Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots

It is all in the name with these new dolls! Tinsy winsy weeny tots are small, tiny, little baby dolls that fit in the palm of your hand!

Our girls love to have something to collect and these dolls will not disappoint as there is 15 in total. They look very lifelike with great detail on their faces with lovely little expressions and of course, they have squashy soft bodies so they are great for hugging.

Another lovely touch is that each Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tot comes with his or hers own hospital wrist tag with its name and date of birth which is another feature that our girls loved.

The box the individual babies come in double up as a cardboard cot for them. They have lovely tiny outfits for them to wear and they come with a little toy, We had Baby Mia dress in a pink pajama outfit with a rattle and baby Logan dressed in a blue baby grow with his own ball. Some of the other outfits on the other babies are very cute with Millie on a rabbit snowsuit and India in a pink bedy bag and her hat has ears on.

Along with the 15 different Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tots to collect there are 3 accessory sets complete with a doll too, we have a lovely out and about set with a pram with a moving handle nappy and nappy bag everything your little one will need to take their Tinsy Winsy Weeny Tot out and about. There is also a Bedtime set with a lovely crib and the collectors case is a compact carry case has different compartments to put your baby dolls in their cots, drawers and cupboards to keep all their clothes and accessories and a fold out nusery comes with another doll and a selection of accessories including a bath and both great to keep theTinsy Winsy Weeny Tot up together

The individual tots are £7.99 each and the sets start at £14.99 these are great for birthday or christmas gifts with an age range of 3 to 7 years old these are available to buy from smyths.

 

The Very Best From LeapFrog?!

We all know we are huge LeapFrog fans. Their products are second to none and they offer so much in the way of learning and play to children of all ages. But this Christmas LeapFrog are looking to find out what you think they have done best.

They want to hear from you, so head on over to their facebook page and cast your votes now!

Of course we have a few of our favourites here t show you. Games and books that both my girls LOVE. So lets start with the Leap reader. 

The Leapreader is a system that helps and encourages children of all ages to read. If they gets stuck on a certain word, the pen helps them to read the word. So they can read and learn independently.

leap reader

So, our favourites from the LeapReader range are Best friends from Thomas and friends which teachers position words and friendship. This one will be great for Eve, at the stage she is at she needs to start looking at words and how they look.

Second is Livs favourite. Sofia the first, a princess thing. It teaches understanding characters and listening comprehension. She loves to read this to her sister. They are both huge Sofia fans, so this was always going to be included. In my eyes, a must have from the range.

Finally from the Leapreader range is Jake and the Never land Pirates, which teaches number recognition and counting objects. Something which Evie is really in to right now. It also helps she is a huge fan of the show, so it keeps her reading along for longer.

leap pad 2

Next is the LeapPad games. Evie is probably the biggest fan of the LeapPad. The games are perfect for her ages and she really does learn along with them. She is a bright little girly, but doesn’t like you to know it.

Livs firm favourite is the My little pony Friendship magic, mathematics game. This game teaches probability, multiplication, adding and subtracting and percentages. It is for the ages 5-8, so perfect really. She is really able to get to grips with number on her own. Something she loves to do.

Next is the Frozen reading game. This game teaches word building, grammar, handwriting and spelling. Evie likes to copy this game as it goes. She struggles to do the tasks,  but they are more suitable for when she is in reception. So this game will grow with her and hopefully give her that little edge.

Lastly is Jake and the never land pirates Maths game. We love Jake. You can probably tell. And this game is fantastic for Evie. It teaches number recognition, sorting, shapes and counting. So perfect for little ones just starting out with maths. I think games like this will help give your little one the edge when they move into school. Another wonderful thing about Leapfrog.

Finally, we have the new and the wonderful LeapTV.

leap tv

The LeapTV has so much to offer. From gameplay, learning and hand-eye coordination.

Firstly is Blaze and the monster machines science game. I think me and Eve love Blaze the most. In fact I am sat here singing it. This game is wonderful for problem solving (and keeping Eve calm at the same time) simple machines, number recognition and physical science. It is the perfect game to ease kids into science and a little bit of maths.

Then Doodle craft. This is something Daddy and the girls love doing together. It teaches creative expression (something Liv is wonderful with) Art and drawing, spatial reasoning and sorting and classifying. The game enables you to build and create your own world. With missions and the ability to design whatever you like, it helps them remember to have fun with it!

