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Spiral-Designer – Creativity for Little Ones reviews a craft toy from Ravensburger.

Spiral Designer 1Most of us are familiar with Ravensburger puzzles, but did you know they also make artistic items as well?  The “Spiral-Designer” is one such item and it will awaken the inner creative side of your child’s personality, keeping them occupied with new design ideas for hours. The possibilities are truly limitless with this amazing all-in-one kit. The sturdy colorful 10½” x 10½” x 2¼” box contains all the supplies your young artist might need including 1 drawing frame, 1 template ring with 4 design discs, 1 frame for the mini Mandala Template, 1 mini Mandala Template (such designs are known for their geometric circular pattern), 2 felt tip pens and 10 sheets of drawing paper. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Crafts

DNA Experiment Kit – A Building Block for the Future reviews the “DNA Experiment Kit” from ScienceWiz.

DNA Kit 1The “DNA Experiment Kit” from ScienceWiz is made with learning and fun in mind. This kit is a great gift for any 8+ year old boy or girl that has an interest in understanding how our DNA works using a kit that explains it in a fun and challenging way. There are 8 specific projects in the kit and they can be done repeatedly as most of the materials are re-usable or can be found around the household. Upon opening this kit, we were impressed with the detailed organization of the materials and the high quality of the workbook that is actually attached to the box itself, so no worries about losing it after completing a project. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Learning

KEVA Maker Bot Maze – Navigate the Obstacles reviews a inventive maze from MindWare.

KEVA Maker Bot Maze 1Before reviewing this product, we had to find out what “KEVA” was all about. It turns out that “KEVA” generally refers to something that has stability or permanence. From a toy standpoint, “KEVA” is usually associated with wooden planks that measure 4 ½”L x ¾” W and ¼” H. They are used to stack and build structures that are amazingly sturdy, and young kids find them simple to use. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Building, Learning, Puzzle

Magformers – Magnetic Building at its Best reviews a magnetic construction kit from Magformers LLC.

Magformers 1We have searched for several years to find the ultimate and best magnetic building toy. Our search is now over. We have found “Magformers,” where the high quality is equally matched with a rewarding play experience.

We got our hands on the 62 piece “Magformers Rainbow” set for review. The set includes 20 triangular, 30 square and 12 pentagon shaped magnetic pieces in 6 different colors, along with a 28 page full-color “Idea Booklet.” Each of the geometric shaped pieces has one magnet on each of its sides. Thus, the square has 4 magnets, one positioned in the middle of each of its 4 sides, the triangle has 3 magnets and the pentagon has 5 magnets. The magnets are actually rotating Rare Earth Neodymium magnets, considered both strong and having great connectivity powers. For safety, the magnets are encased in HQABS plastic and are BPA free. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Building

Empires in America – The French and Indian War, 1754 – 1763 reviews the second edition of “Empires of America” from Victory Point Games LLC.

Empires in America 1The French and Indian War (“Seven Year’s War”) was fought between France and Great Britain from 1756 until 1763. However, the total conflict that took place on North American soil lasted from 1754 to 1763. France was joined by Indian allies to fight the British forces, thus the name, “French and Indian War.” Victory Point Games has recreated that war in a single-player board game, where you control the French and Indians and the game controls the British. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Board Games

Plunder – It is all About Pirate Treasure reviews another thought provoking game from R&R Games, Inc.

Plunder 1Ahoy Matey!!!

Plunder is a treasure stealing deduction game for 2-6 players distributed by R&R Games and designed by Jonathan Franklin. The game includes 36 dry erase crew cards, 54 clue cards, 18 map cards (6 each of island, marker and trap cards) , a treasure chest, 6 dry erase pens and 6 dry erase solution grids.

To set things up, players first choose to be one of 6 unique pirates. Each pirate receives a dry erase pen, along with the corresponding dry erase solution grid and crew cards (matching the number of players in the game). Next, the treasure chest is placed in the center of the table, with an open lid. Deal 3 map cards to each player, one each of island, marker and trap cards. Each player should look at their map cards as these cards indicate the specific hidden location of their pirate treasure. Don’t show anyone your cards-“Properly Warned Ya Be Says I” or you’ll be walking the plank! The remaining unused map cards are taken out of the game, while the map cards that were dealt out are turned face down until the scoring phase at the end of the game. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Games

Circuit Maze – Complete the Circuit to Win reviews another challenging game from ThinkFun.

Circuit Maze 1The folks at ThinkFun have done it again, following up their successful Laser Maze (see review from 27 August 2013), Laser Maze Jr. (see review from 22 May 2015) and Gravity Maze (see review from 10 October 2014) games with their latest maze game, “Circuit Maze.” This game is primarily intended as a one-player game, and is suggested for ages 8 years old and up.

With “Circuit Maze,” players must build a connecting path of circuits onto a 5 x 5 grid (7″ x 7″), and light up specified beacons to win. The game includes 16 circuit tokens, most with metal strips on them so that they can carry the electrical current. The circuit tokens each measure about 1¼” square and are approximately ¾” high. The tokens carry the current in straight lines, around corners, across pathways and even include switch and bridge options. There are 3 Beacon tokens included that light up to confirm that token placements are correct. Power is provided by a battery pack/token that uses 3 AAA batteries, which are not included. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Electronics, Games

Little Cosmetics – Little Makeup Artist Set looks at a new makeup kit from Little Cosmetics.

Little Cosmetics 1Designed with curious preschoolers in mind, “Little Cosmetics” company now has a bigger and better set of pretend makeup for that little artist wanna be.  I reviewed the basic set (see review from 30 October 2015) and now it is time to take it to the next level. Just as previously reviewed, the realistic quality of this brand is unlike anything else on the market. Of course, the key selling feature of any of the products in the “Little Cosmetics” line continues to be that their makeup does not get on your little one’s face, hands or clothes – it is completely mess-free. I know, it is hard to believe, but true. In addition, I really loved the textures found among the different makeup choices offered. For example, the powder was very soft to the touch, while the sparkle shadow was designed to be a bit rougher. { READ MORE...}

Posted in Girls