Tuesday 27 November 2018

Fingerlings The BFF Collection - Review

If you have a young child, I'm sure you are familiar with Fingerlings and in the run up to Christmas, I'm willing to bet lots of children have them on their Christmas lists. We reviewed the new Fingerlings Hugs a few weeks ago (and loved it!) and E was very excited to have a play with one of the Fingerlings BFF Collection sets.

There are four different BFF (best friends forever, in case you aren't familiar with the lingo!) collections available; Danny & Gianna, Billie & Aiden, Violet & Hope and Ashley & Chance. We received the Ashley & Chance, much to E's delight as the pink and turquoise colours are lovely together.

Ashley is the big interactive Fingerling and Chance is her mini BFF. Chance isn't interactive but can hang by its tail onto Ashley's tail or you can even attach her to pencils and carry her around with you much more easily than you can Ashley.

E instantly took a liking to Ashley and couldn't wait to see what she did. There is a little switch on the back of her head and once it's put into the 'on' position, she instantly comes to life. As their name suggests, Fingerlings fit nicely onto your pointer finger which makes it easy for you to interact with it.

We quickly discovered that Ashley responds to touch, motion and sound and can interact with up to 40 different movements and sounds. She will blink, turn her head, give a cute little monkey babble and give a kiss back once you've blown one to her - to name a few!

E loves to treat Ashley like her little baby making sure her little tuft of hair is fluffed up and found that if you rock her in your hands, she'll fall asleep. She also likes bouncing her up and down as that makes Ashley emit a high monkey screech which E finds absolutely hilarious.

Playing with the Fingerlings is exciting because you discover what she can do as you play. There's no cheat sheet so it keeps that anticipation as you can't wait to see what else she'll do next. E likes to bring Ashley everywhere with her and I like that fact that it's small enough for me to carry around in my bag to entertain her whilst we are out.

The Fingerlings BFF Collection are available at all good toy shops such as Smyths and The Entertainer and have an RRP of £14.99.

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
Thursday 22 November 2018

E's Dream Horse with Petplan Equine

To say that E is an animal lover is a massive understatement. She will "aww" over any animal or creature that she sees on TV, she's obsessed with her nanny's two dogs and if she even sees a dog in the street, she'll be itching to run over, pet it and become its new best friend. 

Petplan Equine recently got in touch about their fabulous new campaign, asking if E would like to draw her dream horse and have it turned into a real soft toy. Like many other four year old girls, she definitely dreams of having her own pony so I knew she'd be excited to do it. 

One day after nursery she sat down with all her felt tips, eager to get started. Although she is only four, she is a fantastic little artist so I knew she'd take the time to make her horse look perfect. She needed minimal help from me, I just had to guide her hand around the page to get the horse outline, then she gave it eyes and a smile, lots of polka dots and a mane, tail and, for some strange reason, some hair along the underside! She then asked if I could finish it off with some swirls, stars and hearts as she wasn't able to do them "neat enough." 

A few weeks later, she received her imagined horse in soft toy format and I was blown away by how amazing it looked. Every little detail that E put into her drawing was replicated and E instantly fell in love. She brings her new horse everywhere now - even to bed! I suppose that's the good thing about her dream horse being a toy, I don't think she could fit a real pony in her bed with her! 

If you are lucky enough to have your own horse or pony, being a responsible horse owner and getting horse insurance from Petplan Equine is the way to go as their priority is keeping both horses and their owners happy. You can put your trust in them to get your horse back on their feet following any illnesses or injuries. Thank you, Petplan Equine for E's new favourite toy and the fact that she designed it herself makes it that little bit more special.

(This is a collaboration with Petplan Equine, but all thoughts and opinions are my own.) 
Wednesday 7 November 2018

Pull My Finger Game - Review

If I said the phrase "pull my finger" I'm sure everyone would know what was going to happen. It's a typical dad joke that's been around for years so when I heard about the Pull My Finger game from Jakks Pacific, I just knew that it would be right up C and E's street as they find all things "toilet humour" hilarious. Farts are always funny to a six year old boy especially!

Pull My Finger is a game suited to 2 or more players, where you spin a spinner and pull the finger of Mr Buster, the monkey, and wait for him to fart.

