Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Poppy Cat on Nick Jr: Pre School TV Show Review

I was asked if I would like to review Poppy Cat, a new show for Nick Junior and I have to be honest I had no idea what it was.  I am not much of a kids TV watcher.  I suppose I should be as the kids like TV and that is what good responsible parents do isn't it?  Vet the shows that their kids watch, but I have to be honest if something is showing on one of my approved channels - Nick Junior, Disney Playhouse, Cbeebies or Tiny Pop then I am pretty much happy that the kids will be watching something that is age appropriate and does not have any harmful content - call me naive!

So the postman arrives and a nice big packet containing a Poppy Cat pop up book, a DVD with 2 episodes and a few little goodies pop out and Miss E shouts 'ohh Poppy Cat, I love Poppy Cat'.  Miss M states 'it is rubbish, Egbert pretends to be a monster and scares me'.  Who is Albert I ask?  'No Mummy, Egbert, he is a badger and he is one of Poppy Cat's friends'.  Right, thanks it is all clear now then. OK so they have watched it before then, bad Mummy not knowing this!

Poppy Cat hit our screens on 2nd May and is showing each weekday throughout May at 10am on Nick Jr.  There a currently 26 episodes of 10 minutes each. When I sat down to watch the TV show, it very much reminded me of a modern 'rhubarb and Custard' style of graphics.  The stories are simple and pleasant, they engage my near 4 year olds and encourage them to use their imagination and to engage with the story. Each episode sees a little girl Lara, invent a story which involves her beloved cat Poppy.  This fantasy world sees Poppy go on great adventures with her animal friends who all walk tall and talk just like real people.

As much as I can (I am nearly 38 afterall) I enjoyed Poppy Cat and am happy to let my girls watch it.  Try it out for yourself on Nick Jr (Sky 615, Virgin 715 and TalkTalk 318), 10am week days.

This is a review post.  I was sent a promotional DVD and pop-up story book for this review.  I was not instructed what to write, the words are my own and I remain honest.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Review: Earth Friendly Kids Range

A while back my girls tried out a selection of products from the Earth Friendly Baby range and they received big thumbs up in our house, so when we were offered some products from the range for older children JJ immediately said yes, it’s my turn now!
Earth Friendly Kids pride themselves on having a range of products that are mild, gentle and PH balanced.  The products contain certified organic ingredients  and they are not tested on animals.  In fact using these products is pretty worry free for me as a parent, as the products are also free from artificial colourings, synthetic fragrances and sodium lauryl/laureth.

The range includes shampoo, bubble bath (which foams up really well), hand wash, wipes and body lotion. We received 2 products in the Zingy Citrus variety which is really uplifting and energising and one in the minty lavender which is strangely moreish. I can’t seem to keep myself from sniffing this but JJ really likes the citrus one best.  For the first time, my 7 year old boy actually wants to wash his hands and that is a winner with me.
I found that whilst the products are not the cheapest on the market, they are good value for money as a little goes a long way and with no over dried skin or worries about nasty’s being contained in the product I am happy to pay the price of £4.08 for 250ml of shampoo, bubble bath or hand wash.  The wipes are £2.54 for 60 and the body lotion (which is very creamy and soaks into the skin well) is £5.10 for 250ml.
In short we give the Earth Friendly Kids range a thumbs up as the products actually work very well, which pleases me and they smell divine and have fun superhero characters on the front which entices JJ to use them.

This is a review post. I was sent 3 products from this range free of charge for the purposes of this review.   I was not instructed what to write and I remain honest.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Review: Paper Jamz Guitar Toy

JJ jumped for joy when he opened his latest toy to review.  We had been sent a Paper Jamz guitar, something I had never heard of before, ever the old fogey but JJ knew exactly what it was and apparently some of the kids in his class have one too.  It is marketed for 8 years plus but JJ is 7 and I have to say that my girls who are nearly 4 also had a ball!

I wanted to test the wider appeal of the Paper Jamz (which incidentally has been voted top toy of the year in 6 different countries already) and as such I took it to youth club with me on Friday night.  It was put through its paces by thirty 11 - 14 year olds and they also all loved it.  Much more a boys toy was what I learnt, there was even one of the 50 year old male leaders rocking it in a corner!

Watch this demo, it perfectly explains what this string less guitar toy does!

Pretty fabulous, don't you think?  JJ is just getting the hang of it now and is enjoying using the Rhythm mode and pretending he is a real rock star.  The girls just use it on demo or in the perfect play mode where they can rock around like crazy.  I may or may not have had a little bounce around our living room when the kids were at school, singing 'schools out' but that would be telling!

The guitar we were sent is from series 2 which is newly released and each of the 6 guitars in the series has 3 different tunes for you to choose from and each has its own unique styling.  They are retailing currently at ToysRus for £19.97 and they have a great deal at the moment, whereby you get a free guitar strap when you purchase any of the guitars.  You can even buy an amp for these guitars too! There is a built in speaker but don't worry you can control the volume.  I did think the noise of this would drive me crazy but honestly it has been OK.  Once you master the guitar you can then invest in a set of paper jamz drums too!

The guitar needs 3 AAA batteries, which come with the guitar, so no extras to pay for, which is always a bonus.

In short this was a really good toy with wide age appeal, it is sturdy plastic and the sound quality is excellent. I think the price is superb value for money and I am really struggling to try and think of a downside.

Family Rating      5/5   on all counts!

This is a review post.  We were sent a Paper Jamz guitar free of charge for the purposes of this review.  I was not instructed what to write and I remain honest.