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Thursday, 21 June 2018

Sweet Pups - discover the magic hidden inside

The latest collectable toy is due to be launched at the end of this month and they already promise to be hugely popular. Sweet Pups, from Trends UK, are a range of soft, plush puppies hidden inside delicious looking pretend pastries. With 12 adorable breeds to collect in series one, there is a perfect puppy for everyone or you can collect them all.

Sweet Pups look like the most delicious croissants, macaroons and sticky buns on the outside, each scented with the sweet aroma of cinnamon, chocolate, strawberry or toasted bread. Inside, there is a sweet surprise, just waiting to be discovered.


Sweet Pups


You can transform the Sweet Pups toys from the delicious looking, sweet scented pastries into cute and cuddly plush puppies simply by turning them inside out. Your favourite puppy will be revealed – ready to love and play with. You can choose from twelve different breeds including Chewy Chihuahua, Raisin Pup, Pretty Poodle, Sweety Peety or Rocky Roll.

We've received a Buddy Roll Sweet Pups toy, which is a sugar roll pastry concealing a cute, plush tan and brown puppy with big blue eyes. The toys come individually packaged in a clear plastic dome with a cardboard sleeve, so you can see which one you are getting. Sweet Pups are a very novel, quirky toy that combine patisserie favourites with the cutest puppy dogs. I'm sure they'll have huge appeal to children who love collectables and cuddly toys with a unique twist.

Sweet Pups


Sweet Pups will be available from Claire’s Accessories and Amazon for £7.99 rrp from next week and are suitable for ages 3 and up. 

Monday, 4 June 2018

The First Signs of Summer with Little Tikes

Summer is the UK’s favourite season. For me, I start to feel summery when the weather gets warmer and my winter clothes get relegated to the back of my wardrobe in favour of t-shirts and summer dresses. The lighter evenings also signify the start of the summer season for me and I enjoy making the most of the longer days. However, according to a recent survey, most Brits consider it to be the start of summer when the month of June begins.

The survey of over 2000 people carried out by Little Tikes, found that despite the Solstice on June 21st being the official start of summer, the majority of UK residents class the first week of June as the start of the holiday season. In fact, just one in ten considered the start of summer to be Solstice week and some didn't consider it summertime until the schools break up for the summer holidays.

63% of Brits stated that summer is their favourite season of the year. However, less than a quarter (23%) said that warm weather heralded the start of the season for them. So despite us having the hottest May in decades, many people still didn't consider it as being summer for them.

For one in ten Brits, summer officially starts with the smell of cut grass, whilst for others, it is the smell of the first BBQ of the season (for us it's a vegan BBQ), the sound of children playing outdoors, the first spray tan of the year or even, the Queen’s Birthday. An unlucky 3% of Brits know it’s summer when their Hayfever symptoms kick in. A further 3% believe the season starts when they book their official summer holiday and begin to look forward to sunbathing on a tropical beach.

The first BBQ of the summer


Almost half of those asked, didn’t feel they spend enough time outdoors during the summer months although they would like this to change. So this summer, Little Tikes is calling on all Brits to make the most of the season by spending time together outdoors. 

Little Tikes offers a full range of outdoor play products – from playhouses, sandboxes and water tables to the iconic Cozy Coupe. All of my children have enjoyed playing in the classic Crazy Coupe cars over the years! This season they have also launched the new Fun Zone range, which features toys like Splash Face, Dual Twister, Tumblin’ Tower and Drop Zone - for water-play with a twist, keeping the kids (and the grown-ups) cool this summer!

Little Tikes Dual Twister


You can shop the full Little Tikes range at https://www.littletikes.co.uk.

Sunday, 3 June 2018

Make Science Fun with National Geographic's Dig Kit and Crystal Lab

Freddy loves anything to do with science and has a very inquiring mind. He can often be found Googling things and watching YouTube videos, absorbing fascinating facts about the world, the animal kingdom and the solar system. So he was very excited to get hands-on and try out the National Geographic STEM science sets from Bandai.

National Geographic is a well-known, trusted and reputable brand. Their range of experiment based kits support the STEM subjects, making science accessible, exciting and fun to children aged 8 and over. The kits include expert learning guides and cover subjects that kids will find fascinating. Each kit includes a real piece of the natural world for kids to examine and learn about. The packaging is also really lovely. The sturdy boxes are embossed with glossy images that grab the attention and raise interest.

National Geographic Dig Kit and Crystal Growing Kits


The Dino Fossil Dig Kits bring out the paleontologist in any child, giving them a chance to look at genuine artifacts from the past as they include three real fossil specimens: a Mosasaur Tooth, a fossilised dinosaur poop and a dino bone. The three specimens are embedded in a dinosaur head shaped dig brick. The kit includes an excavation tool and brush along with a magnifying glass. A glossy booklet gives plenty of facts and information about paleontology, fossils and about the specimens inside the dig brick.

