All posts tagged reviews

Craftbox fairy charm jewellery 

Published April 14, 2017 by Bizzimummy

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. 

L.O.L doll Easter hunt 

Published April 12, 2017 by Bizzimummy

With so many chocolate eggs sent from everyone it’s always good to look for alternative gifts other than chocolate. I was sent a little package of girly type things and I hid them around the house for Izebella to find, just like a traditional Easter egg hunt. 

Included in the Easter hunt was a colouring sheet, jokes, a postcard, sweets, a diva bow and the L.O.L doll. 

Izebella has lots of fun going round the house trying to find things and follow a mini trail. She did get a bit of chocolate too as the sweets were chocolate buttons which went rather quickly. She loves drawing and colouring and seemed happy with her doll colouring sheet. 

And the best find of course was the big prize at the end – the L.O.L surprise doll which she now has two of.

The dolls get hidden inside the L.O.L globes. Layers of wrapping get peeled off to reveal accessories and in the middle is the doll.

Mibo board books for kids

Published March 21, 2017 by Bizzimummy

We have three new board books from Button books. Each book is by author Madeline Rogers and the books are designed for very young children 0-3 years but also perfect for both pre and early readers as first books.

All the books are based around animals from three different continents, being Africa, Asia and the polar regions. Each book shows five different animals from each region. 

The books are all made with thicker board rather than paper which prevents tears. There are many bold animal images throughout. The  text is very minimal, 2 lines per two pages it is also bold and just the right size for younger children. 

Each animal book in the mibo series has an rrp of £4.99 and these can be found on Amazon and many book shops.

My young scientists “Discover with Dr Cool”

Published February 7, 2017 by Bizzimummy

All three of my children seem to have some sort of interest in science and experiments. My older two have a fair few science kits and Izebella seems fascinated by what they make with them.

Discover with Dr Cool also loves science and sells a very good range of science kits and experiments in many categories of science to suit most ages. The company is American based but many of their products can be purchased on Amazon UK. Just type in “discover with dr cool” to bring up the products.
All three of my children have a new kit and they all love them. Ryan has a rock tumbler, however rock tumbling takes time so he can’t give his full opinion for another 2/3 weeks yet. So today is about the girls kits which are both very different.

Jordanna (age 9) received this gem stone dig kit.

The kit contained a hard stone plaque which appeared to have a large purple crystal inside it, however this is quite deceptive as it’s just a painted image. To get the real gems, Jordanna had to dig.

And dig she did! A small scraper tool comes included but we found a plastic knife also comes in useful. The digging is quite tough at first but got easier as we went on (yes I had to help her). We found a little water helped too and once the stone started to be chipped away it was more like sand or clay.

Inside the plaque were 15 gems/precious stones that Jordanna discovered by digging. There is a booklet with the set to tell us what each one is. We did find one or two of the stones were not listed tho. 

The stones needed a good wash and a little brush comes included to brush away dust. The magnifying glass gives us a better look at each stone. The stones are unpolished but as a certain someone now has a rock tumbler, this can easily be changed.

This kit falls under the geology and excavation (digging) categories of science. I myself love collecting rocks and gems such as the ones Jordanna found.

National Geographic Mega Gemstone kit can be purchased from Amazon for £29.99. The digging project does not take long to complete but the gems and stones can be kept forever. For ages 6 and over.

And now for Izebella (age 4). Being so young, I would not of thought that there would be many science type kits about for Izebella. Obviously she cannot use chemicals of any sort, nor use anything mechanical or sharp. Gems and stones are also a little risky as she sometimes puts things in her mouth. 

Well it seems Dr Cool got it bang on with their Ultimate Dino sand kit.

This one is suitable for kids age 3 and over so even young ones can get a taste of science and even a little bit of history.

The kit contains a bag of sand, dinosaur figures/mouldy and a play tray. Now the idea of sand and a young child playing with it in the home will probably fill most parents with dread , the thought of bits of sand all over the carpet!However fear not because this is the special sort of kids sand that does not dry out. It sort of clumps together and we can even lift chunks of it together. Mess is minimal and it’s not sticky either, it feels a little like play dough.

There are many ways that Izebella can play with her kit. There are six dinosaur figures, all different species which come accompanied with the booklet describing them all with a few facts. 

She can learn a little about dinosaurs by me reading bits to her. We also play a game of hide the dinosaurs, where I hide the dinosaurs in the sand and she digs with her hands to find them. She loves it!

Then there are the moulds, again six of them which act a little like the sand castles and shapes we use on the beach. Fill with sand, smooth off and tap them out to get sand dinosaur figures.

The kit also contains a rather surprising and very real item – It’s dinosaur poop and it’s apparently over 50 million years old. 

Luckily it’s totally fossilised, feels just like a regular stone and does not stink. It is a very interesting and extremely old piece of Earths history. This can also be buried in the sand or kept in its packet, maybe it will be around in another 50 million years!

So what does little Izebella think of the sand dinosaurs and poop? 

