Monday, February 19, 2024

Ship - 3D Interlocking Wooden Puzzle - By Funyards Australia - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:            Interlocking Kumiki wooden puzzle 

Rating:                       ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ 

Recommended age:   6 year-old ++ 

Who would love this: Collectors of wooden / Kumiki puzzles 

We are intrigued by the beauty and wisdom behind Kumiki puzzles - the ingenious way they come together using non-identical, seemingly unrelated parts and pieces; all interlocked cleverly to form a recognisable, decorative object. Today, I would love to share about this “Ship - 3D Interlocking Wooden Puzzle” from Funyards Australia

Why I love ❤️ this toy: 

(1) 16 Interlocking Puzzle - Easy/ Medium Version

The greatest thing about a Kumiki puzzle - it’s fun to assemble, but it’s also extremely fun to take them apart. We love testing and pushing, searching for any moveable piece(s) that can be pulled out from the model and get the ship model “dismantled”, bit by bit. The ship puzzle is made of 16 interlocking wooden pieces of various shapes and sizes. Compared to some of the similar puzzles that we have previously tested, we find this Ship version of be of a slightly-easier range in term of difficulty level. I think this is a perfect puzzle for a beginner who wants to have a first taste of solving a kumiki puzzle/ or kickstarts their timeless collection of wooden puzzles. Assembling the base of the ship is pretty straightforward; putting together the four “masts” in the middle requires a little “work” and careful arrangement. I love how all the pieces are held together securely, finally, once we insert the last two puzzle pieces that fill-up the remaining gaps. It’s fascinating to watch the pieces joining together flawlessly, in such a seamless and enchanting way! 

(2) Decorative Item & Imaginative Toy 

This puzzle is a decorative item, and also an engaging toy to be incorporated into the kids’ imaginative small world creation. It’s chunky, adorable, with details such as windows, “masts” of varying heights, a steady base and hull. 

(3) Handmade Wooden Product From Thailand

I love the rustic touch of a handmade product. I love the precisely-cut pieces that can interlink and fit perfectly, the fine and sturdy quality, and the contrasting wooden shades that accentuate the beauty of natural timber. The toy is manufactured in Thailand, and elegantly handcrafted by local artisans. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: 

Funyards Australia 

Enjoy the videos: 

How to build the "Ship - 3D Interlocking Wooden Puzzle": 

Video Review: 

Rainbow Phonics Tiles, By Junior Learning - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:            Phonics learning set  

Rating:                       ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   5-8 year-old ++ 

Who would love this: Teachers/ parents looking for colourful words/ phonics learning resources to keep kids interested & engaged. 

Junior Learning has an interesting range of learning resources to explore the system of words-building and language. Today, I would love to share about “Rainbow Phonics Tiles” - another learning tool that we genuinely enjoy! 

Why I love ❤️ this set: 

(1) 90 Tiles To Form & Build Words 

Within the box you will find 90 tiles with lower-case letter(s), including single letter (a short vowel or consonant), A combo of two or more letters such as a “long vowel (“ee”, “oo”, “igh”) and other vowel digraphs (“ow”, “ar”, “ur”). Our two kids (4 and 7 year-old) love using the tiles to explore and form words (sometimes, completely by “chance” 🤣) by combining the vowels and consonants. They built simple CVC and CVVC words like “sun”, “cup”, “sheep”. You can also form words with split digraphs (eg “cake”), adjacent consonants” (eg “tree”), and multi-syllabic (eg “bedtime”). Our kids love the cute sounding words like “buzz”, and “chuck”. This set provides HUGE words-building possibilities with many common letter patterns. 

(2) Colour-Coded Tiles For Visual Clarity 

The letters are “colour-coded” to give “visual clarity” to the  word-formation. Consonant tiles are in sky blue colour, and common patterns like “ear” are in purple. 5 vowels (aeiou) are in red, and there are 5 additional “e” tiles in pink. Consonant digraphs like “ch”and “sh” are in yellow, and long vowel like “ee” is in green, etc. 

(3) Magnetic Tiles To Use With Pop-Up White Board

The tiles are made of cardboard with foam board, which gives them a chunky, tactile 3D feel. Each tile has magnetic sheets at the back, which can be attached easily to the pop up whiteboard comes in the box. The set also includes some white frames of different lengths (2 to 5 empty letter spaces), which we have been using for “guess the word” game. The magnetic feature makes it easy to arrange the letters, join common suffixes (such as “ng), and change a consonant/ vowel to make new word (eg from “bat” to “cat”). We can also use this with different Junior Learning resources for more engaging play, such as the “CVC Objects” set that I have previously reviewed. 

