At the weekend, my family and I headed into central London for a Christmas party. The lovely people from Anki Overdrive wanted to share some Christmas frivolity with us. There was face/arm painting, yummy food, a DJ and a cool Santa. Best of all, there were several tracks where the little (and big) kids could race cars.
If you’re not familiar with Anki Overdrive, it a racing car system like no other. The cars are actually robots who use their artificial intelligence. And they are doing more than just racing. They are battling it out to become the winner. And you help them along through an app on your smartphone. It feels like a world away from the usual toy cars that children play.
My three-year has recently begun a love affair with Lego. And with that love affair, there begins a routine of me stepping on said Lego and cursing. I don’t often curse, but when I do I say very bad words. This is not ideal when you have young children in earshot. So, when the lovely people from Blokpod offered to send me one of their storage tubs, I was intrigued. I mean, can’t you just stick Lego in any old box (like we were doing)? Oh wait, that’s how I came to stepping on the Lego.
First, let me tell you that Dubz does not even watch Octonauts. But he loves imaginative play. And he adores his new Octonauts GUP-I Playset. He has been playing with it everyday for the past week. And for someone who normally only plays with dinosaurs and Star Wars toys, this is impressive. He has even asked to take the playset with him to bed, but I convinced him that he would be okay to just take the seal to bed (we don’t know the names of the characters, I think the orange creature is a seal but I’m not 100% sure).
The GUP Playset has three modes of play. It can race around in water bear mode, and It go upright in scout mode. Dubz mostly plays with it in command centre mode. He opens up the playset and uses the hub to organise the rescues. At first I thought that £39.99 was a lot to pay for this toy. But then I noticed how well made it is. Dubz has dropped it several times. Not one part of the toy has broken off.
Dubz has already asked for more Octonauts toys. Maybe Father Christmas will bring him some. Does your little one like Octonauts? What are those animals? Maybe Dubz and I should watch the show and found out what these creatures are and why they’re sailing around.
We were sent the Octonauts polar vehicle for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own.
Oh my days, have you ever seen a jungle animal wearing a jumper? Talk about super cute. Dubz and Moozles were so pleased when they each received a new little animal friend. Dubz received a giraffe called Ruvimbo and Moozles received a lion called Zimbo. The animals are wearing jumpers because it is their first trip to the UK and they want to be prepared in case it gets chilly. *squeal*
The animals are hand-knitted from Zimbabwe. The women who make the dolls are able to earn money to help support their families. And each item comes with a tag, which includes the name and picture of the woman who knitted the doll. Such a nice, personal touch in an age where stuffed animals are made by machines in factories. And I feel a bit ashamed that I worry about fair trade and organic food but don’t really think about fair trade clothes, homeware or toys.
There are eight animals to choose from, and they each cost £8.95 on the Dassie website. Excellent price point, especially when you see how well the animals are made. Moozles spent the day throwing hers up to the ceiling and catching it, and somehow little Zimbo showed no signs of damage. And considering that knitted dolls normally seem to unravel in minutes around my children, I was even more impressed.
Dubz loves his little giraffe. He is not one to sleep or play with animals, but he was carrying Twza around loads, even taking him into the tent we put in the living room for a picnic. There were even some kisses. Beyond cute!
We were sent the knitted dolls for the purpose of this review. All opinions expressed are completely my own.
When my daughter Moozles and I were invited to an event to play with GoldieBlox, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I thought maybe it would be pink Lego. Boy, was I wrong. GoldieBlox is a construction toy that uses the principles of engineering to help build spatial and problem-solving skills. Each box comes with not only the construction tools, but also a book containing a story about Goldie, a child inventor who saves the day by building cool machines. Moozles loves books and stories and I found this to be a great way to get her interested in building.
Moozles, who is six years old, is not really interested in building blocks. She has some Lego Friends which she has made a few times. She is more interested in drawing, crafts and reading. But she really enjoyed the Goldie Blox. The book contains a few different ideas for what you can build, but you can also freestyle. Moozles is not a freestyle kind of gal. She likes to make things as instructed. Here is the parade float she made yesterday, with only a couple of modifications.
GoldieBlox was developed by a female engineer, who got the toy made with financial backing from Kickstarter. She didn’t know she could be an engineer until a math teacher encouraged her when she was 17. My daughter currently wants to grow up to be an ear doctor, a builder, a teacher and a waitress. But how many little girls want to grow up to be engineers? I have to admit that my daughter didn’t even know what an engineer did. I had to explain that engineers design and build things. Moozles was amazed to hear that engineers can build bridges or airplanes. And was excited that maybe she could do that one day.
If you have a little girl, aged 2-9, you should give GoldieBlox a try. Moozles loved it and asked me to leave a box out for her to play with when she woke up this morning. I love it when an educational toy is actually fun. Each GoldieBlox set/box costs £19.99-£24.99 from Interplay UK. Have a look and see. Or you could enter my giveaway (my first giveaway!!) for a chance to win a box and some other goodies (all new, unused and unworn).
I am giving away a GoldieBlox and the Parade Float worth which sells for £19.99 (recommended age 6-9). I’m also giving away a super cute ‘More than just a princess’ t-shirt that would fit someone aged 5-9. And as an added bonus, I’m including LadyBird World (for ages 5-10), so your little one can learn about ladybirds and even learn how to keep them safely as pets (another fab educational product from Interplay UK which sells for £9.99).
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We were invited to play with GoldieBlox for the purpose of this review, and were given a few boxes of blocks and toys to take home. All opinions are completely my own.