out instead of party bags.

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They are great fun, the slime is really stretchy and it makes brilliant rude noises when I squidge it!  I think the full Ooze Labs Chemistry Station looks awesome too.
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Enter our competition thanks to Thames and Kosmos for a chance to win two sets of your own!

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

Disclaimer: We were sent the Ooze Labs Slime kits for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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How to make a compass

By Lottie age 7

We are learning about magnets and forces at school and one of our homework choices was to make a compass which I really liked doing.

To make a compass you need:

A needle or paper clip

A cork or something that floats

A magnet

Some water

  1. You need to make the needle magnetic. To do this you need to rub the needle at least 50 times along the magnet in the same direction
  2. Get a grown up to cut off a small circle of the cork
  3. Carefully push the needle through the cork
  4. Float the compass in a small bowl of water. Make sure it isn’t in any wind and the needle should move to point to North and South. You can then use the sun and shadows to work out which is which and mark east or west (or you can do what I did and cheat by using a ready made compass to check!)

If you were out in the wild you can also use fur or hair to make the needle magnetic.

Also if you didn’t have a cork you could use a leaf to float it.

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May the Fourth Be With You…

Happy Star Wars Day!

We have been watching lots of Star Wars parody songs on YouTube and playing with Star Wars LEGO tonight. I wanted to  watch the films again but my little brother is too young so my Mum won’t let him- I don’t think he will be scared he already knows all about them from books and games, he knows all the characters and what happens to them all so I think he will probably be alright!

Here are some of my favourite Star Wars jokes;

How did Darth Vader know what Luke was getting for his birthday?  He felt his presents!

Why did Anakin Skywalker cross the road? To get to the other side!

What do Gungans keep things in? Jar Jars!

Why is Yoda so good at gardening? He has green fingers!

What’s a Jedi’s favourite toy? – A Yo-yo-da

I would love to hear any Star Wars jokes you know!

 

Sam’s birthday cake from the other day

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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What Lottie Loves…Learning Resources Measure Mate Review

Review by Lottie Age 7 with some help from Mum…

We were sent a Learning Resources Measure Mate to review and I had lots of fun using it in the garden over the Easter weekend.

The Measure Mate is for children age 4 + and can be used outdoors. It is very easy to put together and I managed to do it all by myself. It has a measure, a trundle wheel, a spirit level, a measuring stick and two bits you can measure between called callipers. It also comes with a bag to keep it in when you take it apart and some nice stickers to decorate it with.

When I had made the Measure Mate I took it out in the garden. I liked using it to measure how big the garden is with the trundle and had fun measuring things up for the flower garden that I am planting. I used the callipers to measure lots of different things I found.

I really enjoyed using the Measure Mate and I have had fun both inside and outside with it. I have been using the measuring stick to measure everyone’s feet and I got to use the spirit level the other day when I was helping my Dad.

This Summer I am going to make a herb planter with a pallet and will be able to use my Measure Mate to help make it!

This will be a really useful tool that I think I will use a lot.

Note from Mum

Lottie had a great time playing with the Measure Mate. Whilst it’s not cheap at around £32 it is well made and will last, more importantly fired her interest in measures . This is an area of maths that has never really caught her attention before- anything that gets them learning practically is well worth considering.

It’s ideal for children age 4 plus- younger children will use it more as a toy and slightly older ones will be able to expand on what they have learnt at school in a fun way.

 

Disclaimer: We were sent a Learning Resources Measure Mate for review purposes but all thoughts and opinions are our own

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The Titanic Detective Ageny by Lindsay Littleson

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.

 

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Lottie Loves…Scruff-a-Luv Blossom Bunny adoption

I was sent a Scruff-a-Luv Blossom Bunny to adopt and I was really excited. I have seen the adverts for Scruff-a-Luv’s and really wanted one so I was very lucky to get a special limited edition one.

It comes in a really nice box that looks like a pet carrier. When you open the box it is a bit surprising, your Scruff-a-Luv is like a ball of material and it looks really funny, I wasn’t really expecting it to be like that!

You then have to wash it, you can use children’s bubble bath to make it nice and bubbly and then you have to wash your Scruff-a-Luv really well, you get a special brush to use to wash it too so you can make it really fluffy.

As you start to wash your scruffy ball it unwraps and fluffs up into your really cute Scruff-a-Luv Blossom Bunny.

Once you have washed it you can dry it off and then use a hairdryer on a low temperature and then it starts to get really fluffy and cuddly.

My Scruff-a-Luv Blossom Bunny is called Posie and I love it.

It took a bit longer to dry then I expected but I had given it a really good wash! I liked brushing it’s fur and putting it’s tiara on. Now its all clean and brushed I can take my bunny to bed with me.

I liked revealing my Scruff-a-Luv , I love toys that are surprises and I love teddies so this is a good toy for me. I think it’s great for children age 3 to 9 but older ones might like it to and younger ones will love it too but will need help getting it washed without making a big mess!

