Thursday, 21 September 2017

Review - Thomas & Friends Adventures, Cranky At The Docks

There has been quite an increase in children’s toys adverts over the last few weeks and we have been receiving Christmas catalogues from local toy shops too. This can only mean one thing, Christmas is coming. I was unsure what little J would be asking for this year as he just loves everything but I know one thing that will definitely be on his Christmas list and that is a Thomas Train Set. He loves Thomas & Friends and was thrilled when he received Thomas & Friends Adventures, Cranky At The Docks. We have had lots of fun playing with the play set and he’s also managed to merge it with other Adventures sets he has too.

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Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Review - Ticket To Ride, First Journey

Playing games is something we have always enjoyed and over the years our board game collection has grew and grew until now we can only have a section downstairs and the majority have gone in the loft until we are ready to play. As big J got older our games become more for adults as he was able to understand more complicated games and had a longer attention span. One of our favourite games is Ticket to Ride. The game is a cross-country train adventure in which players collect and play matching train cards to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. As part of the Board Game Club, last month we received Ticket To Ride, First Journey which is aimed at younger players. 

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Thursday, 14 September 2017

Review - Little Green Men Battle Pack

For the past few weeks we have having lots of fun and battles playing with Awesome Little Green Men. Little J watches children opening 'blind bags' all the time on you tube but these Little Green Men combine blind box opening with actual gameplay and it's lots of fun. 

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Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Review - Kinetic Rock Crusher

Little J has played for many hours with his Kinetic Sand set so when we received Kinetic Rock I knew it would be a hit. The Kinetic Rock Crusher set is very similar to the sand however it is made up of tiny pieces of rock. The Rock Crusher set consists of a small bag of Kinetic Rock, a construction worker figure, dumper truck with removable bucket, rock crusher, rock shaping mould, a tool and a sign. Once we had opened it we soon realised that the box doubles up as a box to play with the rocks in. It is designed as a construction site and perfect to help contain the rocks in one place. 


Creating the play box was easy and within minutes of opening the packaging we were ready to play. 

The dumper truck is ready for you to fill up with kinetic rock and little J loves filling it to the top and then emptying it out.


The rock moulds together but can easily be broken up just by picking it up.


He did need a little help turning the rock crusher once it was full with rock. It is difficult to turn when full.


 It wasn't long before he had added Star Wars figures and Cars to the play set. 

The Kinetic Rock is made of a thick consistency so you can mould it but when you pick it up it will run through your fingers. I found it very therapeutic and enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would.

*****

What We Loved

A great edition to the Kinetic range. We love the sand however I think this is little J's favourite. 

The box doubles as a play box. It's designed as a construction site so adds to the imaginative play. 

Kept little J entertained for hours and it is something he has played with everyday since. 

What Could Improve

The Rock Crusher is quite hard to turn when full.

Our construction man lost a leg very early on and we could not put it back on. 

The rocks are not as magnetic as advertised. They get everywhere. We are fine with it and make sure we have a mat down whilst playing. They do stick to your clothes and you will need to pick them off one by one. 

*****

You can find out more about the Kinetic Range by visiting Spin Master. Kinetic Rock Crusher is available at most good toy stores and online at Amazon

Michelle

Disclaimer - We received Kinetic Rock Crusher set for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. This post does contain an affiliate link.


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Monday, 11 September 2017

Giveaway - Win Zomlings Series 6 Goodies

Playdays and Runways have teamed up with Magic Box Toys UK to offer one lucky reader and follower the chance to win Zomlings Series 6 goodies. The Zomlings series 6 range features blind bags with 105 characters to collect, a starter set, different capsules, different zom-mobiles, blister packs and various play sets.

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Sunday, 10 September 2017

Our Sunday Photo - 10/09/2017

Little J had his haircut this morning ready for starting school. His hair was so long and becoming messy. Now he's had it cut he looks so grown up and his face looks like it's completely changed. 

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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Monthly Bucket List - September 2017

I have decided to start up my monthly bucket lists again so I can keep a note of all the things I want to do each month. I usually start the month with a list of things I need or want to do and by the end I haven't actually achieved anything. It's so frustrating so from now on I'm going to make time to complete my list. 

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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Review - Fuzzikins Craft, Campervan Carry Case

When it comes to toys Little J is open to everything. He has never really been a lover of just one type of toy. even though he loves cars he would also play dinosaurs or batman alongside them. It's great for us as parents as if I had to play with just cars all Summer it would drive me insane. We recently received Fuzzikins Craft Campervan Carry Case to review. Now I know it is like a car as it has 4 wheels and a steering wheel but it really is much more than that. 

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Monday, 4 September 2017

Little J's Pre School Days - September

Time flies so fast and I can't believe that in a few days time little J will be starting school. He absolutely loved nursery and all his friends so he is really looking forward to seeing them all again. I and trying to be happy for him because I know he is ready and keeps asking how may more sleeps till big school but I am dreading not seeing him all. He just seems too little to be away from us 9-3, 5 days a week.

