Disney Pixars Cars 3 Franchise review

We love a bit of Disney in our household, especially after our recent visit to EuroDisney. The boys have a newfound love for it and are enjoying it even more. They are spending more of an interest in Disney films and the characters; from the old ones to the new.

Disney isn’t just all about tiaras and marrying princes there are also many of the old classics like Lion King, Bambi and Pinocchio – also not forgetting the high-speed, blazing fast racers of Cars.

One of the latest Disney films to be released on 14th July, 2017 is Cars 3. The legendary Lightening Mcqueen strikes again and finds himself out of the game when a next gen- racer Jackson Storm hits the Piston Cup. Hoping to get back in the game, Lightening seeks the help of a young technician Cruz Ramirez.

Disney have announced an exciting new product collection that will bring the high-speed action of the highly anticipated Disney•Pixar film Cars 3 to households nationwide.

The boys already have the previous DVDs of Cars and a few of the franchises to play with. So they were all revved up when they were sent some of the latest products to review.

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Jackson Storm Remote Control Car RRP £17.99 (disney store)

Lightening McQueen Speed Launcher By LEGO Juniors RRP £7.99 (disney store)

Cars 3 Drinks Bottle RRP £6.99 (disney store)

Cars 3 Book of the Film By Parragon RRP £5.99 (asda)

Lightening McQueen LEGO Launcher – The youngest couldn’t wait to get stuck in and as his older brother – who absolutely loves LEGO – was away he took the chance to start with the speed launcher. He doesn’t normally show an interest, as much as his brother, for Lego but he was really excited to build the car. The sets are ideal for children aged 5-7

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It was easy to build – just as the box says with simple to follow instructions. He started with the car first and then on to the launcher.

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The instructions are picture related, so he found them easy to follow and keep up with. Each page showing you what pieces were needed for that particular part.

Whats great about this set is that it is a usable toy after it is built. The wheels turn and the launcher actually works. It doesn’t launch the car very far but it is still fun to build and play with. It also gives the children a sense of achievement and pride, having built something by themselves. He would normally take sets apart once he had built them but this one has stayed by his bedside and is being used every day. He was very proud of himself for putting it together.

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Jackson Storm Remote Control Car – Get the feel of what it’s like to race in the Piston Cup with this remote control car. It may be small but it is very powerful. The car is a designed in detail with some impressive artwork and comes with a steering-wheel controller. The controller is easy to use; it drives forward and backwards, steers left and right. It is the perfect size for little hands and simple to use

20170622_070613The actual size of the Car  is L15 x H5 x W7cm approx.

Any child that loves Cars would fall in love with this little beauty. It is rear wheel driven and very responsive. It is turned on by using the middle button on the centre of the wheel control. We found that If it is not used for a while it tends to turn it self off and all you have to do is press the button again to get it working.

The design is sleek and very eye-catching, It is a solid and sturdy car. We took it to the garden to see how well it would drive over the patio (excuse the weeds)

The boys have had so much fun with this car. I do believe that there are more to collect, so you could hold your own Piston Cup and see who could be the winner.

Cars 3 Drinks Bottle – These drinks bottles are ideal for little racers to keep hydrated, with detailed artwork of Lightening McQueen and Jackson Storm, they are bright to look at and perfect for pack lunches. They have a rubber tyre detail around the bottom of the bottle giving little hands that extra grip when drinking from the bottle, but also keeps them sturdy when placed on to the table.

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The lid also has the tyre detail with a button to open it. Once the lid flips open it has a flexible straw hidden within.

The bottle holds 12oz and is only designed for cold drinks only. They are easy to come apart to wash and store well in the cupboard. The size of the bottle also makes them perfect to fit into lunch bags.

I found that with the fun designs the boys were asking for their bottles to be filled up more than normal, they make drinking cool!

Cars 3 Book of the Film – This 144 page paper-back book with an 8 page full colour insert is excellent for any budding reader. Once you have watched the film you can relive it again and again in this book.

‘When the legendary Lightening Mcqueen is suddenly pushed out of the sport he loves by a new generation of blazing racers, he needs to get back in the game, and FAST! Can #95 prove that he isn’t out of the game yet? The next Piston Cup will test the heart of a champion on racing’s biggest stage!’

