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We have had floor lights from Ikea before so when the base of ours boke we decided to have a tip to Ikea to buy a new one. This floor lamp cost 11 pound which is a fantastic price in my opinion, there were lots of different options but as we have had a cheap lamp from there before we didn''t see the point in paying more. The lamp came packaged in a rather small cardboard box, it was so small that we didn''t believe there cold be a lamp on there so opened it up in the store to check but it was all in there. Within the box there were lots of pieces to build the lamp and a set of instructions for how to put it together. The instructions were very easy to follow although the pieces were self explanatory to put together so the instructions weren''t needed. The pieces of the lamps are all black metal, there are two lamps one is bigger than the other, the biggest lamp faces the ceiling and doesn''t move but the small lamp can be moved to where you want it to point which is ideal to have. The covers for the lamps are white plastic and screw on, the only issue I have with the lamp is that ordinary energy saving bulbs show out of the end of the smaller lamp shade and as I suffer from migraines I am careful not to look straight at it. The lamps are very sturdy which is needed in my house as I am a child minder so things often are getting knocked with all the children. The lamps have a control panel on the wire half way down the height of the lamp and each light can be turned on and off individually. The lamps work off one plug socket which is great as the old style lamps from Ikea had one plug for each light. The lamps give off a decent amount of light, we have a large though room and sit in one end of it on a night time, the light from these lamps along with the light from the TV is enough to light the full area where we sit and I will often do crafts without problem. The lamps are night and strong, give off lots of light, are a great price and look great in a vey simple black and white design so I rate them 5 stars, I can''t honestly see what else you can want for 11 pound.
My skin is really bad for getting blocked pores especially on my nose so I will often use a pore strip to remove the grime, I''m not bothered which brand of nose strip I use but I do like the Boots Tea Tree range in general so when these were on offer I bought a box. The strips come packaged in a small cardboard box which slips nicely into the bathroom cabinet, it states on the box you get 6 strips and that they contain tea tree and witch hazel both of which are known for being good for your skin. The box costs 4 pound 50 however I bought it on a 3 for 2 offer. The strips come individually wrapped in little foil packets, each packet has a small slit on the top to make it easy for you to just pull down to open although it is still quite hard with wet hands. To use the strips simply wet you nose which I find easiest with my fingertips and then apply the strips to your nose shiny side down. I find that the strip is easy to position and as long as you haven''t overwet your nose the strip grips well. You have to leave the strip to dry for about 15 minutes, you can feel when the strip is dry and ready for removal as it tightens over you nose. To remove the strip simply pull from either side upwards to the bridge of your nose and you can see the results on the strip. The results are easy to see on the strip you can see all the grime which has been pulled from you pores, I love the feeling of my pores being clean and they look much clearer after using one of these strips. The strips don''t leave behind any visible residue but I like to wash my face after use anyway. The pore strips are more expensive than a lot of have tried and apart from the fact they don''t leave any residue behind they are not really worth paying the extra in my opinion, they don''t clear every pore just like the cheaper versions don''t. I rate these 4 stars and personally will stick with the cheaper versions that do just as well.
My nose is always dreadful for clogged pores and I hate the fact that then my pores look bigger so I will often use a pore strip to clear them. I bought these ones from one of the discount stores for 99p which I thought was a great price as it is a brand I have heard of before rather than just a cheap imitation. The pore strips come in a small cardboard box which is small enough to tuck into the bathroom cabinet, it tells you on the box that you are getting 6 strips and inside the box each strip is individually wrapped in a foil wrapper. To use the strips is pretty easy, I would advise opening the wrapper before wetting your hands as otherwise it can be hard to get a grip on the packet. You simply wet the smooth side of the strip and then position it across your nose and push down over the strip to make sure contact is made. I find it easiest to wet the ends of my fingers and then use my fingers to wet the strip as if you put the strip under water you run the risk of getting it too wet. Once you have the strip in place you simply wait for it to dry, I tend to find that the corners take the longest to dry and the main part of the strip dries within about 12 minutes so I leave the strip for about 15 minutes to get the best results. Once you are ready to remove the strip I pull from the corners on both sides of my nose pulling upwards into the middle of my nose. The strip is really good and you can see the results on it with all the grime that it has pulled from within your pores, looking at it makes me feel dirty but it just shows even when you cleanse and tone your pores can still be clogged. I find that the strip leaves a little residue on my nose after use but this washes away easily so isn''t a concern. My pores look fresher after using these strips, the strips don''t unclog every pore which is a shame but I can certainly see an improvement after use it''s just a shame they clog back up again. I would certainly recommend these strips, they are a good price, easy to use and they work as you will see on the strip however they lose a star as they leave residue behind and they don''t clear all my pores at once.
