Review: Harry Potter Magical Capsules – Unleash the Magic!

This product was gifted for the purpose of this post. All opinions remain honest and our own.

I feel like I missed the boat a bit when it comes to Harry Potter – well, the books at least anyway. They came out when I was in my late teens and had fallen out of love with reading. I have, however, seen all of the films – and I loved them too!

So it’s through the films rather than the books that I found my love for the wizarding world. I will listen to the books on Audible but I find the films stunning to watch. We took Col and Bess to the Warner Bros tour a few years ago and we all had an awesome time. They, unlike their mother, have read the books and seen the films.

Over Christmas last year I sat with Moose and watched Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone. He was fascinated! He wanted to know more about Harry Potter following our review of the invisibility cloak. From the first chimes of the music, he was hooked.

harry potter magical capsule

What’s in the box?

Discover the magic of Harry Potter with the newest collectable for the Wizarding World. Each bronze Hogwart’s Crest contains one of our favourite characters from the Harry Potter series. Series 1 features 10 characters to collect with these listed on the handy collector card. 

Each crest contains two clues to the character inside. 

Open compartment number 1 to reveal a heat reveal Hogwart’s Crest. Which House could your character be in?

Open compartment number 2 to reveal a spell name. I can’t see it…its written in secret ink and will only be revealed when you dip the paper in water!

So you know the Hogwart’s House and the spell name….real Harry Potter fans will know who is hidden inside the crest….

Open it up to reveal 4 wrapped parcels…save the biggest till last…to finally know which character you’ve got! 

Each character comes with 3 accessories and 2 clues!

What did we find?

Moose loves toys with a surprise element so the Harry Potter Magical Capsule, with it’s 3 surprises was an absolute winner. I did wonder whether he would know the characters because to be fair he had only watched the first film a couple of times but I needn’t have worried – he knew who we got straight away!

Compartment number 1.

Inside the first compartment you will find a Hogwarts crest. This crest is heat activated and, with a little rub, will reveal the colour of your characters assigned house. Of course, Moose got Gryffindor! This was our first clue…

Compartment number 2

Our second clue as to the identity of our mystery character was to be found in compartment number 2. This was a mysterious strip of card with a water droplet depicted upon it. Moose clocked that this meant that we had to wet the strip (what? I hadn’t had my coffee yet!!) and ran off in the direction of the downstairs loo. A quick splosh later and the ink was made visible. It was a spell! Expelliarmus!

Compartment number 3

The final reveal was, of course, the big one. Who was our character? It was Harry Potter himself! Moose was so excited to find a mini Harry complete with luggage, a wand, a letter from Hogwarts and of course, Hedwig!

What did we think of the Harry Potter Magical Capsule?

I think it’s true that a picture speaks a thousand words so I will let Moose’s expression do the talking here. He was THRILLED with this toy. I initially thought that £9.99 was a bit highly priced for a surprise toy but having seen and felt the quality of the figures inside as well as the Hogwarts crest case (which of course you could use to keep the bits together) I have been pleasantly surprised.

The age rating on the packaging is 3+. I would probably suggest that 3 years old would still be a little young just because there are small parts and the figure itself may be slightly too delicate for tiny hands. Moose at age 5 loved it as did Bess at age 14. I am definitely going to be choosing these as a stocking filler option this Christmas.

 

SuperZings Series 5 collectibles and SuperZings – Mission playsets

Disclaimer: We were sent these SuperZings products for the purpose of this free of charge review. All opinions remain honest and our own.

Moose loves Superheroes and is also very partial to a blind bag not mention his passion for collectables. So, when a huge bundle of a toy ticking all of those boxes landed on our doorstep he was thrilled!

excited boy with superzings toys

What are SuperZings

SuperZings are everyday objects and items transformed into Super Heroes and Dastardly Super Villains. They can be bought in several ways;

superzings blind bags

  • Single figure blind bags priced at just 80p each making them the cheapest blind bags on the market! There are 80 figures to collect in the season 5 series. As with past series, there are hero SuperZings (Sky Runners, Air Wings or Flying Surfers) and there are villainous SuperZings (Lightning Raiders, Black Comets or Rocket Gang).

  • SuperZing Skyracers. Each of these £4 blind bags contains a SuperZings character as well as a vehicle – each of these has it’s own cool features.

  • SuperZings Mission Playsets. With an RRP of £15 they are a little pricier but you really get a lot of play value here. We received the Bank Assault Mission play set which comes with Agent Silverstar and villain Gold Hands. Moose loved the bank vault which you can blow open at the push of a button to reveal gold bars inside! We also received the Fire Strike set which comes with a fire engine and a helicopter which shoots “water”.

