Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Zoomi, By Mobi - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:           Handheld maze challenges 

Rating:                      ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   4 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Any kids that enjoy maze/ hand-eye coordination challenges 

Zoomi from Mobi is probably the most unique handheld maze I have ever seen! It’s hexagonal, continuous and non-stop, and comes with multi-maze in multiple level of challenges (just like a video game console but without the need of battery). It’s a BIG HIT with kids, and I can’t wait to share with you about this amazing screen-free creation! Thank you Divisible by Zero for providing a copy!

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Non-Stop Maze Challenges - 5 Maze Designs In 1 

Zoomi is a 6 panels, hexagonal game with 5 different maze designs in one. The game is instinctive in nature: simply tilt and tumble and twist to guide the encased steel ball around the series of maze challenges. What I love most is the clever design; Zoomi is “unstoppable” (like, literally) - you can challenge yourself repeatedly without a pause nor re-start button. The ball rolls from one maze to another continuously, with each maze connects directly to two other mazes in a “circle” (or hexagon, to be more accurate). I love that all 5 mazes are designed differently; starting with a blue vertical maze with 6 moveable spin-wheels spreading across, follows by a bright pink maze with uneven and bumpy surface; next, it’s a blue maze that requires the kid to navigate the ball from left to right and repeat again, before the ball zooms down an arrangement of bristle-like obstacles. Lastly, enter the most challenging yellow maze - where precision and full concentration are required in order to manoeuvre the ball victoriously to the finish point! 

(2) Maze Challenges Of Different Difficulty Levels  

The kids found out almost immediately that some maze challenges are trickier than the rest, and it’s apparent that the largest yellow maze is the real thrill (or pain). What I love most is when the kid got “stuck”, there is always an easy way to escape (simply reverse the direction and the ball will roll to the next easier maze). Zoomi is without a doubt a game for all ages - from young beginners, adventurous challengers, to true enthusiasts with the steadiest of hands. 

(3) Seriously Awesome Travel-Friendly Game

This game is portable and perfect for a convenient road-trip challenge! Zoomi is made from 100% food grade silicone and plastic. I love the bold and eye-catching neon colours. Zoomi is stunning and simply irresistible!

# gifted in exchange of review 

Where to buy this: (Australia) (Australia) 

Enjoy the video! 

Skulls of Sedlec, by Button Shy / Even Toys and Games - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:           Wallet card game 

Rating:                      ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   8 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Older kids/ adults that love strategy card games with COOL theme 

I can’t believe I am saying this, but I’m in love with this graveyard-theme game full of pictures of skulls (I know, unbelievable!). Today, I would love to share about “Skulls of Sedlec” by Button Shy (thank you Even Toys and Games for providing a copy!). 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Based On True Historical Place - The Sedlec Ossuary In Czech Republic 

This game is based on a true historical place - the spine-tingly Sedlec Ossuary in Czech Republic. The burial ground with holy soil had become too overcrowded following the Black Plague and Hussite Wars. In around 1400s onwards, bodies were dug up, and it was said that a half-blind monk re-arranged the bones and skulls into pyramids inside the crypt. The game nicely touches on the historical story of rearrangement of skulls; the aim is to compete to create the best pyramid arrangement of skulls and earn points by respecting “the deceased’s last wishes”. I am loving the unique and remarkable thematic ties! 

(2) A Game With 18 Cards Focuses On Strategy Element/ Tactical Moves 

As per Button Shy’s usual style, the game comes with 18 cards. Each card depicts 2 of the 5 types of skull. On your turn, you can do one of three things: Dig (flip 2 top cards face-up and choose one of them to put in hand), Collect (choose a face-up card and put it in hand, with a hand limit of 2 cards), or Stack (place a card into stack). For scoring, criminals score 2 points for being next to priest, peasants score 1 point apiece, romantics score 3 points each when paired with another romantics, priests score point for each row of the pyramid they’re in, and Royal score point for having peasants and other royals below them in the pyramid. The rules are not overly-complicated, but there are so much decision-making and tactical moves involved within - exactly that sort of game I love! 

(3) Includes Expansion Sets With More Cards 

This version from Even Toys And Games comes with 3 expansion sets. You get additional skulls like “Zealots” (1 point per priest above or below), “Merchant” (2 points per adjacent peasant but minus 2 points per adjacent criminal), and “Champion” (1 point per connected skull type). 

(4) Travel-Friendly Card Game In A Box 

This is a fantastic travel-friendly game in a small box. I also love the minimal, straightforward and very cool artwork of skulls. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) 

Enjoy the video! 

