Showing posts with label Toy Reviews. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Toy Reviews. Show all posts

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Reviewing 2004 Lego X Pods

Reviewing the 2004 Lego X-Pods
Available on Amazon
The first of the range of Lego X-Pods were released in 2004, in total Lego released 5 different sets of X-pods during this year. The premise behind this Lego range was that the Lego came inside of a pod, essentially this was 'Lego on the go.'

The pods that these small Lego kits came in were designed to fit in a pocket so that no matter where you were you could pull out your Lego pod and start to build.

This Lego X-Pod range was like a sub-range of the Lego Creator series and each kit could create a number of different things limited only by your child'simagination.

The X-Pods released in 2004 were -
  • Black Robot Pod
  • Robo Pod
  • Auto Pod
  • Aero Pod
  • Wild Pod

Black Robot Pod - 4335

Black Robot Pod - Lego 4335
As you can see from the picture the Black Robot Pod comes in a clear container with two black lids. This set contains 50 pieces and is recommended for the age 6+.

This is a hard to find Lego product with the following features -

* Idea Book with instructions and inspiration for 6 robot models — quick to build and rebuild for           hours of fun!
* Handy carry case with studs — build it right into your models!
* Unique assortment of LEGO elements — great shapes and awesome colors!
* Fits into backpacks, pockets and more for on-the-go play!
* Combine with other X-Pods to build cool combo models!

An interesting snippet for you is that this Black Robot Pod was released for Halloween which might explain the color scheme of black and orange!

Robo Pod - 4346

Robo Pod - Lego 4346
This Lego set contains 65 pieces as well as step by step instructions to build 3 models.

Of course, as with all of the Lego x-pods there is no limit to the number of different models you can actually build!

This green set comes in a clear ‘pod’ with green lids to match the robots you can make with the set.

Auto Pod - 4347

Auto Pod 4347
This 67 piece x-pod set comes in a clear ‘pod’ with blue lids.

There are also instructions for building different Lego models – a bulldozer, truck, and rolling robot.

These models however are only for inspiration because the key to all of the x-pod sets is that your imagination is the only thing that will stop the number of different models you’ll be able to create.

Aero Pod - 4348

Aero Pod 4348
This 36 piece Lego X-Pod set is sometimes referred to as the X-Pod Planes as there is a later model also called X-Pod Aero so be aware that this is the 2004 set, model number 4348.

The pod as you can see is one of the transparent ones and comes with yellow lids, the bricks inside are also predominately yellow as you can see from the picture.

I actually can’t tell you much about this particular set as I haven’t seen it myself and there aren’t as many reviews available as I would like, but if it’s like the other X-Pod sets then I’m sure it’s fantastic and no doubt will come with instructions for a few models.

Lego Wild Pod - 4349

Lego Wild Pod
The Lego Wild Pod set contains 44 pieces and comes in a transparent pod with red lids.

The instuctions that come with this Lego pod show you how to make seven different creatures from a crawling bug to a flying dragonfly, but as with all of these sets the instructions are only the start.

I haven’t actually seen the instruction book or played with this pod, but I have seen a dragon made from just this set and I was very impressed!

Lego X-Pods Are An Awesome Idea!

When I was a child I absolutely loved Lego and assumed that when I had kids there would be Legos strewn across the house.  Of course life never works out quite as you imagine and when I had my only child she didn't like Lego so I never got to purchase these X-Pods for her.

I have been lucky to have a goddaughter who is Lego mad and plenty of friend's children to give me an excuse to 'hang out' in the Lego section of department stores and I still think that these X-Pods are an inspired idea.

They are an ideal size to fit in a child's pocket and perfect to take on road trips, plane trips etc to keep your child happy when they have to stay in one place.

Not only are they ideal for your child to carry they are also a perfect size to pop into your handbag.  Hands up moms who have bulging bags trying to be Mary Poppins when they go out with their children!  I used to have snacks stowed away, along with things to entertain my daughter in case we were stuck waiting somewhere - these Lego X-pods don't take up much room so can be a godsend for moms.

Even though they weren't something I used I wholeheartedly recommend them for anyone with a Lego loving child (I'd even love them for myself now!).

Most of this particular range are unavailable through many outlets so I recommend looking on ebay for them, if there's a particular one you're after be sure to search with the set number.





