Monday, 22 July 2019

Baby Shark Let's Go Hunt Game and Wooden Puzzle Review & Competition

There is no denying that Baby Shark took the world by storm last year, with people of all ages joining in and singing the Baby Shark song. It is one of those tunes that simply can't help but make you smile and the colourful shark characters certainly gained peoples attention.

We were therefore delighted when Spinmaster recently sent Riley some Baby Shark toys to review including the Pinkfong Baby Shark Let's Go Hunt Fishing Game and the PinkFong Baby Shark Wooden Sound Puzzle.


The Let's Go Hunt game was an instant hit with Riley who was drawn to it immediately by the packaging alone. The box is very brightly coloured and adorned with the Baby Shark characters all over the front. There is a clear plastic window which allows you to see the product inside and so you can instantly gain a clear understanding of exactly what is included, as well as seeing how the game can be played.

The game is extremely simple to set up and inside the box the following contents were provided:
  • 1 x Musical motorised game board
  • 15 x Fish
  • 4 x Fishing Rods
  • 1 x Instruction Sheet
Unfortunately batteries are NOT included so you will also need to ensure that you have 2 x AA batteries available before you can begin to play.


Once batteries have been installed then game play can commence, with the aim being to collect as many fish as you can with your shark themed hooks. Up to 4 players can take part at a time and each player can choose to use one of the coloured shark themed rods to collect their fish.

This may sound simple, but when you flick the switch into the on position, the board will start to rotate and the fish will begin to not only move up and down, but open and close their mouths too, making it a really fun and challenging game. The winner is the person who manages to collect the most fish and I will be honest when I say that my 6 year old managed to beat me every single time we played. Just look at his concentration face!


Another fun element is that the Baby Shark song is also played during game play. Whilst for me this quickly became very repetitive, my son Riley was in his element singing along to the tune whilst catching his fish. He thought it was hilarious and so much fun!

My whole family ranging from 6 to 39 enjoyed playing the game together and it certainly provided plenty of entertainment. The RRP of this toy is a really reasonable £9.99 and it is available in most good toy retailers including Smyths, The Entertainer and Amazon.


After the excitement of playing the Let's Go Hunt Game, Riley then took some time to play with the Baby Shark Wooden Puzzle. This is a really good quality chunky puzzle board which has a fantastic bright and colourful appearance.

It features five wooden sharks which represent Baby Shark, Mummy Shark, Daddy Shark, Grandma Shark and Grandpa Shark. These are all really nice sized pieces for little hands and really help with hand to eye coordination.


In an added twist, the puzzle also plays music (requires 2 x AAA batteries) and will sing the corresponding part of the song for each shark. So for example if you successfully place Baby Shark into it's shape then you will hear Baby Shark Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo! This makes the puzzle so much fun and Riley absolutely loved moving them through the air in a swimming motion in time to the music.

It is recommended for children aged 2 years+ and with an RRP of around £10 I think it represents great value for money. It's bright and vibrant colours, chunky wooden pieces and musical sounds make this a fantastic little puzzle which I am sure will be loved by children.

The Baby Shark Wooden Sound Puzzle is available to purchase in most good toy retailers including Smyths Toys, Argos and Amazon.


We also have a fantastic competition for the chance to win a Baby Shark Wooden Sound Puzzle. If you would like to enter then please read the terms and conditions and complete your entry using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Baby Shark Wooden Puzzle

Terms and Conditions
  • There is 1 (one) prize of a Baby Shark Wooden Sound Puzzle as featured in this review
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition closes on the 31st July at 23:59
  • A winner shall be drawn from all eligible entries within 7 days of the closing date and notified via email.
  • The winner will have 7 days to confirm their acceptance of the prize before an alternative winner is drawn from the remaining eligible entries.
  • No bulk or third party entries
  • The winner's details will be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfilment and permission shall be obtained from the winner prior to doing so.