Lastly is the Frozen game. This teaches number sequence, place value, addition and subtraction and 2D and 3D shapes. This has been great for Liv now she is looking at shapes more. She already loves the characters, so they fact she can play along with them and learn at the same time is a huge thing for her.

So. These are out favourite titles from the different systems. Make sure to try them out and don’t forget to vote for your favourite!!!!!

Throwing The Ultimate Halloween PARTY!

Halloween is becoming more and more part of something we do in the UK. Every year there is more and items that you can find to you parties and get together. I have put a collection together of some of the things that are out there for your own Halloween party.

In our, house we have always carved pumpkins ever since I can remember and there was the odd disco in the village around Halloween, and we never had trick or treaters at our house until I moved to town as my drive was too long and dark and no one would dare to come up. I love this time of year so I decided that it was time we had our own party!! so we have sent the invites and planned the food and party games all ready for Sunday.

Here are a few on the products that we were given to review to make our party go off with a bang!!!

First there is the food, chocolate and cakes always go down a treat. We like to make as much as we can from Chocolate Eclairs and meringue ghosts to gingerbread cats, pumpkins and ghosts and Chocolate marshmallow crispy cakes!! Dr Oetker have a great range of cooking products to help with any event you are planning or just a bit of home cooking. With ready made icing in handy tubs which are great for the children to help decorate and a large range of decoration too. There are also the things you can’t see like a full range of flavorings from good old vanilla to anything like peppermint! Also, a great thing product is the egg white powder which was great for the meringue  and with no leftover yolks!! all great and easy to use and a lot of the products come with recipe cards which are great to try out. ranges from 99p

oetker

What party is not complete without chocolate and with it being Halloween there are great for the trick or treaters. Cadburys do there fun-size bars which are ideal for them or to go in a pinata well too! just enough chocolate to make you feel like you have had some without going over the top. great for the little ones too. Cadburys do a line in Halloween novelty chocolates  which add a little something different. The scream eggs went down a treat and only one made it to the party!! they are cream eggs but the fondant is green!! and crunchy spiders which are chocolate spiders with green crunchy bits in them, giving that real Halloween feel! available from around £1.30

cadburys

The drink this is for adults only want to impress your friends with cocktails at your party or just have them at home without all the hassle of getting the ingredients and getting it right! well look no further than Funkin Cocktails, they are cocktails mixers in a cartoon ready for you to add the alcohol and ice and that pink umbrella all easy and simple to follow so you have more time to spend with your guests for just relaxing and they can easily be turned into themed cocktails like Zombie Run using the Funkin Brazilian mixer and some rum and Grenadine looks and tastes great. All the cocktails are made from 100% natural and only sun-ripened fruit so all natural flavour and goodness is retained. Retails at £2.99

funkin

Now for the decoration most shops these days have a Halloween range and we were lucky enough to get some samples from Morrisons, they have a huge range and items for all pockets so whether it is just some sweets for the trick or treaters, or you want to give them something a little different why not try their gingerbread charters, mummy’s or decorate your own and shortbread witches which went down great at the party too. Well the witch didn’t make it!!! For those party bags they have also sorts of things the pumpkin and torches were great and of course, we all love a Halloween glow stick. Morrisons also do everything you need from face paints and outfits, to food and decorations for the house along with the trick or treat novelty baskets for your little trick or treats to collect their goods in.

morrisons

Aldi have good range of items to help with the party we were lucky enough to have a some scary products to help make out party a little more scary are great doorbell that will even shook grandpa! the kids thought this was funny!! and a scary funnily dressed dancing skeleton. That all important snack tray for the party. Aldi do a huge range to of halloween stuff from outfits to food and not forgetting the all important pumpkin!!

ALDI

A party is never complete without a talking point and for this we have the most perfect Trick or Treat Balloon from BubbleGun Balloons. This company is amazing, they do the most unique and affordable Balloon bouquets or singles. When the box arrived I expected something small, the usual foil balloon, but on opening the huge box the most fantastic Balloon popped out!

