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Christmas Ready With Buy A Battery.

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Disclosure - We have teamed up with Buyabattery to test the latest children’s toys and gadgets as part of its campaign to urge parents not to forget the batteries this Christmas Day.

This year we decided to put our Christmas decorations up almost two weeks earlier than we usually do. We did it over a wet and stormy weekend and it's really helped us get in to the festive mood. Each year we buy some new decorations for the tree and around the home. We also make sure we stock up on batteries. You can never have too many over the Christmas period. 

wrapped presents


We recently came across www.buyabattery.co.uk. Buyabattery is a leading online battery store with a wide range of disposable and rechargeable batteries for all of your household and small business needs – making it the must-visit website to help power everything from TV remotes, toys and torches, through to hearing aids, thermometers, watches and car keys. They also supply to many trade and wholesale customers.

This Christmas Buyabattery is urging parents not to forget the batteries when it comes to the big day. Research by the battery retailer has found that more than a third of parents which is around 35%, have forgotten to buy the correct batteries for their children’s Christmas gifts. I know in the past we have definitely been in that 35%. Not having the correct batteries lead to tears on the big day but we have learnt from our mistake and we are always prepared for Christmas now.

putting batteries inside a toy


Buyabattery managing director, Darren Jones has some great advice for all parents

"Always read the information on the box thoroughly to work out which batteries are required for the toy or gadget – don’t forget some toys like remote controlled cars will need batteries for the car and the remote control."

"Before you wrap your presents fit the batteries to make sure that the toys work – this will avoid any disappointment on Christmas Day and ensure that the toy is ready to go as soon as it has been unwrapped. No fiddling around with small screwdrivers required!"

"Make sure you buy quality, genuine batteries. Long-lasting power is key when it comes to kids’ toys so look for advanced battery technology which will give you improved power and shelf life. For example, the new Duracell Plus 100% extra life batteries have more concentrated power than the previous Duracell Plus batteries. They have also been equipped with Duralock which ensures a 10 year power preserve."

"Buy extra batteries so you have spares in case any friends or family members give your children battery powered toys. Most small to medium children’s toys will require AA or AAA batteries. Larger toys may require C or D batteries"

"Having spares to hand will also mean that there are no tears if batteries do end up running dry before the end of the day. Some toys can drain batteries quickly if played continuously."

"Before Christmas Day have a battery amnesty – remove batteries from toys that are no longer used and separate dead or old batteries from those that still work. This will give you a good idea of which working batteries you have and what you might need to buy. It also means that you aren’t powering toys with batteries that are low in charge and may not make it through the day."

"Always recycle your old batteries – there are collection points in most supermarkets, DIY stores, convenience stores and even some clothing retailers. Never put your batteries in the bin – they contain hazardous materials which could enter the eco-system. They should always be disposed of in the correct way."

"Consider investing in rechargeable batteries - instead of burning through packets of disposable, alkaline batteries, invest in a quality pack of rechargeable batteries that you can recharge hundreds of times. Consider having a spare set that are charged ready for when the set in the device run out. Just make sure they are compatible with your device before inserting them."

It’s not just the children’s gifts that might need battery power! Don’t forget to check the battery requirements for any of the presents you are giving this year – to avoid disappointment."

Have you ever forgotten batteries on Christmas? 

Michelle
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Tips To Help You Prepare For Christmas

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Disclosure - This post is in collaboration with Buy A Battery. The idea for this post, thoughts and opinions are our own. 

Christmas is the most wonderful time of year. Everything builds up to Christmas day and if you are not prepared it can make Christmas the most stressful time of year too. There is plenty you can do to help you prepare for Christmas day and make it as stress free and enjoyable as possible. Here are our tips to help you prepare for Christmas. 

merry christmas sign
dinner table set


Decide Who Is Hosting
If you have a family Christmas it is wise to decide who is hosting as soon as possible. Making Christmas dinner is a big task and if it falls on you to host you will want to know sooner rather than later. 

Buy Christmas Food Early And Book A Home Delivery Shop Just Before Christmas.
In December we start adding a few Christmas food items and treats to our weekly shops. It spreads the cost and it saves panic buying a few days before when all the shops are running low on stock levels. We always make sure we book a supermarket home delivery a few days before Christmas too as supermarkets are always so busy stressful on the days before Christmas. A home delivery takes the stress away all you need to do is order online and wait for it to arrive. 

christmas presents


Shop To Your Budget
Hopefully by now you will have started your Christmas shopping but if you still have some Christmas gifts to buy make sure you stick to your budget. It can be easy to get carried away especially in the last few weeks leading up to Christmas. We feel the need to buy 'just a few more things' when in fact we have probably got enough gifts already. 

