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

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

How to Encourage Curiosity in Children

Is there a budding scientist in your family?  Let's Review some ways to encourage children's curiosity in the world around them.

In our family we try as hard as possible to enkindle a sense of curiosity in our children and grandchildren.  You just never know what exposing them to something they have never thought about might accomplish.  

My other half is a retired Medical Technologist and his fascination with microscopes started when he was about 10 years old.  Swamp water never looked so interesting as it did under the lights and lenses of a simple, yet very good beginner microscope.  

How many of you have seen what a blade of grass looks like under a microscope?  

This picture is taken from Nikon's Small World 2011 Photomicrography Contest.  Dr. Donna Stoltz, University of Pittsburgh


Now that our grandchildren are that age, he has revisited his love for seeing what the naked eyes can't.  He bought himself a new microscope and some slide sets that he plans to introduce to our granddaughters and grandsons.  We do get to spend some time with them when Mom and Dad are out of town.  It's the perfect opportunity to broaden their horizons and spend some quality time with them too.  



There are endless things that children can put under the lens and get a real up close look.  Flower petals, pollens, cat or dog hairs, these are all things that children can see under the microscope.  The amazing thing is that what they see through the lens is nothing at all like what they see with the naked eye.  It takes "seeing" something to a whole new level.  

Children are endlessly fascinated by the things around them and sometimes if you catch them at a point where they are looking for something different, you just might trigger the button for them to learn more and see differently.  


The future of our planet will be in the hands of our children, and we will need some of those children to take an interest in seeing the world from the Macro and the Micro phases.  Maybe one of them will be your child or grandchild. 





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, August 21, 2018

Water Globe Kit For Kids Reviewed

Encourage Creativity In Children

water globe fountain
A different sort of water globe
I will be giving my youngest granddaughter a water globe kit for her next birthday. As I write this, her birthday is less than two weeks away and this Grandma is prepared with some fun and creative gifts. 

She loves to be creative and enjoys doing all sorts of crafts even though she will only turn 7 next month. I look for things that will challenge her skills and allow her to create things that she will enjoy when they are completed. A water globe kit checks off several items on my list of criteria when searching for crafts for her to work on. 

I love the idea that while creating these little water globes she will be required to use some critical thinking along with problem solving. She will need to decide whether she wants to create the suggested scenes with the clay or if she wants to really be creative and come up with her own designs to encapsulate in the globe. There are four colors of clay to make the scene with, which causes her to figure out how to combine colors to get other colors. She will have plastic tools to assist her in her creations along with molding figures with her fingers and hands. I think she will spend hours creating something unique and fun. 

The kit includes three globes to create under the sea scenes. Since she just returned from a vacation in Maine and discovered that she loves lobster, I bet she makes a lobster for one of the scenes. The kit suggests a seahorse, octopus and mermaid but she will use her own imagination and come up with something very clever.

I am pretty excited to see what she does with this wonderful kit. Who knows, she might even make one globe for Grandma to have. I am certain that she and her Mommy will enjoy working on them together. That is the wonderful thing about a kit like this from Creativity for Kids, it can be enjoyed by kids from 6 to 96. This wonderful company has been making innovative and safe products for children since 1976 helping them develop skills that will follow them throughout their lives while having fun in the process. 



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, August 7, 2018

Project MC2 Spy Bag Reviewed

Fun Spy Kit For Little Girls

spy camera
Spy camera image courtesy of Pixabay.com
Last weekend my granddaughter and her mommy came for a visit. The Project MC2 Spy bag came with them so that Grandma and her budding little secret agent girl could play together. We play a lot of things when she comes but currently she is really into playing detective and spy type make believe. She has quite the imagination and Grandma is thoroughly entertained!

Project MC2 (pronounced project MC squared) is a web television series featured on Netflix that encourages girls to have a growing interest in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathmatics). OK, so I already love it! Their logo has the words "smart is the new cool" and you know that I love that, too! The series is based around the adventures of McKayla McAlister and her best friends who are agents for the NOV8 (innovate) organization. Young girls are entertained in each episode with the various assignments of these very smart young teens while being exposed to how cool and helpful the various aspects of STEM can be. 

When little McKenna came into the house carrying a plastic bag that looked like a pink quilted purse, I commented that I liked her new handbag. She winked, grinned and replied, "It is a special purse that I bought with my very own money. Wait until you see what is inside, Grandma!" After they were all settled in, she opened her bag for me. Oh my goodness what fun things were inside!

The shimmery make-up doubles as fingerprint powder. The lipstick has a secret compartment that can launch messages when you need to. The compact has a fake mirror that swings out to provide a magnifying glass when needed. The perfume bottle can act as an air blower when squeezed. Oh the fun we had using these tools to find clues and help save the world last weekend!

