Book Review: Pirate Ship Sticker Book, Carlton Books

Being the mum of a five year old boy, I know there are several things in life which make him incredibly happy. Superheroes, Star Wars and Pirates are top of his list. Throw in some stickers and you know you’re onto a very good thing. When the new Pirate Ship Sticker Book from Carlton Books landed on our doormat, I suspected I’d have a very happy boy on my hands. 

The Pirate Ship Sticker Book is more than just a basic sticker book. It has 23 pages of pirate facts, information and scenes to sticker, as well as over 150 reusable stickers and 16 pages of pirate activities including colouring in. Plus a treasure map, spot the misfits and a design your own galleon activity. Within the pages of this book you can explore the Scurvy Dog pirate ship, which is home to Captain Skull and his rascally crew of salty sea-dogs!

Pirate Ship Sticker Book

There’s quite a lot of reading in this Pirate Ship Sticker Book, considering it’s a sticker book. We enjoyed reading it together at bedtime, sticking the stickers in the right places and talking about pirate life and what it must have been like to live on a pirate ship. 

Pirate Ship Sticker Book

The book is really colourfully illustrated by Maria Taylor, with lots of attention to detail. You really get the sense that pirate ships were fairly unpleasant and smelly places to be. We especially liked that you could really enhance the pirate scene with stickers and the small boy loved to see which sticker went where.

Pirate Ship Sticker Book

Written by Claire Sipi and Jim Pipe, the Pirate Ship Sticker Book is packed full of information about pirate life. Mostly these are in short paragraphs alongside accompanying illustrations. These made for really useful talking points, we’d read the text and then discuss what we’d read and what was going on in the picture.

Pirate Ship Sticker Book

We buy these kind of books a lot for the small boy, he enjoys sticker books and they’re good to take out when we go out for a meal or something. I think it’s a very well designed book, there’s lots to read, do and discuss. I know he has enjoyed reading it with me and doing the activities because he keeps bringing it to me at bedtime – always a good sign.

I feel like it’s given the boy a more in-depth understanding of pirates than previously. He still arrrrrrs and tries to get me to walk the plank, but now he’s talking more about day to day pirate life on the Scurvy Dog, which to me is the beginnings of an interest and understanding of history. 

There was nothing we didn’t like about the book. The small boy is nearly six and I would say that 5 is about the minimum age for this book, the reading is a little hard for him so we are reading it together. 

Other sticker books in the series include Doll’s House, Castle and Princess Palace. I’d like to see more, the Pirate Ship Sticker Book was fab.

The Pirate Ship Sticker Book is just £5.99 and is published on 6th October 2016. For more information, or to order a copy visit the Carlton Books website.

Note: We were sent the Pirate Ship Sticker Book for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Win a Bird Gift Box from Boxwild RRP £30

Living on the edge of the city, near the river and close to a wildlife and nature reserve we are very in touch with nature and our garden is visited daily by a diverse range of garden birds. At night I can hear the owls hooting in the trees near our house and we sometimes spot some of the bright green wild parakeets who live nearby.

As we’ve worked on our garden over the years, we’ve planted things which will encourage bees, butterflies and other insects into our garden, and we’ve build a bird table and hung up bird feeders to help them out over the winter months.

We like to feel like we’re doing our bit for local wildlife and in return they’re giving us something to watch and talk about when they visit our garden. If you’ve got space for a feeder, they will reward you time and time again when they visit, plus it’s great for kids to watch and learn with you.

Boxwild sell wildlife and bird gift boxes containing high quality seasonal seed blends and a range of goodies to attract wildlife into your garden. They currently have three gift options choose from two different gift subscription boxes which are available monthly, quarterly or in 6 monthly packages,  or choose to send a single gift box. These wildlife subscription boxes make the perfect gift for bird lover.

boxwild

The Bird Gift Box is jam packed with three blends of Boxwild’s bird or wildlife seed and goodies such as a feeder or habitat, plant seeds or special Boxwild gift. This box is ideal for bird and wildlife lovers.

