Now who remembers Mr Frosty?
Wow this has brought back some memories but not all were great back in the 80's especially when it came to Mr Frosty.
If you were born in the 80's Or know someone who was , I am sure they would have mentioned this to you before as this was the must have children's toy back then when gadgets were not really a thing and toys were becoming the greatest (well in my opinion that is, I would take a Mr stretch and a blabbermouth any day over a Smart dog or finger sized plastic toy that does nothing but repeat the same phrases over and over to you ) .
Well it was not really a toy , more like an over sized grater that was made poorly of thin plastic and the grater? well it couldn't even grate cheese , never mind the cubes you had to put into it but the concept was fun and that is what drew everyone to wanting one.
The product was what can only be described as a snow cone maker , basically a slush with fantastic flavours and all you had to do was take of the snowman's hat and stuff ice cubes down the shoot, stand for an hour while your parents painfully spent what felt like forever turning the grinder to crush about a hundred ice cubes to get about a mouthful and make it look like a small melted puddle.
It might have been a terrible fail but at the time it was all exciting and to be fare , they have brought out many more like it since but guess what?
Mr Frosty is back but with a new and improved idea, The Choc Ice Maker and this time it actually works , well to an extent.
When we were kids we opened the Mr Frosty imagining loads of fantastic pieces to be inside to make all these amazing wonders but in reality it came with an ice cube tray and the snowman grater that we were not even allowed to touch in case we grate our hands of , this time round we got a cool Igloo that we later found out to be a microwavable dish with a lid that had spaces to hold the lollies once completed and even better for me was the gorgeous mould of snowmen and penguins which were the cutest ever , you even got some lovely sticks to complete the whole design of making lollipops.
Now I have to admit , I have no idea why these are called Choc Ices as in my opinion they look and feel more like an ice lolly , I think it is just the ingredients they have used to make it so but we have had a great time with this and this time the quality really is the best it can be .
The instructions were so easy that my youngest son aged 3 took over with his 8 year old brother and made claim to the Choc Ice Maker, mainly eating it all before we got chance to use it .
The mould is able to be used with many ingredients , many may choose to use this for juice to freeze, chocolate or crushed fruits but we chose fromage frai yogurts and so we filled the mould with about 1 tub to 2 mould shapes and added the red sticks before freezing so we could have our handle in place before decorating and been able to eat them.
It did not take long to wait for the yogurt to freeze once in the freezer but I suppose it all depends what you are placing in your mould to know how long it will take for other things choices of fillings , we did not wait longer than 1 hour before we removed ours from the freezer .
While they were being frozen , we chopped a bar of chocolate into small cubes and placed them into the Igloo , added the lid and placed it into the microwave for 30 seconds each time ensuring the chocolate was melting and stirring to ensure it didn't burn and spoil .
I think he enjoyed eating it more than making it but once the mould tray came out of the freezer we carefully removed each one by its stick and placed it into the warm melted chocolate (we tried to allow it to cool a little so not to be to hot for the frozen ingredient) , I really think this is something a parent needs to do because we found that the kids spent too long twirling the frozen yogurt into the chocolate and it meant it was melting the yogurt but setting the chocolate quickly but unevenly.
Once we got a layer covering the mould we quickly dipped it into the sprinkles and placed back into the freezer using the Igloo stand to allow the chocolate to also have time to freeze.
I think we were all pleasantly surprised how good they tasted and how they turned out (although no sign of a penguin or snowman in sight due to the uneven thick chocolate ) , the boys really loved them and they even looked like little fireworks ideal for their firework display we had in the garden later that evening for them .
We have to say a massive Well done to Mr Frosty this time for making a fantastic idea that even my 3 year old enjoyed although aimed at ages 5+and costing only £12.99 by Flair and a perfect gift for anyone who loves to be creative and enjoys a Choc Ice or Lolly.
On the 6th June the new release of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was released and we were rather excited in our household due to the fact we love Dinosaurs.
We have done so much work on our home educating journey regarding Dinosaurs and the wonderful history that surrounds them so when we planned to visit the Sunderland Museum for Joshua's Birthday surprise as he asked to see the dinosaurs that were appearing there for a short event week , we were very happy to find that Ravensburger were also sending this new game to us also for the older boys .
This game is aimed for the older kids , those aged 10 years and over and it is priced at around £24.99.
Take a peak at what's inside -
So first of , here are the contents -
11 player mats,
19 island tiles,
5 perimeter frames,
10 character movers,
3 dinosaur movers,
Up to 5 players can play at any time and the game takes around 50 minutes to play .
The story for the game is that Jurassic Park has just been opened to the public and disaster has struck when all of the electricity has gone of , maybe from some mass storm that has hit Isla Nublar, the Island that holds the worlds only surviving prehistoric dinosaurs and some of them are not a friendly breed.
The aim is that one of the players in this game is to control them and that includes the T-Rex, Dilophosaurus, and Velociraptor, their aim is to prowl the Island , searching through the jungle and attack all humans while the other players (who are characters from the movie itself) , team up together and try to save the Island and everyone else on it by securing the perimeters, sealing the gates and turning on electric fences of the Park to secure and leave the island safely.
