26 March 2021

Alternative Easter Gift Ideas from Learning Resources

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I can't believe the school have now broken up for the Easter Holidays and we'll soon be inundated with a plentiful supply of chocolate eggs and goodies. I know not everyone can maybe have chocolate for Easter so Learning Resources have stepped up their game and produced a lovely selection of alternative Easter Gift Ideas for you to choose from. We've been sent a few for the kids are they're brilliant, read on to find out more.

Playfoam Pals Unicorn Magic 2-Pack
Playfoam is 100% a massive hit in our house. It's a lovely soft squishy texture so great from a sensory point of view but it also doesn't smell, make a mess and is non-toxic. With the new Playfoam Pals Unicorn Magic it's even more fun as you get 4 fantastical surprises inside! There are 45 mystical creatures to find and collect, and I love that each pot is shaped like a rainbow with clouds on the end. It's just so cute! Each rainbow of Playfoam Pals contains a mystery collectable unicorn toy figure such as a unicorn, kittycorn, llamacorn or you could even find the rare twin baby gem unicorns. There's also a mystery charm, Playfoam and collectors guide included. This two pack retails for £12 and is worth every penny for hours of fun, a great alternative to chocolate eggs.

Kanoodle Cosmic 
For the older child in your life (or even an adult) why not give the gift of this out-of-this-world brain game - Kanoodle Cosmic! Aimed at ages 7+ to adult and only 1 player required you can construct oodles of 2-D puzzles with this brain-twisting solitary game. Simply pick a puzzle from the book, set up the challenge, and then place the remaining pieces to solve the puzzle. Simples! There's hundreds of possible combinations but only one completes the puzzle... Retailing at £12.50 it's a great gift that'll keep on giving plus it's compact and makes for a brilliant travel game where ever you venture.

Playfoam Putty 4-Pack
As you know we're big fans of Playfoam but have you heard about the new Playfoam Putty? You can mould, stretch and squeeze this uniquely textured kids putty and hear it make satisfying crackling sounds with every squish. The best part is, it never dries out! I've had to throw so many different putty type toys out because they always dry out over time but Playfoam Putty is here to stay. This fun sensory toy combines the squishability of award-winning Playfoam® with stretch of putty for a fun multi-sensory creative play experience. The 4-Pack contains 4 cool neon colours and of course the child-friendly Playfoam is non-toxic making it an excellent fidget toy. Retailing at £13 this is a great interactive toy which will last.

Hoppy Floppy's Happy Hunt Game
We love a good game or two and adding new ones to our collection so how cute if this Hoppy Floppy's Happy Hunt Game! Hoppy Floppy rabbit needs your help finding his carrots so get stuck in and help him out. This attractive family fun game will keep early learners engaged as they develop a variety of key skills through play. Aimed at ages 3-7 years (and 2-4 players) it's great for developing core skills such as; matching, strategy and colour recognition. The rabbit-themed plastic squeezer will help build fine motor skills and encourage pre-handwriting skills whilst the fun game play will introduce early social skills, including turn taking. It really is a lovely little game and at £16 it won't break the bank. 

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own.


18 March 2021

Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Marvel: Hulk vs Spider-Man

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Marvel characters have to be some of our absolute favs, so much so Logan's bedroom is currently decorated with Marvel wallpaper and bed sheets. So that's why we were really pleased to receive some of the Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Marvel characters to review from Character Toys.

You might be wondering what Goo Jit Zu toys are and I like to describe them as a fun mix between Stretch Armstrong and those soft squishy filled toys that you often see kids with. If you like the sound of that then you can now get your hands on your favourite Marvel characters who have joined the Heroes of Goo Jit Zu team to become the ultimate squishiest, stretchiest and gooiest heroes ever! Each action hero has a unique goo filling with a different texture and feel. They're a real sensory delight!

The latest Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Marvel Characters are – Radioactive Spider-Man, Gamma Glow Hulk, Iron Man, Venom, Black Panther, Groot and all new characters for 2021 are Miles Morales Spider-Man and Thor. We were sent the original Hulk and Spider-Man characters which retail for £12.99 each and the kids love them!

