Monday, May 29, 2023

IQ Stixx, By SmartGames - REVIEW


Nature/ Type:          Abstract logic puzzle  

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  

Recommended age:  7 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Older kids/ adults that enjoy logic puzzles / brainteasers 

Abstract game is probably not my first choice when it comes to solo logic puzzles (I prefer a brainteaser with background setting and story-telling components). However, from time to time, there are a few uniquely-designed abstract games that impress us immensely. “IQ Stixx”  by SmartGames is one of these amazing games we discovered recently that I can’t wait to share today (thank you Leisure Learning for providing a copy for review!). 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Packing + Stacking Puzzle - We have tested quite a few packing puzzles in the past, but we have never seen anything like “IQ Stixx” before! The set includes a game board, 10 puzzle sticks with indentations on different places, and a booklet with 120 challenges. First, place the sticks on the game board in the orientation and position as shown in the challenge; Next, place the remaining sticks on the board in a “criss-cross” manner so that 5 horizontal pieces would stack and fit nicely on top of 5 vertical ones (ie 2 cutouts cannot be placed on top of each other, nor 2 sticks without cutouts). This puzzle is fresh, innovative, and definitely “sticky”! 

(2) Different Difficulty Levels - Like the other SmartGames sets, the challenges are grouped in different difficulty levels, from “Starter” level (where plenty of hints are provided and with pretty straightforward solutions), to the almost impossible “Wizard” stage (where each of the challenge only comprises 2 sticks as clue on the base, and players need to figure out the positions of the remaining 8 sticks). There is only one solution for each challenge, and the solutions are included at the end of the booklet.

(3) Great Sturdy Components With Clever Design - The components are sturdy, excitingly colourful, of high quality, and cleverly-done; I love that the sticks are smartly- labelled (with numbers or letters, on both sides and at each end of the sticks) for easy identification and setup. There are also square images printed on the opposite side of the cutouts to make it “visually” easier to solve the challenges even when the sticks have their cutouts faced down. 

(4) Compact + Travel-Friendly - I love the compact and travel-friendly, portable case. This is a fantastic game to go on-the-road with the family! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://www.leisurelearning.com.au/iq-stixx

Enjoy the video! 

Veggie Basket, By Tender Leaf - REVIEW


Nature/ Type:          Pretend food set   

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  

Recommended age:  3 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Kids that love kitchen, grocery and cooking role-playing  

Kitchen playsets and cooking toys (or any food-related, hunger-induced, realistic-looking food sets) have always been a BIG HIT in this household! They keep the kids engaged in their imaginary world of chefs and bakers, and we seriously don’t mind a bit of the delicious and happy mess that they create! We found this Tender Leaf Toys “Veggie Basket” at our local toy library recently - it’s so adorable I just have to share about it today. 

Why I love ❤️ this toy: 

(1) 6 Realistic-Looking Vegetables - Included in the set is a basket of 6 vegetables - pumpkin, turnip, mushroom, red chilli, avocado, and leek. I love the attention to detail and how the design accentuates the distinctive features of each of these freshly grown vegetable. The greyish white mushroom is smooth and plump, completes with a short rounded stem and detail of linear gills underneath the mushroom cap. The pear-shaped avocado has bright green skin, lighter buttery flesh, and a large seed in the middle. The orange pumpkin has a furrowed texture on its outer rind and a stem at the top. The long green leek has a slow transition of colours from white at the base to dark green at the top, just like how the real one usually looks like. The chilli is red and glossy, and has a soft fabric green stem. The white turnip is round in shape with thin “fibrous” roots at the end that look and feel realistic. The kids love using these lovely veggies as their pretend ingredients in their “Friday pub”, and fresh stock for their “Sunday market” stall. The toy is appealing aesthetically and exciting to play with! 

(2) Handcrafted Wicker Basket - I love the wicker basket. It gives the contemporary set a classic and traditional feel, and keeps the lovely veggies together at one place. I love that’s its hand-woven and crafted by experienced artisans. 

(3) Renewable Wooden Material - These cute little veggies are made from renewable rubber tree wood - for every tree that is used to build this toy, another tree is replanted. The outer layer of the toy is furnished with non-toxic paint. Tender Leaf toys are designed by the UK product team and manufactured in its Indonesian factory. They are rigorously tested, and meet the EU and American safety standards.

