Come Walking with Dinosaurs

Christmas is arguably the most magical time of the year and as Christmas is fast approaching I have been seriously thinking about what to buy for the boys and it is beginning to get very stressful. They do not need any more toys clogging up our tiny house, plus they pretty much have everything anyway and as they are getting older they are growing out of wanting toys to play with, especially the oldest one. I always like to buy something that is educational for them too, we have one console in our house, the PS3 and probably about 8 games to play on it. Not all games are educational, like Lego Batman but it is definitely fun.

So as the days fly by, I need to get my thinking cap on pretty fast! Although help is at hand from Playstation3 as they launch two new exciting additions to the Wonderbook series – Walking with Dinosaurs and Book of Potions

Wonderbook is a virtual story book that comes to life in front of the PlayStation 3 and the PlayStation Eye camera. So far their are four child friendly games in the series – Book of Spells, Diggs Nightcrawler, Book of Potions and Walking with Dinosaurs, all brought to life in one physical book peripheral filled with thousands of adventures and experiences to explore. The stories feed little ones’ imaginations by putting them at the heart of the action, using augmented reality technology to transform the world around them, bringing mystery and discovery into the heart of the living room. Guaranteed to bring out the big kid in all ages. What is great about the Wonderbook series is that you only need one Wonderbook to play all four games and is the perfect way to keep the whole family entertained over the festive period.

“Book of Potions is set in the world of the Harry Potter stories and enables children to see if they have what it takes to become potions champion as they get the chance to enjoy an entirely new creation from the imagination of J.K. Rowling. The magical journey takes children through a mysterious, enchanted garden, guided by Zygmunt Budge – an accomplished potioneer, as they compete for the elusive Golden Cauldron with the PlayStation Move motion controller to chop, crush and grind ingredients for your magical concoctions. The game also allows children tointegrate Hogwarts™ house and use their very own wand when they link to their account on Pottermore.com – the free, immersive and interactive website from J.K. Rowling.”

“Walking with Dinosaurs encourages children to take a walk on the wild side by digging up 150 million year old secrets to uncover dinosaur fossils, as they then stand back and watch the prehistoric giants come to life right before their eyes. The adventure takes them on a fun, interactive and educational adventure through prehistoric worlds as they walk among giant herbivores such as Triceratops and Stegosaurus, and come face-to-face with deadly predators including Mapusaurus and Tyrannosaurus. Children will also get to catch-up with Patchi and Juniper, stars of Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie, as well as a whole cast of new characters.”

We was sent a copy of the new Wonderbook games to review.

 The boys couldn’t wait to play ‘Walking with Dinosaurs’, the game is A guide to how giant reptiles walked, lived and fought 65 millions years ago.
To start you are talked through how to set up the wonderbook and camera, once ready, you are ready to go walking with dinosaurs.

The first chapter is Digging up the past
Here you have to hammer away at a piece of rock with a hammer to reveal dirt, you then change the tool to a brush so that you can eventually reveal bones of a dinosaur.
Pick up the bones one at a time and fit them into place.

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Joseph revealed a Gorgon, a deadly predator who targets the weak and the sick and by building the dinosaur we collected our first fact card.

The next page is 75 million years ago:
Here you have to use the controller to move around the page, as you move the controller around a magnifying glass appears over hidden creatures you click on them to reveal detailed information on them. Here you meet Patchi and Juniper.

Joseph then went onto the prehistoric page where he played with Juniper, a character from the Movie

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The story feeds the children’s imaginations by putting them into the heart of the action, bringing mystery and discovery into the heart of the living room.

 

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Life in the herd is Jaks favourite part of the game, and after watching the boys play i could see why.
It is A very noisy interactive part of the game with lots of roaring, you have to roar really loudly to help the dinosaurs find a mate.
We meet juniper and patchi again, now they are old enough to mix in with the herd.
Uh oh there’s a fight with mating rivals, watch help the dinosaurs to knock over trees to prove their strength.
Through out the game you get to Take A quiz where you get tested on your knowledge and find out what you have learnt so far. The more correct answers and chapters finished, the more fact cards you win along the way

The next chapter that both the boys enjoyed was Warring giants:
Here Patchi fights with another dinosaur, using the controller and following the signs on the screen, you help Patchi fight.
Gorgon turns up, both dinosaurs are exhausted from their fight but Patchi manages to escape unlike his rival who gets eaten by Gorgon.

