Project Mc2 Pixel Purse Review

We are new to the Netflix series Project Mc2 but with the groundswell of interest in STEM-based projects for kids, particularly girls, we were delighted to be asked to review the Project Mc2 Pixel Purse.

Project Mc2 Pixel Purse Review

STEM, by the way, stands for science, technology, engineering, and maths. It’s all about building a love for learning and a solid base for understanding key concepts later on as your children work through the Key Stages in school.

Project Mc2 Pixel Purse - Caitlin holding the box and smiling

The Project Mc2 series is set in the fictional city of Maywood Glen in California and is about STEAM activities (STEM plus Art!).

The heroine is McKeyla McAlister who, with her best friends, works for a government organisation called NOV8 (“innovate”).  They are a secret group of teenage female government operatives trying to protect the world using science and technology skills.

Having made a note to pay more attention to Netflix, we turned our attention to the Pixel Purse which is one of a range of toys from Project Mc2.

Project Mc2 Pixel Purse displaying the word "cool" in pink

The Project Mc2 Pixel Purse (we say handbag!) is about the same size as a clutch bag and it’s made of hard plastic in a bright pink colour with a display screen.

Be aware that it is not a toy handbag and you cannot actually keep things in it.  The only space available is to slot in your mobile phone to download your pixel designs.

What makes the Pixel Purse special is that it features a multi-coloured LED display which can be personalised with custom designs and phrases by using the free iOS and Android apps.

Go to www.projectmc2.com/pixelpurse for a list of compatible devices.

The purse also comes ready-programmed with 10 animations so you can play with it straight away, although you will need to replace the demonstration batteries with 4 x AA ones.  Make sure you have a screwdriver to hand.

The app is very easy to use and it took Caitlin no time at all to start creating designs for display on her pixel purse using the app on my iPhone.

Once you have created your design you save it and then connect the bag to your device (mobile or tablet) by inserting the cable inside the purse into your phone’s headphone jack.

We were a little thrown at first because I have an iPhone 7 plus which of course doesn’t have a headphone jack but luckily the Husband remembered that an adapter was included in the iPhone box.

Happily, this worked and it was a simple process to clip the mobile into the specially designated slot, stick the cable in and wait for the app to tell you that your design has been downloaded.

Turn the bag around and marvel at the brightly lit and flashing design all of your own making.

We did find that the designs need to be quite big and splashy.  Originally Caitlin did her name which didn’t register as well as her later attempts of hearts and snowflakes did.

The Pixel Purse light display is pretty impressive and it is light enough to carry.  It’s just a shame you can’t put anything in it.

This, of course, is not the point because its aim is to teach kids about how a light display works and specifically the role of pixels.

As the box says “if you were to look at a phone, tablet or television screen with a magnifying glass, you would see it is made up of lots of tiny dots called pixels.” Each pixel in the purse’s display can change colour and inside the pixel purse is a microchip which can remember the images and the order in which to display them.

We thought the Pixel Purse was a well made, well thought out toy which teaches quite a complex subject in an easy to grasp and non-threatening way.

The Project Mc2 Pixel Purse is suitable for ages 6+ and is available from Amazon, Argos and Tesco.

You can find out more at the website at www.projectmc2.com for new experiments, videos and updates.

Read our other Project Mc2 reviews

Project Mc2 A.D.I.S.N. Electronic (Spy) Journal

Project Mc2 Ultimate Lab Kit 

Project Mc2 McKeyla McAlister Doll with Cocoa Bronzer

 

Review: Xtrem Bots Trooper Bot

Christmas is just around the corner now and if you’re haven’t done your Christmas shopping and you are still looking for presents for your kids (and any big kids), you’ll love this one. Meet the Xtrem Bots Trooper Bot.  He’s a hi-tec infra-red robot with 50 programmable actions, arms control and the ability to shoot missiles.

He talks, he dances and even moonwalks.

 

Trooper Bot has multi LED eyes giving a number of different facial expressions which make you wonder what he’s thinking! He is a big toy, standing at over 35cm tall and he comes ready charged which is a great bonus.