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://www.tenderleaftoys.com/products/veggie-basket?_pos=1&_sid=8a681d855&_ss=r

Enjoy the video! 

Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Mobi Number Tile Game, By Mobi - REVIEW


Nature/ Type:          Mathematics game  

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Recommended age:  6 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Anyone who enjoys number games / looking for a game that makes mathematics fun! 

A little “not-so-fun” fact about myself: Mathematics used to be the subject that gave me the most nightmares and exam anxiety. I’m so glad to see so many innovative educational resources these days that make learning such an enjoyable experience. Today, I’m going to share this latest favourite of ours - “Mobi Number Tile Game” from Mobi (kindly gifted by Divisible by Zero ) . 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Mathematics Game For Kids + Adults - This is a scrabble-style game, BUT with one major difference: instead of forming creative words using tiles with alphabetical letters, we build mathematics equations with number tiles! The rules take just a few minutes to learn: Each player begins with 7 blue number tiles; each works independently to create a chain of equations using the double-sided white operations tiles (+, -, x, ÷, =). Shout “FLIP” when you have one tile left (all players must take 3 extra tiles in response). Players can swap 1 number tile for 2 randomly selected tiles from the pool, and a special “mobi” tile can be used to substitute any number. First person who connects all their number tiles in a pod correctly wins the game (don’t forget to yell “Mobi”!). I love that everyone plays simultaneously; it’s a competitive race but each person gets to works on their “personal project” according to skills (e.g. a younger kids can concentrate in doing basic addition and subtraction, if multiplication is beyond their level). 

(2) 5 Ways To Play - Apart from the basic standard play, there are 5 other ways to play Mobi; do it solo, make it more kid-friendly (remove the x and ÷), make it into “Mobi for experts” by adjusting the number of tiles to be picked up, make it “chill” without any “flip” or “swap” rules, or make it a team challenge! 

(3) Quality Of The Tiles - I love the solid quality of these 162 acrylic plastic tiles, and the engraved numeral symbols (1 to 12) that gives the tiles a very tactile feel. 

(4) Adorable Whale Pouch - Who can resist that funky zip-up storage pouch that looks like an adorable blue whale, completes with a squashy tail and a tiny roped handle at the top. I love the good portable size of this game - it’s travel-convenient, compact and portable. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://www.thetherapystore.com.au/mobi

Enjoy the video! 

KAPLA Art Book 2 - Blue, By KAPLA - REVIEW


Nature/ Type:          KAPLA building ideas book 

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  

Recommended age:  9 year-old ++   

Who would love this: KAPLA fans, especially the experienced builders 

“Now, if you want to be great in building, you need to practise, and do it again and again and again ….. “ said, my 4 year-old, a new KAPLA fan! ๐Ÿ˜‰ We are extremely grateful to have received a range a KAPLA Art Books from Kapla (Australia) . Today, I’m going to share about “KAPLA Art Book 2 - Blue”, a beautifully designed hard-cover art book, containing advanced-level construction techniques for KAPLA enthusiasts! 

Why I love ❤️ this book: 

(1) 28 Pages Of Photographs & Technical Drawings - Volume 2 of KAPLA Art Book has 28 pages of exclusive KAPLA models, in colour photographs and hand-sketched technical drawings. This volume is designed for the more experienced KAPLA builders. There are some tricky techniques included in the book that require precise execution and great perseverance. I had many “oh no, I think I made a mistake” moments, and I (sneakily) did quite a few modifications to the final structures when things got a bit too challenging. This book devoted many pages showing us sketches of the building ideas at different construction stages (from setting up the foundation to the final touches). What I love about KAPLA is there is really no “right” or “wrong” way of doing it. I built a classic wooden stilt house, doing my very best to replicate the demanding model depicted in the Art Book; my four-year-old came along and decided to convert the house into a colourful “Ninja training centre”, equiped with mazes and traps. It was a “teamwork” between mumma and daughter, and I think the final result is pretty stunning! ๐Ÿ˜†

(2) 7 Advanced-Level Models - For this Volume 2, there are only a total 7 (relatively more advanced) models included, with many more pages dedicated to showing us the details and illustrated tips on how to build them successfully layer-by-layer. My personal favourites are the dump truck supported by wheels made of two intricately arranged “logs”, a throne, a gorgeous butterfly with symmetrical wings, and a fabulous sailing ship with masts. 

