Admiral Young Driver – Review

Admiral Young Driver program is a safe way to teach children aged as young as 5 to control a car and start the enjoyment of driving. The boy was a little nervous to try out the Admiral Young drivers programme. He needn’t have been as he had a great time.

The boy want’s to be a policeman when he is older and learning to drive will be a big part of the job if he does eventually choose this as a career. I have always wanted thought its good to learn things early so driving lessons was on my list of things to get the boy to try. We booked a 1/2 hour lesson with the Admiral young drivers at Southampton WestQuay car park.

The boy was worried he might drive over the edge of the car park. The booking in lady quickly put his mind at rest, as apparently this is a question she is asked often! There are some height restrictions for the drivers and they should be over 10 and a minimum of 1.42m tall. The boy was soon seated in the car and there are proper cushions to bring the seat height up to the correct height. I was allowed to join in as a passenger for the lesson, while dad stood at a safe distance and took pictures.

The top-level of the WestQuay car park was set out with junctions and obstacles and with other Admiral young drivers there is plenty to be aware of while learning to drive. The boy was put at ease by his instructor Barry, and within 5 minutes they had completed the pre drive checks and we were moving.

Each new Admiral young driver is given a diary which is completed after each lesson. This is a great record of what you learned as well as being something to record the steps and progress. As a first lesson the boy learnt to make pre drive checks of mirrors, seat and starting the vehicle. He then went on to control the vehicle and completed junctions and a slalom.

I was very impressed by the teaching, and the instructor moved the lesson on at the speed that each student needs. The boy was clearly in control and loving every minute. There was time to ask lots of questions and the instructor had lots of knowledge of the Skoda citigo that we were driving.

The half hour Admiral young drivers lesson was a good length for a first lesson as the boy said his legs felt a little wobbly after all the clutch control. The boy has also asked when he can have his next lesson, as he enjoyed it far more than he thought he would and I think maybe a few lessons a year at his age certainly wouldn’t hurt.

Visit the Admiral Young Driver website for all the different options from lessons to Birthday parties and even the chance to drive a Bentley.

Disclaimer we were asked to try out the young driver programme in return for a review, the words remain ours and have not been altered.

 

The Game about Wikipedia

The Game about Wikipedia is a new game from Spin Master games and is a celebration of the well-known online encyclopaedia. Suitable for 2 – 4 Players aged 8+ RRP £16.99.

The game about Wikipedia box contains 300 wiki theme cards, 4 whiteboards with markers, 100 tokens and an egg timer. Game play is easy to learn and the winner is the one at the end with the most tokens.

wikipedia

Starting with the youngest player you draw a wiki theme card, each contains 3 games. The first is a trivia question. Turn over the timer read out the question and the other players make a note of the answers on their wipe clean board. Questions might be For which James Bond film did Roald Dahl write the screenplay? Other questions have multiple choice answers and there are 3 tokens available for the right answers.

The next part of the game about Wikipedia is all about page views. The timer is turned and the three subjects are read out players then rank these as to how many views they get on Wikipedia in an average month. One token is received for each correct answer.

the-game-about-wiki

Finally players are challenged to list 5 items in the disambiguation section. In this section all the players answer. Match your answer to that of the question master and you will win another token. This has to be the most fun as you have to think about how the person reading the question might answer and not the actual answers. Play continues until the tokens run out and the winner is the one with the most tokens.

The Game from Wikipedia is a great family and grown up game, and has caused lots of interesting discussions in our family about what we know and some things we had no idea about. The Game is fast paced as you have the timer to keep you going although for the boy we tended to be flexible on time as he gets stressed under pressure. Once you have mastered the format then it is more about the varied facts and interesting information you can learn in the Wikipedia game.

The Game about Wikipedia is available from your local toy store or online retailers like Argos, and Amazon.

 

Disclaimer we were asked to try out this game in return for an honest review, the words remain our own and have not been altered.

Confessions of a Summer Parent

Confessions of a summer parent, yes we have all been there! The moment when a game of hide and seek turns into Mum sneaking off for hidden bar of chocolate, or is that just me?

I start off in week one of the summer holidays fresh, ready to tackle the world. With my weekly planner, a mixture of days booked, and exciting activities planned. Baking, working together, meeting friends. You know the kind of things.

