Tag Archives: Gift ideas

Game Inspiration For Last Minute Shoppers

23 Dec

Its almost Christmas and with literally a few short shopping hours left I thought I’d share a couple of great last minute gift ideas for that special someone that you find all to hard to buy for.

As a mother of a child on the autism spectrum I have found myself in this situation numerous times. I can normally be found on Christmas Eve running from shop to shop like some stressed, crazed headless chicken as I try to beat the clock and find my son those perfect gifts (thankfully I’ve done my crazy chicken run already this year)!

As you all know little man is a whizz on a games console and is pretty fond of his PS3. With this he reviewed a couple of the latest PS3 games.

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Rise of the Guardians Video Game (PS3)

Let kids imaginations run wild as they enter the magic land of make believe in Rise of the Guardians (based on the Dreamworks film animation). Kids choose to be a magical childhood Guardian from characters including: North (aka Santa Claus), Tooth (aka the Tooth Fairy), Bunnymund (aka the Easter Bunny), Sandman, and Jack Frost. Each Guardian has their own set of upgradable and extraordinary powers that will help you take on the evil spirit “Pitch” and his infectious nightmares. Along the way.
As you progress through the realms treasure can be found and various mini quests undertaken to help level-up your characters and pry the fingers of Pitch from children’s minds.
These include freeing children from cages guarded by all sorts of nightmarish creatures to time-based defending quests where you frantically fight off a horde of evil spirits hell-bent on harming a stranded child.

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kids can unlock new powers and spellbinding moves that increase each character’s strength and skills throughout the game.

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There is also the option of a drop-in-and-out team up multiplayer mode that allows players to swap between any of the characters in drop-in-and-out four-player squad based multiplayer action on consoles. This basically means you can switch characters which is great as this allows you to experience each one therefore learning what each can do to assist you throughout the game.

Little man is 12 and really enjoys the game. It did take some getting used to but he got into it fairly quickly. Little man explained that his first task was to convince Jack Frost to join his Guardians on their quest to defeat the evil that is pitch. From here on he then needed to defeat a number of Pitch’s evil allies.

I’ve quite enjoyed watching him play and review this animation game. Ive watched as his explored each of the Guardians imaginative worlds from the Tooth’s Palace to North’s Workshop. If your hoping for a game that involves a jolly Santa in a red suit that runs around with a load of cute Elfs than you may be disappointed. The rise of the guardians is made up of iconic children Legends with an edgy twist.

The Graphics are great and although the music can become somewhat annoying, The Rise of the Guardians is in our opinion a great game for a child aged 12+

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Rise of the Guardians is available to purchase now from all good game stockists & is available for the PS3, DS, 3DS, Wii and XBox 360

Ben 10 Omniverse video game on PS3

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This game is sure to delight any Ben 10 fan. Based on the new Cartoon Network series of Ben 10 Omniverse, children can play as both Ben in the past “Young Ben” as well as that of Ben in the present”Teen Ben”
The game offers 2 player mode allowing Ben to work together with Rook (a brand new character to the series) to defeat the evil plans of a villain who’s ultimate mission is to defeat the world.

Rook, Ben 10s newest sidekick, will fight alongside Ben using his Proto-Tool, a high tech multi-functional weapon that turns into a Blaster, Power Sword, Quantum Staff, or Grappler.

The game is fast paced, offering players an assortment of action-packed levels that have been set in various show-inspired settings like the subterranean alien city of undertown.

Little man really found the game exciting and given his not a massive Ben10 fan this surprised me.

He told me that each level offered something new. Each equally exciting yet challenging in its own way meaning he wasn’t easily bored. He also explained that the game allows you to switch forms and battle as one of 13 playable alien heroes, including never-before-seen aliens like Bloxx and Gravattack.

Alfie, little man’s cousin who is also on the autism spectrum found himself captivated by the game. The boys have enjoyed engaging themselves in some serious gameplay as they have come together as Ben10 and Rook helping one another through each level as they play in 2 player mood.

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Ben 10 Omniverse is available to purchase now from all good game stockists & is available for the PS3, DS, 3DS, Wii/WiiU and XBox 360

Monopoly Zapped (Compatible with iPhone, iPod and iPad)

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What Hasbro have to say about the game…

“MONOPOLY Zapped Edition is an amazing new game experience from Hasbro. Now you can bring your favorite game to life with loads of awesome mini games on your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch.