I'm so thankful the kids have one each as they've been using them to battle each other, a real Hulk vs Spider-Man and there's been lots of "debate" around who would win. It's quite amusing to watch. The kids each have a favourite with Logan preferring the Hulk and Harlow preferring Spider-Man. Logan loves the bright green colour of Hulk and the soft squishy sensory feel of him. He thinks the Hulk's water bead filling is really cool and it acts like a fidget toy for him which is a bonus. Harlow is loving Spider-Man and when you give him a good squeeze you can see his awesome web filling. These Goo Jit Zu Marvel characters have definitely been a big hit in this house.

If you want a good guy and a bad guy then the all new Versus Pack contains one super mushy Spider-Man Goo Jit Zu hero with amazing gooey web filling and one super squishy Venom Goo Jit Zu hero with awesome water-bead filling. This pack retails for £24.99 and is sure to be very sought after for all those Spider-Man and Venom fans out there. 

Goo Jit Zu characters are available from all good toy shops and there's even some bigger Supagoo Characters to collect which are Thanos, Hulk and Spider-Man retailing for £29.99. These characters are bigger in size at around 20". Thanos looks pretty cool and I'm sure he'll be next on the list for the kids. 

Both of my children really enjoyed these Heroes of Goo Jit Zu Marvel Characters and I can definitely see myself buying them as gifts in future. They've been played with a lot over the last few weeks and are still going strong with no damage which is great. Highly recommend.

These products have been gifted for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.


10 March 2021

Social Emotional Learning Tool Kits from Learning Resources

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With all that's going on in the world at the moment it's good to keep an eye on your child's Social and Emotional Learning. I think it's key to be in the right SEL head space before academic learning can be fully embraced. No one really learns well when under stress so I'm really thankful that Learning Resources have a few packs, kits and toys available to help and teach our youngsters a bit more about themselves socially and emotionally.


Logan and Harlow have both been sent a lovely pack each to test out and see what they think. Logan received the Sensory Fidget Toy Kit and Harlow has received the Learn About Feelings Activity Set. With Logan being autistic he really does enjoy a fidget toy and honestly they make his life so much easier. There are so many benefits to fidget toys from helping people to focus and increase concentration, decreasing stress and anxiety and even helping to lose weight due to increased calorie burning. I know some people think of them as a distraction from learning but in my experience, for autistic people, they have the complete opposite affect and completely aid learning along with calming mentally.

The Sensory Fidget Toy Kit from Learning Resources is fantastic and full of lovely toys perfect for the fidgety person in your life. Logan loved this kit and has had many hours of fun playing with everything. Inside each pack there are 2 glow sticks, 1 Sensory Fidget Tube, 1 Playfoam Jumbo Pod, Link n Learn Chain link (100 pieces), 1 rainbow coil spring, PopCubes snap-together cubes (20 pieces), 1 globe stress ball, 2 marbleised poppers, and multilingual Getting Started Guide. It's an ideal kit for use in the classroom, at home or on the go and toys such as Playfoam and PopCubes also help with hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.. It's also worth noting that the Sensory Fidget Tube and Playfoam Jumbo Pod varieties are randomly selected and may differ from images shown on the Learning Resources website.


This kit retails for £30 which I think is a fair price for everything you receive and Logan really was over the moon with his. He particularly loved the marbled poppers, especially when I told him I had them when I was a child. He also loved the PlayFoam as it doesn't smell and stick to his hands or clothes. He thought it had a really nice feeling to it and enjoyed pulling it apart. He described it as "so satisfying" and it was lovely to see him so calm and engaged playing with the foam. Another favourite was the rainbow coil spring, Logan loves the movement and noise of this so much and he can sit for hours with it. Since he's still at home doing his school work these fidget toys have come in really handy to help him concentrate. He has a computer desk and laptop in his room and he can struggle to sit at it for long. I've noticed with these fidget toys to play with whilst he works he can sit for longer and complete his work quicker. A great set and one which I'd recommend if you're on the look out for sensory fidget toys. 


Next up is the Learn About Feelings Activity Set which Harlow received. It's aimed at children aged 3-7 years and is designed to help children build important social-emotional skills that teaches them about feelings and emotions in themselves and others with 10 engaging activities. Children can match body postures and facial expressions, learn that emotions can look different on different people, and discuss how situations may cause an individual to feel a certain emotion. Harlow is such an emotional soul herself and can go through her own range of emotions in a day so I feel this is an activity set which will really help her understand and also give her confidence in herself. 

