Tag Archives: toys

Alice Is Chosen As One Of Tesco’s Toy Testers

17 Nov

A month or so back, myself and ten year old daughter Alice Sara were invited into london for a very exciting reason. My daughter was off to try out for a spot on the tesco toy testing team.
If Alice passed the audition then her voice would be heard amongst thousands as she casted her opinion on some of the top toys this Christmas.

Was she Nervous? Hell no, not my daughter! To be honest she couldn’t wait to get in there and see what tesco had on offer. Let’s just say she wasn’t disappointed, not when she found these guys waiting to be played with.

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Turns out that the toy she picked to play with would be the one she took to the casting room. As soon as she saw the two monster high dolls her face lit up like a traffic light. We chilled out, had something to eat before it was finally Alice’s turn to do her thing! Of course it was the monster high dolls that she chose to take with her to the casting room, and as we entered I felt the butterflies flutter in my stomach for her. Nonetheless I don’t think she felt a thing. Alice confidently said her hellos to the three people sat on the panel before jumping right in and doing her thing. The fact she has 32 of these wonderful dolls sat in her bedroom must have gone some way to help as even I didn’t know she know as much as she did about these freaky but totally chic monster fashion dolls.

I felt so proud of her. She didn’t seem to flinch an inch and took the whole thing in her stride. A true star in the making they told her and I for one couldn’t have agreed more.

So yes we had a fantastic day but did this little star make the final cut? Of course and I didn’t doubt her for a second.
Alice was truly over the moon when the email inviting her to london to make the toy testers video popped up in my email feed. Yes, she will now test two great toys in front of the camera. This all took place at the end of October when we headed off to the Camden studios for a spot of filming.

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It was a long morning but Alice loved it. Tesco’s did well to keep the kids entertained when not filming and Alice was actually sadden when it was time to go home.

Alice was a star in front of the cameras as she demonstrated a new Lego friends toy and a monster high colour me chamber.
And here’s that little star in the final video! I think her opinions and that of the other children will go along way in helping parents when facing the huge task of Christmas shopping. After all children are the toughest critics and definitely the most honest!

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#silentsunday

13 Oct

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Is it a bird or a plane? No it’s A Flutterbye Fairy

13 Aug

Flutterbye fairies by Spinmaster toys are super cute dolls that just happen to have wings and fly.
Recommend for children aged 6+ Alice 10 couldn’t wait to see what they were all about.

Heres what Alice Said… “Firstly these fairies are really pretty, they have lovely hair and beautiful wings. I didn’t think they would fly like they do I thought they wouldn’t be that good! But mine flys really high and I can control it by guiding it with my hand. It’s actually really cleaver and a lot of fun.”

20130813-184311.jpgAlice and her little flatter friend

Alice was super impressed with her little flutterbye fairy and to be honest so was I. The spinning skirt is constructed from a soft material so even if it hits your beloved widescreen it won’t damage it! Well, it didn’t ours and it hit numerous times during her first attempts at fairy flying. One person who looked slightly unimpressed had to be dad when the fairy accidentally on purpose flew at his head at speed (I really should leave the flying to the kids… Evil laugh!).

20130813-184427.jpgUp…Up…

20130813-184557.jpg</a>…And Away

The charging base is pretty simple to operate.The fairy charges reasonably fast and you get a good degree of flying time on a full charge. Yes, this does take a high number of batteries, six to be precise however, good quality batteries have lasted the test of time and we are still currently on the same batch we started with.

20130813-184714.jpgFlying lessons were had

Alice is 10 and loves the flutterbye fairy I’m pretty impressed to at 31. The fairy is aimed at kids 6+ and I feel this is a good age. Once you get the hang of using the flutterbye its as easy as riding a bike so 6 year olds will fully enjoy the challenge and achievement when mastering their pretty little fairy.

We love it and therefore recommend it to others with confidence.

Bubble Shooz Review & Competition

23 Jun

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All kids love to pop bubble wrap don’t they?

Come on… I’m pretty sure it is all kids! I honestly don’t think I’ve ever seen a kid resist the overriding urge to run to their mother as they unwrap a parcel while shouting the words “Bubble Wrap” before grabbing a hold of the stuff and going for it! Place some bubble wrap into the hands of anyone regardless of age and watch how long it takes them to start indulging in some hardcore popping action!

