The Safari Park What If? – Ravensburger Puzzle Review

The Safari Park is the 13th puzzle in the series of What if? puzzles from Ravensburger. This 1,000 piece mystery puzzle is suitable for ages 14+ RRP £11.99.

This is the first time I have done one of the What if? illustrative puzzles from Ravensburger and I wasn’t sure if I would like not having a picture to follow. I also wasn’t sure how much the finished puzzle picture would deviate for the illustration on the box lid. The box gives you a question. “What if?…animals were more enterprising than we realised?” The picture is perhaps what you would expect to happen to visitors in a safari park. I still wasn’t sure if the completed Safari park would be a before or after picture, and set about my usual edges sort.

safari park

The illustrative style of the safari park means there is plenty to see on each piece and with a rough idea of what the puzzle might contain I set about finding a place to start. It turned out that there were lots of pieces with writing, like the safari park sign. I was able to fit some of these in but others I had no idea where they might end up in the finished puzzle. This certainly was a different challenge to a standard puzzle and one I was rather enjoying. The picture on the box gives you an idea of what animals are in the finished puzzle, but they had all moved about a bit, so starting with the buildings which stay in the same place was a good starting point.

safari park review

The boy liked the animals on my puzzle, and wanted to help, but couldn’t understand that the picture was not the same as the one on the box lid. It’s a good job he had the African Friends puzzle of his own to complete. Bingo granny on the other hand was not going to leave me alone to complete the puzzle, and was completely hooked within minutes. This was certainly a great family puzzle, and was a talking point during our usual Sunday morning coffee and cake.

what if safari park

The Safari Park is a great puzzle and I wont spoil the solution by showing you the full finished puzzle, but the cheeky little animals have certainly turned out to be very enterprising. I loved this style of mystery puzzle and look forward to completing some of the others in the series.  For more puzzles from Ravensburger What if? series visit the website.

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle for review the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.

African Friends – Ravensburger Puzzle Review

African Friends is a 300 piece XXL puzzle suitable for ages 9+ RRP £7.99, and has a finished size of 49cm x 36cm.

The boy was quite excited to have a puzzle all to himself, and I was immediately banned from helping! he has helped me with my puzzles, but has never wanted to do a whole one so I was thrilled that he was willing to give this colourful 300 piece puzzle a try. African Friends has a very cute picture of a group of wild animals, and the boy enjoyed trying to name them all. I think he managed all the animals, and it was just the birds we didn’t know.

african friends

The boy started by piecing the edges of the African friends puzzle together, and found this fairly easy to do despite the amount of blue pieces. I was allowed to turn the pieces the right way up for him, but my help had to stop there. As a puzzle addict this was torture! I found it interesting how the boy wanted to work through colours and animals, quite often choosing the tricky colours first.

african friends puzzle

The boy had no problem completing the puzzle, and took a few evenings to complete the full puzzle. He says he doesn’t like puzzles, but was happy to sit for some time after dinner adding pieces, and was very pleased with himself when he had completed the picture. African friends is a very cute puzzle, and one we have all enjoyed looking at. The pieces are larger than an adult puzzle, but the boy didn’t feel that this puzzle was any easier than the ones I complete. I love the size of this puzzle, and Ravensburger have a great range of different sized puzzles suitable for different ages and abilities from the 100xxl for ages 6+ to this one the boy completed 300xxl age 9+.Visit the Ravensburger website for more great kids and adult puzzles, or click my affiliate link below to buy African Friends.

african friends ravensburger puzzle

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle in return for an honest review, our words have not been altered.

Timeline – Review

Timeline is a fact based card game from Asmodee and distributed by Esdevium in the UK, for 2-8 players aged 8+ RRP £12.99 per game.

We were sent two of the range of Timeline card games Science & Discoveries and Historical Facts. Each game comes in a lovely bright tin containing 110 dated fact cards. The game play is very simple each player is dealt 4 cards date side down, and you take turns placing a card where in the timeline where you think it belongs. Reveal the date, get it right and the card stays in the timeline, get it wrong and you discard and pick up another from the game pile.

timeline

We have played Timeline as 2,3 and 4 players, and have had great fun finding out some new facts. I thought I would be pretty good at the science cards but there are some surprises when it comes to things like the discovery of the potato. Each game lasts about 15-20 minutes and causes much discussion. There is very little strategy needed to play timeline, and when you think you have learnt all the dates off by heart you can add in another set of cards.