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Saturday, March 3, 2018

Barnyard Buddies in Plush - A Cuddly Review

Children find farms and farm animals interesting and fun. Kids who grow up on a farm know all the animals as part of their daily life. City kids learn about farm animals from books and toys related to barnyards and what lives there. 

Whether the children see farm animals every day or have never visited a barnyard, having a playtime with pigs and cows and horses is fun.





My Barnyard Friends Baby Talk Playset


Aurora Baby Talk Barnyard Friends Playset


This Barnyard Friends Playset includes the carrier, which is in the shape of a soft fabric Barn with Corduroy roof. The roof is embroidered with the words "My Barnyard Friends".  The set comes with four animals with sound features.  The rooster says "cock- a- doodle-do" when squeezed, the cow says 'moo', the pig squeaks and the duck rattles when shaken. 

All four animals fit inside the barn tote for babies and toddlers to carry around.  Made by Aurora for ages 6 months to 24 months, all 'Baby Talk' animals have sound features.



Plush Farm House with Animals


Unipak Plush Farmhouse with Animals

This soft farm house tote comes with five stuffed farm animals, including a  brown horse, a lamb, a cow, a pig and a grey horse.

The plush farm house measures 12 inches and the 5 different animals can peek out its windows.  The farm house tote has a handle for carrying and is surface washable.



Since all the animals can be stored in the house, it is a perfect toy for travel and storage. Each of the animals are about 7 inches long.

The plush farm house with animals is made by Unipak for children ages 3 and up.

Some Farms have Stables for the Ponies


Plush Horse Barn with Five Horses

A soft plush red barn is home to five soft beanbag horses. They include a white horse, a black one, a tan horse, one that is brown and white, and a grey horse. All horses have very soft plush fur and are 6" "bean" filled animals.


Quick Links for More Soft Toy Barnyard Buddies








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*Plush Barnyard Buddies is brought to  you by (c) Wednesday Elf





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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Reviewing Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit by Creativity for Kids

Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit
While working part time in a retail shop over the holidays,  I checked out a 'grandmother' and her purchase. The minute I saw what she was buying for a grandchild ~ this Rock Painting Kit ~ I knew immediately that it was the perfect Christmas gift for MY grandson as well.  Naturally, by the end of my work day, I had purchased my own kit to send to my artistically inclined 8-year-old grandson David. 

David loves to draw, color and paint, and is a very creative child, so it is not surprising that 'Creativity for Kids' has a variety of creative kits that appeal to kids like him. 




Creativity for Kids Company


Creativity for Kids is a division of the Faber-Castell company, established in 1761 by the cabinet maker Kaspar Faber and  is one of the oldest industrial companies in the world.  

The company is the world’s leading manufacturer of wood-cased pencils with a varied range of products for writing, drawing and creative design.

Faber-Castell acquired Creativity for Kids, the leading U.S. specialty manufacturer of creative activity products for children of all ages, in 1999 and is now headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio.  The next year (2000) the company introduced Children’s Art Products, which are a line of playing and learning art supplies for children.  

The creative kits include a wide variety of artistic play from painting, jewelry making, garden crafts, lighting crafts, science-related invention kits, and a host of other kits in many fields.

You can see the whole range of kits at their website.


Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit





The kit I chose for my grandson, David, age 8,  was the Hide & Seek Rock Painting Kit.  



Image from Amazon of kit contents
The kit comes with 10 River Rocks, 8 paint colors, 2 paint brushes, 20 transfer designs, tracking stickers, a transfer sponge and instructions.  

This rock painting kit is called 'Hide & Seek' because you can hide the rocks outside and leave clues on the company's Facebook page for people to go and find your rocks. The online link is printed on the package.

I thought this would be a fun project for David & Tyler who love to spend time outside in parks in their area. And when they finish painting all the rocks that came in the kit, they can find more rocks in parks and woods to continue using the kit.


David & Tyler with their painted rocks (c) Elf
The age group for this craft activity kit states it is for children 6 years and up, but David's little 3-1/2 year old brother enjoyed 'painting' the rocks too and both  enjoyed the projects (as you can see in the photo).

The company's motto states:

“Rock Painting is a fun way for you, your friends and family to spread kindness, encouragement and happiness throughout your community – one rock at a time."

Creativity for Kids helps develop children's problem solving and critical thinking skills. I found this rock painting kit to be a fun and delightful educational toy for my young grandsons.


