Friday, 30 August 2013

Review: Art Attack from Disney

You know what it is like during the long summer holidays, you need to lots of fill up those endless days, so when I was asked if I wanted to review some Art Attack goodies I of course jumped at the chance. I had assumed these would be the craft kits that I have seen in the shops before with craft bits to make up a specific item but I was mistaken, it seems that Disney are now doing some Art Attack goodies of their own.

We were sent a nice selection of items which all said they were suitable from age 3 upwards. The girls got to work with the starter kit quickly and painting was the first thing they wanted to do. As well as the three colours that came with the kit we added some colours from our paints and they had fun. Above is Miss M’s creation, which I am really quite proud of as she is my energetic one and never sits down to paint, colour or such, she would normally much rather be jumping around on the trampoline.

For painting you get three different heads that screw onto a plastic handle to paint with and I loved the look of these, such fun to mess about with a mini-mop head I thought but in truth it just took loads of paint and did not create that much on the page. I think these might be much better for younger kids with less dexterity that my 6 year olds. 

The starter kit retails for £15 normally and contains all you see here –

I see all the Disney Art Attack products are on special at HobbyCraft at the moment though and the starter kit is just £5.00, that's a great price!

We also received some pens and pencils and these are good quality but again I think are aimed at the younger kids. The pencils are really chunky, bigger than an average pencil and thus you need a bigger sharpener for them.

The one thing that the girls really adored was the paper embosser. I can honestly say this has been used every day we have been at home since it was opener. You cut a strip of paper to size, feed it in and it gets embossed with stars and they think this is fabulous, we have had embossed pictures, postcards, bookmarks, leaflets – you name it!

Disclosure: We were sent these craft supplies free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Review: Imaginabox

Recently my girls received a parcel each from Imaginabox and they were super excited to open them. It is a nice touch that the parcel comes addressed to the child. The plastic bag is durable and would last being left out in the rain and then the inside is colourful and the boxes sturdy to protect your crafts.

Imaginabox is a monthly crafting kit aimed at children aged 4 - 8 years. Each kit contains everything you need to make four good craft projects and it comes with a really easy to follow instruction booklet that explains how the crafts should be done. Miss M is just 6 and she could mostly read the instructions herself. The kits are aimed at parent and child time though and it is nice to get involved and help your child make something.

I think these kits are perfect if you are not crafty yourself but your child is pestering you to get involved in some projects or if you just know it would be a good idea to help them develop skills in this area. Each kit has been designed to be fun and educational and the projects sit nicely alongside the foundation and KS1 teaching curriculum. Imaginabox say that they have designed the kits to help develop communication and socialisation skills, motor skills, numeracy, problem solving and imagination.

When your child opens the box they are greeted with a number of pastel bags all clearly numbered and each one represents a different craft and then in your first kit you receive a starter bag with scissors, spreader, glue and paintbrush. With each kit of you will receive the tools you need to do those tasks and you will receive different tools or paints with each kit so you can build up your craft box. The only things it is assumed you will have are pens and pencils.

Miss E is my crafty twin and she obviously loved this but I was super surprised at Miss M who normally only has a moments concentration as she enjoyed the Imaginabox too, I think this was because it was very prescriptive and she liked to follow the instructions and have something at the end she could play with rather than just a picture or ornament. We left the box on the table for quite a few days and the girls kept coming back to it for 1/2 or so at a time.

If you wish to buy a taster box the price is £19.95 including P&P or you can sign up for a monthly subscription an the price reduces to £16.95 per month ongoing and I was pleased to see there is no minimum term or tie-in clauses.  You can also save by paying for 6 or 12 months upfront, check out the pricing options here -

The box we received is a holiday themes box and you can see the crafts the girls made here, their favourite was creating a suitcase and holiday money, tickets, passport etc for their teddies. This has given them a lot of fun.

I like the fact that on the website there are lots of free extras that you can download and use. This month there is i-spy bingo for the car, making a holiday journal, holiday postcards and lots more. It is worth taking a peek at these great free printables.

Disclosure: We were sent two imaginabox for the purposes of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Clarks 100 things to do - Paint like a famous artist

As you'll know my children and I are working our way through the Clarks new initiative '100 things to do before you are 10'. The first 50 things have been launched for summer and the next 50 will follow in the autumn.

So far we have - Played water wars and written to a penpal.

This week Miss E tackled the task number 6 - paint like a famous artist.

She was lucky enough to have a unique and personalised work of art sent through to her from the artist Dermot Flynn who is known for his work painting with food. He did the art pieces for the Marmits love it or hate it campaign. Miss E had a picture of herself panted onto a T-shirt using household stain products! A little different but she was chuffed. Here he is doing the art work -

Miss E had fun the other day creating a masterpiece t-shirt for herself. She also used some food products to make her artwork, this is what she created -

Disclosure: I was provided with Clarks vouchers to take part in this initiative. I have not been told what to write and I remain honest.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Review: Brilliant Mini-b Beanbag for kids

Some of you will know that we have had a stressful month of moving house. Well to be precise dh moved to our new home at the end of June and the kids and I did not follow until a month later. This meant that dh was living in a gorgeous big house with next-to-no furniture. He called me one night and said he was trying to watch TV but just could not get comfy however many pillows he tried to use.

Lucky for him the next day he had a delivery from Room to Grow with 2 gorgeous beanbags for my twin girls to review. The mini-b beanbags have been a God-send, who would have thought that a 6ft tall large man could manage to lounge on them and feel comfy? Dh has put aside his masculine side and embraced the bright pink mini-b beanbag!

I've looked at kids beanbags before and walked away as I assumed they would not be big enough for JJ, who is a growing boy, but you can see from the pictures of my dh and JJ below, they are plenty big enough even for young teenagers. The picture below shows the kind or arguments I'm having now with three kids and two beanbags - one always ends up on the floor! lol

The mini-b beanbag is perfect for my kids when they want to lounge and watch some TV or have a play on their tablet. I have such manic children that I have to encourage them to sit down and chill out at times. The beanbag is shaped so that you can lounge on it or sit in it like a chair, it is very clever how it shapes itself to you. It wraps around and moulds to fit their body and uses body heat to maintain the perfect temperature  - clever!

It comes in a range of 11 bright colours to suit any decor and is covered in a 2-way stretchable, breathable, water-resistant, durable and easy to clean PU fabric. We received one in bright pink and one in red and they are both good strong colours, that look superb  It feels a bit like fake leather, but seems good and durable  I really like the fact that the mini-b bag can go just about anywhere including outside. At our new house we will go to a late Church service each Sunday evening and over the summer whilst the kids don't have any school I'm planning to take the bean bags with us so they can relax whilst we worship.

I never realised quite how versatile beanbags could be before we got these, who knew they would be good for a spot of play wrestling?

As you can see the beanbag has a plastic fabric bottom and on the top there is a large rubber tag to move it or carry it. It came in a fabric cover which is great for transporting it and storing it away if you need to.

The mini-b retails for £59.99 and whilst this is not cheap, I think it is a premium quality product that will last a number of years and thus I'd say it is good value for money. JJ now has his eye on the royal blue one  so I might just have to purchase one and keep peace in the house.

Disclosure: We received these beanbags free of charge for the purpose of this review. I have not been instructed what to write and I remain honest.