The Boxwild Bird Seed Gift Box contains three specially blended, seasonal seed mixes to attract a range of birds into your garden. Choose the monthly subscription and each month they will select three seed blends to give your birds optimal nutrition for the season.

Boxwild have partnered with the Wildfowl and Wetland Trust and Butterfly Conservation and for every box sold, Boxwild donate to these charities. 

Visit the Boxwild website for more information or to order.

Win a Bird Gift Box from Boxwild RRP £30

To be in with a chance to win a Bird Gift Box from Boxwild RRP £30, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5.The winner will receive a Bird Gift Box from Boxwild RRP £30.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 31st October 2016.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Review: Funky Polychrome Light from Paladone

Now that the nights are drawing in I’ve realised that I need better lighting in my office at home. So when Paladone offered to send me a Polychrome light to review, I knew it would be put to good use. 

The light is a stylish light bulb shape with different mood settings. The light is powered by micro USB, although you can put batteries in it too. The clever thing is, when you plug it in to the USB it overrides the batteries, so they last a bit longer. It also means that when you unplug the USB you’re not suddenly plunged into darkness.

Paladone

The light has different mood settings. Press the the light down once and the colour changing light begins to change through a sequence of colours. If you find a colour you’re particularly fond of, you can press it again and it will stay on that colour. Press the light again to turn it off. Simple.

This isn’t the kind of light you can use to read under, but it does create some lovely, calming ambient light. I have it on a side table next to my desk which my son can see from his bed at night, he’s told me that watching the light helps him to fall asleep. 

paladone

Although it’s not a light for working with, I do enjoy having it in my work room. It does cast some lovely shadows and it has helped to increase the light levels in my office to a level I can work with. Every little helps.

It’s a really innovative light, stylish and a real talking point. It would work just as well in a child’s room as a nightlight, as in a contemporary office space or a teenager’s bedroom for example.

 

A video posted by HodgePodgeDays (@hodgepodgedays) on

The Polychrome light costs £19.99 and is available directly from the Paladone website and from selected retailers. I have a discount code for the Paladone website which is valid until 31st October 2016. For 20% off enter SHOP20 at the checkout.

Note: I was sent this light for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.

Review: Marvel Avengers Iron Man Slide Armour

We recently put the Captain America Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield to the test and it was a roaring success. The small boy and his superhero loving friends loved pretending to be Captain America and I had a hunch they’d enjoy pretending to be Iron Man too. Thankfully we were sent the Iron Man Slide Armour from the same range to try out, but what did the super-boys think?

Iron Man Slide Armour

The Marvel Avengers Captain America Iron Man Slide Armour is really cool. It really is. It is in Iron Man colours and is instantly recognisable as an Iron Man product. With the press of a button on the handle, the armour opens and expands up your arm revealing a hidden Nerf blaster. Press the other button and the blaster fires one of the two Nerf darts.

The armour comes with two Nerf darts, which isn’t enough, but they are widely available and we picked up an extra pack from our local toy shop for a few pounds.

Marvel Avengers Captain America Iron Man Slide Armour

The Iron Man Slide Armour also has space to store two additional darts, but we found them rather flimsy and one fell off and got lost in the park. Which is a shame because otherwise this is a really sturdily made and robust toy. Thankfully the bit which fell of is completely non-essential so we’ve not missed it.

It feels really cool to use, I tried it out myself and the armour fit well across my arm and was quite lightweight. My son loved it and had to be talked out of going to bed wearing it. 

Avengers Captain America Iron Man Slide Armour

The Iron Man Slide Armour is suitable for ages 6+. My nearly six year old and his slightly older cousin loved play fighting with it and the Captain America shield. It’s a great toy for superhero role play and I can say from experience that the Nerf darts don’t hurt you if you do stray into the line of fire. 

The only real issue I have with it is that it’s only suitable for right handed people. Left handed people would have to use their right hand and they could struggle with that. 