The idea of the game is that you are a minion and you start at Gru's Lab and run through jumping over and sliding under obstacles, collecting bananas and picking up other minions along the way. There are many different worlds to play in, when you get to the end of a world you have to defeat something such as escaping rockets thrown at you by Gru and then you can access another world.
Your starting point each game you play can change and then sometimes you come to a set of 3 tubes at the end of a level so you don't know the area you select.
There are lots of different minions, some of them you buy and some of them you earn as you go through the game then there are minions that you have to collect puzzle pieces throughout the game to unlock.
The game starts off quite slow and then it gets faster as you go through and there ends up more and more obstacles in the way making it hard and you have to be really coordinated to play but it is fun even when you keep crashing.
Each game starts with your minions being catapulted up in the air which is quite funny, you collect bananas to spend on characters and specials. There are a number of specials to use some protect your minions like a shield which means you don't die when you crash into something and a freeze ray which allows you to freeze the baddies. There are specials which give good bonuses such as a banana vacuum which means the bananas are automatically collected and then there is a unicorn to ride which shoots your minion up into the air into loads of bananas.
On your main screen there is a shop which of course wants you to spend money to get extra power ups and bananas for playing the game, there is an events screen where if you have the game connected to your Facebook you can compete against your friends each week and win specials to use through the game. There is a friends leader board so you can see how you are scoring against your friends and then there is a goals menu which allows you to see what you need to accomplish to go up a level such as spend 200 bananas or punch 10 evil minions.
Both my daughters play this game and they are 3 and 6, they play the game really well and get scores that rival that of adults on my Facebook. The game has different levels to reach and throughout the game your points multiply depending how many of your minion friends you collect. I find this game addictive and whenever I say to my girls its time to come off it I always get the request of one more game please Mammy. I would give this 5 stars it's fun, bright, has targets to reach and was free.
My daughter loves playing on the Ipad and she often will download a game and then ask me to work out how she actually plays it so I end up playing through the game too and often end up helping her when she gets stuck.
This game can be downloaded as a sample game with a few levels. I like game that you can have a try of first and make sure that it will be played with before paying for it.
The game is set in a diner where Grandma cooks and you serve, there are tables in the diner and you start with 2 tables and then you get more tables as you go through the levels. At the start of a level you get people stood waiting to be seated, you seat them by tapping on the people and then tapping onto the tables. Once they are seated you have to wait until a bubble appears over their head showing what food they want and then tap to take their order. Once you have the order you take it to the kitchen where grandma will cook the order, when the order is ready the tickets come up on the counter with the number of the table on them.
Once the people are finished eating you have to give them the check again by tapping on the people and then you pick up the dishes and put them onto a trolley to go for washing. There is music along with the game and it is the same instrumental over and over again so it gets very annoying. There is not a lot of skill to the game as you are just constantly tapping whereas I think there could of been some swiping or something to make the brain work a little more.
There are bonuses through the game for seating people so that the colours of their tops match the colour of the seats and there is bonuses for taking more than one tables order at a time called a chain bonus, this is the same for whatever action you are carrying out at the time.
The graphics are crisp and clean and the colours are based mainly around red, white and blue. You can speed the cooking up by combining orders which means just placing one ticket on top of another this means you get the orders done faster for more points.
There are 20 levels in the game but the customers increase massively from level 2 so I dread to think how many customers there would be at level 20. If your customers wait too long they get an angry face although they look pretty evil when their faces change and the waitress stands and yawns when she is not busy which I find a little strange. For a child I would say it is a little limited but for an adult you would possibly be more inclined to compete against each others top scores.
Temple run is a game that my children wanted on the Ipad so we downloaded it for them however I have ended up finding that I quite like the game too.
