Cool Maker KumiKreator Friendship Bracelet Maker Review and Giveaway

I remember being obsessed with friendship bracelets when I was at primary school. We all made them for each other and I remember begging my mum to let me loose on her embroidery threads so I could make them. They were a painstaking labour of love. Taking hours and hours to make each one. A simple mistake (and trust me mistakes could be very simply made) and you’d end up throwing away all your work. How I wish we’d had the Cool Maker KumiKreator Friendship Bracelet Maker back then.

Cool Maker KumiKreator

How to use the Cool Maker KumiKreator

The Cool Maker KumiKreator makes making friendship bracelets an absolute doddle. And they don’t take long either. What you get in the set is a KumiKreator itself, plus everything else you need to make up to ten friendship bracelets. This includes spools of thread, clasps, end caps, clasp stickers and a design booklet showing you how to set things up  to make several different designs.

Cool Maker KumiKreator

The KumiKreator itself requires minimal assembly when you get it out of the box. Literally just picking the arm into place. Once you do that and line the spools up in a certain manner you’re ready to go.

Cool Maker KumiKreator

Using the guides in the design booklet you get the threads that you need and simply click the spools into place in the KumiKreator. Then you thread the threads up into the arm and you’re pretty much ready to start.

Cool Maker KumiKreator

The clever mechanism inside the KumiKreator takes care of all the threads and all you need to do is turn the handle. We found that we had absolutely no problems at all using the KumiKreator to make several bracelets. Should it get into a jam though there are some helpful hints and tips to un-jam things over at www.coolmaker.com.

Cool Maker KumiKreator

The KumiKreator clearly tells you when you can stop turning the handle.

Cool Maker KumiKreator

Then you’re ready to clamp the ends to the correct length and then add the clasps.

 

Cool Maker KumiKreator

It requires a bit of manual dexterity to get this bit right, but with a bit of practice it’s easy.

Cool Maker KumiKreator

Ta dah! One finished friendship bracelet.

What we thought of the Cool Maker KumiKreator

Cool Maker KumiKreator

I was ready impressed at how easy the KumiKreator was to use and also how quickly you could make bracelets with it. The first time we used it I did the set up quite slowly to make sure I fully understood what had to go where so that I could help Little Miss C should she need it in the future. Once you know what you’re doing though it’s pretty quick to set up too.

Win a Friendship Bracelet Maker

If you like the sound of the Cool Maker KumiKreator Friendship Bracelet Maker then why don’t you enter our giveaway to win one for yourself. All you have to do is tell me who your best friend was when growing up in the comments below. Then follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter widget and cross your fingers.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

For full T&Cs please see Rafflecopter.

Good Luck!

The Cool Maker KumiKreator Friendship Bracelet Maker is available to buy online here. It has an RRP of £29.99

Disclaimer: We were sent a Cool Maker KumiKreator Friendship Bracelet Maker for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

So Slime DIY – mess free slime making

Slime making. It’s one of those activities that kids are desperate to do. Yet their parents are desperate to avoid. It can be messy. Very, very messy. It takes time. It requires lots of different ingredients. You have no idea how safe it is. And it gets EVERYWHERE. So Slime DIY claim to solve those problems so I was keen to put it to the test.

So Slime DIY

The main idea behind So Slime DIY is that it’s slime making without the mess and without the faff factor. We were sent the Slime Shakers 3 pack to review. In each pot you get two sealed packets. One of powder and one of glitter. Also included is a surprise figurine for each pot.

How to make the slime

So Slime DIY So Slime DIY

The instructions are simple. All you have to do is put the slime powder and the glitter (or confetti) into the pot and then fill it up to the line with water. Pop the lid on and shake for about 30 seconds. Then take the lid off and wait for five minutes before you try and remove the slime from the pot.

So Slime DIY

When we did this we found that we needed to shake for a bit more than 30 seconds and in one case stir it with a spoon to make sure everything was mixed properly, but this may have been down to Master C’s shaking “style” more than anything else.