Just like with the Captain America hidden blaster shield, the boys role played brilliantly with this Iron Man armour with blaster. We were impressed by how much something like this enhanced their superhero play and kept them entertained and actively running about. I can see both boys being fully decked out like Captain America and Iron Man by Christmas, complete with shield and armour!

Disclosure: We received the Avengers Captain America Iron Man Slide Armour for the purposes of writing this review, all opinions and images are our own. Contains Amazon affiliate links.

Recipe: Malty Malteser Butterfly Cakes

In my family, September is birthday month and this week it was my brother’s turn to blow out the candles. We weren’t having a big bash for him, but you can’t successfully have a birthday without cake. My brother loves Maltesers, so I thought I’d make him some quick and easy butterfly cakes, but with a Maltesery twist.

I’ve had a jar of malt extract lurking in my cupboard for a little while now, so I knocked up a standard sponge recipe and added a big dollop of the lovely malty stuff. Baked my buns until they were golden and whipped up a chocolate buttercream icing complete with a big bag of smashed up Maltesers. There was no room for candles, but at his age they’re verging on a fire hazard anyway!

Malteser Butterfly Cakes

The little Malteser Butterfly Cakes came out a little darker than a plain sponge would. This is because the dark malt extract makes the mixture darker. They’re not overdone, that’s their natural bronzed colour.

This recipe makes around 12 malteser butterfly cakes.

Malteser Butterfly Cakes

4oz Butter or margarine
4oz sugar
1 dessert spoon of malt extract
2 medium eggs
1 teaspoon of baking soda
4oz self raising flour

For the buttercream:
4oz butter
4oz icing sugar
1 tablespoon of drinking chocolate powder
10oz of Maltesers

1. Beat the butter and sugar together until fluffy and the stir in the eggs and malt extract.
2. Carefully fold through the baking soda and self raising flour until combined.
3. Dollop into cake cases, there should be enough to make about 12 buns.
4. Bake in a preheated oven at 190c for around 15 minutes. Once cooked leave to cool.
5. To make the buttercream, beat the butter, icing sugar and hot chocolate powder until soft and fluffy. Bash up the Maltesers and gently fold in.
6. Carefully cut a circle out of the top of each of your cooled cakes, cut the circle in two, dollop a teaspoon of buttercream into the hole and top with the halves to make them look like butterfly wings.

Malteser Butterfly Cakes

If you love butterfly cakes, you might also enjoy my Peanut Butter Butterfly Cake recipe.

Perfect Postal Presents from Devon Heaven Hampers

Every year we go for at least one holiday in Devon. To us Devon is a heaven on earth. With breathtaking scenery, gorgeous beaches, excellent country pubs, lovely walks and much, much more to be had, we struggle to find anywhere else to compare.

Two things have to happen when we visit Devon, firstly we have to have a cream tea (himself has it the Devonshire way, cream first, then jam. I have it Cornish style, jam first, then cream), and secondly we do a big Devon food shop, filling our car with local treats we can’t get at home.

When we first started visiting Devon 15 years ago, that would mainly be clotted cream, but that’s more available now. Hubs stocks up on local beers he can’t find in Manchester and top of my list is the best chilli jam in the world which you can only get in one tiny shop in Devon. Also on our list is fudge from Ilfracombe, Devonshire tea, homemade flapjacks, hard to find local cheeses and huge homemade scones. 

I’ve often lamented during the lean months in between our visits to Devon that it would be good to have some kind of food parcel service for people who yearn for some Westcountry fayre. I was thrilled to discover Devon Heaven Hampers who have a huge range of hampers filled with Devonshire goodies, many of which have won Taste of the West Great Taste awards for quality and general deliciousness! 

I’ve picked out three of my favourites from Devon Heaven Hampers

Devon Heaven Hampers

Classic Devon Food Basket

The Classic Devon Food Basket from Devon Heaven Hampers would make a fabulous Christmas gift. It’s a basket full gourmet food all locally sourced in Devon. The basket contains Georgie Porgie’s Puddings – Westcountry Cider and Apple Pudding and an Orange & Cointreau Pudding. Bags of Portlebay Popcorn and Burts Crisps, a bottle of Luscombe Organic Hot Ginger Beer, a jar of Onion & Pineapple flavour Devon Chutney from Otter Vale Products, Devonshire Clotted Cream Vanilla Fudge and some Willie’s Cacao – Milk of the Gods, all presented in a wicker basket. Priced at just £25 this would make an excellent present for someone.

