Recently we received a parcel for Moose. When he opened the parcel he let out an audible squeal. Inside the box he found a Smashers series 2 GROSS Sludge bus playset and a set of 8 Smashers.

The series one ZURU Smashers were red balls, this time around they are eyeballs! With Halloween and Half term just around the corner I felt like this change was very fitting.

What is a Sludge Bus?

Glad you asked. The Sludge Bus is a bus with space up top for storing up to 50 of your Smashers collectible figures. It folds out into a pretty gross bathroom playset featuring a springboard from which you can launch your figures into a toilet. Yes, a toilet. It also comes with a (plastic) poo which you can press to reveal 2 worms. Moose found this part hilarious.

As soon as he had finished guffawing at the toilet playset and plastic poo, Moose was very keen to get smashing. In case you have never owned or seen Smashers before, you just smash the smashball to release one of the characters inside. There are more than 100 to collect!

In this series, there are ‘Ooze Dudes’, ‘Icky Insects’, ‘Odd Bodies’ and so many more and like many collectables, there are rare, ultra-rare, exclusive and see-thru characters to collect. Moose was very excited to find that he had a slime covered one!

I really like that the Sludge bus playset doubles as a way to store the collectible figures and Moose loves how disgusting the little characters are!

The characters seem to be really well thought out and I like that you are able to reassemble the eyeball smashers so they can be used again and again!

 

Be sure to check them out over on the Zuru.com and you can also find them in stores, such as; Argos, Smyths Toys, Entertainer & Tesco.

I don’t know about you but I cannot move for unicorns and sparkle at the moment. It’s everywhere! When we were asked to review a RainboCorn Sequin Surprise I suspected that Moose would love it!

What is a RainboCorn?

The RainboCorns are a very colourful, very cuddly collection of different magical characters. Each RainboCorn has their own personality and very fluffy mane.

There are 12 different RainboCorns based on six cuddly cute animals (Puppycorns, Kittycorns, Hamstercorns, Bunnycorns, Unicorns and Monkeycorns) and every animal comes in two fun, funky designs.

There is a great little series of webisodes to go with the toy which are available to watch on YouTube. We especially enjoyed episode two:

What’s in the box?

There is no box, your RainboCorn comes in an egg which is part of the play (I really liked this) which is then secured in clear plastic wrap. Moose found this a little tricky to get into by himself so I helped. On the front of the egg is a sequin heart. You brush the sequins to see what your RainboCorn loves. Our one loves cherries!

 

Once the wrapping was off the egg, Moose gave it a big hug and POP his RainboCorn was revealed.

Moose was thrilled to find a HamsterCorn inside his surprise egg. Pixelle is his name. He has rainbow coloured hair and little pink wings and Moose says he loves his new friend.

Moose was happy to see that the sequin heart from the egg fits onto the front of his RainboCorn. When he looked inside the egg after removing Pixelle he was really excited to find a second, much smaller surprise egg!

Each RainboCorn comes with a little Boo-Boocorn – a tiny collectable baby Rainbocorn hidden in a secret egg.

Moose loves how cuddly Pixelle the RainboCorn is and finds him a great choice to snuggle with while watching his cartoons. With 12 RainboCorns to collect I definitely think this will be on his Christmas list for Santa!

My thoughts on the RainboCorn

From a parental point of view I thought initially that £24.99 was perhaps a bit steep for a surprise toy. However, it is very high quality and will, I suspect take a good amount of play without any seams giving way. I really liked that there were 3 surprises in the opening of the toy and the fact that it is a lovely quiet toy which does not require assembly (well, aside from slotting a heart into place) or a volume switch makes a very viable candidate for an excellent gift choice! Encouraging imaginative play is great for children and you don’t get much more imaginary than a winged hamstercorn which loves cherries!

Is it for boys or girls?

I think you can see from Moose’s face that the RainboCorn was definitely a hit with him so based on that I would answer a solid BOTH.

Where can you get one?

Rainbocorns are priced at £24.99 and are available from Argos, Smyths, The Entertainer, Asda and B&M. Monkeycorns are sold exclusively in Argos. You can find out more about RainboCorns here: www.rainbocorns.com

 

We were given this product in exchange for a review but all opinions are honest and our own.

 

As the parent of three darling children ranging in age from 4 to 17, “WHAT’S THAT SMELL!?” is something I can often be heard to exclaim. Who knew though that this was all good training in anticipation of one day putting my ninja nostrils to the test playing a family table top game from WowWee.

Inside the box you will find
  • 4 STANK cards & scent-barrier bags
  • 48 mystery whiff cards
  • a sheet of whiff strips
  • 6 cardholders
  • scorepad
  • Instructions for 2-6 players ages 14+

The premise of the game is really simple. You are each given a card. When the timer starts you are supposed to scratch the card and sniff. You then write down on the scorepad what you think you can smell. Points are given depending on the accuracy of your answer. For example if you have a coffee card and you guess Coffee you would receive 5 points, If you guessed a vaguely in the ballpark answer like Mocha or Wood you would receive 3 points. You would get 1 point for guessing that the category it is in is “smoke factor”.