Yes, I was once a child too you know! Coming home from school to discover bubble wrap laying about your house is something of a kids heaven. So, in discovering that ‘Vivid‘ had designed a toy to mimic that of bubble popping came as no surprise to me. When asked if the kids wanted to give “Bubble Shooz” a try and then share their thoughts in a review, we jumped at the chance and I couldn’t wait to check these babies out! Whats more I was offered a pair to give away to readers, so keep reading to find out how you can win a pair!

So… Just what is this toy and how does it work? Basically the product comes in the form of a pair of shoes… “Yes Shoes!” These can be adjusted to fit kids with a shoe size of 12 plus. Kids just strap these shoes on over their regular shows and then simply walk about as they usually would! Only, as they do, the sound of bubble popping can be heard coming from their feet.

Ok, its not really the same as that of the traditional popping of bubble wrap but kids seem to love it all the same. At first I sat asking myself “Whats the point?” Then I realised there isn’t really one and doesn’t really have to be when it comes to kids and toys. I don’t know what it is but this kind of thing has them excited.
For me I’m happy with my traditional bubble wrap popping action which is mainly because I feel like a bit of a tit wearing these (oh yes I did try them on). Seriously, these brightly coloured shoes are better off sticking with the kids.

Sadly as stated the shoes start at a size 12 and my toddler is a 8 so not quite there yet. Admittedly he did throw a bit of a wobbler as he watched big sister put them to the test. Its a shame because at 3 I think he would enjoy these especially given that following the tears he giggled madly as his sister went Pop… Pop… Popping along!

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With cool bubble styling on the base of each shoe, the Bubble Shooz are great for indoor or outdoor use – listen to the sound of popping as you walk around the house or garden for poptastic fun.

Bubble Shooz have a retail price of £19.99 and are available to buy now from all good toy stores.

So… If you basically want to mimic the popping of bubble wrap minus the mess then I guess these are for you!

Want to win a pair of bubble Shooz? Well, here’s how!

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Compulsory Entry…

Tell me what unusual item used to excite you as a child? Was you the child who played with the boxes rather than their toys at Christmas?

The above is a compulsory action that you will need to complete in order to successfully enter the competition.

Here’s some extra chances to win. Do any off the following (all if desired) and leave me a comment for each one completed to gain an automatic extra entry into the random competition draw.

Note… All comments for all actions including the compulsory one need to contain either a valid contactable email address or twitter handle. This is to ensure winners are contactable.

Additional entries (cannot be gained without having first done the compulsory action)…

Follow me on twitter (@clairelouise82)

Pin the competition to one of your Pinterest boards and comment sharing that link with me so I can find it.

Tweet… “I want to win a pair of bubble Shooz with @Clairelouise82 and @Vividtoygroup Adding The URL to this competition!!” Comment with the link to your tweet.

Comment on another Non Competition post and comment telling me which one

Subscribe to this blog using feedburner and let me know which email address u subscribe with (feedburner button located in sidebar).

Visit and subscribe to my sister blog Mummy of Many Talents (featuring crafts, fashion and vintage flare) comment telling me the email addy you subscribe with.

Competition closing date is August 20th 2013 at 11:59 PM. Entries submitted after this time with not be entered into the final draw (even if your comment is showing as submitted).

Competition is open only to those in the UK only normal T&C apply and can be found on the blogs disclaimer page.

Note: Winner has 72 hours to claim their prize once contact has been made.

#silentsunday

3 Mar

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#Win A Bundle Of Baby Jake Toys

27 Feb

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Us mums of pre-schoolers all know and love Baby Jack, that loveable character from Cbeebies… the show with the very catchy theme tune.

Well, this week the toddler has been busy reviewing one of the latest toys in the Baby Jake range brought to us by Vivid.

Musical baby jake is a mini version of the real thing. He is a soft bodied doll that when his tummy is squeezed, plays the Baby Jake theme tune.

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Admittedly his somewhat smaller than I first expected but he is a nice size, that’s actually ideal for toddlers little hands.

