Sylvanian Families Convertible Car {Review}

I have a bit of a confession to make… and this may shock you: until last week, at the ripe old age of 29, I had never, ever played with any Sylvanian Families toys. I had, of course, heard of the toys and I know that they’re pretty iconic. I also know that if you mention Sylvanian Families to a lot people around my age, they will speak fondly of their Sylvanian figure collection from their childhood. But they were never something I had as a child. So, I have a lot of catching up to do, right?

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I was recently asked if myself and Jasmine would like to be part of the ‘Friends of Sylvanian Families’ review team. We’ll get to try out some fab Sylvanian Families products over the coming months and let you know what we think of them here on the blog. I thought it would be a great opportunity to finally get my hands on these much-loved toys and see what all of the fuss is about. Not only that, I wanted to have something that Jasmine and I could play with together in order to create some of her own childhood memories to fondly look back on in years to come. Maybe her own children will play with her collection of Sylvanian Families one day? The thought of that makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Anyway, on with the review…

What’s the product we’re reviewing?

The Sylvanian Families Converitable car.

car with own stickers

It’s recommended for ages 3+ (Jasmine is almost 28 months but she only plays with the toy whilst supervised).

How much does the product cost?

I’ve seen it for sale on various websites including Argos and Amazon at prices ranging from £11.99-£16.99.

First impressions: 

I’ll be honest, I was initially a little disappointed that the car didn’t come with any character figures but any disappointment I had quickly dissolved as soon as Jasmine got her hands on the nifty, orange convertible.  She took to ‘brrruming’ it up and down the coffee table immediately – making the cutest little car sound effects. I could just tell this toy was going to be a hit with my little lady.

The car came with it’s own vehicle number plate stickers… but after getting a label maker for my birthday (don’t judge), I couldn’t help but make some personalised number plate stickers for Jasmine’s Sylvanian rabbit family’s sweet new ride.

What we liked most about the product?

Jasmine enjoyed popping her Sylvanian rabbit family in and out of the seats (at one point, squeezing all four of them inside the car – pretty sure that’s some illegal driving right there!)

She also enjoyed opening and closing the soft-top roof. Initially I was worried that she might break it as she can be quite heavy-handed with her toys and the roof’s latch looked a little delicate. But I’m happy to report that she’s played with it lots and it still remains perfectly in tact.

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What we weren’t so keen on?

Jasmine does need a little help hooking the soft-top roof onto it’s latch but as I mentioned earlier, she is younger than the recommended age for this toy and I suspect when she’s a bit older and her dexterity improves this won’t be such a problem.

It is a shame that no character figures come with this toy but given that it’s a pretty reasonable price it’s not such a big deal.

Final thoughts?

This toy would make a great addition to any Sylvanian Families collection – I understand that you can also use this car to tow both the caravan and trailer toys (sold separately).

Jasmine has certainly enjoyed zooming her rabbit figures around the house in it. And despite her rough ‘n’ tumble play style (toddlers, eh?!) – it looks just good as it did when we pulled it out of the box.

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Watching Jasmine enjoy small world and imaginative play has been an absolute delight and we already can’t wait to see what our next delivery brings!

We were sent this product in exchange for an honest review – however, all opinions are my own. 

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A Moony Nappies Review and Giveaway

We were recently asked if we would like to try out and review some Japanese nappies. I raised an eyebrow too when I read the e-mail but curiosity got the better me and so I said “sure, send some my way!” For the best part of two years, we have tried a lot of different nappies in order to find the ‘right’ ones. I never would’ve thought it before becoming a mum – but’s pretty hard to find the perfect nappy for your little one. You want them to right fit, you want them to be able to keep your baby/toddler dry and comfortable and you don’t want to spend a fortune on them. It doesn’t seem a lot to ask when I write it down. Could these international pants, named ‘Moony’, be our answer?

