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Back To School With Smiggle | Review

24 March 2021

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Disclosure - We received a gift voucher to spend online at Smiggle for the purpose of this post. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

Smiggle is our go to place when little J needs new school essentials, stationary, quirky squashies or fidget toys. Little J has been back at school for just a few weeks now but will soon finish for Easter break. When he returns he will be wearing his new Summer uniform and we thought this would be the perfect time to upgrade his lunch box, water bottle and stationary for the last term of the school year.

Smiggle back to school essentials


As the non essential stores are closed we headed online to purchase little J's back to school essentials. The website is really easy to use with labels and categories to make your browsing experience easier. There is usually a sale section too which is perfect to pick up a bargain. 

Little J has a packed lunch for school and he prefers the Smiggle Double Decker lunch bag. If you want a bag with lots of space then I would definitely recommend a double decker. The top can be opened using the zip to reveal a shallow compartment. This is ideal for snacks or even an ice pack if needed. The bottom is spacious and could fit a large lunch in and/or a water bottle.

Smiggle Game Over Lunch Bag

Smiggle Game Over Lunch Bag


Little J chose the Gamer double decker lunchbox. The base is designed like a video console controller and has a retro feel to it with the top layer similar to an arcade game. 

It's a hand held lunchbox and doesn't come with an over the shoulder strap. 

Smiggle Kick water bottle


We go through so many water bottles with little J. He either loses them or breaks them but we have always found the Smiggle bottles last the longest. Little J chose the Kick drink bottle which has a flip top spout and a classic football design. 

Both the Gamer and Kick design have other items in their ranges including backpacks and pencil cases. 

Dinosaur pencil case

Dinosaur pencil case


There is a huge range of pencil cases available at Smiggle but little J really liked a pencil case that he has already had in the past which he uses at home so wanted the same for his desk in school. It is the Dino Character Pocket Pencil Case. He likes this case as it has two compartments which he uses to separate his felt tips and pencils. It has dinosaur spike detail and a squishy feel which little J loves. 

Smiggle will most probably be one of the first stores we visit once they open as little J loves browsing all the squashie toys and will probably pick up another lunch bag and water bottle too. 

Michelle
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6 in 1 Solar Recycler | Review and Giveaway

11 March 2021

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Disclosure - We were sent a 6 in 1 Solar Recycler for the purpose of this post. Any thoughts, opinions or photographs are our own. 

To celebrate British Science Week I have teamed up with Wicked Uncle to give away a 6 in 1 Solar Recycler kit. The 6 in 1 Solar Recycler kit is an eco-friendly kit which allows you to build six moving models using household recyclable items.

6 in 1 Solar Recycler


Powered by natural sunlight, the models are easy to make up and build using old recycled items with the various kit parts, including a solar panel, motor and instructions. Have fun recycling a drinking can to create an impressive walking robot with googly eyes or make a twin-can street roller. Reuse empty water bottles to build a bottle yacht, drumming robot and flying bird or recycle those old CDs to make the cool-looking CD racer. A great beginners' introduction to solar power technology, whilst having fun stretching the imagination and inventing your own creations. All powered up by simply sitting on the window-sill, a truly brilliant kit.

If you would like to win your own 6 in 1 Solar Recycler the complete the entry form below and remember to pop back daily for bonus chances to win. 

Good Luck


Michelle
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Quizzie The Robot Giveaway

6 February 2021

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Disclosure - We received a Quizzie for the purpose of this post and also another for a giveaway prize. All thoughts, opinions and photographs are our own. 

Quizzie The Robot


We are now the owners of a Quizzie Robot and he certainly cheered us up last week. Quizzie is a cute little robot standing approx 10cm tall with the cutest of faces however he does have a cheeky streak, so beware. 

Quizzie The Robot


Quizzie has three game modes that are all equally as fun and easy to play. 

Quizzie The Robot

Quizzie The Robot


Yes / No
Record up to five yes / no questions and then pass to a friend or family member so they can answer them. Quizzie will play back your question and the player has to guess if the answer is yes or no and press the corresponding button. If they guess correctly they can move on to the next question but if not then they will be squirted with water. 

Memory Game
Quizzie will change his face and you have to remember which face he was showing you. Was he smiling, winking or sad? Guess wrong and its a squirt of water in the face for you. 

Lucky Chance
This is a little like pass the bomb. You pass Quizzie between players and if he stops on you then prepare to get wet. 