With seven Piston Cups wins under his belt and an undying passion for motor sport, can Mcqueen ride carry on riding high with the new generation of blazing racers?

There are many new characters in this new book, including Jackson Storm and Cruz Ramirez.

I have been trying to encourage my youngest away from books that have more picture than text and this book certainly meets that criteria. Apart from the 8 page full colour insert there are no more illustrations throughout the book. This means that he can concentrate on the story without being distracted by the pictures. Although the illustrations that are in the book are very colourful and good, which does help with the imagination.

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He is really enjoying reading the book and it is keeping him engaged.

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The book is ideal for young readers who are developing their reading skills.

These Cars 3 products have helped the children carry on with their newfound love of Disney. We are carrying on the magic at home.

We was sent these products for the purpose of this review

Review: L.O.L Surprise Dolls – Not your average doll

In a world where babies run everything, little rockers rebel against nap time and teacher’s pets become class presidents. In this world, all work is play and it’s all a bit outrageous!

Welcome to L.O.L Surprise

After taking the US by storm, L.O.L Surprise!™ is set to be the next collectable craze in the UK, as the ultimate unboxing toy is combined with the anticipation of surprise. Much like unwrapping a gift, watch the excitement build as each of the 7 layers reveal a different surprise, including emoji sticker, accessory, and finally their hero – a L.O.L Surprise!™ Doll. Never a dull outfit day for these fierce dolls, mix and match accessories with each character to work out who wears it best.

Not your average dolls, these fashion-forward characters are packed with personality. From Rockers to Merbabies, each L.O.L Surprise!™ comes complete with bathtub, doll stand and hangout, all doubling up as a purse.

Now here comes the surprise. Once the final layer has been unwrapped, feed the doll water with its baby bottle accessory and reveal its feature – with special dolls changing colour when placed in cold water! With over 45 to collect, there has never been a more exciting time start collecting the ultimate unboxing experience that offers a different surprise with each layer!

We was sent an L.O.L doll to review, having boys I didn’t think they would be too interested – unlike myself. I wanted to see how special these little adorable tots really are.

My youngest got very excited when he saw the little ball and when I told him that there was a surprise doll inside it didn’t seem to phase him one bit. He was even more eager to unwrap the ball to find out what was inside. He absolutely loves unboxing little collectible characters and the surprise factor involved in doing it.

As promised there are 7 layers to unwrap and reveal different surprises

  • 1st Layer: Secret message
  • 2nd Layer: Emoji stickers
  • 3rd Layer: Baby bottle
  • 4th Layer: Pair of shoes
  • 5th Layer: Awesome outfit
  • 6th Layer: Fashionable accessory
  • And Finally the 7th Layer: L.O.L. Surprise!™ 3-inch doll— the ultimate surprise!

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As you can see from the video; He was very excited to keep peeling away and it kept him engaged the whole time, eager to get to the next surprise.

The character and accessories are of good quality, not what I was expecting at all. It’s a fun little gift that will keep the children entertained for quite a while. And, even better that they get to carry it around in the ball that transforms into a purse.

The dolls are priced from £7.99 a little pricey but you do get a lot with that money. I can see it becoming a little disappointing if you unwrap the same doll more than once but they can always be swapped with a friend.

L.O.L. Surprise!™ Series 1 is for children aged 3+ and available from all good toy retailers including Argos, Asda, The Entertainer, Smyths, Tesco and ToyrsRUs.

We was sent a L.O.L surprise doll for the purpose of this review

 

Make your own Yoda Costume for World Book Day and A Star Wars Books Giveaway

World Book Day is closely upon us and it’s time to start thinking about what costume your children will be wearing on the day. My boys normally like to make up a costume from clothes that they find from in their wardrobe but this year my middle boy has requested a rather different costume. Which was perfect as we have been challenged by Egmont publishing to create a Star Wars themed Costume for World Book Day.

Last year we made a last-minute costume by raiding the wardrobes, particularly looking for clothes that were in neutral colours and created Luke Skywalker. This costume has been used many times over the past year and didn’t cost us a penny.

