Thursday, 9 August 2018

GRAVITRAX STARTER SET FROM RAVENSBURGER

GraviTrax Starter Set from Ravensburger
Over the last few weeks we have been trying out the new GraviTrax Starter Set from Ravensburger. GraviTrax is the all new STEM track system. Use your imagination to build action-packed tracks and set your gravity spheres rolling. Today I am excited to tell you all about it. GraviTrax is aimed at children from 8 years to adults. My children love STEM toysand this is great for helping children understand some really important concepts.

GraviTrax Starter Set from Ravensburger

The new interactive track system allows fans to build track, release the gravity spheres and watch the forces of nature work to create an action-filled adventure! The Starter Set comes with over 100 components and offers everything you need to get started right away. These include instructions, base plates, transparent levels, balls, height tiles, curves, junctions, switches, tracks and more.
GraviTrax Starter Set
This STEM system (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) is a great way for children to learn about gravity, magnetism, kinetic energy and fun. You can follow the instructions to build several layouts or experiment with your own. It fits together really well and is easy to set up.
playing with GraviTrax
It was really fun watching my son play with the Starter Set. He’s great at following the instructions but also loves to experiment. Several times the gravity spheres stopped or didn’t reach their target. It’s great to develop problem-solving skills. Take a look at the video we made to see what’s inside the box and what you can make here.
The Starter Set stands alone really well or can be extended indefinitely with extra track packs and add-on’s which are all sold separately. These include Trax Extension Pack, Building Extension Pack, Action Catapult Add-on, Action Hammer Add-on, Action Loop Add-on and an Action Magnetic Cannon Add-on.
You can purchase the GraviTrax Starter Set from Amazon and all good toy shops for around £49.99.

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

GraviTrax Starter Set review

GraviTrax is a new STEM track system from Ravensburger which allows kids to experiment with gravity, magnetism and kinetic energy – learning as they play. My boys were really keen to try out this set, and we have been having a lot of fun with it.
The GraviTrax starter set comes with over 120 pieces included, and a booklet which gives you instructions and plans for a variety of easy, medium and hard tracks to build with the components included.
Among the pieces included you get 6 gravity spheres that will move along the track, rails of different lengths and to hexagon shaped pieces which can be built up to provide varying heights, bases to allow you to build multi level tracks and some cool feature pieces like a magnetic cannon and a free fall base, which let you add more variety to your designs.
Once you’ve made a couple of tracks by following the plans, you can also start to branch out to creating and experimenting your own tracks. I found free-styling with their own designs really got the boys thinking as they created the track by trial and error – considering whether the gravity spheres are moving too slowly, or too fast and flying off the track, then what do you need to change? With a couple of adjustments here and there, they soon managed to create some great tracks.
They had the idea to create a World Cup themed track, where they could launch two gravity spheres at the same time, with each one representing a football theme. Whichever one got to the end first, would be the winner of that match, so they decided to make this double sided track below.
And this is one of the simpler tracks we made, from the easy section of the blueprint booklet.
All of the tracks use the cardboard base to sit on, which makes them really stable and is a great idea. You can place the base on slightly uneven surface like a rug or carpet, and it still stays very stable which is great! The pieces don’t come apart by mistake when you’re building, which avoids a lot of frustration. We found the set very well designed, and easy to use.
GraviTrax is recommended for ages 8+ which I would say is about right, although slightly younger would be fine with it too. It interested all three of my boys, ages 6, 8 and 10. This toy can be played with just one player, or work together to create even bigger tracks.
GraviTrax can be expanded even further with extra packs and add ons – look out for our expansion pack review soon!