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Musical baby jake is easily operated and the toddler had no issues with knowing how to work the toy.

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There was one issue I had with this toy! Although this takes batteries, you are unable to change them. Having looked for where to put the batteries for sometime I finally noticed the very small writing on baby jakes tag explaining that the batteries were non replaceable. I don’t think the packaging does to good a job at letting this fact be known.
Saying that, Baby Jack hasn’t actually ran out of batteries as yet so I really can’t give an indication of just how long these may last.

Harley does like the toy. Its pretty cute and resembles the character well. The theme tune (Yacki Yacki Yoggi song) isn’t overly loud but loud enough for the toddler.

Musical Baby Jake is suitable for children aged 2 years and over and has an RRP of £9.99

My nephew also got the chance to play with the fabulous Baby Jake Musical TV. This is suitable for children aged 12 months +. This super cute toy is easily operated with the press of a button. As the theme tune plays the TV displays cute images of baby Jake on one of his fabulous adventures.

Baby Jake Musical TV has a RRP of £9.99

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Other new additions being introduced to the range for 2013 include… The new Push Along Digger (RRP £4.99). Suitable for children 18 months+, this mini marvel comes in a cheerful shade of yellow and features Baby Jake figure at the wheel! As Baby Jake is pushed along in his digger, see the digger arm move up and down as it travels across the floor.

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Coming soon…Baby Jake blasts off into space this autumn with Astronaut Baby Jake (RRP £19.99). Sporting blue space suit and essential rocket pack on his back, Baby Jake is all ready for the countdown to blast off! Squeeze Baby Jake’s tummy to hear him talk about space and listen to him respond with additional space statements as he flies through space!

How Would you like to win a fabulous Baby Jake Toy Bundle?

Vivid have offered me the opportunity to offer my readers the chance to win a toy bundle consisting off… A Musical Baby Jake, Musical Baby Jake TV & Baby Jake Push Along Digger.

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For the chance to win answer the following question…

Compulsory: What is your child’s favourite Cbeebies show?

For additional chances to win you can gain extra entries by doing any or all of the steps below.

Tweet… “I want to win a baby jake toy bundle with @Clairelouise82 and @VividToyGroup” adding the URL to this post.

Leave a comment with the link to your tweet or your twitter ID.

Subscribe to this blog via feedburner (top sidebar). Comment letting me know the email you have subscribed with.

Follow my sister blog “Mummy of Many Talents” comment to let me know the name or email you subscribe under.

Pin this competition (the image displaying the prize package) on pinterest then comment to let me know how to find your pin.

Competition will closes at 11:59pm on the 30th March 2013.

Please leave an additional comment for each action taken.

You can visit the Vivid official website Here and their twitter feed Here.

T&C: Competition open to those in the UK only. All actions will be checked to verify entry. A valid twitter handle or email address must be left. Entries submitted after the closing time and date will not be valid. Winner drawn at random. Winner will have 72 hours to respond to winners notification or winner maybe redrawn. Prizes will be sent from the PR for Vivid Toys so addresses and email will be passed on in order for prizes to be sent.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/bundle-baby-jake-toys#sthash.STD9QL2M.dpuf

Review – Orchard Toys Big Police Car Puzzle

27 Feb

The Big Police Car Puzzle from Orchard Toys is the latest puzzle in the toddlers toy box.

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He happened to be about when this was delivered and once he saw what was in the box his face lit up with excitement. He loves anything to do with the police and recently got an electric police bike and a uniform to match so the “Police Car Puzzle” has become one of his favourites.

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The Puzzle has 36 pieces and these pieces are big and chunky for little fingers. The image itself is bold and fun. Its highly glossy and so far we have had not one peeling corner.

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Harley is 3 and therefore needed a little help even though he was very bossy and determined to do it alone.

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Its a nice activity to do together and really helps the development of Harley’s fine motor skills.

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We love the puzzle. Like all Orchards toys games and puzzles its educational yet loads of fun at the same time.

The Big Police Car Puzzle can be brought for £9.95 online at Orchard Toys.

#Win 1 of 6 RSPCA My Pocket Pets By WOW Toys

21 Feb

RSPCA My Pocket Pets are a set of super-cute collectable figure packs that are made by WOW Toys and suitable for pre-school children from 18 months +.