Included in each set are two question cubes, four plastic character cubes, 12 character cards, 18 situation cards, one poster and Getting Started Guide. The question cubes are used to prompt conversations and encourage discussion about feelings, and the picture cards help children learn to identify feelings in real situations. The blocks are also sized for little hands and stick together for easy, convenient use. They're ideal for the classroom or home learning.

There's lots of different activities in the Getting Started Guide to show you how the cubes and cards can be used. There's everything from Exploring Feelings where you match the character cubes together and discuss each feeling, to Feeling Memory game where you can use the character cards and turn over two at a time to try and match the same feeling. Each activity is simple and easy to do and this set retails for £17 which again I think is a fair price. 

Harlow took a while to engage with this set as she does struggle with her feelings quite a lot at times but once she started her confidence grew and she became quite fond of discussing emotions and playing the varies games and activities. I'd definitely recommend if you have an emotional soul at home or ever just introducing your child to emotions so they can identify their own, it's a great tool kit. 

These items have been gifted for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own. 


1 March 2021

Mother's Day Treats for the Mum in Your Life

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Mother's Day is on Sunday 14th March this year and it's really only a couple of weeks away now so it's a good idea to get prepared and look out for that perfect Mother's Day gift for your loved one. I've put together a little selection of goodies to give you some ideas. Who knows, they might be perfect for your Mum or even for yourself! We all need a treat these days. 

For The Love of The Land
I've been doing a lot more cooking now that we're all at home and For The Love Of The Land looks like a brilliant cook book to have. It's a celebration of British Farmers and their delicious food which has been published by Meze Publishing. Forty fantastic farmers from all over the British Isles share their recipes and stories about what British farming means to them. It honestly sounds delightful and would make an excellent gift for Mother's Day.

Say-It Video Card
A lot of us, sadly, won't be able to see our mums on Mother's Day but that doesn't mean we still can't send them a special surprise. Say-It video gifts provide highly personal and timeless gestures of love and gratitude that mums everywhere will want to hold onto forever. It's also really simple and easy to do. Step 1: Make an event page on the Say-It website to invite family to upload videos/photos via a secure link, Step 2: Watch as the videos and photos from family appear in your online preview gallery, Step 3: Share the finished video montage created by Say-It with the recipient either digitally or sent as video greeting card in the post. It's such a lovely way to collaborate with siblings, kids and grandkids to bring the warmest emotions to your. The physical video screen greeting card even doubles as a frame so your mum can treasure these priceless moments over and over again. A brilliant personalised present.

Ombar Chocolate
It wouldn't be Mother's Day without a tasty chocolate treat and Ombar Chocolate have it all going on. They have lots of different sized bars of chocolate to try out as well as a variety of flavours such as hazelnut truffle and pistachio, yum! They even have a great 35g Ombar Super Choc Bundle at only £15.92 so you get a mix of flavours to try. A fab gift for the chocolate lovers out there.

Smart Screen
A simple gift but very efficient, Smart Screen is an antibacterial microfibre smartphone cloth which comes in a handy pocket pouch. It gives a crystal clean finish, can be washed in the machine and there's no chemicals needed. My mum is always looking for a cloth to clean her phone or glasses so this would make an excellent present as she'd keep it in her handbag when going out. It's a small gift idea but one that'll come in very handy I bet. I do love a practical gift myself.

Talolo Cowboy Wellies
I absolutely love a good pair of wellies and have been living in mine for months now. They're just so versatile and perfect for so many different uses. Muddy rainy walks, down to the beach, in the snow, camping etc and hopefully when this summer hits and the country starts to open up more we can wear them to festivals! Talolo have an amazing range of wellies and they're all shaped like cowboy boots which I think is ace. There's loads of different patterns from leopard print, psychedelic flower prints or plain black if you prefer. They're super comfy to wear and just bring that edge to any outfit. I think they'll look amazing on the school run as we all know when it's time to pick up the kids it rains! They've put a smile on my face anyway and will make a superb present for all the mums out there. 

This is a collaborative post. All opinions are my own. 


 

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