If there is one type of toy that Izebella especially loves to play with then it’s probably Play doh. This stuff needs zero explanaton, it’s been around for years and years and will be here to stay for many more. It’s the stuff that kids love but parents fear, parts stuck or trampled into expensive carpets and that ever so familiar smell – it’s Play doh.
Hasbro have launched some new play doh sets known as kitchen creations.
Kitchen creations give all the fun of cooking for young children but without the mess. We have two sets – The magical oven and a Sizzlin stovetop.
Both sets need batteries as they both make cooking sounds and the oven lights up.
The contents of the sets are similar, both containing several pots of coloured play doh and various play utensils and plates.
Once everything is unpacked and batteries are in, it’s time to start making and creating. There are no real rules when it comes to play doh but my girls had no problems in realising that it’s a kitchen set and play doh food was the main objective here.
The magic oven works via a magic lever which lifts the plate of food up towards the light to cook it. It also makes a ding sound when done. It opens and closes and has a fake time display so it does resemble the real thing in a way.
The sizzlin stovetop does not light up but makes a sizzling sound as if the food was cooking in pans.
Both of these products work really well together and especially so with siblings together as there are lots of items in each one.
I did make the unfortunate mistake of allowing my giddy 4 year old to open and begin to play with the play doh on my living room carpet, oops! It was quickly moved onto a large splash mat in another room.
Yes play doh does get stuck in carpets and especially so deep carpets. It is best played with on an easy clean surface, Lino or wooden floor, table or on a good washable floor covering. As long as parents protect their carpets then this stuff really is not anything to dread or be wary of. It does come out of the carpet with a bit of cleaning and is a safe fun product that most kids love.
Both of these play doh sets are sold at many supermarkets and toy stores including Amazon and The Entertainer. Each set costing between £20-£25 each.
Bobble It, is a new type of creative play colourful material. It’s mess free and lots of fun.
It stretches, moulds and sticks just like play doh but looks and feels completely different. It’s a little like air clay meets kinetic sand, soft, mouldable and zero mess. No need to worry about bits sticking to carpets with this stuff. The appearance reminds me of those colourful little spog sweets that are usually found in a pack of liquorice all sorts.
At the moment there are just two Bobble It play sets – A picture frame, and a vase with flowers (Famcy flower set) ; which is the set we have, plus individual Bobble It refill packs.
In the vase and flower set we start off by putting together the vase, which is just 2 pieces of shaped plastic
Unfortunately these need to be taped together, this is the one thing that let the set down, as sellotape with Bobble material don’t seem to bond so great.
By stretching the coloured material, then applying it to the vase, it can then be moulded to fit where it needs to go.
There were no instructions inside the box so we were left to our own imagination really and went off the images on the box cover to know what we had to do.
My girls decided to use all of their colours to create stripes all around their vase. I helped too and it’s lovely easy stuff to work with.
The flowers were also easy. There are several petal cutters or the petals could just be moulded onto the plastic flower bases.
The stuff sets with air after a few hours yet still feels soft and squishy to touch.
Ours doesn’t quite look as good as those on the box, but it’s not to bad for our first attempt I don’t think. And we still have a fair bit of the material left too to make whatever we like.
My girls are already asking for more sets of this stuff so I’m hoping to get them the other set too and hopefully Addo may just bring out more.
Bobble IT is available from The Entertainer store.
We have a new Aquabeads set just in time for the Summer holidays. This is a full mini set rather than just an additional add on or refill set. It contains a mini work station along with hundreds of coloured beads, water spray bottle, templates and an easy bead remover.
This set is themed around the popular Disney Princess’s. Unlike other sets which come with many varying design templates, this one comes with just 4 templates on 2 cards. With these templates we can make rapunzel, aurora, aerial or Belle.
I thought I would give this a go myself first as Izebella was very eager to have her own princess design and although I’m fine with her having a go herself, I know that she would become easily frustrated when the small beads don’t go her way, so I made one for her.
For some strange reason I actually found this large face design much easier and quicker to complete than some of the smaller designs from previous boxes. I completed this is just 15 minutes or so and allowed 20 minutes to dry.
The new pink easy lift tool is essentially just a piece of tough plastic with grips. It doesn’t look much but it seems to help to remove the bead designs in one piece and they don’t have to be completely dry to use this. As long as the beads are firmly stuck the tool can usually be used after 20 minutes of waiting.