There's a lot of pieces to join and make the game together but it does not take long to set up and following the instructions it is not hard to follow at all .
Before I even opened the booklet and got half way through it the boys were already finished piecing it all together .
You start with a hexagon shaped piece which has the word start on it then there are 6 center pieces which surround it followed by 12 outer pieces known as the perimeter that surround those then sealed with 5 frame pieces which gives the finish of the island with its water edge.
It all fits together just as a jigsaw does but it has no particular order and that is why its so great.
Although there is a small order they need to be in , the hexagon (other than the start one and the edge pieces) ,can be placed differently each game so no two games will be the same in a row .
The Maintenance Shed, Control Center, and Visitors Center tokens are placed on the perimeter tiles adjacent to the corresponding labels on the frame grey side up and the lock tokens, fence tokens, goal tokens, helicopter token, and die are placed beside the game board for use later.
The Characters must visit the Maintenance Shed, Control Centre, and Visitors Centre and they must activate all three locations by rolling a five or higher while at that spot, then only can the buildings activated but they can be activated in any order.
When all locations are activated, the Helicopter Pad token is added to the board. Characters can then travel to the helipad space and wait there before the token is added but they are unable to escape and win the game for the Humans until the token is placed.
The dinosaurs have their own rules and play allowances each adapted to each individual dinosaur.
The dinosaurs have their own move cards and each of them have a special Action they can perform. Only one Dinosaur Action may be performed at a time, and the same one cannot be used in a row
The optional actions are:
The Dinosaur attacks by moving into a space containing a non-sneaking Character and if there are more than one Character in the same space, the Human Players decide who is attacked unless one is Dennis Nedry, who must always be attacked first. Dinosaurs can also attack if a Character reveals from a Sneak in a space occupied by a Dinosaur, or by using a Special Action in the case of the Dilophosaurus.
When the Dinosaur attacks, the Dinosaur Player takes one card from the Human Player’s hand and adds it to that player’s Burn Pile. The Human Player may look at the card to see which one it is, but the Dinosaur Player may not see.
The Dinosaurs must eliminate three Characters in order to win and there are three ways they can do this.
The Human Players win a game of Jurassic Park: Danger by successfully activating the Maintenance Shed, Control Centre, and Visitors Centre. Then either two or three characters (two in a 2-3 player game, three in a 4-5 player game) must make it to the Helicopter Pad with their Goal Tokens.
The dinosaurs win by eliminating three characters.
I absolutely love this game, I probably respect and appreciate all those finer details added more than the children due to the fact I'm more of a fan than they are to be fare. I love a game that challenges intellect and becomes a race , it builds the adrenaline and makes playing as a family a little more exciting , this is definitely one we will be keeping on our family night games list .
I absolutely love spending time with my children doing something as a team or learning together .
Turning off the t.v and computer is like a magical moment that needs to happen more often as we sometimes find interest in things that we would not normally enjoy.
Over the past couple of years , we have found a great interest in puzzles both large and small and because they're suitable for all ages and have so many different themes or collections , we can always find something new .
This month we were sent 'Puppy Dog Pals , 24 piece Giant Floor Puzzle' which to my youngest son was a great excitement .
My youngest son Joshua is currently 2 years old (nearly 3) and we are going through the fine motor skills learning of building and putting things together as well as taking things apart and so puzzles are a fantastic lesson for him not only visually but also physically.
Ravensburger's Giant Floor Puzzles are great fun, me and my boy sit on the floor and can spend a good hour or so putting them together or merely just looking at each individual piece and allowing him to become creative in his own little way , he even builds little houses with them as the pieces are rather large and chunky and sturdy to hold.
The older children often whizz through these puzzles pretty fast so we try to hide away to allow him some time to learn for himself without them being there taking over as they normally would and once he has the idea and knows the puzzle he then brings in his older siblings to show them how clever he is putting it all together .
The floor puzzle is only a 24 piece in this case so I feel this is aimed more towards the younger children ages 3 to 7 , but the older children such as my 12 year old loves Puppy Dog Pals so really enjoyed this and actually requested we put it in a frame for her bedroom when we were finished with it .
This puzzle is so cheerful and bright that it fits well in our large family home and actually looks fun with a little resemblance of my own mischievous pups .
With Bingo and Rolly riding out with their Auto Doggie robotic friend , they look like they could be up to all sorts of adventures , but what are they going to get up to and where are they going?
It brings a great script of imagination to a child's mind once they complete the picture and see the final reveal and if you know anything about the two characters or even if you don't , you can see they are going to seek plenty of fun and thrills wherever they go .
The Ravensburger ' Puppy Dog Pals Giant Floor Puzzle' is a wonderful family puzzle that can be played with time over time and because its made with quality it will last those smaller hands longer .
What puzzle will we try next?
Come back and find out soon.
*We were not paid for this review , all opinions are honest and based on our own experiences and thoughts.
Our 2 year old loves vehicles , his favorite are motorbikes but he is currently expanding his favorites especially now that his dad is a bus driver and we are getting out more and he is seeing more and more different variations.