The idea of the game is that you are running through the temples with a gorilla chasing you, I have no idea why a gorilla but if he catches you then he throws you up and down and your game is over.
The game is really fast paced, you run through the temples and you have to swipe the screen to turn corners before you fall off the end of cliffs or hit an object. You have to duck under objects and jump over too as well as having to steer through water rapids by moving the Ipad from side to side.
You can watch videos to earn extra gems which allow you to revive yourself when you have died and you collect gold coins which allow you to buy different characters to run with. At Christmas you could purchase a runner with a Santa hat on which my daughters found funny.
When you are running there are specials which do things to your character like speeding up or giving them a shield but when you collect them you lose gold coins which my eldest daughter doesn't like as she likes to save for the next character.
The game is fun, it is fast paced but the graphics keep up with the actions. The game is very easy to play and my 3 year old plays it and can play it whilst watching a TV programme which amazes me, I love watching her as she is so calm and leaves every move to the last second yet she gets really good scores. I think this game encourages fast reactions so I think it is actually a good game for little ones to play and as the game is over pretty quickly it needs short bursts of concentration and of course the time on the game can be limited by the parent.
My sister was amazed at how good the girls were when they played the game that she decided she needed to play too but she couldn't score as well as the girls so she wasn't impressed. I find the game slightly addictive when I play because as soon as I die I want to increase my score and can find that time just disappears so I make sure I keep an eye on the time when I play.
You can check out your statistics in the menu section and it shows you your highest ever score, longest run, most coins and most gems. It also tells you how many games you have played ours is 448 so it has been played rather a lot. I would give this game 5 stars it hasn't got a lot of depth to it but it is fun and easy to play along with being free which is a bonus.
I bought this set for my eldest daughter for Christmas, I only bought it to make up a third item in the Boots 3 for 2 offer before Christmas. You can buy this set along with other versions such as fairies from Amazon for £7.99.
The set comes in a very girly looking box, the box is pretty sturdy and says it is for ages 5 and over. The box shows pictures of the finished projects along with a picture of a castle underneath a rainbow which is really petty.
The set comes with a plastic tray mould with 6 princess designs in it, 2 bags of plaster, a set of instructions, a set of 5 paints, 2 pins and 5 pieces of magnet.
The instructions are very simple to follow and they tell you to mix 50-70mls of water with one bag of plaster, we did this but found it needed a little more to be at a consistency that we could use it. Once you have mixed the plaster you pour it into the moulds, it states in the instructions that the makers don't know how many moulds will be filled per bag of plaster which is very strange to me, we found that 1 bag of plaster filled all 6 moulds.
You have to wait half an hour for the plaster to set and then push gently on the mould and the models will pop out, we found they were still a little damp so we left them overnight before painting them.
The paints that come with the set are blue, pink, yellow, purple and white but on the box it shows the designs being painted with green on them so although you could mix them I really think there should be a 6th tub of green paint. The paints were nice and thick and easy to use and Sophie did do some mixing with them to make other colours, the paintbrush to complete this part was included.
the set was great value, when I bought it I only expected it to do 6 princesses but it will do 12. The set should really include more paint as we haven't got enough to paint another 6 models and it should also include green for the reason already mentioned. I think it is a little poor that there are only pins and magnets for 7 creations when the set makes 12.
The pins were a bit of a pin to put in the plaster as the pin kept falling down and hitting the plaster so it wouldn't have been usable once it set but we did manage to finally get them to stay in place.
Both my daughters decorated the models and they had fun doing so, it was an activity which took about an hour and kept them both quiet. Sophie loves giving her creations out so she spent nearly as long deciding who to give them to as decorating them. There is also a little bag of glitter included in the set so that it can be sprinkled over whilst the paint is wet but we didn't use this as Sophie wanted to save it for the next 6 we do.
I say this set is great value and fun to do however be aware you will need extra bits for the backs and some extra paint too, due to this I rate the set 4 stars.
I always use cleansing wipes as they are convenient and I carry a pack around in my bag for when I feel I need to refresh in work. These ones are more expensive than the ones I usually buy at £2 for a pack of 25 but I bought them when they were on offer.