My Grandsons' Collection of Painted Rocks!






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(c) Wednesday Elf 2/17/2018






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Friday, January 19, 2018

Teddy Ruxpin: A Parent's Review

Teddy Ruxpin:  A Parents Review
What Every Child Needs and Will Love

As a young mother, I was always thrilled when I found a toy, like Teddy Ruxpin, that teaches, entertains, and captivates one of my children. When that toy appealed to both of my children, I knew I had found a treasure.

Due to the demand, often times these toys are hard to find. With internet shopping today, it is not as hard to obtain the desired item, but 25 years ago, people actually fought crowds and long lines only to find extremely limited quantities.

That was the case with Teddy Ruxpin.

Tracking Teddy Ruxpin


Teddy Ruxpin:  A Parent's Review
My oldest child, our precious daughter, was only a year old when I made this discovery. I was intrigued when I saw the commercials on television. After looking him up in a catalog, I decided Teddy Ruxpin was a must have for my little girl. We didn't have a lot of money and we had to be very careful about our choices. It was my self-appointed job to find the best deal in town. I scoured the paper every Sunday for weeks waiting for this new toy to go on sale. I even employed my parents to be on the lookout.

Then it happened!  One Sunday morning, just before dawn, the newspaper hit the end of the driveway. I ran out immediately, opened to the store ads and there he was! 

Back in those days, my husband worked whenever he was called. It didn't matter if it was a weekend, a Sunday, a special occasion or even a holiday. This happened to be one of those Sundays when he was working. I grabbed the phone and called my oldest brother. He is 6' 4" and a phenomenal athlete. While I did not anticipate him needing to make high jumps for me, I knew he could easily run defense or offense. While my parents babysat, we ventured out at the break of dawn to take our place in line.

As we entered the store, women were running. We became part of the pack. Everyone knew what the objective was. By the time we reached the shelves, everything at my eye level was already cleared out. I wanted to cry. Then this long arm reached over my head. I saw the box as it landed right in my arms. Reality set in. My brother had reached out and grabbed Teddy Ruxpin from the top shelf and handed it to me. The bear was so high up and so far back on the shelf, I didn't even know he was there. I was beyond elation.

 Teddy Ruxpin The Original Storytelling ToyCheck PriceWe were laughing and moseying to the checkout with our sweet bear, when out of nowhere, this brazen, probably desperate, woman latched on to my box. I clutched Teddy to my chest as the woman continued to try to pull him from my embrace. Again, this voice from above said "I suggest you let go ma'am." Even in confrontation, my brother was polite. The woman backed off, she even apologized, but I was still a bit shaken by the assault. I don't believe I even responded.

When we got to the check out, I would not relinquish Teddy to the cashier. No, both hands remained on the box that held the treasure while she rang him up. I quickly paid and dashed to the car, fully expecting to be robbed of our new acquisition.

As we drove home, we both kept glancing behind us to make sure no one was following us home. We even drove a circuitous route, taking side streets in order to "shake" any "tail" we may have picked up when leaving the store. We did make it safely home that day. My daughter did receive her gift for Christmas and Teddy became like a family member. To this day, over 30 years later, he still graces the shelves in my daughter's bedroom.


A Forever Faithful Friend!


From the Teddy Ruxpin Lullaby Video Collection - This song is also on the Lullaby songs for the Teddy Ruxpin


Teddy, Too!

Seven years later, our son needed a Teddy Ruxpin too. Even though our daughter was more than willing to allow her little brother to play with her Teddy, I noticed that our "baby bear" was developing a habit of teething on Teddy's nose. Because Teddy was such a valuable friend to our daughter, I determined to purchase a second Teddy Ruxpin for our son. 

This time I was smarter!  I ordered a Teddy Ruxpin from the Sears Christmas Wishbook. That was so much easier and calmer that our first Teddy Ruxpin adventure. 



Teddy Ruxpin ~ A Child's Best Friend

Teddy Ruxpin:  A Parent's Review
I must give Teddy credit for encouraging my children to read. While I cannot say he is solely responsible, both children could read before they started kindergarten. I truly believe they excelled throughout their classroom years because they had such a solid reading foundation. 

Not only did Teddy read with them, he sang with them. When our daughter was really little, Teddy was difficult for her to lift and carry, but he was almost always with her. She would drag him around by his paw. When it was time for a little nap, I remember my baby girl sitting on the couch listening to Teddy Ruxpin and being lulled to sleep by his song. She would hardly part with Teddy. He even rode with her to her first day of kindergarten and patiently waited in the car for her return. 