*Disclaimer - We were gifted these items for the purpose of writing an honest review of the products. All opinions are my own unless stated otherwise. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

Sunday, 21 July 2019

Dates for your Diary - Brand New Festival Coming to Chester this September - Deva Fest

Deva Fest is a brand-new music, food and lifestyle festival which is coming to the heart of Chester this September. Organisers have recently announced the full programme for this family friendly event which shall be staged across three days at Chester Lakes in Dodleston, Chester from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th September. Tickets are on sale now!

Friday's 'party night' will be open from 5pm to 11pm, whilst gates open on Saturday and Sunday at midday. The event promises fun for all the family with amazing attractions, traditional fun fair, local artisan food and drink vendors, and an all-star music and live entertainment line-up.


Deva Fest is a collaboration between lifestyle businesses We Love Good Times and Taste Cheshire bringing a celebration of the finest music, food, drink and entertainment to the Cheshire region.

A circus style 'Big Top' will house the main stage where visitors can sing and dance the weekend away come rain or shine.

The festival will kick off with a performance from one the country's most loved Um Pah bands The Bavarian Strollers, playing a set of their traditional and rousing anthems to get the party started on the Friday evening. The Friday night will be a celebration to the local Chester talent, with performances from local high energy rhythm and blues band Zoot Serious and The Bellyful of Pop, Lucy Bradburn and David O'Connor.

Saturday is carnival day promising a day of colour and fun for all the family including Carnival Day parades, and The Carnival Day Ball with TRIX.

Saturday's music line-up includes a headline set from Ivor Novello award-winning UK rock band The Feeling. Their smash hit album Twelve Stops and Home sold 1.5million copies worldwide including the singles Fill My Little World, Love it When You Call, Sewn and Never be Lonely.


Pop/rock band The Dunwells; emerging rock group Mississippi Riot; indie quartet Camens; music collective SWJ Group; 2017 XFactor contestant Russell Jones Jr; tribute act Foo Fighterz; and DJ Ally Kidd Cameron complete Saturday's music programme.

Sunday's 'Old School' theme will bring the finest dance classics to the stage. Symphonic Ibiza fuses a thrilling live symphony orchestra with high tempo beats from renowned club DJ Andy Joyce to reimagine 30 years of Ibiza dance anthems.

Add in dance legends K-Klass; Baby D; Capella; Shiva; Cream resident  DJ's Anthony Proby and Ed Mackie; Mark Radcliffe's UNE; and DJ duo Geddes and Gioia and it promises to be a neon filled, hands-in-the-air, glow stick waving party!

There will be plenty to keep the kids entertained with a whole host of family activities across the whole weekend. Visitors can enjoy all the fun of the fair with a wide selection of fairground rides and attractions, which are all included in the ticket price.

Aspiring young stars of tomorrow will not want to miss Diddi Drama. Let their creative talents flourish as they combine role play, movement and music to journey into the imagination in these exciting drama classes.

Laughter Tots will be providing themed Messy, Craft, and Sensory play sessions, where little ones will go on a magical adventure with bubbles, lights, songs and more. There will be a variety of sessions available for both walkers and non-walkers.

Other highlights include The Carnival Day Parades (Saturday), Roman Gladiator Fights (Sunday), and bingo to an Ibiza soundtrack from Kev & Perry's BinGO Large (Sunday).


All this entertainment is certain to work up an appetite, and visitors certainly won't go hungry - or thirsty - at Deva Fest, where festival goers can enjoy some of the best food and drink the region has to offer with 50 local food and drink vendors hand-picked by curators Taste Cheshire.

Sample tastes and flavours from across the globe with the finest pies, meats, seafood, cheese and savouries all on offer. Wash that down with the impressive variety of gins of the world, flavoured vodkas, prosecco, cocktails, craft beers, and freshly squeezed juices - guaranteed to keep guests' thirst quenched.

For the authentic festival experience then there are also weekend camping packages available on the Festival field, plus a dedicated area for camper vans and caravans.

There will be a free shuttle bus running between Chester Railway Station and the festival site which is free for all ticket holders.

Principal organiser Phil Marston said: "We are very excited to be sharing details of the full programme. The line-up will provide a unique blend of entertainment with something for all ages and musical tastes, as well as many different experiences to enjoy.