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Busy Beaks, By Joey Games - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:           Board game with Australian-theme 

Rating:                      ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   8 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Kids and adults that enjoy creative and strategy games, especially one that focuses on educational and rare Australian wildlife theme. 

Joey Games is unassuming yet beautiful, nothing too “showy”, but always full of substance. Busy Beaks is my latest favourite - I’m loving how it seamlessly incorporates Australian’s birdlife into an engaging card game. 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Strategy Game To Collect 5 Matching Cards With Special Power For Each Bird 

The aim of the game is straightforward: get sets of 5 matching bird cards, score points and win. The game includes 182 bird cards in 14 types, 1 tree board, 23 egg tokens, 14 card storage envelopes, and 1 rules of play booklet. First, select 7 types of bird cards, and arrange the tree board (3 birds on each of the 3 branches). Each player takes turn to perform actions (play a card, score a flock, draw a card, fill the tree). The objective is to collect as many “flocks” of 5 identical birds to score points (by earning the highest available egg tiles and additional egg of a new bird type). Each bird has special powers that allow players to gain an advantage; for example, a “Budgerigar” allows us to draw 3 cards from the draw pile and put them in our hand; An “Eastern Spinebill” allows us to choose a card in the tree and also pick up a card directly next to it (left or right). I love the strategy and tactical elements of the game: from choosing the types of cards to collect, which power to use, which cards to pick, to how best to collect a flock in the fastest way. This game has great replayability, never a dull moment! 

(2) Reference Cards With Informative Fun Facts Of Each Bird 

There are 14 reference cards, each belongs to a bird type. The reference cards tell us about the “special abilities” of the bird with illustrated icons for easy understanding. They also include informative fun facts about the Australian birds (for example, a “Superb Fairy Wren” has iridescent blue plumage and a small size of just 14cm; a “Laughing Kookaburra” has loud raucous laughter and is around 40-45 cm in size”). 

(3) Stunning Artwork And Good Quality Components 

The artwork is lovely and artistically pleasing. I love the durable and good quality components, made using sustainably managed materials (FSC certified paper and cardboard). I’m not a quite a fan of the individual packaging of the 14 types of cards, but it’s indeed a very effective way of keeping the cards organised. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this:

Enjoy the video! 

Airplane - 3D Interlocking Wooden Puzzle, By Funyards Australia - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:           Wooden kumiki airplane puzzle 

Rating:                      ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Recommended age:   6 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Wooden puzzle / brainteaser lovers 

Funyards Australia is well-known for its range of timeless and lovingly handcrafted wooden products, from its one-of-kind furniture pieces, elegantly-crafted decorative homewares, exciting and playful educational toys, to classic wooden models with a brain-teasing twist. Today, I would love to share about this latest obsession of my 7-year-old - “Airplane - 3D Interlocking Wooden Puzzle”. 

Why I love ❤️ this toy: 

(1) 11 Interlocking Pieces - Wooden Kumiki Puzzle 

I am fascinated with the wisdom of a Kumiki puzzle - I can’t help but to get all excited watching numerous 3D wooden pieces of varying sizes and shapes, came together flawlessly, forming a beautiful airplane model. It’s captivating to watch, a simply ingenious process. This airplane model can be taken apart and separated into 11 interlocking pieces. Compared to some of the other Kumiki puzzles I have done in the past, this Airplane version is probably one of the easiest in terms of difficulty level. But don’t get fooled by its simplicity, the puzzle is still challenging enough to keep us intrigued and it took us quite a while to figure out the steps and solution. It’s amazing to see the airplane taking its shape bit by bit - from the main body part, landing gears, wings, propeller, to the rudder at the rear. We love how the pieces interlocked and fixed together securely once everything were inserted and connected at the right place. After learning the buildings steps, we find it really addictive to dismantle and reassemble the puzzle, over and over again. 

(2) Adorable Airplane Model 

I love how adorable the airplane model is! This is a fascinating brainteaser, a beautiful decorative item for the home, and a cute little toy to be incorporated into the kids’ imaginative small world. The propeller and wheels are rotatable, which really adds on to the fun play experience! 