So Slime DIY

Simple and mess free slime

The thing that I really liked about So Slime DIY is that it really is so simple compared to all the slime making recipes that you find on the internet. You don’t need to go shopping for ingredients or worry about what chemical reactions might be taking place. So Slime DIY complies with all European safety standards making it far safer than anything you can do at home.

So Slime DIY

As you mix the slime by shaking it in a lidded pot it’s a lot less messy than any other recipe we’ve tried. Kids always manage to slosh things out of bowls no matter how careful you tell them to be. You do need to make sure the lids click on properly, but if you do then there should be no mess at all in the slime making process.

So Slime DIY

How to buy So Slime DIY

The Slime Shakers 3 Pack that we reviewed retail at £9.99. You can buy the So Slime DIY shaker posts separately, or there is also a Slime Factory or a slime carry case, making it easier for kids to keep all their slime making in one place.

Disclaimer: We were sent the So Slime DIY Slime Shakers 3 Pack for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Smart Ass

The last year as seen us play loads of board games together as a family. We’ve found them a fantastic way of getting people of all ages together, laughing and bonding in a way that sitting in front of the TV just can’t compete with. We’re also using them as a bit of a stealth way of educating the kids. Whether it be understanding the concept of taking turns for the younger children, or building the older ones’ general knowledge, board games are an excellent way of doing both as a family. When I saw Smart Ass at Blog On I knew that it would be perfect for that general knowledge building for the older kids.

Smart Ass family board game

Smart Ass is all about showing off if you know the answer. Or even if you just think you do. It’s perfectly acceptable to shout out the answer and totally goes against the way that some kids feel that it’s not right to be seen to be smart.

How to play

In Smart Ass the aim of the game is to be first around the board working out Who Am I? What Am I? or Where Am I? The first player to reach the end is the ultimate Smart Ass.

Smart Ass family board game

Designed for 2 to 6 players and for ages 12 to adult, play starts with the oldest Smart Ass player who is the Reader and will read the first question. This first player rolls the Jumbo Category Die to determine which category the first question will be from. This could be one of the following:

  • Blue – What Am I?
  • Green – Where Am I?
  • Orange – Who Am I?

Each question card lists 8 clue on it. Starting at the top of the list the player reads down the clues and other players can shout out an answer at any time. But, players only get one go at answering each question. So, if they get it wrong they’re frozen out responding to the rest of the clues.

Smart Ass family board game

Once someone gets the right answer that player (the one who got it right) rolls the Jumbo Movement Die and it tells them how many places to move their playing piece around the board.

Play then goes back to the player on the left of the first player, and you repeat the steps above, just moving round the players after each movement on the board.

Special Spaces on the Smart Ass Board

Smart Ass family board game

  • Dumb Ass – this is a penalty space. If you land on this you can’t answer the next questions. Basically, it’s like missing a turn.
  • Hard Ass – there are a separate pile of Hard Ass questions as this is effectively a bonus question space. Only the player who has landed on this space gets to answer the Hard Ass question. If they get it right then they can roll the Jumbo Movement Die again for a bonus move. If they answer incorrectly then play just moves on as if it had never happened!
  • Kick Ass Space – this is a basically the same as landing on a “go back” space. If you land on this then you have to move back three spaces on the board.

The winner of the game is the first person to land on “The End” and you don’t need a correct number on the Jumbo Movement Die to do so. They are the ultimate Smart Ass.

What we thought

It’s quite possible that we’re all a bit thick, but we actually found the questions in Smart Ass were actually quite difficult. Yet, we could do all the Smart Ass questions! Not sure what that really says about our levels of general knowledge.

We enjoyed the game, and there were certainly quite a few laughs as we tried desperately to guess some of the answers. Even more as we then had to google who some of the people were to help explain them to other players.

Smart Ass family board game

One thing we would say about Smart Ass is that we think it could do with there being more spaces on the playing board. Once one player is on a roll the game can a actually finish quite quickly. In a way that’s good as it means each game can be relatively short, but with a playing age of 12 and up I felt that each one could go on for longer really.