The wipes comes in a very simple white packet with a peel back clear area on the top to dispense the wipes, the packet is the same idea as a packet of baby wipes. The packet has the Nivea logo along with some wording all in different shades of blue which I think looks really nice and stands out.
The wipes are for normal and combination skin and are said to cleanse, tone and hydrate aswell as removing make up and waterproof mascara and they contain vitamin E and Hydra IQ. The wipes are alcohol free and they have been dermatologically and ophthalmologically approved.
The wipes are rectangular in shape and they are folded in such a way that they pull out of the packet easily and only one at a time. The wipes are pretty big for a face wipe which I like and the wipes are textured.
The wipes are nice and moist from the top of the packet right through to the bottom but the bottom ones are not too wet which I often find with cheaper ones. The wipes smell slightly fruity to me with a hint of lemon but not overpowering.
I use these wipes on my face and neck every night and they feel really soft against my skin, they get into the creases of my face well and my face feels lovely and refreshed after use. My skin is left a little damp after use but this soon dries and then my skin feels really soft and smooth which is great as I don't feel the need for moisturisers after using them.
The wipes are really worth the full price although I would never have bought them at full price I am now glad I have tried them. They feel lovely against my skin, my skin feel lovely when I have used them, definitely 5 stars.
When looking for Christmas presents for my 3 year old daughter came across this set, I bought it within 3 for 2 at Boots and it's full price was £29.99 although obviously I didn't pay that and I am glad I didn't.
The set came packaged in a huge box so big it had to be hidden in my parents garage, the box showed the set in play and then there was a plastic covered area so you could see the character figures inside. It stated on the box that the set is for ages 2 and up and it is created by Fisherprice which I find is generally a good make.
Inside the box
The pieces were pretty easy to unpackage, the only bits that took any effort were the Minnie and Mickey figures encased in the plastic.
You get the main clubhouse in the box along with an aeroplane and slide to attach then there are the figures, a see saw and a table and chairs.
The clubhouse is the shape of Mickey Mouse's head with a carry handle between the 2 ears then there is a red body part with cut outs for windows and a bright yellow boot shape to one side where there is a door.
The see saw is made of purple plastic and the table and chairs of yellow plastic, they are marked with little detailing such as little Mickey shaped heads all over the see saw and grain marks on the table. The table is set with two little plates and drinks and a Mickey head shape in the middle of the table.
The Mickey and Minnie figures are true to likeness that you see on the televisions show, Minnie is dressed in her pink spotted dress and bow and Mickey has the usual bright red pants and yellow shoes on. The figures have set arms but the legs move so that they are able to sit down.
The pieces are all made of brightly coloured plastic so are all nice and strong, it is the actual workings of the toy which are a let down.
Putting it Together
The set is really easy to put together, there is the main clubhouse piece and then there is a look out point at the top which pushes easily into place and stays nicely in place. There is a white piece of plastic which attaches an aeroplane to the top of the clubhouse, again very easy to fit however does come away quote often. The last thing to connect is a green slide which you have to line up exactly to get it to push into place and then it is forever coming off and having to be put back on which is just a pain.
Problem Features of the Clubhouse
The clubhouse has a bright yellow carry handle which is supposed to make the set easy to transport however as the back of the clubhouse is open it is a bit of a silly idea as there is no way of stopping all the pieces falling out of the house.
There is a red trapdoor on the top of the Mickey Mouse head of the clubhouse, the door opens down the centre and the lookout platform has to be pushed down to open the door. The door only opens on one side most of the time so the character cannot get through which is annoying, Emily tends not to use the trigger platform at all and just pushes the characters through instead.
When your child sends your character through the trap door they come out at the top of the slide and of course the idea is that they slide down the slide however the characters do not slide down the slide and have to be pushed down.
The set is from a character that Emily loves so she was always going to be pleased when she saw the set however with the problems I have listed above she doesn't play with it very often which is a shame and basically means it wasn't worth the money to us.
The set is brightly coloured and matches the Clubhouse on the television show, it is made of hard plastic so the basic bits are strong however the working bits are not. The connections for pieces attaching to the clubhouse are not great and the aeroplane falls off as soon as you start pushing it around the clubhouse.