(3) Lovingly Handmade By Artisans In Thailand 

I love the precisely-cut pieces that can interlink and fit so perfectly. The airplane has a rustic handmade feel, and I love the few natural contrasting shades of timber that really accentuate the beauty of a good quality wood. The toy is manufactured in Thailand, and elegantly handcrafted by local artisans. This puzzle is irresistibly beautiful. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

Funyards Australia 

Enjoy the two videos: 

How To Build The "Airplane - 3D Interlocking Wooden Puzzle" 

Review Video: 

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Mental Blox, By Learning Resources - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:           Building blocks with challenge cards 

Rating:                      ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   5 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Kids who love building and challenging themselves / Parents & teachers looking for educational resources to encourage critical thinking and teamwork 

Building toys and logical games are two of my favourite categories of educational resources, so when I saw “Mental Blox Critical Thinking Game” from Learning Resources, I was thrilled! Thank you Clover Street, we are loving this kit! 

Why I love ❤️ this toy: 

(1) Memorise, Listen, Build - VERSATILE Building Blocks

Mental Blox kit is like a treasure trove - lift up the lid, you will see 20 geometric blocks - chunky, eye-catching, waiting to be explored! You get 6 cubes, 6 spheres, 4 pyramids, 4 t-shaped blocks, and 40 activity cards. The blocks can be sorted according to shapes, colours, or patterns (stripes, dots, plain). Our 4 year-old enjoys replicating the structures depicted on the cards - matching the shapes, colours, attributes, and arrangements. The instructions sheet also includes suggestions of a few creative ways to use these blocks. The kids can “look and build” (players look at the card for 10 seconds, memorise the structure, and build it). They can also “listen and build” - one player describes the structure, and another builds it based on the verbal instructions. The latter is probably the more challenging amongst the two; for example, the cross can be placed upright in t or x position, or facing downward. A block can also be arranged with the stripes facing horizontally or vertically. I love how versatile they are - sorting, stacking, matching, training visual memory, communication skills, and so much more! 

(2) 40 Critical Thinking Challenges 

I love that the blocks can grow with the kids and be used in many age-specific ways. On each of the activity card, there is a further challenge underneath the image of the structure. Players may be asked to re-arrange the structure so that all patterned blocks are at the bottom, or identify a common attributes of the blocks, or add a sphere to make a structure taller (but not wider) etc. 

(3) Chunky & Durable Blocks With Organised Storage Box 

I love the light-weight, durable, chunky components - these blocks are thoughtfully designed to be easily grasped by little hands. They are visually appealing, and I love the flatten ends of the spheres that make them easy to be balanced on another block. I also love that organised storage box with individual compartment for each block. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: (Australia) (Australia) 

Enjoy the video! 

Sushi Go, By Gamewright - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:           Card game with Sushi theme  

Rating:                      ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   8 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Card games/ board games/ Sushi lovers, especially someone who enjoys strategy games with "card-drafting" mechanism 

I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t like Sushi Go from Gamewright before - it’s easy to pick up, engaging and interactive, and super cute. Thank you Jedko Games - this is extremely awesome! 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Fun "Card-Drafting" Mechanism With Engaging Rules 

Sushi Go is the type of game where every single move and action by a player would potentially change the entire dynamics of the game. The game is played over 3 rounds. In each round, players are dealt out a predetermined number of cards; everyone simultaneously select a card and reveal it, and pass the remaining cards in their hands to the player next to them. Each card worths a different point when they are played correctly according to the conditions; for example, you need to gather a pair of Tempura cards in order to score 5 points, and 3 sashimi cards together will earn you 10 points. At the end of the 3rd round, the player with the most points is the winner. I love the “card-drafting” mechanism - the anticipation and how we need to reformulate new strategy each time when we receive a new set of cards on hand, and that strategic fun of monitoring and keeping track of what other players are doing at the same time! 

(2) Unique Cards With Special Points & Powers For Strategy Play  

I love that there are sufficient unique cards with special rules to give the game a twist, and makes it a tactical “game of dilemmas”. Every “good” choices we made comes together with giving up something valuable to another player. Should we focus on accumulating Sushi Rolls to gain 6 points, or should we keep eyeing on the Wasabi + Nigiri combo which have a potential of tripling the point up to 9? And don’t forget to collect sufficient pudding cards or you might end up losing up to 6 points at the end of the game. My personal favourite is the “Chopsticks” card - it doesn’t worth a point by itself, but gives us the power of keeping 2 best cards during a turn. 

(3) Super Adorable Artwork With Cute Smiley Faces 

The artwork is SO ADORABLE and heart-capturing! Seriously, how can anyone resists that cute smiley faces on the baby dumplings and salmon nigiri! This is a delicious game that the kids and adults really love at our home! 