I suppose our daughter was responsible for our son loving the bear too. When Teddy sang, they both joined in and we had our first family trio. Actually, make that quartet. Their Dad frequently sang along too. 

I will share a little secret with you, their Dad now sings the Teddy Ruxpin lullabies to the puppies. He thinks I don't know, but those little doggies tell me everything. 


Teddy Ruxpin:  Final Thoughts


Teddy Ruxpin is a sing along, read along, tag along companion. Both of our children treasure their Teddy Ruxpin bears. He is one of the few toys that is still prominently displayed in each of their rooms. 

The only negative about either Teddy Ruxpin is the motorized sound that his mouth makes when it moves.  But, like any ugly blemish on a loved ones face, we ignore that.  It really isn't hard to be oblivious to that sound when you love the bear so much.


Teddy Ruxpin - Easy to Find Online

The Teddy Ruxpin featured above is sold with one music cartridge and one illustrated companion book. The package also includes the Airship story cartridge and the Airship book so your child can read along as Teddy tells the story. There are other story cartridges and books also available separately. There is also an updated, newer version of Teddy Ruxpin available if you prefer.
 


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Teddy Ruxpin: A Parent's Review Written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Science Academy Lip Balm Lab Reviewed

Promote the Sciences to Girls

female scientist
Female Scientist courtesy of Pixabay.com
When I can, I love to give my grandchildren educational toys. Recently I purchased a Science Academy Lip Balm Lab as a Christmas gift for my youngest granddaughter. I thought it was worth a review as a gift idea for the readers of Review This. 

I was thrilled when I discovered the Science Academy lab kits for children! Obviously, both boys and girls can have fun with  observing first hand the chemical reactions to different materials. Either gender can be a potential scientist in the making. Since I have little girls to buy for, I love the idea of promoting any of the sciences to them. When I was a little girl, my gender did not get much in encouragement when it came to fields of science. Society has changed and I think we are doing a better job of promoting a career in science to girls but we can do better, in my humble opinion. 

There are 5 choices when it comes to the options for a gift for the child on your list. I chose the lip balm for a couple of reasons. First of all, my little six year old is obsessed with lip gloss and lip balm. Secondly, she has very sensitive skin so I was leery of the soap and bath bomb choices. The lip balm lab seemed a good option for her to have fun with while learning about chemicals and how to produce a product that she can actually use.

I love that she is going to learn about formulas while working with the kit. She will decide on colors and shimmers and can even add SPF to help protect her little lips from the sun. While experimenting with her own lip protection with her mom's assistance, she will be exposed to the possibilities that a career in science might offer to her. I am a firm believer in presenting the concepts of different professions to children as they play. We never know what might plant a seed in their young minds that later grows into a passion in their adult lives. To me, that is always a good thing!

Will my sweet little grandchild grow up to be a chemist or work in the science field? I don't know nor does she at her young little age. What this educational toy will do is give her some practical experience so that later on she will have more information to base her decision on what she wants to make a living with. Whatever she decides we will applaud her decision.

How about you? Are you planning on giving a child on your list an educational toy this year for the holidays?



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Monday, September 25, 2017

Reviewing Ravensburger Puzzles Over 2000 Pieces

Ravensburger Puzzles
Even though I love puzzles, and always have one in the process on my table at work, I had no idea there were jigsaw puzzles over 1,500 pieces in size. Were you aware of the huge number of pieces available in puzzles? I had not been aware and this discovery is thrilling. Ravensburger is a brand of puzzle that I can count on for quality. You can believe that I'll be measuring my table at work ASAP and ordering the largest Ravensburger puzzle that will fit.


Ravensburger Brand Jigsaw Puzzles


I had previously reviewed the Ravensburger brand of jigsaw puzzles and I was happy to show you the Disney's Pixar: Artist's Desk 1,000 piece puzzle. I shared that I love puzzles and I shared the reasoning behind keeping a puzzle available in my office at all times. 

There is currently a puzzle on my table of a lower quality. I cannot wait to replace it with a new Ravensburger. And as I stated above, I am going to order the largest puzzle that will fit on my table. The photo shows the 27" x 20" puzzle at the edges of the table, but the puzzle was not centered.  If centered in the middle of my round table, I believe I can accommodate a larger puzzle.  Hopefully, at least a 2,000 piece puzzle. 


