Thursday 27 September 2018

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Series 3 - Review

My kids, like many others I imagine, are obsessed with collectible toys. Blind bags are the ultimate favourite as we love the excitement of what character you are going to get. Hatchimals CollEGGtibles take the blind bag concept a little further by having their animals inside a cute little speckled egg, just waiting to be hatched out. This adds a bit of depth and extra play time to the toys.

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Series 3 have recently been released and we were so excited to get the chance to try them out. I'd previously bought E some of Series 1 and 2 so I already knew that she was a fan, but these ones focus on the aspect of Best Friends and you can hatch either single animals or twins but the single animals all have a best friend (you can find who that is on the information leaflet) that you aim to collect too.

Inside our Series 3 review box, we received: Hatchimals CollEGGtibles One Dozen Egg Carton (RRP £24.99), Hatchimals CollEGGtibles 4 Pack + Bonus (RRP £9.99), Hatchimals CollEGGtibles 2 Pack + Nest (RRP £4.99) and Hatchimals CollEGGtibles 1 Pack (RRP £2.99). I love that there is a wide selection for all price ranges.

Automatically, E was drawn towards the blue sparkly egg box - I'm not sure if it was because she loves glitter or because of the sheer amount of eggs inside! The eggs are hatched by pressing gently above the heart and cracking it. She was able to open them successfully by herself and her excitement grew with each egg, even shrieking when she discovered the eggs with twins inside. 

We took our time ticking each animal that we hatched off our leaflet, making sure to find out their names and if we got their best friend. You can also find out whether they are common, rare, ultra rare or limited edition and we were lucky enough to get a few of each! They even have three limited edition squads and we got two from the Breezy Beach squad (Breezy Zebrush and Breezy Hamstar) as well as Shimmering Girreo from the Shimmering Sands squad who is my favourite as he's fuzzy! 

E completely sped through opening the rest and loved the little addition of the nest in the 2 Pack and reusing the egg box to let her animals have a little sleep.

With over 100 animals to collect, I think we only had around 3 or 4 dupes. Before owning Hatchimals I always thought that the excitement only came with hatching them and afterwards, they'd be pushed to the side as the novelty will have worn off. E proved me wrong and plays with them just like any other figure, using her imagination to get them to interaction and act out scenarios. 

Hatchimals CollEGGtibles Series 3 are now available from all good toys shops and are recommended for children aged 5+.

(We received these items for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Friday 14 September 2018

Schleich Dino Set with Cave - Review

My son C has always been interested in dinosaurs, ever since the age of 2 when he became obsessed with Andy's Dinosaur Adventures on CBeebies and proudly told me that his favourite was a parasaurolophus (which I promptly had to Google - how could a 2 year old outsmart me?) Four years on, his love of dinosaurs is still there so he was very excited to get his hands on the Schleich Dino Set with Cave (recommended for age 5+).

I love the Schleich range and you can tell just by looking and holding them that they are a great value, well made and will stand the test of time. We reviewed some Schleich animal figures two years ago and they are still going strong, have been borrowed by C's nursery for a while and now enjoyed by both of my children with not a breakage in sight.

The Dino Set with cave comes with four pieces to build the cave (cave, column, stone and stone slab), a Herrerasaurus with a moveable lower jaw, a Psittacosaurus, a Microraptor and a fossil head. Upon opening, the first thing I noticed was the sheer weight of each piece, you know that this is a fantastic quality toy. The cave itself was simple enough for 6 year old C to build alone and he loved that you can transform the front part into a catapult when the stone column is moved.

The dinosaur figures themselves have been crafted with exceptional attention to detail. The colouring on each is second to none and I was surprised to see that they are all handpainted because they look so incredible. The size of the cave and figures are decent too.

C, although a lover of dinosaurs, wasn't actually aware of these types so we had a quick Google about their backgrounds, what they ate and he was very interested in learning more. Watching C's imagination come to life when he is playing with this set is wonderful. He will have them fight each other, try to run or fly away, have one dinosaur remove the stone trying to crush another, all while roaring as loud as he can and you can just feel his excitement.