And our princess lifted off the design station perfectly without the loss of any beads.
Once dry and stuck together, aquabead designs seem to stay that way and can be used as mini displays on windows and bedrooms.
I found making this princess with the beads quite therapeutic this time round and not at all boring. Now my girls are busy making theirs too tho not quite as fast as mine.
This Disney Princess aquabeads set seems to vary in price across different stores that I have looked at. The price is usually between £15-£20.
There’s a whole new way to draw and colour for kids. Paint sticks look just like coloured glue sticks and are like a crayon and paint all in one.
This may sound harsh but I am one of those mean mummies who won’t have lots of paint activities in my house. I may allow it once in a while and for homework purposes, other than that if they want to paint then they go outside. My house is not huge and I paid a lot for my carpets and furniture and even kids clothing. Paint can be so messy, even the water based stuff. Stains on floors, tables, clothes which does not always wash out, then letting the soggy paintings dry out and more stains. Then cleaning the equipment and yes more stains on the sink. It’s a very messy activity which kids seem to love.
Our new Little Brian paint sticks seem to eliminate the majority of the mess left by regular painting and also make painting activities much easier for little hands.
The packs of paint sticks come in various sizes and we have a rather generous 12 pack.
The results from the paint sticks do look like paint and it dries instantly too. Very minimal mess on hands and none on furnishings. Obviously I still make my kids use a hard flat surface underneath paper to protect flooring underneath. The paintsticks can be used on many surfaces too, including paper, plastics, glass including windows as it’s really easy to sponge off clean.
When doing regular paintings such as on paper or an easel, adding a little water to the painting with a brush or sponge gives a blurring effect and slightly wetting the paint stick gives a deeper paint effect so we can play around with these to get different effects.
My two girls liked them instantly and ended up painting non stop the same night they got them. I very much like the reduced mess and not needing to find paintbrushes or having paint mixed up into awful muggy colours.
And guess what? these paint sticks also have another really good use. Probably not what they were intended for; but: I recently glossed my bathroom window ledge in bright red to match the wallpaper. The flossing went well but I put a orchid pot on the window thinking the paint had dried properly. It hadn’t and I ended up taking a small patch of gloss paint off, revealing white patches underneath. I had no paint left. I used the red paint stick to fill in the gaps and now I cannot tell any difference. It blended in perfectly and has dried to match the gloss. Therefore they have many uses.
Little Brian have their own website but sell their paint sticks via Amazon and Asda stores plus a few more places. A 12 pack like this costs about £7.25 with a 6 pack being less. They will last a long time too.
If you like the look of the paint sticks then you can win a 12 pack for yourself and family. Simply click the enter link below.
This giveaway will close on July 20th 2017 and is open to U.K. residents only.
My first subscription box of the week is Inspirations club.
These boxes contain a curated package of ribbons, fabric, materials, buttons and other craft type materials.
Now I am usual hopeless when it comes to making anything and especially so when it comes to sewing, but this package seems to make it much easier for people like myself.
As well as all the craft materials, several project ideas will be included each month. My box gave easy guides to making a cactus keyring, fabric pencil case and a cactus pin cushion. The boxes come with different themes each month, hence the many cactus ideas in this box. Of course if your good and better than me at crafting you could just make whatever you wish with all these items.
The fabrics in my box were the first thing to catch my eye as there are a fair few of them. The blue fabric underneath shows how big the fabrics arrive and they all feel very good quality.
Inspirations club offer a number of monthly subscription packages beginning with their basic package which starts at just £10 per month. The higher priced subscriptions contain larger sheets of fabric and are more suited to those who regularly make things or run a small business.
It has been a good experience trying this box as it certainly differs from the rest.
Our latest Aquabeader set is Cinderella themed, something which both my girls love.
As well as lots more beads, this set also comes with a glass slipper to decorate with aquabeader creations. Don’t worry, the shoe is made of plastic, not real glass but I guess that’s what people will refer to it as.
As always there are a few templates too with Cinderella themes both little and large.
My girls and their friends focused on the small patterns such as the bows and flowers.
I however decided to be a little braver than normal and attempt the big main design, being Cinderellas face. I must be getting better as I did not find it too difficult, more time consuming than anything and annoying when the beads won’t stay in place; but here is my completed and dried finished design.
I messed up ever so slightly on one of the eyes I think and I also seemed to somehow run out of the specific colour beads that I needed (I think Jordanna maybe used them for other things) but hey ho I got their in the end and finished it.