Another chapter in the game is Life on the floodplain:
This is the part where Dinosaurs move on to trek inland, the boys took a quiz in this chapter and unlocked the next part of the book.

Walking with Dinosaurs is a fabulous, fun and interactive game for the whole family although i must stress that it is aimed at children above the age of 7. The children love seeing themselves on the TV along with the characters from the game, It makes the game all the more exciting! Not only is the game interesting but it is also educational, as the boys took the quiz’s, I could see the delight in their faces when they answered correctly and won a fact card.

The game is an ideal gift for Christmas, I know that as a family we will be enjoying the game on Christmas Day, as it is a game that we can all play.

Book of Potions and Walking with Dinosaurs will be available from 15th November on PlayStation 3. Both will retail within selected retailers, including Amazon. More information about PlayStation products can be found at www.playstation.com

We was sent a promotional game to play for the purpose of this review

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Lauren Laverne narrates New Tee and Mo Games for Cbeebies

Lauren Laverne narrates new Tee and Mo games from BAFTA-winning production company

 

Negotiating with toddlers is not easy. Now a new series of animated games has launched on the CBeebies website, which help teach toddlers the benefits of team-work through interactive parent/child play.

Created by BAFTA-winning interactive production company, Plug-in Media, Tee and Mo, comprises 10 narrative-led desktop and mobile free games narrated by radio DJ and television presenter Lauren Laverne.

Each game is designed as a two-player interactive experience, encouraging pre-schooler and parent to enjoy together. They revolve around the daily adventures of an adorable and unstoppable baby monkey, Tee, and his mum, Mo. The aim is to explore everyday situations through the point of view of both child and parent, showing that whilst they may want to do different things, they can learn together by negotiating the challenges of daily life jointly.

Tee and Mo’s light-hearted approach to problem-solving and teamwork leads to care-giver and child bonding both on and off screen whilst inspiring them to pursue imaginative play opportunities off-line. After some thinking, they both have the same brilliant idea and take it in turns or work together.

The Tee and Mo desktop and mobile games can be played free online at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/tee-and-mo

There are 4 games on the Cbeebies website of which Oliver and I both played, his favourite one was the Jungle Trolley Dash, he laughed and giggled so much when we crashed into the obstacles that were in our way whilst out picking up food for dinner. To play the games you use the arrow buttons and space bar or the mouse. When playing the Jungle Trolley dash i told Oliver when to press the Space bar and i used the up and down arrow buttons to manouvre the trolley, it was fun and we laughed lots as he just kept pressing the space bar and made us crash lots, i think he liked to see Tee and Mos faces when it happened lol. Oliver was shouting up and down and Oh No when we crashed and Now when he saw some fruit to collect.

Oliver liked to point to the computer screen when he wanted me to do something

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Jungle Trolley Dash: Mo wants to do her shopping but Tee wants to play on his scooter so together they use the trolley and whizz through the jungle avoiding the boulders and shrubs that are in the way and picking up the food as they go.

Musical Garden: Its perfect weather for planting some flowers but Tee is more interested in his music box than helping Mo with the gardening. Turns out flowers love music as it helps them grow! So Tee & Mo see how many seeds they can plant in the time it takes Mo’s music box to play a tune!

Sandwich Stacker: It’s teatime in the jungle and Mo wants to make a sandwich, but Tee wants to carry on stacking his building blocks! They decide to create super-stacker sandwiches by piling their favourite fillings up as high as they can! Tee likes savoury food and Mo likes Sweet.

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Squirrel Flyer: Tee and his friend want to play but Mo wants to go out into the Jungle to fill up the fruit basket, so working together they Tee and Fly steer there way through the jungle and knock the fruit down for Mo to catch in her basket.