It is huge, the string/bunting adds the best touch and it will just make the room look perfect!

ballloon

Costumes, no party is complete without people in costumes. Mainly the children, they love a good costume. Peacocks have a fabulous range of Halloween costumes this year, they are so unique and beautiful. I am a little jealous if I’m honest 😛 They have really nailed it this year, with something for every child. The clothing is also incredibly well made, being from a company that already makes clothes, it’s too be expected, but still sometimes dressing up outfits can be a little flimsy. But Peacocks have it covered!

liv

One I personally think is perfect to add something special to any outfit, a wig. Now I know like costumes, some synthetic wigs can be very, well naff, but Wag In A Bag from Stranded wigs have got the answer. Their stunning synthetic wigs are top quality, they are easy to brush, fabulous fitting to head with the means to make it the perfect size with the adjuster inside. They also keep really well in their “bags” which is great for storage. I think I have become a firm fan of Wag In Bag from Stranded wigs, they will be my go-to place for wigs for any occasion.

wig

With the final touches come from facepaint and added extras. Smiffys is a trusted brand who delivers on the special effects makeup front. With single paints, spirit gum and face sets, Smiffys has everything you need to set your look apart from the rest. Even I remember Smiffys as a child, our local joke shop was loaded with fabulous and unique products, things the still carry on their online shop.

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Next we have Hexbug and their Halloween goodies. Hexbugs are a classic, their vibrations make them scuttle around in a crazy but awesome fashion. They have a spooky range of bugs perfect for the spooky season! The perfect Hexbug NANO…

“The HEXBUG Nano is a tiny, collectible, micro robotic creature that uses the physics of vibration to propel forward and explore its environment. Powered by a tiny motor, and 12 fixed, angular legs, the industrious critter traverses the ground beneath it and quickly navigates through the most complex mazes. Possessing an uncanny sense of balance, it can even flip to its feet and zoom forward when turned on its back! When coming into contact with an object in its path, the energetic insect will switch directions and scurry away on a new path due to its persistent random behaviour. “

hex bug

We have games at our party which means prizes!! we want spooky ones look no further than

Zombie apocalypse egg cup, spoon and toast cutter great also for a gift to for anyone who is into their zombies! The cutter can be used to guns, axes and swords out of your bread (instead of soldiers). With the egg cup the egg becomes the head of the zombie so when you break it open with the shovel spoon it looks like the head has been cracked!! Great product from £5.99

eggpocalyse

Or how about Weird slime workshop or Blood and guts workshop from Wild Science, these are a great gift or prize for party games in your own Halloween party. There are a range of science experiments to do in your own home safely. These are not just for Halloween they can be for any occasion. Everything you need in the box with instructions. Great to get your children interested in science or when they are asking Why!! you can let them find out for themselves. from around £8

special fx

One last little thing to give to your guests or even the older trick or treaters these are great Pechkers Misfortune cookies, a take on Fortune cookies but with a twist. They taste great and then what fortune will you be told!! They are the opposite from normal fortune cookies, with brutal honesty, crude and pessimistic, they are not at all positive!!! but they are loads of fun and something a little different 13 cookies dark cookies with dark humor. £13 for 13 cookies!! 

fortune cookies

Now we are all ready for the most spooky Halloween party, please keep an eye or three out ready for the video!!!!

 

Super Mario Maker

mario maker

Since I first played Super Mario Bros on the NES, (my second console that would lead to an obsession and lead me to lose interest and unplug my Commodore 64.. only to desperately want to own a C64 again 24 years later) I always dreamed of levels that could be added to what was already a great platformer, and making levels for it. Since then, I fantasised about becoming a game developer for many years to come, (school never gave me the guidance or path I wanted to take, and also explain the importance of my hatred of Maths would have to do with physics in video game development). Which regrettably, I never fulfilled.

24 years on, the Mario franchise is an unbelievable 30 years old. Spanning over 20 games on more than 11 platforms. Mario, is undoubtfully Nintendo’s most recognised mascot.

September 2015 brought my wildest childhood dreams to life in ways far greater than I could have imagined possible. Nintendo hands the level creator to YOU, the player. It has been a painful wait over nearly 3 years since the announcement of my most anticipated game ever. But the updates, extra features and content have been so worth holding out for.
Super Mario Maker allows you to create your OWN levels of Super Mario, on not just 1, but 4 Super Mario games
Super Mario Bros
Super Mario Bros 3
Super Mario World
New Super Mario Bros
This is not exactly new news to anyone that has followed the progress and updates from Nintendo on Super Mario Maker, but perhaps the most mind-blowing feature is that you can switch between the 4 Level modes at the push of a button (or 3). Just take a moment to think about that. It’s incredible!
So far there is no sign of Super Mario Bros 2 being added to the concoction (and it’s something I’m desperate to see added), but I wouldn’t rule it out with DLC being a possible gateway in the future.