A Moony Nappies Review and Giveaway

We were sent a pack of 38 Moony pull-up style pants in a size suitable for toddlers who weigh 12-17kg. They were the pack designed for girls, which basically meant they were pink. Personally, I don’t particularly care if Jasmine’s nappies are pink, blue, orange or green and I’m fairly confident she doesn’t either – seems silly to genderise nappies but hey-ho, some people like that kinda thing. Both the ‘boy’ and ‘girl’ designs have Disney’s Winnie The Pooh images depicted on them so essentially as far as I’m aware, aside from the colours, they are the same design.

A Moony Nappies Review and Giveaway

Fit: This is probably one of the things I’ve been most impressed with when it comes to the Moony Nappies. Despite them looking almost identical (in shape) to Pampers Baby Dry Pants (which is what we currently use) – they seemed to fit Jasmine so much better. They’re a bit more streamlined around her upper thighs and don’t tend to bunch up around the crotch like I find the Pampers do. They are made of a soft material and have plenty of stretch in them around the waist and legs.

Here’s a picture of both the Moony Nappies and Pampers Baby Dry Pants side-by-side for comparison.

A Moony Nappies Review and Giveaway

Day-time use: I generally change Jasmine’s nappy every 4-5 hours during the daytime. The Moony nappies have been absolutely fine. They keep their shape, absorb liquid well and are easy to remove. I gently tear the sides apart and pull the nappy off, roll it up and use the sticky tab to keep it in place before disposing of it. One of the things I’ve noticed about the Moony pants is that they don’t have that horrible chemical smell that some other nappies do. They also have a wetness indicator strip that runs down the outside of the center of the nappy which is quite handy.

A Moony nappies review and giveaway

Night-time use: We’ve really struggled recently to keep Jasmine dry at night. She’s a heavy wetter which often leads to her nappy leaking in the early hours of the morning. We’ve had to ditch using pull-up style nappies overnight as they often were the worst culprits so I was almost reluctant to try to Moony nappies overnight.

It turns out that I needn’t have worried because since using the Moony nappies for bed times, we’ve had no soggy pyjamas in the morning!

Price: This, unfortunately, is the biggest draw-back for me. The price of a 38 pack is £22.50 (on Amazon at time of writing this post) which is very expensive. Usually I can get two large packs of branded nappies for less than that. Although I am really impressed with the quality of the Moony nappies, and I think they are by far some of the best nappies we’ve ever tried, I couldn’t justify paying double for them – which is a real shame.

Bottom line: These nappies are a great for both day and night use. They’re good quality and are well designed. Sadly, the cost of the packs is their downfall.

To find out more about Japanese Nappies check out their website here and the online shop here.

I’m also giving my readers a chance to win a pack of Japanese nappies (in a size of their choice). Just enter using the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

TERMS & CONDITIONS:

  • All entries will be checked and verified
  • The competition closes at midnight on the 31st March 2016
  • There will be one winner chosen at random.
  • The prize x1 packet of Japanese nappies
  • UK entrants only
  • The nappies will be dispatched by Japanese nappies– blogger assumes no responsibility for delivery.

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Hollow Trees Farm Review

Last week we visited Hollow Trees Farm in Suffolk. Even though the farm is only about 40 minutes drive from where we live, we had never visited before – and I’m absolutely kicking myself about that!

We paid £5.00 entry for the farm trail (it cost £2.50 per adult and Jasmine was free as she’s under two). We also paid an extra 50p for a bag of animal feed. Gotta be done, right? Considering how much there was to see and do on the farm trail, I think the entry fee is very reasonable.

We decided to leave our pushchair at home, however, the trail is wheelchair and buggy friendly. Some parts of the trail were quite muddy (due to the rather soggy December week that preceded our visit). The muddy puddles were great for splashing in but I was quite glad we’d left our buggy at home.

Hollow Trees Farm Review

There was a great selection of animals to meet including pigs, cattle, chickens, alpaca, goats and horses! What I loved most about the trail was that you could really get up close and personal with the animals. And with my bag of feed in hand, I made a lot of friends!