Ravensburger Despicable Me 3 Mini Memory Game Review

We love playing games at home and now that Sienna is getting older, she understands better how to play games and she wants to be part of it which is lovely. We were recently sent a lovely Ravensburger Despicable Me 3 Mini Memory Game to review and we were very excited to try it at home.
My girls love Despicable Me. They have watched all the movies several times and, of course, the minions are their favourite characters. They are adorable!
The cards feature Gru and his adopted daughters Margo, Edith and Agnes, Lucy and the hilarious minions, plus the characters from the latest Despicable Me 3 film.
The box comes with 48 bright and colourful high-quality mini memory picture cards and it is great to play with 2 players or up to 6 players. It is suitable for ages 3 years and up.
This game is very easy to play. You only need to match and collect 24 pairs of picture cards. The game can be played to suit different ages and abilities. For younger children, you can use fewer cards, but you’ll be surprised at how good children are at this game. And I know this very well because I was surprised at how great Sienna was at playing this game. She turns 4 in August so I knew she would be good but I never thought she would beat me at this game, LOL!
Playing in France
If you watch our Instagram stories, you might notice that we have been in France on a press trip to Siblu Domaine de Kardanne in Britanny, France last week. We had a long journey to get there and back so we decided to bring this memory game. It was actually Sienna’s idea.
Sienna having a solo play in France
Because it is small, it is great to take it with you. I put it inside Bella’s backpack among other games. It was the best decision because it was a lifesaver for us. Sienna wanted to play this game every day! And she even played it on her own sometimes. Just putting the cards together was entertaining for her! Bless her!
If you are about to travel for the summer I can highly recommend you to get this game as it will entertain your kids for hours. It is compact and fun. We even used it to play with our neighbour who was french. She didn’t speak english and Bella didn’t speak french but they knew how to play this game which was fantastic. So this game was a hit during our holiday!
This game comes in different versions. You can get Thomas the Tank Engine, Avengers, Spiderman, PJ Masks, Peppa Pig, Ben and Holly, Disney Princess, Gruffalo, Bing Bunny, etc.
Our Thoughts
We loved this mini game! As I mentioned before, it has been a lifesaver for our holiday in France and it is a lot of fun not just for the kids but for the whole family! It is great for helping with your kids memory as they play. We definitely recommend it.

Incredibles 2 100 Piece Puzzle from Ravensburger

My boy aged 7 was excited when he saw this and couldn’t wait to get started.  I know he is able to do this unaided and despite him asking for help initially, I just verbally guided him and let him put all the pieces in place.  He started with the edges and soon got to grips with finding pieces and before long was flying along at his own pace.
The finished Incredibles 2 puzzle is a really good size and looks great on the floor or table.  The individual pieces are also well sized and great for little hands.  The size of the pieces also allows for more recognition of what area of the puzzle it may belong too, e.g. the writing across the bottom was easy to spot on pieces and one of the first edges my boy completed.
As you can see my boy was thrilled to complete the puzzle and felt proud that he had achieved it all by himself.  I love watching them do simple things like puzzles as it gets their brain working and takes them away from technology for a while.
On the other hand, don’t forget to head to the big screen from 13th July onwards to catch the new Incredibles 2 film and see the adventures of this superhero family in action!

Monday, 25 June 2018

FIFA World Cup 3D Official Match Ball Football Puzzles (REVIEW)

My boys still love their jigsaws and over the past year have really loved getting into 3D puzzles. They happily play building new 3D puzzle creations such as Big Ben, a Minion, plus boots, storage boxes, and pencil holders. And now the latest 3D puzzles from Ravensburger arrived for them to try, two FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball puzzles, just in time for the World Cup.

3D FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball Puzzles

Please note this post also contains affiliate links.

FIFA 2018 World Cup

The World Cup starts today and I’m really excited this year I think because my boys are of an age where they can really get into it. When they were little we let them have a football-shaped sweet every time England scored – that way we knew they wouldn’t have too many sweets to eat – so we could watch. But they loved Soccer Aid last weekend and reading up on the teams, so fingers crossed for this tournament.
3D FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball Puzzles

#myfirstworldcup

I still remember the first world cup I got into. Spain 1982. Coincidentally also the year of one of the match balls in the giveaway. Anyway, I arrived home from school just in time to watch Bryan Robson score a goal after just 27 seconds against France – but sadly we didn’t get further than the second round. But it had a big impact on me and I’ve watched all of the tournaments since. #myfirstworldcup is also a fascinating thread to read on Twitter. 

3D FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball Puzzles

3D Football Puzzles

This year helping to get the boys into the mood has been the arrival of two 3D football puzzles from Ravensburger to review.

3D FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball Puzzles


3D FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball Puzzles

WIN WIN WIN


You can win your own 3D FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball puzzle – simply head over to the My Boys Club Twitter page, follow us, like the post and retweet it and you’ll be entered in a prize draw to win 2 3D FIFA World Cup match ball puzzles – one will be from this year's tournament, Russia 2018, and the other Spain 1982.


3D FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball Puzzles


Like the other puzzles, it uses the latest 3D click technology to create jigsaw footballs. And uses unique hinged plastic pieces, which slot together to build a sturdy and strong building and no glue is required at all. It is really surprising how sturdy it is!

3D FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball Puzzles

We received two footballs Brazil 2014 and France 1998, so each of my boys attempted their own. They are 9 & 11 and easily completed them on their own. It’s a little fiddly however great for challenging their patience and dexterity. The puzzles are aimed at children 6 and over and I’d say that’s the right age.