The boy proved that you don’t need to know all the facts, some guesswork is good, and also a little cleaver placing where there are bigger gaps in dates. He found that he had as much chance of winning as an adult, and younger children with a little help could team up and play Timeline. You don’t need to worry about mixing up the packs of cards as the dates are different colours so its easy to separate again. The boy has even enjoyed playing a type of solo snap game and placing the cards in a date order.

timeline history

Timeline is such a quick simple game to learn, with quick play it is great as a holiday game. Timelines tin also means you are not going to lose any of the cards as they are kept safe. I have loved learning some fun facts, that I might never need again. Dad dragon has enjoyed memorizing the dates! and even Bingo granny has enjoyed playing this game as she thought her age meant she would have a good chance of beating us. If you would like to have the chance to win two timeline games to play with your family then enter with my gleam app below.

Timeline

Timeline are distributed in the UK by Esdevium and are available online with my links above or for store stockists check the store locator here.

Disclaimer we were sent these games in return for an honest review.

Terms & Conditions:

The giveaway is open to the UK only

  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn randomly after the competition closes at 23:59 on Monday 13th June 2016
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and may be subject to change if they become unavailable.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • Please allow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
  • This competition is listed at: Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com and SuperLucky
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Pulsin Fruity Bars – Review

Pulsin have a new Kids fruity oat bar and we were sent some to try. Available now priced £2.99 for a pack of 6 x 25g bars, there are three flavours to choose from. Pulsin bars are free from gluten, dairy and soya so tick lots of boxes for those with allergy’s. The flavours are great too with Orange choc-chip, Blackcurrant & Apple and Strawberry flavours.

As a parent I am always on the look out for a better healthy on the go snack. The boy seems to be constantly hungry these days, so was excited to give Pulsin bars a try. Pulsin were developed by three friends who met at university and founded the company in 2007. They have a range of award-winning nutrition products including protein snack bars, brownies and organic fruit bars all made without sugar, wheat or gluten.

pulsin fruity bars

Kids snacks can be notorious for their hidden sugars while at the same time kids can be the toughest critics. Ben Lewis co-founder of Pulsin says “He was shocked at the level of sugar and artificial ingredients in many products which parents routinely give to children as snacks, especially as kids are more sensitive to poor nutrition than adults!”

We have tried all of the Pulsin fruity flavours and Orange and chocolate came out top in our taste test. The bars are not particularly pretty, and the boy said that he thought they looked yucky. Looks can be deceptive and the taste of the Pulsin fruity bar makes up for its looks. We shared the bars with friends and they have been enjoying a healthy fruit lunchtime snack. I like to give the boy a cereal bar in his lunch box so Pulsin fruity bars have been a good replacement, and one I am happy for the boy to enjoy.

You can find Pulsin Kids Fruity Oat bars in store and online now, visit the website for more information on the range.

 

Disclaimer we were sent this product to try the words remain our own and have not been altered.

 

Star Wars Bedding from Character World – Review

We are all fans of Star Wars in the soup dragon house, and quite honestly I don’t know many people who aren’t, maybe those that don’t have boys in the family? So most of you will know that May 4th seems to have been renamed as Star Wars Day.

The boy was excited to be updating his duvet cover for a new Star Wars The Force Awakens set from Character Bedding in time to celebrate “May The Fourth”. Character world produce a great fun range of bedding and accessories licenced by Star Wars and Disney and sent us a single duvet cover and a reversible cushion to brighten the boys room.

star wars

The Star Wars duvet cover is made from a polyester cotton mix and is reversible with movie scenes on one side and a red and white repeating graphic on the other. It is a nice heavy fabric which I know will wash and iron well. There is a great range of bedroom accessories available from Argos, ToysRus or online retailers like Amazon. You can even get a double sized cover for those grown up fans who have a bigger bed!

star wars the force awakens

The boy thinks his new duvet cover is pretty cool, and I have to agree its a nice inexpensive way to update his room. The boy loves cushions so the new Star Wars cushion has already taken pride of place next to his force awakens PJ’s. If you would like the chance to win a character bedroom set of Star Wars The Force Awakens (episode VII) just like ours then complete the gleam app below.

May the Forth be with you

Disclaimer we were sent these items in return for a review, the words are our own and have not been altered.

erms & Conditions:

The giveaway is open to the UK only
◾It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
◾Winner will be drawn randomly after the competition closes at 23:59 on Sunday 5th June 2016
◾The winner will be sent an e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
◾The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and may be subject to change if they become unavailable.
◾The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
◾Please allow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
◾This competition is listed at: Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com and SuperLucky

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Carcassonne – Review

Carcassonne is an award-winning strategy game available on line or visit the Esdevium website for local stockists, for 2-5 players, aged 7+, RRP £27.99.