You get a USB cable to recharge him and 5 missiles to shoot which click into the missile carrier on his arm.  He is controlled using a very clearly set out hand-held remote.

The infra-red transmitter reaches a range of more than 5 metres which is pretty generous and great for extended play.

The Xtrem Bots Trooper Bot was easy to get out of the box and the only thing we had to do was put in 2 AA batteries before we could start getting to know him. (You will need a screwdriver).

He shoots by firing his missiles from the missile launcher built into his arm and you take aim and fire using the infrared remote control. He has his own celebratory dance for when the battle has been won.

Xtrembots Trooper Bot is designed for ages 5 years and up but we all enjoyed him. He has his own language which makes as much sense as when the Husband explains Excel spreadsheets to me but, you know, he’s company (the robot, not so sure about the Husband).

The robot is easy to recharge too – just use the USB charger cable with a power pack, PC or wall socket. There is a small charging light on the back of the toy which goes off when he’s fully charged. Generally charge lasts for around 2 hours.

The Xtrem Bots Trooper Bot is a great toy  for ages 5 and up and has an RRP of £59.99.  Available from Amazon and other toy stores.

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5 Ways You Can Handle The Toy Mess This Christmas

Christmas is coming, and your children are no doubt getting excited by the minute. In the days leading up to the big day, you will probably be swept up in all the excitement as well, but you might want to consider one important aspect as you prepare for the festivities. The mess!  Not only have you got the get the house ready but you probably need to spend time organising toys in preparation for the arrival of the next batch too!

organising toys - pile of presents under the tree

(image credit)

From remnants of food to the tinsel and glitter, your home is going to be inundated by mess and clutter. As any parent knows, however, the biggest mess will come from the children’s toys. While you could be a Scrooge and buy them nothing, you won’t make Mum Of The Year. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to help keep a tidy house this Christmas.

[amazon_link asins=’B00PATK1PA,B072C7V57X,B00VADRWGG,B06Y124DT8,B01M0A3IP9,B01N1NV15J,B01M6BNB8E,B0773SV848,B01MYQBTE5′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’mothedistr-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=’570ff057-e8bf-11e8-aece-9de13b21e53c’]

Ideas for organising toys

Here are some ideas for organising toys.

1. Get ahead of the mess

Before the big day arrives, tidy up your home as much as you can. Considering there will be added mess over the festive period, you can deal with any unnecessary clutter beforehand to give yourself a head start. This includes the housework, but you might also want to show some Christmas spirit by donating your kid’s old toys to charity to make room for the new pressies they will be unwrapping under the Christmas tree.

2. Look for storage options

You’re going to need somewhere to put the kid’s toys, so invest in some extra storage space. There are cheap bedroom furniture sets online, with under the bed storage options. Then consider toy boxes, shelving units and storage benches that may complement their bedroom decor. Storage trolleys are also useful, as you can easily load them with the kid’s toys, and wheel them out of the way before the relatives arrive.

3. Make it fun

Housework is a chore, and when it comes to your kids’ toys, you will spend ages trying to keep everything clean and tidy. Therefore, reduce your hard work and get your kids to work. Of course, you don’t have to let them know it’s a chore, so make tidying up their toys into a game. Set a timer, for example, and see who can tidy up their toys the fastest. The winner can choose a chocolate decoration from the tree, though you should probably give any runners-up a little prize so as to avoid temper tantrums.

4. Create a designated play area

Not only do kids make a mess, but they spread mess wherever they go. Bless’ em. However, when it comes to their toys, you can limit them to one room in the house. If this isn’t possible, find a space in the house that can be used as a play area. Therefore, any mess stays in one place.

Provided you have toy boxes on standby; you can also rotate the number of toys they play with. Then follow that everyday parenting rule: if they want to play with something else, make sure they put away what they have previously been playing with first! The kids will moan, but tidying up after themselves is a life skill they will have to learn.

5. Buy them less

Finally, this is possibly the simplest and most cost-effective suggestion. You don’t have to buy your kids everything, even if they have given Santa a giant list this Christmas. You aren’t doing your children a favour if you spoil them, even if it’s you who is prone to go a little crazy in the toy shop.