Quizzie The Robot


I have teamed up with Wicked Uncle to give you the chance to win your own Quizzie Robot. All you need to do is enter our giveaway below using the form and make you sure you keep popping back as I will add bonus chances to win throughout the giveaway. 

Good Luck

Michelle

Competition closes on Sunday 21st February 2021

Entrants must have a valid UK address. 

Bulk, third party or any other entries using automated software will be disqualified. 

All entrants and entries are checked and verified. 

1 lucky winner will be chosen at random by the Gleam application. 

Playdays and Runways will contact the lucky winners within 7 days of the competition closing. 

The winners will be emailed to the email address given at the time of entering. 

The winners must respond within 28 days, if no response a new winner will be chosen. 

This prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative 

The Prize : Quizzie The Robot

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Trapped Escape Room Game | Perfect For Date Night At Home

6 January 2021

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

Last year was the year of date nights at home. John and I made sure that amongst all the home schooling, late nights in the garden and all the other craziness we got together to have a date night. We would cook for one another, have a movie night, go for a walk or play a game. Playing games is my favourite and last year for the first time we tried out a range of escape room type games that were lots of fun. Just before Christmas we received a lovely bundle of three Trapped games which are family friendly escape room packs. 

man and woman playing an escape room


Each pack has everything you need to turn any room in to an Escape room. The 3 games we received are from series 1 and included

Room 1 - The Art Heist Trapped Escape Room - Puzzle Level Medium
Room 2 - The Bank Job Trapped Escape Room - Puzzle Level Hard
Room 3 - The Carnival Trapped Escape Room - Puzzle Level Easy

trapped escape room game


We are no strangers to Escape rooms and have done a few actual games and also played at home but these were new to us so we started at the beginning with easy. Did we escape The Carnival?

The Carnival is designed for 2-8 players aged 8+

trapped escape room game


In the trapped game The Carnival it is our lifelong dream to work alongside the fabled fortune teller and jaw dropping performers of Muggins Carnival. Soon after we apply for a job the ringmaster invited us to an interview we will never forget....

Nothing is what it seems as we perform admission tests including a series of baffling puzzles and mysteries. We soon were racing head to head to see who was crowned king or queen of The Carnival. 

trapped escape room game


The Carnival was very easy to set up. As I said before you can create your own escape room by popping all the posters and puzzles around the room. You don't have to do this you can just spread them out on a table, the choice is yours. 

When you are ready to start you just dive right in and start solving the puzzles. I won't go in to any detail about the puzzles so not to spoil it. Once you think you have solved a puzzle you can check you have the correct answer by checking the arcade machine. If the answer is there you score the points.

trapped escape room game

trapped escape room game


You might not solve all the puzzles so you can get clues. Each puzzle gives you the chance to have clues and you can use the red clue reader to help you on your way. 

Each Escape room is designed to give you 1-2 hours of play. Between us we managed to complete the easy room in 40 minutes. We worked as a team to solve the puzzles and it was lots of fun.

trapped escape room game


I have teamed up with Trapped Escape Room Games to offer 1 reader the chance to win all 3 games. All you need to do is complete the entry form below and remember to pop back daily for bonus chances to win. 

Good Luck

Michelle

Competition closes on Sunday 24th January 2020

Entrants must have a valid UK address. 

Bulk, third party or any other entries using automated software will be disqualified. 

All entrants and entries are checked and verified. 

1 lucky winner will be chosen at random by the Gleam application. 

Playdays and Runways will contact the lucky winners within 7 days of the competition closing. 

The winners will be emailed to the email address given at the time of entering. 

The winners must respond within 28 days, if no response a new winner will be chosen. 

This prize is non-transferable and there is no cash alternative 

The Prize : Trapped Escape Room Games

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Family Fun With Spin Master Games

17 November 2020

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

One thing we have loved this year is playing board games together as a family. Little J is at the age were he has the concentration to sit for longer without being distracted and enjoys the competitiveness of playing a board game. We have had a lot more free time than usual this year so it's been nice finding something that we all enjoy and we can all do together. Our pile of games has grown over the year and the newest games we added to our collection are Grouch Couch, Headbanz and Beat The Parents. 

a selection of spinster games


Grouch Couch
Ever wonder what happens to those little items that go missing? Now’s your chance to find out and maybe get some things back when Grouch Couch spits out Lost Goodies! 

Grouch Couch


Grouch Couch is a fast paced game that's easy to play and fun for all the family.