We love the Schleich Dino with Cave Set as it combines two of my favourite things; playing and learning. I even learned a bit more about dinosaurs too! This set retails at £44.99 but for handpainted, high quality toys that encourage creativity and imagination, it's definitely worth it. You can purchase your own at the Schleich website.

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
Thursday 13 September 2018

Peppa's Laugh and Learn Laptop - Review & Giveaway

Peppa Pig is one of those shows that I don't think has been off my television for a single day since I became a parent six years ago. Kids are just drawn to the show and, I'll admit, she's grown on me a little. My four year old daughter E loves Peppa so we were excited to receive the Peppa's Laugh and Learn Laptop and it was perfect timing with E starting nursery.

E began nursery at the start of the month so we will be focusing a lot on her numbers and letter sounds at home to go along with what she's doing at nursery. The four game modes focus on colours, numbers, letters and word recognition so it sounded fantastic.

The laptop is full of bright colours, as well as an image of Peppa on the front, perfect to pique a small child's interest. It also has a little handle so it can be carried around easily. 

Upon opening, you are met with a whole host of buttons and E couldn't wait to see what everything did. Along the side, there is a slider to change activity; Discover, Quiz, What Can You Find? and Music. It's really easy for a young child to choose their activity by themselves and E happily played around with the buttons to see how they'd changed for each different one. 

When in the Discover mode, pressing one of the six buttons in the centre corresponds to one of the images on the backlit screen eg. telling you that there were "three red clocks" - great to teach both numbers and colours. The Quiz activity asks questions such as "What is the first letter of the word 'coin'? At 4 years old, E did need a little help with these but I definitely feel that when she gets playing more and more, it will teach her a lot of things that will get stuck in her head and aid her learning.

What Can You Find? is similar to the Quiz mode but will ask questions based on sounds, so it will play the sound of an aeroplane taking off or a clock ticking, then the child has to choose the correct button. E loves this setting and it would be great for younger children too. The Music mode transforms the main six buttons into piano sounds so when they are pressed, you can create your own tune.

The six buttons along the bottom add a little extra to each activity. Whether it be musical sounds from the bongos, recorder or saxophone or just telling you the character names of George, Danny Dog or Suzie Sheep.

I think this is a great little toy for children aged 2+. I love a toy that is both fun and educational and the addition of a well loved character helps. The Peppa's Laugh and Learn Laptop retails at £19.99 from all good toy shops.

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)

Want to win one for yourself? Just enter via the Gleam widget below. Good luck!

  Peppa Pig Laugh and Learn Laptop

  • This giveaway will run from 13th September until 30th September
  • One winner will win one Peppa Pig Laugh and Learn Laptop
  • Open to entrants aged 18+
  • UK residents only
  • One entry per person
  • No automated entries  

Tuesday 11 September 2018

Ravensburger Paw Patrol Four Large Shaped Puzzles - Review

Both my children love reaching for a jigsaw puzzle when they are feeling a little bored and want something fun to do. We have a huge pile already in our house and they love the feeling of accomplishment that comes with seeing the full image at the end. It helps when it's a fun character that they like! 

Ravensburger very kindly sent E one of their Paw Patrol Four Large Shaped Puzzles sets and she was so excited to get started. Paw Patrol is one of her favourite shows with a special love of Everest and Skye. 

Inside the box you get 52 puzzle pieces in different sizes, depending on what puzzle they are for. One puzzle has 10 pieces, another 12, one 14 and finally one at 16 pieces. 

As E has only just turned four, I gave her a little help. She was able to split the pieces into piles happily, knowing which piece was for which puzzle just by looking at the image on the box. 

In the end, it took her no longer than around 30 minutes to complete all four, letting out a little shriek of excitement and pointing out which characters she could see. Each puzzle depicts a different scene and I liked the addition of words as, now she has started nursery, we are working on letter sounds. All four are full of colour and so pretty to look at. 

The Ravensburger Paw Patrol Four Large Shaped Puzzles retail at £9.99 and is suitable for children aged 3+. You can purchase your own at Amazon.

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)