All posts tagged craft

Gel-a-peel sparkle bead station

Published March 29, 2017 by Bizzimummy

This is the latest product from the creators of gel-a-peel. Gel-a-peel is the craft gel/glue product which can be used for multiple crafts including jewellery. 

Inside the box is 3 tubes of sparkly gel-a-peel, jewellery elastic string, jewellery accessories and the design station itself. 

Gel-a-peel is recommended for children ages 8 and over. It can be used by younger children with supervision. I do let Izebella have a go with the gels sometimes and she was happy to try out the new product with Jordanna. 

This can be used with the templates just like previous gel-a-peel products or on the design station rods.

One rod gets placed on the station and gel gets applied to the rod to make little beads (as above). It is better to make the beads as close together as possible so that it’s easier to remove them when dry. The rods turn round making it a little easier and a little less messier to apply the gel.

The designs shown on the outside of the box look really good but unfortunately ours didn’t quite turn out as good as those. This is one of my girls creations .

It is not as easy as it sounds as the beads just did not turn out the right shape or size plus some of them came apart when we removed them from the rods.

I think Jordanna preferred decorating her phone instead. 

It costs £24.99 to buy the gel-a-peel design studio. I don’t think it is something I would really go out and purchase again as my girls found it quite difficult, Jordanna being 9 and Izebella being just 4. Even I could not make the rod beads much better when I had a go.

However if you are slightly more artistic or have kids who are then they may get more out of it than we did. 

Kinetic rock crusher

Published March 14, 2017 by Bizzimummy

If you have children who are familiar with kinetic sand then this set is similar. Kinetic sand being the all new sand that you can mould and shape with minimal mess. This set uses kinetic rock, which does the same thing as the sand, just a gritty rock version.

With the kinetic rock crusher set we got a bag of kinetic rock, a digger truck, cement turning type device, a Lego man, fold out play area and the odd few other small parts.

The box doubles up as a mini cardboard construction site and even has its own sign. The truck needs assembly, the wheels and digger part all need attaching and there is a bucket/tipped which sits on the back of it. 

The little lego type figure is pretty useless. It’s like something found in a kinder egg that you put the arms, legs and head on. The arms constantly fall off and it’s so small that it will easily be lost. 

The kinetic rock does feel rather strange. It is rough and gritty in the hand yet soft enough to squish and mould into shapes. There is one small mould included to make a boulder, would of been nice to have a few more. 

Any moulds made with kinetic rock, or even sand; stays in shape until broken apart. This is the good thing about the kinetic stuff, unlike other sand products it doesn’t get everywhere, (tho it’s not completely mess free) and it stays in the shape you mould it to.

The digger truck can be used to transport the sand just like the real thing. Unfortunately the digger part does have to be moved manually by hand, there is no button and no batteries or controls to operate the truck so it is just a play accessory. The mixer turns by a handle and the rock can be placed inside and churned out, but it does sometimes get stuck. 

This kit is suitable for children aged 3 and over. I was not too sure if this would be Izebellas thing as she is more into dolls, dressing up and girly things rather than digger trucks but she absolutely loves it and always wants it out. 

The rock can get in the carpet and it can stick to socks which gets quite uncomfortable. The best way to pick it up before the hoover gets it is to form a ball of the rock and stick it to the loose bits in the carpet. I do find it comes up fairly easily so the mess is minimal.

As for the price – I have browsed a few online toy stores plus Amazon and the price tends to be the same throughout from £18 – £20. If I’m being totally honest I do think this is slightly overpriced. The bag of kinetic rock is not huge, Izebella will get a few plays from it but the amount gets smaller with each play due to spills. The accessories are all plastic toys which could easily be bought anywhere and the box play scene is just cardboard which won’t last long. If I was to consider buying this set as a present then I think £12.00 would be more reasonable for this. 

Aquabeaders bracelet set

Published February 23, 2017 by Bizzimummy

Jordanna is now really getting the hang of the aquabeaders sets and tends to attempt to make something most days. She has literally hundreds, probably thousands of the tiny beads in her sets and yes they get everywhere but it seems to keep her busy.

She’s had a few sets and refill packs and her latest one this month is the bracelet set. Yes who would of guessed that bracelets can be made with aquabeads. The bracelet set is a small refill pack costing just a few pounds but it does contain hundreds of coloured beads, a few templates and a bracelet to put the finished dried bead creations on. 