Watch and Wrap
I actually like wrapping presents but when you have a lot of wrapping to do it can become a huge chore. We always pop on a Christmas movie that we have seen many times before and have it playing while we wrap. It makes the time go so much quicker.

christmas planner


Fill In Your Calendar, Planner Or Diary
December is a busy month and you may be out an about more than usual. Make sure you use a planner or calendar to fill in your social events, school activities, days out and get togethers. There is nothing worse than double booking.

Stock Up On Batteries
Buy extra batteries so you have spares in case any friends or family members give your children battery powered toys. Most small to medium children’s toys will require AA or AAA batteries. Larger toys may require C or D batteries. Having spares to hand will also mean that there are no tears if batteries do end up running dry before the end of the day. There are some toys can drain batteries very quickly too if played with continuously.

Enjoy The Day 
We all spend so much time preparing, planning and waiting for the big day to arrive that its easy to get to the point where you actually miss the entire day through trying to make sure that everything runs perfectly. Remember that Christmas is about spending time with family and friends so make sure that is what you do. If you have children then these will be the days they remember the most. They will remember the time you spent with them more than the present they forgot about years ago. 

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways

Are you looking forward to celebrating Christmas? Are you Prepared? Leave us a comment below and let us know. 

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Michelle
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Forza Horizon 5 Exclusive Xbox Controller Review

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Disclosure - We were sent the product below for the purpose of this post and is in collaboration with Buy A Battery. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our unless stated. This post contains affiliate links. 

Another year, another Forza game. Probably the most popular franchise in car racing on Xbox sees Forza Horizon 5 release this month.  Alongside the game, Microsoft have released a Forza Horizon 5 controller so that you can really immerse yourself in the experience. 

forza horizon 5 controller


Controllers for Xbox haven’t changed much over the years, however this controller is really striking with its bright neon colours and see through casing. You can see through to the rumble motors inside which themselves have splashes of colour which look great when spinning.  

Since the Series X / S release, controllers have included a new capture button in the centre, a really useful feature for those who like to capture screenshots, live streaming or quick recording features. 

forza horizon 5 controller

forza horizon 5 controller


Another great addition to this particular controller are the rubber grips. A nod maybe to the rubber you’ll be burning in game, these are a fantastic addition and maybe something for all future controllers to consider. The grip is excellent and if you use this and then drop back to a regular controller you really notice the difference. We also own the first series Elite controller and this also benefits from the rubber grips so it’s great to see them on a controller that doesn’t set you back £150. 

forza horizon 5 controller


Coming back to the colour scheme, it really has to be seen to understand how vibrant the colours are. I’m sure some people will think it an eyesore, but compared to the standard vanilla controllers out there, this is my favourite of all of them. 

Finally, I love how Microsoft still allow you to use regular batteries for your controller rather than having to keep it charged. I find it easier to use normal AA batteries rather than remember to charge my controller after use.  I hope they continue this with future controllers.


Michelle
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Light The Night - The Snowman and The Snowdog Brick Model Trail

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Disclosure - We were invited to complete the The Snowman and The Snowdog Brick Model Trail for the purpose of this post. We have been compensated for our time. 

Light The Night - The Snowman and The Snowdog Brick Model Trail has arrived in Blackburn. The trail includes 16 illuminated brick models which are located in and around Blackburn's town centre and is the perfect day out for fans of the beloved animated classic The Snowman. 

the snowman brick model


What To Expect At The Light The Night - The Snowman and Snowdog Brick Trail, The Mall, Blackburn BB1 5AF
If you want to take part in The Snowman and The Snowdog Brick Trail then all you need to do is head to The Mall Ask Me Point to pick up a trail map and quiz. From here you can then follow the trail to find all 16 models. If you would prefer to be more interactive, you can download the free experience Blackburn app to join in with the QR code trail. Both trails will give you the chance to win a prize too. 

map for the snowman and the snowdog trail


If you would like an sneak peak of where you can expect to see the illuminated brick models here are some confirmed locations 

Morrisons Instore Opticians
Mortimers Estate Agents
Rhode Island Coffee, The Mall
6G/The Wifi Centre
Grays Outfitters
Blue Inc
The Works
Althams
Jack & Jones
Edmondsons
Ainsworth Jewellers
Hobkirks Sewing Machines
Blackburn Central Library
M&S
Next
Blackburn Market

the snowman brick model


The trail includes 4 larger models including a 1.8m tall Snowman which used 53,851 bricks!