National Geographic Dig Kit Dino Fossil


Freddy absolutely loved excavating the specimens. The tool worked really well, cutting through the brick, which was just the right consistency. If the brick is too hard it can be soaked with a little water to make it easier to work with. With some patience and a delicate touch, the fossils can be gently removed ready for examination. A quick wash removes any remaining brick dust. The guide book gives some really fascinating details about the artifacts. Freddy was particularly intrigued by the thought of having a dinosaur poo fossil or coprolite as it is scientifically known!

Other Dig Kits include a Gemstone and a Shark Tooth variety, each with genuine artifacts to discover and explore.

The Crystal Growing Kits provide everything needed to grow and inspect an amazing crystal, and also include a real Fluorite, Amethyst or Calcite crystal.  Freddy received the Fluorite Glow-In-The-Dark Crystal Lab. It includes a bag of glow-in-the-dark crystal growing powder, a seed rock, a magnifying glass, stir stick, display stand and information guide along with the genuine fluorite specimen.

National Geographic Crystal Lab


The experiment to grow the crystals takes 7 - 10 days to complete, but after this time you should have grown some genuine fluorite to compare to the sample included in the kit.

National Geographic Crystal Lab Fluorite


The Learning Guide booklet includes lots of information about crystals and the science behind their structure and formation. Our experiment to grow our crystals is ongoing, and it is really exciting for children to witness chemistry in action!

The National Geographic kits shown are just £9.99 RRP. In addition to the Dig Kit and Crystal Growing Kit, there are also Geode, Build Your Own Volcano and Ultimate Play Sand Kits. I love the fact that they support the learning of science, one of the STEM subjects, in such a fun, exciting and engaging way. The sets encourage children to explore the subject matter further and hopefully this will instill a love of science, which will continue through the years to come.

Stockists include Tesco and Amazon.

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Celebrating National Sandwich Week with Num Noms

This year National Sandwich Week runs from May 20th to the 26th; a week to celebrate the versatility and deliciousness of this iconic, culinary British invention. I love a good sandwich, packed with a delicious vegan filling such as a meat-free BLT or a chickpea and cheese melt or hummus, falafel and salad. They are easy to eat and taste great! What's not to love?!

Num Noms, the super cute scented collectable, food inspired toys are celebrating National Sandwich Week, challenging us to come up with a Num Noms inspired sandwich creation. Their Series 4 Dessert Tray collectables include a range of Ice Cream sandwiches: Terry Berrywich, I.C. Sandwich and Wintergreen Creme, all fragranced with the scent of berry, chocolate or mint. Ice Cream Sandwiches are another great way to celebrate the sandwich this week. We like to make a vegan Oreo and Swedish Glace ice cream sandwich dessert. It is very indulgent, rich and delicious!

With Num Noms, you can create thousands of flavour combinations using the scented characters, stacking them together and making your own unique blends. Num Noms fans can also enjoy the official magazine, packed with fab free gifts. The Num Noms lunchbox is a great addition to the range and is perfect for packing up your sandwiches for enjoying on the go!

Num Noms


My own mini chef Freddy donned his Num Noms chef's hat and got busy in the kitchen to create his very own sandwich creation to celebrate National Sandwich Week. He chose the Num Nom "Mocha Frappe" as his design inspiration for an open sandwich made with vegan chocolate spread and chunky peanut butter on half and half bread.

Num Noms Inspired Sandwich Making


Freddy had great fun spreading and cutting to make the shape and colour of Mocha Frappe and used blueberries for making the eyes, nose and bow. A slice of strawberry made the mouth and completed his Num Noms inspired sandwich creation. 

Num Noms Inspired Sandwich


Freddy really enjoyed eating his chocolate spread and peanut butter sandwich, which was extra tasty on accounts of it looking like a Num Nom!

Look out for Num Noms at retailers such asSmyths, Amazon, Argos and find out more at numnoms.mgae.com.

Friday, 4 May 2018

VelociTrax Pro from NIKKO - Super Fast and Furious RC Fun

Remote control vehicles have always featured on must have toy lists. There is something about taking full charge of a vehicle and watching it zoom about under your control that keeps kids entertained for ages. Freddy has always loved playing with remote control cars, making race tracks or obstacle courses and testing them to their limit. So his was really keen to test out the VelociTrax from Nikko.

The VelociTrax  Pro from NIKKO brings you full-function omni-directional radio control action with super fast speed,  ultra- manoeuvrability and futuristic styling. It has a big range of up to 40 metres and an impressive top speed of 14km/hr. It's a real action vehicle, ready for indoor or outdoor adventures.

VelociTrax Pro RC Vehicle from Nikko


This very fast and furious VelociTrax features 360-degree spins and allows you to race through any off road terrain and over obstacles using its robust caterpillar tracks. It has really impressive manoeuvrability and the spinning trick is a lot of fun! With its superior traction, it is great at getting over obstacles and Freddy made a course that saw the vehicle power over wooden planks, go through grass and mud and even knock balls out of the way. Controlling this speedy vehicle is a bit manic, but that adds to the fun.