What did we think?

SuperZings seems to have really done their homework. Every single aspect of this collectable toy is appealing to my 5 yr old – and the price point is very appealing to me!

Moose loved the Hero Vs Villains game play so much. He’s spent hours playing out scenarios with the little figures. He even got some dice and created his own little battle game! He has returned to his SuperZings sets again and again since he received them and for the price they are I would be more than happy to buy more.

Review: Learning resources – Our learn at home best friend. Sight Word Swat and Sum Swamp.

These products were gifted for the purpose of this post. All opinions remain honest and our own

Of all of the plans I had made for this year, becoming a full time teacher to my children was most definitely not top of the list – let’s be honest, it wasn’t even near the list.

Now that we are a few weeks into this home learning malarkey I am not exactly finding it easy but there have been a few tools that I have picked up along the way which seem to be really helping.

  • I have my schedule written out and stuck to the fridge. That way everyone knows what they are supposed to be doing. A good thing about being at home is that the schedule can be loose. If we wake up on a Wednesday and its hot and sunny then we can make that our Saturday if we want to. I quite like that part of home learning and so do the children!
  • On an average day we do PE with Joe at 9am to wake us up before we launch into any kind of learning. With everyone being at home so much more I think it makes a massive difference to how our day goes if we do something physical first
  • I keep the snacks coming. I am led by my stomach and my offspring are no different. If they are hungry then nothing is going to go smoothly
  • Most importantly:

Make learning fun

This is basically the most important thing I try to remember by far. Moose just responds so much more positively when we make learning into a game. A really easy way to do this of course is by actually playing games and nobody does educational games better than Learning Resources.

Learning Resources offered to send us a couple of their games to review and I jumped at the chance! I had seen both Sight Word Swat and Sum Swamp in the shops and I was interested to see how helpful they could be with Moose’s learning.

Sum Swamp

I love the idea behind this game. At first glance it is a fairly typical board game but this one has a twist! To play the game you have 3 dice to roll rather than 1. The 3 dice are 2 numbers and then one instruction dice with +/- on it. You roll all 3 and then you have to complete the sum shown on the dice to work out how many spaces to move.

There is a bit about halfway along on the board where you can get caught in a bit of a loop (which I do) but Moose finds this utterly hilarious.

The game itself doesn’t take long to play. It is suitable for 5+ which I think is about right. The game board is designed in bright colours with fab illustrations. It’s clearly laid out and we picked it up within 10 minutes of beginning to play. Moose asks to play this game everyday and we have actually begun to use the Sum Swamp dice for other games too!

Sight Word Swat!

Before my children started school I had no idea what a sight word was! It turns out that there is a list of words that our kids are expected to be able to recognise instantly and effortlessly, i.e. on sight. Some of these words can be sounded out phonetically, others need to be learned off by heart as they sound different than they look. The game – and our school – refers to these as ‘tricky words’. Sight Word Swat! aims to help your child to learn to do exactly that in the form of a fun game.

In the box

you will find 150 double-sided cards in the shape of flies featuring 300 different sight words. The cards are colour coded for five different phases, each with increasing difficult, and in addition all the harder ‘tricky’ words have been highlighted in bold and yellow.

We tend to play this with a mix of levels just because I find it helps Moose more. Plus it helps build his confidence! To play the game simply select your fly cards and lay them out on the table so that all players can see them. Then an adult would call out one of the words and the first player to find and swat that word wins. The beauty of this game is that it can be as long or as short as you want it to be. Set a time limit or a number of words. At the end of the game the players can read out their sight words to help reinforce that they know those words.

Moose did so much better at this than I had expected! He managed to find a good range of words and I think if he had kids his own age to play against it would have been fantastic fun. Unfortunately for him he played against his big sister. She didn’t go easy on him. Nonetheless he loves the game and I love how simple it is to play.

Learn more about Learning Resources

As well as creating some fabulous STEM toys and games, Learning Resources also have a website which offers a massive amount of boredom busting activities and ideas to keep your little ones focused both indoors and outdoors long after this Corona virus business has left us https://blog.learningresources.co.uk/free-resources-for-home-learning/

We are definitely going to be making good use of this weblink over the next few months I think. So many fab ideas and most using things we have laying around at home!

 

 

Keeping the kids busy with Spinmaster toys

Products in this post were provided for the purposes of this or previous posts and reviews

I have always been a big advocate of all toys being meant for all children. There are no boys toys and girls toys in this house! Spinmaster are a brand whose toys have been consistently a hit with my children as well as nieces and nephews over the years. Now that we are heading from Spring and into Summer (and we all have far more month left than money) we are going through and sorting out toys to play with indoors and outdoors too! Here are a few of our Spinmaster favourites.