Yes it smiles all around and very minimal mess for me! Once finished playing the sand can be kept and stored in a sealed container along with the dinosaur parts, ready to play with another time. This one is also on Amazon for £13.99.

Well my girls loved their kits and Ryan also loves his new gadget, his review will be here in the next few weeks.

Aquabeaders – Beginners studio

Published August 18, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Jordanna enjoys craft and creative sets. She previously tried Aquabeads over a year ago but found it slightly difficult. She has recently had the chance to have another go at Aquabeads with the new beginners studio and lots of new Aquabeads sets have also recently launched. 

This beginners studio seems to be a really good introductory starter set to Aquabeads. 

If your new to Aquabeads; then what it involves is matching coloured beads to design templates on a plastic board and then wetting and leaving to dry, with the end result being a pretty animal, flower or object made with the beads.

Putting the beads onto the template board can be fiddly because the beads are tiny. A bead pen is included which helps grab the beads but it only helps a little. Fingers can be used but problems arise with large designs if your fingers sweat and the beads get wet and sticky. It does take time and practice and a little frustration to do. 

The templates with the beginners set are a good size for a beginner or younger child. The girl image in the photograph above is probably the biggest design that comes with this set. There are a fair few template cards included and each one with 3-5 images on. Other Aquabead sets may come with more complex and time consuming images but I think this is just fine for Jordanna and even Izebella had a go.

The designs in this studio do not take that long to make, but Jordanna does get annoyed waiting for them to dry which can take a while. If they are lifted too soon and still wet then they will fall apart. The beads contain some sort of strange glue type stuff which activates when wet and sticks them together. 

The best thing about this set (according to Jordanna) is that it all fits into an including case. The beads all have their own spaces on top and the other accessories and templates fit underneath so no need to hunt around for tins to keep it all in, nor keep the box. 

800 coloured beads come included along with a bead pen, water sprayer and templates. The age guide is 4 and over (which Izebella nearly is). I would not recommend buying this if you have younger children or babies about as the balls are tiny but otherwise it is a perfect starter set for Aquabeads.

This product costs between £14-£20 depending on where you purchase it.

Charlie funny talkie parrot (IMC toys)

Published August 11, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Charlie talkie parrot is part of the club petz funny  toy range at IMC toys. Club petz funny are soft cuddly toys with interactive features and come in an assortment of animals.

This is our Charlie talkie parrot which is much cheaper and less messy than buying the real thing.

Charlie comes with a plastic cage which even has the top hanging loop for carrying or hanging somewhere.

Now I have to be honest, getting the parrot out of the cage first time is a nightmare. There are hard plastic tags securing it to the bottom which are fixed on really tightly and it took me a while to snap them all off. 

The parrot itself is a good size to put on your hand, like you woujd for a real one. It even has an elastic strap underneath to hold it.

When the parrot first arrived it was on the “try me” mode. Underneath the parrot is the on switch which is required for the full interactive feature.

Just like an annoying real parrot, this one repeats what it hears (yes it swears too). Only it repeats in a more higher pitched tone, often a squawk. It also has a rather wicked laugh and its beak will move too. 

It repeats everything it hears, and unless you switch the off switch it carries on laughing and repeating, slightly changing the tone for each voice it picks up. If there is no noise it deactivates after a while and can be reactivated by pressing the tummy button.

Yes it’s lots of fun but can get a little annoying and it’s very high pitched for younger kids like Izebella. 

Charlie talkie parrot is available at many toy stores including Smyths and toys r us with prices between £16-£20. Other parrot versions are also available.

Ravensburger Emoji puzzle 

Published July 21, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Here is one of the latest puzzles that we have from Ravensburger. 

It contains 100 pieces which are fairly large as far as puzzles of this sort go. It is designed for kids in mind ages 6 and over. Me and Ryan completed it together and I have to admit I actually enjoyed this one more than the bigger 1000 piece ones (but it is a bit easier).

Ravensburger childrens puzzles such as this one come with perfect age fit which means ideal piece sizes, counts and images per age. The pieces get smaller as the children get older and there are more of them too. I’m not sure how many 6 year olds would beable to complete the emoji puzzle or how long it would take them, but me and Ryan managed it in about 20 minutes.

The finished puzzle image is full of emojis – you know; those smiley faces and other small things you find at the end of txt messages! The smiley faces also remind me of my old raving days too. 

This puzzle gets complicated because there is just so much going on. It’s best to try and work out an order in which to attempt the puzzle. For us; it was edges and straight bits first. 

Then we located the four large image pieces which are smiley faces a heart and heart playing card. We made each of these pieces and connected to the edging where we could.

Then finally the slightly tricky part was just finding where the rest of it went. Looking at the image on the box sort of messes up the eyes after a while so it’s more a case of just trying to work out what piece fits where. 

And here is the finished piece! 

A rather fun but confusing puzzle we thought, with so many emojis to be spotted.

The RRP for this is just £7.99 from toy stores and Amazon.

