We were recently sent a ‘rainy day activity pack‘ from TJ Hughes but, as you probably know, the weather has been pretty glorious for the past couple of weeks so we’ve had the pleasure of trying these out when we’ve needed a little break from the sunshine instead.
— We were gifted the products below by TJ Hughes for review purposes. As always, I’ve shared my honest and unbiased opinion.
I’ve been dying to try one of these kits with Lily for ages! It’s no secret that I’m drawn to all things bright and colourful when it comes to kid’s stuff and I’ve seen adverts for a similar product on the TV that was quickly added to my mental list of ‘things to buy sometime soon’.
Described as ‘98% sand, 2% magic’ we were gifted the mystery castle set and I was pleased to see three small bags of sand in yellow, blue and pink inside the box together with another bag of small tools and moulds including a spade, fork and rolling pin. There were no instructions but I think it’s pretty straightforward isn’t it? Mash it all together, feel it in your hands, sprinkle it everywhere, make shapes, build a city — at least that’s what we did anyway.
It’s like playdoh…but it’s sand. Infact I would say it has a texture when moulded that’s similar to candy floss when you squish it in your fingers. You know how it goes from light and fluffy to stiff and pliable? That.
I expected the sand to get stuck in the moulds and be a pain in the bum to get off (causing unwanted toddler frowns) but it didn’t (hurrah!) The moulds slid off with a light tap and the resulting shapes could be picked up and moved so long as you took a gentle approach (best left to the grown ups eh?)
Finally, it just brushes away. Unlike normal sand it DOES NOT STICK at all. The whole set was super cheap too at just £5.99 for everything in the box. Yep, thank me later…your summer is sorted.
Big Box of Crafts
As I’m always honest I have to tell you that I found this pretty underwhelming. It’s not really a big box of crafts at all. It’s just a big box that’s home to a small selection of craft materials. Like when Amazon deliver your new memory card in a A4-sized box (true story).
It has a checklist on the back of everything that’s inside and it sounds like a lot but in reality it’s not much. The first thing on the list was ‘100 assorted pipe cleaners’ but alas, not a furry stick in sight. The rest was all present and correct aside from the fact that the tissue paper and cards were Christmas-themed (think red/green/snowflakes and so on), the sequins were new-baby themed and the beads were covered in a white powdered residue.
I wasn’t too impressed considering that it’s spring/summer and when I opened the box with my excited toddler there was no holds barred and we’ve ended up with thank-you cards for the family covered in pastel bottles and teddies! They won’t mind, of course, but it wasn’t what I was expecting to end up with.
It weighed in at £4.99 and, in all honestly, I wouldn’t buy it myself. I buy a lot of crafty bits for Lily from various discount stores and I think you could pick up more for less.
This is a sweet little game with the aim of taking it in turns to pick up the honeycombs before the buzzy bee jumps forward and catches you. I think the concept is great and I’m sure it’s something Lily will warm to when she grows a little bigger (it’s aimed at 4 years +) but when we scrambled around for some batteries and tried the game with her the other day she wasn’t having any of it.
I think she could handle the rules of the game without any bother and she was particularly fond of the bumble bee (she wanted to take him off and play with him) but it makes such a racket, it’s just so loud and every time we turned it on she would come close for cuddles repeating ‘I don’t like it Mummy’. I’ve put poor buzzy bee in the cupboard to try again in a few months time but overall, if she had been happy with the sounds, it’s a pretty decent game for young kids and adults to enjoy together and comes in at £12.98 which isn’t too bad at all in my opinion.
Table Top Tennis
We were also sent a table top tennis set that we’ll be having a play with soon. I’m not sure that Lily will be able to get the hang of it at such a young age but I’m sure it’ll be a laugh all the same and she’ll give it her best shot!
A big thanks to TJ Hughes for sending over some things to keep us busy!
Do you have any of these activity sets at home? What’s your favourite thing to do with your little ones?