Teach them the value of being grateful for what they have been given, and hold back on buying further toys until their birthday. It will save you money in the process, and your children will learn to enjoy what they have, rather than having toys that never get played with because they have too many!

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Win SNOTCHA! From Drumond Park – The Sneeze Spraying Action Game

There’s nothing some kids (and grownups!) like better than a game with a hefty amount of ‘ick’ and grossness and I have a game to give away that will really fit the bill, particularly with Christmas on the horizon.

Drumond Park Snotcha! Game

SNOTCHA! is a grossly entertaining game from Drumond Park (rrp £24.99 for age 5+ – 2-4 players).  It’s a sneeze spraying game which will get you all moving one way or another.

Each intrepid player takes a turn to get face to face with Snotcha (lean in close!) and spin the spinner to see how many times to push down on the top of his nose. With every slow, complete (no cheating, now!) push it’s time to see if he can hold in his snotty sneeze or not … And of course the big question is, will he sneeze AT’CHOO?

Three children playing Snotcha!

The tension rises as the ‘sneeze’ pressurises with every press, accompanied by excited squeals and giggles!  Phew … you’ve stayed dry this time … or maybe not – AAAHHH CHOOO!  He’s got you! Ewww that is a super wet sneeze! And you’re out of the game this time round.

Play continues with the remaining players taking their turns to spin the spinner and push down on Snotcha, until just one player is left.  And that extremely lucky person, who’s managed to avoid being sneezed on right through the round, is the undisputed WINNER!

For more information and stockists visit www.drumondpark.com

And for grown-up giggles and to share adult games experiences, go over to their ‘Not so Quiet Night In’ blog at www.drumondpark.com/blog/.

You can also connect with Drumond Park on Facebook and Twitter.

To win, simply enter via the Rafflecopter widget below.  Terms and conditions apply which you can find on my giveaways page.  UK entrants only.  The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday 10th December.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Good luck!

Win Spearmark’s Illumi-mate Colour Changing Star Wars Lights

If you and your family love Star Wars as much as we do, you’ll love these.  Spearmark have come up with an extensive range of Star Wars illumi-mates lighting for fans of The Force.

They are colour changing, cool to touch lights in a range of hit characters from the iconic movies. Best of all they are child safe too.

Leading the line-up is a brand new Storm Trooper which will hit shelves just as The Last Jedi
is released into cinemas on December 15th.  It’s a perfect replica of the Storm Troopers seen in the new movie!


Ieuan loves his which now has pride of place on his bedside table.

Other choices in the range include: Millenium Falcon, Chewbacca, Kylo-Ren or Darth Vader to cast a moody glow across the bedroom.

Each light is battery operated, with batteries supplied. RRP: £6.99 from a variety of stockists including Amazon, ASDA, B&Q, Debenhams, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Wilkinson.

And I have FIVE to give away to one lucky winner – what a fabulous Christmas present for any Star Wars fan!

  • Storm Trooper
  • Darth
  • Kylo Ren
  • Chewbacca
  • Millenium Falcon

Entry is via the Rafflecopter widget and the usual terms and conditions apply which can be seen on my giveaways page.  UK entrants only.

The giveaway ends at 11:59 pm on Sunday 3rd December 2017.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

Toy Review: Awesome Little Green Men Collectables Series One & Game

After years of indulging Caitlin’s passion for Shopkins and Cupcake Surprise, it made a nice change to review a collectable that Ieuan showed some interest in – Awesome Little Green Men.

Awesome Little Green Men

Awesome Little Green Men is the name of a military collectable which also includes a table top (or floor) game to play.

Actually, the name is a little misleading because there are also little blue military men to collect. Figures can be bought singly or in collections and there are also ‘blind boxes’ where you chance your luck to see if you get a super rare figure.

Awesome Little Green Men Battle Pack

We received the Awesome Little Green Men Battle Pack and two blind boxes to open. You can enlist your figures online so you can track which ones you already have.  The little military figures are given a rank, role and squadron – they even come with their own dog tag which the kids can wear.
Awesome Little Green Men individual figures
The Battle Pack contains 8 soldiers, 8 dog tags, 1 chain, 1 new recruit poster, game pieces and a game guide.