3D FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball Puzzles

3D FIFA World Cup Official Match Ball Puzzles

It's a fun toy and perfect accompaniment to the World Cup. Don't forget to enter to win one!

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Smile! It’s A Sloth Selfie!

Who can resist a cute family of cuddly sloths?  When I asked the family if they’d like to review the Sloth Selfie puzzle from Ravensburger, they all gave a thumbs-up and so they were watching for the post person to deliver a package with a distinctive rattle to it.
S
Our family loves to work on puzzles; either individually or together (or both at the same time), which is why I actually sorted the centre pieces from the edge pieces in the box while sitting at the desk while Kallista finished off another puzzle on the Puzzle Handy before I could use it.

It took her a little longer than expected to finish…or maybe I was just working a little fast and being impatient, so I put together the edges in long lines inside the box lid, and then began putting the bright blue butterflies together on the desk top.  The butterflies were easy to spot and certainly gave the puzzle some brightness and light against the fur and greenery.
Now Kallista was done and stored her puzzle away and I moved the butterflies to the little table to spread out and really get to work.

After the kids went to bed I wasn’t feeling like heading off to work as I had been very busy with my nose to the grindstone over the weekend so I hung around and Phil and I watched some TV reruns and worked on the puzzle together.  Phil did a great job of working on the tree trunk that the sloths were clinging to.
Monday came around all too quickly and I needed a break from the monotony of laundry between wrestling with the loads so I worked on the puzzle intermittently with the kids throughout the day as we all worked on the greenery and the brighter parts of the sloth fur.

As you can see, the last part of this puzzle that was completed were the centres of the little sloth faces.  There were 5 little faces that were all very similar and you couldn’t quite tell where each one would fit until it did fit.

After 24 hours, the puzzle was completed!  We did wait until the next morning with better light for Tristan to want to snap a selfie with the sloths!
The next time you’re looking for a little uplift and light in your life, just try not to smile when you have 5 little smiling sloths grinning up at you!  This puzzle is cute enough to use some puzzle conserver on it and then hang it in a child’s room so it can be enjoyed.

Take To The Skies; It’s a Great Day To Fly With Ravensburger

You’ve been cleared for takeoff and you can now Take To The Skies with this fun puzzle from Ravensburger!  When the opportunity to review this puzzle came up, we were very enthusiastic about it as there are some aviation lovers in the family; and it also makes a great Father’s Day gift, if you’re looking for something to keep Dad busy!

I personally dedicated this particular puzzle to my friend, Bob, a pilot who lost his life while flying a few weeks ago.  Coincidentally, I found out that the day we began this puzzle his ashes were scattered.  Bob always had a kind word and a bit of humour for me, and so I thought of him as this was constructed.

Phil and the kids have made it a family tradition to attend the two air shows each summer here in Northern Ireland, not missing a show in the past 8 years!  I don’t always go, but do enjoy it when I am able to go along as well; and just as an airshow only lasts a weekend, that’s all the time it took us to complete this puzzle, too!  I started with the frame before heading to bed on Monday.

Tuesday morning I found a little time again to sit and begin putting together the remainder of the frame that was three pieces deep around the edges of the puzzle.  Then I began working on some of the aircraft.  The mustard yellow was distinctive, the hot air balloons were colourful easy to place, as well as the remote control planes and the biplane and rescue helicopters.
Because there were so many objects with distinctive colours and patterns, these were quite easy to put together and formed a good portion of the picture.  I was on a roll!

Tuesday afternoon the kids sat down to help as well to take a break from school.  They were helping with some of the sky and grass in this picture, and they did quite a good job; as they get a little older you can notice their skills increase.  Puzzles are a great way to exercise those visual-perception skills! Kallista had a great strategy of actually matching up the shadows cast on the grass and finding the pieces in the picture and then clicking them in on the puzzle itself.
You can see back on the sofa is a page that was included in this box that has puzzle picture on it so you don’t have to crane your neck upside down to view the photo on the box top that is inevitably used to hold the pieces.  I love when those are included!
How many of these aircraft can you identify?

By Wednesday morning most of the puzzle had been completed and I continued to work on the sky while the kids prepared their questions for an interview they had with a member of our police force; perhaps I’ll share a little of that experience another day.
To escape the heat of the day (May was the hottest May on record-wasn’t it great?!) the kids hopped indoors and completed the puzzle themselves.

Yes, my kids can be a bit crazy at times, and insisted on hamming it up while I was taking a photo of the finished puzzle!  But we all need to be a little crazy at times and enjoy life when the skies are clear as you never know when the clouds will make an appearance, so Take To The Skies and enjoy life!