Wednesday, 4 December 2019

HARIBO 'Share The Festive Fun' Christmas Bundle Giveaway

Christmas is about treats and spoiling yourself, and in our house that generally includes some HARIBO for family - my partner for one says it wouldn't be Christmas without it, and those little bags are perfect stockingfillers.

HARIBO is offering 1 lucky reader the chance to ‘Share the Festive Fun’ this Christmas with a selection of delicious sweets and seasonal gifts.


This tasty bundle brings together HARIBO favourites with an extra special treat – the opportunity to create magical Christmas memories by decorating your very own gingerbread house. This is a tradition my family love, and I will be writing about making our gingerbread house again this year - it's been a while since I blogged my Gingerbread Castle.


Included in this prize package are a gingerbread house cutter kit and two new frosty friends from HARIBO - Pip Polar Bear and Puck Penguin. Festively packaged in cute polar bear and penguin themed gift boxes, these jelly and foam treats are going to be at the top of a lot of Christmas lists.

Tuesday, 3 December 2019

Giving STEM Toys For Christmas with Brainstorm Toys (sent for review).

Anyone who has ever read my blog knows that I'm a huge fan of STEM toys. I love toys which inspire children to learn more about their world. How does it work? Why does it do that? How can I change it? Can I make it better?

These are questions our Scientists, Technology Experts, Engineers and Mathematicians of the future need to be allowed to ask, and as they find out their answers, your children will be learning skills which will last them a lifetime.


Brainstorm Toys are a household favourite and we've been buying them for our children since they were small. We've also reviewed loads over the past few years, and the links are all at the bottom of this post. They've sent us a selection of toys which I'll be putting away to give to my boys for Christmas.

On Friday 6th December at 6pm, Brainstorm are hosting a Twitter Party where they'll be giving away lots of fun educational toys. I'll be there, and if you have any questions then this is your chance to ask the professionals - and the bloggers and other parents.

Brainstorm STEM toys for Christmas arranged on table including dinosaurs stars stikbots

STEM Toys make excellent gifts because you are giving the child much more than 'a toy'. You will be helping them to grow, and you may be introducing them to a passion they'll have forever.

Buzzlebox Family Game And Puzzle Box Review (Sent by The Dark Imp)

I really like the ethos of Ellie Dix and The Dark Imp, so when she asked if I wanted to take a look at her brand new Buzzlebox, I was more than happy. This is a beautiful box of brand new games and puzzles designed to be played together, whatever your ability or age (from around 8+).


Ellie is a keen promoter of maintaining good healthy relationships with your kids through play. As your offspring get older, it's easy to drift apart until you realise you barely spend any time together when you aren't already busy. Games create relaxed environments for chat and laughter.

The Dark Imp Buzzlebox Unboxing Review Top contents shows shredded paper and a tin containing a game

The Buzzlebox is gorgeous. It felt like a treat opening it, and then I saw what was inside. This is almost entirely plastic free, and the only plastic included is reusable. The first Buzzlebox has a Gardens and Poultry theme. (Box 2 will be Doughnuts and Cake!)

Saturday, 30 November 2019

One Key Family Game Review(age 8+) By Libellud, Sent by Asmodee

This month Asmodee have sent us One Key from Libellud to review for the Blogger Boardgame Club. A co-operative game for 2-6 players aged 8+, players work together to find the Key Card by eliminating wrong answers. Once only the Key is left, you win the game.

One Key Family Game Review(age 10+) By Libellud, Sent by Asmodee

There are lots of exciting box contents and you'll need 5 minutes to press out tokens before first play. No batteries to find or excess plastic, Christmas morning-friendly.

One Key Family Game Review box contents brand new in card sheets

Libellud games are notable for their artwork, One Key is no exception. It's gorgeous and very different. There are 84 specially shaped illustrated clue cards with random scenes full of detail.

Cockfields Farm Christmas Experience Review (Press Visit)

Cockfields Farm is in Oldham, about 15 minutes drive from J22 of the M60. I've never been before, but I'd heard that their Christmas activity is something really special, and this year the North Pole themed grotto is bigger and better than ever before. We were invited along to review - and collect our special passports to travel to the land of snow and see Santa.

Cockfields Farm, Oldham Christmas Experience Review (Press Visit)

As we arrived the boys were given their 'passports' and a special token for the Build-A-Bear later. They had them filled out in seconds. Inside are spaces for you to collect stamps as you take part in the different activities. It was great because it made sure we didn't miss anything.

Cockfields Farm Christmas Experience Passport to be stamped

We started the morning with a light breakfast - and I was ecstatic to see there was a choice of bacon, sausages or veggie sausages.