There are 100 unique characters to collect in Series 1, including four super rare figures in the green army and the blue army.

Each figure has their own expression which helps you recognise which is which – they are quite distinct.  For example, Major Boo-Boo drives a little ambulance and Corporal Kickbutt has a gun.

Super Rare General Panic

Super rare General Panic

The game is based on the concept of paintball when the aim is to ‘hit’ members of the opposing army. There is obviously a strong incentive to buy extra soldiers here so that the rivalling armies are of a similar size.  Our current blue army is decidedly underpowered.

Playing Awesome Little Green Men game

You line your armies up facing one another and move by using two sliders – stickers which you need to stick to a coin. There’s a marching one so that you can move closer before your strike, and an attack one which you flick at the opposition to see who you can hit.

I think that’s basically it.  Hands up I did find the game slightly confusing and Caitlin and Ieuan just wanted to play with the figures and make up their own stories. You can, however, find full instructions both in the Deluxe Pack and print them off online too.

The stated age range is 6+ but I think the game is better suited to older children and I suspect that Awesome Little Green (and blue) Men will work best as collectables.

The figures are really well made and quite amusing (for us adults a little more ‘in the know’). They are also a decent size and are unlikely to be lost down the back of the sofa or in the carpet somewhere. Always a bonus!

I am sure there will be some parents who will object to the military aspect of the game.  (I was once taken to task at the traffic lights by a mother objecting to Ieuan carrying a toy gun!).  I think you have to be pragmatic about these things and the introductory video on the product’s website states that the reason the two armies are fighting is not serious – for example, it could be that they are contesting the superiority of ketchup over mayonnaise. (Mayonnaise on chips. Weird, no?).

The Awesome Little Green Men Blind Box is RRP £3.99 and comes with one soldier, one dog-tag, a new recruits poster and game guide.

The Awesome Little Green Men Starter Pack is RRP £12.99 and comes with four soldiers (one in a vehicle), four dog-tags, a new recruits poster and game guide. But who’s in the blind box?

The Awesome Little Green Battle Pack is RRP £24.99 and comes with eight soldiers (three in a vehicle), eight dog-tags, a new recruits poster and game guide.

To find out more information about Awesome Little Green Men and The Battle Game, visit https://awesomelittlegreenmen.mgae.com.

You can find them on Amazon or at ToysRUs.  Read more of our toy reviews here.

Review: BLO PENS Glitter Studio by John Adams

I am a complete and absolute craft duffer but Caitlin loves whiling away the time making things that are glittery, sparkly or designed to annoy her brother.  The BLO PENS Glitter Studio was obviously an ideal set for us to review.  I say us, I mean of course the Husband and Caitlin.

BLOPENS Glitter Studio Outer Box

In case you don’t know what they are, BLO PENS are a sort of felt pen in a tube which allow you to blow through them and create an airbrush effect.  You do, I have to say, need a strong set of lungs but once they start to work they produce a wash of colour with no problem.

Caitlin with BLOPENS Glitter Studio set up

This is the BLO PENS Glitter Studio which allows you to create the airbrush effects of the standard BLOPENS but with the addition of glitter to sparkle things up a bit. The kit comes with a number of stencils and decoration sheets which allow you to create your own pretty unique pictures and even a pretty butterfly mobile to adorn a bedroom.

Mat pressing out the stencils

The set contains:-

8 stencils (5 picture stencils and 3 decoration stencils)
5 BLO PENS
4 decorations (3 flowers, heart and butterfly mobile),
4 tubes of glitter, ribbon and a glue pen.

We particularly liked that the box turns into an easel and handy storage space for your pens and glitter. You could easily take this with you on holiday.  Surprisingly, it doesn’t actually make much mess at all – which is a blessing for any glitter-phobic parents out there.  Just pop the stencils on a bit of newspaper and you’re good to go.

