With less than a month to go until December, I’ve already started planning for Christmas. I like to get my shopping organised early and all of the presents wrapped before the children break up from school. To help us prepare, Toy Street has sent a selection of goodies to try out and review.
Aquabeads have been on Aria’s wish list for a little while. They appeal to her creativity and crafty side. If you haven’t come across them before Aquabeads are a bit like paint by numbers, but with beads. You have lots of different multi-coloured beads and a pattern guide to help you create different patterns on a layout tray. Best of all no glue is needed, once you have finished your pattern, you simply spray water onto it, you press the top board onto it, then let it dry (this takes about 20 minutes) and then you can peal off your finished masterpiece.
For the purpose of this review, we were sent a complete set, which includes a sorter for all of your coloured beads, a flip tray for making your creations, a bead dropper, lots of coloured beads and a water spray. As well as patterns you can copy to make different creations.
Aria (age 6) really loved playing with the Aquabeads, she had played with one before at a friend’s house, but has never had her own before. She was able to set everything up pretty much herself and set off making something straight away. She keeps asking to make different creations regularly and will quietly sit there and make things.
Rhino Hero Board Game
We’d not heard of Rhino Hero before being sent it for review. The best way I can think to describe it, is it’s a bit like Jenga on steroids. It’s a card stacking game. You can play with a maximum of 4 people, each person get a turn and has to build a tower block. But there a lots of tricks along the way!
For example, if you have a level that has a monkey on it, after you have built your level you have to hang a spider on it and hope that it doesn’t collapse. After every player has taken a turn then you have to move your characters up a level using the dice. Again hoping the tower does not collapse! If two players end up on the same level, you have to have a battle with the dice. The person that wins remains and the person that loses goes down a level.
Of course the ultimate goal is to build the biggest tower and make it to the top first. We are yet to manage this feat! The tower ended collapsing first, usually to lots of giggles. The person who collapses the tower loses and everyone else wins. Which is a nice touch, shared winners, especially with children.
It took us a couple of gos to get our heads around the rules of the game, but once we got going, it was loads of fun. Lots of giggles and great for family game time.
Educational Games for Toddlers
Finally we were sent two educational games for Bo who is 2, from Orchard Games. I love Orchard Games for children, we have reviewed some of their items before and they always educational but fun. Here we were sent Number Street and Animal Families.
First up is Number Street and Bo’s favourite of the two. It’s a simple puzzle and matching game. You have a sheet to put on the table and then your child’s job is to put and match the puzzle pieces on the top. This was just at Bo’s level, although he definitely needed adult help and supervision. He found it easier to match the pictures than the numbers, but it is something that will get easier with practise and he really enjoyed playing the game together.
The second game Animal Families is similar to snap, but you match groups of families and not just individual cards. While Bo loved placing the cards on the table, he found this game a bit tricky for his age, so it’s something I will put away for a few months and try again. But it’s a very simple game and animals families are in matching colours, so a lovely and really well thought out game.
Visit Toy Street this Christmas
For your Christmas shopping give Toy Street ago. We loved the selection of games they sent us and they have something for every age. There are gift selectors on the website to help you choose the right gift for different age groups and lots of well known household brands.