Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Deluxe Playhouse

Recently we've had the opportunity to review the Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Deluxe Playhouse from Character Options. Peppa Pig is currently very popular in our house, despite Bud not really taking an interest at the 'classic' age for children to discover it. He's only really started to love it since being at nursery, and has now passed his interest on to LM so I have two little Peppa Pig fans in our house now!


The Peppa Pig Muddy Puddles Deluxe Playhouse is a large Peppa Pig playset modelled on Peppa's family home. My two were completely delighted to see the house when I opened the parcel and couldn't wait to get it open. It's rare that they have been this excited for a toy! The box clearly shows the contents and you can also spot that Peppa and George are inside. When you open the box you can see that the house will fold and unfold to play with it.

To open the house you simply turn the switch, fold down one end and open the sides out, rather like a traditional dolls house and this revealed two bags containing all of the fittings and furniture for the house. I was quite surprised by how much is included - you get a sofa and two armchairs, television, dining table and four chairs, bunk beds and a ladder for Peppa and George and a bathtub. You will also have to fit the bathroom floor and staircase before you play with it, and unfold the garden and dining room. It does require adult assembly so, if you have excited children, like mine, it might be a good idea to assemble it before they see it! The bunk beds ladder clips on and it can be a little frustrating as it doesn't fix on very well and my children couldn't attach it themselves. It might be better if it hooked on, I'm tempted to glue it.

The outside of the house is nicely decorated, it looks just like the house on TV and includes the bright Peppa Pig branding. The catch to close it is really secure which makes it easy to pick up and carry around, despite it's size it would be the perfect toy to take in the car if you're going to stay with friends. Everything fits inside the house and can be put away inside, meaning nothing gets lost. The plastic it is made from isn't heavy, which means my children can both carry it around.

The toy is quite large and taller than many play sets of this type, it's around 30 cm high and opens out fully so it's possible for two children to play with it easily. The house has stickers decorating it throughout and my two loved the muddy puddles on the kitchen floor. It's very true to the house on the TV series and Bud, especially, loved talking us through it. You can see how much fun they have playing with it here:

The house offers a fantastic way to role play and play imaginatively. Bud and LM both really enjoy playing with the house but play in entirely different ways. Bud will act out episodes of the TV show and talk to the characters about what they are doing. LM likes to investigate all of the furniture and figures, putting them in and out of the house and exploring them with her senses. We have a couple of Peppa Pig toys that I've been less happy with but we've all been really pleased with the playhouse and I can imagine it will be played with for some time to come. The recommended age is 18 months plus and I would say that is spot on. I can imagine LM will continue to play with it for a good few years, even after Bud loses interest and it's definitely the type of toy that will grow with her and, at an RRP of £29:99 I think this represents good value for money for the amount of play it's already seen in our house and will continue to see. It's been a big hit here.

The Peppa Pig Deluxe Muddy Puddles Playhouse is available from Character Options and all usual retailers including Amazon.

Moshi Monsters Event at Bluewater Shopping Centre

This Saturday, 2nd August 2014 from 10am, a very exciting Moshi Monsters event will take place at Bluewater Shopping Centre. Brand new Moshlings are arriving to The Moshlings Collection this August and, to celebrate, the event will take place near Clintons at Bluewater Moon Court.

With the opportunity to meet Mr Moshi himself, Michael Acton-Smith, who will be meeting and signing for fans on Saturday, and the opportunity to buy Scamp complete with commemorative certificate, for Michael to sign this is an event not to be missed for any Moshi fans. He will be there from 11am-1pm on the Saturday and everyone who meets him will receive a fantastic goodie bag, with the first 100 receiving an extra character from The Moshlings Collection.

Activities include a Moshi tattoo station, meet and greets with three Moshi characters – Poppet, Furi and Diavlo - and other activities taking place across Saturday and Sunday, if you have a Moshi fan and are in the area, this is not to be missed.