This year, the boy has requested Yoda. This year I am prepared. I ordered some fleece material from Ebay and once it arrived I got out my sewing machine and stitched away.

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You will need:

  • Beige Fleece Material- mtr depending on how tall your child is. and the width of the material. We ordered a metre at 150cm wide
  • Emerald Green Fleece Material – 1/2 mtr 150cm wide
  • Brown long sleeve t-shirt
  • Dark coloured trousers
  • Sewing machine or needle and cotton to hand sew
  • Green Facepaint
  • White chalk or material pen
  • Pins
  • Scissors

Instructions:

I found a pattern online from www.fleecefun.com that I adapted to fit my son. I used his dressing gown as a guide for the measurements and just adjusted the pattern where it needed it. The pattern can be printed out and stuck together to make one big one.

Yoda Robe

  1. Place the material down on the fold and put the pattern on the top. The back needs to be cut on the fold to create one piece and you need two pieces of the front. Use pins to keep it in place and draw around with your chalk. This is where I adjusted the pattern and moved it about to the length and width I wanted. Cut out the pieces. You will only have one back and two fronts

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2. Place the two fronts down on to the back. Tack into place.

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3. Stitch along the under arm and side seam and the sleeve to secure the front and back together. Turn inside out. You can finish off the edges with a hem but I just left ours as the material will not fray.

4. Cut out a long piece of the fleece for the belt.

Et Voila! You now have a jacket fit for a Yoda

Yoda Head and Ears:

I used an old wooly hat to draw around and to get the size of Yodas head.

  1. Lay the green fleece material down on the fold and place your ear pattern on top. Secure in place with pins. Draw around with chalk and cut out the pieces. You should have 4 ear pieces and two head pieces.

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2. Stitch around the edge of the ears

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3. Turn them inside out so that the seams are on the inside

4. Now you need to give the ears a shape by pinching in the straight edges and stitching in place

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5. Place the ears on top of one of the hat pieces, facing inwards.

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6. Place the other hat piece on top to form a sandwich. Secure all in place with pins

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7. Stitch around the edge. Turn the right way round.

8. I stitched a band of fabric along the bottom of the hat as it didn’t quite fit my son’s head and we wanted it to be bigger

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We found that the ears go a little lopsided like a dogs but this can be corrected with a little bit of starch or adding in some wadding when stitching the ears together.

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The last thing we needed to do to finish off the costume was to paint his face green.

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I painted his face green and then added on some lines to make him look a little older.

We was asked by Egmont Publishing to choose a Star Wars Character to dress up as on World Book day to celebrate the release of the new book The Cold. The book is due out in March and is the latest to be published in the series of Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space books. Read about the first two that were released last year here

‘The Adventures in Wild Space takes place in the period betweenStar Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope. Star Wars fans can meet a whole host of new characters, including a new droid, CR-8R, and a new villain, Captain Korda. It follows the Graf family Mum, Dad, Daughter and Son whilst they tour wild space as galactic mappers.

It is a time of darkness. With the end of the Clone Wars and the destruction of the Jedi Order, the evil Emperor Palpatine rules the galaxy unopposed. After their parents were kidnapped by the ruthless Imperial Captain Korda, young explorers Lino and Milo Graf set out to find them’

The Cold is the fifth in the series of the exciting junior novels written by Cavan Scott. Siblings Milo and Lina have picked up the trail of their kidnapped parents – but an ambush in the depths of Wild Space leaves them stranded on a desolate planet. With an old enemy out for revenge can they survive THE COLD?

The series is ideal for any young Star Wars fan out there. My boys are aged 9 and 5, both have really enjoyed reading the books. They are full of adventure, action packed and fun to read.

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I find these Star Wars books are always good for those reluctant readers as they are so gripping and adult like but simple enough for children to understand and read. The illustrations are in black and white and simple but just right for the books.

