Joanne

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A stress-free kids party with Zuru

Gone are the days of planning stressful birthday parties and here’s to the new stress-free party planning Lydia turned 7 in October and this year she opted for a Disco party, what can I say…

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Alternative Advent calenders gift guide

I thought I would do something a bit different this year and put together a list of different advent calendars. My kids have always had chocolate calendars every year, without fail. I have been sent a selection of advent calendars that I would love to share with you especially if you are looking to try something different too. If you have had or tried any of these in the past I would love for you to comment down below and let me know what you thought of them and if they were worth the price tag.

I have looked online and will be linking the websites with the lowest price I can find.

Playmobil Christmas ball for ages 4+

Lots of accessories hiding behind each door to create a beautiful Christmas ball.

This is perfect for all the little Playmobil fans out there. I have found this for £13.99 click here.

 

Playmobil 18months +

Christmas in the forest with Christmas figures, animals and accessories behind every door.

Cheapest I have found is on Amazon for £19.99 click here.

Smiggle 6+

I have always secretly wanted one of these for myself, so I was thrilled to be sent one for Lydia to check out.

At the moment these are on sale for £18 in-store or £20 online with an option of adding additional calendars at a reduced rate. here.

So Free

No Milk, Gluten-free, suitable for Vegans

 Free Organic Fairtrade Dairy Free Milk Chocolate Alternative Advent Calendars. You can find these here and they are also eligible for 15% off

Pact Coffee advent calendar

For all of you coffee lovers out there. I was sent this one for you! 25 bags of 18g sachets of grounded coffee for your Christmas countdown. I am giving this one to my grandparents. You will also get a limited edition tea towel when purchasing this product.  .

 

*These products were gifted to me in return for inclusion on my blog*

Game review | Whoopee doo by IDEAL

IT’S A HOOT WHEN YOU TOOT!!

As a family, one of the things we love to do is to switch off all technology, sit around the table and play games together and games are also one of our favourite reviews to do here on the blog.

Whoopee doo is a quick-thinking family game with a recommended age rating of 4+ which I would agree with, as I definitely think Emily would have struggled with the questions if she was a little younger. It also recommends 2+players and takes x3 AAA batteries which are not included.

What’s in the box?

  • 1 Whoopeedoo
  • 70 x Challenge cards
  • Instructions

The Game

We played in teams, but you don’t have to. To start the game, sit on the large inflatable cushion and hold down the yellow button until you hear the timer start, you then have to answer the challenge question on the card as quickly as you can and then press the yellow button to pause and pass to the next player to have a turn.

Don’t get caught!

You need to go quickly before the timer runs out because if you don’t, you will get caught and blow off in front of everyone, which the kids found hilarious.

 

Here is what we thought:

We had so much fun playing this fun family game. You can make the game as short or as long as you like and it’s very easy to set up and pack away or even travel with. We loved hearing the funny answers the kids spluttered out whilst under pressure. It is a simple game with very little contents and game instructions to read, and because its main focus is a farting machine, it was a winner with my kids.

Whoopee doo retails at £19.99 and is available to buy at all good toys stores. To see the latest games and reviews, why not join the Ideal Games facebook page here.

Disclosure: We received the sample for the purposes of writing this review, however, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

 

 

 

Gifted | Halloween and pumpkin carving with Feisty Pets

Happy Halloween

Lydia, Leo and Emily love Halloween and we all look forward to decorating the house in preparation for the 31st of October with spooky cobwebs, skeletons, keep out tape and other scary props.

This year we are joined by Feisty Pets, Cranky Cathy and Fabio Flamefart. They are cute, soft, cuddly, interactive plushies that stand 10″ tall. On the back of their box, you will get to learn more about your feisty pet’s personalities and what they like and dislike.

Cranky Cathy likes ding dong ditching, dumpster diving and black liquorice but dislikes daylight, superheroes and pumpkins.

