Posted on July 29th, 2019 - Anya
Our friends at orchard toys have a super new game out this season we think you’ll love. Let’s Go Lotto explores 4 different forms of transport for young enthusiasts. Choose the train, boat, bus or plane, fill it with passengers and grab a ticket and you’ll be off. As always Orchard Toys bring the perfect balance of education and fun to their latest game which is perfect for 2 – 5 years. To discover more about Let’s Go Lotto and for your chance to win a game for your kids just read on.
The Rules for Let’s Go Lotto
Memory game meets Lotto in this fun travel game. Here’s how to play:
- Piece together your chosen mode of transport, there is bus, boat, plane and train to choose from.
- Place passenger and ticket cards face down on the table.
- Take turns to turn over a square passenger card and see if it matches a passenger on your board.
- If it is a match place it on your board, if not place it back face down on the table.
- When your passengers are all on board, choose a ticket. The first to match their ticket with their full bus, train, plane or boat is the winner and ready to set off on their journey.
Educational Benefits we Love
- Develops matching and memory skills
- Encourages observational skills
- Supports personal and social skills
Playing Let’s Go Lotto
Why not hop over to the Orchard Toys page for Let’s Go Lotto where you can watch their video of the game, download the rules and this fun to colour picture.
Need to Know
- 4 jigged transport boards
- 20 passenger cards
- 4 ticket cards
- 1 instruction leaflet
|Players||2 – 4|
|Age Range||2 – 5|
|Green credentials||80% recycled materials|
|To Clean||Wipe with a damp cloth|
|Produced and stocked by||Orchard Toys|
Win your Let’s Go Lotto Game from Orchard Toys with Coombe Mill
For your chance to win this educational lotto game simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
Orchard Toys Let’s go Lotto Game
We were sent our copy of Let’s Go Lotto for the purpose of this review. Our game can be found in the Coombe Mill Games room for our holiday guests to borrow.
Posted on July 26th, 2019 - Anya
It must have been the hottest few weeks of the summer and I was worried everyone would stay on the beach rather than return to the farm to join me for a dinosaur dig led activity hour. I should have more faith, as 4pm approached each week I heard the cars driving back and the children rushing along the footpath to join me. Dinosaurs had sparked their imaginations and they were keen to find out what we would be doing.
We began the sessions with a look at Dinosaur layer by Layer book with sounds from Quarto Kids.
The book gave the children inspiration for how to colour in my pre-cut dinosaurs. These came from a lovely activity book by Orchard Toys, traced onto cereal boxes. The children took their time creating their own bespoke dinosaur design before choosing a ribbon colour and hanging them around their necks. Older children cut out the dinosaur shapes themselves.
Painting Dinosaur Models
From previous craft activities, I knew how solid flour and water sets as a paste. This gave me the inspiration to experiment with a stiff flour and water mix in some dinosaur biscuit cutters. I made them in advance leaving them to set overnight, however in the morning they were still quite pliable. Figurring that they just need to dry out more, I popped them in the oven at a low heat turning them every 10 minutes. Within half an hour they were set solid and I left them to cool before taking them along for our craft sessions.
The children had great fun painting them in their own choice of colours and designs into some truly unique stegosauruses and friends.
We left our model dinosaurs drying in the afternoon sun while we headed off on a dinosaur trail to find the dinosaur dig.
The children had to find the different dinosaurs from the Orchard Toys book I’d printed and stuck up along the trail. They had no trouble spotting them and showing me which way they were facing and therefore which way our trail would take us. Each picture had the dinosaurs name, together with the phonetic spelling, which the children attempted at each stop.
The final clue led us to the dinosaur dig. Hiding by the river were blocks of ice with dinosaurs cunningly encased inside. The children soon worked out they would need either a large stone to bash the ice and free their dinosaur from its ice age casing. It makes a creative learning activity and a change from hidding the dinasaurs in the sand pit which I’ve done in the past.
Collecting the children together for a photo by the river with their dinosur dig finds was a callenge. There is always someone looking the worng way, but that’s real life!
I collected the dinosaur clues up on our way back. A few of the children stayed behind to colour in their favourites that matched their model dinosaurs.
How to create your dinosaur Dig at home
Buy an inexpensive pack of plastic dinosaurs.|
Pop each dinosaur in a tub of water. I recycled supermarket cartons from veg like mushrooms. |
|Place the tubs in the freezer to set overnight.|
|Print off some dinosaur pictures and set them out to make a trail.|
|Turn out the dinosaurs in ice ( you may need to run them under a warm tap to loosen them).|
|Place the dinosaur dig ice packs at the last clue.|
|Let the kids loose on the trail. |
The children really enjoyed their dinosaur afternoon each week and would quite happily have carried on making more things. All except one girl that is, who declared she preferred unicorns to dinosaurs. My mind is already working ahead now on a unicorn version!
Posted on July 15th, 2019 - Anya
Finding new and innovative toys from birth upwards isn’t that easy. Toys need to be primarily safe, but also engaging for baby’s discovery in the first few years of life. We thing we may have found the perfect toy. Musical Animals from Baby To Love. This adorable collection introduces babies and young children to the delights of the animal world in a safe, imaginative and soothing form.
Meet the Musical Animals
Choose from Madeleine, Luca, Achille, Vincent and Jean. Each has a music box stored away inside them surrounded by a super soft textured animal in rounded form. These delightful animals come in a variety of pastel colours related to their wild animal equivalent and are sure to be a popular addition to any bedroom or playroom
Each animal boasts a different soothing melody. Simply pull the cord from the underneath of the animal and the tune will begin to play. Madeleine the Whale plays Swan Lake, Jean the Toucan flies in the sky to Over the Rainbow and Achille the Crocodile, who we have, plays the gentle Fur Elise.