the snowman brick model

Christmas tree brick model

Christmas tree brick model


This is the third brick model trail we have done over the past few years. First we did a Paw Patrol trail and then We did Brickosaurs brick trail and in our opinion they keep getting bigger and better. The Snowman and The Snowdog brick trail perfect for this time of year and will really get you in the Christmas mood and is free to do.

father christmas brick model


The Light The Night - The Snowman and The Snowdog trail will illuminate from the 27th November to the 5th January. We loved the trail and would definitely recommend.

If you do the trail we would love to se your photos. Make sure you tag us on socials @playdaysrunways and use the #brickburn

I am always so grateful for any support I receive on my blog and social channels. If you did find this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

Leave us a comment below and let us know what you thought. 

Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


Share This Post With Friends Who May Also Find It Useful.  

Michelle
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Blaze and The Monster Machines - Axle City Racers Video Game

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Blaze is ready to race with his monster machine friends and wants to bring you along too. Race around Axle City’s colourful streets and the awesome Monster Dome stunt track, the world of Blaze is yours to explore. It's time to buckle your seatbelts and take control of Blaze, Pickle, Darington, Zeg, Starla, Stripes and even Crusher! Prepare to race at blazing speed and go for the championship or compete with up to 4 players in split-screen mode! 

Blaze axle city racers
The fun doesn't stop as you boost, drift, jump and pull off stunts around amazing tracks like Race to Eagle Rock, Stuntmania, and more! 

Collect the wrench to power-up and activate your character’s unique skill and outsmart the competition. You can even customise Blaze and his friends in the garage. 

STEM education features, plus accessible control options like Auto-Drive Helper, younger players will have a blast discovering as they race for glory!

Features:
BE BLAZE and 6 more heroes including Starla, Pickle, and Crusher 
RACE WITH FRIENDS in 4-player split-screen mode 
POWER UP with speed boosts, upgrades, and unique character abilities 
WIN THE CUP at the Axle City Grand Prix, the Monster Dome, and more 
AUTO DRIVE with optional simple controls for younger players 

Blaze toys

Blaze toys

Blaze toys
To celebrate the launch of Blaze and The Monster Machines - Axle City Racers Video Games I have teamed up with outright games to offer one lucky Playdays and Runways follower the chance to win Blaze and The Monster Machines - Axle City Racers Video Game (on the console of your choice) and a Blaze Toy Bundle. 

All you need to do is complete the entry form below and pop back daily for bonus chances to win.

Good Luck

Michelle    
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Laser Pegs Multi Models Review

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Disclosure - We were sent the products below for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own unless stated. This post contains affiliate links. 

As the darker and colder nights are drawing in we have been looking for things to do inside where it is warm and cosy. We recently received Laser Pegs Multi Models which provided us with hours of fun last weekend as we created a Bobcat (similar to a JCB) and a Sparhawk aircraft. 

laser pegs models
Laser Pegs building bricks are perfect for those who like to create models and can follow instructions. Each set comes with a booklet of step by step instructions to create each model. There is a variety of bricks included and also light up bricks too adding to the fun. 

laser pegs sparhawk

laser pegs sparhawk


First we made the SparHawk with over 170 pieces. The instructions were easy to follow, however the bricks were sometimes hard to place and did need a little wiggling or adult help. The SparHawk took just on a hour to build and has three light up bricks and spinning propellers. 

Laser pegs bobcat

Laser pegs bobcat


The Bobcat has just short of 100 pieces and didn't take as long to build but was equally as fun. The Bobcat  which is similar to a JCB has 1 light up brick and a moveable digger feature at the front. 

boy holding laser pegs


The Sparhawk was our favourite to build even though it had a lot of smaller pieces and took longer. Now that we have made them we can add to the fun and break them up and build another model as each set has different models that can be built from the kit. 

laser pegs instructions


The Sparhawk can be built in 5 different ways. The instruction booklet shows just one model but you can scan the code in the booklet with your phone and different model instructions will pop up. So as well as a Sparhawk you can build a Warthog, Chinook, Bi-Plane and a L.P.A.H-1.

The Bobcat also has more models to build with a total of 4 different designs. Again there is a code to scan inside the instruction booklet which will bring up the building instructions for the other models including an Excavator, Forklift and Grader. 

