ITEMS OF THE WEEK 1-10
Fun and Educational / Weird and Wonderful things ...
DOG DNA TEST
Oooh I am all giddy with excitement, the Dog DNA results are in! It took just under 3 weeks from posting the swab off to getting the results...The Dog is an anomaly - every time we go to the vet, she is met with the response 'I Have never seen this in a dog before'...she was a rescue puppy, allegedly collie-cross, mother looked similar, father unknown. Turns out she is 25% German Shepherd, 12.5% Border Collie, 12.5% Curly-Coated Retriever, 12.5% Collie and the remaining 37.5% from the breed groups: Terrier, Guard, Middle Eastern and African and Companion. What a mix, but it explains her loving and kind nature. The results come in a 10 page report with profiles of each breed and a family tree. Well worth it in my opinion. We got our test from Amazon.
THE DEEP TOP TRUMPS
My love affair with The Deep aquarium in Hull continues. A visit there is always a treat with something new to see and learn each time. And guess what?? A genius idea - The Deep now has its very own Top Trumps!! Featuring a wide variety of fish and animals from The Deep, this is the perfect way to learn lots of interesting facts and have fun with your favourite fishy characters. Surely the best stocking filler...
The Deep Top Trumps are available in The Deep shop at the aquarium or online:
EAMES OFFICE - HOUSE OF CARDS
This House Of Cards game was designed in 1952 by Charles Eames. I had this as a child and had hours of fun playing with it and looking at all the interesting pictures on the cards. I still have the original set (see image) You can construct a multitude of shapes and structures using the cards. (Instructions are included) I was thrilled to recently discover that this is still being manufactured (although it looks like there are some different pictures now) I have my new set on order - I am looking forward to seeing what it looks like! This is available in the UK from Connox or if you are overseas, you can get it direct from the Eames Office Shop.
We first came across these in the gift shop at Leeds City Museum. These are very strong magnets which are very tactile to the touch. You can build structures with them or use the opposite pole to make them flip over or even make them fly up in the air as they are attracted to the other magnets. Hours of simple fun: They are also available on Amazon.
All young children seem to be fascinated by sharks, in particular The Megaladon. This shark, now extinct (or is it?...) was about 3 times the size of a Great White. Fossilised Megalodon teeth have been found in rivers and on beaches. This replica Megalodon Fossil (made from an original cast) was in The Child's Christmas Stocking last year and was a great hit. Taking pride of place in his fossil collection, it has also been a great hit at show and tell and an inspiration for learning more about these creatures. We found ours on EBay - they are also available on Amazon.
KINETIC FLOW RING
The Kinetic Flow Rings are constructed from a single continuous strand of steel which coils up flat and pops open into a sphere. It spins whilst falling and with momentum it will even go up. You can put your arm through the coils and it will roll up and down your arm and you can even pass it to your friends by holding hands. It will also work on tubes of cardboard or a rope. A perfect stocking filler or party nag treat, these are available on Amazon.
The Natural History Museum Balancing Pteranodon is one of our favoured toys. We have had a lot of fun with it. It appears to defy gravity and magically balance on fingers, table edges, sticks, desks and more. These are available on Amazon
LEGO STORAGE BAG
“Oh, I don’t think he has enough Lego,” said no parent of a young boy EVER. I would bet my bottom dollar on the fact that the households of most young boys are awash with Lego and I would also bet my bottom dollar on the fact that every parent has at some point in their life stepped on a small piece of Lego followed by extreme swearing and possibly also a little sobbing.
Well, this playmat / storage bag is a game changer. No more random pieces of Lego lying hidden just to trip you up when you least expect it – all the Lego bits can live safely in this drawstring bag which unfolds into a big 60inch diameter mat when undone. The Children can rummage through countless bits of Lego to their heart’s content, safe in the knowledge that no bits will get lost or hoovered up. Available in a variety of colours on Amazon
Pop Sockets are nifty little things that you attach to the back of your phone. It just sticks on, then you can pull it out to use it as a support or stand to prop your phone up. It is also very useful and reduces the risk of you dropping your phone if you are holding your arm out to take a selfie or a picture with one hand. Since using mine I would not be without one now. These are available at a variety of outlets - gadget shops, gift shops, supermarkets. We found this one on Amazon.
STANLEY VACUUM FOOD JAR
The Stanley Vacuum Food Jar has been a big game-changer for me as far as far as the daily packed lunch is concerned. Very useful for soups, pasta, stews etc. Compact enough to easily fit in a rucksack it also lends itself perfectly to hot food on the move. Available on Amazon.