Set up is easy. All you need to is pop in the batteries (3x AAA not included) then lift up the middle cushion on the couch to place the counters in. That's it you are ready to play.

grouch couch contents

grouch couch
To play all you need to do is take turns feeding Grouch Couch tasty treats.On your turn roll the dice. The number on the die is the number of treats you need to feed the couch. You place the treats on his cushions and then press the remote-control and see what happens. He might grumble, chomp, burp and (hopefully) eat your treats.

When he does eat your treats, he’ll spit out Lost Goodies (counters you placed in the under the sofa cushion earlier). 

Grumpy Grouch Couch


If you roll the vacuum you collect lost goodies from other players and you’ll want to collect these because the player with the most Lost Goodies when Grouch Couch plays his victory song, wins!


Headbanz
A fun spin on the traditional game 'What Am I?'. Headbanz is a family friendly game that is perfect for games night. 

headbanz contents


Each player pops one of the adjustable headbands on their head. When it is your turn you need to ask questions to try and identify what you are. The other players can only respond yes or no so make sure you ask a good question. 

The three 'What Am I?' cards are Animals, Food or Things. There is a quick guide to glance at if you are stuck and unsure what to ask. It gives you questions to ask for the specific categories. 

headbanz contents


If you guess right before the timer runs out you win a token and the first player to win 3 tokens will be crowned the winner of the game.


Beat The Parents
The head to head family game of questions and challenges. Beat The Parents is a game of adults v kids. Adults need to answer questions correctly to move up the board however the kids have the chance to answer kids questions too so it's anyones game. 

Beat The Parents

Beat The Parents games

Beat The Parents game


It isn't just about questions though as there are challenge spots on the board when the game stops and a challenge needs to be done. 

If you land on a challenge spot you must read the card aloud. It could be 1 player from each team or it could be an all play so everyone joins in. 

Beat The Parents game

Beat The Parents


Once at the top of the board you will reach final challenge you can only advance to the win space by winning the challenge first. 

The first team to enter the win space is crowned the winner of Beat The Parents. 


If you are looking for some gift inspiration this Christmas you can read more about Grouch Couch, Headbanz and Beat The Parents over on our Christmas Gift Guide - For The Kids as well as lots of other ideas. 

Michelle
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Discover The World Game | Review

22 September 2020

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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.

Boys playing Discover The World Game
Over the past few weeks we have been racing around the world, visiting different countries and learning lots of facts as we go and we haven't even left the house. We have been playing Discover The World game, not only is it fun for all the family, it's educational too.

Boys playing Discover The World Game



The Aim Of The Game
To be the first person to collect 10 destination cards.

Before You Start
Discover The World game by Fiesta Crafts is aimed at children aged 7+ up to Adult. You can play with 2-6 players and set up is very easy. All you need to do is open your map of the world game board, shuffle the destination cards, arrival cards and journey cards and you are ready to play.

Boys playing Discover The World Game



How To Play
Each player takes a coloured token and places it on any country of their choice on the board, this is your starting point. Once deciding on your starting point is done each player picks up a destination card. The destination card is the country that you need to visit. You can show other players your card if you wish.

Play begins once every player has chosen a starting point and has a destination card. You can decide amongst yourselves who goes first, we usually each take a roll of the dice and highest roller wins.

On your turn you roll the dice. If you roll a 1,2,3,4 or 5 you move that number of countries from where you are starting. For example if you are in France and roll a 2 you can move your piece to two connecting countries in the direction of your destination card country. Play continues until a player reaches their destination.

Journey and Arrival Cards



Journey Cards
If you roll a 6 on your turn you do not move that number of spaces you have to pick up a journey card. Each card has different instructions to follow. It may let you add moves on to your dice roll or it could send you on a detour to a different country.

Arrival Cards
Once you arrive at your destination you have to pick up an arrival card. There will be instructions on how to claim or not claim your destination. You may have to challenge another player if so whoever wins will get your destination card.

Discover The World Game



Win The Game
Once a player has claimed 10 destinations the game is over and the player is the winner.

Boy holding up a fact card




You can adapt the game to the ability or attention span of the players. We started with a player just needing to claim 3 destinations to win. Also the destination cards are full of fun facts about the countries which we enjoyed reading too.

You can find out more about Discover The World Game by visiting Fiesta Crafts or you can buy online at Amazon.


Michelle
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Intelino Smart Train Review

16 September 2020

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

Intelino Train Track

We have always enjoyed playing with train sets. From when Big J was little we still have both the wooden and plastic Thomas the Tank Engine sets that come down from the loft from time to time. Of course times have moved on and although the classics are usually the best there is also room to add and innovate these days with technology. 