"We have on-site camping as well and facilities for camper vans and caravans, so people from further afield, as well as locals, can come and experience this very special party weekend."

Taste Cheshire CEO Stephen Wundke said: "We have such an exciting event planned and we all agreed that Chester needed a chance to let its hair down with a cracking three-day party and that is exactly what we are bringing to Chester Lakes.

"Deva Fest will be a party of music, food and drink, Roman Gladiators, parades, fairground rides and lots of fun for every member of the family. We can't wait to bring it all to life."

We Love Good Times founder, Izzy Grey added: "Stephen and his team have brought us so many events over the years, with not just The Food and Drink Festival, but Chestival and so many amazing experiences so it is a perfect fit to grow Deva Fest into a major regional event."

Deva Fest comes to Chester Lakes from Friday 6th to Sunday 8th September 2019.

For more information or to book tickets please visit www.devafest.co.uk.


*Disclaimer - This is a press release provided by BEA. All information is believed to be correct at the time of publishing, but can be subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the events own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Saturday, 20 July 2019

Aquabeads Box of Fun Safari Set Review and Competition!

If you are a regular reader to the blog, then you will know that over the past couple of years we have had the opportunity to try out some of the fantastic Aquabeads products available in the shops. All three of my children have grown up enjoying the range, with my youngest son Riley quickly becoming a huge Aquabeads fan.

One thing that has always impressed us is the evolving changes that Aquabeads have made to their products, whether this being a new theme, or the introduction of new tools, cases and accessories. Every set my children has played with seems to have got bigger and better each time, with the new Aquabeads Box of Fun Safari Set being no exception.

This fabulous box of fun offers excellent value for money and is jam packed with over 3000 jewel and solid beads. There is so much to make and do within this set and Riley couldn't wait to get the box open and start creating.


The set is well presented and comes in a fantastic blue box which is easy to carry using the handles either side. There is a large image on the front which provides examples of all the different animals that can be made and the monkey, flamingo and panda all caught Riley's attention immediately. The top of the box presents a full list of contents along with more images, so that it provides you with a clear understanding of exactly what is included within. There is also a clear safety warning that advises that the product is not suitable for children under 3 years.


We were amazed at just how much was in the box, with the full contents including:

  • 1 x Storage container
  • 1 x Bead Tray
  • 1 x Playmat
  • 10 x bead stands
  • 1 x water sprayer
  • 1 x template booklet
  • 1 x flip tray
  • Over 3000 jewel and solid beads in 24 different colours

Getting started simply involved unpackaging the beads, placing them in the bead tray and selecting which design you want to start with. Riley has been playing with these products now since the age of 3, so he knows exactly how to begin making them and enjoys a nice bit of quiet time to himself whilst working on his creations.


Riley first chose to make the monkey design, which was soon followed by the flamingo, parrot and koala bear. He sometimes likes to change the colours a little and so he also made a multicoloured elephant using different coloured beads along with a unicorn.

Once his designs had been completed he would spray them with water, which helps the Aquabeads stick together and you can then leave them to dry. This set also comes with the innovative new flip tray design, which means that you can immediately remove the designs from the trays without the need to wait, so that you can continue crafting straight away. Riley thought that this was a great idea and it meant that he could spend a good hour making his designs without the need to keep stopping in between.


We thought that the included stands were also a great idea and once the animals were dry they could be placed in the stands and used on the playmat which added another element of play to the set.

Overall we think that the Aquabeads Box of Fun Safari Set is absolutely fantastic. It has been our favourite set in the range so far and offers great value for money. There are so many choices of animals to make and Riley loved looking through them all and creating his favourites. We loved the introduction of new ideas such as the flip boards and stands and Riley loved being able to display all of his creations on the play mat.

This item has an RRP of £19.99 and is currently available to purchase from most good toy retailers including Amazon, Smyths Toys, The Entertainer and John Lewis.


