Monday, 9 January 2017

Christmas Presents - Did We Do Well?

Christmas is over and the excitement has waned. All those weeks and months of planning and making sure you got the right presents for the kids and now is the time when you see if you bought them the right things.

I'm going to run through a few of my kids presents and let you knew whether they were a hit or a miss.

Hatchimals - 

Shortly after their release they were sold out everywhere. That's when my girls decided they really, really had to have one for Christmas! I hunted everywhere but I refused to pay the ridiculously high prices that were being asked on Ebay. To me, they were expensive at £60-£65 and I really wasn't prepared to pay any more. Then Big Sister came to the rescue. She had a friend in Germany who said they were on the shelves over there and could pick up a couple easily. So she did and posted them on...and my total cost for two, including one special edition Owlicorn for a total of £117, including postage! Bargain!

Christmas Day - I'd told the girls that it was really hard to buy them and that they should not expect them and had given them lots of options for other toys. When they opened them they were surprised, but I think they were so resigned to not getting them that their excitement had waned a little. They really couldn't wait to hatch them and the whole family waited with bated breath while they twirled and pecked and hatched their way out. Half an hour later they were discarded while they played with their other toys.

We bought our daughter's Hatchimals for Christmas, but were they a hit or a miss?


They have played with them on and off since Christmas but they have really not been as enamoured with them as I thought they would be.

Plus points - they are incredibly cute and as a lover of interactive toys I really like these little critters.
Cons - They are smaller than I expected and can be really noisy, thank goodness for the off button!

Race Track -

The Little Man's main present was a Fast Lane Race Track..yes, 10 metres of it! It was chosen by his Dad who insisted that it would be the perfect present and he would love it. I'm not sure if he meant the Little Man would love or he would but I went ahead and bought it at Toys R Us for just under £50.  

Christmas Day - 

We decided not to set this up Christmas Day as we didn't have time or space, I have to admit that the Little Man wasn't overly excited when he opened it.
We did set it up on Boxing Day though and everyone had loads and loads of fun playing with it.
We even made a little video.



Plus Points - really great fun and gets everybody playing, it's even fun watching so no problems so far with waiting for a turn, but only two can play at a time.
Cons - It took an hour to set up first time but we have managed to pack away so that it can be set up in 10 minutes or so, it's still waiting time though and no waiting time is good for a 6 yr old. Also, it's HUGE, it takes up so much room. It's a good job we have a large living room, it's needed. The track is over 2 metres wide when set up.

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I like to buy some art or craft activities for Christmas so here are my opinions on two of the products I bought the girls.

IDO3D -

Star said she wanted a 3D pen and I saw this set in Smyths for just £14.99. I didn't really expect much for the price and to be honest you don't really get much.

Christmas Day - 

Star was thrilled to receive it and couldn't wait to get started. In fact she started at a time that I was busy doing something else and was unable to help her. She ended up with a mess.
We tried again later and got the pens working and even ended up with a pony design. It's not easy to work though and it's not really 3D, you just make the different parts and then stick them together to make something 3D

Plus Points - It's cheap and a nice gift. It is fun once you get started and the results are really unusual.
Cons - you can draw 3D using the pen and ultra violet light but it's really difficult and there are no instructions on how to do this. The given instructions are very poor and as I said, you are told to make the pieces then stick them together to make something 3D, not quite what we were expecting. Also, it's incredibly sticky and never really dries properly. The ultra violet light takes forever to dry the work and also keeps falling off the pen. 

Gel A Peel-

Boo wanted to make gel accessories like the advert on tv so I bought her a Gel A Peel Accessory 3 pack for £14.99.

Christmas Day - 

Boo was excited opening her present and like Star wanted to make things straight away. It was really easy to understand though and she soon made two bracelets, one for me and one for her. They took forever to dry but when they did we put on our bracelets. By the end of the day they were both broken.

Plus Points - Very easy to use, just take the cap off put on the nozzle and squirt away. There are lots of templates to choose from in the pack and the gel seems to last quite a long time.
Cons - You have to wait a long time for your creations to dry, I'm not sure they ever stop feeling sticky. They are very easy to break, although you can use the pens to repair them if they do, it's often not worth it. 

Lego Dimensions - 

This was a present for all three kids and we had decided on getting it when we went to Brick Live last September. I bought the Starter kit and Big Brother and Big Sister bought lots of expansion packs for all of them.

Christmas Day - 

It was a big hit when opened and they were all excited about the packs they received to go with it. They had some of their favourite characters from Adventure Time and Ninjago. The game was played by everyone on Christmas Day and lots of fun was had.

Plus Points - We got an offer on the starter pack and only paid £35, they are usually around £55. The game was loved by all and everyone enjoyed playing it. It will keep on being fun as we buy new expansion packs throughout the year, (Can't wait to get Sonic.) It was easy to get into and although some parts were a little difficult the kids all worked together to figure it out (yes the  big kids too!) There is the fun option of just messing around too which the younger ones love doing.

Cons - It's hard to find cons as we all loved it so much, even making the lego pieces to play it. The instructions for making the pieces are in the game which is not really a con, but the kids were a little impatient. The expansion packs can be a little expensive and I already have a long list of the ones we want.



Other presents included board games like Operation, Connect4, Word Search, Frustration and Pie Face which have all been lots of fun. (although, I think Pie Face is a waste of money and has very short fun value, i.e. once you've played it then there is not much desire to play again, unless you get some new victims  Players.) Board games are a necessity for Christmas and the kids will play them over and over throughout the year.


What did you get your kids for Christmas? What were their favourite presents? 

RachelSwirl
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