(4) Nice Sturdy Tin Container 

I also love the sturdy tin container -cute, organised, and perfect for travel! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) 

Enjoy the video! 

Thursday, September 7, 2023

Smart Four, By GiiKER - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:           Reinvented version of Connect Four 

Rating:                      ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   6 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Anyone who loves things that are COOL & technology-driven  

Incorporating technology into classic games is a little controversial, and sometimes, risky. Do it wrongly, you destroy the nostalgic love of our childhood memory. BUT, do it correctly, it’s a retro game reimagined that can potentially elevate the experience to a whole new exciting level. One thing about GiiKER, it seems to have always got it RIGHT. I can’t wait to tell you about this GiiKER game that I deeply LOVE - “Smart Four”! 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Reinvented Version Of The Classic Connect Four - And This One Is COOL! 

“Smart Four” is a new take of the traditional game “Connect Four”. Remember the classic two-player strategy game that usually comes with a vertical board fixed upright, where each player takes turn to drop a ball or a disc into a column and aims to get 4 in a row to win? I adore the classic, but admittedly, the original game has its limitations and is somewhat, repetitive. Here comes Smart Four - a reinvented version of the classic. Included is a battery-operated white board in a 5x5 cubic grid marked with 25 circle buttons in colours, and 64 game pieces (32 black, 32 white). The BIGGEST twist in Smart Four: you get to link the “4 in a row” in any direction - vertically, horizontally, diagonally, upwards, or in ascending steps. Yes, in Smart Four, you get to stack your pieces on top of another, up to 5 levels high! 

(2) Play "Head To Head" OR Use "Robot Mode" 

You can play this with another player “head to head”, whilst having Smart Four records your moves and acts as an integrated referee (the winner gets a little celebratory blinking “light show” indicating where the 4 pieces connect in a row). If you can’t find a player? Fear not! Choose “robot mode” (easy, medium, or hard) and play against the AI opponent. When it’s the AI’s turn to place a piece, the triangular indicators would light-up with specific colour to notify us where to place a piece on behalf of the robot. 

(3) A Technology-Driven Game With Smart Features! 

With technology, it means we get to enjoy various smart features. The player indicator tells you which party needs to take a move. The lights blink 3 times when you make an invalid move, and you get a light signal when someone wins. I love the sturdy, chunky and light weight game components. Awesome game! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: (Use Discount Code: 60SREVIEW for 15% off) 

Check out also my review on other GiiKER products: 

Enjoy the video! 

Surprise Card by Xander - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:          Surprise greeting cards designed / co-designed by a kid 

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:  Any age!  

Who would love this: Anyone who loves something whimsical, non-ordinary, and designed with love :) 

It's not an everyday thing that I get to blog about and review my own created products. 

When Xander (my 7-year-old) relentlessly asking and insisting that we should launch a business to introduce our Surprise Cards to EVERYONE, I was hesitant. I had never started a business before, and the non-entrepreneurial voice in my head was screaming - "Don't Do It!". But Xander's voice obviously won in the end, and there you go - WE HAVE OUR ONLINE STORE & BRAND! 

Introducing to you our lovely and whimsical creation - "Surprise Card by Xander" online store ( and creative brand. 

Story Behind The Business 

Established on 25 August 2023 - Surprise Card by Xander is a small business in Melbourne founded by Sue (mummy aka myself) and Xander (my 7 year-old who loves to draw and absolutely adores surprises).

Xander loves making and creating cards for his friends, family, neighbours, aunties and uncles ever since he was around 4 year-old. He loves to create, he loves to draw, and he loves to see the smile that the cards bring to others. He especially loves designing these fold-up cards where there is a “little surprise” hidden within. 

So one day, Xander asked: what if, we can bring this joy and smile to more people in Australia, or maybe, even around the world. 

And that, is how, “Surprise Card by Xander” was born. 

Surprise Card by Xander aims to bring SURPRISE, JOY, and GREAT MEMORY through our fun designs to as many people as possible! 

A Business? REALLY? 

Of course, as a new business, there are just so many uncertainties, and I can't tell you those countless and numerous questions that keep lingering in my mind daily: Do people still do physical greeting cards? Do people love such imperfect and silly designs created/ co-created by a kid? Will people actually BUY them? 

It has been almost two weeks since we launched the store. I am sincerely grateful to everyone who has made a purchase, shows their support, tells their friends and families about us, and those that promised that they will return to the store one day when they need a card. I am grateful to our first stockist Hello Youngster that believes in our products! 

