So here it is. The Easter Holidays. And the weather man keeps telling me it is going to snow around here by the end of the week. If you are as unprepared as I am for the prospect of cold and wet weather (I thought we'd be pretty much in the park all holidays) then this is the review for you.
Find Me A Gift are known in our house for their great gift ideas, but I'd never really thought of them for the kids before. My husband yes - he loves all that innovative stuff.
I received three items from the website. All of which will amuse and entertain children, even if only in a small sort of way. These are the National Trust Flower Pressing and Fragrance Kit, the Teeter-Totter Piggy Bank, and Deep Drink Diver bubble straws. Read on to find out more!
This comes in a gorgeous box. Just lovely. It is a mix of brown, old-fashioned cardboard, and a deep pink border with gorgeous flowers and butterflies. I don't know why this is pink, do they not think boys like to press flowers too? I have books all over the place with flowers in them. They get put at the bottom of a stack for the weight, and often forgotten about!
I've mentioned before how I think we should reclaim the colour pink (no-one objects if you give something to a girl that's blue) so I won't digress. The National Trust Flower Pressing & Fragrance Kit is £12.99. In the box you get tweezers, two plastic trays, a notebook, pencil, card, magnifying glass, kit bag, disposable gloves, cheesecloth, bowl, flower press and a guide.
My son went nuts collecting flowers for this. We have some common land around and a woods, and I was careful to make him understand we can't just collect any flowers. From the green we got a lot of daisies, a legacy perhaps of the warm weather we've just had. Dandelions are also out in full force.
He picked some irises from our garden. We've not tried to press those before. And a range of colourful pansies.
The press is easy enough to use, although I had to help my son a little bit. The recommended age is 7 and upwards, and I would say that this would probably most suit a child around 8 to 10.
I couldn't convince my son to have a go at the perfume making, so I tried that myself. Lets just say I won't be chucking in my day job anytime soon. It was fiddlier than I thought, or I may have been doing it wrong. The guide is pretty clear and easy to follow though, so for those more into these things, it will probably work out well. I'd love to have another go though, I fancy making my own lavender water.
Pros: a good set of equipment, I really liked the press
Cons: pink, again! More information on collecting the flowers would be good
Overall verdict: 8/10
I'm not sure my son needs anything to make drinking fun, or to encourage him to drink more. He seems to do pretty well on his own. He does love a straw though. I mean REALLY love them.
The Deep Drink Diver straws (£3.99) have a nice little twist too. Put them in the water and bubbles float up. When it comes to the diver (you also get a shark) my son was in hysterics. Look he's farting! Honestly, it entertained him for ages. Such is life when you're seven!
Pros good price, a bit of fun
Cons well they are just straws
Overall verdict 9/10
Teeter Totter Piggy Bank
The Teeter Totter Piggy Bank (£4.99) looks like such fun on the box. Look how happy those children are - or for, presumably the one with the least money - frustrated. A teeter totter is, I believe, what the American's call a seesaw. And that's the idea here. You have a pig at each end, and the one with the most money in it goes down.
What a disappointment to open it up and find that it is just a big piece of cheap plastic tat. OK that's what it looked like to me. To the two children I gave it to (more fun for siblings I think than for a singleton like my son) it was delightful. They thought the pigs were fun, and gladly put their money in there. Emptying their moneyboxes, and trying to work out who had the most dosh did occupy them for a good 40 minutes.
The seesaw is quite big, and the balancing bit is very orange. And yes I didn't like it much. Nor did I think that the pigs are that robust. A heavy handed child will have them dented in no time.
Pros a fun way to save money
Cons cheap plastic, questionable build quality
Overall verdict 5/10