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Each pack contains one animal figure plus an RSPCA fun activity sheet. This includes fun activities such as dot-to-dot, colouring in, an RSPCA cartoon and information aimed at teaching young children about animal welfare. The RSPCA cartoon and information sections explain the importance of animal welfare by listing the 5 main animal welfare needs and the activity sheet’s cute cartoon details the story of Farmer Bill and Nasty Nick, a fun story clearly explaining how children can be conscious of animal welfare.

There are 6 animals to collect in this series: Pippi the pooch, Socks the cat, Clarissa the cow, Patch the pig, Wiggles the Dalmatian and Jenny the horse.

The RSPCA’s trading manager Cathy Snow said: “Pocket Pets perfectly brings together charming and fun toys that children will love with an easy to understand and appealingly presented message about animal welfare. It will not only encourage awareness but will also help to raise valuable funds that will allow the RSPCA to continue helping to care for animals. We are delighted to be working with WOW Toys in what we are sure will be a long and productive partnership.”

RSPCA MY Pocket Pets went on sale this month (February) and are priced at £1.99 per foil pack. The is stocked in a wide range of high street and online outlets including Waterstones, Tesco, WH Smiths, Tesco Direct and Amazon and participating RSPCA outlets. The toys will also be listed in independent toy shops as well as a number of post offices and newsagents.

Harley has two of these pets, ‘Socks the cat’ and ‘Patch the pig’ and loves playing with them either alone or alongside the rest of his WOW toy collection.

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The toys have no little pieces and are big and chunky for little hands.

The collection aspect of the toys is great fun though the packs are blind foil so although you have the fun aspect of a surprise you may end up spending a little money trying to make up the full collection.

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For each pack you purchase, WOW will make a donation to the RSPCA!

Would you like to win one of these cute WOW animals?

I have a total of 6 to give away.

To enter simply answer the question…

Q: What is your favourite WOW TOY?

For one extra entry tweet “I want to win an RSPCA My Pocket Pet with @Clairelouise82 & @WOW_Toys” adding the URL to this post.

Please then leave a comment with your twitter handle or link to your tweet.

Competition will close at 11:59pm on the 15th March 2013.

6 winners will be drawn at random.

T&C competition is for those in the UK only. Those entering must leave a contact whether email or twitter handle. Winners have 72 hours to respond to winning notification notice or prize may be lost and redrawn.

ThePrizeFinder – UK Competitions – See more at: http://www.theprizefinder.com/content/one-6-rspca-pocket-pets-wow-toys#sthash.JudN7uCH.dpuf

Bath & Storage Ideas From Hello Baby

17 Jan

The online nursery store “Hello Baby” recently asked me if id like to try out a few of their products.

I left it up to the guys at Hello Baby to decide what to send. Giving them the age of my youngest child, i was confident they would make a good choice and what a good choice they made.

I was sent two items the first being a set of innovative 6 Munchkin Six Grippy Dots. These colourful dots are actually small mats that line the base of your bath tube therefore preventing your little one from slipping in the bath and potentially injuring themselves . The munchkin dots are fun and cheerful bringing a flash of colour to the bottom of your tub.

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But not only do these dots protect your child from slipping, they also alert a parent to the fact a bath may be to hot for their little ones delicate skin. This is done by one of the dots displaying the word “Hot” whenever the water is of a high temperature. I love how the dots can be easily positioned to suit, you can opt to use just a few grippy dots or use them all if you like… Its up to you. I rate these grippy dots far more than your average non slip bath mat, they are much more convenient, look great in there striking bright colours and provide us with an important safety feature and for £6.99 who can complain.

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The second and final item Hello Baby sent us was a product from the Prince Lionheart range, which actually couldn’t have come at a more convenient time. The item, a Jumbo Baby Toy Hammock was the perfect addition to our existing range of toy storage (which if I’m honest is nowhere near adequate enough considering the toddler could open his very own toy shop). This giant hammock allows you to keep your child’s toys safely off the floor.