Ravensburger Disney's Pixar Artist's Desk (27" x 20") 


Ravensburger 2,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzles


Ravensburger offers several 2,000 piece puzzles. I am leaning toward the Underwater puzzle. It measures 38.5" x 29.5". I love the marine life scene and because it is Ravensburger brand, I can trust that it is well-made.


Underwater

Ravensburger 5,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzles


5,000 pieces! Can you imagine? This Beneath The Sea is 5 times the amount of puzzle that is normally on my table at work. I love the idea. I can't imagine that my table will accommodate a 60" x 40" puzzle. Maybe I'll have to exchange tables! 

Please note that I am leaning toward the marine life puzzles because I tend toward topics that the children would like. Not always. Sometimes I choose an adult scene such as maps, landscapes, or art. But I often tend toward themes preferred by the children.


Beneath The Sea

In the 5,000 piece category, Ravensburger also offers The Tower of Babel, Views of Modern Rome, Colin Thompson: Bizarre Town, and the Sistine Chapel


Ravensburger 18,000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzles 


This 18,000 piece puzzle titled At The Water Hole is amazing. It measures 109" x 75.5". Far too large for my current table, I'm sure. But the more puzzles I look at the more convinced I am that I need a new table. I will keep you updated. 

Paradise Sunset and Magical Bookcase are two additional puzzles in the 18,000 piece category.


At The Waterhole

Ravensburger also offers two jigsaw puzzles larger than 20,000 pieces! A View of Manhattan at 32,000 pieces and Memorable Disney Moments at 40,320 pieces.

I have focused on the marine and wildlife themes that would be of interest to the children at work. But Ravensburger offers many themes and many sizes of puzzles. To see their full inventory, check out the official Ravensburger site


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Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Toy Archery Set Reviewed

Developmental Skills Practiced During Play

Archery image courtesy of Pixabay.com
I would like to review a toy archery set for you today as a possibility for a gift for a child on your gift giving list. We recently had a birthday party for our little granddaughter and she received a toy archery set as one of her gifts. At first you might think this would be an odd choice for a little girl, but it actually has a lot of benefits that are hidden by play.

I have always loved toys that help a child develop skills why disguising their uses as just something to play with. What I love about the archery set is that it covers several aspects of skill sets in one toy. 

Their dexterity is improved as they learn to place the notched part of the arrow onto the string and hold it in place while pulling back the string to release the arrow. Eye-hand coordination is improved as the child learns to aim for a target and shoot the arrow. Even their upper body strength is improved as they use their little arms to pull back the string to shoot the arrow. All the while, the child just thinks they are playing!

Now, the archery set that was given to our little granddaughter does not have any sharp points on the arrows. The tips are rubber and will not penetrate anything. Of course, we picked out targets like trees and explained that you should never shoot the arrow at a person or pet. We explained that even though the tip was soft, it could hurt someone if it hit their body. 

We had so much fun playing in the backyard with this bow and arrow set! If the arrow is shot strong enough, you can even hear a whistle as it flies! I think the adults had just as much fun as the children did.

I also like that you can get the archery sets for girls or boys. It encourages outdoor play while having fun and honing some of those body skills that other toys may not address. We even worked on a point system that helped our little grandchild work with numbers and math skills. It was great fun for the entire family!

With the holidays approaching, this is a great gift idea for any young child on your gift list.




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Tuesday, August 29, 2017

A Locker For American Girl Dolls Reviewed

A Fun Accessory For Her Doll

american girl doll
Our American Girl Doll Needs A Locker
One of our little granddaughters is about to turn six, so I asked her what she wanted for her birthday. Her response was some "stuff" for her American Girl Doll. "Grandma, I would like stuff for her to use, not clothes but, you know, stuff to use and play with." she says.

So, off I went looking for some accessories (stuff) that she would enjoy. Let me tell you, there is no short supply of "stuff" for the dolls! I knew that but was amazed with all of the options available. Too much fun, I'm telling you, just too much fun for a shopping Grandma who wants to thrill a little girl.

Now, I should tell you that my husband and I have a couple of vintage school lockers in our home. We have one for me to use out in the sun room. I keep gardening supplies in it because it is close to the back door. We also have one that we let our grandchildren use to stash their prized possessions in when they are here or to keep safe until the next visit. The kids love that locker! 