Hollow Trees Farm Review

Not only were there lots of friendly animals to meet on our way round the trail but there was also a lot of other things to see and do – including tyre swings, wellie boot throwing and a giant wooden chair (great photo op!)

Hollow Trees Farm Review

Before heading to the Hollow Trees Farm shop/cafe for lunch we stopped off at ‘The Beach’. Inside a marquee was a huge sandpit with buckets and spades. It’s the last thing I expected to see at our visit to the farm but was a lovely addition to our day out. I thought Jasmine might never leave that sand pit and it was only with the promise of lunch that we managed to coax her away!

Hollow Trees Farm Review

The farm shop was filled with a wonderful array of fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods and of course, meat. We had a quick look around but by this point we were pretty hungry so we waited for a table at the cafe. It’s not a huge place and was quite busy so we had to wait a little while for a table. Once we were seated, I was massively impressed by the menu. There was a huge variety of meals tailored to young children – why don’t more places do this? Usually when we go for a day out somewhere the children’s menu consists of a long list of things ‘with chips’.

For Jasmine we ordered the hummus and pitta bread which also came with cucumber dippers, cheese puffs and a fromage frais yogurt. Stephen had a cheese and ham panini and I had a jacket potato with beef bolognese. The service was quick, staff were friendly and the food was lovely.

What we liked about Hollow Trees Farm:

Being able to get very close to the animals and feed them.

The wellie throwing!

Plenty of hand washing stations.

The size of the trail – it’s a perfect walking distance for young toddlers.

Being able to sit on the old tractors (Jasmine’s tractor obsessed so this was right up her street!)

Hollow Trees Farm Review

What we didn’t like so much:

The ‘Fox Slide’ in the ‘Pogals pit’ play area wasn’t very, erm, slidey? I went down with Jasmine on my lap as she was too scared to go down by herself and I had to bum-shuffle the whole way down. The child that went down before us got stuck half way!

And that’s about it – we loved everything else!

Other things you might like to know:

  • If it’s been raining recently then make sure you take your wellies as the farm trail gets pretty muddy!
  • The farm has a large onsite car park which free to use.
  • There’s plenty of benches around if you want to take a picnic. We will definitely go back for a picnic in the summer!

I couldn’t resist making a little video of our visit to Hollow Trees so here it is for you to enjoy:

Opening times: 

Monday – Saturday: 9am – 4.30pm last entry at 3.30pm
Sundays and Bank Holidays: 9.30am – 4.00pm last entry at 3pm

Please check out the Hollow Trees Farm website for up-to-date opening times and entry prices.

Nobody asked me to write this review but we enjoyed our time at Hollows Farm so much, I just had to rave about it on my blog. I’m already looking forward to our next visit!

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Mega Bloks First Builders {Review}

Now that winter has arrived, I’ve been trying to organise a good supply of indoor activities to do with Jasmine for the days when it’s too wet and cold to go outside. We were recently sent a bag of Mega Bloks First Builders to review and I can see them getting a lot of use over the next few months as they keep Jasmine entertained for ages.

The First Builders bags contains 60 bright building blocks in primary colours. The blocks are designed for 1-5 year olds, meaning they are perfect for small hands. They come in their own eco-friendly carry bag which means they’re great for taking on holiday or over to nan’s house.

Here’s a few ways we have played/could play with the Mega Bloks First Builders…

Imaginative Play/Small World Play:

It’s in the last few months that we’ve really noticed Jasmine’s imagination coming to life and the Mega Bloks are great for encouraging imaginative play. Within just a few minutes we can create a plane or a train, a house or a horse – the list is endless. Lately we’ve enjoyed making barns for Jasmine’s farm animal toys. Don’t they look happy?!

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Stacking: 

Currently, Jasmine’s favourite activity to do is stacking – and she’s getting pretty good at it too. The chunky Mega Bloks are the perfect size and shape for Jasmine to be able to stack the blocks herself. I love toys that help children to practice their hand-eye coordination skills.