Smart Ass is certainly a good addition to our selection of general knowledge games though. And it seems that 13 year olds aren’t too old for a bit of a laugh at calling someone a “Smart Ass”!

Smart Ass is available in high street toy shops or can also be bought online here. It has an RRP of £19.99, but can sometimes be found cheaper online.

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Smart Ass for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Twisty Petz

As I’ve mentioned before Little Miss C loves collectables. She also is at that stage where she loves bracelets, bangles and other sorts of jewellery. Twisty Petz are therefore her idea of heaven!

Twisty Petz

The idea behind Twisty Petz is that you have a pet that then converts into a bracelet. You can also connect three (or more) of them together to form a necklace. Alternatively you can use them as decorations on bags etc.

Twisty Petz

Each toy basically consists of beads string on some elastic and you need to twist it in a certain way to get it back into one of the pets. LMC and I found it took a bit of getting used to, but once she’d mastered it they were a doddle. Thank goodness there were instructions in the pack!

Twisty Petz

There are over 70 Twisty Petz to collect altogether and, as you’d expect with collectables, there are some limited edition ones and super rare ones to collect too. If you head over to their website you can see a full list of Twisty Petz available and even download a collectors’ sheet.

Twisty Petz

 

In the three pack that we were sent to review we found Marigold Unicorn and Cakeup Puppy, but then there was also an extra hidden Twisty Pets too. When we opened it we found it to be Jazzy Giraffe. It was a bit tricky to get them all reformed so that they stood up, but LMC seemed to get the knack of that more than me.

LMC is obsessed with taking collectables to school so Twisty Petz are idea because she can actually wear them and therefore be less likely to lose them in her bag or coat pockets during the school day. Fingers crossed this reduces the number of bedtime melt-downs due to lost toys!

Twisty Petz

Twisty Pets are produced by Spin Master and are available in toy shops as well as online. The three pack that we were sent to review retails for £12.99 online at the time of writing. Other pack sizes are also available.

Disclaimer: We were sent a pack of Twisty Petz for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links. 

Hedbanz – a family game of “what am I?”

I’m sure at some point we’ve all played one of those games where a post-it note is stuck to your forehead and you have to guess who or what you are. Hedbanz follows the same concept in a family game – with some hilarious results.

Hedbanz family game who am I game

Much as the game name suggests, in Hedbanz each player gets a headband to put on your head which can hold a playing card size card. The idea is that everyone wears on if these with a card placed in it, and they have to guess what they are.

Hedbanz family game who am I game

How to play

Game play works in that each player is given three counters, or chips, at the start of the game. When it is their turn, they turn over the timer and then have that long to ask questions to help them work out what they are. The rules don’t specifically say that it is has to be yes / no questions, but they generally are.

Hedbanz family game who am I game

Helpfully the set also includes a card for each player which has sample questions on it. We played with 8 year old Little Miss C and she found this really helpful on her first go to have a bit of structure and guidance to help her work out what she was. Although – I’ll be honest and say that none of them really helped me to work out that I was a toaster in one round!

Hedbanz family game who am I game

If you guess what you are before the timer runs out then you put one of your chips back in the bank. The first player to get rid of all their chips wins. If there’s still time remaining on the timer then you can also pick up another card to place in your headband, and try to guess a second time.

What we thought

For a game you can have between two and six players. We tried it out with two adults, a thirteen year old and an eight year old. It worked really well with some hilarious results. I can definitely see it being a firm family favourite at Christmas time, or just the next time we have extended family to stay. I’m also guessing that after a couple of drinks it may also go down well with the adults playing alone!

I though the whole chips side of things a bit of a complication. In a way it would just be easier to each take a chip when you guess correctly. But you can easily tweak how you play to accommodate that.

Added bonus

There’s also one extra added bonus of the game which has to be mentioned. It’s wonderful for helping you to get new online profile pictures of people!

