Christmas Gift Guide for 5 – 8 Year Olds

Christmas Gift Guides for 5 – 8 Year Olds

We’ve been through this stage twice now so far and the first time it was all about football, Pokemon and football and then the second time was blind bags and Barbie.

Unicones surprise Ice Cream Cones


Unicones – RRP £12.99

If your kids like unboxing blind/surprise bags then they will love these. You can read our recent review of the Unicones here.

Mariokart Deluxe Switch Computer game

Mario Kart 8 Deluxe – RRP £49.99

If you’re looking for a fun family game for your switch then I would definitely recommend this as it suits most ages. Freddie’s been giving it a go since he was three.

cutetitos Care Bear Edition. Surprise toys inside

Cutetitos Care Bears – RRP £11.99

Belle has had some of these that came inside wraps and loves them, but this is the Care Bear series which look super cute.

LEGO Spidey and his amazing friends set

LEGO Spidey and his Amazing Friends Set – RRP £18.99

What kid doesn’t like LEGO and this set includes Superhero’s so it’s a win win!

The Dinosaur that Pooped Christmas book by Tom Fletcher

The Dinosaur that Pooped Christmas – Tom Fletcher – RRP £6.99

If your kids appreciate poo humour then this will have them doubled over at bedtime. It’s one of Freddie’s favourites!

Mouse in the House Playset

Mouse in the House Playset – RRP £11.99

This cute playset is for playing along your skirting board and comes with stickers and accessories for your little ones to create their own little school setup. Check out our reels to see it in action.

Dobble Picture matching game

Dobble – RRP £12.99

We haven’t got this game but have heard great things about it. It’s the quickest person to match two items.

Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage

Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage – RRP £79.99

All boys (or girls) like Hot Wheels and there are a lot of sets to choose from. I would personally pick something like this that doesn’t look too complicated to set up. We’ve had numerous sets that nearly set us insane trying to put back together.

GooZonians stretchy characters

GooZonians – RRP £19.99

These squishy characters are great fun for squishing and stretching. There are six figures to collect and each one has a different tactile filling.

Beaker Creatures Science Experiment kit

Beaker Creatures Alien Experiment Lab – RRP £24.99

We were sent this kit to review a few years ago, but have replaced the alien pods several times over as our 4 year old loves it. You can read our review here.

Happy Shopping x

*This post contains items I have been gifted as well as affiliate links which means I receive a small payment if you make a purchase following one of my links at no extra cost to you.

Christmas Gift Guides for Pre-School Children

Christmas Gift Guide for Pre-School Children

I find buying for pre-school children quite tricky since they all have very different capabilities. There’s a sticky point between age 2 – 3 where they may have outgrown the ‘baby toys’ but aren’t quite ready for the 3+ range.

However, it goes without saying that I think a Tuff Tray is a fantastic investment for pre-schoolers as the play possibilities are endless. I think we paid around £75 with a stand when we bought ours for Freddie for his second birthday but it has been played with so many times that I would recommend them to parents without fail.

Kid Knex Zoo Friends Construction 30 Piece set

Kid K’Nex Zoo Friends – RRP £18.00

This cool set comes with 55 K’nex pieces that can be made into more than 30 zoo animals. The pieces are brightly coloured and great for small hands. We recently reviewed this Zoo Friends set and it was a huge hit!

cocomelon wooden peg puzzle for toddlers and preschool children

Cocomelon Peg Board Puzzle – RRP £9.99

Great puzzles to keep little one’s entertained with their favourite characters.

Let's Learn Trivia board game for preschool children

Let’s Learn Trivia – RRP £12.99

This thought-provoking game is a great way to allow your kids to use their imagination through learning.

Dinosaur Colour Sorting set with coloured dinosaurs and cups

Colour Dinosaur Sorting Set – RRP £13.99

We got Freddie a Tuff Tray for his second birthday so sets like this are really great when you’re looking for a quick play idea that will keep them busy for a while.

Superwings Jett Supercharged Deluxe toy with lights and sounds

Superwings Jett Supercharged Deluxe – RRP £17.99

Freddie absolutely loves any toy that transforms from one thing to another and this is a TV show as well. This one has lights and sounds which is doubly awesome!

Playdoh Cash Register with four pots of Playdoh

Playdoh Cash Register – RRP £19.99

We have a lot of Playdoh cutters, rollers and other bits and bobs but this set is really fun. You can even make your own play money.