(3) Quality Of The Book - The KAPLA Art Books range is artistically-designed and printed. They have a quality feel, and would make great coffee table books, as well as a useful guides for KAPLA builders of different ages and levels. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://kaplaaustralia.com/products/kapla-art-book-2-blue

Enjoy the video! 

Monday, May 22, 2023

Buildup Robot Alex, By LaQ - REVIEW


Nature/ Type:          Innovative made-in-Japan construction toy 

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Recommended age:  7 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Avid LaQ builders or any robot enthusiasts 

 “Oh YES, another LaQ robot!” We recently reviewed and shared about the LaQ “Buildup Robot Lapis” (our amazing blue robotic friend!). Today, I’m going to share about another heart-throbbing and exciting set from the LaQ (Australia) robotic series - “Buildup Robot Alex”.

Why I love ❤️ this toy: 

(1) 4 Impressive Models - The best thing about LaQ building sets - you never truly know what you are getting until a model is completed. Similar to the Lapis set, the Alex set includes 310 pieces, 10 special Hamacron parts (wheels and shafts), and a step-by-step guide to build 4 cool models. There are - Alex (a stunningly red, medium-size robot with a formidable expression), a Mini Robot, a Dog, and a Race Car. As usual, LaQ is a genius when it comes to creating thrilling, flexible and moveable structures using clever connecting techniques and Hamacron parts. Alex, our coolest robot ever, have articulated and humanoid joints that can bend, spin, and strike up a variety of impressive poses for some spectacular photos shoots! The super cute Mini Robot has rotatable head and waist, and I absolutely love the extendable legs that can transform its height in a split second. I also love the simple but equally cool-looking Race Car, and the heart-meltingly adorable red puppy with black tail.

(2) Intermediate Level - In term of building difficulty, this is an “intermediate” set, probably a bit difficult for LaQ beginners, but not too overly complicated to make it impossible. Alex (the main character) is the most challenging models amongst the 4. But once you get through Alex, the other 3 models are relatively straightforward. 

(3) Compatible With Other LaQ Sets - Like all LaQ sets, the pieces and parts are interchangeable and compatible with other LaQ kits. LaQ is made up of 7 main types of block / connecting parts (square, triangle and 5 kinds of connectors) that can be clicked together securely with an audible snap. The more LaQ collections you have, the more you can build without the need to dismantle any model before starting a new one (like what we did here!). If you are thinking about investing in a creative, expandable, full-of-potential construction toy - LaQ is your fantastic choice! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://smartypantstoys.com.au/collections/sets-for-advanced-builders/products/laq-robot-alex

Check out also my review on LaQ - Buildup Robot Lapis

Enjoy the video! 

Tic-Tac-Toe XO-5, By Funyards Australia - REVIEW


Nature/ Type:          Wooden Tic-Tac-Toe with a twist  

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️  

Recommended age:  7 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Collectors of wooden games 

Tic-tax-toe is probably the most popular abstract game ever invented. A paper-and-pencil game, transcending across cultures and nations, with each round literally taking just 5 seconds or less to complete. Funyards Australia recently sent over this “Tic-Tac-Toe XO-5”, an interesting variant of the classic noughts and crosses game, but with a unique sliding theme. I am truly excited to share about this beautiful game with you today! 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Tic-Tac-Toe Variant With Fun Rules - I am not a big fan of games without a theme, but I LOVE clever modifications and a competitive match with fun twist! This XO-5 game comes with 25 cubes that fit within a wooden base in a 5x5 grid. Each of the cube has 4 blank sides, one “X” and one “O”. The game begins with a board of 25 cubes with their “blank” sides facing upwards. Next, players take turn to rotate a selected cube from the edge to reveal either “X” or “O” (the player’s chosen symbol), remove it from the base, and slide the cube into a new location at the end of one row, pushing the other 4 cubes towards the empty space. The objective? Match 5 symbols in a row (horizontally, vertically or diagonally) to win the game. On each move, the outcome changes, and that, is where all the excitement and unpredictability happen! 