The characters are really good and look nice and cheery, not much thought has been put into the shape of Minnie's dress however as she does not sit in the chairs properly as her dress doesn't fit in properly. The table is too short so when you sit a character on the chair they cannot actually sit at the table as their legs are the same height as the table top which annoys Emily and she actually sits the character on the floor to make them sit at the table properly.
The clubhouse is pretty detailed in that it has little birds and the hot air balloon that the characters have in the show embossed on the top of it, there are extra windows marked on the inside and there is Mickey's head shape all over the set. On the boot side of the clubhouse there is a yellow door which opens, the door has to be pushed from the inside to open it as it has no handle and then on the inside of the door there are embossed figures of Goofy and Pluto.
Emily likes to play with the set and she will make the characters have their dinners at the table and push them down the slide to go and solve mysteries but once the parts start falling apart she gets annoyed and just leaves it to play with something else.
I can only rate this set as average, it seems as though lots of thought has been put into the look of the set but not into the actual working of the set. If the set worked better and didn't fall apart I think my daughter would play with it more, the set is meant for 2 years and up and my daughter is 3 and she cannot manage to put the bits back together when they fall apart so a 2 year old is unlikely to be able to do it.
The girls were both given some money fro Christmas and of course like most children they wanted to spend it. I took the girls to Smyths toy store and my youngest daughter wanted to buy this. The set cost £19.99 which seemed a little steep and I did try and talk my daughter out of buying it but she was adamant that was what she wanted to buy.
The set came backed onto a piece of cardboard and fronted it hard plastic, you could see everything inside that you were getting and the packaging was only the size of the set so wasn't over the top. The packaging needed cutting to get into it but it was pretty easy to unwrap. There is a hole in the front of the packaging so that you can press a button on the top of the set and it will speak to you, I think we must have got one that was played with a lot in the shop as the batteries ran out very fast and it takes the flat cell batteries which I haven't got around to replacing yet.
Inside the Set
Inside the set you get A Doc Mcstuffins doll complete in doctors outfit, a stuffy figure, a lambie figure, a check up area, a small doctors kit and 4 doctors kit tools.
The check up area is made of blue plastic, it has a sink with little tap and the top of the tap actually turns which is really sweet, it has a pretend cupboard underneath the area and then stickers of shelves of books. On the back of the area there is a sticker which pictures doctors kit tools hanging up. The area is very small and is like a kitchen worktop with a bit of a wall attached to it, it is made of hard plastic so is pretty durable.
The Doc Doll is really alike the character in the show which I think is important, she has spotted leggings on which are actually part of the doll along with pink glittery shoes. She has a doctors coat on and her usual pink skirt and stripes top are attached to it, the doctors coat fastens with Velcro at the back so can be removed. Doc has a stethoscope around her neck but it is attached to the doll and cannot be removed which Emily doesn't like as she wants to put it in the doctors bag. Doc has plastic hair on top with a lovely pink glittery hairband on but her plaits are made of replica hair material with little pink bobbles in the ends.
The Lambie and stuffy characters are true to the likeness on the TV show and they are in ratio to the height of the Doc doll which is good, they both have a heart shaped cut out underneath and there is a heart shaped stand up piece on the check up table so the characters will actually sit still for their check up.
The doctors bag is tiny, it is detailed in that it is the right colours, the lid is covered in pink glitter and it even has the logo on the front of it on a little sticker. The doctors tools are made of rubber so they are a little pliable but they are so small they are a choking hazard and highly likely to get lost.
I like that there wasn't a massive amount of packaging as I think some things have a ridiculous amount and it is a waste however the packaging is useless once open so you need somewhere to keep the set.
The Doc doll and other characters are nice and detailed and you can see that effort has gone into creating the toy, it would be better if the stethoscope could be removed from the Doc doll but it isn't a major issue.
The doctors bag is poor, it is so small it is very fiddly to handle along with the tools even for little hands, Emily has managed to lose one of the tools which is quite possibly underneath something and is unlikely to be found again. The lid of the doctors bag has poor connections and it keeps coming off even when the girls try to be gentle with it and although you can clip it back into place is doesn't stay there.
The Doc doll is jointed so she can be manipulated but the Lambie and the Stuffy figures aren't which Emily wasn't impressed about as she likes to try and act out some of the episodes of the show and she wanted them to hug but wasn't able to make them do it.