Week two we have started to get into the bad habits of late nights, irregular meal times and too much screen time. The boy wants to spend his days on the computer, yes its minecraft. Things not quite going to plan, and lack of summer sunshine never helps.

confessions

By week three, and you can throw the planner out of the window. Mornings are spent with long lazy lie ins, and afternoons gardening, cleaning and catching up around the house. While the boy spends too much time on computers and tv, I try to tempt him away.

Week four and its time for a change. We like to go away, and Dad dragon has booked a week off. I however have a confession and haven’t managed to find anywhere reasonable priced to stay! Whoops. Resulting in a grumpy husband and a staycation. I quickly get my thinking cap on and prey for good weather, the odd ice cream and trip to the beach, I manage to save the week.

confessions pictures

Entering week five and already the panic has set in. Do the shoes fit? Wjat happened to your PE kit? Is it still at school? Where can we get those bits of uniform? Ah yes I had forgotten all your school trousers have holes! So its time to get the iron out and the name labels on order.

By week six we are on the home straight, and this is where my confessions of hidden chocolate come in. The boy however has sussed out my hiding places and can hear the crinkly sound of an opening wrapper. Like lightning he can intercept me, with a well placed “where’s mine?” and before we blink its the new school year.

confessions summer

I love the summer holidays, the best days are the ones that are unplanned. The days where we get on our bikes and see where the wind takes us. As a family doing silly things and often free activities are the ones, which have the fondest place in our memories. I am lucky, I get to spent the whole summer with my boy, there are good and bad days, but when he goes back to the school routine, there is a big gap. He is already going into his last year of primary school, so my summers are running out. I had best get the planner out and hiding the chocolate ready for summer 2016.

This post is an entry for BritMums Confessions of a Summer Parent Challenge, sponsored by Anchor

Triop World Giveaway

Have you seen my Triop World review? Well here is your chance to win this educational kit from My Living world. The Triop world kit contains everything you need to learn about these fascinating creatures, and the boy has enjoyed trying to spot these almost microscopic creatures.

triop world

Enter below on my Gleam app, and don’t forget to leave a blog post comment on my review HERE.

Triop World

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 Sunday 10th July
  • 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

Triop World – Review

Triop World is a natureset from the My Living World collection from Interplay. Suitable for ages 7+ RRP £9.99. The box contains a tank, triop information booklet, spoon, pipette, triop eggs, triop food and a small bag of sand.

Triop world is a hands on set with everything to grow and watch triops grow and find out more about these fascinating creatures. Triops are creatures that are millions of years old and are sometimes called living fossils. This is the perfect activity for the boy who is currently learning about water, rivers and creatures at school. You will need to collect some rain water for your Triop world kit, or buy some bottled spring water. The box comes with everything else that you will need.

triop world

First you will need to clean and fill your triop tank use a little of your water (not tap water) to do this then fill your tank to 3/4 full. Next you need to make sure that the water in the tank is at room temperature. Next sprinkle half the bag of detritus from the Triop World box onto the top of the water. This pack contains the Triop eggs, they are very small and you wont be able to see them. They should hatch within 24 hours but there is a troubleshooting section in the leaflet if you have problems.

triop world set up

After cleaning and filling our tank we added half the packet marked Triop eggs. Then we had to wait. The boy was keen to find out how long, and we were convinced we would see activity after the 24 hours. We had to wait a little longer before we were able to see anything with the naked eye as they creatures are pretty small. After a couple of days there was defiantly something moving in the water but it is still difficult to work out if it is a triop or not. It was time to feed our Triops a tiny but of food on day three, and the boy was keen to see if they would appear from the bottom. We definatly have some creatures now and can see movement, a few days more and we might be able to work out if we have triops.

The Booklet in the triop World kit has plenty of fascinating facts about triops. From how they evolved and their life cycle. Also detailed pictures and plenty for the boy to learn about these peculiar creatures. You also may get other creatures from your egg packet like fairy shrimps, daphnia and clam shrimp. Just like the Triop these are all creatures that have evolved to live and reproduce in a short amount of time to survive.

The boy has enjoyed finding out more about these ancient creatures, and hopefully once we have some triop eggs, we can dry them out and start all over again with another generation of Triops.

Disclaimer we were sent this kit in exchange for and honest review.

