Four Creative Toys – A Review
If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen my stories and feed this past week have been flooded with a flurry of crafty activity. I was sent four toys for my younger two girls to explore and play with for review purposes on my blog and, as you can imagine, there has been huge excitement in my house. I was tempted to say these were typically girl’s activities but you never know when a boy might just enjoy them too. I’d hate to seem discriminatory!
I’m a bit new at this side of blogging (that is, being sent lovely items in the post to write about them). Seeing the postman arriving with parcels is always a delightful event – unless it’s a part for my car – but this past week has felt a little bit like Christmas. I can’t tell you how pleased the kids have been. Suddenly mummy’s blogging is the best thing in the world.
At this stage I could probably tell you I’ve done a very posh or business minded thing and taken on an agent!
For those who have been faithful in reading my blog, thank you, and I’d like to set your mind at ease that I won’t be only writing about stuff I have been sent in the post from now on.
So now, down to business, I need to tell you how we got on with the lovely toys/activities we got this week!
The four items we received from Interplayuk are:
- The Unicorn Garden by My Fairy Garden
- The Best Friends Style Lab
- The Unicorn Charm Jewellery set
- and The Designer Tie Die Kit
1. The Unicorn Garden Review
This set comes with everything you need to make your own little unicorn and fairy themed garden in a bowl, with real grass! You just need to buy a small amount of soil but the set comes with the bowl, a unicorn, a fairy and a mouse figurine (none of which are real), a wishing well with tiny bucket than can be raised and lowered, an arbour, a mushroom, bunting, gravel, fairy dust, artificial flowers and a packet of grass seed.
Fia was eager to build this as soon as she came home from school on the day we received it but we didn’t have any soil so she had an excruciating 24 hour wait. (After I had forgotten to buy it three times).
The girls loved creating the garden together (Fia graciously allowed Rebecca to do it with her). The instructions are straightforward and the bunting was easy enough for her little 9 year old fingers to construct. The string was longer than the picture on the box and there were enough stickers included to make a double length of bunting so we just added another stick (we used a wooden skewer and cut it to size.)
The exciting part, I feel, is still to come because now that the grass seed has been sown, we just have to make sure it’s kept watered and wait for the grass to grow. A mini lawn mower is not supplied.
The girls thought this was a brilliant toy, the figurines in the garden are constantly being rearranged, you just never know where the mouse is going to pop out next. I love that the whole set can be used again next season, there’s even potential for creating variety and adding other types of flower seeds.
2. The Best Friends Style Lab Review
The Best Friends Style Lab contains 25 tattoo stencils, 4 glitter colours, 3 hair chalks, hairdressers clip, protective gloves, six nail varnishes, applicator brushes, nail sprinkles, toe separator, emery board and cosmetic glue.
My girls have had a couple of hours use out of this set and have been colouring their friend’s hair too – we had a beauty salon here after school one day. The hair colours are ideal for a young girl who’d like to experiment with non-permanent colour as it washes out in the next wash. It’s good to be aware that the chalk rubs off onto clothing but it doesn’t stain.
Rebecca (who is 11) said the nail polish peeled off too quickly. These are not as robust as ‘proper’ grown-up nail polishes as they are designed for a younger market but the benefit is there’s no need to fuss with nail polish remover. I loved how creative they were with combining different shades and glitter
My girls have always loved glitter tattoos since their auntie brought them to do on one holiday but we have never had our own set so they are thrilled with this. The tattoos work really well and the colours are lovely and bright.
3. Unicorn Charm Jewellery Set Review
I have to confess when I first glanced at this I was a bit meh. the girls have made countless bead creations in the past. Sadly rebellious runaway beads, lego and loombands (remember those?) have all been sucked into the black hole of vacuum cleaner oblivion.
But on closer inspection I was thoroughly impressed. The kit comes with ten very pretty metal unicorn themed charms, clasps (for opening and closing necklaces and bracelets, tiny metal loops for attaching the charms, 5m of stretch cord, and 360 beads.
Two necklaces have been made for friends in school already and we have another four and a half metres of necklace to go. I love that the charms are not plastic and the beads have holes that are large enough to thread with the thin elastic. This is a lovely quiet rainy day activity.
Fia said “I’m not big into unicorns but I think you should give this a really good review because I really like it.”
4. Designer Tie Dye Kit Review
I’m the type of mum who loves my kids to be all creative and make stuff, as long as they make the mess somewhere that doesn’t include my home. (Surprisingly even though I teach art to kids from home in the summer, I’m pretty o.c.d. about all the tidy up).
As a consequence I haven’t ever tried doing tie dye but now that we’ve done it, I’m so glad I was ‘forced’ into it by receiving this kit.
I was warned this could be a messy business so we set up a table covered in plastic outside and grabbed a pile of rags as well as a roll of kitchen towel to mop up any spills.
The set comes with four colours, 2 pairs of gloves, elastic bands and an instruction manual. You have to provide your own clothing.
I’m glad I read the manual a couple of times first before we got going as it’s best to start this activity in the morning. Potentially this is an eight hour-plus process if you include washing the garments – even longer if you add on drying time. The longer you leave the dye soaking in to the garment, the better the results. (They recommend between 4 and 8 hours for soaking alone).
The manual explains how to create three different visual results and my three girls opted to try two of them. (We didn’t do the spotty pattern idea). There was easily enough dye to make four tops, with probably enough to do a fifth one too. (They used up the remnants on dying a couple of white pairs of socks).
We are absolutely amazed at the results – the colours came out much brighter than I expected. It was exciting taking off the elastics from the bundled up t-shirts and rinsing off the dye so that we could glimpse how the patterns turned out. This is such a fun activity because every design is a surprise and no two garments will ever look identical.
Here are the fabulous final results, in the first picture Fia wanted a more pastel looking top and so we made the one on the left last, after diluting the remaining dye a bit more. The top she is wearing on the right she made using the folding technique.
The second picture shows Rebecca’s t-shirt on the left and Eva’s on the right (a t-shirt that she stole out of her Dad’s cupboard – shh don’t tell him).
~ All of the above items are available to buy on the InterplayUK website or Amazon. Please note that I am an Amazon affiliate, if you decide to make a purchase through them, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. ~
Disclaimer: I received these activities in return for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are our own.
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