Colour sorting: 

When Jasmine begins to learn the concept of colours the Mega Bloks will come in handy to help teach her the names of different colours and do simple shape sorting exercises like this…

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Tidying up: 

It’s sound funny but Jasmine loves to take the blocks out of their bag and put them back again, just as much as anything else. I always think it’s good to encourage her to tidy up after herself when she’s been playing with her toys. Using the carry case Jasmine gathers up all of her blocks when she’s finished playing with them and tidies them away nicely… for a about 2 minutes until she decides she wants to tip them all back out and start again!

Mega Bloks First Builders bags retail at around £10-15 and can be purchased from many shops including Argos and The Entertainer. They would a make great Christmas gift for the toddler in your life. The blocks are incredibly versatile and will last a long time – they are great quality and have plenty of playtime longevity!

What would you and your toddler build/do with Mega Bloks First Builders?

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My First Forever Friends Bedtime Lightshow {Review}

In the past, I have often struggled to think of the perfect gift to buy for a new baby. Buying tiny clothes is always fun but I know that new parents and parents-to-be often end up being bought so many newborn clothes that it’s impossible for them to all to be worn before baby outgrows them. It seems such a waste. But now? Now I think I’ve found the perfect gift to take to a baby shower – one that is useful, yet cute. It’s a gift that is long lasting, multi-sensory and can even be personalised. And this perfect gift comes in the form of the My First Forever Friends Bedtime Lightshow.

We were sent the Bedtime Lightshow Bear a few weeks ago to review and I was surprised that Jasmine took to it as much as she did. Not because it didn’t look like a nice toy but because as far as soft toys are concerned, Jasmine only really had eyes for Bunny. She has lots of soft toys – bazillions of them (give or take) but from the moment we took the Lightshow Bear out if his packaging, it has become a firm favourite. I’m not sure how Bunny feels about that, though?!

This incredibly soft-to-the-touch bear can, at the touch of a button, project a starry lightshow onto the walls and ceiling of your child’s nursery – glowing in 3 different calming colours consecutively. It has two different musical tunes – Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and Brahms Lullaby. We have used other light up toys in the past and the projector aspect of them has always been a bit underwhelming but with the LightShow Bear I was impressed with the brightness and clarity of the moon and stars shining on the walls.

Jasmine is at an age (19 months) where she is able to control the bear’s functions herself by pressing the buttons – which is both a good and bad thing. It means that if she wakes in the night she can turn the music and lights on herself and, feeling comforted as a result, can often settle herself back to sleep again. Of course, this also means that we have been woken up in the middle of the night by the sound of ‘Twinkle Twinkle’ coming from the room next door. Still, I’d much prefer that than the sound of a crying toddler and there’s plenty of worse things to hear in the middle of the night! Obviously, if you’re using this bear with a newborn or a younger baby this wouldn’t be much of an issue anyway. Using the ‘up’ and ‘down’ arrow buttons you also have the option to control the volume of the music too.

One part of the bear, that we’ve not yet utilised, is the photo holder which is located on one of the Bear’s feet. I think this is such a lovely way to personalise it, especially when giving it as a gift. Perhaps you could use it to house a photo of an older sibling or granny and granddad.

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Is there anything I’d change about the Lightshow Bear? Well, yes – I’d love there to be a bigger selection of music as a choice of just two pieces of music feels fairly limited. Although, I imagine that using the same piece of music to settle baby each night would help establish a comforting sleep routine, which I guess is the point.

Despite that one niggle, I think this is the perfect first gift for any new baby in your life and I’ll certainly be buying this Bear as a gift in the future. It sure beats a babygrow that will probably never get worn!

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The My First Forever Friends Bedtime Lightshow is available to purchase here. It’s currently on offer for £23.99.

It requires x3 AA batteries (included).

It’s suitable from birth.

Height: 25cm (Sitting)

Does the My First Forever Friends range remind you of your own childhood? It does me!

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We were kindly sent the My First Forever Friends Bedtime Bear by Golden Bear Toys for the purpose of the review. However, all opinions on my own – my daughter and I genuinely love it! :)