Yellow Scrambler Ducati Balance Bike for toddlers

Scrambler Ducati Balance Bike – RRP £40.00

We bought this for Freddie for his second birthday and he loved it. It’s the perfect size for toddlers and is lightweight which makes it perfect when you inevitably have to carry it when they’ve had enough.

Tuff Tray play tray on a stand for toddlers and children

Tuff Tray and Stand – RRP £59.99

A Tuff Tray has endless possibilities. You can create play ideas both inside and outside and the stand makes it far easier for your child to stand and play. It can be as basic as filling with water and giving them a selection of cups and bottles, or you can set up amazing play scenes with themes such as sealife creatures or construction.

Owl Waterwheel toy for toddlers and preschool children. Pour water in the top and watch it come down the wheel to the truck waiting at the bottom

Owl Water Wheel – RRP £12.99

This is great for water play on the Tuff Tray. Fill the top with water, turn the tap and watch the water make it’s way down to the truck waiting at the bottom.

Wooden animal bead threading set

Jaques of London Animal Threading Bead Set – RRP £12.99

This set is great fun for little ones who need a quiet activity that will keep them busy for a while. Freddie is also really good at stacking them up as well as threading them.

Kitchen Sink Playset with working Tap

Kitchen Sink Playset – RRP £23.99

Another huge hit for us was this water playset. You fill up the bottom and it has a working tap by pressing the button, and it empties back into the bottom so recycles the water time and again. The set also comes with accessories and fruit and vegetables that you can chop.

Colourful Plastic Tea Set in case

Play Tea Set – RRP £12.99

We’ve used this tea set so much. We’ve had tea parties, used it in the bath and have also put it in the paddling pool in the summer.

Happy Shopping x

*This post contains items I have been gifted as well as affiliate links which means I receive a small payment if you make a purchase following one of my links at no extra cost to you.

Christmas Gift Guides for Babies

Christmas Gift Guides for Babies

When you have a baby the urge to buy them a shit-tonne of stuff is strong, but believe me the saying ‘less is more’ definitely applies. My biggest recommendation would be to get a Jumperoo or equivalent which are a huge lifesaver when you want to do a few jobs. They’re big, brightly coloured, and make a lot of noise but are definitely worth it!

We did sensory classes with our youngest two so we put together sensory baskets which included some bought items and the rest were things like ribbons, sponges, material, wooden spoons which they all love to play with.

Lamaze Freddie the Firefly Baby Toy

Lamaze Freddie the Firefly Pram Toy – RRP £11.99

I love this range. I used to sell them back in the day when I had my online baby shop. There are loads of features including crinkles, teething rings, and squeakers.

Fisherprice Jumperoo

Fisherprice Jumperoo – RRP £119

I said I wasn’t going to get one of these when I was pregnant with Freddie as they’re huge but I succumbed for the want of a hot cup of tea and five minutes of free arm time.

Ewan the Dream Sheep Baby White Noise Soother

Ewan the Dream Sheep – RRP £39.99

This is slightly different from the original Ewan as it has soothing lights and white noise sounds which is activated by babies movement

Baby Einstein Musical Activity Bar

Baby Einstein Musical Activity Bar – RRP £21.99

This is great for tummy time or sitting up with three settings – Colours, Animals and Xylophone.

Wooden Bunny Pop up Toy

Wooden Bunny Pop-up Toy – RRP £12.99

This toy is really simple but such a lot of fun. Put the Bunny in the hole in the top and press it down – and it pops up.

Vtech Activity Cube

Vtech Activity Cube – RRP £28.00

This cube has a different activity on each side. A word of warning is that the volume control is loud and louder but it’s definitely a thumbs up from Freddie as a baby.

Hide and Squeak Eggs

Hide and Squeak Eggs – RRP £10.99

This is such a simple toy but so much fun. You take the eggs out and put them back in time and time again with a little squeak here and there.

Fisher Price Shape Sorter

Fisher Price Shape Sorter – RRP £14.99

All babies love a shape sorter and this one has ten shapes and a carry handle.

Grasping Activity Toy

Wooden Teething Activity Toy – RRP £14.00

This toy is great for little hands to grip and seems to keep their attention with bright colours and the ability to stretch and squash it down.