Devon Heaven Hampers

Devon Cider Selection

For cider and scrumpy lovers, the Devon Cider Selection would be a treat. It costs just £28 and comes with free delivery. Cider lovers can enjoy a bottle of Jack Ratt Scrumpy in a traditional style flagon, a lovely bottle of Luscombe Organic Devon Cider, some Lyme Bay Sparkling Cider, and both Sandford Orchard Devon Red and Sandford Orchard Devon Mist. Cheers!

Devon Heaven Hampers

Devon vs Cornish Cream Tea by Post

Last, but by absolutely no means least – the Devon vs Cornish Cream Tea by Post. Decide for yourself and settle the long standing debate between Devon and Cornwall – are cream teas better with jam or cream on top? Not only can you decide which is best, but you can also taste the difference between Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream and Langage Farm Devonshire clotted cream!

This fantastic hamper contains 4 Devon scones, Langage Farm Devonshire clotted cream, Rodda’s Cornish clotted cream, a jar of strawberry jam and Devonshire Tea and Cornish Tea Sachets, all presented in a wicker gift basket and delivered free of charge. The Devon vs Cornish Cream Tea by Post hamper is £23 and is the perfect gift for those who can’t resist a cream tea or three!

I know what I’ll be asking Santa for this year!

For more information and to see their range of gift hampers, visit the Devon Heaven Hampers website.

WIN A Devon vs Cornish Cream Tea Hamper from Devon Heaven Hampers worth £23

To be in with a chance to win a Devon vs Cornish Cream Tea by Post Hamper from Devon Heaven Hampers worth £23, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5.The winner will receive a Devon vs Cornish Cream Tea by Post Hamper from Devon Heaven Hampers worth £23.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 18th October 2016.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

I have not been compensated for this blog post.

Relaxation – How do parents unwind at home?

When the small boy is tucked up for the night and the house falls silent, it’s often not a time for relaxation for us. When the boy falls asleep we do chores for an hour or so, catch up on admin, clean the house, sort the washing. It’s endless. But once that is done then for me the TV goes on, I flop on the sofa, fire up Twitter and unwind with a brew. My husband has other ideas, for as much of the year as possible, as long as it’s dry he will sit outside and have a cold beer under the stars.

People unwind in different ways. My mother in law would tend to her allotment, my dad would watch comedy DVDs and chat to his magic friends (that’s not as weird as it sounds, he was a magician). My brother and his wife will open a bottle and a box set. Everyone is different, but everyone needs to relax in whatever way they find works best for them.

Rattan Direct have put together a survey asking what you as parents do to unwind around the home. They want to know what works best for you. Like me do you chill out in front of the TV, or does relaxation for you involve having family and friends round for the evening? Maybe you bake a cake or have a hot bath with scented candles and your favourite bath oils.

relaxation bath

Whatever relaxation means to you, it’s a necessity. Life and parenting can be stressful and finding time to unwind and relax is essential. Making space for that rare thing – “me time” is so important. Without an hour of doing nothing but zoning out over a repeat of NCIS each night, I know I’d be a frazzled mess of a mum.

How do you unwind? What does relaxation mean to you?

= This is a collaborative post =

Win a Googly Eyes Game from University Games

With little over a month left until Halloween, it’s time to start thinking about spooky Halloween games and things to do at your Halloween party. University Games have just released their brand new and hilarious drawing game – Googly Eyes and it turns out it’s the perfect, zany and super-fun game for your Halloween themed party.