If you are feeling lucky though, then we have a fantastic competition for our readers, to give you the chance to win one of these fantastic Aquabeads Box of Fun Safari Sets. If you would like to enter then please read the terms and conditions and complete your entry using the gleam form below. Good Luck!

Aquabeads Box of Fun Safari Set


Terms and Conditions
  • There is 1 (one) prize of an Aquabeads Box of Fun Safari Set as featured in this review.
  • Entry is open to UK residents aged 18 years or over.
  • Competition closes on the 15th August 2019 at 23:59.
  • A winner shall be drawn at random from all eligible entries within 7 days of the closing date and notified via email.
  • The winner will have 7 days to confirm their acceptance of the prize before an alternative winner is drawn from the remaining eligible entries.
  • No bulk or third party entries.
  • The winner's details will be shared with the promoter for the purpose of prize fulfilment and permission shall be obtained from the winner prior to doing so.
  • This product is not suitable for children under the age of 36 months due to small parts.
*Disclaimer - We were provided with a complimentary Aquabeads Box of Fun Safari Set for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All opinions are my own unless stated otherwise. This post contains an Amazon affiliate link.

Friday, 12 July 2019

Dates for your Diary - Hale Barns Carnival - 20th & 21st July 2019

The Carnival Countdown is now on, as Hale Barns Carnival returns with its biggest ever programme, taking place across the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st July 2019 with plenty of activities for all ages.

The two-day festival, organised by Hale Barns Events, will feature more than 100 attractions including a traditional fun fair, falconry displays, supercars, sports, arts and crafts, artisan market and food village - complemented by an all-star live concert each evening to perfectly round off two fantastic days.

 This is the third annual Hale Barns Carnival and Hale Barns Events are once again inviting visitors to enjoy the daytime carnival atmosphere free of charge between 12pm and 5pm on both days. This complimentary admission is made possible thanks to the support of event sponsors retail giant B&M, Manchester Airport, and Benchmark Security Group.

The weekend's programme will open at 12pm on the Saturday with a special performance from the Manchester Survivors Choir on the B&M Stage. The choir is made up of survivors and people directly affected by the Manchester Arena bomb attack in 2017.

The evening concerts are ticketed and gates will open at 6pm with concerts starting at 7:30pm on both evenings. All 100% of the ticket revenue will go towards community projects.

Evening performances includes 80s singing sensations Owen Paul and Nathan Moore from Brother Beyond; disco and soul legends Odyssey and The Real Thing; and a headline DJ set from Spandau Ballet's Martin Kemp.


Visitors enjoying the daytime carnival experience can look forward to High Jinx pop-up theatre. The 200-seater inflatable centerpiece will feature shows throughout the day, showcasing the wonderful talents of magician and illusionist Michael Jordan. Fans of stunts, tricks and acrobatics won't want to miss this highlight.

A huge host of live music and acts will take to the B&M Stage throughout the day on both the Saturday and Sunday and will include local bands, dance troupes, choirs and tributes.

Performers across the weekend include Bananarama tribute Nanarama; State of Quo, a tribute to Status Quo; Irish dancing; electric and acoustic group String Infusion; charting Country music star Danny McMahon; Scarlett Quigley from The Voice; Retro City Orchestra; The Urban Poet Ged Austin; and the Oxfam Fashion Show.


Cheshire's very own Vale Royal Falconry make a welcome return to educate visitors about British birds of prey and their habitat. The team are preparing impressive aerial displays to be shown across the weekend in the brand new event arena located in the centre of the showground.

Robinson's Brewery in Stockport will show their stunning Shire horses, where visitors can meet the horses and learn about Robinson's new breeding programme. From four-legged horses to four-wheeled supercars. Motor enthusiasts will be spoilt for choice with an impressive display of sports and classics cars, including James Bond's very own Aston Martin Db5 and the DeLorean made famous in the Back to the Future films.

Back in the centre arena, visitors can watch the incredible skills of master wood carvers while they work live and turn tree trunks into forest animals right in front of their eyes.

Seldon's Fun Fair return with traditional rides and experiences for festivalgoers of all ages. New for 2019, Kids Craft Clubs will be located across the site where youngsters can try their hand at SandArt and other craft activities.