Intelino Smart Train

Intelino have developed the 'Smart Train' which looks to build on the classic set with a number of add-ons that can help children's development in STEM and in coding, which is really popular at the moment. 

Intelino Smart Train track pieces

The starter set itself contains the Train and Wagon, 20 pieces of track, 40 colour snaps and some stickers to decorate your train. You can also buy extra packs containing track, snaps and there is also an adaptor set that you can buy that will allow you to add the intelino set to your existing wooden train track. 

Intelino Train and Track

Intelino Train and Track

Set up is easy. The track pieces snap together easily and you have enough to create a reasonably complex track if you wish. The train requires a charge before first use, but does last a long time before needing charging again.  The snaps, which are the coding instructions for the train to follow snap into the track really easily and come out again just as easily. 

The Smart train offers two different ways to play. You can choose to use a device such as an Ipad to control everything, or you can use the snaps alone to code instructions onto the track that the train will then follow. its good to have an option that is device free to give some time away from the screen. 

track pieces

To use the Snaps, you first start with a white snap piece that tells the train an instruction is coming. Next you use a combination of colours from the instruction sheet to give instructions.  You can choose the speed from three settings, tell the train to go left, right or straight on at an intersection, make the train stop, make the train drop off the wagon, make the train make different sounds and also change the lighting on the train. You can even put the train into reverse.  Its amazing to see how the train reacts quickly to the snaps, especially when you put a sequence of instructions one after the other. 

ipad

Intelino Train Track

When in device mode, you need to download the intelino app, pair the train within the app via bluetooth and then you have a very simple control panel to control everything. You can control the same things as you can with snaps all at the touch of the screen. The added benefit of pairing with the app is the ability to design your own snap instructions. This gives an extra layer of complexity for the child, and we loved the idea of choosing our own instruction for the train. 

Intelino Train and Track

Intelino Train

Overall, the Intelino Smart Train is great on its own, or when combined with your existing wooden set.  We haven't added the wooden set in yet as we wanted to explore everything that the set can do before hand. Little J has really enjoyed playing with the set and creating his own tracks, and it's been good to see him using his imagination with the snaps and coding and develop an understanding of how programs work in a simple way. 

To read more visit Intelino or view the range to buy on Amazon.

If you would like to be in with the chance to win your very own Intelino Smart Train Starter Set then all you need to do is complete the entry form below. Make sure you pop back every day after 8:30pm and check the entry form for extra chances to win. 


John
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Geomag Mechanics Gravity Magnetic Track | Review

21 July 2020

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

Mechanics Gravity Magnetic Track

Little J is now at the age were he doesn't really enjoy playing with 'toys' anymore. He is more interested in technology and building and he loves to learn. Over the past few weeks we have introduced STEM in to our daily routine and little J has enjoyed creating the Geomag Gravity Magnetic Track.

Geomag Mechanics helps children to explore the world of the magical invisible forces of magnetism and gravity. Gravity represents an innovative evolution in the Geomag Mechanics products available. The “Gravity Motor” in the new range uses the weight of the Geomag spheres to trigger movement in the Mechanics constructions and there is no need for electric or battery motors.


Mechanics Gravity Magnetic Track

The Magnetic Track comes with 115 pieces and is suitable for those 7+ which is the perfect age range for little J. The idea behind the set is you can construct a track using various different pieces to create a magnetic cannon that fires a ball around the track and then a magnetic catcher catches the ball before it falls off the track. This is easier said than done.

Boy playing with Mechanics Gravity Magnetic Track

Boy playing with Mechanics Gravity Magnetic Track

The instructions manual gives you the choice of two models to build and little J chose model 2 first. After following all the steps and with a lot of adult help and supervision the track took 90 minutes to build.

It's not particularly hard to build but there are a lot of steps and also a lot of 'fiddly' bits which sometimes did not fit right on the track or into the adding piece.

Boy playing with Mechanics Gravity Magnetic Track

Boy playing with Mechanics Gravity Magnetic Track

It was a relief when it was finally built and it was great to see our ball whizzing around the track using the magnetic cannon.

We have yet to build model 1 but little J is looking forward to it so that's a good sign.

What We Loved
Giving little J some understanding of how magnets work.
The chance to work together to create the track.
Sense of achievement at the end.
Watching the ball whizz around the track.

What Could Improve
Some of the pieces did not fit together properly which can lead to frustration.

The Mechanics Gravity is a truly STEM product, stimulating all levels of scientific exploration and I know it will make home schooling more fun over the Summer. For more information about the Gravity range head over to Geomag.

Michelle
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