Inside the box you receive Mr Buster, two monkey butts, a monkey tail, a base and a spinner as well as the game instructions. It's really easy to set up and you can get playing instantly. The monkey clicks into the base (although we did need daddy's help as we weren't strong enough for that!) then you attach his tail and butt. The butt inflates using what looks like a straw/valve so there is no need for batteries.

The game instructions are very simple, even E who has just turned 4 can play easily. Each player takes a turn, spins the spinner and either pulls the monkey's finger between 1-4 times, skips a turn, chooses another player to go or play reverses in the opposite direction. I did wonder if the children would be strong enough to pull the finger but with one hand on Mr Buster's head to keep him steady, they did it with ease. It helps that you hear a faint squeak so you know when you've pulled it hard enough.

When the butt eventually farts is a total surprise but all adds to the fun. The player who makes the monkey fart is out of the game and play continues until there is one player left. Watch the video below for C and E's reactions.

At 6 and 4 I feel like C and E are the perfect age for this game. It is immature but young kids find that type of thing hilarious and it's been played with lots in our house! It helps that each game doesn't last too long, I'd say roughly 20 minutes so it's great if your child has a short attention span like mine!

Pull My Finger currently retails at £19.99 and you can purchase your own at Smyths Toys.

(We received this item for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.)
Friday 2 November 2018

Oregon Scientific SmartGlobe Adventure - Review

I've written quite a bit about how my eldest child, six year old C, is a very logical learner. He likes facts and statistics, always wanting to know why things happen and the history of everything. When we were given the opportunity to review the Adventure SmartGlobe from Oregon Scientific, I knew that it would be something that he'd love, as in the past he'd like to use an old mobile phone to look up places on Google Maps to see where they were.

I was initially really surprised by the sheer size of the globe. It's extremely colourful and you can read all the country names easily, as well as their capitals and some other cities. The globe runs on 3 AAA batteries which are included and comes to life when you press the power button on the attached pen.

You are encouraged to select a category on the globe's base; Continent, Name, Capital, Population, Area, Currency, History, Features, Geography, Language, Highest Point, National Anthem or Amazing Facts. Once you've done that you can touch the pen on any of the 220+ countries and the automated voice tells you a fact. With over 4,000 to learn, it's sure not to get boring! C is like a sponge and absorbs information only to recite it about a month later. I definitely think he'll be impressing his friends and teacher with his knowledge after playing around with his SmartGlobe for a while.

As well as learning facts about countries you can also learn some facts in French and compare the areas and populations by touching two different countries. When you think you've learned a lot you can even quiz yourself by playing one of the 25 in built games, making the globe ask you questions and prompting you to find and tap the correct country. C finds these a little too difficult at the moment but I bet the more he plays and older he gets, this will definitely improve.

C has been completely attached to his SmartGlobe with his favourite areas being finding out each country's National Anthem or comparing areas or populations. He's also decided that his favourite of all the countries is Egypt. I love that the base has a zoomed in map of the United Kingdom and Ireland. My own knowledge of geography is rubbish as I never enjoyed it at school, and living in Northern Ireland means I've been a bit ignorant to where in mainland UK certain towns and cities are. It's been a bit of an eye opener for me!

On the box of the SmartGlobe, there is a QR code that you can scan with your phone or tablet and download the Augmented Reality app. Honestly, my first impression was that the app was pretty big  at 765MB and I found that I had to delete quite a lot off my phone just to install it. 

After installing and signing in, you are able to use your device to scan a certain area of the globe and learn more about that country whether it be what animals live there, the monuments or sights such as the Eiffel Tower or Statue of Liberty or even cuisine. 

It does seem a little glitchy/jumpy when trying to scan but I am unsure if that's down to my device or the app itself. The AR aspect is a nice little addition to learn some extra information. At the end, you can test yourself by doing a quiz on what the AR app might have taught you.

I honestly cannot praise this product enough and I wish I had it when I was a child! C is always wanting to have either his tablet or the PlayStation but he has actually been choosing to play on the globe a lot more instead. I never thought I'd see the day!

The Oregon Scientific SmartGlobe Adventure retails at £59.99 which I think is absolutely amazing for what it does. You can find out more about the range of globes at the Oregon Scientific website.

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