Touch and Feel Baby Book

Touch and Feel Activity Book – RRP £17.99

Babies love touch and feel different materials. These books are full of crinkles, squeaks and textures. My kids had something similar to these but I would definitely buy these for any new babies in the family.

Happy Shopping x

*This post contains items I have been gifted as well as affiliate links which means I receive a small payment if you make a purchase following one of my links at no extra cost to you.

Review: Lite Brite Oval

Review: Lite Brite Oval

It feels like a lot of the toys that I had or wanted as a kid are making a huge come-back recently and one of these is this Lite Brite Oval which has obviously had a huge makeover since the basic one I coveted as a kid.

As well as the new shape, the Lite Brite over is now in high definition with 50% more holes and three times the pegs than the classic version.

The Lite Brite Oval is recommended for children aged 6+ and retails at £24.99 from Smyth’s Toys and other retailers.

Lite Brite Oval unboxed with the contents displayed

What comes in the set?

  • The set comes with the oval base which has a stand so you can keep your designs and would look great on a bedroom shelf.
  • It does take three AA batteries which are not included.
  • Hundreds of little coloured pegs for creating your designs
  • 8 template sheets.

Lite Brite Oval with template on ready to start putting in the coloured pegs

Light Modes!

Once you’ve created your designs there are 5 different light modes

3 Colour changing patterns (fade, flash, white light) or 2 animations (slow, fast flash)

Girl adding coloured pegs to the Lite Bright Oval

Sensory Play

The Lite Brite Oval can be used in a sensory play setting by creating patterns and selecting the different light options to help support developing visual senses which can be used to create a soothing environment which is great for self-regulation.

Lite Bright Oval with the lights on with alien spaceship template

Setting up

There is very little set-up with the Lite Brite Oval. All you need to do is pop in some batteries and you’re good to go. The template sheets that come with the set just peg onto the board and you just follow the colour code on it which has the first letter for each colour as a guide. You then push the coloured pegs through the template into the board, and once finished choose your light setting to show off your designs.

Lite Brite Oval with the light setting set to red

Our Thoughts

Isabelle is twelve and was really pleased to give the Lite Brite Oval a go. She loved the templates that came with the set but, was also very keen to create her own designs as well.

She really liked that it had a stand so that she can put it next to her bed to use as cool lighting for her room.

I also really liked this set as it’s something that Belle can go off and do on her own which is what she likes to do these days. I know that Freddie is also going to want to give this set a go so I know it’s definitely going to get used between the two of them. It’s also a lot cooler than the Lite Brite of my day.

You can buy the Lite Brite Oval from Smyth’s Toys currently priced at £22.99

If you liked this post and the toys that we’ve reviewed then why not take a look at some of the other Review Posts.

*We were gifted the Lite-Brite Oval set for the purpose of this review. All opinions and photographs are our own.

Lite Brite Oval Review



Review: Kid K’Nex Zoo Friends

Kid K’Nex Zoo Friends

We were so pleased to be given the opportunity to review the Kid K’Nex Zoo Friends set. We already have a box of K’Nex so we knew that we were going to have a lot of fun with this Zoo Friends set.

K'Nex Zoo Friends Set opened and spread out on a table

What are K’Nex?

Essentially they are a type of construction toy that comes with lots of different brightly coloured pieces that connect together almost like jigsaw pieces. These are great for smaller hands and the models can be made easily with a little bit of help from an adult.  K’Nex help develop fine motor skills, dexterity, and hand-eye coordination. They’re pretty indestructible, we’ve yet to have a broken piece.

Four year old boy playing with K'Nex Zoo Friends Set

Kid K’Nex Zoo Friends

The Kid K’Nex Zoo Friends set comes with 55 pieces and the ability to make 30 models. Your kids can of course go rogue and create their own animals using the various eyes, tails, and feet pieces. This set retails at around £18 on Amazon and is suitable from age 3.

K'Nex Zoo Friends Set giraffe

Putting K’Nex to the Test

Freddie loves construction toys and is particularly good at building and creating models. He was very pleased when I gave him this set and had his sights set on the giraffe as soon as we looked at the model sheet. There aren’t details instructions to build each model, but the brightly coloured pieces make it very easy to work out what pieces you need and how to put them together.

Freddie only needed a little bit of help to make each model and it wasn’t long before we’d made all of them.