A sports showcase is also a new interactive addition, with many local sports groups offering visitors a chance to get sporty and join in with mini challenges across the weekend. The Makers Market will host more than 50 talented artisan producers of arts and crafts, gifts, food and drink. Visitors are always bound to find something a little bit different and unexpected.


With so much to see, do and experience, visitors will work up an appetite and thirst - and they are sure to be spoilt for choice.

Hale Barns Carnival prides itself on its choice and variety when it comes to its Food Village. It's award-winning offering this year includes wood fired pizza, Belgium waffles, halloumi fries, and Greek souvlaki.

As well as taking along their stunning Shire horses, Robinsons Brewery will also be hosting its very own unique pub experience on the showground with pop-up bars and terraces.

The evening ticketed activity on Saturday and Sunday starts at 6pm, followed by live concerts from 7.30pm. Saturday evening's concert shines a disco and soul spotlight on Hale Barns with live performances from groups The Real Thing and Odyssey.

While on the Sunday there is an 80s-themed concert with performers Owen Paul and Nathan Moore, followed by headliner Martin Kemp with a Back to the 80s DJ Set.

Max Eden from Hale Barn Events commented: "We are ready to kick-start the summer and cannot wait to welcome visitors of all ages to Hale Barns Carnival. We have a tremendous programme lined up this year with plenty of activities on offer to keep everyone entertained throughout the entire weekend! Bring the whole family along and enjoy the wonderful carnival atmosphere!"

For further information you can visit the Hale Barns Carnival website or their social media pages on the following channels:

Website - www.halebarnscarnival.co.uk
Facebook - www.facebook.com/HaleBarnsCarnival
Twitter - @HaleBarnsEvents

Listing Details

Event - Hale Barns Carnival
Venue - St Ambrose Fields, Hale Road, Hale Barns, WA15 0HE
Dates - Saturday 20th July and Sunday 21st July 2019

Times - Free daytime activity on both days from 12pm until 5pm
Evening concerts - gates open 6pm / show starts 7:30pm

Tickets - Evening Ticket £25 / Adult Weekend Pass £45
Under 16's £10 per evening / Weekend Pass £15

Tickets can be booked online at www.halebarnscarnival.ticketline.co.uk or by calling 0844 8889991 (subject to per ticket booking fee).

*Disclaimer - This is a press release for an upcoming event from BEA. Details provided are believed to be correct at time of publishing, but are subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the events own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Friday, 5 July 2019

Stellar Cast Revealed for Cinderella at The Epstein Theatre This Christmas

Epstein Entertainments Ltd have recently announced the first wave of stars confirmed for their debut panto production, coming to The Epstein Theatre this Christmas. Audiences are guaranteed to have a ball when the greatest rags to riches tale opens from Friday 6th December 2019 to Sunday 5th January 2020 and tickets are on sale now!

Emmerdale's Sammy Winward; Benidorm's Crissy Rock; and Brookside's Sarah White are all set to appear in Cinderella at the Hanover Street venue later this year.

Sammy Winward, who trained at the Academy of Classical Dance and Stage and is most notable for playing Katie Sugden in ITV's Emmerdale, will lead the cast in the title role of Cinderella.

It is also certain to be a White Crissy-mas, with Brookside's Sarah White and award-winning actor and comedian Crissy Rock appearing as the Ugly Sisters.


Crissy's screen career began with an award-winning performance in Ken Loache's 1994 film drama Ladybird, Ladybird. The Liverpool native is also renowned for her role as Janey York in ITV's Benidorm, and most recently took part in The All New Monty: Ladies Night which saw a group of celebrities strip-off to raise awareness of the importance of early health checks in preventing breast cancer.

Crissy's stage credits include Escorts: The Musical, Dirty Dusting, Rita, Sue and Bob Too! and Achy Breaky Bride, and panto credits include Ugly Sister in Cinderella at St Helens Theatre Royal and Fairy Godmother in Sleeping Beauty at The Brindley.