Hedbanz family game who am I game

Headband is produced by Spin Master and is available in most high street toy shops as well as online. It has an RRP of £12.99 but if often available for less, especially at sites like this one.

Disclaimer: We were sent a copy of Hedbanz for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Celebrating National Nail Polish Day with the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

I’m not sure quite when Little Miss C became old enough to be interested in nail polish, but it’s happened. She’s due to turn eight next week and now the magazines she chooses come with nail polish on the front cover, and at the school fair she spent her pocket money on getting her nails done. I would previously have ignored a request to review something like the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker. I would have dismissed it as being a bit too old for her. Now though I need to accept that she’s growing up and nail polish is exactly the kind of thing that she’s interested in!

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

National Nail Polish Day

Friday 1 June was national nail polish day, making it the perfect time to review the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker. Although, so out of touch am I with girly things like that, that I hadn’t even realised national nail polish day was a thing!

Num Noms

LMC has been a fan of Num Noms since we were first introduced to them a couple of  years ago. Since then she’s used her pocked money buy loads of the collectables, and also frequently chosen the Num Noms magazine when we’ve been on supermarket shopping trips together. The combination of Num Noms with a nail polish maker is a perfect match.

Nail Polish Maker

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

I can’t deny that the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker is somewhat larger than I was expecting. Significantly so. The main section of it looks like a cafe – with the components that make up the nail polish in dispenser like bottles over the counter.

The set comes with three empty nail polish bottles that you can fill up from the ingredients in the nail polish maker. They’re incredibly cute!

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

The bottles are shaped just like Noms, and so fit inside a Num with an appropriate hole in the top for the bottle lid to go.

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

The Num Noms Nail Polish Maker set comes with a Nom which its the nail polish bottle Nums inside it.

Making the nail polish

Children then use the three different scented colours (Yellow Banana, Blue Blueberry and Red Strawberry) to make the desired colour of nail polish, by adding them to the Nom shaped bottle. Along with a squeeze of glitter if they so desire.

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

After a few drops of the chosen colours, the bottles are then topped up by the base pearl colour. Or “milk” as it is known in Num Nom land!

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

Once this is done the nail polish needs mixing.

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

This can either be done by good old shaking, or using the mixing part of the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker. You fit the bottle in (which is a bit fiddly) and then just turn the handle until it is mixed. To be honest though we found shaking far more effective!

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

Once the polish is mixed you can then use the finger stool (two are included) to paint your nails. These can clip in the back of the nail polish maker shop, but I found that there was then a problem with not having enough space to actually paint the nails. So instead I just used the finger rest on its own.

Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

Extras

As well giving you everything to make the nail polish, the Num Noms nail polish maker also comes with stickers that you can use on your painted nails.  Also included are two sets of plastic nails. These can be decorated on the Donut Table and then attached to your own nails using the nail adhesives included.

Overview

Little Miss C really liked the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker, but there’s a but… The big draw back that I see is the you can’t buy refills or replacement nail polish pots. This means that once you’ve used up the flavourings and glitter in the maker you can’t make any more. It seems a bit of a shame. This also means that if your kids make all three bottles of polish straight away it’s somewhat finished as a nail polish maker.

However, on the plus side, the nail polish maker is cafe themed. This means that even once you’ve finished you could still use it as a regular Num Noms cafe play set. I do think that Num Noms have missed a trick though as surely selling replacement ingredients and pots would be a good thing. I’d expect them to have a price point that would work perfectly for pocket money toys too.

Being eight years old, Little Miss C didn’t really think through the longevity of the nail polish maker in terms of future use. I’m expecting her to be a bit disappointed though when she realises that she can’t make any more nail polish with it.

The actual making part is great fun, but again rather fiddly. I ended up doing most of it with LMC helping. A slightly older child might manage the whole thing alone, but do be prepared to help if you don’t want a huge mess.