As a mother of two daughters, I repeated the motto of Smurfette on a regular basis: "Girls can do anything!" As a Grandmother, I am thrilled that my granddaughters are being encouraged further by their own mothers and society to be all that their hearts call them to be. I love that they are being given the message that being smart is a cool thing to be and that their gender is not inferior. It lightens my heart to think that when they are grown women perhaps true equality will be a reality no matter the race or gender that a person is. I believe the real change will come from children being given the examples and beliefs that we are all equal in our abilities rather than any laws that have been or might be passed. It is perception that will make the biggest difference, in my humble opinion. Sorry, I guess I stepped up on a soapbox for a minute.

Suffice it to say, I love this little toy and the series that encourages little girls to be curious, to be interested in science and to use their brains to solve problems. If you have a little girl in your life, you might consider introducing them to Project MC2 if they are not already aware of it. I think they will love it and that you will too.



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, July 31, 2018

Disney Descendants Gift Ideas Reviewed

Gifts For The Under Twelve Kids

maleficent descendants
Disney's Maleficent Sculpture courtesy of Pixabay.com
Children under twelve, especially the girls, are most probably huge fans of the Disney Descendants movies. I know one of my granddaughters absolutely loves the characters and stories. She has asked for some items for both her birthday and Christmas. 

If you are not familiar with this very popular Disney story line, let me give you a brief little synopsis. When the Beast and Belle (Beauty and the Beast) marry they unite all of the kingdoms into the United States of Auradon. It is an idyllic place hidden away where the "good" characters of Disney tales reside. The villains of those same stories are imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost with their sidekicks and various accomplices in evil. Some time has passed and those characters that we all grew up with have children of their own, the Descendants. 

Prince Ben who is the son of Beast and Belle is about to become King of Auradon. He feels that it would be beneficial to invite four of the troubled teens from the Isle of the Lost to come be educated at Auradon Prep and to live among the residents of the peaceful kingdom of his father and mother. He chooses Carlos (son of Cruella de Ville),  Jay (son of Jafar), Evie (daughter of The Evil Queen) and Mal (daughter of Maleficent). So the first movie is about the transition of those teens into the Auradon realm. 

A sequel was released in 2017 called Descendants 2. It continues with the plot of the Villain Kids trying to fit in. Mal becomes frustrated with the expectation that she be Royally Perfect and returns to the Isle of The Lost. New characters are introduced with Uma (daughter of Ursula), Harry (son of Captain Hook) and Gil (son of Gaston). Uma is resentful of not being chosen by Prince Ben and is the self proclaimed leader of the Villain Kids on the island. She isn't real happy about Mal returning, as you might imagine. 

So, if you have a child on your gift list who loves Disney; I would imagine that they are quite familiar with these two movies. There are all sorts of gift ideas for these little fans. Of course, there are action dolls that they can collect and play with. If they do not already have one, a DVD of each of the movies is a great idea. There are all sorts of activity books to color and create with and there are even costumes for the various characters of the movies. They can carry their items to and from school in a Descendants backpack and they can wear socks and other clothing with this theme. As with all Disney brands, there are many items that will make a child happy to have.

This brand is not going to go away anytime soon as a Descendants 3 is scheduled to be released in 2019. You might ask your little one which of the characters they love the best and start to stock up for gifts. My little one loves Uma. I wonder which one your little one loves. 



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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Saturday, May 12, 2018

Cuddlekins Plush Red Panda Review

Cuddlekins Plush Red Panda Review
Wild Republic Cuddlekins Red Panda Plush
My grandson, David, had a birthday coming up the end of April, so I asked his dad for some ideas for 'grandma gifts'.  The internet makes such requests so simple these days, as my son easily posted a list of 'David Wants' in a shared Wish List on Amazon.

Among the suggested gifts were a set of artist pencils (David loves to draw and is quite good), some Minecraft figures, and a plush red panda, particularly this one pictured here by Cuddlekins of Wild Republic.  I was a bit surprised that David still liked stuffed animals at age nine.  I thought he might have outgrown them by now, but my son insisted it was one of the gifts David was hoping for. 


Cuddlekins Red Panda



Turned out, David did not expect he would get his plush Red Panda, so it was a delightful surprise for him, as you can see by the expression on his face as he opened it. 

I was particularly pleased with the quality of this stuffed animal.  It has smooth, red fur, a big bushy tail, white markings, and lifelike, highly-detailed, realistic features. It's softly stuffed and measures 12 inches tall.  