Collages of artwork made from BLOPENS Glitter Studio

This set is designed for the 6+ and we found that an adult’s help was definitely needed in popping out the templates from their card and in assembling the mobile.  And in my case the husband explaining to me VERY SLOOOWLY how to assemble the BLO PENS.  To my shame, there are quite a few YouTube videos of 8-year-olds assembling BLO PENS at high speed so I suspect it might just be me.

In case it isn’t, I do think that the instruction sheet could be a little clearer but patience wins the day and once you get the hang of it this set is quite impressive and gives hours of crafting fun. We’ve had a fair few craft sets which haven’t held Caitlin’s interest for more than 20 minutes or so but this one is solidly made, has enough variety to keep kids interested and, even when the mobile has been made, there are still loads of templates to play around and keep creating with.

BLOPENS Glitter Studio Mobile

Another plus point for me is that the BLO PENS ink is non-toxic, although they may stain clothing, so be careful.

BLO PENS Glitter Studio retails around the £25 mark which we thought was pretty good value for a set which can be used multiple times.

Just remember to put your Blo Pens away properly so that they don’t dry out.

Caitlin was pretty impressed with what she managed to create (with a bit of help from the husband). I was relegated to coffee and squash duty.

Find out more at on the John Adams website.  Available to buy at Amazon.

Review: Pass The Pigs Game

You might recently have seen ITV This Morning’s Ruth and Eamonn playing Giant Pass the Pigs and, in case you’re wondering what they were doing, Pass The Pigs is a classic family dice game which will keep everyone entertained both inside and out, no matter what the weather.

Travel Pass The Pigs Game & Giant Pass The Pigs Game, Toys, Toy Reviews, motherdistracted.co.uk

The game is really easy to play. Simply throw the 2 piggies up in the air and see how they land. Compare the pigs landing positions with your scorecard and earn points, the first to 100 wins. Each landing position is given a funny name and awards a set number of points – so a pig with all its legs in the air is a Razorback (5 points) and if it lands on its backside it’s a Rumper (15 points).

How to play Pass The Pigs, Score Chart, Toys, Toy Reviews, motherdistracted.co.uk

The Pass The Pigs Travel Game

A game of skill for 2 to 6 players suitable for aged three and above, it comes with a handy carry case, 2 pencils, 2 pigs and a pocket-sized scorecard. It is ideal for taking on holiday as the Pass the Pigs game comes in a handy travel case. It is available to buy online, from Amazon and all good toy retailers.

Giant Pass the Pigs

This is a super-sized version of the game which is perfect for parties.  These giant inflatable pigs can bounce around the garden, house, beach or even the pool. Inflate your pair of porkers, throw them and see how they land. Will you get a Leaning Jowler, a Mixed Combo or will you Pig Out? It is suitable for aged three and above and available to buy from online, good toy retailers and Amazon.

Caitlin and Ieuan quickly got to grips with the game and loved the giant version.  It takes you a while to match the pigs’ positions with the scorecard so you will need a strong referee (the ‘Swineherd’) to adjudicate and stop the fights!  You’ll also need a bit of puff to inflate the giant pigs!  We’ll be taking the travel version with us in a couple of weeks when we head back to Devon as the sun seems to have vanished since the kids broke up from school!

Find out more at www.passthepigsofficial.com.

Pass The Pigs, Giant Pass The Pigs, Games, Indoor Games. motherdistracted.co.uk

There are two versions of the game available by Winning Moves UK Ltd:-

Pass the Pigs – with its travel case and cute dice pigs, it’s the ideal family entertainment, whether indoor or on the go! (£9.99)

Giant Pass the Pigs – play with adorable inflatable pigs – great for gardens, parks or inside on the floor play – plus doubles up as pool inflatables. (£14.99)

Have you ever played Pass the Pigs or is there another family dice game you love?

*post contains affiliate links.

Stretch Armstrong’s Arch Enemy Is Back – Meet Vac Man

I’m sure you remember Stretch Armstrong, the strong man action figure with the stretchable arms. He’s been around since 1976 and made a reappearance last year.

Now his arch enemy, Vac Man, is back as a 14″ fully stretchable and poseable Vac powered action figure made by Character Options.