Landed in Jail? No problem! Just play the Get out of Jail app mini game…if you can launch Mr MONOPOLY over the prison walls to his getaway car, you’re free!

Plus you can transfer MONOPOLY dollars directly to your iPad, iPhone or iPod touch using your own personal Touch-banking cards! The whole family will love this exciting new way to play MONOPOLY!

Play MONOPOLY and your iPad together!”

Little man has had the game a month or so put has only just played it as things have been so hectic.

He was actually lucky enough to win an iPad on the school reward system Vivo, who ran an online raffle. With this he downloaded the monopoly app from Apple app store and we put the game through its paces.

Their is no questioning it, this is monopoly on a whole new level. Gone are the days of your basic game board and plying pieces. Technology means monopoly is now compatible with smart phones and iPads… innovative it really is.

We loved the mini games and the whole concept of escaping jail. Banking becomes electronic with each player having its own electronic bank card. This is great though it does take away that little bit of educational magic that monopoly brings with it.

But we are moving with the times and there is no disputing the fact that the digitally interactive game experience is a great one!

Available from all gone toy stores for around £25.

Giant Pass The Pigs

GIANT Pass The Pigs

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Giant Pass the pigs is a groovy game, one that myself and the kids have had loads of fun playing.

GIANT Pass The Pigs (RRP £14.99) has been designed for children of the ages 8+ and the game is for 2 players.

This game of Pass pigs is like no other. The pigs are of the giant type, simply Inflate your pair of porkers, throw them and see how they land. Will you get a Leaning Jowler, a Mixed Combo or will you Pig Out

The pigs are of the huge inflatable type, so there really is no little parts to contend with (every mothers dream). The game can be played both in and outdoors, just ensure you have a lot of space so nothing gets broken.

We love the family game and welcome it onto our santas little helpers Christmas gift list. I found it to be perfect for little man. He had lots of fun dashing the pigs around the garden, there really is no skill involved yet it does help better a child’s gross motor skills.

Just remember to keep them away from any toddlers who may try and use the inflatable pokers as a space hopper.

Available from all good UK toy stores for around £14.99

So there is our round up! Whether its a game for a console, an innovative iPad compatible game or a good old fashion hands on traditional family game, I hope we have helped to give you a little inspiration.

How To Make Your Own Christmas Cards

8 Oct

I love Arts and crafts and feature most on my sister blog Mummy of Many Talents.

But as I’ve already shared a post on personalised Christmas cards on this blog today I thought it would be pretty cool to feature this here too.

I was actually given the idea to create the cards by the lovely people at “Getting Personal” who have some fantastic Christmas gift ideas and its their falt I’ve come over all festive

Christmas can be an expensive time of year and making your own cards and decorations can often lesson the burden a little.

So, I spent the weekend (well, just the Sunday) making some Christmas cards. Here’s what I made and a little step by step guide on how I did it.

Sparkly Christmas Tree Card

What I Used To Make It…
Black A4 Card
Mix of Green Sequins
Fine Green Glitter
White Deco Pen
Black Deco Pen
Mix of Sparkly Card
Mix of Ribbon
Sticky Gems
PVA Glue
Brush
Glue Dots
Glue Tabs
Pencil
Scissors

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Step 1) Take your black card and fold in half.

Step 2) Draw the shape of a large Christmas Tree in Pencil (ensuring you leave enough room for a star on top and a potting pot at the bottom)

Step 3) Take some sparkly card (I used gold) and cut out the shape of a pot for your tree. Then use glue dots to stick it in place (this is less messy).

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Step 4) Take some more sparkly card in different colours and designs. Cut into different shapes.

Step 5) Arrange your sparkly shapes around your tree to resemble wrapped presents. Once you are happy with the arrangement use sticky tabs to stick in place (Sticky Tabs are best as these make your presents look 3D).

Step 6) Use some silver sparkly card to cut out 2 small triangle and arrange these into the shape of a star sticking it to the top if your tree.

Step 7) With a brush start to cover your Christmas tree with PVA glue.

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Step 8) Take your sequins and start to sprinkle them over your tree.

Step 9) Once your tree is covered in sequins use your fine green glitter to fill in all the spaces and gaps between the sequins.

