Let’s play… Kinetic Sand! (Review + Giveaway + Promo)

Product Review

Image Source

You must have seen this video floating around the internet quite a lot last year. The Husband and I were so amazed with it but wondered if it will ever be available in Singapore. This has to be the coolest toy we have seen. Like EVER!

You know what? IT IS AVAILABLE IN SINGAPORE NOW! Pardon my excitement but yeah, I’m excited!! The Kinetic Sand is available in Singapore through the good folks of Pupsik Studio who also specializes in awesome baby and parenting products.

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Pupsik Studio was very kind to provide us with the 1kg pack to review and we (namely Mummy and Daddy) couldn’t wait to rip off the packaging to play with the cool sand. Yes, Mummy and Daddy were way more excited than our child. Hahaha!

According to Pupsik Studio’s website,

“Sand play stimulates and develops children’s fine motor and creative playing skills. Kinetic Sand is the perfect material for open-ended, non-directed play. It leaves no sand or residue on your hands and is great for sensory therapy. Kinetic Sand is also great for kids with allergies – it is wheat, gluten and casein free and 100% safe and non-toxic.”

According to Mother of Xander,

If your kid loves the beach and you hate the sun, this might be a good compromise. He gets to play his sand, you get to lounge around in cool air-condition comfort in your house and with minimum cleanup afterwards. Win-win situation!

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At first glance, the Kinetic Sand looks like any regular fine grained sand you might find on the beach or in stores. Even though clean-up is relatively easy, the sand can still get everywhere if your kiddo is the fidgety or active sort. We found a bit of sand in his hair, on the floor and under his feet but nothing a quick vacuum couldn’t solve.

Xander loves to play at the beach and with sand. but we haven’t been able to hang out at the beach very much last year because… I don’t know why actually. We just never got round to it for some reason. When I showed him the box, he thought “Oh how nice, sand in a box! Gimmegimmegimme! Open now!” We then showed him what the Kinetic Sand could REALLY do and that got Xander even more excited. He wasted no time and immediately attacked the sand completely ignoring us for a good hour and a half. I need to mention that Xander has sensitive skin and whenever he plays with regular play-dough or sand, he will always end up with some rashes somewhere on his face or hands. I am pleased to say he had none of those at the end of the day. Phew! If your little tike accidentally gets some in their eyes or even swallowed some, don’t panic. Just grab water to flush their eyes or drink some water. Easy peasy!

Naturally, Daddy got into the action with the little one and made some masterpieces of his own as well.

My verdict of Kinetic Sand is an honest and completely unbias BUY IT! Not only was it great for my 5 year old, even my 30 something year old was thoroughly entertained by it.

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Exclusively for Mother of Xander readers! Pupsik Studio is giving away a 1kg pack of Kinetic Sand to ONE lucky winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Come back to this page on Monday 20 Jan 2014 to see if you are the lucky winner.

Congratulations Pavalamani! We will be in touch with you via email soon!
Thank you everybody for your support!

If you can’t wait to get your hands on the Kinetic Sand, Pupsik Studio is offering all readers of Mother of Xander a 15% discount on the Kinetic Sand as well as the Bubber Smart Shape set in the month of January! Just key in the discount promo code of “MOTHEROFXANDER” before you Checkout.

The Kinetic Sand is available from Pupsik Studio and it is suitable for ages 3 and above.

For pricing and other product information, please visit their website or Facebook page.

Website: http://www.pupsikstudio.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pupsikstudio

Check out the other fun products from Wabafun at http://www.pupsikstudio.com/shop-by-brands/bubber-moon-sand/

Let’s play… CitiBlocs plus a giveaway!

Advertorial

As you probably know by now, my dear husband aka The Blogfather scammed persuaded Pamela of My First Games to hand over the coloured blocks instead of the plain coloured ones to him as a token of appreciation for him sweating all over her nice clean floor while fixing up the table she so kindly bought from us some time last year. I won’t repeat the story, I’m not Channel 5. OOPS! You can read his account here.

I’ve reviewed some of her other board games last year and they were Pengoloo, Spot it!, Soccer Dinosaurs! and my personal favourite Viva Topo! They are all fun but CitiBlocs is definately the most versatile of them all.