There are hours of fun to be had as the Laser Pegs bricks are also compatible with other building bricks so the creations you could make are endless. If you don't have access to a QR scanner you can check out all the model instructions at Laserpegs

Laser Pegs Sparhawk and Bobcat are to buy online at Amazon, Very and other independent toy stores. 

laser pegs models


We are looking forward to building the other models over the next few months. For now little J wants to display his Bobcat and Sparhawk in his room so may be a while but I know we will enjoy making them when we do. 


Michelle
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20+ Advent Calendars For Kids Who Don't Like Chocolate

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This post contains affiliate links. 

Advent Calendars have moved on so much since the days of cheap chocolate chunks behinds the numbered doors. You can get advent calendars for everything nowadays and I have gathered our favourite advent calendars for kids who don't like chocolate. Whether your little one is a stationary lover or Pokemon collector you will find an Advent Calendar that will suit your little one.

pokemon advent calendar
Happy Holidays! It’s the most fabulous time of the year, and the 2021 Pokemon Holiday Advent Calendar is here with the best of holiday cheer! Whether you’re 2 or 102, kids of all ages can enjoy the wonderful surprises that Pokemon brings to fans year after year. Create and display your own Pokemon Holiday Scene with the 2021 Pokemon Calendar. Every day of the holidays is an exciting reveal as each numbered door contains 1 of 16 dynamically posed 2-inch Pokemon Battle Figures with a gorgeous pearlized finish, or 1 of 8 Holiday themed accessories. The 2-inch Pokemon toy characters include Pikachu, Squirtle, Bulbasaur, Vulpix, Eevee, Yamper, and MORE of your favorites! Gotta Catch ‘Em All!
minecraft advent calendar
Looking for official exclusive Minecraft toys and accessories? Do not miss out on this fantastic advent calendar kids fully licensed by the official game merchandise.
The Christmas advent calendar 2021 includes a complete Minecraft stationary set: a must have for all gamers. This advent calendar includes: 2 x mini notebooks, 2 x ball pens, 2 x Minecraft pencils, 1 webbing puller, 2 Minecraft stickers sheets, 1 x ruler, 1 x eraser, 4 x rubber charms, 1 xx sharpener, 2 x metal badges, 1 x lanyard, 2 x note pads, 3 x highlighters.

jewellery advent calendar
The Countdown to Christmas is an exciting time for children. And one way to heighten the holiday anticipation is with this jewellery advent calendar! This girls christmas advent calendar for kids have fun surprises hidden behind 24 doors, children can take out a small gift from the drawer corresponding to the date in the box every day. This is a great holiday gift for kids!

baby yoda advent calendar
INCLUDES 24 SURPRISES. Each day will reveal a new little surprise perfect for your little Star Wars fan! This cool advent calendars 2021 contains stationery gifts and some fashion accessories including slap bracelets, baby yoda keyring, novelty erasers, coloured stickers and a necklace. We won't spoil all the fun! Buy the fantastic advent calendar 2021 kids and discover cool gifts every day.

peppa pig advent
This special advent calendar 2021 kids includes a cute selection of 24 girls and toddler hair accessories and cute jewellery for kids. Peppa advent calendar kids will be the perfect pre-Christmas gift for all little girls that love to watch the cartoon.

advent calendar
If you are looking for something to entertain your kids for Christmas holiday,This Cute Animals Toys set advent calendar is a good choice.The wait can still feel like an eternity for a kid, but Advent Calendars act as the perfect countdown gift. Kids will open one door a day for 24 days to discover something that will delight them.they will so happy and meaningful.


fidget advent calendar
The Fidget Toy Advent Calendar is a fun way for children to count down the days before Christmas and get some surprises every day.

bic advent calendar
The BIC Advent Calendar lets kids express their artistic talent with crayons, felt pens and accessories waiting to be opened. This carefully curated writing and colouring set is packed with everything your kids need to count down the days to Christmas.

barbie advent calendar
​This Barbie Dreamtopia Advent calendar helps celebrate any occasion with 24 days of surprise gifts. Kids open Barbie doll on day one, and then reveal a new surprise daily for the next 23 days Surprises include accessories, storytelling pieces and fashions that let kids dress Barbie doll up as a princess, mermaid or fairy. Each new surprise brings a new opportunity to mix and match and tell a new fairytale Accessories and storytelling pieces, like tiaras, necklaces, pets and tea party pieces, instantly expand the playtime possibilities. 

match attax advent calendar
Exclusives - festive surprise cards including an unbeatable 101 limited edition Match Attax card! Limited edition - 131 football cards including 6 exclusive limited editions cards! Daily app cards inside every packet! Look out for crystal parallel cards and chrome shield cards in this match attax advent calendar! Look for autograph cards from your favourite UEFA players inside lucky packets!