Police received a string of complaints from local neighbourhoods of prank doorbell ringers. Once on the scene, Cathy was found in a nearby garage can eating last weeks meals.

Fabio FlameFart likes cilantro (Chinese parsley), ear wax and English accents but dislikes spicy food, the french riviera and cardboard boxes.

Though do not feed Fabio spicy food, his irritable bowl will make him angry and cause him to attack.

Don’t be fooled by their cute looks because these animals become hair-raising and hideous when you give the back of their heads a gentle squeeze. Their eyebrows become slanted and their mouth turns into a horrifying beastly snarl.

Snarling or no snarling, Lydia and Emily are having great fun chasing each other around the house pretending to be all cute and then scare each other.

Our Feisty pet also brought us a pumpkin carving kit (not Cathy because she hates pumpkins) for us to have a go at creating a pumpkin masterpiece which we all thoroughly enjoyed and got stuck in.

Feisty pets from Jazwares are aimed at children 6+ and can be purchased in Smyths, Argos, Tesco, The Entertainer and Morrisons.

 

*I was sent these products in return for inclusion on my blog*

Read our pumpkin picking experience here.

 

NEW Ice Age: Scrat’s Nutty Adventure | Game review

Ice Age: Scrats Nutty Adventure
Age: 3+
The device tested: Nintendo Switch.

What its about…

For anyone who knows and loves Ice Age, poor Scrat is forever chasing his elusive nut, which often leads him into some precarious and hilarious predicaments. Scrats adventure starts off often where we leave Scrat, just about to enjoy his nut before something happens. This time, his unfortunate curse leads him to discover a hidden world of the Scratazons where Scrat is enlisted to find four Crystal Nuts, each one imbuing Scrat with a new ability to help him on his adventure. Find all the nuts and open the door to the Golden Age of the Scratazons and receive your reward…

Gameplay

The game itself is straightforward enough, a 3D platform game that involves lots of jumping and traversing various paths, roads, mountainsides, etc. while you fight off enemies and collect hidden secrets. The world is broken down into four sections, each section has four stages and a boss level. The boss levels are simple enough once you know the patterns and traversing the routes does get more difficult as you progress in the game, but nothing should be too difficult – for an adult anyway.

The real critic

My daughter is aged 7 and absolutely loved the game. The cutscenes made her laugh and the game was challenging at times for her, requiring a lot of hand-eye coordination, which is where I think these games are really beneficial. Once she got the hang of things, it became easier until the boss levels. It took a little while, but she eventually was able to beat them, something she was very proud of.

Who doesn’t love a puzzle?

This game also has puzzles that you need to solve to find the secrets. There are very easy ones to get but to get them all, there are more difficult puzzles to solve. Watching my daughter try to solve the challenges was interesting as she tried different approaches each time until she found the solution (although occasionally a tip or hint from me was required). While playing the game, not always following the path laid out pays dividends and teaches your child to be aware of what is around them.

The full story is relatively short taking only a few days to get through the story, but solving all of the puzzles and finding the hidden tablets will take much longer (some of them quite a while as you look to find a door you opened somewhere in the map).

Time to compete

For an extra bit of fun (and competition), we timed ourselves on sections to see who could get through levels quickest. This pushed my daughter to move quickly and really focus on her coordination and awareness.

https://amzn.to/2VG9jHJ

One (very small) critique

My only criticism, and my daughters too is the camera which, at times, became a hindrance as it cannot go through walls often leaving you facing the wall if you fell off an edge and every time you moved away reverted back, leaving you running back into the wall again. This can become frustrating at times, particularly during jumping sequences that involved lots of platform-hopping.

Rating

I would give this game four stars out of five (I only drop the star because of the camera). It is easy going, lots of fun and great for children in developing hand-eye coordination and problem-solving and would make a great Christmas present for the kids.

Scrat’s Nutty Adventure is available to buy from Symths, Game and retails at £34.99.

Come and join us at 1pm today over on Twitter to talk all things Scrat

 

*I received this game and a small fee in return for an honest review*