Parenting Life

Carnival Games! A Nintendo Switch Review.

Welcome to winter. The time of the year when nights draw in, weather gets worse, and… well… colour wise it all gets a bit dull outside. Bursting through the winter colours, comes Carnival Games on the Nintendo Switch. (Quick disclaimer – whilst the game was free, all the opinions are my own)

Carnival Games is mostly Nintendo through and through. If you think back to the games that made the Nintendo Wii great, the party games that got people standing up and joining in? The classics like Wii Sports and Wii Fit? Carnival Games tries to fill the void left by those games on the Nintendo Switch.

Based around the idea of an American style carnival, you’re presented with a couple of minigames based around different styled worlds, Jungle, Space, Western, and errr…. Steampunk?  Some of the games work better in their themes then others. For example the scifi style race game, could only ever work in the space series of games, but “Cosmic Bowling” could have fitted in anywhere really.

With that in mind, the “Cosmic Bowling” minigame is additive mini gaming at its best. Simple, and quick. Like how its meant to be.

Thinking about the game, I do wonder if theres something about a Carnival that gets lost in translation to a English Audience? Basically the more you play, the more tickets you get – the more games you can unlock. Which, I believe is very “carnival like”, but, Yes. The more fun games are there to be unlocked. It feels that Carnival Games could have been better served by giving more up front, by giving all the games, and motion controls up front.

Perhaps make us work at the games to unlock harder levels or something, but don’t make me work at getting to the fun stuff. Please? I feel there is a massively  fun game here underneath the need to unlock it all. It feels like its the sort of thing that a game update could very easily fix.

The good news is that the small one enjoyed watching me play, and cheered on my gaming efforts. Which is always nice.

Perhaps though, I’m not the suited age range for this? Perhaps if you have a couple of kids who get the carnival thing better than I do, I can imagine it being a fab purchase.

Keeping Kids Entertained During The Holidays

Welcome to the school holidays! If you don’t have kids, this probably means an easier journey to work, if you do this probably means you, or someone else needs to come up with ways to stop the little darlings from watching nothing but Cbeebies all day long.

But what can be done to entertain kids throughout the school holidays? Well here are a few ideas to help*.

Here is our list of ways to keeping kids entertained during the school holidays…

    1. Compile a list of all the local holiday clubs. GET TO ALL OF THEM.
    2. Picnics! AKA Uncomfortable meals surrounded by bugs!
    3. Run a marble run all over your house. When it goes wrong – remember – never again watch that episode of Topsy and Tim where Joyce managed to set it up ok.
    4. Run a treasure hunt around your local supermarket. AKA Do the shopping.
    5. Take all your toilet rolls and create a 1:1 scale model of the Eiffel Tower.
    6. Go on a quest. To the local family friendly pub.
    7. Bribe the kids into helping declutter the house (Good luck)..
    8. Explore the local park. No matter what the weather!
    9. Breakout that craft box. See how much glitter stays on the paper (that you’ve laid out to catch it), versus the amount that gets spread all over the bleddin floor.
    10. When all else fails. Cbeebies. Thank you CBeebies, for being you. (Not you Bing)

Any you would add?

*Obviously “help” is a subjective concept.

DIY Daddy

Making Magic Jars.

(This post could also be called “Craft That I’m Actually Happy To Do”, or “How To Make Magic Without The Mess”.)

I’m not a fan of craft. Well, I’m not a fan of craft when it’s just me and the little one.

So Glow DIY Magic Jars ReviewPerhaps it’s the mess. Particularly when the glitter comes out. I quite like the idea of Mummy not coming back home from work, to find the place looks like a child’s craft factory.

When I got the option of trying out So Glows DIY Magic Jars, I knew our crafty girly would be up for it. But privately hoped I wouldn’t be the parent around to try it out.

Well that wasn’t to be.

The small ones reaction to it wasn’t what I expected. Looking at the girl on the box she said, “Shes got pink finger nails, like mine.”

Good to see that the marketing on the box works.

So Glow DIY Magic Jars ReviewOpening the box calmed my mess-aware fears quickly. Step one of the instructions was to put a cover over the table. Liked that. The following steps were very simple, and kept anything that could have made a mess – mess free. (Unless of course you spill the water, but I’m not sure you can blame So Glow for that.)

What you end up with is little jars, with coloured water, glitter, and a little toy in. Oh and it all lights up when you shake it! Its almost like you shake it to wake it. (Wasn’t that the Orangina tag line?)

That, combined with the stickers, made for a very excited 5 year old when Mummy came back home, she was very keen to show the magic jars to!

This isn’t a quick activity if you have one child and a pack of multiple jars you find doing a few one after the other. Because it seems, doing one jar isn’t enough.
The So Glow Magic Jars are available from Argos – and well, I honestly reckon they would make a great present for crafty young ones.
This is a collaborative post, whilst the items in question were free, the opinions and thoughts expressed above are all mine.

The Parents Back To School Checklist

Well done! You’ve made it through the holidays! It’s time to send the kids back to school! Obviously it’s easy to say that the kids are “going back to school”, but actually the whole back to school thing is a mission in on itself.
To help you survive this mission with your sanity, here is the Dads Sofa Back to School Checklist: (Warning. May not be the most sensible help ever)
Don’t forget the following…
  • Alarm Clock! Use it!
  • Book bag! Because you probably forget it enough anyway.
  • Smart phone. To take Facebook ready photos of the first day of term.
  • School uniform! If it’s too big during the first week it doesn’t matter. They’ll grow into their uniform at some point during the year.
  • Snacks! Don’t be a fool. If you pick up a small child, bring snacks!
  • Nice snacks. For when said child has eaten the sensible more filling snack.
  • Notes. To help you remember the nice bits of the holiday… not just the moments when you were screaming at each other…
  • Wine. Helps with bedtime.
Any I’ve missed?