So, when I found a locker made for the American Girl Dolls or any 18 inch doll; I knew my quest was over for a little while, anyway. There is Christmas coming after all! The birthday gift is taken care of with the cutest locker you can imagine!


I am really impressed with how well made this little doll locker is! It is metal, just like a real school locker. I chose the hot pink one for my granddaughter because pink is her most favorite color. There are other colors to choose from, if you don't care for the hot pink. It also comes with a little label that can be personalized for the Doll and a sticker that looks like a combination lock. Oh, it also comes with four little hangers to hang the doll clothes in the locker. Adorable! Just absolutely adorable! Additional hangers can be ordered separately.

Besides being a fun accessory, it will make for some great storage, too. She can put doll clothes in it but also the little shoes and small things that we wouldn't want her puppy dog to find and swallow. My granddaughter loves to have cubbies, boxes and such to store her things in. Sometimes, you will go in to see what she is playing and she is organizing her "stuff" into compartments. She is going to love this locker!

If you have a child's birthday coming up or are shopping early for the holidays; this little locker is a wonderful option for you to consider. The great thing is that it doesn't have to be for a little girl, I think boys would love having one to put toys in, also. This grandma loves it so much that she might have to get another one to have here; you know, for when the girls visit.




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Monday, July 10, 2017

Best Gifts for Grandson - Books and Legos



Classic Brick Box - train instructions included
My grandson's birthday passed a couple of months ago. I have come to realize that he has really enjoyed gifts of both books and Legos. Because of his enjoyment of these two things, I will continue to add to his collections for several holidays and birthdays to come. Whether you are looking for gifts for boys or girls, aged 4 to 99, books and Legos are great ideas. But based on my grandson's reaction, books and Legos are most excellent gifts for grandsons.

Legos Building Sets and Basic Brick Box Sets


I am a long distance grandparent, so I experience many holidays and birthdays through photos, phone calls, and video chats. Even many states away and through photos, I could see the extreme happiness on my grandson's face as he held up the Lego Batman Movie - Joker Lowrider kit that he had received from his uncle.

Lego Batman Movie - Notorious Joker Lowrider


That was his first Lego kit. And after seeing the genuine smile on his face with that Lego kit, I sent him a Classic Medium Creative Brick Box. Soon after he opened his gift, my son sent a photo of the little train that they built together with the instructions included in the Brick Box. It was fun to know that my gift was something they had spent time together to build.

Legos Medium Classic Brick Box


Books to Encourage Reading and Quality Time Together


I have read to my grandson during video chats. And my son has spent a great deal of time reading to his son. As a result, books seem to be important and interesting to my grandson.

During this last video chat a few days ago, my grandson "read" his favorite book to me for a long period of time. He was focused and excited. He also took great care to hold the book up so that Gramma could see the pictures too. 

Bedtime reading to Gramma

It was a heart-warming and wonderful way to spend time together. The book he chose to read to Gramma was about creatures under the sea. Not only was he spending time with a book, he was also spending time teaching Gramma about his fascination of sea creatures.

You can be sure that Gramma will remember to send him books about creatures under the sea.

More Lego and Children's Books Reviews from our Contributors

Our contributors at Review This share reviews about children's toys and books. It seems that every one of us believes that nurturing children's interest in reading is a wonderful thing. And that providing toys that nurture creativity is also a very important thing. 

We can spend quality time with our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other children who are important in our lives. Below are resources to find some of those books and toys. 

Our Wednesday Elf reviews children's books which have become classics over the decades. She reviews books that have endured over time as family favorites -Children's Classics that many of us have read to our children.

Toy Treasures is a gift guide for "Toys that Capture Our Attention and Hold Our Hearts". The site lists a variety of toy categories and the Lego category showcases a variety of specialized sets as well as basic collections.

The Holiday Gift Guide Directory is a compilation of gift resources and gifts reviews by our contributors. The all-occasion gifts in this list are honest reviews and reviews or placement in this directory cannot be purchased.

And last but not least, don't forget to check out the Toy Reviews tab on Review This for a variety of toy reviews for all ages and occasions. I have to admit, I am more than a little tempted to gift myself with the Lego Big Bang Theory set reviewed by our Beverly.