K'Nex Zoo Friends Set

Our Thoughts

Freddie – ‘I love it’ were his exact words. He was very excited that he would be able to mix it with his existing monster set to make some very unusual creatures. The K’Nex Zoo Friends set gets a huge ‘massive’ thumbs up from Freddie.

Mine – This set also gets a huge thumbs up from me. I bought our first set as a non-messy tuff tray option that would keep Freddie busy when he needed to be entertained and I needed to do something like make dinner. The pieces are a good size even for toddlers and are easy to put together and pull apart. I’ve bought K’Nex sets as presents for other children as I know they will be played with and are a good price.

K'Nex Zoo Friends Set

If you enjoyed this review and are looking for some recommendations then please take a look at our other Toy Reviews.

* We were sent the K’Nex Zoo Friends for the purpose of our review. All thoughts and photographs are our own. This post contains affiliate links. 

Review: Having Fun with Unicones

Having Fun with Unicones

Unicones are the sweet ’n sparkly unicorns that come with a slime surprise! There are 12 Unicones characters to collect. Each comes in an ice cream cone with a variety of accessories to decorate the surprise unicorn. Will you discover a rare, super-rare or an ultra-rare character?

Each Unicone comes with more than ten suprises, including a tub of unicorn poop slime.

Kids can collect all 12 adorable Unicones characters in the range. Each comes hidden in a sweet ice cream cone, along with a variety of accessories and stickers to decorate the unicorn inside. Will you discover the rare, super rare and ultra-rare characters?

There are more than ten surprises to unwrap, with each Unicones cone. This includes one tub of unicorn poop slime; there are 12 mystery Unicones styles to find! The Unicones retail at £13.99 and are suitable for 3 years and above.

Unicones Ice Cream Surprise collectible toy

What’s inside a Unicone?

Each Unicone comes with its own set of accessories and slime dependent on which Unicone you get.

We opened up Party Rox which came with the following:

  • Silver Party Rox Unicorn
  • Gold Sunglasses
  • A SWAG Necklace
  • Earrings
  • A set of Wings
  • 3 Tattoos
  • Clear pot of Slime
  • Silver fine Glitter for Slime
  • Stick-on Jewels

First of all you pop the ice cream off the top and this reveals the Unicorn and the set of wings. The wings slot onto the back of the Unicorn.

Unicones Unicorn with sunglasses and swag necklace

There are three tabs on the ice cream cone which reveal a further three pots, each containing accessories. Our accessories were sunglasses, a SWAG necklace, and Earrings.

Unicones Unicorn with jewel decals and tattoo accessories

Underneath the Unicorn is a pot of Unicorn Poop slime which can be mixed with fine glitter. Ours came with clear slime and silver glitter which became a super stretchy sparkly silver slime.

Unicones Unicorn with accessories

We used one of the pots to put water in to apply the tattoos to the Unicorn which went on surprisingly well.

Unicones glitter being poured into a cup with clear slime

The jewels were already set with glue, so Belle was able to easily apply these to the Unicorn with no problems.

You can watch the unboxing over on Instagram.

Unicone clear slime mixed with fine silver glitter

Our Thoughts

My first thought was that these are going to be very popular at Christmas. My daughter loves collectibles and finds the whole unboxing/surprise element to be just as exciting as the end product. As a parent, I think these are at a great price point and definitely get a thumbs up from me. The only thing I could fault was the wings, which come off quite easily but are also easy to pop back on.

More importantly, is Belle’s opinion. She loved the whole surprise element and the fact that it was an ice cream cone gave this extra points. Adding the slime in and this is a perfect collectible, and something she would definitely want more of.

Unicones Unicorn with all accessories attached

You can buy your own Unicone over at Amazon.

*We were sent two Unicones for the purpose of this review. All opinions, thoughts and photographs are our own.

Sooty Land – A Magical Day Meeting Sooty at Crealy

WSooty Land – A Magical Day Meeting Sooty at Crealy

We live a stone’s throw away from Crealy and it makes for a fun family day out. There are things for all ages to do including fast-paced rollercoasters right down to taking a stroll through the animal paddocks.

You can also make a holiday out of it and stay at Crealy Meadows with an option for Camping, Glamping, or one of their Lodges.