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

World Wonders Ravensburger Puzzle – Review

World Wonders is a 2,000 piece Ravensburger puzzle which is part of the Panorama collection of puzzles. Suitable for 14+ and RRP £20.99 this puzzle measures 132 x 61cm when complete.

world wonders

World Wonders is an illustrated puzzle by Maria Rabinky and with 2,000 was going to be my Christmas challenge. Like other Ravensburger puzzles, World wonders has the same well made pieces with the soft click technology which means they fit together perfectly. I did feel daunted when I first opened the box but with a little help from the boy soon got started. I find I only use the box for my sorting pieces, but with this puzzle decided I needed a couple of trays. as I sorted and looked for the edges, I also decided to separate all the blue coloured pieces. Strangely I found it easier to complete the penguins and blue seas first.

world wonders puzzle

Sorting through the 2,000 pieces of the World wonders puzzle took some time, and completing the edges took more than an hour. It was interesting to see how much of my table this puzzle took up. I thought the boy might enjoy helping with this puzzle, but in-fact he found it a little daunting, and helped towards the end when he could see that we were getting close to completion.

world wonders 2000

I love the details on the World Wonders puzzle, there is some poetic licence with the placement of some of the images, and the boy enjoyed finding these. With two Sydney opera houses, floating kiwis, and some strange islands off the Cornish coast. The details of animals and famous landmarks is lovely on this puzzle, but don’t be fouled to thinking that you will know the location of every piece. The pieces are smaller than the illustration on the box subjects so the World Wonders puzzle is still a challenge.

world wonders finished

I loved the Panorama puzzle size which makes a change from the standard rectangle and this fitted the map view of the puzzle well. With the addition of the fish and dolphins, boats and islands there are no large coloured spaces so your interest is kept right up to the last piece. World Wonders I think took me around 8 hours in total to complete, although I do get carried away and still finished this puzzle within 2 days of staring it. I love the bright colourful details of the World wonders puzzle, and think that puzzle fans will enjoy the challenge of this larger puzzle.

Have a look at Ravensburger for other puzzles in the Panorama series like the one I completed of London at Night as well as lots of fun puzzles for the kids.

 

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

Fueling Future Cars, Science X from Ravensburger – review

Fueling Future Cars is a part of a great range of different Science X kits available from Ravensburger for children aged 8+ RRP £29.99. This Science X Fueling Future cars kit has everything you need to discover how electric cars of the future work and how they are powered. (You will need additional materials for some experiments, including one A4 battery)

The boy was excited to find our more about fueling cars of the future and didn’t need any encouragement to start building. The box contains some pretty special materials including solar panels, a super capacitor, motors and the parts to build your own electric car. The 35 page full colour booklet has some great information on the history of fueling future cars, how they first came about and why we might need them in the future.

fueling future cars

The boy wanted to get going and make the car straight away, but it is interesting to note that the instructions add that you need to follow the 9 activates in the order they appear in the instructions. We didn’t at first and this did cause us to miss important instructions, including how to properly understand the wiring diagrams. The 9 different fueling future cars activities start with wiring a motor and completing a basic circuit. I loved the clear diagrams detailing how to wire each activity. The boy however wanted to look at the coloured pictures and we found these did not always follow the actual diagram which caused some confusion.

fueling future cars building

Each activity has a great mix of information and detail including background knowledge of how electricity works. There are lots of questions to ask, and work out how and why things happen. (answers in the back) We discovered how to make the solar panel light up an led light. but by far my favourite experiment has to be making our own simple electric motor. The boy didn’t have the patience to make the copper coil, so made the card housing for our motor. With the addition of a couple of paper clips, and we had followed the wiring diagram it took a little bit of alteration to work out how to get our motor to spin. Once we had it refined, then this is a pretty impressive experiment as you can move the magnet to find out how this alters the spin of your copper coil.

fueling future cars science x

Fueling future cars, and onto the building of the car itself and the exploded diagram is just about detailed enough. The boy had trouble using the mini screwdriver included in the kit, so we used a household one instead. We also found some of the wires were super fine and were tricky to connect into the terminals. The boy successfully made the battery powered car, but adding the super capacitor proved a bit tricky. Understanding the wiring diagrams for me was a little difficult (mainly as we hadn’t started from the beginning) and I am not electrically trained! We did however complete the first car and I think with a little patience could work out how to alter our wiring to include the solar panel. There are 4 different experiments with the car so this could keep the boy occupied for another day when he has more patience.