I really enjoyed playing these games with Oliver and he now has a new love of Monkeys, thanks to Tee and Mo. Each game has clear instructions spoken and worded, and gives you a result in the end.

Not only is there 4 games to play but you can also print out colour in sheets and watch short clips of Tee and Mo.

Dominic Minns, Creative Director, Plug-in Media said: “Unlike any other pre-school property Tee and Mo focuses as much on Mo the mum, as it does on Tee her boy – putting this most special of relationships at the heart of every adventure, to be enjoyed by a dual audience of parents and their children.  The games will create a positive space in the digital world that encourages caregiver/child relationships through purposeful and imaginative play.”

No money has been received for this post, i was provided with some information about the new games.

 

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Brainiac Live; Science Abuse Review

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Laughing in the face of Science!

Brainiac Live is currently at Palace Theatre, London, Until 18th August the show is all about solving baffling scientific mysteries, exploding caravans and blowing up microwaves, with the odd electric shock and quizzes thrown in too. After five years and more than 60 programmes following the Brainiac boffins’ explosive voyage of scientific discovery on Sky TV, they’ve decided to take to the road and bring their madcap brand of experimentation to the theatre so that you can get up close and personal with Brainiac Science Abuse.

Brainiac has a simple core idea: to explore everyday science in an entertaining and anarchic way. Not only do they blow up caravans but they also ask the important questions in life “Is it possible to walk on custard?” They have done countless experiments involving explosions, mess and pain e.g Broken the sound barrier with a tin of vegetables, launched a garden shed on huge rockets and made a 25 metre fireball using 40 litres of petrol.

Brainiac Live is a brilliant, exciting show, just like the TV Show with plenty of surprises, extremely loud bangs, facts, fun and lots of Brainiac madness.

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On Wednesday we all made our way to the Palace Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue to see for ourselves what it was all about, Jak loves watching Brainiac and is Science mad always making up little experiments so he was really looking forward to seeing it Live. Unfortunately daddy wasn’t feeling well so we took Oliver (our 24 month) with us, it is advised on the website that children under 4.5 shouldn’t go but as we didn’t have childcare I thought we would just give it a go. Lucky for us our seats were on the edge in the stalls (N5 -N2), we had a clear view of all of the stage and the seats were comfortable with plenty of space. Oliver had his own seat, which he was pleased as he got to stand up whenever he wanted. We settled down in our seats and got out the pringles and drink that we just bought, Jak had got a programme of the show ( costing £4) and he was reading through it when the lights when down and the music started. The show was about to begin!

The show started with a huge bang as they blew up the Caravan that was on the stage.

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The cast of the show got the audience participating by clapping and shouting along, even Oliver joined in

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The show was just as exciting as we thought it would be, we laughed at the jokes, especially when the Brainiacs did a dance to Beyoncé ‘Single ladies’

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We watched Brainiacs get electric shocks from a live fence, get spun around in a office chair by rockets, have their fingers frozen with Liquid Nitrogen and run through plaster board and netting (or at least try to!)

We laughed at the jokes, we covered our ears at the bangs (which were very loud) and we were amazed at the Science.

Towards the end of the show the Brainiacs asked for some help from the audience to catch some circles of smoke that were shot out from huge airzookas, Jak jumped up and shouted along with all of the other children in the audience but the lucky little boy got picked and off he went up to the stage. He was put in a team with two other people that also got picked and he was given a large hoop to catch the smoke circles with and sent out into the audience. His team were against the Brainiacs and guess who won, Yes, Jak’s team did!

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 Their reward for winning was to blow up a microwave, they got to push the button on stage and watch the microwave go up with a bang.

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The show really was a blast! It’s all the children have spoken about since coming home, they absolutely loved it! It is the most fun and interactive show we have watched. The programme that Jak bought is brilliant full of information, quizzes and experiments, definitely worth the £4 and definitely a keepsake.

The show is Currently being shown at Palace Theatre, London until the 18th August, and we would highly recommend a visit to watch it.