Two children standing in front of giant sooty at Sooty Land Crealy

Where it all began

We were invited to go along for the opening of Sooty Land at the weekend. I grew up with Sooty, Sweep, and Soo so it was such a treat and a trip down memory lane for me personally.

Richard Cadell, the Presenter, and Owner of the Sooty Show introduced us to Sooty with some background information about how Sooty came about. Sooty was discovered in a Blackpool Joke Shop in 1948 by Harry Corbett and was offered his own TV show after appearing on the BBC’s Talent Night.

Sooty has met many a famous face including the Queen and Prince Philip where he might have been a little bit naughty!

Sweep first appeared on the show in 1957 joined by Soo in 1964.

In 1976, both Sooty and Harry Corbett were awarded OBEs for charitable services.

Also in 1976, Harry Corbett’s son, Matthew took over as presenter of the Sooty Show.

In 1985 Richard Cadell joined the Sooty Show, and in 1998 Matthew Corbett retired leaving the show in the hands of Richard going forward.

Richard talked so passionately about his adventures with Sooty that it felt like a ‘Proud Dad Moment’ that Sooty now resides at Crealy.

Sooty will be celebrating his 70th Birthday next year which is pretty incredible since he doesn’t look a day over five!

Sooty Land

Sooty Land is a great addition to Crealy.


There are four new rides:

Sooty’s Magic Bus takes you up into the sky and gives your tummy a little flip when it comes back down.

Sweep’s Flying Circus is an aeroplane ride that goes round and round. You can make the planes go up and down yourself using the button.

Soo’s Sweet Balloon Ride where you sit in a hot air balloon and go round, like the teacup ride but in the sky.

Izzy Wizzy Let’s Get Dizzy is a fast car ride that spins around and makes you feel like you’re going to crash into the other cars.

Soo's Sweet Balloon Ride at Sooty Land, Crealy

The Pier Building is home to:

  • An interactive Strike Arena
  • Sooty’s Carnival Games
  • Sooty’s Magic Mirror Maze
  • An electronic interactive climbing wall
  • Spider climb duo slides
  • Jigsaw Tetris
  • Magi Bricks
  • Giant Twister
  • Dance studio

Richard Cadell and  Sooty at the opening of Sooty Land

The Pier is also home to the Hall of Fame which was such a lovely trip down memory lane. It features many of the original props from the shows and is definitely worth checking out.

Grab something to eat

There are four additional places to eat:

  • Sooty’s Diner
  • Sweep’s Hot Dogs
  • Soo’s Cafe
  • Seaside Spuds

We went to Sooty’s Diner where both kids had chicken bites and chips and I had a Southern Fried Chicken burger and chips which was both reasonable in price and tasty.


The Sooty Show

Last, but definitely not least is the Sooty Show which you can watch in the big top. It was funny from beginning to end, even including a few jokes for the adults. It was interactive and held the attention of my usually fidgety four-year-old from beginning to end.

We ended the day with ice cream and a meet and greet with Sooty, Sweep, and Richard which was the actual Sooty used in the shows.

Two Children sitting on a giant deckchair at Sooty Land, Crealy

Our Thoughts

Visiting Sooty Land was a huge hit with my kids, and I really enjoyed it as well. The rides were all great alongside the rides throughout the rest of the park. The Sooty Show was my favourite bit. The kids had flashing wands and joined in with the magic spells and other interactive bits. We laughed all the way through. Isabelle nearly fell off her seat at one of the cheeky jokes that she’s told everybody she’s talked to since we went. There’s so much to keep the kids happy both inside and outside. There are lots for all ages which is always a bonus for a parent with big age gap kids. I would definitely add it to your Devon Bucket list.

You can find other recommendations for Great Family Days out in Devon here.

  • We were given complimentary tickets to attend the press event, but all thoughts are our own. 

Sooty and Sweep behind the bushes at Sooty Land, Crealy

Easter Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Tweens

Easter Gift Ideas for Toddlers and Tweens

If you’re a regular reader then you’ll know that I have rather large age gaps between my children. Most of the time it’s really difficult to get the balance right when planning day trips or activities that suit everybody. Obviously, the eldest at 22 is not included in this round-up, but will of course get his fair share of chocolate goodies. I find that crafts, baking and games seem to be things that interest both the three year old and the eleven year old, so we’ll go with this theme.

This round-up is a selection of Chocolate alternatives since both kids tend to get more than their body weight in chocolate from friends and family. 