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What’s more the hammock is a great size and is designed to fit neatly into a corner. It comes complete with 3 hooks and is reasonably easy to install (even for me). The hammock is made of white nylon mesh meaning this is also ideal for the bathroom, allowing wet toys to be stored over the bath keeping floors and surrounding areas clean and safe.
The jumbo toy hammock cost £9.99

We have a load of toys under the stairs and have decided this would be a great place to put it.

Overall I’m really impressed with the items we were sent. Both offer good value for money and practical solutions. I’d recommend both items to all our readers.

You can visit the Hello Baby online store by clicking Here

Tutorial For Making Your Own Tactile Sensory Buddies

4 Jan

Children on the Autism spectrum can often have sensory processing difficulties, so much so that it affects their day to day life considerably. I’ve written plenty of material on this subject over the past 4 years but if you want to find out a little more on the subject just click HERE to be taken to one of my most detailed posts.

If you follow my blog you will already know that all my little mans senses are somewhat sensitive especially that of his tactile sense (touch). This can often make life very difficult for him. He can only wear certain material and practically lives in jogging bottoms (I can’t remember the last time he wore a pair of jeans). However, its not just his clothing that he finds difficult to tolerate but everyday things that he needs to touch such as pencils, or certain plastic and more besides. Little man explains that by touching certain objects he is left feeling “Fuzzy” his whole body goes cold, his hairs stand on end and his skin tingles endlessly. He describes such an experience to be painful even.

Nonetheless, there are certain textures little man wants to touch. He will seek such textures out and cannot rest In till his got a hold of them. This combined with his constant need for movement has resulted in me buying many types of sensory toy. When buying such items I look for toys that not only provide a pleasant tactile experience but also ones that double up as a fidget as well as stress relievers to help avoid meltdowns.

We have discovered some fabulous items online and many of them costing very little money. However, we can go through such high numbers that this can actually work out rather costly in the long run. That’s why I’ve taken to making them myself.

Today I want to share a really easy to follow step by step tutorial that shows you how you too can create easy handmade tactile sensory buddies with nothing more than some thread, felt, buttons and dry rice.

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So… Here it goes…

To make a tactile sensory buddy you will need the following materials…

A piece of felt in any colour you wish (measuring 17 by 11 cms)

Pen or pencil

Ruler

Sharp scissors or craft knife

Dress pins

Some tread in the same colour as your chosen felt.

Needle

Two medium size buttons of the same colour and size.

One Small pink self adhesive button

Four small red self adhesive buttons

Dry uncooked rice

How to put your buddy together…

1: Firstly cut your felt to size so that it measures roughly 11 cms across and 17 cms in length. Use your ruler to measure and your pen or pencil to clearly mark out where it is you will need to cut (don’t worry about pen marks as these wont be seen when finished.

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2: once you have cut out your felt fold it in half and with your ruler and pen draw a line about half a centimetre from the edge of the felt on all the open sides of your fabric (not the folded bottom section). Hold in place with a few of your dress pins.

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3: Now take your needle and thread in the same colour as your felt and start sewing along the 2 lines located at the sides (not the top section this comes after). Don’t worry to much if it looks a tad untidy with dangly loose ends etc as this will form the inner body of your tactile sensory buddy once you’ve turned it inside out.

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4: Now sew along the top line but stop and tie of your thread once you hit the halfway mark. This section will be sewn later once we have turned the buddy inside out and sewed on all the accessories and filled it with rich.

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5: Now turn your felt inside out so once closed no traces of tread can be seen.

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6: Once you have done this turn your felt so that the smallest part becomes the top and the unstitched section is now at the side.

7: Now sew the two medium buttons on as eyes. Sew these on just one side of your buddy and sew them on from the inside so the ties are hidden. Do this by accessing the inside from the area you have yet to sew.

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8: Now fill the buddy with dry uncooked rice and sew the remaining area. You could also use material glue to keep things tidy.

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9: Add the pink self adhesive button for the nose.

10: Add your four red buttons as a mouth.

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Finished!

This is a really simple addition to the collection I plan on creating. Be as creative as you like. Add funky feathers, painted spots, stripes and more.

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The rice provides a very satisfying tactile experience and can be squeezed and played with easily. A great homemade sensory toy that doubles up as a fabulous stress toy… Sick! (Little mans words not mine by the way!)

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