For more information visit www.brainiaclive.com I currently have tickets up for grabs on the blog, but quickly the comp ends tonight 9th august 2013

We was given 4 tickets for the purpose of this review, no payment has been received, sorry about the quality of photos, they were taken on my iphone and it was very bright on the stage.

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Fudgy Bear’s Picnic

The boys and I recently had the pleasure of attending a teddy bears picnic with none other than the new bear on the block ‘Fudgy Bear’, thanks to Britmums working with brands. Fudgy Bear is soft, cuddly and a perfect little teddy from birth and definitely a friend for life. He really is adorable. Fudgy stars in his own range of educational picture books for children aged 1-5 written by Sarah Marley. Sarah created the stories of Fudgy Bear for her son Nicholas after a trip to the farm, the books make learning fun with the concept of reading the books to your child whilst they hold onto the Fudgy Bear, helping them to engage with the character in the story and build a bond with Fudgy.

The event was held at Foyles Bookshop, Westfield, White City. My boys were really looking forward to meeting Fudgy and in the words of my eldest son ‘A real life author’. My four-year old, Joseph, is currently at Reception in school and is learning to read, he can recognise some words and knows all of his sounds and how to blend them, being one of the youngest in his class he finds it hard to concentrate and pay attention and interact in discussions in the classroom. I thought this opportunity of sitting in on a story telling activity would not only be a great experience for him but also aide in his learning, hopefully showing him that learning can be fun. I also wanted to see for myself how he reacts to story time in a group.

Upon arrival we was met by the lovely PR ladies Katie Mclean and Liz Weston from Weston Communications, who both couldn’t have been more welcoming and nice enough throughout our time there. Being new to the blogging scene i was a bit nervous attending such event as i am not very confident in approaching and mingling with others but the team there made me feel very comfortable and at ease. My boys joined the other children on the floor and sat around Sarah while she began to introduce herself and Fudgy Bear. Fudgy was passed around the children so they could all have a cuddle with him while introducing themselves to everyone else. A life-size Fudgy joined us on the floor and the Sarah began to read from two of her books. Shy! My boys are not!  I did although have to confiscate a balloon from Joseph as he wanted to have a balloon war with his big brother. Once that was out of the way he got stuck in with answering questions and getting involved with the story. Joseph really enjoyed helping Sarah out by showing off his counting skills and counting the penguins in the book ‘Fudgy goes to the Zoo’. This book was a favourite of all the children as they got to demonstrate their animal sounds, they especially enjoyed giving their loudest ‘ROAR’ when it came to the part about the Lion. The books are bright and colourful with each one introducing children to colours, numbers, animals, shapes and counting. Every photograph used in the books were taken by Sarah herself and instantly you can feel the love and care that she has put into them.

Once story time was over it was time for a picnic out came the carrot and bread sticks, cakes, juice and little teddy shortbread biscuits which was a hit with the little ones. The children really were getting spoilt, with the children sitting down and eating it was time for the adults to mingle and have a little chat. Sarah was their to give advice on how to engage with you child in reading. Also at the event was  Dr Amanda Gummer, a child psychologist from FUNdamentals and a huge fan of Fudgy Bear and who also works alongside Fudgy.

The children got to have their photos taken with the life size Fudgy, Joseph instantly fell in love with him and couldn’t wait to own his own Fudgy to take home, he even presented Fudgy with an activity sheet that he coloured in. Joseph doesn’t normally get involved with craft activities and usually just likes to run around being generally cheeky (which he did too) but because the colouring sheet was of Fudgy Bear he couldn’t wait to do it which really surprised me and made me very happy.

The children were all given a little goody bag to take home and there was a couple of gifts for the adults too 🙂

We bought our very own Fudgy Bear and ‘Count with Fudgy’ book. Joseph hasn’t put it down, he cuddled the teddy all the way home on the train and it has been to bed with him every night. Fudgy has even been on his own little adventure with Joseph to Nanny’s house.

We had a fantastic day and felt very lucky to be a part of such a great experience. Thank you To everyone that was involved.

You can buy your own Fudgy Bear here for £15.99 and go on adventures with him here for £5.99.

Find Fudgy on Twitter and on Facebook

www.fudgybear.com

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