Emily likes to play with this set every so often but it isn't a massive hit she prefers to get the doctors bag that we also own and pretend she is the doctor instead unfortunately I am generally her patient.
Parts of the set are really detailed like Doc's shoes can actually be taken on and off however the glitter on the shoes does transfer which isn't quite so good. The little tap on the check up area turning is quite detailed to me considering some of the figures don't have movable limbs, some of the things that are detailed just seem over the top in comparison to some of the things that aren't.
I would recommend the set if your child is really into imaginative play, I would say the set is a little overpriced for what it is and think it could have done with better packaging so that the set could then have somewhere to be stored. The tools are ridiculously small and even though the set is for ages 3 plus I wouldn't expect all 3 year olds to know not to put them in their mouths. I would rate this 4 stars as it is a good set but there are little bits which could be better.
We picked this set up from B and M a few months before Christmas and it cost £5.99 which is a decent price, my 3 year old had it in her head that she really wanted to buy something so I let her buy this as it is great for make believe play.
The set came wrapped in plastic wrap and had a cardboard tag on it just with the address of the makers, a barcode to be able to buy it and a warning that the set is not suitable for children under 3. I have played with this set with the 1 year old girl that I mind for and under supervision there is no reason she can't play with it but I would never let her play with it on her own.
The set contains a grey plastic draining board tray, it has a closed in little square in the corner so that the cutlery can be put in there and then it has three sections which are more open like a real dish tray to stack the dishes into. The set comes with a pan with see through lid, a ladle for serving, a spatula for cooking, 4 sets of cutlery, 4 plastic tumblers, 4 plates and 4 bowls.
The set of fours are all in the same colours, you have red, blue, yellow and green, I think the colours are good as they are not aimed at one sex or another which now a days a lot of toys seems to be. All the pieces are made of hard plastic and they seem pretty strong although there are some teeth marks in some of the cutlery where Emily has forgotten she is only pretending.
The set is loads of fun and Emily uses it with other things we have such as the play kitchen or pretend food and she makes us all meals which I think is lovely. She can be really funny at times and we all have to have matching colours of everything so my husband winds her up swapping things around so they don't match.
A game that keeps her quiet for ages is to give her a bowl of water and a tea towels and she will wash all the items and stack them on her drainer and then dry them all before starting again.
The set is great for little ones imagination and I think it was well worth £5.99, the set is brightly coloured and pretty strong. The only slight drawback is because it has no box there are a lot of pieces so you need something to keep it in, we have a set of toy drawers so ours just goes in there when not in use.
My youngest daughter is mad about jigsaws and has she has ,loads of Minnie Mouse ones I decided to get her some different ones for Christmas so I picked these ones as she likes this character too.
I bought the jigsaws from Smyths where they sell at £9.99 or are in the 2 for £15 offer making them £7.50 each which I think is great value. Amazon are currently selling them at £16 including the delivery so as you can see it is quite a difference.
The set comes in a pretty big box, the jigsaws are 26.4 x 18.1cms when they are complete and you can fit 2 completed jigsaws flat in the box comfortably so really to me it seems too big and unnecessary. The box is wrapped in plastic when you buy it but that is all for the packaging.
In the set there are 4 jigsaws each with 35 pieces, the jigsaws are made by Ravensburger and they are always brilliant quality and this set is no different. The pieces are all cut perfectly so they click into each other exactly, the pieces don't split and they don't bend easily either which makes it good for small hands. The set is for ages 3 and up but I thin if your child is quick with jigsaws like my daughter they could be doing these jigsaws before they are 3.
The 4 pictures all have a different border around them and then there are different scenes with the characters from the show. There is one of Doc with her book od boo boos with 4 of the characters, there is one with Doc doing a check up on a doll with Chillie and Hallie watching. The third one is of Hallie, Stuffy and Lambie all with toothbrushes and toothpaste and then the last one the picture is in a heart shape and shows 7 different characters from the show but doesn't picture Doc.
The jigsaws are all brightly coloured and there are plenty of bits in them to make it easy for your child to put it together, my daughter goes for one character at a time and then she will try and piece them all together. The pictures are all true to the characters that you see on the screen which makes them easily recognisable to children.