THANK YOU! And I can't wait to see what adventure this business journey will bring (rain or shine, fail or success, short or long!). 

So, Why Our Cards? 

So, why do we love our products so much (and we think you will too!): 

  • Created By A Kid -Surprise Card by Xander” is the brainchild of a 7 year-old boy who loves to design and draw.
  • Bringing Smile Through Fun DesignsWe believe physical greeting card is never out-of-style. We designed our cards with one objective in mind: SURPRISE! We want our card to be non-boring, we want to bring a smile to someone’s face, we want our surprise card to be a whimsical artwork at home that brings sweet memory and joy. 

  • SURPRISE! - We fold our cards in a unique way to give you a SURPRISE! 
  • Bigger Than Usual Card Size - Our cards are BIGGER than most ordinary greeting cards in market - it’s a full A4 size when unfolded, and A5 size when folded in half, After all,  when it comes to SURPRISE, it needs to be “BIG”! 
  • Hand Illustrated & Not-So-Perfect - Our designs are hand-drawn, hand-painted, and yes, imperfect in many ways (we are so sorry, but we sincerely hope you will look past that and accept the imperfections as part of our style). 
  • Australia Made - All surprise cards are designed, drawn, and painted (either by Xander alone / or co-designed with mummy), printed, made, packaged, and created in Australia. 
  • Environmental-Friendly Material - Our surprise cards are printed on post-consumer recycled papers, using sustainable green printing process and system. 
  • A FUN Business - Most importantly, Xander and mummy have Amazing Great FUN creating these surprise cards as a fantastic duo team. I hope your lucky recipient will feel the EXTRA love and happiness when they receive these designed-by-heart surprise cards.
  • Giving Back To Society - We believe children are our future. Surprise Card by Xander pledges 10% of our profit (to be paid end of every 6 months) to a not-for-profit organisation aims to improve the life of children. 10% of our profit for the next 6 months (from 25 August 2023 to 29 February 2024) will go to Save the Children

Where to buy this: - physical store at 103 Victoria Ave, Albert Park, Victoria. 

Enjoy the video, and don't forget to visit:

Sprawlopolis, By Button Shy / Even Toys and Games - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:          Wallet card game  

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:  8 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Anyone who enjoys strategy games - solo or play cooperatively. 

It’s easy to underestimate a game like Sprawlopolis by Button Shy - it’s small-sized, nothing too glamorous, with no fancy game components. I LOVE it when a game surprises me with its unassuming cleverness! This game has fast becoming one of my personal favourites. Thank you Even Toys and Games - this is fantastic! 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) 18 Cards Strategy Game  

I love how Sprawlopolis made a really cool solo/ cooperative game out of just 18 cards. Each of the cards contains a city map with 4 quadrants of zones (blue for commercial, grey for industrial, green for park, orange for residential), and 1 or 2 roads. On the reverse side of the cards, each has an objective (for example, card “2” gives us 1 point for each row / column with 3 park blocks in it; card “15” gives us 2 points when a residential block is adjacent to 2 or more industrial blocks etc). To play this game, players randomly select 3 cards to set the scoring objective. Now each player takes turn to strategically position the remaining 15 cards horizontally, by either laying them adjacent to another card, or overlap a card partially with another. Once the cards are laid out, tally the points by adding up the points for each of the largest zones, deduct points based on the number of roads, then factor in points from the objective cards. The team won together if the point is higher than the total target numbers in the objective cards. 

(2) No Two Games Are The Same - Wide Combinations Of Variables! 

I love how the game creates large combinations of variables by using just 18 cards - We need to formulate new strategy each round depending on the 3 objective cards being drawn. I also love that this game can be played solitarily, or with 2 or more players cooperatively. 

(3) Includes 6 Sets Of "Expansion Cards" To Spice Up The Game 

And if that’s not enough, this version also includes 6 sets of “expansion cards” to spice up the game - including cards with “Wrecktar” monster, Construction Zone, Point of Interest, Beach Expansion, Interstate Expansion, Roadwork Expansion etc. Each expansion card changes the scoring conditions, and will surely scale up the level of difficulties of the game! 

(4) Awesome Travel Game 

This game is light weight, compact, travel-friendly. I can’t ask for a better micro-game! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) (Australia) 

Enjoy the video! 

Monday, September 4, 2023

Story Time Chess, By Thinking Cup Learning - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:          Chess-learning set for young kids 

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:  3 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Parents looking for an interactive and engaging first chess-learning set for their young kids / AND any young kids that love games and (silly) stories! 