Overall we were very impressed with this kit, and I think if you have a car mad kid who loves learning about electrics and circuits then this would be perfect for them. Fueling future cars is a great way to get kids to read and understand instructions and wiring, so I think would be better suited to children aged 12 and over. My only disappointment with this kit is that you can’t build each experiment, as you only have one of each component part. Each experiment has to be dismantled before you make the next one. I think it wouldn’t have cost much to add in the extra wires and terminals needed to finish each of the models.

We have enjoyed fueling future cars and would give it a 4 out of 5 and I can see this kit coming in handy for some future science projects at school. Have a look at the Ravensburger page for more Science X kits, which are great quality and full of information and fun.

Disclaimer we were sent Fueling future cars to review and the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.

Best of British – Review and Giveaway

The Best Of British board game from Drumond Park (RRP £24.99), celebrates everything that makes this island what it is! This game is played with teams or individual players (2-6) and is suitable for ages 12+, although if you are playing as a team you can play with younger players, who I think will enjoy some of the fun questions.

The Best of British box contains a round playing board, 400 question cards, rules and 6 playing pieces. The game follows the same style of play as the other LOGO board games, so if you have played them The Best Of British will need no explaining.

best of british

We like to play The Best of British board game as teams so here is how you set up. Each of the two teams chooses a playing piece and places on the start square of the board. You then choose a question master for the first team, and they pick a card from the box. Starting with the top question on the card (red question) they read out to the other team. If they answer correctly they move their playing piece to that colour space on the board. If they answer incorrectly or pass then the question can be asked to the question masters team. If they can answer correctly then they can move their piece to the questions coloured space.

There are three types of question card, picture, theme and pot luck. Sometimes there is a picture or word clue on the back of the card and this side can be shown to the players. Play continues with each team taking it in turns to ask the questions from each card. Play continues until one of the teams reach the winning zone, where a bonus question must be answered before the team can be declared the winners.

best of british board game

The Best of British is a great game that we have enjoyed playing. The boy likes to be question master and this has improved his reading skills with some new words that he hadn’t come across before. There are some historical and difficult questions but we found there are also some very funny and random questions. Like what is the average weight of an average British snowman? The Best of British board game will be something that I think families can enjoy over a BBQ with friends and family, or if like us you plan to go away this summer it will be fun to take with us for that unexpected wet day!

We had great fun playing this game, and also just testing each other on our British knowledge, we loved the addition of the Olympic questions as the boy could answer some of these. If you would like to try out this fun British board game then have a look below at my giveaway.

The Best of British

Disclaimer we were sent a copy of this board game to review the opinions remain our own and have not been altered.

 

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 by randomly after the competition closes at 23:59 on Friday 14th August
  • 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 no alternatives will be offered.
  • 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

Spy Science Intruder Alarm from Great Gizmos – Review

Great Gizmos have a great range of kits in the Spy Science range, and we were sent the Intruder Alarm to test out. The Spy Science intruder alarm is recommended for kids 8+ with a RRP £11.95.

spy science intruder alarm

The boy was excited about this spy science kit and couldn’t wait to install it on his bedroom door! The Spy Science kit has everything contained in the box apart from 2 AA battery’s and even comes with a cute beware style door hanger.

spy science intruder alarm kit

The boy had very little problem making the Intruder Alarm as the instructions are super easy, with a numbered sequence of pictures and easy to understand instructions. All the electrical connections are made with a clever metal ring and pin system trapping each wire to join them. The boy understands simple electrical circuits and loved working out how the alarm was going to work.

spy science

The Spy Science Intruder Alarm took about 15 minutes to complete including batteries and testing, and the boy ran off to Dad proof his room! The alarm has self adhesive pads to attach to your chosen door so easy to fit. The alarm comes with an on off switch, and a cord long enough to adjust for most gaps. He was thrilled with the alarm, and was pleased to show me how he had installed it on his own. Including how he had worked out how to escape the room through a very small crack in the door, without setting it off!

intruder alarm

He was pleased the cats can get in and out without triggering the alarm but Dad sets it off each time. The boy says this kit is “Awesome”, but wanted me to point out that the pads are not very sticky and after one day of use the unit fell off. There is the option to fit your alarm more permanently with screw holes, but I think some better sticky pads in this set would be a better option. The boy still thinks his intruder alarm would be a great addition to a den and has even been thinking of how he could make it work in his tent in the summer. I think that Spy Science kits make a fab birthday gift and something I know the boys friends would simply love!

For a full range of their fun kids science kits visit Great Gizmos website, of find them on twitter and Facebook.