What did we think?

This is a great game for us as we have 2 older children who enjoy playing and me who has zero patience when it comes to setting games up. If it takes longer to set up than it does to play then I lose interest and wander off.

We loved the danger aspect of not knowing whether the card you were about to sniff was a lovely smell (like grape) or something pretty gross.

All of the cards seemed to have a faint chemical smell which I presume is there to contain all of the different scents in the cards and after a while of playing I must admit that the scents did start to merge a bit.

The winner of each round is declared the Nose-It-All and is allowed to choose a player to suffer the Whiff of Shame! This part of the game almost made me lose my lunch so I would encourage not to play this one on a full stomach!

Tips for cleansing your sense of smell

  • Smell the crook of your elbow (or any other non-perfumed area of skin)
  • Sniff something made from pure wool
  • Have a bowl of coffee beans nearby for players to sniff. I don’t know why it works but it really does

There is an app for the game.  We chose to play it without the app this time but I have it downloaded for next time. When you play with the app you are able to easily time the rounds, keep score and record Whiff Of Shame moments. Whether you use that footage against your family members, well that’s entirely your call..

We will definitely be playing What’s That Smell? again. I think it would be a great game for Christmas or New Years Eve when you could even play as teams. If you are brave enough!

GIVEAWAY

We are happy to be able to offer you the chance to win your very own What’s That Smell? game which retails for £24.99 at Amazon, Smyths and Argos.

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I am not an active parent. Despite reading all of the media warnings about screen-time for children and the importance of keeping their little bodies physically active, I am often guilty of looking out of the window and using the weather as an excuse to stay indoors and pop a movie on or play video games.

It’s a bit rubbish on my part I know but there we are. Not that I am not offering an apology, but I have been thinking about it a bit more now that both children are going to school and the long days of time together (where I could be complacent about really how much time we had) are over.

So now those long days have been shortened down to 4 hours after school. Don’t get me wrong, I know I am fortunate to have even that. It’s not much though, is it?

In a way it has improved the quality of our time together though. Because, I think, that clock is ever ticking I am determined to make the time count. So, I have been quite strict with myself and imposed a no laptop rule for ME between 3pm and 8pm. I instead spend that time concentrating on being present for Moose and Bess.

This week

We have been out in the garden this week simply playing with toys. It has been really lovely to spend time with Moose just playing without the rigmarole involved with going somewhere else!

It has been so nice this week to make the most of our outside space. Moose loved playing with the Phlat Ball V3 Flash he was sent as well as his boom bat and other toys.

Inside the ball are suckers so the ball can be squashed into a flatter frisbee style shape. We played a game of hot potato with it, when the ball pinged back to shape whoever was holding it was out!

Moose had so much fun with it and loved the flashing lights too. You can find Phlat Balls at Smyths

We also found a Minion space hopper in the shed which Moose had a lot of fun playing with and for his birthday he received a scooter and helmet. He has had a little practise on the scooter every day this week.

We hear a lot of chatter in the press about how children today have forgotten how to be children and play without the aid of technology but I disagree. Given the chance I think most children enjoy being unplugged*.

*Eventually. Even if they do initially protest that you have ruined their lives by turning their tablet off.

 

I have a confession to make. Even though I know that tactile play is incredibly good for a child’s development I avoid messy toys… like sand.

kinetic sand

Imagine my joy when we were sent a bag of sand to play with

Moose was genuinely thrilled, the idea of indoor sandcastles made him positively giddy in fact. Me? not so much. It’s not so much that I hate cleaning but I already hoover 3 times a day because someone (me) made the interesting life choice to adopt a turbo shedding hound so adding more “stuff” to clear up is never my first choice.

Inside the box

You will find a 1.5kg bag of sand as well as 8 plastic sandcastle moulds and a set of instructions. The box itself forms part of the playset which I thought was handy as it helps to contain the bits.

The instructions tell you how to fold the box to allow for play but our flap kept coming loose. It made no difference anyway.

What did Moose think?

He loves the stuff. He spent ages just touching and playing with the sand at first. It feels a bit like wet sand but because of what I can only presume is magic, it sticks to itself and leaves no mess. NO MESS!

It’s non toxic and gluten free so good for any little ones who have an intolerance to gluten but who are prone to sticking everything into their mouths. Moose has a friend who fits this description so it’s nice to know they can play with the Kinetic Sand without that added worry.

We found the moulds really easy to use and Moose was happy after a little while of playing together to just sit and build his sandcastles by himself. I would say that with supervision this toy would be fine for a preschooler but 4-6 would be the ideal age range I think.

I thought that the sand provided was plenty but you are able to purchase more sand separately and in lots of different colours too!

Would we buy it?

The short answer is yes. I have already put another set on the Christmas list and I think it would make a great present for other peoples children too! The price of this set was £19.99 which considering it’s claim to “never dry out” is pretty good considering the hours of play value I am sure Moose will get out of it.

This is how much I found on the floor after an hour of Moose playing with it. Not bad!

We have decided to store the sand in plastic tubs just to make sure it stays in the best condition.

We were sent the set in exchange for an honest review.