Step 10) Shake and bang off any excess sequins and glitter.

Step 11) Choose some different coloured/patterned ribbon.

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Step 12) Use the ribbon to decorate the presents under the tree.

Step 13) Use your black deco pen to add extra detail to your presents.

Step 14) Use the sticky gems to add finishing touches to your presents.

Step 15) With the white Deco pen cover your card in white dots as to create the effects of snow.

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Christmas Gift Card

What I Used…

3 Different Types Of Sparkly and Patterned Card
1 Sheet of A4 White Card
Mixture of Patterned Ribbon
Glue Dots
Sticky tabs
Sticky Gems
2x Sticky Gem Boarders (black & Red)
Scissors

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Step 1) Fold your white card and then cut a medium size square out of one of your 3 pieces of sparkly card.

Step 2) Stick the cut card to the middle of your white card with the use of a few sticky tabs (these are better as they produce a 3D effect).

Step 3) Cut two pieces of ribbon and stick them to your card with glue dots crossing one over the other.

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Step 4) Cut two more smaller squares from the remaining two pieces of sparkly/pattern card you have chosen (ensuring they are roughly the same size).

Step 5) Again with the use of sticky tabs, stick the two squares either side of the bigger square ensuring they slightly overlap. Make sure either square is slightly tipped at an angle like that above.

Step 6) Take your remaining ribbon choices and repeat step 3 for the remaining two squares.

Step 7) Stick some gems in the middle of your squares to add the finishing touches to your gifts.

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Step 8) Take your red gem boarder and carefully add this to the top and bottom of your card cutting away any excess.

Step 9) Take your black boarder and apply about 1 1/4 of the boarder above your decorated squares and then the same amount just below the squares (see the above image).

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Christmas Stocking Card

What I Used…

A4 Piece of Black Card
1 Piece of small sparkly card
Sticky Tabs
Silver Gel Pen
Scissors
1 Sticky gem

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Step 1) fold your A4 black card then cut it in half.

Step 2) Cut out a stocking shape from your sparkly card.

Step 3) Stick the stocking at an angle to the middle of the card using sticky tabs (as to give it a 3D effect).

Step 4) With the silver gel pen draw a craved line starting from each end of the stocking to each end of the card (as to create the string your stocking is hanging from).

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Step 5) With the use of the silver gel pen write the word “Joy” at an angle just below your stocking on the right hand side.

Step 6) Add one large sparkly gem to the middle top section of your stocking to give it some bling

Step 7) Now use your silver gel pen to add all final touches such as a boarder to edges of card and bows along your stockings string (see images above).

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It’s hard to give a rough indication of what each card costs because I had all the materials at home. But as you can see for all 3 cards I’ve mainly used the same materials throughout and with most of my craft materials being brought fairly cheaply they are guaranteed to be really cost efficient.

Here’s a list of most of the materials, their cost and where you can get them from.

1 massive bag off mixed Green Sequins £1 (Pound Land).

Black and Red Gem Boards £1each (Pound Land).

Black and White Card 99p each (99p Store).

Green Fine Glitter Tube (Hobby Craft) unsure of price but under £3.

Sticky Gems £1 (Pound Land).

Glue Dots £1.50 (Wilkinson)

Glue Tabs £1 (Pound Land)

PVA Glue £1 (The Works)

Deco Pens £10 pack of 6 (Baker Ross) but you can just use felt tip pens at a £1

Sparkly Card 20 different small squares £2 (eBay). Any patterned card is fine!

Silver Gel Pen Pack of 6 £1.29 (Lidl).

Ribbon various (mainly eBay) brought cheaply.

Review – Toucan Box

30 Jul

Looking for ways to entertain the kids this summer?

I was recently sent a box full of crafts from Toucan Box these have kept us more than busy this past week.

Toucan box offer a subscription based service, try for one month at £19.99 cancel anytime, opt for a 6 month subscription for £18.95 or the annual subscription for just £16.95 a month all options offer free P&P.

Each month your sent a box full of crafts all designed around the one theme. The box is aimed at pre-schoolers but I found my 9 year old daughter has enjoyed helping her little brother with each activity.

We choose the Safari box as Harley is a big lover of giraffes and Lions. The box was packed full of educational craft projects as well as a beautiful story book and some great cards to play animal snap or the memory game.

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Heres the craft projects included in this Safari Box.