This set costs about £10.00. You will need an Aquabead tray to use this set which can be purchased as part of a starter set or one of the studio sets which vary in price.
Both my girls love anything to do with fairies. Even my 9 year old who considers herself past playing with dolls still loves fairy things. They also both love jewellery and making things and this small craft set from Interplay UK enables my girls to make bracelets or necklaces with beads and fairy charms.
Inside the box we get many colourful beads in bright princess style colours with coloured elastic string, fasteners and 12 metal charms. The charms are all fairy inspired with wands, crowns, rainbows, stars and more.
No instructions came with our box but I do believe that these are meant to be included so I have no idea what happened to them. However it is really just a case of threading beads onto the string and adding charms.
The bead holes are big enough for the elastic string to be easily threaded through, I even found this easy and my fingers are slightly larger than a childs. All sorts of designs can be made and as the string is very stretchy, even the smallest made bracelets will fit.
This is just one little bracelet that my girls made for me.
If getting this craft kit then it’s a good idea to have a small tin or tub to keep the beads and charms in because once the box is opened there is nothing to keep them in place and they just fall out of the box.
It costs approximately £9.99 and will make 10 pieces of jewellery, possibly more.
Gel-a-peel is still a fairly new type of craft material. It is a gel which comes in squeezy pens and can be used to make various things. The gel sticks once dry and it comes in lots of colours with many design ideas. We have had quite a few packs and our latest one is this one.
Our pearly pastel gel-a-peel set contains 3 gel tubes all in shiny pearly type colours. Along with templates and a few other bits.
This set was sent to my children so that they can create cards for Mother’s Day and that is exactly what Jordanna has been doing. The gel is quite easy to use and patternsare simple once we got used to it. The letters can be a bit more tricky. Sometimes we do need to squeeze the tubes quite hard to get a bit out. Anyway here is an early Mother’s Day card made with gel-a-peel.
I really like the shininess of these pearly colours as they seem to catch the light and look really effective. I think Jordanna has done a fairly good job here as it can be hard to write with gel-a-peel.
Jordanna also made this little bracelet too.
The bracelets and other types of jewellery can be made using the included templates, left to dry and then worn. Gel-a-peel has endless uses and is not too messy providing it’s done on a mat or in one area.
Packs vary in price and are sold at most toy shops.
Gel-a-Peel is recommended for children aged 8 +
Did you know; Gel-a-peel isn’t just for making squiggly patterns or even jewellery.It can also be used for decorating objects and as it’s almost Chrismas, we have been decorating Xmas bits using the stuff.
This is the kit and accessories that we started out with.
If you don’t know what Gel-a-peel is, then in short it’s a new type of craft/design product. Tubes of squirty coloured gels that harden as they dry.
And here are my children’s #craftychristmas designs.
The gel-a-peel pens are easy to use and the stuff dries within a few hours. It is best to do it on an old towel or a non carpeted surface just so it doesn’t end up stuck everywhere.
Ryan now has his made stocking in his bedroom, yes boys will enjoy it too. My girls decorations are of course now proudly hung on our tree.
Gel-a-peel packs and accessories can be purchased in most good toy stores.
This post is part of the #CraftyChristmas campaign to celebrate Christmas being less than one month away.
This monster selfie studio kit, proved to be a big hit in our house in the run up to Halloween.
When you first look inside the box, it just looks like any other craft kit with various monster cut out designs and frames.However the kit works alongside a free app which can be downloaded on iPhones and android devices.
For just £9.99 this kit helps transform our photo selfies into monsters and here’s how it works.
First take a selfie with your phone, choose which monster you want to be via the app, then print it or email it. This is Ryan’s monster selfie and yes he’s a werewolf.
Once printed the face can be cut out and put into one of the frames or add more monster accessories, or you can just keeps the printed images as posters. This is Jordanna as Frankenstien monster
And this is Ryan’s completed design once cut out.
Obviously you will need a printer if you wish to make something such as this as you have to print the images out. The one problem we came across was that the instructions state to print at 100% and not “fit to page”. We have a cannon air printer and print from iPhones and I have not come across any setting via a phone which allows us to change the setting so we just had to hope for the best and luckily the images printed at the correct size.
This kit and another similar one with animals can be purchased directly from Interplay, Amazon and most good toy stores.