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Sunday, 3 September 2017

Our Sunday Photo - 03/09/2017

September for us means the beginning of a school year. This year is a little special as I have one child  who is going in to his final year in seniors and another child just beginning his school journey in reception. 

I don't often think about the age gap between big and little J because they get on so well and do so much together but when we were buying school shoes it hit me. Big J can no longer fit in to the kids range at Clark's and went shopping in the men's section. Where does the time go?

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Saturday, 2 September 2017

Review & Giveaway - Gassy The Cow From Drumond Park

Last month we received a very exciting delivery from Drumond Park, inside was Gassy The Cow. If you have little ones that watch the TV you will have probably seen Gassy already as it is always on the adverts and little J always says "I want that". I suppose its very appealing to children given the fact that Gassy trumps and poo's . . . a lot. 

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Thursday, 31 August 2017

Review - Teletubbies Giggling TiddlyTubbies

We absolutely love Teletubbies and it's crazy to think that big J used to watch them 15 years ago and now little J does too. A few weeks ago we were sent Teletubbies Giggling TiddlyTubbies Umby Pumby and Ping.

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Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Review - Brio World School

You may have read our post last year when little J received a huge box and inside was a Brio Fire Station and Helicopter. He absolutely loves Brio and this was his first Brio World set. Since then we have bought a few more sets and a few weeks ago he received the Brio World School playset.

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Monday, 28 August 2017

A Trip To Blackpool With Virgin Experiences.

Blackpool is a place that whenever I hear the name it takes me back 30 years to when I was little and I would visit Blackpool on the train with my Mum and Dad. It used to seem so far, like it was a million miles away when the reality was we could have reached it in less than a hour by car. I think because both John and I have fond memories of visiting Blackpool we have tried to visit quite a few times a year with the boys. You may have read a few months ago we visited Blackpool Sealife and last weekend we were back at the seaside resort thanks to Virgin Experiences. We were invited to choose an experience and we all agreed that a short break to Blackpool would be a perfect way to end the Summer. 

Looks Amazing
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Saturday, 26 August 2017

Review & Giveaway - Mokuru Fidget Toy

Having kids usually means that whatever the latest 'playground' craze is we usually know about it. We've had everything from loom bands to bottle flipping and now he most recent craze fidget spinners. We have a house full of them at the moment and I have to admit I have had a go of them myself. If you or your children are keen on fidget spinners then you may be interested in the new Japanese craze, the Mokuru Desk Toy.

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Friday, 25 August 2017

Review - Peppa's Family Home

A few weeks ago we received Peppa's Family Home for little J. Little J absolutely loves Peppa and it was perfect timing as he has been watching the new Peppa episodes on Milkshake TV. Little J has a Peppa house already however this newer version is brilliant.  Once we opened the home I realised straight away that the quality of the newer home was better than the previous. Unfortunately this home doesn't fold away but it seems more durable and when you have boys you need that.

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Thursday, 24 August 2017

Review - Thomas & Friends Trackmaster Scrapyard Escape Set

You may have already read that last month little J experienced his first visit to the cinema. It's such a big deal going to the cinema for the first time and I am glad we waited till we thought he was ready. Now he has been once he is desperate to go again so we have planned a visit to see Thomas & Friends - Journey Beyond Sodor this weekend as it's released in Cinemas on August 25th. We haven't told him yet but he loves Thomas so we are sure he will love every minute of it. To get him in the mood we have been sent Thomas & Friends Trackmaster Scrapyard Escape Set which was inspired by the new movie. 

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Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Our #SuperWingsSummer . . . So Far

We have had an lovely Summer so far and I am so glad that we still have another 2 weeks left before the boys go back to school. We've had some Super Wings friends come to stay with us these past few weeks and they have been joining in with our days out and play days at home. We've got lots of nice things planned so I thought I would give you a quick update on what we've been up to.

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Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Review - Dynamite Dare

We love trying out new games so when the opportunity came up to review Dynamite Dare we accepted as we had actually seen the advert for the game and it looked lots of fun. The rules of the game is very simple, diffuse or lose.

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Monday, 21 August 2017

Review - Jake Shoes Back To School Range

So it's that time during the Summer holidays that I start to think about buying big J's uniform. It is usually quite simple as we buy most of it from the school shop, however we do usually have some trouble finding shoes for him as he is very fussy and a typical teenager. As little J will be starting school in September I decided to be super organised and start buying his uniform early as I didn't know what to expect especially if he took after his brother when shoe shopping. Jake Shoes got in touch recently and offered us the chance to try out a pair of shoes from their back to school range. This was perfect as I really dislike shopping for school shoes as it's always manic, doing it online meant I could browse from the comfort of my own sofa. 

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Friday, 18 August 2017

Keeping The Boys Active This Summer

At the beginning of the Summer I spoke to the boys about keeping active over the school holidays. I know that the Summer is time to relax and enjoy yourself without the pressure of having to get up early but I wanted to make sure that we didn't just laze around for 6 weeks. Not so much little J but big J would sit online on his Xbox all day if you let him so I had to have a plan. I asked the boys to go in the shed and choose all the things they could find that could help us stay active this Summer. Typical boys just dumped everything on the grass but then they did make a nice arrangement in the end.