At what age can a kid start learning chess? I used to believe it was 6 or 7, but “Story Time Chess” by Thinking Cup Learning has done the impossible - now kids as young as 3 can start their chess journey with ease! 😱 Thank you VR Distribution , we are in awe! 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Learning Chess Through Silly Stories & Wacky Characters 

I tested this set with my 4-year-old (who, mind you, doesn’t have much patience with rules, and had zero interest in chess prior to this). The result is astounding! The set comes with 32 standard chess pieces (16 black, 16 white), and 32 character cut-outs that go with the Story Time booklet. The aim is to transform a life-less abstract chess into a game intertwined with silly storyline and wacky characters. For example, King Chomper (with full pockets) can only move one step at a time; Bea and Bop (the bishops, who were also trapeze artists) move diagonally. Our personal favourite is Clip and Clop (the knights), who move in a special dance-step - “gallop, gallop, step to the side”. The kids get to connect the stories to the pieces in a visual way. For example, when my four-year-old sees two pawns from opposing sides stand right in front of each other, she would scream “Locked!” - just like what happened in the story! 

(2) Fun Mini Games To Practise Chess Moves 

There are also mini games that help kids to remember the rules in an interactive way. For example, there is a game where we get to scatter pizza and jewel tokens around the board, and get the two kings to pick them up, one step at a time. The mini games always end with a reminder “to shake hands” - I love the encouragement of good sportsmanship! 

(3) Double-Sided Game Board - Story Side + The Classic 

When your kids are ready to do “serious” chess after learning the basics, we can flip the board around, and transform the Story Side board to a “classic” board. And of course, the character cutouts are removable from the slot of the pieces - so Queen Isabella, for example, can turn into the classic White Queen within seconds.

(4) Quality & Design - Extremely Appealing To Young Kids! 

I love the two brightly coloured storage bags included for the chess pieces. The design and feel for the set is appealing to the kids, and I love the huge storage box that keeps everything nicely contained within. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: (Australia)

Enjoy the video! 

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Times Table Bubble Board, By Junior Learning - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:          Pop-it board with time table 

Rating:                     ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Recommended age:  7 year-old ++   

Who would love this: Kids that enjoy pop-it toys / parents looking for a stimulating timetable board 

 “Times Table Bubble Board” from Junior Learning makes multiplication looks fun and non-boring! I’m loving the magic of a pop fidget as a mathematical tool. 

Why I love ❤️ this toy:

(1) Learn Multiplication With Unique Pop-It Board 

Our 7-year-old is right at the stage of multiplication-learning, and he loves using this Bubble Board as a way to cross-check his timetable calculations. The soft silicone has 144 pop-it bubbles, arranged in the grid of 12 rows and 12 columns. The factors 1 to 12 are printed above the first horizontal bubble row, and on the left-most border of the first vertical bubble column. Each of the bubble is numbered with a sum in the Time Table (for example, the number “20” is printed on the bubble intersected with 4 X 5). Kids can pop the bubbles whilst solving the equation, one at a time. This bubble board keeps the kids engaged and focused with the counting, and it’s just so unbelievably satisfying to pop! 

(2) Observe And Discern Multiplication Patterns Using Time Table Board 

I love timetable boards - they are a great way to demonstrate patterns and relationship of the numbers in a visually-engaging way. Mathematics used to be THE subject that I dreaded the most, so I’m pretty happy to see such a clever and interactive mathematics aid, showing us the interesting patterns hidden behind the rules of multiplications. For example, kids can see from the board that any number multiplied by “one” will always remain as the same number, and any number multiplied by “10” will give us the original number + 0. 

(3) Light Weight & Engaging Silicone Pop-It Board  

I love that this board is light weight, keeping the kids occupied and happy, and stress-releasing. We love the durable, easy to clean, and “squeezable” silicone material. We love the addictive popping sound and the good large size. 

(4) Minimalist Design & Less Distracting 

I have seen many similar pop-it boards in the market with multi-colour rainbow options, but I personally think nothing beats the single colour of blue. It’s calming, less distracting, and functional with minimalist design. I also love that the factors 1 to 12 are printed on the horizontal and vertical borders of the board (not on the pop-it bubbles themselves), which makes this board less confusing compared to many similar timetable pop-it boards in the market. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

Junior Learning (Australia) 

Check out also my review of other Junior Learning mathematical resources: 

Enjoy the video!