A selection of Easter Gifts for Toddlers and Tween aged children inside a giant pink easter egg

Ceramic Painting Sets – £1.00 each – Pound Shop

I found these lovely ceramic painting sets in the Pound Shop. They had a choice of an Easter Egg, a Chick and a Bunny. Each set came with a set of three paints and a mini paintbrush.  The surrounding Easter Animals were also from the Pound Shop and were available in various themes including Easter Animals, Farmyard Animals and Jungle Animals.

Ceramic eggs and chicks surrounded by Easter animals, paint pots and paint brushes

Play-Doh Colour Burst Set – £4.99 – TK Maxx 

I picked up this really cool Play-doh set which has four pots with sprinkles of different colours that you mix together. It looks really cool when you first get it out and the colours swirl into each other.

A set of Play-doh colour burst Play-doh surrounded by Easter Animals

Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Bogey £6.99

I picked up a book for both Freddie and Belle at the school book fair. This was my choice for Freddie who finds anything that includes bums, farting, pooh, and bogies absolutely hilarious. This book is really funny and includes a few fairytale favourites including Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Goldilocks. It also comes with three pingable bogies. It was a huge hit!

Uproar – £8.99 – McMiller

Uproar is a bit like snap, but you turn two cards over and find two matching words and sound out whatever the sound is including a hungry pig and slurping soup. This is aimed at 8 years and upwards but as long as you can read, you can play. It is absolutely hilarious, and in fact, my eldest will probably pinch this to play with his mates as part of their pre-drinks before going out.

Uproar game similar to snap but with words

The Smart Girls Guide to Life – £6.99 – Amazon

Isabelle has been struggling with anxiety recently and so we’ve been doing lots of work on feelings and emotions, and how to deal with them. This book has loads of stuff including the kind of quizzes that I used to do in teen magazines and an agony aunt type section.

Scratch Art Set – £6.99

Belle really enjoys these scratch art kits so this Easter-themed one will be a perfect gift.

A Personalised Easter Bunny Mug – £8.99

One of these mugs will be perfect for Freddie who likes to have a cup without a lid now. Even more perfect for hot chocolate.

Easter Craft Jar – £6.00 – Hobby Craft

A huge jar full of everything the kids need to keep them entertained during the Easter Holidays.

Easter Craft Jar full of Easter themed crafting items for kids

Acrylic Paint Pens – £10.18

These Acrylic Paint Pens are perfect for decorating Eggs in time for Easter. They can be used on lots of other stuff too including wood, pebbles, canvas, and glass.

Easter Toss Game – £8.99

This game can be played inside or outside and come with four beanbags. This would be suitable for both Freddie and Isabelle so a win win situation for me as a Mum.

Bath Bombs – £7.99

Again another gift that both ages will enjoy. Belle loves bath bombs and Freddie who loves to copy everything she does, now likes to have them in his bath as well.

Easter Stampers – £8.49

These stamps are great for little hands, and each one is inside an egg. This set of 12 eggs could be used as part of an Easter Egg Hunt.

Okay, so maybe it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be to find Easter Gifts that would be suitable for both age groups.

Happy Easter!

If you are looking for something to keep the little ones entertained then Pom Pom Painting can be a lot of fun!


*This post contains some affiliate links and gifted items. Affiliate links mean that I receive a small payment when you click and make a purchase at no extra cost to you. 

Recipe: Red Velvet Pancakes

Red Velvet Pancakes

I wish I could take credit for these Red Velvet Pancakes, but this recipe has been put together by the Chef’s at Gousto.

Recipe for making Red Velvet Pancakes with photograph of pancakes topped with cream and chocolate shavings

Ingredients (Serves 2): 

For the pancakes:

  • 115g self-raising flour
  • 15g cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for frying
  • 130ml milk
  • A couple of drops of red food colouring
  • 30g dark chocolate chips

For the cream cheese frosting:

  • 1.5 tbsp honey
  • 120g cream cheese

To serve:

Chocolate sauce and chocolate shavings

How To:

Step 1: Grab a bowl and mix together the flour, baking powder, cocoa powder, and a pinch of salt. Make a well in the middle of your dry ingredients and add the eggs, honey, veg oil, milk, and food colouring.

Step 2: Beat the wet ingredients together then stir in the dry ingredients until you have a batter. Don’t worry if there are a few lumps.