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The books in the series are ideal for children from the age of 8. Although, my son is 5 and he enjoyed reading them, just occasionally asking for help on a few words and for explanations on what some of the words meant. The characters are fun and make the stories exciting. The books are quite short which helps keep the child’s attention and with few illustrations they are ideal for those readers that are moving away from stories that are highly illustrated. They help children make predictions about the future content without looking at the pictures to help them.

Egmont are offering one of my readers the chance to win a full set of Star Wars: Adventures in Wild Space books

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Three of the five from the series

The Cold http://amzn.to/2jUCPFv

The Dark http://amzn.to/2kjmKMW

The Steal http://amzn.to/2kjmKMW

The Nest http://amzn.to/2kjtnyK

The Snare http://amzn.to/2jUQewX

All book available to buy from Amazon on the links above

To be in with a chance enter via the rafflecopter below. Competition ends 19/03/2017

 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Looking for more Star Wars Fancy Dress inspiration for World Book Day Take a look at Princess Leia by We Made This, R2D2 by ET Speaks From Home, Hans Solo by A Strong Coffee and a Storm Trooper by Ickles Pickles.

 

Phantom Boy DVD Review and Giveaway

Phantom Boy is a highly anticipated new film from the Academy Award-nominated writers and directors of A Cat In Paris is a stylish noir caper, set in the shadowy streets and alleyways of New York.

A touching story of an 11 year old boy, Leo who discovers he has a special power that he uses to help lieutenant Tanner fight a very dangerous villain,The Face.

Leo has a secret. A mysterious illness has transformed into a phantom boy, able to leave his body and explore the city as a ghostly apparition. While Leo is in hospital, he befriends Alex Tanner, a New York cop who got injured whilst attempting to capture a nefarious gangster who has taken control of the city’s power supply, throwing the metropolis into chaos. The pair unite and form an extraordinary duo, using Leo’s phantom powers and Alex’s detective work to foil the plot and save New York from destruction.

Alex and Leo are both in hospital both different reasons. Leo is in for treatment for hos illness and Alex is in a wheelchair with a broken leg, hurt from attempting to capture The Face. Leo is able to become invisible and fly through walls, his body stays still whilst he has an outer body experience. Leo is a big fan of the Police and couldn’t wait to introduce himself to Alex and help him save Mary, a journalist, who falls prey to The Face when she goes in search of him. With Leo in the air and Alex on the ground they become quite the fighting pair. They have 24 hours to save the City from a deadly computer virus.

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The film is very touching, portraying Leo as a brave young man. It is an action packed, simply animated and a heart warming film.

It has its humourous moments from the villains trusty side kicks and vicious tiny dog, Rufus. The film shows us about the power of teamwork, friendship, family, and courageous acts of kindness. Leo’s illness pulls at the heart-strings yet The Face and his gang bring humour to the film.

My children aged 14, 9 and 5 all enjoyed watching this simple animated fantasy film and found it to be entertaining. They were engaged the whole way through. Leo spends a lot of time in his hospital bed due to his illness and gets the freedom that he yearns by becoming phantom boy. He feels free from the disease by soaring up high in the sky over buildings and flying through walls.

Phantom boy is a beautiful story but also a brilliant superhero film and will leave you feeling warm inside.

Released on DVD 13th February 2017

The film features the voices of Fred Armisen, Vincent D’onofrio and Jared Padelecki.

I have 3 copies of the film to give away. Just enter via Rafflecopter below.

Competition ends 21/02/17 12am

Uk entries only please due to postage

Winners will be picked via rafflecopter

Prizes will be sent out directly by the PR company

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Boys on trend with Howick – House of Fraser

My boys love their clothes and they don’t need an excuse to dress up in their best clothes. They are forever rummaging through their wardrobes searching for outfits to wear. Putting together new styles and always asking me if they look smart. They have their own styles which they have, over the past few years, put together by themselves. The middle boy will always be found wearing a Dickie Bow or a Trilby hat and the youngest likes to dress smart. Their bedroom floor has always got the odd item of clothing scattered across it from where they have got changed throughout the day.

I love that they have a passion for clothes, as I studied fashion when I was younger, It’s a nice feeling to know that even though I don’t have a girl to follow my passion for fashion the boys enjoy it too.

Just before Christmas the boys were sent a few items of clothing from House Of Fraser.