Ieuan with Stretch Armstrong's arch enemy Vac Man

Say hello to the Vac Man toy

If you pump the air out of him with the vacuum pump (supplied), he can “set” into any pose you put him in! When you release the valve at the side of his head, he returns to his normal state.

You can pull him, stretch him and even tie him in knots – up to 4 times his size.

Vac Man promotional shots - see him stretch to 4 times his size

He’s a pretty sturdy toy and at 14″ he’s quite heavy.  The recommended age range is 5+ which is about right I’d say as kids need to be able to attach the vacuum pump to the side of his head.  This clicks into place easily enough but might take a few attempts to get the hang of.

You pump him around 6 times to get the air out and then you can put him into any fighting stance you fancy.

The ability to vacuum the air out of him and pose him lends an extra fascination to Vac Man, as does his beady insides!  Attractive he is not!

Press the valve at the side of his head and he becomes smooth and normal (relatively) again.

He retails at around £30 which we thought was a fair price for a well built and decent sized toy which will last for years.  Vac Man is certainly strong enough to withstand the full-on force of boys and girls like Ieuan and Caitlin.

You can find out more about the Vac Man toy at www.character-online.com where you’ll also find Stretch Armstrong, Fetch the dog and Octopus to help kids create their own stretchy role play.

[amazon_link asins=’B075F6KL5V,B01EARLEX0′ template=’ProductCarousel’ store=’mothedistr-21′ marketplace=’UK’ link_id=”]

And yes, Stretch does have an uncanny resemblance to a certain, um, president.  Here he is, doing his thing.

*PR Collaboration

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Review: Zookiez & Wobbleez – Soft & Cute Play Pets With A Twist

Lots of Caitlin’s and Ieuan’s friends have pets and, loving mother that I am, I have discovered a fuss-free solution that involves no vets bills.

Zookiez and Wobbleez from Sinco Toys are two ranges of plush, cuddly toy animals which will delight anyone from age 3 to 103.

Zookiez are toy pets which can be slapped on to your wrist and they will hold on tight with their furry paws.  Because their paws will grip, they can be carried about on your arm or even attached to a backpack or school bag.

There are 6 Zookiez to collect, 2 cats, 2 dogs, a bear and, Ieuan’s new friend, a panda.

Collage of Ieuan Hobbis demonstrating the Zookiez Panda

Panda is lovely and soft and retails around the £10 mark.

Wobbleez is a range of pets who magically walk when you pull their lead – all without batteries. There’s 3 to collect, a Golden Retriever, a Dalmation and a Shepherd Dog.

They have specially adapted paws which rock gently when you pull the toy along giving the illusion that your pet is walking.  You do have to pull gently though – if you pull too hard, your wobbleez will fall over.

We have not taken our Wobbleez dog outside as he is clearly designed for indoor use.

Again, this was a good quality toy with a very plush feel and Caitlin has named hers Apricot.  Ieuan being Ieuan has named his panda, Panda.  Wobbleez retail around the £20 mark.

Caitlin Hobbis with her Wobbleez Shepherd Dog toy

The dog’s lead comes in three parts which you simply clip together and attach to a loop already round the neck of the toy.  It clips on quite securely and even with quite some tugging didn’t come off when we got the dog walking.

Wobbleez toys are recommended for the 3’s and over up to about 10 although I found them pretty cute myself.

Here’s the last word from Caitlin.

You can find Zookiez and Wobbleez toys at major toy stockists and on Amazon.

Review: Thumb Chucks – The Anti-Stress Toy

Fidget toys are everywhere and whilst my two love their Fidget Spinners, they have discovered an equally fun alternative – Thumb Chucks. Anyone who has taken their kids to a doctor or dentist’s appointment and tried to keep them occupied will welcome these as an alternative to fighting over your phone or lugging iPads with you!

Fidget toys were apparently first designed for children with autism to help them develop fine motor skills. Recently kids (and grown-ups) have been starting to use them with claims being made that they promote focus and concentration, thereby reducing stress.

Those of us who worked in offices in the ’80s will remember the appearance of stress balls which were less interactive but arguably achieved the same thing.