Tip: Don’t over-mix your batter! It will make your pancakes less fluffy (and no one likes a limp pancake).

Step 3: Heat some oil in a non-stick frying pan. Ladle in 1/6 of your batter then sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top. Cook for 2 minutes, or until bubbles form on top of the pancake, then flip over and cook for another 2 minutes until golden. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Tip: Use medium heat until the pan is hot, then reduce to a medium-low. Blasting the heat will burn your cakes (or crêpes). Once they’re cooked, keep them warm under a tea towel.

Step 4: While your pancakes cook, mix the cream cheese and remaining honey together. This is your sweet, cream cheese frosting.

Step 5: Serve your pancakes with a dollop of cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of chocolate shavings. Then add a good drizzle of chocolate sauce over the stack. Enjoy!

More Pancake Tips from Gousto’s Senior Chef Jordan Moore:

  • Use a non-stick pan.
  • Add the mixture to a really hot frying pan.
  • Add a little more oil between cooking each pancake.
  • Use butter, coconut, or rapeseed oil for frying.
  • Spread the mixture out in the pan as quickly as possible.
  • Always add the liquid to the flour gradually, and keep whisking to avoid lumps.
  • When it comes to gluten-free flour, the best ones to use are rice, buckwheat, or coconut flour. For dairy alternatives for milk, you can use almond, rice, soya, or coconut milk.
  • If age-appropriate, adding protein like nuts and seeds to your pancake will help to maintain your blood sugar, keeping you fuller for longer.

Don’t forget to check out our other Pancake Recipes which include a Simple Pancake Batter, American Pancakes and Pancake Kebabs all of which are delicious.

Review: Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

Last week in the depth of our covid isolation we were very pleased to hear the knock at the door that signaled the arrival of the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck which we were kindly sent to review. Freddie has inherited all of Isabelle’s Playmobil recently and loves to set up little scenes and play with the various characters.

All three of my kids have been fans of a Rubbish Truck and like to watch the weekly bin collection out of the window (at 6.30 am I might add). They even get a wave some weeks when they spot Freddie’s face pressed against the window watching their every move.

If you’re a Playmobil fan then you will know that there is a little bit of set-up required for most of the Playmobil sets. I was quite pleased that the setup for the Rubbish Truck was minimal. The trickiest part being the stickers which I really wished were done for us, but it’s not much of a hardship.

I did, however, manage to put the wheel part on the wrong way round which meant that the wheels didn’t go round.  This was easily fixed.

Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck Review by Freddie

What you get with the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

You get the Rubbish Truck of course
A big yellow wheely bin
A green wheely bin
A brown wheely bin
Two Dustbin Men
A fire extinguisher
Walkie Talkies
Some rubbish for your bins which includes a couple of fishbones

A toddler boy sitting next to a Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

The Truck’s Features

This set comes with everything that you need to set up a great refuse collection service. The bits of rubbish to put in the bins is a great feature.

The wheely bins attach onto the back of the truck and can be emptied by pulling the lever up just like in real life

You can remove the front window for easy access to put the characters in and out of the truck

The whole back end of the truck tips up when you reach the rubbish dump, just like the real thing

The flashing light is a great addition to make this a realistic role-play toy

Toddler boy unboxing the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

A Bit of Info

You can buy the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck at most toy retailers.

This set is aimed at children aged 4 – 10 years as it has small parts.

It retails at £24.99

Toddler boy playing with the Playmobil City life Rubbish Trck

Our Thoughts

I thought that the actual Rubbish Truck would have had the biggest appeal, but Freddie was very impressed with the little wheely bins. The set comes with tins and fishbones and the wheely bins fix onto the back of the truck so that they can be emptied. That was until he spied the light on top of the truck which can be pressed for a proper dustbin lorry orange light. Not many of the Playmobil sets have lights or sounds so this was a huge thumbs up in terms of role-playing for real-life play.

From a Mum’s point of view, the Rubbish Truck gets a huge thumbs up from me. It’s a lovely addition to our existing sets which include a house and playpark. I also think that the price is really great for everything that comes with it.

Toddler boy fixing the wheely bins onto the back of the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck

You can have a look at some of our other reviews and recommendations here.

*We were sent the Playmobil City Life Rubbish Truck for the purpose of this review