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i wrote this "i did" (Bucks)

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Melissa & Doug Wooden Doll Family
Melissa & Doug Wooden Doll Family
Price: 9.40

4.0 out of 5 stars For hours of imaginary play..., 21 July 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
We are raving Melissa and Doug fans and always say to enquiring relatives at birthday and Christmas time 'anything from Melissa and Doug' would be great!

Both our 4.5 and 1.5 year old have loved playing with these dolls. We already have an ELC wooden dolls house and they have both loved using these dolls in the house. But they have also played with them a lot in other locations. They made a perfect toy set to take with us on a picnic and occupied them for ages after the food was long eaten.

The things I really rate are the bendy limbs and the large feet, which makes them stand up really easily. I also like the simple yet colourful clothes - very 'classic'. It's lovely to have the full set. Our girls particularly enjoyed their grandparents. I'm not sure how they knew they were grandparents since their own grandparents are far from this grey haired stereotype!

Why 4 stars? Two reasons. 1)The baby is not the right size and was discarded in favour of their 'oh so cute' ELC Rosebud range baby. 2)There are visible glue blobs between the head and necks of the dolls.

But on the whole, another classic Melissa and Doug classic.

Ambi Toys Lock-a-Block
Ambi Toys Lock-a-Block
Price: 12.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Great for 18 months plus, 18 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Our 18 month old is really into posting things right now. Shapes, letters, pennies down the toilet....!

She loves this shape sorter - and so do I! All her other ones need quite a precise approach whereas you can pretty much insert the shapes at any rotation. Really useful for that much sought after independent play!

She is starting to get into the lock and key but hasn't quite mastered it yet. OUr 4.5 year old on the other hand has used it as a safe, and treasure box in her imaginary games. You know it's a good investment toy when your 4.5 year old has a good play too!

Obersee Kids Pre-School All-In-One Backpack with Cooler Bling Rhinestone Star
Obersee Kids Pre-School All-In-One Backpack with Cooler Bling Rhinestone Star
Price: 25.00

5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous and built to last, 18 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Our last two rucksacks for our daughter have been from M & S and Mini Boden. They have not lasted particularly well. On the Mini Boden bag the straps have started to fray and on the M & S bag the lining has seen better days.

I am pretty sure that we will not have these problems with this bag. It is SO well made. Have a little zoom with your mouse on the picture above. You'll see every strap and every seam is so secure and so well made. It's really robust.

The insulated front section is brilliant. Even chocolate in this hot weather made it unscathed to our recent picnic.

My only issue is the size - my 4.5 year ols is tall for her age and the bag is massive on her. I am trying to persuade her to let us 'put it away' for when she starts to school but she is rather attached. Who wouldn't be with that rhinestone star. I'm kinda tempted for myself!

Galt Toys Girl Club Glitter Studio
Galt Toys Girl Club Glitter Studio
Price: 11.24

3.0 out of 5 stars Expensive at 13.99, 18 Jun 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Although billed as 6+, my four year old daughter LOVED this set. She sat happily in a puff of glitter and created her heart out. I can confirm that it IS washable, as stated! THANK GOODNESS! She was covered!

However, it did not seem very good value for money. Once all the packaging was removed, its component parts did not, in my opinion, amount to its 14 price tag - particularly as the stencils are made of cardboard and are unlikely to last the test of time. We tend to pick up glitter glue etc... from the pound shop, then it can be used liberally without regret. I did'nt notice any discernible difference in this glitter glue from Galt.

If you can get it discounted, go for it.

Galt Dr Miriam Smiley Sun Mirror
Galt Dr Miriam Smiley Sun Mirror
Price: 14.67

4.0 out of 5 stars Mirror and ribbons. Win - win!, 27 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This mirror combines two baby favourites - a mirror and 'taggie' style ribbons. It's soft and safe and attaches easily to our cot.

My only issue is the mirror is a little smaller than I would have liked.

I must just say....I'm a little sceptical about the 'part of a range of baby toys developed with Dr Miriam Stoppard' claim. My eldest played with an almost identical mirror at the toddler group we used to go to. Perhaps more of a case of 're-packaged for Dr Miriam Stoppard'.

Galt Dr Miriam Baby Bath Set
Galt Dr Miriam Baby Bath Set
Price: 5.00

3.0 out of 5 stars Not much bang for your buck (or should that be quack for your duck?!), 27 May 2014
This review is from: Galt Dr Miriam Baby Bath Set (Toy)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Our daughters really love this! They have squabbled regularly over who gets to hold the float and who gets to play with the little animals. But it does seem really over priced. A bag of little bath squirting toys are usually 3ish and rightly so because however much you squirt the water out at the end of the bath they always end up mouldy inside and have a short shelf life.

So is the float and Dr Miriam's patronising play suggestions worth the extra money. Well. like I girls love the float!

