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.
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Enter our competition thanks to Thames and Kosmos for a chance to win two sets of your own!
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
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
Get a grown up to cut off a small circle of the cork
Carefully push the needle through the cork
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.