Make some pipe cleaner monkeys, that can be attached together.

Make some funky safari animal characters.

Craft some creepy creatures from snakeskin cards

Construct wild animals including giraffes, zebras, a leopard and her cubs, and more!

Make a safari scene

Make lion pom pom

Included is a fab story book “Squeak the Lion” and some animal playing cards too.

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There really is plenty to keep little ones entertained within this one box. As well as the planed activities you get all the materials to make them plus a really bright visual instruction booklet. Each activity explains why it helps your child’s progress whether it’s their fine motor skills or those of imagination skills it improves.

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The safari box also offers lots of extras and Harley enjoyed making use of all those extra colouring pages included.

We had lots of fun making pipe cleaner monkeys and Harley loves the animals on lolly sticks, the snake and the leopard and it’s cubs. We still have some activities to finish, which will come in handy on a rainy day.

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Toucan box also makes the perfect gift especially for special occasions such as birthdays. Extra materials can be added to your box for the family with siblings plus the guys at Toucan are happy to add a special birthday message to your box.

For more information visiting the Toucan website by simply clicking HERE.

This is a review post, we were not paid to write this review but did receive a free sample in order to share our honest opinion.

The Mookie Mini Street Cruz 2

8 Dec

17

Days till Christmas

Harley watches his brother and sister scoot about on their scooters with wishful eyes so when the chance to add a Mookie Mini Street Cruz 2 to the Santa’s Little Helpers wish list popped up we decided this one was for the Littlest member of the household.

Harley is actually 2 in a few short days, with the scooter being recommended for a child aged 3 yrs plus, he is a little younger than the product is aimed at! However Harley is tall and quite advanced for his almost 2 years so it was final, Little H would put the scooter through its paces.

Mookie sent the mini Street Cruz 2 direct, and it came in no time at all, well packaged and to my door with a smile (always nice on a cold morning). Sadly the scooter sat in the hallway under the stairs untouched for a few weeks as Harley was unfortunately rather poorly with a recurring ear infection and his still not fully recovered.

I may have been acting like something of a big kid as in side this mother was bursting to get it out the box and hopefully it would put a much-needed smile on my little H’s face.

When that day finally came, I unpacked the street Cruz and discovered I had to assemble just the one set of wheels, which was so easily done, even for a mum who is really rubbish with any type of DIY.

The scooter has a really nice design, it was blue in colour and looked rather funky with it’s 3 clear plastic wheels and flexible neck.

I liked the fact that you had two wheels at the front and one at the back, it really did seem to provide H with better stability. I really loved the flexible neck, however this was the bit that made it hard for Harley to control.

Not that there was anything wrong with it, it just meant that the handle moved too freely and with Harley being that bit younger, he really couldn’t manoeuver it like an older child would be able to. However I feel this is something that would be quickly learnt and a child of Harley’s age would actually be at an advantage, as this would give them time to learn to steer the scooter as they grow bettering their gross motor skills at the same time.

This is certainly true as Harley has already managed to do one lap unaided up and down the hallway. His quite independent and I’m sure it wouldn’t take long for him to conquer it.

I got my nephew to also try the scooter who has not long turned 4. This meant I could see the full benefits of the flexible handle as it made it incredibly easy for this 4-year-old to steer.

Nonetheless, Harley whacked on his helmet and made sure I scooted him up and down the garden path, he giggled and shouted, “Again mummy, again” he really did love it.

All the same, there is a very happy 4-year-old who has just received the Mookie Cruz with the promise to pass it back to his cousin once his that bit bigger.

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Statistics

  1. 3 Wheeled plastic scooter.
  2. Unique pivot system for fun easy steering.
  3. Strong deck for safe ride.
  4. Handlebar height 70cm.
  5. 3 wheels.
  6. PVC Wheels – Two 12cm wheels at the front and One 10cm wheel at the rear.
  7. Folds easily for storage.
  8. Anti-slip footplate.
  9. Easy grip handles.
  10. General information:
  11. Maximum user weight 20kg.
  12. For ages 3 years and over.

Available from all good toy retailers & priced at around £39.99

Can be brought form Toysrus for this price! Click HERE

(Prices may Vary depending on the retailer)

Parental perspective

A really nice little scooter at a fabulous price! This really is good value for money. As mentioned, Harley is a few days from becoming 2, his tall and the scooter is the perfect size, however because of the advanced steering mechanism I really would recommend this for a 3-5 year. The Street Cruz is very strong, looks awesome and its foldable for easy storage.