I was very pleased at how tough and durable the VelociTrax vehicle is. As it is so quick, there are a few crashes involved when playing with it, but the bodywork is well made and it has withstood some serious playtime. It is better used outside where its speed and ability to power through obstacles can be fully enjoyed, but Freddy also enjoyed throwing 360 spins indoors on the laminate floor. It also looks really good with its futuristic design and colourful tracks and bodywork. It offers some great RC fun!

VelociTrax Pro RC Vehicle from Nikko


The car comes with a 7.2V Ni-Mh rechargeable battery that can be charged within 1 hour with the included quick-charge charger. This gives 20 minutes run time. The remote requires 3 x AAA batteries, which are included. The 2.4GHz remote allows for 10+ player head-to-head racing with a range of 40m, so if your friends have one, you could organise some serious races. It is suitable for children aged 8 and over.

You can find Nikko RC vehicles from Smyths, Amazon and Argos. At the time of writing, the price of the car ranges between £30 to £50.

Monday, 30 April 2018

Make Your Own Slime with So Slime DIY Cosmic Slime Shakers

Like most kids his age, Freddy is obsessed with slime! We have tried numerous times to make our own using detergent and PVA glue, but have never had much success, ending up with nothing more than a sticky mess and sore hands. So when he was offered the chance to try out the So Slime DIY Slime Shakers from Canal Toys, we were hoping for a good result, and we were not disappointed.

The Slime Shakers give a safe and fool-proof DIY method of making your own cosmic slime by simply adding water to the sachet of slime powder in the shaker pots. You shake the pot (with the lid on!) for 30 seconds, wait for five minutes and then the slime is ready to play with. It's as easy as that.

So Slime DIY Cosmic Slime Shakers


The Cosmic Slime Shakers make a metallic purple, greeny-blue and pink pot of slime. Each can have glitter or confetti added for extra sparkle. Each pot also includes a little surprise figurine such as a cat, mermaid, unicorn, cloud or star, which can be added into the mix. There are three other fun and imaginative designs in the Slime Shakers range; Rainbow, Creepy and Insect each with their own unique colours, decorations and characters. So whatever your child is into, there is a style of slime to suit them.

The slime can be kept in its colour coordinated pot to keep it fresh and clean. The slimes and figurines can be combined for colourful cosmic effects and extra fun.

The So Slime DIY Slime Shakers are a great rainy day activity for families with children aged 6 and over. The DIY element adds extra educational play value to the product. Freddy could follow the instructions and make the slime, adding the powder, glitter and water up to the measuring line on the pot, then shaking it vigorously. He was pretty pleased with the results knowing that he had done it himself. Once made it can be stretched, oozed, squeezed and played with, for hours of slime-filled fun. 

So Slime DIY Cosmic Slime Shakers



The 3 pack Slime Shakers are £9.99. The fact that it is safe for kids, is made easily using just water and is mess free keeps everyone happy. The So Slime range is recommended for children aged six and over. The So Slime DIY products are available in UK stores now and include the DIY Slime Shakers, DIY Case and DIY factory. 

Monday, 23 April 2018

Move Over Water Pistols, Here Comes the Slime Blaster!

Zimpli Kids, the creators of Gelli Baff and Slime Baff  that transform water into slime or goo, have a brand new product that is perfect for the summer. Set to revolutionise the classic seasonal water fight, the Slime Blaster is a pump action gun that shoots slime at your opponents, adding a brand new weapon to your arsenal. It's fun, it's messy and it's brilliant!


Zimpli Kids Slime Blaster


The Slime Blaster uses a 100% safe Slime formula, and can shoot a blast of slime up to 7 metres. Simply fill up the water tank with water, add the slime powder sachet, shake and wait 5 minutes to create the slime then get ready to fire.


Zimpli Kids Slime Blaster


Each Slime Blaster comes with 12 x slime blaster sachets giving 200+ slime shots. That's plenty of slime action for an exciting outdoor slime fight.

Zimpli Kids Slime Blaster


The gun itself is funky with its white, orange and green design. The water tank unscrews easily from the end of the blaster to fill it up. The Slime Blaster water tank comes with a cap so you can secure it while waiting for your slime to develop. The pump action works well and fires the slime a good distance. We all really like the Slime Blaster as it brings a very unique and novel twist to the traditional water fight concept.

The slime rinses out from clothes and washes off skin easily and is completely safe and non-irritant. The Slime Blaster is recommended for children aged 5 and over. Slime sachet refills are available to buy separately once you've used up the supply that comes with the Slime Blaster.

The Slime Blaster is available from stockists such as Tesco and Amazon. (I have found  them currently on offer at  just £13.50 at Tesco Direct so it's worth searching for a good price.)

The Slime Blaster is definitely going to be a summer favourite for us this year!


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