Pairs in Pears

Pairs in Pears was sent to the Johnson Babies and they said “Four sets of alphabet tiles, in different designs, the tiles are hard wearing and type fast.

An easy packaging, which will ensure all pieces are returned and held tight between play.
With a variety of suggested games, it demonstrates it can be as appropriate to an early learner as adults.”

Read more of their review here

Our Play Advice:

social skillsliteracy skillsWe love taking the letters and putting them onto household things that begin with that letter – ie put the letter T on the television, the letter F on the fridge, or hide the letter V in a vase.  The Rainbow toddlers love letter games such as this and they really help with reading!

Pairs in Pears is available from FB Green Kids and all good retailers

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Bizzy Bitz on Test – a blogger’s tale

Tanya had a set of Bizzy Bitz to test and here is how she got on – take a look here.

Bizzybitz2The construction toy began life in the spot light over on Dragons Den

bizzOur Play Advice:

creative skillshand eyeAfter reading Tanya’s review, we took a look at Bizzy Bitz and we were impressed.  It’s a well put together construction toy ideal for smaller children with little hands.  It’s not gender specific so another box ticked.

Bizzy Bitz can be bought from from their website where prices begin at £4.80. Also available from Amazon

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Jumbo Bananagrams Revisited

A while back Mama Mummy Mum was asked to test Jumbo Bananagrams and her review is here.

They revisited the game now the children are a little older, we wondered if it still held its appeal or was it consigned to the cupboard? We found out here.

More lovely images are found over at the Mama Mummy Mum blog

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ZIP-IT ~ Tested by The Purple Pumpkin Blog

The Purple Pumpkin Blog tested ZIP-IT for us and said;

ZIP-IT is a perfect travel game – it is completely self contained with the instructions, bonus Weords™ dictionary and letter cubes stored inside a unique scoring pouch. There is a handle at one end that makes it easy to carry as well.


ZIP-IT is a two player game, suitable for ages 7-97!  I think it would be great for younger children when they’re starting to write and learn words, and if I live to be 100 it would be pretty cool to still use the old grey matter ;)

The premise of the game is simple – use your letter cubes to create a crossword grid; the first to finish is the winner! Simplicity is the key to a great game – there is nothing worse than having to remember a bunch of rules or refer back to the rule book when playing a game. You just want to get on with it and play!

As you score points, you use the zips on the scoring pouch to mark your progress. The first to ’10′ is the winner. I kind of wished that the score numbers were the other way around so that by the time you’ve got to 10 you’ve zipped up the pouch!

Read more of their review here.

Our Play Advice:

literacy skillsnumber skillsWe too enjoyed the carry pouch cum score card!  We’ve used our ZIP-IT in the car and on the boat, it’s  lovely travel game, and you always know if a piece is missing too, which is very handy!

ZIP-IT is available from Amazon

All images are courtesy of The Purple Pumpkin Blog

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Appletters by Bananagrams

Appletters is a fun word game created by the makers of the incredibly popular word game Bananagrams. The idea of Appletters is for players to take it in turns to make a word worm, by adding words to the ‘head’ or ‘tail’ of the worm. Each player starts with 9 tiles and the remaining letters (there was a lot for us as Little miss and I played alone) go in the middle. The first player starts off the game by making the first word, then the other players take it in turns to add words using their letters. If a player is unable to make a word, they must pick 3 letters from the middle. The first player to use up all of their letters is the winner.

We sent a copy of Appletters to L Plate Mummy to see what she thought and her review can be read here.

applOur Play Advice:

literacy skillssocial skillsAppletters is a hugely social game and we loved that side of it, L Plate Mummy thought the same as us, in so far as, we think Appletters would make a great adult game, being simpler than the likes of Scrabble and taking less time to understand and play.

Appletters is available from Amazon

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Review of Jumbo Zip-It

We sent the Mad Mum of 7 a Jumbo Zip-It to road test. To play competitors race to use all the large varnished blocks to make a crossword of words.

The first one to use all their 12 blocks to make real words (not slang or text speak!) and have all the words spelled correctly wins a point which is marked by moving one of the two zips on the sturdy carrying bag up one point.

Opponent spots a spelling mistake? They get the winners point!  Her full review and in depth can be seen on the Mad Mum of 7 Blog.

Our Play Advice:

literacy skillssocial skillsWe say – pick a letter a day to learn all about, as the Jumbo Zip-It blocks are all upper case letters, then let children explore their lower case alternatives and find where they are in the home.  Use old magazines and papers to cut out upper and lower case letters and make a wonderful montage, not forgetting to ensure the children can make and recognise the sounds for each letter.

Jumbo Zip-It is available from Amazon

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Okiiyo – The Smart Pal Buttercup

Okiiyo is an augmented reality app toy that can be scanned with your smartphone or tablet and comes alive on your device!


Okiiyo comes in five colourful characters with arms that hug and keyring lanyard for you to keep them safe! ok1

All come with a free app to download, OkiiPong is an Android and Apple compatible game.  More games to be released soon the makers say. All the games have limited features unless you scan your Okiiyo and then you will gain all full features including unlocking more characters, arenas to play in and tournament play.  Scanning the Okiiyo is easy and full instructions are on screen once the app is downloaded.


Okiiyo is split into 3 parts: USB card reader that will save important files if you insert your own mini SD card.  The Okiiyo Head can be used as a stylus to use with your phone or tablet and play OkiiPong with for added accuracy when trying to score that winning goal! OkiiHug is the Okiiyo’s clippable arms that can be pressed to hug your clothing or bag to keep Okiiyo safe. If you prefer to have Okiiyo as a keyring you can use the free matching colour lanyard or use the longer lanyard to hang Okiiyo around your neck – both come included with every Okiiyo.


Okiiyo is £9.99 from Amazon

Our Play Advice:

Skills this toy will help your child with;

online skills social skillsWe enjoyed our Okiiyo but it had limited appeal, there needed to be more to do with it in order to hold our kids imagination for longer.  We discovered that in order to use the USB part of it you needed to further purchase an SD card which were about the same cost again as the toy, this disappointed us.

We did have some good games of Pong though and even used the internet to gain the history of Pong and talk about early computer gaming, it was a good history lesson in the end!

Everyone can follow Okiiyo and be up to date with new apps on their Facebook page


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