It gets a 4 **** star form us.

Santa’s Little Helpers, The JD Bug review

23 Nov

So, here’s another great toy for your little angels Christmas wish list.

 The stunning JD Bug, super stylish original pink scooter. 

Not only does this baby look the business, it acts it too! 

 This isn’t a brand new scooter to hit the market, the JD Bug has actually been bringing us this super sleek JD original for almost a decade, though it’s just as popular today as it was 10 years ago! JD Bug has done well to establish itself, appealing to a wide spectrum, it’s managed to secure itself a title as one of the top scooter brands of our time!

 Kids today have gone scooter gaga, I can’t leave the house without almost being mowed down by one of these “Must Have” gadgets, each with its own brand, design and smiling rider. Seriously everyone has one and those that don’t normally want one!

This includes my own little monster princess. We, or should I say Alice-Sara has been incredibly lucky to receive a JD Bug Original Pink Scooter to review from the fabulous ‘Skates.co.uk’  who delivered the well packaged scooter in a mere 24 hours (Now that’s a service!)

 We had an evening delivery which was perfect for us and meant no sitting around all day waiting for the delivery man to come knocking.

 Alice-Sara totally freaked when she saw her new scooter, she went at the box like a monster as she tried to prise it from it box (Kids, they have no patience what so ever!) 

Once opened I was please to discover a fully assembled gadget, Alice-Sara was also frilled given she wouldn’t need to wait for her mother to work out what goes where.

Also enclosed in the box was a CD Rom, some fab stickers and an instruction manual and warranty info.

 The Scooter is very compact in its folded form, there is a  trigger release lever that opens out the scooter and the handlebar is fully extendable which is done by simply pulling another release cap. Even the JD Bugs hand-grips detach from the handlebar with the use of a release button and an elastic mechanism. All this is done without the use of any screwdriver which is always a bonus in any mothers book!

 The JD Bug Original also comes with a detachable thick carry strap allowing you to carry the scooter with ease when not in use. 

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The design is pretty sleek too, chrome with splashes of baby pink on the handle-grips, foot-plate & clear wheels. It’s really well made, I discovered recently that the JD Bug is constructed from airplane graded aluminium as to provide maximum strength, whilst still being lightweight.

 This is a scooter aimed at both children and adults alike, looking at it you would never guess! Yet, it’s extendable handlebar makes this totally possible and yes, “Of course I had a go” Mummy has to make sure its safe for her princess after all!

 Well, it is safe… actually the JD Bug Original has received numerous safety awards recognising it as Europe’s safest folding scooter, so there is no need for mum’s and dad’s to worry! 

Alice’s Thoughts 

Alice-Sara Love’s it and said it was very grown up and cool! She loves the colour and the clear pink plastic wheels and enjoys cruising to school on her new best buddy. She noted it was very smooth to ride and can pick up some nice speeds. Alice-Sara finds it simple to open and fold the scooter and said its light enough for her to carry.

Alice-Sara gives her new scooter a 5***** star

 Prenatal perspective 

 This two wheeled scooter is a pretty nice piece of kit with a not so massive price tag of £49.99

Yes, there are many other scooter brands that charge a lot more! JD bug Original Pink, looks absolutely awesome works well and is pretty hard to outgrow with the recommended age of 4+ Its even ideal for adult use once fully extended.

 Alice-Sara hasn’t managed to fall off the scooter and I’m pretty impressed at her scooting skills.

 We love scooters in our house and Alice can now enjoy scooting at the park with her older brother (he has a three wide scooter which suits him better with his OT needs).

 Skates are a fantastic online retailer stocking a wide range of scooters, BMX bikes & skates.

4**** stars from mum

 The JD Bug Original has all the official bearings such as the ABEC 5 Chrome bearings.

It takes a Maximum rider weight of 100 kg and is suitable from age 4 years

Scooter extends to a maximum of 97 cms and weighs 2.7 kg

 The JD Bug Original also comes with a 90 day manufactures warranty and is intended for both recreational and commuting purposes.

 Price £49.99 (30 days returns & exchange policy)

Click HERE to check it out now

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