Watch Nigel Clarke, who will be filming for Official Toy Testers TV tell you more here:

Monday, 28 July 2014

The Importance of Child Eyecare - What You Need to Know

Eyecare and health is an important issue in our house. Ian is severely short sighted and useless without his glasses and I had two operations to correct a squint when I was a child. I was always the one with the eye patch on to try to help my left eye get stronger and I wear glasses too. I've arranged regular eye checks for Bud and LM since they were tiny, in an effort to identify any issues early. Thankfully we haven't had any concerns.

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians have put together the infographic below and I'm sharing it with you to reinforce the importance of keeping your children's eye regularly checked. They have put together a Children and Eyecare FAQ which should be able to answer any questions you may have about eye testing for your little ones. They have also started a Facebook page to answer questions on any aspect of eyecare, not just children's.

The Importance of Child Eyecare - What You Need to Know

Do your children wear glasses?

Thursday, 24 July 2014

What's Happened? What's Happening? - Days Outs and Holidays

Last week's What's Happened? What's Happening? saw the start of the school holidays for most and Summer days out are in full swing. I know lots of you are planning days out and holidays, it will be great to see you link up in future #WHWH weeks.

If you're looking for inspiration and ideas for places to visit and live in, or are visiting, the North you were well served last week with Tami from Mummy of Two's guide to days out in Yorkshire and Claire from Six Degrees of Harmony's top five places to visit in Manchester. I've visited more than a few on both lists and I'd really recommend checking them out if you are in the area. Other posts saw a lovely family break from In the Playroom and Color Run-ning with Collette and her son from We're Going on and Adventure.

I loved the eclectic mix of posts linked up last week and that's exactly what I want to capture in #WHWH, so keep them coming!

What's Happening? was a little quieter last week but we saw more Lollibop excitement from Fun for Families, I'm really starting to wish we could go now, and foodie fun from Manchester Chick Flick. I have a ticket giveaway this week so check it out below.

What have you been up to this week? Have you been anywhere exciting? Have you written about your plans for the school holidays?

Please link up below, and grab my badge to add to your posts.

What's Happened? What's Happening?

Go Mini Power Boost Car from Golden Bear Toys

Bud has recently been putting the Go Mini Power Boost Racer Car from Golden Bear Toys to test. When I went to Toy Fair in January I saw these cars demoed so I was really pleased that we would get the chance to try one out at home.

Go Mini Power Boost Car from Golden Bear Toys Red

The Go Mini Power Boost cars move on their own. To operate it you simply press the button on top of the car and the mini will zoom off on it's own. The Power Boost comes when you press the button more than once - up to three times - and,, with every press, the car travels further before carrying out it's handbrake turn to stop. The car is a good size, around the size of a traditional remote control car but doesn't need any additional controller the button on top does it all. The car runs by a motorised wheel spinning underneath. This means that you do need a smooth, flat surface to run the car on, it doesn't deal well with large obstacles but this is true of most of this sort of toy.

Go Mini Power Boost Car from Golden Bear Toys Red

Both Bud and LM love this car. It's been a huge hit here from the start. Both of them are able to use it independently and, despite LM (at nearly two) being younger than the advised age range of 3-7 years, she is used to pressing the button herself and clapping her hands excitedly when the car drives away!  Bud very quickly worked out that pressing the button three times gives the most power and distance whereas LM will just press it once and chase the car around!

The sound effects are what makes this car really fun. When you press the button a revving noise starts which gets louder as you press the button more, then you hear the car 'engine' as it rolls away and it screeches into a handbrake turn to stop.

Go Mini Power Boost Car from Golden Bear Toys Red

The Go Mini Power Boost cars are really sturdy. If the car runs out of room it will bump into obstacles before completing its handbrake turn. Obviously children really enjoy seeing cars crash so ours has seen a few walls since we received it. I'm happy to say it has sustained no damage and it the paintwork is unscratched. We have the red version of the car but you can also buy it in green and blue.

We have loved having the Go Mini Power Boost, in fact it's travelled rather further than it's three different distances as Bud insisted on taking it to France on holiday with us. It was a really fun toy on the vinyl flooring of the mobile home we stayed in.

If you'd like to see the car in action and Bud putting it through it's paces please check out our video below:

The Go Mini Power Boost cars are available from all the usual stockists including Amazon.

Disclosure: We received this item for review purposes, all opinions are honest. Contains affiliate link.