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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Lego Big Bang Theory Reviewed

Fun Legos Set For Grown-ups and Kids


lego big bang theory
Close-up of Lego Big Bang Theory Box
I just treated myself to the Lego Big Bang Theory set. No, I didn't buy it for the grandkids, I bought it for myself! I am a huge fan of the TV series The Big Bang Theory and I have loved Legos since my kids were little and we played with the plastic bricks together. When my girls were small there were no sets of Legos like there are now. We had to use our own creativity to make things. Once the grandchildren came along, Legos got even more interesting with the wonderful sets to complete. Trust me, this Grandma has purchased loads of those sets for the granddaughters! Suffice it to say, Grandma had just as much fun with the building as the girls did!

As I mentioned before, I am an avid fan of The Big Bang Theory on television. Just about every night in the hour before prime time viewing begins; my husband and I watch the syndicated reruns of the show. I started noticing that they were doing promos using Lego characters to promote the Lego Batman movie and one evening I said to my hubby, "I wish they had a real set for the Big Bang Theory." My husband replied in his logical way with, "Well, they must have one because they are showing them like they do." After rolling my eyes just a tad, I picked up my cell phone and looked it up on Amazon. Much to my delight, there is one! Ask me how long it took to hit the "buy" button! If you said, "No longer than it takes to log in." ... you would be correct!

open box lego big bang theory
Just opened Lego Big Bang Theory box
So, it came yesterday and of course I had to build it! The picture on the right is right after I opened the box and was ready to start building. If you haven't purchased a Legos set before, you might not know that the pieces are in numbered bags and you get an instruction book to follow. The instructions are simple for a child to follow. Basically pictures with no text are provided on each page. The page shows you a picture of the pieces that you will need for that step and then how to place them together. 

The fun thing about the instruction book for the Lego Big Bang Theory set is that there is a page that tells about the television series and a page that identifies each of the main characters of the sitcom with a picture and a short little bio. As I began building and went from page to page; I was tickled to see that every once in a while there was a small image of one of the characters with a quote from one of the episodes of the series. That was a fun little surprise!

It took me about 2 1/2 hours to completely build the set. There are a lot of little pieces to sort through but it was easy to follow the directions on each page. My only disappointment in the set is that it isn't very big and there are so many little things to build and place that it looks cramped. Because it is so small, it is really kind of hard to see everything. Then again, that is kind of fun because you have to take your time to find all of the hidden little treasures.

I think it is fun that they included all of the main characters in the set. There is Sheldon, Leonard, Howard, Raj, Penny, Bernadette and Amy along with Raj's little dog. All in all it was a fun set to build and it is fun to have it setting out as a conversation piece in our home.

This would make a wonderful gift for the Lego fan on your gift list, especially if they also happen to be a fan of the show The Big Bang Theory. In fact, I plan to order another one to give to my son-in-law for his birthday this year. I know he will get a real kick out of it!

View of my completed set
I thought you might enjoy seeing a view of my set on display in our living room. As you can see there is a lot of detail in this little set.




Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Stuffed Elephant Toy Reviewed

 For A Child Who Loves Elephants

African Elephants from Pixabay.com
Today, I am reviewing a stuffed elephant toy that I want to get for my 5 year old granddaughter. This post will be more than just about a toy, though. Last spring my granddaughter and her Mom visited Disney World where she learned of the plight of our elephants. Bless her little heart she took the information quite seriously and has vowed to save the elephants! 

She is so serious about it that she wants to create a vlog to get the word out to everyone she can. When asked what her goal was she said, "I want all of the children to know about the killing of the elephants because if we don't do something my kids won't have any elephants." Did I mention that she is 5 years old? She and her Mommy figured out that with 35,000 elephants killed each year that by the time she is 19 there will be no more elephants in the wild. I know that I am her Grandmother and a little biased but I think this is pretty impressive for one so young. 

So, I am doing what I can to help her learn about elephants by giving her books and films about real elephants. I also want her to be able to cuddle with an elephant and that is why I came up with the idea to get her a stuffed one. 

I have always been fond of the Jellycat line of stuffed toys so I immediately searched for one from that company. 

I know from having purchased stuffed animals made by this UK firm before that they are made with care and are quite durable. I think she will like this one because it sort of resembles the African elephant with the large ears. He looks so sweet and soft and I am curious to hear what she names him. There is no doubt in my mind that he will have center stage on her bed!