Friday, 29 November 2019

Mr Popper's Penguins Theatre Review: Waterside, Sale (Press Visit)

Last night we were invited to the launch night for Waterside's Christmas Show, Mr Popper's Penguins. We love visiting Waterside, it's one of our favourite venues and the welcome is always warm. Mr Popper's Penguins is a story we all enjoyed, and bringing the penguins to life was a challenge that we were all excited to see.

Pins And Needles production of Mr Popper's Penguins is recommended for children 3-11 and their families, it's full of song, dance, puppetry and formation flying penguins - and it was brilliant.

Mr Popper's Penguins Theatre Review Waterside, Sale (Press Visit)

Waterside is super easy to get to, opposite Sale Tram Station. It's a gorgeous purpose-built building and houses more than just theatre, until 4th Jan they are exhibiting a Cosgrove Hall collection, and it's well worth popping in to see that if you are nearby.

Cosgrove Hall Frame By Frame Exhibition Waterside, Sale Manchester

Thursday, 28 November 2019

Sproutword Word Strategy Game Giveaway

We were sent a copy of Sproutword last month for review and I am delighted to say that the creators have offered one of my readers a copy as a Christmas Present.

Suitable for 2-4 players, Sproutword is a letter tile game which is entirely plastic-free and utterly beautiful. The tiles are a joy to play with, and the gameplay is so much more than 'make a word'. In this game you can use everyone else's letters and change words, and winning is all about having control of the longest word in play - the Sproutword.


Sproutword is a brand new game and doesn't yet have an official age recommendation, but as long as you are a fairly confident reader then you'll be able to join in, and with luck can even win. You'll have a more fierce and competitive game with players aged around 10+.

Sproutword cloth bags packed neatly into box with instructions

Inside the box are 4 cloth drawstring bags containing the wooden letter tiles (made from sustainable wood in Devon and Dorset). Each player chooses a colour, takes out a number of tiles and places them face up on the table before play begins.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Escape Room The Game Review (age 16+) Sent by Goliath Games

In the past few years Escape Rooms have become incredibly popular. The rush of adrenaline as you hear that clock ticking away, and the pride when you solve the clues and escape, are both excellent fun. Now you can experience that thrill at home with your friends and family thanks to Goliath Games, and they've sent us a copy of Escape Room The Game for review.

Escape Room The Game pack shot - box with image of imposing double opening doors

Inside the box are lots of different components for 3 full one hour Escape Room scenarios - Prison Break, Virus and Nuclear Countdown. Almost everything is hidden inside sealed envelopes so that you don't see it in advance and spoil your game.

Escape Room The Game Review by Goliath Games box contents

Ad | The 2019 Christmas Good Toy Guide

The Good Toy Guide is brought to us by Fundamentally Children, who I'm working with again this year to promote the 2019 Christmas Good Toy Guide. They promote toys that teach your child the skills they'll need as they grow. Toys which make your child think, explore, problem-solve and develop motor skills like hand-strength or dexterity. The sort of toys I really like.

The special edition Christmas Good Toy Guide 2019 is out now and is free for anyone to read online,  plus 65000 paper copies are also being distributed around the UK.

Where to find The Good Toy Guide Christmas 2019

Fundamentally Children and the Good Toy Guide don't sell toys, so included in the guide are over 50 toys which have been tested and specially chosen to be included based entirely on merit. Each toy is clearly rated for Fun, Skills Development and Ease of Use.

Tuesday, 26 November 2019

Press Review; The Art Of The Brick LEGO Art Exhibition, Manchester

This Winter the Great Northern Warehouse in Manchester's Deansgate is playing host to The Art Of The Brick, a touring installation of more than 75 models and 1 million genuine LEGO bricks. It's all been created by artist Nathan Sawaya, and we were invited along to take a look...

The Art Of The Brick LEGO Art Exhibition Review at Great Northern Warehouse manchester

I'd never been to the Great Northern Warehouse before, but it's really easy to find and get to, every tram except 1 goes down Deansgate. Inside it's a huge space, as you'd expect, and the exhibition is housed on the 1st floor.

Great Northerners artwork at the Great Northern Warehouse in Manchester

When you first go in, don't miss the short introduction film by the artist himself, Nathan Sawaya. I found it really interesting, and I love the fact that he tells anyone watching 'anything can be art. Go and make something with whatever you have to hand' - which brings you nicely to the first model.

The Art Of THe Brick Apples Planets solar system cello and hand gripping LEGO brick

The first room is a collection of still life objects and the planets did fascinate my boys, as they often do. I particularly liked the Cello, the way the shape curves is spot on. My favourite was THINK!, and we had to peep inside that brain. I won't spoil it, you can probably guess the contents...