Hot Wheels Advent Calendar
This Hot Wheels Advent Calendar will delight kids of all ages. There are eight decorated hot wheels vehicles and sixteen accessories for every day leading up to the big day. The Hot Wheels Advent Calendar now includes a foldout playmat for kids to play with their new hot wheels vehicles and accessories.

Polly Pocket Advent Calendar
The Polly Pocket Advent calendar is a winter wonderland full of 25 holiday surprises. Count down the festive season on day one, then open a surprise gift daily for the next 24 days. 
Play out the snowy storytelling fun with micro surprises including fun Polly Pocket dolls, dwellings, animals, vehicles and more (micro dolls can fit in and interact with some of the accessories).

​Create a fun holiday display with the packaging featuring a snowy holiday scene!

LOL Advent Calendar
This LOL surprise advent calendar is a must have for all lol dolls fans this christmas! The charm bracelet advent calendar is the perfect pre-christmas gift for girls and features some of the most popular dolls from the born to rock collection. Open a new door each day from 1st December to reveal a new surprise and wear it with pride during the day. 

Disney Cars Advent Calendar
​Count down to Christmas and a complete play set with the Disney and Pixar Cars Holiday advent calendar. ​For 24 days in a row, Cars lovers will start each day excited to find out what Cars-themed surprise is next. Set includes five vehicles based on Cars fan-favourite characters. ​Look for fun storytelling pieces like racing flags, stacks of tires, a road cone, a racing trophy and more.
Schleich Advent Calendar
In the Schleich Horse Club 2020 advent calendar, the vet uses her stethoscope to examine the Trakehner mare and foal before the big horse show Christmas celebration, and has good news: the horses are healthy and can take part in the competition!.The little cat family, the rabbit and the squirrel are also happy to hear it. As they nibble on delicious apples, carrots and lettuce from the basket and bowl, they look curiously on as the horses are groomed with the hoof pick and massage brush. Thanks to the colourful horse blanket and the pretty head collar, they are ready for the big event.

Harry Potter Advent Calendar
Celebrate Christmas in the Wizarding World with this magical LEGO Harry Potter Advent Calendar. Behind each of the 24 doors is a different toy or figure from the Harry Potter series. As the big day gets closer, kids can recreate Hogwarts holiday scenes – including the amazing Yule Ball.
Hogwarts Advent calendar
The 2020 Harry Potter advent calendar is the perfect pre-xmas gift idea for all Harry Potter fans, especially if they love to collect jewellery, hair accessories and fun stationery. Open a new window each day from 1st December to reveal a new surprise, each one with a touch of magic! A must have for all Gryffindor fans this Xmas.

Pringles advent calendar
Crisp lovers everywhere, prepare to be amazed. There's a tub of Pringles behind every door on this unique advent calendar, perfect for those who prefer savoury over sweet. With one of 4 classic flavours behind each door, the countdown to Christmas has never been this exciting.


Swizzles Sweet Factory
Every door and window of the freestanding festive Swizzels Sweet Factory contains a delightfully sweet treat to be savoured by the young, or young at heart.  It makes a perfect pre-Christmas gift for anyone with a sweet tooth.

Barratts Advent calendar
For those with a sweet tooth the Barratt Retro Sweet Advent Calendar is the perfect choice with 24 doors to open filled with Fruit Salad, Black Jack, Wham Bars and more. 

Haribo Advent Calendar
Start your Christmas countdown with HARIBO and 24 windows that are hiding a merry mix of little treats. Themed, fun and perfect for those looking for an alternative to the traditional chocolate calendar.
This tasty advent calendar brings together HARIBO favourites from across the world with Tropifrutti, Goldbears and MAOAM includes seasonal mini bags and themed jellies. Look out for Santa’s boot, a red hatted reindeer and gold star topped Christmas tree!

As you can see there are so many Advent Calendars to choose from. Which one is your favourite?

If you found this post useful there are a few ways that you could say thanks and support Playdays and Runways.

- Leave us a comment below 

- Visit our Christmas Gift Guide For The Kids post for more advent calendar and present ideas

- Like us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram


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-- - Michelle 
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