Whilst Sarah White is best known for her character Bev McLoughlin in Brookside, where her controversial and dramatic storyline saw her have a baby with her boyfriend's son. Her theatre credits include Margy in The Morris at the Liverpool Everyman, Rita in three UK tours of Naked Truth, and Sheila in The Salon at both The Epstein Theatre and St Helens Theatre Royal.

Further casting will also be announced in the coming weeks.

Cinderella is produced by Epstein Entertainments Ltd, a joint venture between Chantelle Nolan and Jane Joseph from Regal Entertainments Ltd and producer Bill Elms.

Epstein Entertainments' debut production at the venue promises to be a festive extravaganza.

Producer Chantelle Nolan said: "We are very excited to finally reveal the first stars confirmed for our debut panto at the Epstein Theatre. Our beautiful leading lady, Sammy Winward, was on our screens in one of the UK's biggest tv shows and will dazzle as Cinderella.

"It was important for us to bring local talent to the Epstein stage and Crissy and Sarah are revered Liverpool household names. It promises to be a tremendous show for audiences young and old this Christmas."

Director Jane Joseph added: "It is an absolute joy to be returning to direct the Christmas panto at the Epstein Theatre. I directed my very first panto here in 1994 when it was The Neptune, so this venue holds a very special place in my heart. We have a fabulous show lined up for audiences this year so be sure to book your tickets."

Cinderella tells the story of a beautiful girl who is reduced to a life of servitude by her two ugly stepsisters. That is all set to change when an invitation to a grand ball at the palace arrives.

With a bit of magic and some help from her friend Buttons, Cinderella is transformed into the belle of the ball. But what will happen at the stroke of midnight?

Enchanted pumpkins, glass slippers, a sparkling fairy-tale carriage - Epstein Entertainments' version of this classic tale has something for the whole family.

Be sure to book your tickets early and get ready to be whisked off to the most lavish panto in all the land.

Listing Details

Show - Cinderella
Venue - The Epstein Theatre, Hanover House, 85 Hanover Street, Liverpool, L1 3DZ
Dates - Friday 6th December 2019 to Sunday 5th January 2020
Times - Times vary so please visit the Epstein Theatre website for the most up to date information.
Tickets: Various tickets available starting from £11

To book tickets please call 0844 888 4411* or visit www.epsteinliverpool.co.uk. Alternatively, you can visit the Epstein Theatre Box Office from 12pm-6pm, Monday to Saturday.

*Subject to booking fee. All prices include a £1 per ticket venue restoration levy.

Disclaimer - This post is based on a press release provided by BEA. All information is believed to be correct at the time of posting but can be subject to change. I would therefore always recommend visiting the venues own website in order to obtain the most up to date information.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Our Visit to Enginuity - A Review

You may have read our recent blog post regarding a trip to Blists Hill Victorian Town, which is a great place to visit for some family fun. However, located just ten minutes down the road, another of the Ironbridge Gorge Museums, called Enginuity, also provides a great learning experience for families of all ages. Therefore whilst in the area, we travelled the short distance to Coalbrookdale, to see what Enginuity was all about.

This museum is great for some hands-on activities, as well as a great place to get creative and test out your design skills. There are plenty of experiments, puzzles and learning opportunities as you make your way around the attraction, which really makes learning fun and exciting.

On arrival we found there to be a large car park, so we were able to find a spot with ease and then had a short walk over to the entrance. You can see the majority of the displays as you arrive in reception, so my children immediately spotted some activities that they wanted to try.


The first activity Ben wanted to try was all about electrical energy. There were numerous different objects that can be found in most households and you needed to try and power them by spinning the handles fast enough to create energy. Each appliance required a different amount of energy and you could select a number from 1 to 8 to take up the challenge. Items included a radio, blender and even a television. Ben found this really interesting and kept trying to see how long he could keep an item working for.


Another favourite with all my children was the large water dam, which provided plenty of opportunities for water play, as well as a series of challenges. Ben particularly liked the area where you needed to shoot water from the pipe into an adjacent bucket, which would then gradually fill up with enough water to make it tip. The challenges also encouraged my children to work together in different areas, which they all found really enjoyable.