(2) Strategy + Foresight Planning - I love the strategy element and foresight planning incorporated within the new game rules! Unlike the usual Tic-Tac-Toe, this improved version requires players to think one step further tactically (but not overly complicated). My seven-year-old enjoys this game and demands for numerous rounds of re-match. We race against each other to control and own as many “strategic” blocks as possible, whilst doing our best to limit the opponent’s moves and mess up their plan. 

(3) Wooden Material & Quality - I love the wooden material - the cubes, the base, their nice craftsmanship and smooth finishes. I also like how light weight, sturdy, and compact the components are. All we need is a medium-sized resealable bag or a drawstring bag to keep the items neat and organised, and the game is ready to go! This is a portable and convenient game to accompany us on the road - anywhere and anytime! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://funyards-oz.myshopify.com/products/tic-tac-toe-naughts-and-crosses-xo-board-game-ideal-travel-on-a-wooden-platform


Enjoy the video! 

Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Large pack - Newmero Bricks, By Newmero - REVIEW


Nature/ Type:          Innovative mathematics learning tools 

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Recommended age:  3 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Adults and kids looking for an intuitive and interesting way to learn about numbers 

If you haven’t heard the BIG news yet: Newmero (the innovative, Danish-design, maths learning bricks) has now arrived in New Zealand and Australia! Thank you Newmero (NZ & AU) for providing this “Large Pack - Newmero Bricks” for review. 

Why I love ❤️ it: 

(1) Connector & Counting Knobs - The clever features of Newmero bricks provide kids an intuitive way to learn about numbers and their correlation. My four-year-old jumped right into the exploration and found herself completely engrossed in the learning games. Each Newmero brick features an engraved numeral symbol, with corresponding number of counting knobs at the top (e.g. the “8” brick has 8 rounded notches at the top left). Next to the numeral symbol is a connector knob that enables the bricks to stack up on top of each other easily. The girl was amazed to find the ascending pattern of bumpy knobs when she stack the tiles up in numerical order from 1 to 9. We did value comparing (bigger or smaller), adding up and subtraction exercises together using the assistance of the counting knobs. I love the self-guiding concept and how the bricks provide a visual way to identify a number and its numeric value. 

(2) Visual Way To Learn About Place Value - The large pack includes 2 sets of yellow bricks (numbers 1-9), 2 sets of green bricks (numbers 10-90), 2 sets of blue bricks (numbers 100-900), and 1 set of orange bricks (numbers 1000-3000). It was engaging to use these colour-coded and tactile bricks to learn about place value in a “complicated” numbers as huge as “3999”! We can compose and decompose the numbers physically and visually (for example, 3000 + 900 + 90 + 9 = 3999). 

(3) Pair Up 10/ 100/ 1000 Friends - My favourite feature is the “puzzle teeth” on both sides of a brick; when two numbers are “10 / 100 / or 1000 friends”, the jagged edges join up perfectly horizontally / side by side (e.g 2 and 8, 30 and 70). My girl loves fixing the “puzzles” and was thrilled to discover the numerous set of friends! 

(4) Quality Components - These sturdy and concrete bricks are made of high-quality ABS plastic and produced in Poland (Europe). The products have passed safety standards (such as EN-71) and are BPA free. I also love the cotton bag included that keeps the items organised. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://newmero.co.nz/products/large-pack-newmero-bricks

Enjoy the video! 

My Fairy Game, By Peaceable Kingdom - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:          Board game for young kids 

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Recommended age:  5 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Young kids who enjoy cooperative games, especially one with a cute fairy theme! 

Beautiful fairies, golden unicorn, glittery jewels - I knew without a doubt that “My Fairy Game” would appeal to my four-year-old girl. But what I didn’t expect is even my six-year-old boy has the greatest FUN playing with it too! Thank you Leisure Learning for providing this amazing game from Peaceable Kingdom for a review. 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Adorable Theme With Fun Rules - I LOVE the adorable Fairy theme, and the age-appropriate, easy-to-follow rules that make this game a breeze to learn. Yes, there are quite a few different tokens and special powers that would require a few reads from the adults before we can explain the rules properly to the kids; but once the kids started playing, the process is a natural. The object of the game is to accumulate sufficient “fairy powers” to install 4 hexagonal gems onto the wand to defeat the freezing effects caused by Mr Winter (a snowflakes-blowing, “villainous” cloud with a cute beard). Players shuffle the cards, takes one card at a time (which could be a “good” or “bad” card), match the colours, and takes an action to slow down the “chill”. Players work as a team to compete against Mr Winter to collect all 4 gems before a flower is frozen by 4 snowflakes of corresponding colour. 