The puzzles are great quality and a decent price with what I paid, Emily will sit and do the four puzzles one after the other the she makes me try and slide them in the box without breaking them which is fun. One problem with this set is that there are no marks on any of the pieces to help you separate them so we have put the pieces in little plastic bags within the box. I would give this 4 stars as the quality and price is great and Emily loves doing them however the size of the box is far too big and the pieces are not easy to separate.
I used to love Shrinkles when I was a little girl so when I saw this set on Amazon I bought it for my daughter expecting her to l;ove it too. The set was just over £6 with delivery which is a decent price but of course on Amazon the price does fluctuate regularly. The set is from Galt which are well known in children's toys so I expected the set to be great quality.
The set comes in a vivid green cardboard box, the box isn't exactly very strong and got crushed in amongst other presents on Christmas morning. The box shows some of the made up items on the front of it and states "create fun shrinking key rings, badges and magnets for your friends." On the box it states that the set is for ages 5 and up however my 3 year old daughter joined in and made some of the items without any more help then my 6 year old daughter needed.
Inside the box
Inside the set you get 4 sheets of the shrinking material and each one of them has 3 pictures of animals drawn in thick black lines. The pictures are all pretty simple drawings but that is due to the fact of any detailing would be just about lost as they shrink. You get some pieces of magnets, goggly eyes, keychains and badge pins with sticky pads to stick them on. There is a set of very clear instructions which are written in 6 different languages and then there is a little packet of pencils enclosed.
Playing with the set
First of all the girls had to decide which animal they were going to colour which was a job in itself since there was a good choice of animals. Finally they decided and set about colouring on the texture side of the material as instructed in the instructions. We found that the pencils could barely be seen against the material and very quickly the girls were disappointed. The girls decided to use felt pens instead and after checking the instructions I couldn't see anywhere that stated felt pens couldn't be used so they completed all 12 animals with felt pens.
Once all the colouring was complete I used a pair of scissors to cut around the outline, the outline is about half a cm away from the edge of the design, it took sharp scissors to cut through the material so I didn't allow the girls to do it themselves. Once the animals were all cut out I used a hole punch and punch a hole in 4 of the designs ready for the keychains to be attached, Sophie wanted to use the Lion template to make a keyring so she wasn't happy that the makers have outlined for the hole and it wasn't one of the designs to be made into a keyring.
Once I had done all of the cutting and punching for all the designs I placed them into the oven on gas mark 3 for 1 minute as instructed, I remember watching the products shrink up through the oven door when I was little but as we don't have a window in our oven the girls couldn't watch this bit. The first lot that I put in the oven were done within the minute stated but the second lot weren't quite finished and Sophie found it really funny when I opened the door and they were all screwed up on themselves.
Once the designs were dry we needed to attach the keychains, magnets, goggly eyes and badge pins none of which are very easy to do. The keychains need pushing through the hole which is a tight fit and then your need pliers of something similar to tighten the clasp as even though you are meant to slot the end of the chain into the hole of the clasp and just pull into place it just falls straight out again. The piece of magnets that comes with the set needs to be cut into 4 to use on the designs, it is sticky on the back however it doesn't stick very well so we ended up using some double sided tape on them. The badge pins have little sticky pads to attach them to the back of the designs and we have found that they just slide off at the slightest pull which is a shame.
The goggly eyes are really fiddly to attach, I tried to see if there was a backing on the back of the eyes and there didn't seem to be so I got some glue out, whilst gluing the eyes in place which was a nightmare suddenly a small white circle of paper appeared and I realised there was infact a backing on them. The backing was really hard to get off the back of the eyes and there is no way my children could have done this by themselves, the eyes didn't stick onto the designs very well and even after we left them to fully attach for a few hours they came back off easily. We ended up using some string double sided tape to attached the eyes which again was very fiddly and took ages to do.
The set was easy to follow and the first part of the process was very easy to do. I would suggest using lighter colours for your designs as when the designs shrink the colour becomes darker. We found that some of the felt tip pen transfer off the designs before they were cooked and I wasn't sure whether it would work or not but once they were cooked the colour was set.