I chose a particular t shirt for my 9 year old. It is a Bike print crew neck top by Howick. He loves to wear unusual clothing, something that makes him look different from his friends.

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The print is large and fun with bicycles, helmets and water bottles scattered around the T-Shirt. My son is an outdoors person and likes nothing more than to go out around the block on his bike. This T-shirt suits his personality to tee (excuse the pun)

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The material is 100% cotton leaving it feeling soft against the skin. It looks lovely teamed with a pair of jeans and a blazer over the top. It’s the ideal smart casual staple for any boys wardrobe. The T-shirt is a size 7-8 and it fitted my son perfectly. His height is 125cm.

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What does the boy say “I like the bike T-shirt as it is very comfortable to wear and soft on my skin. I also like the print on it”

T-Shirt £12/ Current sale price £6 (Jan 2016)

From smart casual to special occasion smart. We was also sent a three piece classic suit in grey by Howick.

Now this has got to be the most adorable little outfit I have seen my youngest wear. He had me in tears when he wore it. I am hoping that we have an invite to a special occasion so that he gets to wear it again before he outgrows it

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He was so proud of himself wearing it, he was beaming from ear to ear. And you have to admit, he looks pretty dapper in the tailored suit.

The quality of this suit is of high standard. The stitching is neatly done and the material is soft and comfy. The last thing you want is a child in a suit that is uncomfortable all day long,

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If your child has a slim waist then the trousers are ideal, as they have an adjustable waist line that can be tightened by pulling the elastic on to the button

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There are two usable pockets on the back of the trousers and are finished off with a pressed central crease down the front of the leg giving the overall look of the suit a polished look.

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Along with the trousers and jacket there was also a waistcoat. 20161226_133113

The silk lining follows throughout all three items. You will find this suit has all the design features you would want from a smart suit for any age.

  • Inside pockets on the jacket
  • Button hole on lapel
  • Box vent on the back of the jacket
  • Lined and stitched to a high standard

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  • Buttons on the jacket cuffs20170103_155414
  • Metal clasp trousers, easy to use for young children
  • Adjustable elastic waist
  • Detailed belt on the back of the waistcoat

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  • Buttons of reasonable size for little hands to grasp

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The suit is not sold as a three-piece, each item is sold separately.

Both items are of good quality as you would expect from a high end department store. In my opinion they are lovely staple items for any stylish boys wardrobe.

Jacket £46  Trousers £26  Waistcoat £24 Current prices as of Jan 2016 Take a look at some of the boys clothes that House of Fraser have to offer here

We was sent these items for the purpose of this review, photos and opinions are of our own.

 

Remote Control GUP-K Review

Do you have a little Octonaut fan in the house?

Take a look at this mean, green chomping machine

This Remote Control GUP-K is ideal for children who want to take their adventures that little bit further. The GUP-K is inspired by the alligator and it is the ultimate swamp utilty vehicle. With its big wide, powerful, sharp jaws that open and close as it races along, it is the perfect toy to take your child’s imagination to its limits.

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Use the remote control for the swamp chomp action and cut a path through the fallen trees and swamp debris of the forest, allowing the crew to safety. The GUP-K also features a water cannon to put out any of those swamp fires that may be in your way and two detachable swamp speeders which are ideal for missions that need to be reached quickly across the water.

On the television show the Octonauts missions take place in water, the GUP-K is not intended for water play but it can be used outdoors. We took the GUP-K into the garden for an adventure. As the GUP was chomping its way through the fallen trees and overgrown swamp

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It came across Kwazi who had come into danger with the fast growing weeds, it was time for Barnacles to steer the GUP-K through the foliage and save his friend

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I love how my son’s imagination was ignited and come alive with the toy.

The GUP-K is hard-wearing and sustainable. The large wheels are durable and perfect for outdoor as well as indoor play. The wheels can manoeuvre over most terrain. What makes it special is the GUP can be used by its remote control, as the GUP-K glides along its big powerful jaws chomp up and down.