We all loved how interactive the majority of the exhibits were and 'The Boiler' seemed very popular with guests, including my son Riley. He loved putting the fuel ( plastic balls) into the boiler and then turning the wheel to create the energy and make the balls flow.


Riley's favourite activity was to build an arch, where you had to connect foam blocks together to make a freestanding arch. It was a little tricky and it did take three of us to complete this successfully. I will also be honest and say that the arch fell down literally two seconds after this photo was taken! I was quite annoyed with myself though that I hadn't noticed that the number 5 blocks were the wrong way round.


Just behind this arch, was an indoor soft play area for toddlers, which I thought was a great idea as it gave smaller children somewhere safe to play that was nice and quiet and away from the busier activities.

My daughter's favourite challenge was to try and build an earthquake proof tower, where using the materials provided you had to create a building capable of withstanding a simulated earthquake. The boards would remain still whilst you were creating, then once you were confident that your creation was finished, you simply pressed a button and the boards would begin to move from side to side. Despite Emma's best efforts, her building fell quite quickly and she became quite determined to make something that was strong enough.

After we had tried all the exhibits that were downstairs, we made our way up towards the mezzanine floor. As we walked towards the steps, there was a really interesting display of genuine Robot Wars vehicles, along with a video that showed them in action. My children had never heard of the programme before, so they enjoyed watching the display and having a good look around the robots.

On the Mezzanine floor there were more informative exhibits as opposed to hands on activities, so we took some time to read through some of the information that was on display. Riley particularly enjoyed the drawing area where there was a challenge to design a carrot powered rabbit vehicle for a bunny to travel around in. There were some clips on the board so that you could add your creation to the display and Riley loved having a look through everyone elses ideas and designing his own. All the tables were neat and very well laid out, so he enjoyed sitting there for a while so that he could draw and colour in his rabbit-mobile.


One really good aspect of this attraction is that it is very accessible. The majority of activities are all located on the ground floor and there is a large amount of space between each one, making it suitable for prams or wheelchairs. The mezzanine floor is also served by a lift if required.

Overall we really enjoyed our visit to Enginuity and I felt that the exhibits were suitable for the whole family to enjoy and not just the children. This meant that we were able to join in and have fun with our kids and help them solve some of the challenges. It was great to see them reading the information that was provided on the exhibits, which ensured that they were also learning whilst having fun with the experiments.

We visited for two hours, which was just the right amount of time to try out everything without rushing. We also combined our visit with a trip to Blists Hill Victorian Town in the morning, which meant that we had a full day out together as opposed to just a couple of hours and I felt that this worked really well. There was plenty to see and do and any staff that we came across were also really helpful. As well as being a fun place to visit for a couple of hours, I can also imagine that this is a great place to visit with schools or clubs, as it is ideal for an educational trip.

I also believe that Enginuity is currently undergoing a redevelopment of the site and are adding some new exhibits, so we look forward to visiting again in the future and seeing the changes that have taken place.

To find out more about Enginuity or any of the other Ironbridge Gorge Museums, you can visit their website or social media pages on the following channels:

Address - Enginuity, 10 Wellington Road, Coalbrookdale, Telford, TF8 7DX
Website - https://www.ironbridge.org.uk/explore/enginuity/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/theironbridgegorgemuseums
Twitter - @blistshill


*Disclaimer - We were provided with complimentary admission for the purpose of writing an honest review of our visit. Our visit took place at the beginning of May 2019 and as Enginuity is currently undergoing some changes, it does mean that exhibits may vary in the future from those featured in our review.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Thames and Kosmos Engineering Makerspace Alien Robots Science Experiment Kit - A Review

Last week we were sent an Engineering Makerspace Alien Robots Science Experiment Kit from the Thames and Kosmos range for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. The brand was not one that I was actually familiar with prior to writing this review, but I have since discovered that they are very highly regarded in the toy and educational market, with an extensive range of more than 80 science kits on sale.