Because of the included bracelet, this set is a little different to what she had had before. The concept is the same, she follows a template with coloured beads, sprays water and leaves to set. 

Once set the aquabeader bracelet creation can be attached to the included bracelet. However this can get really tricky as it needs to be really dry and well stuck or they just fall apart as Jordanna found a few times. But! the whole idea seems good.  Not all the designs have to go on the bracelet either as only one is included so there are other rather pretty templates to create. 

As it’s a refill kit, anyone using it will need one of the aquabeaders trays which come as bigger sets usually as the trays have tiny wholes which the templates fit under and beads go on top.  Once you have the tray, there are many themed refill packs to choose from and for just a few pound, this is a pretty good bargain which little girls will love making. 

Lalaloopsy fluff n stuff & more Christmas crafting 

Published December 2, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Lalaloopsy Mittens Fluff ‘n’ Stuff Doll is busy sewing snowflakes into her dress, because there’s a princess ball coming to Lalaloopsy Land! Mittens and her friends have sewn their unique style into their magical gowns. They Lalaloopsy Mittens Fluff ‘n’ Stuff Doll was sewn on December 21st and has been sewn from an eskimo’s scarf.

This is Izebellas new Lalaloopsy doll and it also happens to be the first one she’s had herself. Big sister Jordanna is now getting a bit too old for dolls which is a shame as this is a lovely doll.

Bright blue hair style and matching blue dress and shoes. Her arms and legs fully moveable and she comes with a little pet too. Those big button eyes are just adorable too we think. Like all Lalaloopsy dolls, this one also comes with her own personality and story of when she was created. 

As well as a new doll for Izebella, we got a little Xmas snowflake decorating kit too and some sparkly bits to make it. Izebella made this star by herself. 

And on the tree it now proudly hangs! 

The lalaloopsy dolls make lovely friends for little girls everywhere and can be found in many toy stores before making their way to Santa. The new fluff n stuff dolls cost between £15-£20 depending on the store.

Aquabeads minnie mouse playse

Published November 17, 2016 by Bizzimummy

This is our latest Aquabeads kit featuring images of the loveable Minnie mouse. This kit, like others comes with hundreds of small coloured and jewelled beads to create beaded figures. 

It comes with its own tough plastic case to store the beads in, Jordanna now has 2 bead cases but they really do come in handy as she has so many different coloured beads and it can be annoying if they become muddled up. 

There are 3 stencil cards, water spray, mouse gave bead stencil and some bows to add to the designs. 

Just like other Aquabead kits, the stencil card goes under the plastic lid and you follow the coloured design with matching beads.

If your reading this and have never tried Aquabeads before then I’ll be totally honest and tell you it’s far from easy, it can also be quite frustrating at times but kids will be proud of their completed designs. The beads are tiny and therefore awkward to pick up, you get a bead pen grabber with this kit but I find this useless. I will say, if you have long nails, or in my case – acrylic nails then you may find this much easier like I do. 

Although Aquabeads are aimed more towards older girls such as Jordanna (age 9), this did not stop little sister (age 4) wanting a go. This is the first time I let her try and she did a pretty good job too. She attempted the bow image and did this without any help at all.

And then it was my turn. This took me a while as the beads kept moving out of place. I left it overnight to dry out too. It is probably the largest one I have managed to successfully complete so far. 

You do need a steady hand and a fair bit of patience for aquabeads but it does get easier the more you practice.

The Minnie Mouse playset costs between £14-£20.


Build a Bear workshop

Published October 13, 2016 by Bizzimummy

My children have often walked past a Build a Bear store and been quite fascinated by the huge bear stuffing machines on show. Build a Bears are lovely but when you have three children, it can work out very expensive to buy them one each along with the clothing and accessories.

Spinmaster toys have bought out this unique Build a Bear workshop which is based around the actual stuffing machines seen in stores. It gives a cheaper option to make bears and all in your own home too.

With the Build a Bear workshop, your child/children get to make two bears. The kit includes the stuffing station, 2 bags of stuffing, 2 bears, clothes, note hearts and accessories. As well as the workshop we also got an extra Bear kit meaning we could make three bears – one each and I guess that makes me Goldilocks! 