What we love
- Educational for tiny tots:
- Helps to stimulate curiosity.
- Helps sensory development of vision, hearing and tactility.
- Beautifully crafted with no sharp edges.
- Soft yet durable.
- Would make a great present for a baby shower or first birthday party.
Here’s how my Nephew enjoyed meeting Achille the Crocodile
Need to Know
|Age Range||0 – 4|
|Manufacturer||Baby to Love|
|Product Materials||Outside: PU, interior: polyester fiber|
|Stockists||Baby to Love online shop|
Win your Choice from the Musical Animals range with Baby to Love and Coombe Mill
For your chance to win one of these cute and soothing animals for your little one or as a gift to someone you know, simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
Musical Animal toy from Baby to Love
We were sent our Musical animal: Achille the crocodile for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Achille can be found in the Coombe Mill Games room toy box for all our holiday guests to enjoy.
Posted on July 12th, 2019 - Anya
I had a real mixed age range for half term on the farm and wanted to come up with a craft that would appeal to them all, especially the 9 and 10 year old boys who I suspected wouldn’t join in if the activity wasn’t spot on. I’ve not run a session of bow and arrow making in years, however I had inkling it would be right up these boys street from youngest to oldest. I was right, despite being the nicest day of the week I had quite a gathering return from the beach in time to join in.
I had enlisted the help of Guy who, reliving his own childhood had made a template for us to follow. He and his brothers then proceeded to fire it around the garden and I was worried it wouldn’t survive till activity hour! Turns out it was well made and only a lost bow into the trees needed recreating.
Sticks from the Fairy garden
Guy had been pruning some trees for Farmer Nick and saved the best bow style twigs to scatter in the fairy Gardens for the children to find. They also each chose a length of bamboo for a lightweight arrow.
Back at the craft tables Guy whittles notches in the end of the bows and arrows. He also explains a little knife safety.
Making a Bow and Arrow
Now we were ready to turn twigs into bows and arrows. We used strong string in the groves cut by Guy to create the bow. A length about 20 cm over the length of the stick is ideal for tying and tensioning. A slight bend in the stick will occur, just like a real bow.
Bow and arrow decoration
We used a mix of colourful floristry ribbon and wool to decorate our bow and arrows. Some of the boys just wanted to go straight into play, but when I reminded them we needed to identify whose arrow went furthest they relented and began to choose their colours and materials. By the end even the most reluctant was embellishing their design with a wrap around hand grip.
Making a Target board
To make things more fun I laid a white sheet down on the slope of a hill and the children helped me paint around a dustbin lid to make a target. This is perfect for giving them a direction to fire in and something safe to aim for.
Target practice fun
Needless to say they had a great time firing at their DIY target. To make things fair the younger children were helped by parents and stood closer. The older ones relished the challenge of standing further and further back.
Tips if you try this at home
Tension good quality the string well.|
Use a stick with a slight bend for the bow but not too flexible or it may snap.|
Keep the stick to a maximum of ground to chin height, otherwise it may become unwieldy to use.|
Arrow needs to be long enough to pull back without going beyond the string. |
|Ensure arrow is straight to control direction.|
|Having a target keeps a focal point to the firing.|
|Make sure children are supervised with using the knife.|
|Why not make a nature crown or headdress to go with your bow and arrow.|
Posted on July 1st, 2019 - Anya
Travelling with kids can be tiresome unless you are well prepared. No parent wants to hear, “Are we nearly there yet” or “I’m bored” when you’ve hardly left the house. Technology can be a huge help with DVD players and tablets, however as a great alternative Lonely Planet Kids have come up with “Games on the Go”. These comprise of a compact boxed set of 40 reusable wipe clean cards and an erasable pen. The whole lot is smaller than a tablet or portable DVD and perfect to pop in your handbag ready for those moments where you need to entertain those in the back seats.
To find out more about these great value wipe clean card games and for a chance to win yourself a set read on.
What are Games on the Go?
Each of the 40 wipe clean reusable cards contains a drawing exercise, brainteaser or puzzle. They are perfect to keep young minds working and keep them busy on just about any form of travel. Whether you are in the car, aeroplane or train, they are easy to bring out and use. The cards are designed for a mix of ages so you may need to shuffle through to find the ones most suitable for your child. From counting to creating, word search to country identification, there is enough variety and complexity to span the age groups.
What we love
- Great value
- Something for all ages
- Easy to use
- Develops creativity and logical thinking
- Answer card included separate to question cards.
- Can be used anywhere
Video demonstration using Games To Go
Need to know
|Age Suitability||Age 5 upwards|
Contents: Box with 40 wipe clean cards, 1 erasable pen
Paper from responsible sources and certified by Forest Stewardship Council
Dimensions: 120.65mm × 165.1mm
|Curator||Lonely Planet Kids|
|Stockists||Lonely Planet Kids Online shop, Amazon, Wordery, World of Books|
Win your Games on the Go box set from Lonely Planet Kids and Coombe Mill
For your chance to win these lovely Games on the Go box set to make travelling anywhere more fun with your children simply follow the instructions below. Good luck to all taking part.
Games on the Go from Lonely Planet Kids
We were given a set of the Game to Go for the purpose of this review however all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. The Coombe Mill set can be borrowed from the games room for travelling on fun days out in Cornwall.