(4) Self-Contained Storage Box 

I love that the tiles are encased in a self-contained storage box, held together securely with elastic band for easy storage. 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this:

Enjoy the video! 

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Musical Pairs, By Starfish Music - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:            Music-theme card game for kids   

Rating:                       ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   5 year-old ++ 

Who would love this: Young & little music-learners 

“Musical Pairs” by Starfish Music is THE FIRST and only card game I have ever tested which was created with the aim of helping kids to learn musical notes through play 🎵 . There are so many great things to LOVE about this game. Thank you Starfish Music, for giving me the opportunity to review this. 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) Match The Musical Letters & Musical Notes 

The set includes 52 cards (26 pairs of matching cards). Half of the cards have one of the 7 musical letters (from A to G) on them, and the other half have a semibreve note together with the stave (5 horizontal lines) and a clef (treble or bass). To play the matching game, shuffle the cards, lay them face down across the table. Players take turns to flip over 2 cards. If the two cards match (ie note matches with the corresponding letter), keep the pair and go again. If the cards don’t match, flip the cards back over. Our two kids have been learning (and struggling with) music notes for a while - it was amazing to watch them having so much (competitive) fun counting the stave lines, identifying the musical note, finding pairs, and testing out their memory! The great thing? There are more than one way to play with these cards. You can do “Slap” (slap the matching card), “Go Chopin!” (similar rules as “Go Fish”), and “Zebra!” (playing notes on instrument). What a creative way to reinforce notes-reading skill with fun! 

(2) Grouped In Different Difficulty Levels 

We can group the cards in different categories and play the games in progressive levels of difficulty. Level 1 cards (in blue) have notes positioned on a line or within a space of the staff. Level 2 cards (in red) have notes outside of the musical staff (which is more challenging for beginners). We can also divide the cards into “treble” and “bass” clefs notes. 

(3) Helpful Answer Card 

The set also includes a helpful “cheat sheet” showing the names of the notes. It really doesn’t matter if the parent/ kid has no prior music knowledge - we can always refer to the handy answer card when we’re stuck. 

(4) Compact Card Game With Adorable Graphic 

I LOVE how compact the game is. The artwork is eye-catching and adorable, and the cards are thick and solid for long-lasting play. This is an excellent product! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: (Australia) 

Enjoy the video! 

Rainbow Go!, By Professor Puzzle - REVIEW

Nature/ Type:            Trivia game 

Rating:                       ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Recommended age:   8 year-old ++ 

Who would love this: Trivia/ pub quiz lovers 

 “Rainbow Go!” from Professor Puzzle is for everyone - those who are clueless and hopelessly horrible in Trivia (like myself), the amateurs, or the TRUE trivia kings and queens! Thank you Jedko Games for providing a copy! 

Why I love ❤️ this game: 

(1) 7 Clues & 1 Answers - A Competitive Trivia Game!  

I enjoy watching TV quiz show (and being a “judge” on my comfy couch). Rainbow Go! brings the familiar quiz show to our living room, where we get to test out our random facts knowledge as a family (without the “public pressure”). The box includes 149 double-sided question cards; each card has one answer and 7 clues. Player takes turn to be the host, picks a card, and reads out the clues one at a time. Each of the card features 7 clues and an answer, starting from Clue 1 (red) to Clue 7 (violet). Players / teams can either guess the answer after a clue is read, or wait for more clues before answering. The catch? The fewer clues you use, the more points you score! However, if your answer is incorrect, you are out for the current card (unless you use the “Go Again!” power). Compete over 10 rounds, and battle out to be winner with the most score. I love that this game involves a bit of strategy, risk-taking, and decision-making. The first few clues are always pretty vague and broad, and the later clues will help narrow down the possibilities. For example, “Chess” card starts with general clues like “Game”, “Two Players, before slowly revealing the more specific hints such as “64 Squares”, “Queen Gambit”, “Checkmate”. 

(2) 298 Questions Covering WIDE Range Of Topics

I love that the 298 questions cover a wide range of topics, from pop-culture, history, famous scientists, fictional characters, food and more! There are easy challenges like “Rudolph”, “Taxi”, “Panda”, “Cheese”; and there are also the difficult and more obscure ones like “Alexander The Great”, “Deja Vu”, and the 1941 movie “Citizen Kane”. There is sure to be something that you can answer! 

(3) Colourful Rainbow Theme 

I love the rainbow-theme and colourful components! Each player gets a “Rainbow Mat” score board to keep track of your points. The question cards are in the spectrum of 7 colours, and even the game box is in the shape of rainbow! 

# gifted in exchange for review 

Where to buy this: (Australia) (Australia) 

Enjoy the video!