(2) Luck + Strategy + Teamwork - There is a huge element of luck in this game (largely depends on the types and order of the cards being drawn), but there is also cooperative element that requires our young players to make “small decisions” collectively. For example, the “unicorn” card allows the players to hand over a card to another player to quicken the collection of jewel. I love that this is a game of team effort - everyone wins or loses together. There were plenty of “oh no!”, “yay”, “we did it”, “we won!”, and “high-five!” during the game, which was really amazing to see! 

(3) "Green" Components - This is a Peaceable Kingdom “green game” - all the paper and boards (jewel and snowflake tokens, playing cards, foldable board) are made with FSC papers and printed with soy-based inks. I would love if this set could include a cotton tote bag so we can keep the components organised, but overall, I love the environmental-friendly concept of the game! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://www.leisurelearning.com.au/the-fairy-game

Enjoy the video! 

Friday, May 12, 2023

Creagami - Butterfly Origami Kit, By CreativaMente - REVIEW



Nature/ Type:          Origami kit 

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Recommended age:  7 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Older kids/ adults who would love to learn and get to know more about the unique folding arts 

Creagami from CreativaMente is one of the coolest craft kits I have ever seen. It makes a highly complex art into a possibility for origami beginners. Today, I’m going to share about “Creagami - Butterfly” set (kindly gifted by Divisible by Zero ).

Why I love ❤️ it: 

(1) Easy Starter Kit - If you would love to test out Creagami and have a taste of the beauty of this Japanese modular origami, this “butterfly” set is a great starter kit! This is an “easy” version and took me around an hour to complete. The set includes sheets (black, white and yellow) with perforated lines that can be separated into numerous individual pieces. Each piece has pre-scored lines to assist us to fold the paper into modular units. To make this mini butterfly, we need 114 units. Sounds intimidating? Fear not. It’s surprisingly simple to fold the basic unit (it took us probably 3 seconds or less to complete one module). You can learn the quick folding steps from the included illustrated guide, or from a YouTube video (simply scan the QR Code to access). 

(2) Unique Folding & Integrating Techniques - Once the units are completed, the exciting stage begins! It’s time to assemble the modules using various integration techniques, to form a 3D butterfly with beautiful details and symmetrical patterns! I find the assembling process therapeutic, calming, and very satisfying! I love the step-by-step online tutorial that guides us through the entire process. I would recommend that you first familiarise yourself with the basic “types of joints” from the illustrated guide before starting the combining process. Once you have learnt the differences between the various joint techniques (normal, inverted, insert, empty pocket etc), it’s a breeze to complete the steps. The outcome is pretty impressive (despite a few mistakes on my part). I love that no glue is required for this craft - if you make a mistake, just remove the units from the slots and start again! 

(3) Beautiful Quality - I love the unique interlocking system, the sturdiness, and that tension created by the integration. The product is made in Italy, and is nicely packaged in a flat cardboard box. This is an ingenious paper engineering in its finest form. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://www.thetherapystore.com.au/product/creagami-mini/

Check out my other reviews on Creagami: 

Enjoy the video! 

Magic Rainbow Ball, By Tastic Toys - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:          Fidget Toy 

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Recommended age:  3 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Kids/ adults who love fidget toys / easy & portable brain puzzle 


This Magic Rainbow Ball gifted by Tastic Toys has been keeping me immensely intrigued. At first glance, the colourful puzzle looks deceptively simple, but wait till you get your hands active and moving around this easily graspable ball. It’s fascinating, addictive and truly clever! 