The Googly Eyes is a hilarious drawing game which challenges your vision and leaves you googling for more! You simply put on the zany, vision-altering google eye glasses and start to draw whilst the team tries to guess what you’re drawing – s that an parrot or a car? A birthday cake or a castle? Take turns drawing and guessing, so everyone gets a chance to wear the glasses. A fun game that lets players of different ages and skill levels compete on equal terms, since the goggles make it fun and challenging for everyone. Googly Eyes Game RRP £19.99

Googly Eyes is designed for 4 or more players and is suitable for players aged 7+ and is available from all the usual high street and online retailers.

For more information about the Googly Eyes game visit the University Games website.

WIN A Googly Eyes game RRP £19.99

To be in with a chance to win a Googly Eyes Game RRP £19.99, simply complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions:
1. The competition is open to residents of the UK only aged (18) and over.
2. The prize is non-transferable and no cash alternative is offered.
3. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter widget above, complete any mandatory entries and any optional entries you would like.
4. The winner will be chosen at random from all valid entries.
5.The winner will receive a Googly Eyes Game RRP £19.99.
6. The closing date for entries is 11.59pm GMT on 16th October 2016.
7. The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date.
8. The winner will be asked to provide a full UK postal address with postcode for delivery purposes.
9. The winners name will be available on request
10. Address details will be passed onto an agency to post the prize out to the winner, and is therefore beyond my control. I cannot be held responsible for prizes being lost in the post although I will endeavour to liaise with the agency.
11. Your email address may be passed on to to the promoter for marketing purposes, you may unsubscribe at any time.
12. Entry to this giveaway confirms that participants have read, understood and agree to be bound by these Terms and Conditions.
13. HodgePodgeDays decision is final in all matters relating to this giveaway.

Spa Days: Volair Spa, Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

Despite a promise to look after myself a bit better this year, beauty treatments and spa days have been pretty thin on the ground. Other things and other people come first, which as a mum is how it should be, but it was definitely my turn for a bit of TLC. Real life friend and fellow blogger Liz from Expression and Confession and I hopped in the car for a day at Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park. We had been invited to the spa for the day to check out their facilities and to find out more about the treatments they offer.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

We arrived at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park and not being locals we had no idea what to expect. It is a large, very modern leisure centre. It’s an interesting state of the art building, filled with sculptures, interesting art works, the biggest swimming pool I’ve seen in a while, a gym, squash courts and lots more.

We headed upstairs to the Volair Spa. We were greeted by Hayley who gave us fluffy robes and slippers to change into. Once we’d got changed we sat in the relaxation room and chilled out with a cup of herbal tea while we waited for some more people to arrive. This is a really restful place, with soft mood lighting, scented candles and comfortable chairs or beanbags to sit on.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

After a short welcome and health and safety talk we were shown downstairs to the Thermal Suite. I love thermal suites, they are always my favourite part of a spa. The thermal suite at the Volair Spa was small but perfectly formed. It had one steam room, a sauna and a jacuzzi. Everything looked new, scrupulously clean and very very tempting.

We were given some Lycon Spa Essentials exfoliating sugar scrub to scrub ourselves all over with before we began. There were lots of different scrubs to choose from, but I went for the pomegranate. We scrubbed and showered, and with fresh glowy skin we slipped into the jacuzzi to let the de-stressing process begin.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

We had an hour in the thermal suite, and we tried out the sauna, steam room and jacuzzi. We felt deliciously relaxed and reluctant to leave for lunch. A two hour session in the thermal suite costs just £9.50, or two people for £15 which is excellent value. If I lived locally I could happily spend the day here, swimming for an hour or so, then unwinding in the thermal suite for a few hours.

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

After a light lunch and a glass of fizz we found ourselves in the capable hands of Beauty Therapist Hayley. Hayley gave us a fascinating hands on workshop on how to take our make up off and give ourselves a lovely home facial. My skin already felt pretty fantastic after applying the AromaWorks facial cleanser, toner and facial oils.