 

Xan (just turned 4yo) has been a big fan of the regular wooden blocks (you know, the ones with cylindrical, semicircle and rectangular shapes?) the minute he laid his eyes on my nephew’s set during one of our visits to my mum’s place. Over the last 2 years, his wooden block collection kept growing because we bought some and a friend gave us her son’s set since her boy was getting too big for them. He can spend quite a long time playing with blocks while I slip away to do some housework. Since then, he has built towers, buildings, boats, spaceships and also ramps for stunt cars. The run of the mill assortment of blocks served him quite well until now.

 

Ok, so the colours are really pretty. Reallllly pretty! Xan initially wasn’t sure what to do with them because they were all the same size and same shape. Very different from the usual blocks he plays with that came in all sort of shapes. Based on the instruction manual that came with the boxes, there are so many different things you can build. You can build lobsters, houses, trucks and even a coliseum depending on how many blocks you have. Check out the CitiBloc master videos here.

Not that I have no faith in Xan, I thought it would be easier to introduce the blocks to him by building really simple shapes. Wah lau the boy gave me a really sian look after I very enthusiastically show him my 6 block master piece. *heart crumbles* Luckily he saved my heart from shattering into more pieces with a hug and a “But I still love you anyway”. Mummy scrambles to the manual to look for the most cheem (difficult/complex) pattern possible with 100pcs.

A few weeks later, we were invited to a friend’s house for a New Year countdown party and we thought if the other kids don’t turn up, Xan was going to reach for the iPad or our phones for sure. Since we just received the CitiBlocs, why not bring it along. Clever right? I know man.

Stolen from a friend’s Facebook album

After the noms, Daddy emptied the 2 boxes of CitiBlocs for Xan and half expecting to spend the entire time guiding him. This time, he went straight for the manual to look for inspiration instead of waiting for us to come up with something for him to follow. When he wasn’t sure, he would hollered for Daddy and Mummy to come to his rescue.

 

He decided our structures were boring so he went ahead and did his version of a tower. So easy! While he was creating and improving his architectural masterpieces, I was able to continue my gossip session without having to help him every 2 minutes. Good for me leh!

 

Eh, I say so much also no use. You got to try it to believe it. I no bluff you one.

Well, it just so happens, My First Games (the exclusive distributor of CitiBlocs in Singapore) would like to give ONE lucky YOU a box of 100pc CitiBlocs (RP S$49.90). Why, you ask. Why not, we say.

To win this is so easy.

  1. You must to Like these 4 Facebook pages (click click click click):
    The Blogfather
    Dear Xander
    My First Games
    and of course don’t forget mine!
  2. Leave me a comment with your Facebook name to let me know that you’ve already Liked us all. For those who participated in The Blogfather’s giveaway but didn’t win, LAI LAI LAI! I panchan(give chance to) you. Leave a comment here for a 2nd chance. Steady boh? Steady right?
  3. In your comment, let me know if you want the Hot or Cool Colour set.

My First Games is also giving Mother of Xander’s readers an exclusive 10% off your purchase of their CitiBlocs range! To redeem, just use the discount code “MOMXAN” when you check out your purchase!

Some other terms to note:

  1. This giveaway is open to Singapore addresses only.
  2. Contest must end on Friday 1 February 11.59pm. I so love the .59 timing. So exciting!
  3. Winners will be randomly drawn and notified via Facebook PM.
Good luck! I will also pohpee (pray) for you

 

*Mother of Xander received 2 boxes of 50pc CitiBlocs in order to write this review. However, all opinions expressed here are my own.

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02/02/2013

UPDATE (Submission for giveaway is now closed):

My dear friends, thank you for participating and supporting my first ever giveaway! Here is the list of participants in no particular order.