Why I love ❤️ this toy: 

(1) Colourful & Addictive Fidget Toy + Puzzle - Remember the nostalgic and classic Rubik Cube with its frustrating six colours mini dice-like components locked within a cube that can get you busy for eternity? This Magic Rainbow Ball is a much “easier” and “resolvable” version of Rubik Cube, suited for younger kids, but equally engaging for adults. With only just 11 beads of variety of colours and 12 holes, this magical puzzle in the shape of a ball has a straightforward colour-matching rule that even my two-year-old can understand. I mean, how hard can it be, RIGHT? Well, that’s where the catch is! Once the beads are jumbled up, the pliable foam within would keep each beads securely locked within their respective slots. The only beads that can be moved are the five adjacent to the empty hole. The configuration immediately changes each time a bead is passed to a new location. We need to keep relocating a bead from its already “correct position” (just like a Rubik Cube) in order to strategically solve the puzzle. It’s a process of scrambling, searching, analysing, and planning. It takes an adult a few minutes to get to the solution (and trust me, you would want to play it for another round!), and a younger preschool kids a little more time. This is a great toy to train up problem-solving, colour recognition, and hand-coordination skills. 

(2) Fidget Toy With Audibly Sound - This is a perfect “fidget” toy when I need a little (not too exhausting) brain exercise while keeping my hands busy. I find the audibly “clicking” sound of the moving beads kind of satisfying to hear (although I suspect some people might find it annoying). 

(3) Compact & Perfect For Travel - I love the compact size for easy portability. The ball also comes with a removable black carry strap. 

(4) Cool & Trendy Design - I find the soccer-ball-lookalike design really trendy. Tastic Toys  offers selections of white and black. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

[The review was first written and published in Instagram on 14 November 2021] 

Enjoy the video! 

Monday, May 8, 2023

Children Wooden Stool - Blue Baby Elephant / Elephant, By Funyards Australia - REVIEW



Nature/ Type:          Wooden stools for kids  

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:  3 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Parents who are looking for adorably-designed, wooden, and durable quality furniture for kids  

“Mum! Look at me! I can carry two stools at once!” ๐Ÿ˜†. We knew Funyards Australia has the most unique collection of handmade-in-Thailand wooden furniture, but this is the first time that we get to review its children’s furniture range. Today, I would love to share about these “Children Wooden Stool - Blue Baby Elephant / Elephant”. 

Why I love ❤️ these stools: 

(1) Handmade By Local Artisans In Thailand - One thing that immediately sets Funyards Australia’s furniture apart from most other big brands in market: the furniture is thoughtfully designed, meticulously hand-carved by the dedicated local artisans in Northern Thailand (hence, each of them is slightly unique on its own and no two pieces are exactly the same). These step-stools have that lovingly-handmade and rustic feel in them (a special feature not commonly seen in other machine-made, mass-produced items). I was pleasantly surprised to see that chip carving / chiselled art on the seats’ surfaces. The workmanship, combined with the natural grain and texture of the wood, gives the elephants a “3D” look and a detailed roughness on the skin. My girl loves the blue baby-elephant with its sweet yellow butterfly-ribbon knot (oh, how can anyone resist the cuteness?). The boy was drawn to the other elephant with black flapping-ears, and the special shape of the seat (that was carved along the outline of the elephant). 

(2) Solid Acacia Wood For Durability - These step-stools (weighs around 2kg each) are crafted from solid and sustainably sourced acacia wood. I love the rounded edges, smooth finishes, the steadiness, and the pop of charming colours (hand-painted using non-toxic paints). 

(3) Cute, Short & Functional - The stools are short and cute - with a seating height of only 25 cm. They are perfect for toddlers, and functional as a step stools and adorable little seats for older kids. The seats apparently have also been tested to bear a weight up to 100 kgs (!!!). 

(4) No Assembly Required - The BEST thing for me? These seats are delivered ready to use out of the box. They are not flat packed and absolutely no assembly is required. 

Head over to Funyards Australia website and check out the full range of animal step-stools (but be warned, they are heart-meltingly cute!) 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

Children Wooden Stool- Elephant: https://funyards-oz.myshopify.com/collections/childcare-furniture-and-toys/products/childrens-wooden-stool-elephant-themed-chair-toddlers-step-sitting-stool_v2

Children Wooden Stool- Blue Baby Elephant: https://funyards-oz.myshopify.com/collections/childcare-furniture-and-toys/products/childrens-wooden-stool-blue-baby-elephant-themed-chair-toddlers-step-sitting-stool

Enjoy the video! 