Fuggler

I will be honest, I’m not sure whether it’s me or Moose who loves these little guys more but since our first, Snuggla the Fuggler came to live with us, we have had many other Fuggler additions to our family. You can read more about our adventures with our very first Fuggler here

Meccano

For over 100 years, Meccano has inspired countless engineers, designers, architects and creative minds of all ages. Meccano is more than just a toy, it is a tool for teachers and educators.

Meccano has worked with the best schools and universities, including the USC Engineering and Robotics Research Lab, to make its Meccano Maker System line highly compatible with STEM initiatives.

Kinetic Sand and Rocks

kinetic sand

A toy I both love and hate in equal measure. Don’t get me wrong, it is utterly brilliant for creative play but if you have ever tried to clean Kinetic rock off a rug then you know… Outdoor play with this stuff is (in my humble opinion) the way forward.

That said, Moose will play with his Kinetic rock or his Kinetic sand at any given opportunity and once it’s out, it keeps him occupied for AGES!

We were lucky enough to review both and you can read more about Kinetic rock here and Kinetic sand here.

Hatchimals

Moose loves a collectable and he enjoys a surprise toy. Hatchimals is seriously up his street! The characters are cute and the process of getting into the eggs is easy and quick enough for him not to get bored. A good all rounder I think. We were sent some Hatchimals to review and you can read more here

Air Hogs

Who doesn’t love a rocket? What I like best about the Air Hogs Sonic Rocket is how simple it is. Because it really is simple, Moose and his friends have hours of fun with it. You can read our review here 

Cool Maker KumiKreator

Easily spin to create: The cool maker kumikreator is a breakthrough bracelet maker, it makes it so easy to create friendship bracelets without a single knot needed! We have reviewed this one in the past – you can read about it here. Bess still uses it! Moose loves the bracelets his sister makes for him too.

Bakugan

This one has definitely been the big hit of the Spring in our house. Moose has been playing with this one most days! You can read our review here.

Bakugan Battle Arena and Bakugan Starter Set Review

These products were sent to us for the purpose of writing this post. All opinions remain honest and our own

Moose is at such a weird age when it comes to toys. On one hand he still has (and loves) his dolls house and soft toys but he is definitely heading in a wholly different direction of play too with action figures and much more complicated games. Complicated for me, you understand, not him.

Moose was over the moon when we were sent the Bakugan Battle Arena and Bakugan Starter Set recently. I had a vague concept of what Bakugan was in that I knew that there was an animated series where there were “brawls” and that it was very popular. That was about it.

bakugan

Whats in the box?

The Battle Arena

I suspected that the box might be needed as part of the play for the Arena. I picked at the sellotape carefully and managed to open it in such a way that it could be used if needed. This turned out to be entirely unnecessary. You don’t need the box at all. Hopefully the bin men will marvel at my meticulous unpacking. Sigh. Anyway, inside the box you will find:

  • 1 Bakugan Battle Arena
  • 1 Exclusive Bakugan
  • 2 BakuCores
  • 1 Ability Card
  • 1 Character Card

Bakugan Starter Set

  • 1 Bakugan Ultra
  • 2 Bakugan
  • 6 BakuCores
  • 3 Ability Cards
  • 3 Character Cards

How do you play?

How DO you play? This was my thought having read the instructions (twice!)

Having scoured the instructions until my few remaining braincells ached I followed this up with a search on Youtube and managed to find this really helpful video on how to play a basic game. There are more games and brawls to be had and you can find out all about those online or within the instructions if you can understand them – I have a feeling that my teenagers would have no problem at all.

We will definitely be learning how to play the more complicated games but I think that sticking with a basic brawl makes good sense for now!

What did we think?

Well, funny story.. As I write this we are, like the rest of the country, on lockdown. This means that non essential shops like toy shops are closed. Thanks to a slight technical hitch we were not sent the Bakugan through the post and I had to add them onto a supermarket shop. Not a problem except I was entirely unaware that to play Bakugan you actually need to start off with 3 each. Sadly we only had 2 each so we compromised and just played a slightly shorter game but twice. We will definitely be adding to the collection though. It will be a much more entertaining game with lots of Bakugan to choose from. Plus, Moose loves the little creatures.

I like that there is an educational aspect within the game where the players have to read the numbers and see which are the highest to find the winner. I can see the collectable aspect being very popular with Moose. He already wants to add to the collection!

Bakugan Battle Arena and Starter Set are available from Amazon as well as all good toy shops and supermarkets