Disney Frozen Castle and Ice Palace Playset
Disney Frozen Castle and Ice Palace Playset
Price: 122.99

4.0 out of 5 stars FROZEN FANTASTIC (but so expensive!), 27 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I can't help but start by saying THIS IS SO EXPENSIVE. Our wooden dolls house cost half the price and I am quite sure will stand the test of time much better than this ...

...BUT........if you're children love Frozen and you can justify the expense....this is pretty awesome!

We have had this for a week now and our daughters have played with it non-stop!

When it first arrived (in an enormous box - very exciting!) I had my doubts. There were lots of little pieces and it all looked rather flimsy - especially the card inserts.

It took Team Mummy and Daddy 20 minutes to put it together, Mummy worked on Ana's half and Daddy put together Elsa's half. I must say it fitted together very well. The pieces 'clicked' into place really easily and sturdily - even the card inserts.

If you're wanting a big reveal for a birthday or Christmas - it might be worth putting it together first. We had two excited children crawling all over us whilst we tried to do it!

The castle is quite tall and wide - but does fold together so doesn't take up quite so much space.

There is the odd piece that I think is unlikely to last very well - mainly the card flag and the card screen but other than that I have been impressed by the robust nature of it.

Elsa's half has a wonderful shimmery glitter effect, which adds to the magic!

My worry with 'branded' toys has always been that they would limit the imagination in a way that a more generic do not. I am pleased to say that this has definitely not been the case. This toy has completely captured our eldest daughter's imagination. She has come up with sequel plot lines as I discovered when I asked her to do 'Let it go' and she replied "No Mummy! They're friends now. She won't ever need to sing that song again!"

The hardest part was tracking down an Elsa doll to go with it. Ana seems to be much more readily available!

So 'for the time in forever' may I recommend you 'let it go' and 'say something a little crazy'....YES!

Trunki PaddlePak Water-Resistant Backpack - Inky the Octopus (Purple)
Trunki PaddlePak Water-Resistant Backpack - Inky the Octopus (Purple)
Price: 15.24

4.0 out of 5 stars The fastening is a little fiddly for a four year old...but it's awesome!, 27 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
This bag is fabulous! We road-tested it on a trip to Centre Parcs.

It's fabulous. A lovely vibrant colour and such a cute design. Our four year old was delighted to receive it.

It has reflective straps which give peace of mind for grey days/evening drawing in.

It's water resistant. We had a few rain showers and the contents stayed nice and dry.

The back is padded - so comfy for a little back.

The zip has a big zip pull, making it easy for little fingers.

There is a loop for hanging this bag up. So annoying when they don't! ANother thing to clutter the hall floor!

A little small for a swimming kit. The towel had to be REALLY tightly rolled to fit in with a swimming costume and deflated arm bands. Fine on the way to swimming but harder to do on the way back.

The fastening is a bit tricky for a four year old. You have to roll it accurately three times before you click it shut. It wasn't a huge problem but it's nice if they can be independent.

Bibetta Neoprene Children's Lunch Bag (Turqoise Bird)
Bibetta Neoprene Children's Lunch Bag (Turqoise Bird)
Price: 14.95

4.0 out of 5 stars Washing machine and tumble drier friendly, 27 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
I cannot remember how many time my daughter has come home from nursery with half a pot of yoghurt or fruit swilling around in her lunch box (I understand the rules about not throwing anything away so you can see what they've had - but yoghurt? Please!). We do our best to wipe her insulated padded lunchbox but it's past its best. So the fact that this lunch box is both washing machine and tumble drier friendly is a big selling point.

It is insulated and an attractive colour/design. Our daughter loves the little bird name tag.

Why 4 stars not 5? Two reasons: 1) We really miss having a shoulder strap. When we are taking two children complete with lunch bags, book bags, changing bags to their nurseries this is just one more thing to carry. 2)I worry that if you had something delicate like a peach, it would not be as well protected as in a padded or plastic box. I think I would end up putting it in a plastic container inside the bag which would result in more washing up!

Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Bouncer
Fisher-Price Rainforest Friends Bouncer
Price: 34.50

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Baby Marmite., 15 May 2014
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Our baby got on very well with this bouncer but preferred the Fisher Price Rainforest swinging chair we also had so spent more time in that. It wasn't just that they preferred to swing than bounce, that chair was a much more up right seating position then this one and they liked watching the various family goings on around them. This chair is the most 'laid back' of the bouncer chair's that I have come across, which will suit some babies but not all and I think the chances of yours growing out of being happy in it quite quickly are pretty high.
But having said that the colour scheme is lovely and our children adored the familiar animal designs of the Rainforest range. Oddly the hanging toys seem designed to appeal to an on looker rather then a baby as the animals face outwards (see the product photos).
The assembly was fine and the build quality seemed rugged enough. So if you think this would be up your baby's street go for it!

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