Australia Geography Game – Second Edition, By Knowledge Builder - REVIEW



Nature/ Type:          Board game for kids 

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:  5 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Kids/ adults that enjoy travelling and want to learn more about the famous landmarks around Australia 

I love an adventure of discovering wonders of places - MINUS the motion sickness, logistic planning, and budget juggling. ๐Ÿคฃ Knowledge Builder provided us with this “Australia Geography Game – Second Edition” for a review, and I can’t wait to share about it! 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Learn About Australian Landmarks Through Games - I love that we get to learn about Australian famous landmarks through a game! The instructions are simple - throw a dice, choose your route, move your counter, collect sufficient “Landmark Cards” (at least 20 points and one card from each State and Territory), and be the first player that reaches Canberra. This is a competitive game, but no one is obsessed with being the “winner”; instead, we enjoyed the “process” of getting to the final destination, choosing our routes, admiring the Landmark Cards, and acquiring new knowledge along the way. The 2nd edition contains 126 Landmark Cards, and 10 additional blank Landmark Cards (to “add on”with your favourite Aussie locations). Each Landmark Card has a picture of the place, and fun facts on the reverse (for example, do you know that Kakadu National Park is the largest in Australia, and “Broken Hill” is also known as the “Silver City”?). 

(2) Two Ways To Play - I love that the game incorporates little “twists” into the game by throwing in 40 “Outback Cards”. Many of them would send you to a new destination (e.g. “go skiing in the Snowy Mountains NSW” or “Move to UluแนŸu NT”) - which would either disrupt your entire strategy, or set you nearer for the win! I also love that the game provides an alternative and advanced way to play - for example, player who got an “Outback Card” would have to answer a question on the card before given a chance to decide a next step [eg “which Australian landmark is the world’s largest rock” (answer: Mount Augustus)]. You can also add more “kangaroo stickers” (included) on the board to increase the encounters of Outback Card. 

(3) Quality Components and HUGE Game Board - The foldable board is gigantic (800 x 750 mm), completes with clear labels and geographic icons (mountain, river, desert etc). I love the 2 clear plastic trays (to keep the Landmark Cards organised) and the sturdy storage box. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://www.knowledgebuilder.com.au/product/australian-geography-game-toy-products/

Enjoy the video! 

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Walls & Warriors, By SmartGames - REVIEW


Nature/ Type:          Brainteaser with a theme 

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:  8 year-old ++   

Who would love this: SmartGames collectors / anyone who loves unique brain puzzles, especially one with a story/ exciting theme! 

Cobblestones, elevated doorway, drawbridge spanned across moat, banners and flags, shiny armour and warhorses. We love a medieval kingdom and warriors theme! So imagine my thrill when we discovered SmartGames has created a puzzles that includes castle walls and battling knights in it. Thank you Leisure Learning for providing this ingeniously-designed set for a review! 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Medieval Kingdom Theme With Battling Knights - SmartGames is an expert in incorporating exciting, story-telling themes into brain-stimulating puzzles. The objective of the game is (deceptively) simple: first, set up the knights and tower on the game board according to the layout indicated on the selected challenge; next, enclose the blue knights and blue turreted twin-towers using the 4 pieces of uniquely-curved castle walls. The aim is to keep the blue knights safe and away from the invading red knights (that must be kept outside the walls). Our boy was immediately attracted to the visually appealing castle components, and we absolutely enjoyed accomplishing the “sacred” missions of defending our kingdom! 

(2) Challenging 4 Wall Pieces Puzzle - There are only four castle walls (puzzle pieces) - how hard can it be, right? As it turns out, it’s seriously tough. There are 80 challenges included in the spiral-bound booklet, grouped in 5 difficulty levels. At the starter level (puzzles 1-16), we were given hint about the location of some of the wall pieces. But once the extra clues are gone, the challenges become mind-bogglingly hard (but lucky for us, solutions are provided). 

(3) Amazingly-Designed Components - The game components are amazing! We love the metallic knights with shield and flag in army’s colour; the game board has “indents” to guide the positioning of the wall segments, which also enables the knights and tower to be placed securely on the board surface. The wall pieces are chunky and easy to handle, and I love the little details (like the crenellations, the “uneven” visual-appearance of the facade, the window bars, door outlines etc). I love the 3D raised game board that looks like rough stone foundation. The set also includes a sturdy cardboard box. This is an exquisitely-done game with smart execution! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

https://www.leisurelearning.com.au/walls-warriors-smart-game

Enjoy the video!