I was excited to see what the soup dragon family would think of the game of Carcassonne as I had seen it at the London toy fair in January and thought that we would enjoy this style of strategy game. The box contains a score board, 45 coloured playing pieces, 84 land tiles and a rules booklet. At first glance I thought Carcassonne might be a bit tricky to learn, but despite quite a large amount of rules, there are additional ones that are not needed for your first game.

carcassonne

The game play of Carcassonne is simple, each player takes turns choosing and placing a land tile. A little like a jigsaw each piece can have a road, city or monastery. You choose a colour of playing piece (called meeples) one stays on the score board the others are used to take ownership of city’s or roads as they are built. Players take turns to do three things. First you draw and place a land tile, next place a meeples (if you want) and next you score any completed feature.

carcassonne board game

Learning what will score the most, and where to place your meeples is the most difficult part of the game to learn. But we have found once learnt we were happy to add in the additional scoring rules like adding rivers, and even farmers which all score differently and change the layout of the game. You will need a nice clear space as your city’s grow, as even though there is no board, the land tiles need space so you can add to them without having to move the whole game.

We have played Carcassonne as a 2,3 and 4 player game, although Bingo Granny wasn’t exactly sure what she was doing! The boy has enjoyed building up the cities and scoring. Dad Dragon enjoyed the strategy aspect, and I liked finding new ways to try and win. Carcassonne is a nice easy and relatively quick game to play, the box suggests an average game takes 35 minutes, we found a more competitive game took a little longer at 45 minutes. Once you think you have mastered Carcassonne there are expansion packs to change the basic game, and this is a great way to expand the game, so you don’t get bored with it.

carcassonne game

Carcassonne has already found a place in our regular Sunday game/puzzle mornings, and will be one that we can enjoy playing for some time as it makes you think hard about your moves as you play. If you would like the chance to play Carcassonne with your family then why not enter my gleam giveaway below.

 

Carcassonne

Terms & Conditions:

The giveaway is open to the UK only

  • It is mandatory to leave a comment in the post comment section answering the question specified. Other tasks completed will gain additional entries. The winner will be checked to make sure they have both left a comment and completed the task for the winning entry.
  • Winner will be drawn randomly after the competition closes at 23:59 on Thursday 2nd June 2016
  • The winner will be sent an  e-mail to the e-mail address left at time of entry. The winner will need to reply to the e-mail within 7 days of the notification. Every effort will be made to contact the winner, but if no response is made within the 7 days a new winner will be chosen.
  • The prize details are stated at the top of the giveaway, and may be subject to change if they become unavailable.
  • The prize will be posted by the promoter, unfortunately I cannot be held responsible or replace missing parcels. Please contact me if there is a problem.
  • Please allow 28 days from notification for your prize to be sent out.
  • This competition is listed at: Win competitions at ThePrizeFinder.com and SuperLucky
SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky

Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday Puzzle – Review

You may have noticed that the Queen has just celebrated her 90th Birthday, and I joined in the celebrations by completing a very beautiful puzzle from Wentworth Puzzles.  The Queen Elizabeth II puzzle is RRP £32 for the 200 piece puzzle, or £62 for the 400 piece.

Wentworth puzzles are all made from wood, and they come in a little cloth bag. The Queen Elizabeth II puzzle has 200 pieces, but don’t be fooled into thinking that will make it easy. The unique way this puzzle is cut means that each piece has a unique shape, and with a shaped outline, even the edges are hard to spot. This is about the 5th puzzle that I have completed from Wentworth puzzles as their #MinisterforJigsaws and the first thing you notice is the quality.

queen elizabeth

Some of their puzzles have “whimsy” pieces and these make the completion of each puzzle more tricky. This Queen Elizabeth II puzzle has some lovely “Whimsy” figures of the queen, crowns and her famous handbag. Each “Whimsy” pieces is cut carefully into the main puzzle, and these still fit beautifully with the more traditionally shaped pieces.  The boy likes me to leave these pieces till last so that he can place them into the puzzle. I am not a huge royal fan, but loved completing the queens Birthday souvenir puzzle and studying the pictures of the queen over the last 90 years.

queen elizabeth wentworth puzzle

The way the Queen Elizabeth puzzle is cut allows some great details including the 90 cut from the bottom corner, and the queens profile shape of the finished puzzle. The Queen Elizabeth II puzzle would be a great keepsake gift for a royal fan, or puzzle fan, and one I will enjoy completing again. Visit the Wentworth Puzzles site for a fun selection of unique premium puzzles where you can even have your favourite pictures turned into a unique gift.

Disclaimer, I was sent this puzzle to review as part of the #MinisterforJigsaws programme. The words remain my own and have not been altered.