The finished designs are pretty cute and even though the eyes are not completely needed as the eyes are marked on the design anyway they do make them look better. The keychains are pretty strong now they have been crimped and I have one of my keys which is doing fine. The magnets are on my fridge but they are more for display than anything else as they are so weak. The set was fun to do and the girls enjoyed it which is the main thing but I would say it could be improved by finding better findings to attach to the back of the designs. The set was a decent price but I think in future I would probably buy the specific designs that my children want from the internet rather than a complete set. I mark this as 4 stars.
My daughter went out with my husband just before Christmas and he let them pick a little toy each from B&M which is a pretty cheap store. My daughter got this set for £3.99 which seems about a normal price.
The set is by Grafix and it comes packaged in a cardboard box, the box isn't exactly string it hasn't been played with that much and one of the corner is already broke making it a paint o get the lid back on. The front of the box is brightly coloured and has the name of the product along with a picture of 2 of the cards which is Dog and Cat, I wouldn't personally have really classed these as opposites. It states on the front of the box that there are 8 puzzle each with 3 pieces.
The pieces inside the box are on board which is nice and strong, the puzzles are on 4 different coloured background which makes it easier to match them up. On yellow you have a feather for light versus an elephant for heavy and then an aeroplane for air and a boat for sea, on pink you have a boy and a girl and then a happy face with a sad face. On the green cards there is a moon for night and a beach scene for day and a picture of a king with a picture of a queen and then finally on blue there is a dog and cat and then a scene of rain for wet and an umbrella for dry.
The cards fit together like 2 pieces of a jigsaw and then they stand in a thin rectangular base with 2 stand out bits on the bottom of the cards, once put together the puzzles stay put pretty well. The cards all show very simple and bold pictures and are nice and brightly coloured.
The puzzles only get 3 stars from us as really I don't see that some of the puzzles are true opposites, cat against dog was never an opposite when I was at school just simply 2 different animals. The box is pretty weak although the puzzles pieces are quite strong which is good. My daughter played with the set for about 10 minutes and once it was completed that was it and she has never really bothered with it again. The set is for ages 3 and up but my daughter is 3 and she got bored pretty quickly so it could possibly be used with a bit younger child.
My eldest daughter loves crafts so when I saw this set in Smyths before Christmas I knew she would love it. I paid £12.99 for the set which I think is a decent price and my daughter has had a lot of use from it.
The set comes packaged in a mainly pink and yellow cardboard box, it states on the box the set is for ages 3 and up but my youngest daughter who is 3 cannot manage to work the set without a fair amount of help. On the front the box shows a girl surrounded by made up cards and on the back it shows you the contents of the set.
Inside the set you get a plastic press, 4 different cases to emboss with, cards and envelopes and then pencils for colouring. I like that everything is included in the set even the envelopes as it means your child can complete their project without any extras.
To use the set your child simply picks one of the 4 cases which are made of plastic and hinged in the middle. The cases are a cake for birthdays, a snowman for Christmas, a bunny with an egg for Easter and a Heart shapes balloon with an aeroplane in the sky.
You place the paper into the case and close then you push the case into the press and turn the handle, if you can turn the handle at a steady pace without stopping it makes a better embossing we have found. My 3 year old daughter cannot turn the handle as she keeps getting stuck and they leaves marks in the designs. Once your case comes out of the opposite side of the press you open it up and find your card is embossed. You have to make sure you only insert one side of the card into the case otherwise you end up with both sides of the cards embossed.
The set is all made of hard plastic, it is all coloured in either white, lilac or pink and it is very robust. The cards, envelopes and pencils in the set are all great quality too which is good as often you find the extras are quite cheap. The set embosses really well and you can make different effects with your colouring of the cards.
Sophie loves the set and she has a box of cards all ready done for when they are needed, she has even made up some snowmen cards as she wanted to try it out. The only drawback for me and her is that there aren't any more cases in the set as she wanted to make different birthday cards. I would happily pay for extra cases of different designs but there doesn't seem to be any available.
I would give the set 5 stars as the set is brilliant, great value and fun however as an improvement I would make extra cases available. The set works on the same sort of idea of some very expensive machines that my Mam owns so my daughter thinks it is great that she can do the same as Grandma.