You can see that it is a wonderful, hugable armful for a 9-year-old. 





About Wild Republic


Wild Republic has been creating nature-related animals and educational toys and gifts since 1979, with their specialty being their realistic stuffed animals.  The line of stuffed animals is extensive and includes just about any animal you can imagine, including farm animals, jungle animals, sea creatures, dinosaurs, reptiles and prehistoric animals, birds, butterflies & bugs and dogs & cats. I am also pleased with how reasonably priced they are. 

Their headquarters are in Twinsburg, Ohio, but they have offices around the world and their international distribution serves zoos, museums, and aquariums, as well as retailers. 

In addition to this plush Red Panda, Wild Republic has a whole line of these cuddly wild animals which look like the real animal.  They also carry a line of gift items that are related to nature, such as jewelry, home décor and seasonal items. You can visit the Wild Republic Website here





Happy Birthday, David



David, Age 9

David LOVES his new buddy, the Cuddlekins Plush Red Panda.  He had a wonderful 9th birthday!





The Real Red Panda


Red Panda Poster by Sylvestermouse

Sylvestermouse has a delightful article all about the 'real' red panda which is filled with interesting photos and facts at Reviewing What We Know About the Red Panda.








(c) Review of the Wild Republic Cuddlekins Red Panda Plush by Wednesday Elf






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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Saturday, April 7, 2018

Lego Creator Holiday Bakery Set #10216

Lego Creator Holiday Bakery Set 10216
Purchase your franchise here!
I was going to review the Lego Creator Holiday Bakery Set for you today, but I decided to let an alter-ego of mine tell you all about this gorgeous Lego set.

I hope you enjoy his story  review ...

Reviewing the Lego Creator Holiday Bakery


"Have you heard of the Lego Creator Holiday Bakery? Apparently there are lots of different ones around, but the Lego Creator Holiday Bakery that I know is located just outside of Lego City and is very popular at the holidays because a lot of Lego City residents buy their Christmas trees just outside and pop into the Lego Creator Holiday Bakery to purchase some of their delicious cupcakes.

My name is Leo G Brick and I'm actually what is known as a Lego Minifigure, I don't think I'm that different to you, the reader though in that I absolutely love bakeries. I love the smell of fresh bread and the taste of cakes, biscuits, muffins, croissants - just about anything you can find in a bakery! I was so excited when I heard that the Lego Creator Holiday Bakery was coming to the outskirts of Lego City, I must admit I ate far too many baked goods on the opening day!

The Lego Creator Holiday Bakery is actually available as a franchise that is quite affordable for anyone to purchase, click the link to find out more -

Get the Lego Creator Holiday Bakery to Your Lego City!

Now it’s called the Holiday Bakery because the original one opened before Christmas and it had Christmas decorations up ... the baker (pictured below) ‘forgot’ to take the decorations down and so the name stuck! In our Lego City we all go there when we’re getting our Christmas trees which further perpetuates the name, but the cupcakes, croissants and baguettes taste good all the time.

I love to visit on birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and any other special occasion when I can ‘pretend’ I need to eat some delicious food. After all we don’t want the Baker to have to close because his trade only visits once a year!

Winter is great there though because there is a pond that ices over so you can ice skate which means you burn off calories that can ‘allow’ you to eat more cake – that’s my story and I’m sticking to it!"

Lego Creator Holiday Bakery - a collectors set
PIN ME!


LEGO Creator Holiday Bakery 10216 

Set Details

The Lego Creator Holiday Bakery set comes with 7 1/2 minifigures – which sounds strange!

Basically the minifigures are as follows -
  • Baker 
  • Horse Carriage Driver 
  • Christmas Tree Seller 
  • 2 females 
  • 2 children 
  • 1 lower half of a body stuck in snow!
As well as these minifigures this Lego set also contains a horse and a snow owl.

According to the official product description the set -
  • Features LEGO Power Functions lightup brick which lights the interior of the bakery when you push it! 
  • Includes lots of fun winter accessories like a dark blue minifigure hood with new fur print! 
  • Prepare holiday treats and ring up sales at the cash register! 
  • Skate on the frozen pond made of 8×8 transparent blue plates! 
  • Interesting elements include a camera, tan baguettes, croissants, green apple, 8×8 transparent blue plates, medium blue tiles and even a new caramel color for several brick and arch elements outside the bakery! 
  • Features an evergreen tree for decorating, tree sellers stand and even a horsedrawn cart! 
  • Bakery measures 7 (18 cm) wide! 
  • Completed model (depending on space allocated between the individual parts) measures 16 (40 cm) wide, 12 (30 cm) deep and 7 (18 cm) high!