The Engineering Makerspace range explores the physics of force, motion, energy, levers and more, which means that children can build and learn for fun, as they play. The range includes Kinetic Machines, Geared Up Gadgets, Alien Robots and Off Road Rovers.

My eldest son absolutely loves anything involving science and technology. He has been involved with some great scientific experiments whilst in primary school, but cannot wait to improve his science and maths knowledge when he moves on to high school next year. This was therefore the perfect product for him to try out and really got his brain thinking as being powered by STEM it focused on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.


The Thames and Kosmos Engineering Makerspace Alien Robots Science Experiment Kit allows you to build 10 fun motorized models including a Walking Robot, a Flapping Bird and many more. It also features a battery-powered motor box which helps to bring the models to life.

The front of the box is really eyecatching with a large image of the Scorpion model on the front. There are also several further small images underneath this which show the motor and battery box, the Dragon Monster, Insectoid, Auto Robot and Frog Runner. This is great as it gives clear examples of some of the models that can be achieved. The top right hand corner clearly shows the age recommendation of 8+ which helps to clearly identify the suitable age range for the product.

The rear of the box features six further model images along with a picture of all the contents. I always like it when products do this, as it sets a clear expectation as to exactly what you will be receiving inside the box and doesn't leave it open to interpretation.


Ben couldn't wait to get started so he began to open the box and take out all of the contents, which he then laid on the table before he began. Initially he immediately thought that there were so many pieces that he wouldn't be able to do it, but when he started to look through the instruction booklet and saw how clear the instructions were, he was confident enough to give it a go.

Inside the box there were 30 different parts in varying quantities. This provided a total of 138 pieces along with the instruction booklet. This booklet provides not only the individual model guides, but also gives plenty of safety information, so it is important to read through this before beginning to build.

Ben decided to tackle the Scorpion first, which had really stood out to him on the front of the box. The guide images for the build are really clear and were much easier for Ben to follow than written words. He made one mistake when he got to part fifteen, but he soon realised his error and was able to figure this out and correct it with ease. This meant that he was also able to use his problem solving skills to find out where he had gone wrong.

Once he had put this right, he only had a few more steps until the model was completed. His elder sister had also become interested by this point, so she also helped him out with the final steps and it was great to see them working together so well.

It was then the moment to switch the Scorpion on which was loads of fun and it made us all jump as it began scurrying across the floor. We had expected it to be really slow, but it actually moved quite quickly and was quite loud too as the motor began to work. All my children then spent some time playing around with this and making it walk in different directions all over the kitchen floor.


Since then, Ben has gone on to build the Insectoid, Dragon Monster and Grabber Claw as he is working through the instruction booklet in order. He is now aiming to complete a new model every few days, which has made him feel like he has been given a new toy each week, even though they are all from exactly the same kit. You do of course need to dismantle the model to complete a new one, but this is also a fun process and Ben has enjoyed both elements of this.

Overall we all thought that this was an absolutely brilliant kit, that really encouraged my sons thought processes as well as giving him a great educational experience. He loved building the Scorpion and had a great sense of achievement once it had been completed and was so proud of the end result. He overcome some challenges in the build and was able to find out where he had gone wrong and rectify it, which helped him reach completion and also made the further builds easier as he learnt from his first mistake.

It quite literally kept him quiet for hours and he has since completed 4 of the models out of the 10. Therefore in terms of value for money (RRP £24.50) it is absolutely superb, as it is a product that can be varied and used over and over again. We have all been extremely impressed with this Thames and Kosmos kit and whilst I may not have known about them previously, they will definitely be my go-to brand going forwards when purchasing educational toys. In a word - FANTASTIC!

To find out more about the Thames and Kosmos range, then you can visit their website or social media pages on the following channels:

Website - www.thamesandkosmos.co.uk/product-category/engineering-makerspace 
Facebook - facebook.com/thamesandkosmosuk
Twitter - @thameskosmosuk
Instagram - @thamesandkosmosuk


*Disclaimer - We were sent this product on a complimentary basis for the purpose of writing an honest review of the product. All opinions are my own unless otherwise stated.