We were then ushered into one of their treatment rooms. The rooms are quiet, lit softly and are lovely relaxing spaces. I volunteered to have a Crystal Clear Micro-Dermabrasion treatment. It works by gently exfoliating the outer layers of the skin and gives immediate results for a range of skincare niggles including fine lines and wrinkles, open pores, blackheads, pigmentation, blemish scars and acne scars. I have pretty good skin for my age, but they promised to blast out some of my stubborn blackheads, clean my open pores and give me a general freshen up.

The Crystal Clear Micro-Dermabrasion didn’t hurt at all. Ultra-fine crystals are blasted onto your skin, but it feels quite gentle, just a little bit like someone is gently pushing your face with something like the rubber end of a pencil (that’s the only comparison I could think of, I’m sorry). It took around 20 minutes and afterwards my skin was moisturised. When I got home I took a photo…

Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park

… and I was impressed by how fresh and glowy my skin looked. It was visibly cleaner (yes I do wash every day) and brighter. Everyone who has clapped eyes on me since has remarked on how well I’m looking too.

We had a thoroughly relaxing day at the Volair Spa at the Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park. It’s a lovely, modern spa with good facilities, great treatments, a restful atmosphere and free parking. It was so good we’ve booked to go back next month!

Visit the Volair Spa at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park website for more information and special offers.

The Volair Spa is at Knowsley Leisure & Culture Park, Longview Drive, Huyton, Merseyside, L36 6EG Tel: 0151 443 2580

We were invited guests of Volair Spa, but all images and opinions are our own. We were under no obligation to blog about our spa day.

Toys: Captain America Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield

When the small boy and his friends play together, these days invariably they pretend to be superheroes, usually fighting a baddie and saving the world. To begin with it was mainly Spiderman and Batman, but increasingly different characters are being brought into play. Lately Iron Man and Captain America have been putting in an appearance, so the boy was delighted to be given a Captain America Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield to put to the test.

Captain America Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield

The Captain America Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield is, well, it’s a Captain America shield with a hidden Nerf blaster. It’s a smaller, but faithful replica of Captain America’s actual shield, but made of plastic.

The Captain America Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield is really easy to use. Just press the star button and the shield opens revealing a hidden blaster. Slip the darts into the slot, pull the trigger back and press the button on the handle to fire. The shield has space to store two extra darts for when you are doing battle. 

The shield comes with two Nerf darts, which isn’t enough, but they are widely available and we picked up an extra pack from our local toy shop for a few pounds.

Captain America Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield

It is made from plastic and seems to be pretty robust. It’s survived some fairly rough play over the past week or so. The worst that has happened to it is we’ve lost some of the darts, but that’s poor aiming, not poor construction.

The Captain America Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield comes in a sturdy cardboard box and is well secured with ties which an adult should remove with scissors. I always end up having a bit of a fight to get toys out of their packaging. At least you know it’s not going to fall out of the box and get bashed about in the toy shop. The shield does require an adult to attach the handle securely, but once that is done it is good to go.

The Captain America shield is for children aged 6+ and my nearly 6 year old and his slightly older cousin really enjoyed playing with it. 

Captain America Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield

Interestingly, although they enjoyed the blaster element, they played with the shield, just as a shield as much, if not more. I think the retractable shield is a really cool feature and their faces lit up every time they pressed the star button.

This is our first Nerf product, I’ve always been wary about having Nerf in the house (partly for fear of being a target) because I was concerned about people being hurt, but the darts are quite soft and fairly innocuous. We tried firing them at ourselves and it felt like someone was flicking you fairly gently. I wouldn’t like to take a dart to the face so we drummed in a health and safety message to be sure, and there is a warning on the box too.

The small boy and his friends have great imaginations. It’s interesting how a superhero toy like this Marvel Civil War blaster can really enhance their play and help bring it to life for them. I like that the shield isn’t just a shield, that it has the hidden blaster and when it retracts it’s pretty cool. What I like best about it is that it encourages my son to dodge the baddies, save the world and run about, far far away from a TV screen or iPad.

Disclosure: We received the Captain America Civil War Blaster Reveal Shield for the purposes of writing this review, all opinions and images are our own. Contains Amazon affiliate links.