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Monday, 14 August 2017

Giveaway - Cuco's Big Adventure DVD

If you are struggling this Summer for ideas of what to do with the kids then I have the perfect solution for you. Snuggle up on the sofa and watch Cuco's Big Adventure which is out on DVD and Digital on 14th August. Our weather has been pretty awful this Summer and we have had lots of movie days so far and we are so excited to watch this next. 

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Saturday, 12 August 2017

Review - Super Wings Toys

You may have read recently that we were chosen to be one of the Super Wings Ambassadors for this Summer. We absolutely love the Super Wings programme on Cartoonito so little J was very excited to receive a range of toys to play with this Summer. We received the Super Wings Airport, remote Control Jett and transforming characters both large and mini. 

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Friday, 11 August 2017

Review - Jungle In My Pocket Treehouse Playset

Welcome to the jungle, if you're a fan of puppy and Kitty in my pocket, you'll go wild for these new fuzzy jungle pets. Jungle in my pocket is the latest line of collectible characters to join the in my pocket family. They're soft, cute and ready for adventure. We have not heard of Jungle in my pocket so we were excited to receive the Jungle In My Pocket Treehouse Playset last week. We also received two blind bags which little J finds very exciting. 

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Thursday, 10 August 2017

Review - My Summer Wear From Jacamo

You may have read recently that Michelle was invited to choose and review some new clothes from J.D. Williams. I was lucky enough to also be invited to try some clothes from Jacamo. My clothes tend to be a bit scruffy. I wear typical ‘Dad’ clothes most of the time when I’m not in work. Tracksuits, Everton Shirts, Shorts and Film and TV orientated T-Shirts.  I noticed recently that Big J’s wardrobe is actually a lot smarter than mine, and decided it was time I got myself some smarter clothes to wear.

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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Our Summer Days - Day 16, Walton Hall Gardens

We spent a lovely day at Walton Hall Gardens on Day 16 of Our Summer Days. The weather wasn't great but it was dry so we made the most of no rain and headed out. Walton Hall Gardens is in Warrington so about 30 minutes from home. We haven't been for quite a few years now and I am pleased to say that it was so much better than I had expected thanks to a few enhancements. 


When we arrived we realised that we had no money for the parking, luckily it had the option to pay by phone. I've seen more and more of these cropping up lately, maybe no-one carries coins around with them anymore. Anyway it was £4 to park all day on a weekend, £3 midweek. 


We were greeted by an ice cream van just at the entrance to the park luckily little J was eager to get inside he completely missed it. Usually we can't walk past an ice cream van without hearing the old favourite 'I need an ice cream'. He never wants one he always 'needs' one. 


Just at the entrance to the park is the children's play area which seems to have had a big refurb as its now huge. Little J whizzed past it and wanted to play tennis first.


Since we visited Park Lives little J absolutely loves tennis now and has taken a shine to my Wilson rackets signed by Roger Federer. They are not actually signed its a pre print but I don't care I love them anyway. 


First he played with John then he wanted to play with me. We made up lots of games including Who could hit up in the air the highest? Who could catch it? and Who could do the most 'keep ups'?

It's quite odd how much fun you can have with a ball. 


After all the playing we headed to the nearest bench to eat our lunch. I'd been up since 4am (due to very noisy neighbours - but that's another story) so by 11:30 I was hungry for lunch.

I took a packed lunch but I'm sure there are places to eat at the park if you want to. We didn't see a cafe but if I remember from last time there is one. I always find it best to make a packed lunch when heading to a local park or play area as it can be a really cheap (sometimes free) day out.




Next stop was a trip to the large pond to look for fish. There were so many and we saw a few tortoises too bobbing their heads up and down in the water.




Walton Hall Gardens has a children's zoo which is free of charge. If I am being honest it isn't the most exciting children's zoo I have been too. There were plenty of goats and chickens but not much else. Most of the cages were empty even though they should have been home to degu's, ferrets and red squirrels. It took us about 10 minutes to get round the whole zoo so I think that speaks for itself.


A trip to the park wouldn't be the same without some exploring in the woods. Little J loves exploring and he gets that from his brother. They both headed off in the woods, finding sticks and climbing trees. John joined in too.





We headed to the play area next. It's huge and has lovely spongy floor which makes a big difference when choosing a play area. I prefer soft floor and don't panic as much when little J decides to climb up really high on the climbing frames. 






Last but not least little J went on a big inflatable slide. It was huge and although he was allowed 5 minutes for £2 he only managed 3 slides as it took him so long to climb up.

To finish off the day big J took little J on a Thomas train. It took them all around the gardens and mansion and looked lots of fun. 

We all really enjoyed Walton Hall Gardens, it was lots of fun. Sometimes it's nice to go to a different park and explore new woods and play on new playgrounds. The children's zoo was a bit of a let down but it didn't cost anything so we can't really complain. 

Michelle

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