The bears start off looking very flat and not much like teddy bears at all.

The stuffing machine is manual operation so no batteries to worry about or leads. The stuffing goes in the top and the back of the bear on the device, turn the handle and the stuffing goes in.

The bears are smaller than the ones you would probably purchase from the store but each one comes with the Build a Bear logo plus a certificate which you fill out for your child with names and dates. 

Each one also comes with a t-shirt and the heart. The heart is a small heart shaped trinket where a child can write their wishes on paper, fold it up and place the heart inside the bear.

My children really enjoyed the Bear workshop and are happy to all have a bear each (even Ryan). The workshop costs between £20-£25 depending on the store and extra kits around £13.00. It is fun, however once the bears have been made the stuffing station becomes a little useless unless you go out and buy multiple extra kits, and kids don’t need too many teddy bears. I think it would be a lovely idea to perhaps buy it for small birthday parties and maybe let guests make a Bear rather than a party bag. The bears are quite small too and once the novelty wears off will probably end up at the bottom of the toy box. It is really one of those one use type of toys but lots of fun while it lasts.

Aquabeads meets Sylvanian families

Published September 13, 2016 by Bizzimummy

As you may already know we were recently chosen to review both Aquabeads and Sylvanian families, neither of which need much explanation as they are both very popular toys. 

This time the two brands join together bringing us a Sylvanian Aquabeads kit.

This is just one of the many themed refill kits to be used with the beginners studio which Jordanna already has. It contains hundreds more beads and a few templates, all with images of Sylvanian families.

The biggest template being a large house which we have not yet attempted. Jordanna did make a few smaller bead designs.

She finds the larger designs more difficult as the beads are tiny and tend to end up in the wrong place. If she uses her fingers then the beads get sweaty and sticky. I have come to a conclusion that she may be doing it all wrong. She starts from the outside of the images and I think it would work better if she began bang in the middle instead.

Anyway she was very happy with more templates to use and many more beads to go with it.

This refill theme set can be purchased between £5-£10 at most good toy stores.

Pom Pom wow 

Published May 24, 2016 by Bizzimummy

I first saw the Pom pom wow set at this years blog on conference at the end of last month. It involves decorating cute little Pom poms which can then be stuck to many surfaces. I knew my 8 year old daughter would love this and o wasn’t wrong either. Needless to say I was quite happy when we got sent the set.

” Pom Pom WOW! Is the new way to beautify your world by placing pom-poms on anything and everything! Create scenes, imagery, unique and complex shapes, messages and even custom pom-poms.”

The large box it comes in is actually quite deceptive as the unit itself is fairly small in comparison.

This plastic case then opens up to reveal the Delux Dip and Create Station.

This comes almost assembled as per photograph above. What we needed to do was attach the tape roll which consists of glue dots, attach the ink stamper,  mixer tray and the Pom Pom trays. Then you can begin.

There are 75 Pom poms per kit. They come in small sealed tubes. To start they get placed in the pink Pom Pom trays. The tray is then attached to the colour station purple clamp and dipped in either ink or paint, add a glue dot, stick and open up the Pom poms, fairly easy. 

We did come across slight problems,getting the Pom Pom pink tray into the clamp is tricky. It sits above the paint and ink pads meaning there isn’t much room to put it in, tho smaller fingers will find it easier. 

Once made the Pom poms will look a little like this. 

They stick to many surfaces with the included glue dots, including wooden frames, furniture, tablet cases, phones, mirrors , toys etc. They are not so great on clothing as Izebella found out. 

Once the Pom poms are made extra colour can be added with included markers and a glue stick. 

The Pom poms can even be stuck together to give a bigger and more original Pom Pom. 

If you get bored of the included paints then the pipette and empty water trays enable the user to make their own colours. This new colour is then added in the smaller unit and colour squirted onto a single Pom Pom with the pipette.
It’s lots of fun for young girls to get creative, Jordanna loves it and enjoys making them for her friends and sister.

Pom Pom wow has its own social media channels.




Pom Pom WOW! Is also taking over from 28th May. 

Join in with the Pom Pom wow fun on Twitter on Tuesday May 31st.

Available in all large toyshops ( The Entertainer, Toys R Us, Smyths) or online at £29.99. Recommended age is 5 and over.