My Scruff-a-luv Blossom Bunny has been on lots of adventures with me and all my friends really like it.

This is a brilliant toy for Spring and would make a really good late Easter present! I would love to get another one so my bunny can have a friend and am going to save up my pocket money to buy it!

We are excited to be giving one lucky reader the chance to win their own Scruff-a-Luv Blossom Bunny to adopt!

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Disclaimer: I was sent a Scruff a Luv to review but all thoughts are my own

 

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The God of all Small Boys by Joseph Lamb- Book Review

It’s my turn on The God of all Small Boys blog tour today and I loved this book. From start to finish it was really well written and captured my attention. The only thing I didn’t like about it was the fact my Mum insisted reading it with me and made us stop three chapters before the end because it was late!

The book is set in Lochee in Dundee and the descriptions really set the scene, you can imagine what it would have been like to live in the shadow of Camperdown Works and smell the jute from the factory.

The God of all Small Boys is written from the perspective of James an 11 year old boy whose Dad has gone to fight in the War and whose life has been shook up when he has been sent to stay with his Aunt and her family who he doesn’t even know. You can really imagine James’ fear and sadness. He goes from his large comfortable home in the countryside to his Aunt’s home in a tenement block where there is no space and no privacy and he has to share a bed with three of his cousins…one of which hates him.

You feel really sorry for James to start with, he is very sensitive and seems quiet. I can’t imagine how he must feel waving his Dad off to war not knowing when he will come back. His cousin, Billy, resents him being there and starts all his friends off to be mean James, they play some horrible tricks on James. However, it soon becomes clear James is braver than he appears when he stands up to the school bully to help protect Ben, one of Billy’s gang. Billy and his friends Derek, Kevin and Ben start to warm to James and he is soon accepted in as one of their blood brothers.

They go on adventures and create an amazing den, the friendships grow and grow but the thought of the war is never far away. By this time in 1917 the war had been going on a long time and the children had come to realise it wasn’t just about being heroes- the fear of the ‘Man in black’ -the telegram man coming by is never far away, the woman discuss rationing while the younger girls apply to be Land Girls and the boys play at being soldiers while worrying about their Fathers.

Kevin, one of the other boys from their gang, often refers to The God of All Small Boys who he explains is the God who ‘keeps us from breaking our necks on scaffolding…let’s us find pennies in the gutter. He’s the one who grows trees with branches in just the right places, so we can climb to the top….He looks after us…he’s the one who keeps us safe.’ The other boys sort of laugh at Kevin’s God of all Small Boys but they also believe in Him in their own way to. However, when something awful happens they find it hard to make sense of things. I don’t want to give away too much of the story but you should definitely read this book.

I really like the cover too- on the face of it it’s showing boys having fun in the sunset but then you look closer and it reminds you once again of the war and of young men going off to fight as it looks like the artwork of silhouettes of soldiers on a battlefield at the same time.

The God of all Small Boys features so many different issues- war, bullying, friendship, love, poverty and many more- you don’t even realise some of them until you have finished reading and think back. It’s one of those books that gets you thinking for a long time afterwards. Although it’s a children’s book it is brilliantly written and any book that can make my Mum cry should be read by grown ups too.

Don’t forget to head over to www.lisareadsbooks.blogspot.com tomorrow for the next stop on the blog tour.

 

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of The God of all Small Boys for review purposes but all thoughts are my own.

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Crayola Scoot Review

Lottie Loves… Crayola Scoot

We don’t very often find Xbox games that we all like and much less that all three of us can play together so we were really pleased when we were asked to test Crayola Scoot.

Up to four people can play Crayola Scoot at the same time and there are loads of different activities and games you can do.

Before you start you design your character, choose your scooter and pick your colour. You then choose which event you want to do and start scooting.

There are modes for competitive play and modes for fun play. They can be played on your own against the game or with other friends.

The idea is to splat your colour everywhere which you do by doing tricks and stunts, the player with the most colour at the end of the event wins but you can also get trophies and points for other reasons like spectacular stunts.

My favourite game is Splat Tag where you choose if you are the tagger or are scooting away, if you are the tagger you need to do tricks near your opponents and try and splat them with your paint colour. If they get splatted then they become the tagger.

Luke likes Team Colour Frenzy were you do stunts and tricks to put as much of your colour over the park as possible , the team who have splatted the most colour is the winner.

Each game and event is quite short so you can play a few and then have a break. My Mum thinks this is good for younger children because the games aren’t too long.

I really like Crayola Scoot, it’s very colourful and lots of fun. Some games you have to be good at stunts and be able to do lots of things but lots of them you can play just for fun.

Sam and I have loved playing Crayola Scoot and Luke has enjoyed the competitive games so it’s good for all ages, we would recommend this as a fun family game to play together on the Xbox. You can also get it on PS4 and Nintendo Switch

 

Disclaimer: We were gifted Crayola Scoot in exchange for our review but all thoughts are my own.

Reviewed by Lottie age 7 with help from Mum