  1. Andy Lee             Cool
  2. Bena Chan          Hot
  3. Eddie Yii               Hot
  4. PC Lee                  Cool
  5. Nadia Efron        Hot
  6. Angeline Sim      Hot
  7. Regina Soejanto-Moo    Hot
  8. Alicia Tan             Hot
  9. Jaime Chan         Hot
  10. Veraday Poh      Cool
  11. Lexelle De Charmaine    Cool
  12. Esther Kee          Hot
  13. Boon Hean Low       Hot
  14. Jasmin Ho            Hot
  15. Ct Chooi               Cool
  16. Chuyan Kwek    Hot
  17. Delia Mar             Cool
  18. Cen-Tin Ting       Cool
  19. Wack Duo            Cool
  20. Cindy Chia           Hot
  21. Jingxian Liang     Hot
  22. Winnie Lam        Hot
  23. Jocelyn Wee      Cool
  24. Lilium Day            Hot
  25. Sheron Moey    Hot
  26. Sarah Lee-Wong     Cool
  27. Angeline Ng       Hot
  28. Jenny Tan            Hot
  29. Cheryl Siew        Hot
  30. Viola Tan              Hot
The winner has been notified via Facebook PM.
Kum sia very much!

Let’s play…Viva Topo!

Based on looks alone, I will give award winning Viva Topo 2 big thumbs up . I love the wood pieces shaped like cheese wedges and mice with the little felt ears and tails. So cute can?

Image taken from MyFirstGames.com

The goal of the game is to gather as many pieces of cheese (they come in portions of 1, 2 , 3, 4 and 6 slices) you can grab without getting caught by the cat who will sneaking around and waiting to pounce on you. This game involves a little bit of strategy because the farther you go on the board, the bigger the cheese but each mouse is only allowed to collect 1 tasty piece per turn. Once the furry fella is in the cave, he has to stay there. Probably because he passed out from the cheese binge. *BURP*

Oh yah! There is a twist to the game! Come on, you really didn’t think it’s that easy to be a cheesionaire (Geddit? Geddit? Cheese+millionaire?) and attain ultimate nirvana in cheese heaven right? On the die, there is a cat icon and when you roll one of that, the cat gets to move 1 space. After the cat makes one round around the board, it will double it’s speed by moving 2 spaces instead of 1. Pam warned us at this point of the game, Xan might start to get upset and cry because the cat will be moving faster and he will lose his little furry friends. That damn cat made him cry buckets! In between sobs he kept saying NO CAT! I DOWAN THE CAT!! NAUGHTY CAT! Needless to say the game didn’t last very long. Sorry Pam.

That damn cat!

One day, we were supposed to pick my nephew to go for a trial art class with Xan so I decided to bring Viva Topo along just in case we get a chance to play it. Long story short, we ended up at my office and we (me, The Husband, The Son and The Nephew) had a go at Viva Topo. Like Xander, Andre loved the game at the start when it was nice and slow. They laughed, they squirmed around, the boys had fun. Once the cat picked up speed, it was all downhill from there. Now we have TWO hysterical cat hating boys. Who would have guessed a small wooden cat would create so much chaos? *face palm* Well, the tears didn’t last very long. Nothing an ice-cream cone won’t fix. Hehe!

The recommended age for the game is from 4 years and up. This sounds about right lah. Exciting for the kiddies, super entertaining for the adults when the kids burst into tears. 😛

Viva Topo retails at S$70.00 and is available from My First Games.

Let’s play… Soccer Dinosaurs!

When Pam whipped out Soccer Dinosaurs from her bag, I thought to myself HA! Xan will surely like THIS! The dinosaurs look cute, rules are simple, game pace can be fast and most importantly, can use DIE! Not sure why the fascination with dice throwing but hey, whatever makes the kid happy right?

Since we don’t have the habit of playing board games with the kid, he hasn’t grasp the concept of rules and waiting for turns. When we do play (board games, card games or whatever) I will admit we bend rules and alter game play just to make him happy or for the game to end very quickly so we can whisk him off to bed pronto.

Basically, Soccer Dinosaurs is a memory game where the first player to reach the goal line and score a goal wins. To do that, the player has to first roll the die and whatever colour (red, blue or yellow) you roll will be the piece you will use for the game. In front of the Player can now decide which tile to turn over be the first player to dodge the red crosses and score 2 goals. As with all sports games, a referee will always be guard, standing on the side of the field (there are footprints on the board to indicate where the referee should stand) to keep an eye on you when you make a mistake or turn over a tile with a red cross. Sounds really simple. What could possibly go wrong?

Full concentration for the 1st 5 minutes.