So what we have with Super Mario Maker is a tool Palette full of wonderful items.
Originally it’s purpose was an interface tool for Shigeru Miyaoto and Takashi Tezuka. Preloaded with items, they could quickly select an Icon they required to make the level creation process quicker and easier for themselves. They quickly realised what they had created could be a tool, Anyone could use, to make a Super Mario game… So that’s exactly what they did!
You start with a blank canvas level and you need to fill it. The world is your oyster. (making this a haven for Trolling users with extremely difficult, but intuitive and ingenious levels. But worry not! Not every level will be a gargantuan task, and there are level ratings to suit your pace ). Taking full advantage of the Wii U pad’s touchscreen and stylus, you touch and drag items to position on screen. These items can be made bigger, wider and taller. You can double items up and give special abilities to them. While touching and dragging an item, be sure to give it a shake by rubbing the stylus back and forth on the touchscreen. There are many surprises and variants to be discovered for most items. Some items keep on giving the more times you shake them.
Some items (enemies included) available in the tool palette were not present in some of the games, though very cleverly they have been reimagined to how they would have looked on the games, had they been in them.. at the time.
You will find a lot of items can be mixed, and playing around will lead to a wide variety of discovery. For example without giving the game away too much, dropping a mushroom on an enemy will make them grow, just like it would with Mario. Enemies can also be dropped into question boxes to trick your friends and family when they attempt your creations.
On the level creation, you will be able to choose from not only your chosen Mario game mode, but also level mode. Whether it be the standard land-based levels, to underground, underwater, Lava levels, ghost house, airship and so on.
Throughout level design, you can test the levels. This is handy for calculating jumps and avoidance of obstacles. Mario will be replicated many times as a ghost image so you can perfect your landings, or alternatively, give players a feeling of doom with near misses. Again alternatively you can also encourage players to blind jump/leap of faith onto hidden platforms.

The key to making your masterpiece level… will be down to practice, discovery, and playing other users levels for inspiration. Your first level is unlikely to represent anything near what you always imagined it being, but don’t be deterred and don’t be too harsh on yourself.
One huge thing I was hoping for was the world map level hub of each game, and World hub creation tool, to actually add your levels too.
While this does exist, it’s nothing like I had hoped. There is nothing more satisfying on the games than roaming the world maps avoiding or facing sub-bosses and going into bonus areas.
Mario 10 challenge and the 100 challenges are interesting options. As the name suggests, you have the option of 10 or 100 lives to try to beat a set of levels.
Amiibo compatibility
Amiibo’s being a function for unlocks on many Wii U games now, makes an exception to Super Mario Maker. On my last count, over 70 Amiibo characters have compatibility to Super Mario Maker. That is a lot of fun and surprise to be had. Be sure to do your home work and see if any Amiibo can do more than one function.
Amiibo collector’s cards
Amiibo Collector’s cards, is a fantastic idea for a few reasons. Like many collectables, the price varies, depending on, age of the item, the amount of each figure in this case, is made. And the popularity. These reasons can rocket the price of a figure as they become highly sought after for collectors.
Quite possibly as a clever retalliation to an aftermarket Amiibo clone, (which is a common occurence in the video game market when unknown companies want to cash-in on the next big thing) that has a pretty hefty price tag nearly equalling nearly the cost of 4 regular Amiibo, the Amiibo Collector’s cards were announced. They will be released in waves similar to it’s brother version and will include uncommon to rare amiibo figures, as well as the more common.
The Amiibo cards will still have the NFC fucntion that is found in the figures. They will not only save you a good few pounds on even the most affordable Amiibo’s but will create a new wave of card collecting again. They will look great in card holder walletts, while keeping their condition and all Amiibo verions will be to hand. I also predict that well kept Amiibo card collections will grow in value in the next couple of decades.

TY Friends Game.

We are great loves of all things small and all things soft and cuddly at the moment, and having family time all of us together without any tablets, computers and tv, having fun the old fashion way!

ty friends

The TY Friends game is a great board from around £9.99 and for ages 3-6 years and from 2-6 players. It is based on the new small TY beanies that are now available not the older ones that I knew when I was young, which the girls love and collect as there are many different animals to collect and only being around £2 they make great pocket money toys.

The game is based on the memo game teaching the children shapes, colours and numbers the first person to find the three missing friends wins!!

The colourful pieces makes learning fun and exciting while also being durable and able to be handled easily. The rules are easy to follow and the little ones picked it up easily and quickly and they were able to play with their friends without us having to explain the rules.