What Do You Think of This Lego Creator Set?

I hope you enjoyed Leo's review of this fun Lego set, if you already have the Creator Holiday Bakery set then you might be happy to know that there are a range of Lego Creator houses available too.

Not sure if this set is the one for you?  Well then why not check out some of the other Lego reviews here on Review This (they aren't reviewed by Leo, but by human reviewers including a couple by me!) -

Reviewing 2004 Lego X PodsReviewing 2004 Lego X Pods
A fun Lego on the go toy - the 2004 Lego X Pod range - perfect for any Lego loving child ... and for any parent who has to wait with them anywhere!

Reviewing Lego Off Road Power Set - Lego #5893Reviewing Lego Off Road Power Set - Lego #5893
I love Lego's Creator range of sets and this Off Road Power set is no exception.   3 Fun vehicles to make and play with, what more can you ask for.

Reviewing a Set of Basic Classic LegosReviewing a Set of Basic Classic Legos
A Review of the Lego Classic Creative Supplement Set.   This set is called classic for a reason, they will always be welcomed in anyone's Lego collection.

Lego Big Bang Theory ReviewedLego Big Bang Theory Reviewed
A set for grown ups and kids to enjoy, the Lego Big Bang Theory set is a fun piece to build and display





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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Saturday, March 24, 2018

Reviewing Lego Off Road Power Set - Lego #5893

Lego Off Roader Set Reviewed
Buy the Lego Off Roader Set here!
The Lego 5893 set is part of the Creator 3 in 1 series and is known as the Off Road Power set. Not only can you build an awesome Off Roader with this Lego Creator set, but when you're bored with it you can transform it into something else!

The Lego 5893 set comes with instructions for three different Lego builds which is why the Creator 3 in 1 series is so popular. As a mom I feel like I'm getting value for money because once they've exhausted all of the play with one model they can rebuild it into another - how good is that?

Let's take a look at the three different things that this Lego Creator 5893 set can be transformed into (and let's not forget they can always create their own models without instructions).

Lego Off Roader

The First Build from Lego #5893

Lego Off Roader #5893

As you can see from the picture this completed model is of an off road vehicle with a trailer and quad bike. This offers a lot of imaginative play once the build is completed.

The build itself is not going to be over too quickly either as this set does have over 1,000 pieces that need to be put together.

So this particular first model has three components to it – the off roader, the trailer and the quad bike so let’s have a look at them all.

When the off roader is completed it measures 10 inches or 25 cm long and looks pretty cool as you can see in the image above. You can open the doors of the truck, put down the tailgate as well as opening up the hood. When you do open the hood you may feel a little disappointed to see you only have a V6 engine (a V8 would've been much better in my opinion), however when you look at what great features the 4×4 has you can forgive the engine size. The vehicle has working steering, suspension and (the creme de la creme) a self-winding winch!

Basically this 4×4 off roader is a really cool vehicle to build as well as being a lot of fun to play with just by itself, but you don’t have it just by itself instead it comes with both a trailer and a quad bike.  A little note if you are buying it for a younger Lego builder than recommended there are components with the engine that will probably require adult help with, even if they're experienced.

Trailer has a ramp at the back to enable your to drive the quad bike on and off – this can be put up when not in use. It also has a cool kick stand so that when it’s not attached to the off roader it can stay still. It’s the attention to detail on this model that really shines through and makes it a great set.

The quad bike is also pretty cool, although I am quite partial to playing with quad bikes! When it’s build the bike measures 4 inches or 10 cm long and one of it’s features that I think really makes it is the tilt steering.


Lego Truck with Digger


Second Build from Lego #5893

Lego Truck with Digger #5893

Diggers are always cool and so are trucks so when Lego offers a model of a truck that has a digger on it you just know this model is going to be a hit!



Lego Dune Buggy


Third Build from Lego #5893

Lego Dune Buggy #5893

This racing car/dune buggy model is the easiest of the three models to build so if you’re buying the set for a child that doesn’t have a lot of experience with Lego (yet), it’s a good idea to encourage them to make this one first before tackling the other two (the ‘main’ model of the 4×4, trailer and quad bike is definitely the hardest of the three).

A little boy that I know well finds this buggy great fun to play with (although he’s a little younger than the recommended age and his father built it!), it seems really tough and certainly stood up to racing on the concrete area in the back yard with no problems whatsoever.


What Do You Think of the Lego Creator Off Road Power Set?

Personally I think it’s really cool, I particularly like the Quad bike that’s included as part of the first build – what do you like about the 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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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.





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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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








Check out other Toy Reviews on Review This!



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





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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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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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:
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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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