I want to applaud Disney for educating children not just about elephants but about our environment as a whole. They do quite an impressive job as witnessed by how much they affected my granddaughter. This child has taken all of this to heart and can quote so many statistics about elephants that it would blow your mind. She can look at a picture and tell you whether the elephant is from Africa or Asia. She can tell you why elephants are so important to the eco system. Her passion for this project not only touches my soul but makes me want to help her.

I knew that poaching elephants for their tusks was a horrible problem but hadn't really given it too much thought other than to think what an awful situation. Now, that my little granddaughter has decided that she can save them; I have learned so much more. Most of the information is brought to me from the mouth of a 5 year old who has the determination of a 35 year old!

I keep thinking that on a trip where you would think that a 5 year old would come back with tales of the Princesses, the rides, and the characters of Disney that what she came away with was the desire to save the elephants. As I said, I am biased but she is one very incredible child! She is already showing us that she will be a leader of some sort. She will not just sit by and let things happen; she will be an activist when it comes to changing things for the better.

Perhaps you could help her and the elephants by teaching your children and grandchildren about elephants.



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Saturday, November 26, 2016

A Review of Sports-Related Soft Toys for Tiny Tots

Plush Sports Throw Pillows

Is dad or big brother or sister a sports fan, or does your family participate in sports?  The littlest family members love to imitate and these sports-related soft toys are just the thing for little brother/baby sister to feel a part of the sports world the rest of the family enjoys.

When a new baby is born, how many times have you heard the new dad say "I'm going to get him a bat and ball and teach him baseball" (or football or basketball).   Or the big brother who plays soccer has a little brother or sister who wants to play too.  



The regular sized sports equipment is too big for little ones to use.  And babies & toddlers need toys that are soft for safety. The sports toy suggestions presented here are just the thing for the smallest family members.


First Sports Bag

 

My First Sports Bag
This 5-piece playset is recommended for ages 6 months to 5 years

It's never too early to start practicing to be an all-star! Perfect for one of baby's first toys and other younger siblings who want to imitate the big brother or sister who is into ball sports! 

This soft-sided bag includes a soft baseball that crinkles, a basketball that rattles, a soccer ball that boings, and a football that squeaks.   The balls all fit inside a colorful bag complete with touch and close fasteners for secure storage.

Baby Gund My First Sports Bag is a fun stuffed sports-related toy for babies and toddlers.



My First Golf Bag

 

My First Golf Bag Playset

A Sporty Plush Playset for ages one month to 5 years


The next pro golfer in your family can start to practice at an early age with this four-piece playset that has a soft 6" golf bag with touch and close fastener, a plush golf club, a tee and a ball that rattles.

Made by Gund, My First Golf Bag Playset is just what your junior duffer needs to score a (mini) hole-in-one.


First Tackle Box


My First Tackle Box Toy


This plush tackle box toy is recommended for children from 6 months to 5 years

Is grandpa or dad a fisherman?  Kids want to watch when grandpa is tying flies for his fly fishing trip or dad is checking out his tacklebox for a fishing day at the lake.  Give your toddler his very own tackle box that is soft and safe for him to play with while you are working with yours. 

This plush toy tackle box is just the right size for the youngest anglers, measuring about 7" long and 4" high. It also has a handle for carrying around.

Three soft play pieces come with the tackle box and fit inside.  There is a cute plush worm that crinkles, a little blue fish that squeaks, and, of course, a fishing pole.  The fishing pole has a red bobber that has a touch & grab white ring which makes it easy for baby to 'catch' the fish! 

First Tackle Box is a GUND plush playset for the smallest 'anglers'.

Soft Toys by GUND and Melissa & Doug


All three of the soft playsets with a sports theme shown here are made by Gund, a company that has been known as the 'World's Most Huggable' since 1898. For more than a century, GUND has been creating unique teddy bears and other soft toys recognized the world over for their quality and innovation.

The plush basketball, baseball, soccer ball and football shown in the opening photo are sports throw pillows by Melissa & Doug, a well-known company of quality products since their beginning in 1988. Decorate a child's bedroom with these sports pillows, or toss them around as soft ball toys.



It's Holiday Shopping Time!


For more toy suggestions for the children on your shopping list, check out the items in the 'Holiday Gift Guide: Online Shopping Directory' from our Review This! contributors. 




(c) Wednesday Elf 11/26/2016








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