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The remote control is an ideal size for little hands, with easy to use controls. The controller moves the GUP-K forward and backwards. It also has the ability to attach to other GUP controllers. On the reverse mode it also turns so the GUP doesn’t just go in one direction

The two swamp speeders can be removed from the GUP and used separately. They have little wheels so they can also be used on the floor to race across to any creatures that are exposed to harm

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The small holes on Barnacles body mean that he can be attached to the swamp speeder and at the GUP controls

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In case of a swamp fire, the water cannon can be used along with the water dart to save the swamp from any danger of quickly being engulfed by flames (or Mummy as she is passing by)

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What’s included in the box

  • GUP-K
  • Barnacles Figure
  • Remote Control
  • Water Cannon and dart
  • 2 Swamp Speeders
  • Baby Aligator

Batteries are not included. It requires 4 AA for the vehicle and 2AAA for the remote control

The vehicle and all of the accessories are strong and durable, they managed to withstand quite a bashing from my boys.

My boys really enjoyed playing with the new Octonauts remote control GUP-K, they introduced it to the  transforming polar vehicle and played along together using their imagination and making up stories. The toy allowed them to explore the world of the Octonauts

The RC GUP-K is available from Argos priced at £39.99. An ideal gift for christmas or birthday.

We was sent the vehuicle for the purpose of this review.

 

 

 

 

 

Celebrating the release of Minuscule by Bug Hunting in the Garden

MINUSCULE is this half-term’s must-see animated adventure film for the whole family that follows a battle between tiny beasts for the spoils of an abandoned picnic, arriving in cinemas May 27th, 2016.

Film still of 'Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants', 2013 France/Belgium animated film, co-written and directed by Helene Giraud and Thomas Szabo[11SEP2014 48HRs FILM REVIEW 2]

A fantastic tale taking place at ground level, MINUSCULE is the perfect half term treat for all the family. Based on the popular Cbeebies TV show, MINUSCULE blends stunning CGI animation with live action backdrops to really transport little ones to the undergrowth where they’ll embark on a huge adventure with this half term’s tiniest heroes.

 

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See the trailer here

To celebrate the release of creepy – crawly animated adventure Minuscule (in cinemas on 27th May 2016), we have been given Bug Hunting Safari Kit to seek out the tiny creatures and build them homes. Here’s how we got on.

The Interplay Bug Safari kit enables children to explore the fascinating world of bugs and mini-beasts in their own back garden. The safari kit contains tongs, magnifier pot, tweezers, lens and a brush.

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My boys love to be outdoors and can spend every minute of the day outside running around and enjoying nature. They specifically like to hunt for bugs and believe that they may just find a new species. Their fingers and clothes are always being soaked in hot soapy water after spending hours digging up my garden searching for mini beasts.

They couldn’t wait to try out the Bug Safari and was soon using the field lens and bug tongs discovering fascinating creatures that lie underneath blocks of wood and that live within the grassy area of the back garden. It wasn’t long before they had a woodlice and a centipede to look at in the magnifying pot.

I spy a centipede
I spy a centipede
Look what i've got
Look what I’ve got

The tweezers are ideal for catching larger bugs, but be careful not to damage them and the brush is very useful in catching the smaller creatures as you can sweep them into the pot. The kit is a really fun way of finding and identifying bugs.

Along with the equipment in the kit there is also a book that contains a tick list of mini-beasts and bugs, did you knows and where to find specific creatures.

We found out that centipedes do not have 100 hundred legs as the name suggests but that they generally have between 30 and 70 legs. Using the magnifying pot we counted the legs on the centipede that we found and found that our one had 34. We didn’t keep them in the pot for too long, just long enough to investigate the creepy crawlies and then we let them back where we found them.

The boys now have their very own little bug expedition kit in the back garden, all set up at the top of their fort ready to bug hunt whenever they see a creature.

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The children really enjoyed the bug hunting and are now really excited to see the film and I’m sure once they have watched the film it will inspire them to get out into the back garden and hunt some more.

To grab yourself a bug safari kit take a look on what Interplay have to offer here

Here are some downloadable instructions to follow for the children  How To Go Bug Hunting...

We was sent the bug safari kit to review alongside the release of the film. No payment has been received.