Thumb Chucks are a little different from Fidget Spinners.  For a start, they light up and they are tipped to be the new yo-yo with a number of different techniques and tricks you can learn.

Fidget Toys #thumbchucks #fidgetspinners

They are easy to carry and Zing Toys, who make these, suggest they are suitable for “festivals, going out, killing time on the tube, hanging out, waiting for friends and challenging your mates to the latest tricks”  You can certainly do more with them than just watch them spin.

Thumb Chucks – Control the Roll!

Whilst the tricks are easy to learn though, they are quite challenging to master. When you have mastered each trick you can uploading your videos online to unlock new coloured, interchangeable belts that players can use to flaunt their skill status.

Players upload and showcase tricks with special effects on social media with the Thumb Chucks App and watch new trick tutorials by the Thumb Chucks guru online.

Whilst Caitlin and Ieuan don’t have too much patience for complicated tricks,  they did like Thumb Chucks.  Here’s their take on both Thumb Chucks and Fidget Spinners.

We thought these a worthy addition to any collection of fidget toys, although my kids’ allegiance is still to the original fidget spinner.

Thumb Chucks Anti-Stress Toys are available from toy shops, retailers and stores online and are recommended for age 5+.

Why Building And Construction Toys Are So Beneficial For Kids

Building and construction play sets or kits have always been regarded both by parents and by child development experts alike to be one of the most beneficial types of toys especially when talking about development and growth among children.

Selection of brightly coloured Duplo building blocks for kids
Image credit:  Pixabay

In case you’re wondering, here are the common benefits of building toys for kids.

Enhances visual motor coordination and spatial intelligence.

Playing with building blocks require children to have a fair understanding of the position of a block or brick relative to the other parts in a particular space. This helps develop and refine their spatial intelligence. 

This is important in enhancing their ability to coordinate their motor movements with the sensory inputs from their eyes. This simply means that when children look at a brick, they will have an idea of its shape and how it should be placed in the board in relation to other building pieces.

Refines the development of fine motor skills.

There are building blocks that are smaller than usual and this requires an excellent control of fine motor movement. This is especially true when snapping these blocks into their respective slots so kids need to have precision movement of their fingers. 

Caitlin & Ieuan building Lego

Develops math skills.

From the number of blocks needed to complete a particular model to the different geometric shapes that will be formed, kids can learn a lot about the basics of mathematics every time they play with building toys. They also get to appreciate the concepts of area, equivalents, sizes, and even sorting which are all very important ideas in mathematical processes.

Stimulates creative thinking.

Most building play sets have a guide on how to build a particular model. However, this doesn’t mean that the playset cannot be modified to produce an entirely different model. Kids learn soon enough that by manipulating certain blocks, they can essentially create something totally different. And this lays the groundwork for the enhancement of children’s creative and imaginative potentials.

Fosters divergent problem solving.

Closely related to creative thinking is the development of divergent problem thinking. Here, kids begin asking questions as to what other models or structures can be built using the same building and construction blocks that are available to them. 

They begin to ask questions that start with “what if” and are often rewarded with fantastic creations. For instance, the model may actually be designed as a house, but using the power of what-if thinking, kids might as well turn it into a ship or something else. 

Problem solving is a very important skill that children must be able to learn and master as it lays the foundation for successful problem solving in adulthood.

Introduces and reinforces science and engineering concepts.

There are many scientific principles that can be learned by kids just by playing with construction toys alone. They can learn to experiment, the effects of gravity, how to achieve balance, and the establishment of cause and effect relationships. 

All of these will result in the formation and development of a more scientific approach to problem solving. In such cases, engineering concepts will be a lot easier to teach. 

Sooner than you can expect, your child might as well be on his or her way to building some of the best innovations known to man. 

The Lego 75153 Star Wars AT-ST Walker Set

Allows for dramatic play.

These construction models are not completed for display purposes only. Kids use them to narrate or tell a story. In many instances, they will be telling you about how such models will change the way we live. These become important tools for them to play out the scenarios they have formed in their heads.

Building toys are important tools for children to grow and develop optimally. Getting them one or two of these types of toys can do a lot for their future.