The Original Spirograph

Published April 13, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Being a child, growing up in the 80s; there are many toys and games that I remember well. One of them sticks out a mile and that is Spirograph. If you have never heard of it then you may just have been living under a rock for years. It’s the much loved art kit which has given people like me endless fun of creating fun colourful spirals throughout their childhood. I actually thought Spirograph was an 80s thing, what I did not realise is that it’s actually been around for about 65 years and began in America. 

Spirograph has had numerous facelifts over the many years with multiple sets being brought out. 

And it’s back again! This time from Flair uk with a brand new look and style. 

 This new version comes as a handy carry case which unfolds to reveal over 45 different pieces, including wheels, shapes, pens, paper and putty. 

Spirograph can be defined as mathematical art. Using the wheels, the user can create beautiful circles and shaped patterns, many of which resemble flower shapes. Whilst very pretty art work; there is also a lot of maths behind the toy. The majority of it is beyond my head as it goes into complex rhythms and those advanced math symbols, but the swirls and patterns have their own scientific names, known as hyptrochoids and epitrochoids. Yes I’ve done my homework on this!

Anyway I felt quite bemused giving the Spirograph set to my children and gladly telling them that I too played with Spirograph when I was younger. 

To make it easier the set comes with putty (I don’t recall this being in older sets). The putty helps to hold the rings and wheels in place on the paper and prevent slips, tho slips can still happen. 

The wheels can be placed inside or outside the ring. The pen placed in one of the many wheel holes and then turn the wheel manually to make the patterns. It takes practice but the results can be amazing. 

The Spirograph case doubles up as a handy work station too and the paper fits snuggly inside.

The guide book is pretty useful. It gives pattern ideas and also explains the reasons for all the holes and numbers on the wheel and rings. It’s quite complex but an easy explanation is that you can get many different patterns and swirls using the same wheel and ring just by using a different hole.

This pattern was created by Ryan using the same wheel and ring but using 3 different holes each time and gets a different pattern. 

Some of the wheels come as different shapes other than circles giving endless opportunities for creating.

There are only 3 colour pens with this set, but after a bit of googling I found out the staedtlr pens work perfect with Spirograph sets and Amazon sell them for just £3.50. 

There have been a few frustrations with the wheels slipping even with putty and I find it best to place the unit on a hard surface rather than carpet. It’s early days and kids need more practice to make spiro masterpieces but it certainly keeps them busy. 

They are having lots of practice as Flair is looking for a Spirograph designer of the year competition. You too can take part by visiting to find out how you can enter the Spirograph Young Designer of the Year 2016 competition”.

Buy Spirograph from most good toy stores and Amazon. Prices vary.

Tag Jewellery 

Published February 11, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Jordanna has recently received a Tag Jewellery making kit from Interplay. This set is part of the My Style kits which includes similar sets and all aimed at girls between 8-12 years.  

The thought of making jewellery does sound quite daunting and maybe quite difficult. However this kit is really easy with good instructions throughout. The box contains enough parts to make necklaces, earrings and bracelets. 

Each jewellery piece begins with a lump of clay from the included big block. This clay is really hard at first and needs softening by squashing ans rolling in hands. We started off with an easy necklace. 

The clay is shaped into a rectangle with a hole for the necklace string. Inside the box are tiny letter stamps which include a few symbols such as love hearts and music notes among others. These are imprinted on the clay. Gold or silver dust can be applied and then it goes in the oven to harden. 

 Once baked, and cooled; black paint can be applied to the letters and a varnish can be added. It’s actually a PVA glue stick rather than actual varnish but it does give a slight shine once dried. Just be careful because I squoze the tube too hard and quite a bit came out. The PVA can be mixed with water so not as thick. 

Adding the black string to make a necklace was also pretty easy. It helps to make sure the initial hole in the clay is large enough as it will shrink in the oven. 

There’s a few clasps and joining rings to add to the string but again pretty straightforward and not to fiddly. 

And then in just 40 minutes we have a very fashionable working necklace to wear. 

There are lots of other necklaces and bracelets to be made. Earrings too tho none of my girls have their ears pierced yet. The book gives a few good ideas but it’s always good to come up with your own ideas too.

This kit costs about £12.99 and should be available in many good toy stores. It is surprisingly easy to do.

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