The misadventures of Max Crumbly: Locker hero

Published June 27, 2016 by Bizzimummy

If you have a young girl then you may just be familiar with the Dork diaries book series. If so then you may get the feeling that perhaps the boys are missing out a little. Now no one is saying that boys can’t read Dork diaries too but given the girly characters and many pink and purple covers, it’s easy to see why Dork diaries appeals more to girls. 

Well worry not because now the author of Dork diaries (Rachel Renèe Russell) has a brand new book series called – The misadventures of Max Crumbly.

Now this book has a blue cover and an image of a boy on the front. This boy being the main book character Max Crumbly, and is more likely to appeal to boys. 

Max Crumbly is the new dork on the block. The book has similarities to Dork diaries. It is wrote in a similar style with various character entries and incidents, thoughts, feelings etc. There are many doodles and images (drawn by character) throughout. There aren’t any dates on the entries as such but each page of entries flows on to the next.

As the text is nicely spaced out, with images appearing regularly, it makes it quite easy and fun to read. 

Storyline -Poor Max Crumbly! Stuffed in his locker for the second time in one day! Thinking he might never get out.

Max decides to chronicle his first two weeks of eighth grade at South Ridge Middle School in his journal at least then there will be a record of what happened when his body is found. 

Coming from seven years of homeschooling, Max dreamed of being a superhero here; instead, he s school-bully Doug Thug Thurston s new favorite target. Luckily, Erin Madison rescued Max from his first involuntary locker vacation, but the next time Thug strikes is after everyone has left for a three-day weekend. Enduring a few hours of cramped conditions, Max escapes through the back of his locker, where he crawls through ductwork, foils a robbery, and saves the school s new computers! 

And this brand new book series which starts with “Locker hero” is aimed towards young readers aged 9 and over. The publisher is Simon and Schuster and the book can be found on Amazon and most good book stores. RRP £10.99.

Disney TSUM TSUM squishes 

Published June 21, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Yes I also wondered how the word TSUM TSUM is pronounced and it’s actually pronounced zoom zoom.

TSUM TSUM are the adorable Disney squishy “stack ‘em, collect ‘em” craze sweeping the UK! Originating from a highly engaging and fast-paced smartphone app in Japan in 2013, the TSUM TUM Squishies toys have been a massive hit with children in the UK!

These are  the new generation collectable craze, adorable little squishy oblong Disney superstar characters are ideal to collect and swap with friends and stack on top of each other. 

The first wave launched by ZURU had 50 characters to collect – featuring characters from Disney’s most iconic films from Mickey Mouse to Frozen’s Elsa including Rare and Ultra Rare characters to collect! The Tsum Tsum come in packs of 2, 4 and 5. The 5 pack includes a carry caribinar. 

This is one of the 4 packs. 

There are 3 visible Tsum Tsums visible in the pack and one surprise hidden one. Thus giving us out first four characters out of a possible 50. 

Our surprise here is the 101 Dalmatians character and we also have Anna, Baymark and we think the other girl character is Boo from Monsters inc but are a little confused on this one? 

The characters are small and squashy and have a smooth rubbery texture. They are also ever so slightly sticky when removed from the packaging. 

They don’t do much by way of toys, more a novelty collectable thing that can be placed on drawers or desks and may just be popular in the playground for swapping. 

The ultra rare figures are all in gold and are Elsa, Mickey, Olaf and Alice. 

The age guide is 3 and over. I have already caught Izebella putting these in her mouth so be cautious around younger ones as they are quite small. 

The packs start from £2.99 and there is a playset too. 

Zuru will soon be releasing series 2 which will be flocked Tsum Tsum which will be furry and squishy.

Bigjigs petit collage pop out castle

Published June 9, 2016 by Bizzimummy

Several weeks ago you may recall reading that Izebella was sent over a huge box full of toys from Bigjigs; some of which we have already reviewed. I did not want her having too much at once so I have been gradually introducing the new items to her. Over the May half term one of the toys she played with was the Pop out colour in castle. Izebella loves anything to do with princesses and also enjoys colouring and drawing. 

This is one of those easy craft toys that is perfect when the weather is not so good. The box contains a few sheets containing pop out pieces. This all being made with very strong sturdy card.

Izebella did not give me much chance to take photographs before popping out the pieces and decorating them. Colouring pencils and stickers are included.

Each piece is also double sided so plenty of room to colour and stick. The pieces all slot together and can be matched via numbers. Now this bit did confuse me a bit as Izebella had already removed all the pieces. Me and Ryan had to pop them all back into the inserts to work it out.

Ryan did the building part for her, Izebella has not yet coloured in her castle fully but she tells me she will once the rain comes; she likes playing out a bit too much in the warmer weather but has made a start. 

The castle also comes with 3 figures including a princess which all stand up. Once assembled it can be kept on a window or shelf as a pretty display item. It has an RRP of £8.99 and can be purchased directly from Bigjigs toys.

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