I think we’re not very good at making the board game sound exciting. At least not exciting enough for him to hold his concentration longer than 5 minutes and then scamper for Team Umizoomi. Maybe because we’re not very sporty folks who knows how to do that thing sports announcers do to rah rah the crowd and get them all excited. Yep, we’re a pretty boring bunch my husband and I 🙁

My nephew enjoyed it a lot more than Xander.

Undeterred, I decided to try the game with my nephew who is a little over a year older than Xander. He liked it a lot more than Xander but after a few rounds he decided he had enough and his ‘Facebook’ was more interesting. That green file near his hand in the picture is his ‘Facebook’. A file filled with faces he could colour. Ha ha!

Despite that, I think this game is simple for 3 years old and up. It will be even better if you can get a few kids to play together so that once they start to get the hang of the game and get competitive, they will enjoy it even more.

Hop over to My First Games and take a look at their full range of awesome games they have available.

Let’s play… Spot it!

Spot It! is a visual perception card game in which players race to find the one matching picture between one card and another. The pictures can be different sizes.

The cards are round and feature an assortment of colorful images of items like insects, plants, symbols, and smiley faces. Every card is unique, and has only one picture in common with each card in the deck. The game is very portable and includes a deck of 55 cards in a round, tin container that is the same size as the cards.
Information taken off My First Games website

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6eFM_NzqoLo&w=560&h=315]

Trying out Spot it! among ourselves.

We met Pamela from My First Games at Upper Crust and played a few rounds before we went home with the games. The latte was mine. I needed caffeine to concentrate. Oi, we’re playing games leh, need to concentrate one! According to Pamela and the rules, there are a few ways to play the game:

The Tower: +1 point per card collected / +5 points to the player who has collected the most cards
The Well: +10 points to the first player to run out of cards / -20 points to the last player
Hot Potato: -5 points per round lost
The Poisoned Gift: +20 points to the player who has collected the fewest cards / +10 points to the player who finished in second

I’m ashamed to say I was the ultimate loser of the afternoon. I’m not very observant nor do I react very fast. I’m quite pathetic at games that involves speed and concentration. Don’t judge me but I like simple games like Puzzle Bobble. Instant gratification mah…

Despite the fact that I was the ultimate loser, I really did enjoy the game. It’s almost like Snap but a lot more challenging and definately more fun because there are 8 symbols on each card and only 1 symbol will exist between 2 cards. We were thinking “Really??” then flipped most of the cards over to find the matching symbols. Ya, they weren’t kidding. I was thinking this will make an excellent drinking game for the adults, yah? YAH? Add a bit more speed, fewer cards, higher stakes, BAM! Perfect party game!

Later that night, Daddy and I tried to play the game with Xan but all he wanted to do was to distribute all the cards to Daddy and me then move on to another game. Well, the recommended age was 5 years and above but Xan is only 3+. Oh well, at least we tried.

In a nutshell, this is a fun, simple and compact game you can take anywhere.

Go to My First Games and take a look at their full range of awesome games they have available.

Let’s play… Pengoloo!

My First Games Pte Ltd is an importer, distributor and retailer of premium quality Euro-style boardgames and educational products. Pamela from My First Games invited us to try out some of the games to see how our kids or ourselves respond to it. I’m a big fan of games so when she made the offer, I jumped at the chance lah! First game to review is Pengoloo.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9_5XkUtKYz0&w=640&h=360]

From the description on the box, Pengoloo is suitable for ages 4 & up but if your kid has mega concentration skills, the game is good for 3 year olds too. The game is pretty simple, roll the dice, find the matching hidden eggs. Be the first to collect six penguins to win. Easy peasy!

Playing with penguins

I didn’t realize until we started playing the game that Xan doesn’t really understand the concept of “waiting for your turn”. The first few games were quite a challenge but after that Xan really enjoyed the game especially the part where he gets to find the coloured eggs regardless if it was his turn or not. To make the game a little more challenging, the players are allowed to steal the penguins away from their opponent. When Daddy started stealing the pieces off Xan’s iceberg, Xan got peeved and ALMOST cried when Daddy wanted to steal another piece. Haha! Immediately after that, we decided to stick to the original rules. We are happy when Xan is happy.

Overall, I liked the Pengoloo. Easy to understand, easy to play.

Go to My First Games and take a look at their full range of awesome games they have available.