Where to find the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker

The Num Noms Nail Polish Maker is available to buy online here. The RRP is £50, but it is often available for significantly less. At the time of writing you can get it for £29.89 on Amazon UK.

Disclaimer: We were sent the Num Noms Nail Polish Maker for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

It’s a little while since Little Miss C helped me review Marina’s Lagoon from the My Mermaid Lagoon range. She really enjoyed setting it up originally and still plays with the figure and other accessories in her bedroom. She was therefore thrilled when I brought home the Serena Charm Shell from the same range from Blog On X.

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

Smaller than the original Lagoon sets this Charm Shell consists of a mermaid figure and a lockable charm shell. You an sit the mermaid in the shell and it also has in it a secret compartment (under her seat).

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

The set also comes with everything needed to make a charm bracelet. The key for the shell goes on the bracelet and can be kept safely there.

Bracelet making set

LMC loves anything crafty and has recently been going through a phase of making jewellery so this was perfect for her.

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

Apart from a bit of help knot tying she was able to make the bracelet without any other assistance. She particularly loved the fact that it meant she could keep the key for the shell safe and therefore stop her younger brother from being able to get in!

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

Miniature World Play

Miniature world play is something that LMC still loves and so it is no surprise that the Serena the mermaid and her shell have become part of her play world. She has a variety of characters that she plays with regularly, and some of them it seems now live in the charm shell with Serena.

My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell

The My Mermaid Lagoon Charm Shell is perfect for mermaid loving children who are into small world play and who love making things. This set gives children something much longer lasting than just having a quickly completed bracelet making activity set. It’s also really nice for them to have somewhere special to now keep their treasured items.

You can buy the My mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell online here. At the time of writing the RRP is £9.99, but online discounts are available.

Disclaimer: We were given the My Mermaid Lagoon Serena Charm Shell for the purposes of this review. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

It may not have escaped your notice but there is a lot of red, white and blue around right now. Not only is there a new Royal baby, but there’s also a Royal Wedding fast approaching. The prospect of getting out the Union Jack bunting may not excite everyone, but it does mean that brands are using every opportunity to become as patriotic as possible. I’m pretty sure the Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker puzzle was already in their range, but what a perfect excuse to promote it more.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

We’re lucky enough to have reviewed one of these Ravensburger 3D Sneaker puzzles before, but it was such a hit that we were more than keen to have a go at this different design.

How the puzzle works

The way these 3D puzzles work is that the puzzle pieces are made out of plastic and interlock. This means that they hold the shape of the 3D object that they will end up being. For the sneaker, you also in the kit get a base to the shoe, and also a toe piece. The puzzle pieces fit into these to give it structural integrity.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

You can put the puzzle together by trying to be clever and work out which pieces go where, but there is a simpler way. One the back of each puzzle piece is a printed number and these numbers tell you how to put the sneaker puzzle together. Starting at the sole of the sneaker you work round and up – following helpful arrows that are also on the reverse of the puzzle pieces.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

It can be a little fiddly in places, but when you get the knack you can make quick progress. I did need to help seven year old LMC, but she was able to do a lot on her own. With only 108 puzzle pieces it doesn’t take too long to complete.

Completed puzzle

Once the puzzle is completed there is then a plastic “bucket” like piece that sits inside the neck of it. Not only does this add further to the structural integrity, but also means that it works perfectly as a pen-pot. My daughter is thrilled with the finished sneaker puzzle. It now takes pride of place on her desk, full of pens and pencils. It actually looks really cool on there too.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

It’s also great to have a finished puzzle that serves a purpose too.  Far preferable to it just being there to attract dust!

How to get hold of the Ravensburger 3D Union Jack Sneaker puzzle

The 3D sneaker puzzle is available to buy online here. At the time of writing, it has an RRP of £14.99.

Ravensburger Union Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle

Disclaimer: We were sent this Ravensburger Unions Jack 3D Sneaker Puzzle for the purposes of this review. All opinions remain my own. This post contains affiliate links.