Tower of London – Ravensburger Puzzle Review

Tower of London is a new puzzle from Ravensburger which is part of the Historic Royal Palaces series. Tower of London is a 1,000 piece puzzle suitable for ages 10+ RRP £11.99.

I completed the Hampton Court Puzzle earlier in the year, and the Tower of London is a great addition to this series. The puzzle comes with a picture fact sheet, and I find these sheets a great addition to the puzzling experience. Its so much easier to refer to the picture sheet rather than the lid of the box.

tower of london

I sometimes feel that photographic puzzles like the tower of London will somehow not keep my attention and be as interesting, but didn’t find this the case with this puzzle. There at first glance seemed to be a sea of blue, and after my initial sorting of the edges I found the red was the colour that stood out. There also appeared to be lots of brick, but again once you have been through the pieces you find the quality of the picture allows you to separate each of the different tones of building.

tower of london puzzle

The Tower of London was not a tricky puzzle, and once the figures of the guardsman and the Beefeater were complete, it was easy to find the ER wording. The crown and the darker blue of the sky were easy to sort. Traitors gate was the next part completed and finally the historic tower of London itself.

tower of london review

The Tower of London is a great puzzle and one which I enjoyed especially the details on the crowns. I certainly need to think about going to the tower one day as its a place I have never been to. Visit the Ravensburger website for more great puzzles.

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle to review and the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.

Spirograph – Review

Spirograph is a classic art and design toy from Flair, and available in all good shops and online starting from £10 we were sent the Deluxe set to review. Suitable for ages 8+ when I was younger I desperately wanted a Spirograph set so have enjoyed this set more than the boy.

spirograph

The deluxe Spirograph set comes with 19 wheels 2 rings putty to hold the rings in place and pens. The clever design of the box means it doubles as a travel pack and work surface for your designs. The enclosed booklet is a great start, and you even have sheets of paper supplied to get you started. I found set up easy as you simply use the Spiro-tack provided to place a ring, then choose a wheel and off you go. The enclosed instruction book is a good starting point for ideas, I found that after a few goes it was more fun to find the patterns you like and just experiment. There are literally thousands of possibilities for patterns and colour combinations.

spirograph deluxe

The enclosed Spirograph booklet gives you ideas on how to make repeating patterns, some look very 3D and with the three enclosed primary coloured pens you can make some pretty stunning patterns. The boy finds he doesn’t have the patience for this type of activity, and you would need lots of patience. You need to carefully position the rings with the Spiro-tack as they can move if pushed too hard. be prepared for some failed patterns, but once you have discovered which way the wheel will move I found it easier to predict when the wheel might jump.

spirograph deluxe

Spirograph is a great way to teach maths as the patterns are very rhythmic. Concentration, patience, and try a try again attitude are also needed. Spirograph is defiantly more suited to a more arty or driven child, although the boy did try again, he was disappointed with the results if they went wrong.

I liked all the different ways of using the wheels inside and outside of the rings. Before long you will be hooked and making your own great colourful designs. Spirograph are looking for some young designers, so have a look at the Cool Create website, and why not enter for some fun Spirograph prizes. I have loved making the Spirograph patterns, and think it could be the new colouring craze for adults as it is very relaxing in the evening to sit and draw. Why not have a go for yourself and see what patterns you can make, the pictures make great phone screen savers!

 

Disclaimer we were sent the Spirograph deluxe set to review the words remain our own and have not been altered.

 

 

Hampton Court Palace – Ravensburger Puzzle Review

Hampton Court Palace is a Ravensburger Puzzle in the series of Historic Royal Palaces. This 1,000 piece puzzle would be suited to ages 12+ with a RRP £11.99.

hampton court palace

At first glance I thought the Hampton Court Palace puzzle would be tricky as I don’t do many photographic puzzles. But on closer inspection I realised there were a few bold blocks of colour. I sorted the edges, and also the blue of the sky and bright colours of the figures at the bottom of the photograph. The other part of the puzzle that stood out was the Astronomical Clock in the top left. These were all pretty straight forward to complete, and have some great details.

hampton court palace jigsaw

I was worried that I might lose interest in the Hampton court puzzle with its vast expanse of brick and greenery. I didn’t find this was the case as, as you sort through the pieces you realise they are very different. Details of the building pop out as you complete the puzzle. I thoroughly enjoyed completing this puzzle and enjoyed reading about each of the historical details on the picture sheet.

hampton court palace puzzle

Hampton Court Palace looks like a beautiful palace to visit, and is on our to do list, this puzzle has been lovely to complete and enjoy the detail of this historic palace.

Have a look at my Amazon affiliate link below for the current price, and visit the Ravensburger website for other puzzles in this series.

Disclaimer I was sent this puzzle to review the opinions remain my own and have not been altered.