Last year we visited a banger show , it is basically old and reused , scrap cars that have been put to a working order that they pretty much race in then at the end they crash into each other seeing who's last til the last one standing and he was overjoyed watching them .
I myself have never really had a thing for fast cars but my husband is obviously where he copies his love from on this occasion and we' tend to have to buy different vehicles on our every trip to the shops . Last week his dad bought him a huge dumper truck and yesterday it was paw patrol sea jet pack boards , anything that moves and travels gets him moving too .
Brio sent us the Push and go Racer aimed at ages 12 months and when my son seen it he was straight away very pleased with his post.
At only £15.99 it is a lovely toy that gets those little legs moving .
I love that this toy does not need any batteries and comes in just one whole piece meaning nothing is going to be lost or misplaced .
Usually I would find toys that are solely wooden especially when it comes to Brio vehicles as this is what I am used to seeing but this is rather different and has a variation of different materials making it look fantastic .
While the driver is made from wood, the body is made form plastic and the wheels of rubber as well as the racers backrest of metal , all of which high quality and hard wearing meaning even those tough little hands will be hard to break it easily .
The whole concept is just as it says , you simply push down the driver (the wooden figure inside the car) and release and watch it go .
The racer goes quite fast compared to others I have previously owned especially on carpet , I find they tend to slow down or become stuck but this little racer worked fantastically .
Being that the Push and go racer goes quite fast along the floor means that as soon as you release the car , your little one loves to race after it .
We are loving all Brio toys and have not found one yet that we feel lacks in quality or stimulation to our children's senses .
My youngest son is now 34 months and the world around him is becoming an adventure .
He is literally into everything and anything that moves and makes a sound and he seems to be engaging in toys for longer periods of time if he finds a true interest .
At the moment our little boy has found his brothers interest of watching YouTube and loves to watch musical and educational videos and if I were to let him he would stay watching them for hours on end but sometimes I feel all senses need to be used and so I try not to have him watching most of the day and encourage play more .
We are lucky to be able to have a home educating room which also doubles as a toy room and so we spend most of our day (if not out) in the room building his imagination and learning through play which I thoroughly enjoy seeing and I have to admit that with help from some fantastic toys that are available , I believe he becoming a very smart little boy and when we received this in the post it really did make me feel so proud.
Lets Take a little look -
Brio sent us the Play and learn musical caterpillar aimed at children over the ages of 24 months .
This cute and adorable looking little insect requires 2 AAA batteries (which are not included ) and costs £34.99.
This product comes with 5 pieces -
You also receive instructions to replace batteries , a Brio leaflet showing you a small catalogue of their products and you also get a lovely little leaflet of musical instructions and different combinations that make the board come to life.
I remember being in school and working with circuit boards but it only came about when we were around 8-9 years old and that was mainly due to the small pieces of wires and batteries that were involved. We probably were only allowed to at this time as we were more likely trusted not to swallow anything that was harmful whereas at a younger age we were putting everything in our mouths and at one point I distinctively remember taking apart the battery compartment of my doll and swallowing the screws that kept the compartment closed and even more strangely and unfortunate I even swallowed a furry caterpillar when really little when I held it in my hand and being all excited by my discovery I took a deep breath while holding it up to my eyes to take a closer look and losing my New found friend forever, it devastated me and since then I've always encouraged my children to be inquisitive and enjoy insects. Lately it has all been about digging in our soil and preparing it for our new planting that we are going to be doing at the end of this season and we found some gorgeous caterpillars and worms in our garden , especially due to the fact we have a rather large allotment consisting of hundreds of cabbages and other various vegetables which attract lots of butterflies and caterpillars .
I love how this reminds me of my younger years in many ways for good reasons.
Combining technology and learning can be a hard balance for children at a toddler age and I find many products concentrate more on the technology than that of the learning side of things . My son loves his IPad but that use of over stimulating his eyes and mind in vision and basically making him stare into oblivion is something I do not like seeing so this toy is something I really love.
Not only is this toy bright, cheerful and colourful stimulating the eyes along with the added features of it lighting up with every movement and added block but it is also stimulating in sound with 10 different songs that it plays depending on the 10 different circuit patterns made by placing each wooden block into each of the spaces available on the board.
The head and tail of the caterpillar are attached to the board always and are the only light up features which flash along in tune with the song playing at the time. The wooden blocks have a magnet on the bottom of each of them which triggers the circuit hidden inside the board making it work and give out a tone for each placement but only when the head is connected in full circuit to the tail and joined up will it play a full tune.
It was so exciting to watch my only 2 year old son looking at the musical instruction leaflet and following the patterns and making it flash and play a tune , you could see his face light up with achievement .
I love to see a reward at the end of an achievement , especially when he was doing it all on his own and seeing that if he does something as instructed , he can achieve results .
We absolutely love the Play and learn musical caterpillar , I can see this being a hit with the younger children that visit us in our home and even the older children have had fun with it too.
What do you think of the Brio toys, will you be taking a peak at their range or do you already own some of their educational toys ?