Reading Eggs – A Reading Tool for Children

Reading Eggs is a website that endeavours to help children to read quickly, in a fun and engaging way.

I’m sure that most parents, of a primary school aged child, will appreciate the pressure that is on children to learn to read.  My son, J, started reception in September, unable to read and barely able to write. However, by July, he will be expected to read well and be able to write a sentence or two. Frankly, to me anyway, this is scary stuff.

Now I am a complete bookworm and very keen for my boys to discover how fantastic reading can be. As a result, I had been curious about Reading Eggs but had never gone as far as to try it. I was excited to be given a years free access to the site and the Mega Book Pack to really explore and see what it was all about.

I will be completely honest. J is knackered, and still getting to grips with his full days at school. I will admit to being a little hesitant at giving him more school type things to do in the evening. However, in the name of research, I was willing to give it a go, as long as he wasn’t too tired or resistant.

On browsing the Reading Eggs site, I was very keen to get J on there to see his first impressions. The site itself is very engaging, bright and friendly. As his computer skills are just emerging, it was nice to see that everything is very user friendly and self explanatory. He only needed a little adult guidance in the beginning. Each of the initial levels concentrate on one letter at a time. These letters, and the sounds they make, are studied thoroughly, but not to the point of tedium, before moving onto the next level.

Reading Eggs J1Reading Eggs J2

J really enjoyed his time on the Reading Eggs site. He was giggling when the marshmallow mouse came out,  at the end of the first level, and at various other things. In the end, we spent a lot longer than we had planned to spend on there. J was very put out when I insisted it was very much time for bed!

After bed time, I came down to find an email from Reading Eggs with suggested homework. The homework focuses on the most recent lessons learnt, and easy ways that this can be supplemented at home.

Two weeks on and he is still hooked. I love the fact that J also has his own personal Avatar for the site. This is something that he really enjoyed making, and he gets excited to see, every time he switches on. J loves Reading Eggs, most days asking ‘can I do my eggs Mummy’ whilst his little brother goes to bed. It’s really nice to spend this time together, knowing that he is learning in a way that is fun to him.

Reading eggs are currently offering a four week free trial to the online subscription. Please click here if you would like to register. Offer is available until the 31st March 2017.

Hello Kitty Top Trumps Cards

Hello Kitty Top Trumps Cards exist! I have a very pleased almost four-year old…

Top Trumps Hello Kitty

Top Trumps had a stand at Lollibop which we had to visit, where we bought a pack of the Hello Kitty cards. Up to now we’ve only had Top Trumps cards for London Landmarks and Tottenham players so they’re new to us – and H is a bit obsessed with Hello Kitty (and monsters).

I think they’re great, they’ve been going for many years now and they’re a good way of getting your child to identify numbers as well as learn a little bit from the cards.

The simple rules for Top Trumps – you have five categories, one person places down a card and names which number they think will be the greatest. The other players have to place a card with a higher number to then claim the cards. The winner is the player who collects the most cards.

In a nutshell, in this game if it’s your turn and you have The Moon, you’ll win on distance. The miles are from London (so if you have The Moon vs London on distance, you’re a winner. If you have The Moon vs London on style then London will win), as well as Fashion Factor, Things To Do, Natural Beauty and Glamour. If you have The Moon vs Paris on the latter, then Paris will obviously win!

Top Trumps Hello Kitty

There are various cities or countries around the world with a little fact about each one. You can even learn how to say hello in the language (or dialect) of the country.

Right now as H isn’t really reading we played with her helping Shaun (they’re very competitive) – and I’ve found it’s a great way at reading bigger numbers – she can count and identify numbers to 100 easily but struggles a bit with larger numbers.

The pictures are as you’d expect for something Hello Kitty related, and even though the game ended in tears (H stole my Moon card) I know it’s one we’ll come back to many times as she did enjoy playing it. I’m thinking about playing it alongside our world so we can show her where the countries are as well to add to the educational element.

So far the game has proved a hit – even with the tears. The Top Trumps were a bargain buy from Lollibop from their stand for £3 and you can buy from Amazon for £3.19. Each pack has 30 cards.

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Toy Story Mania – Game Time

Toy Story Mania is a game designed for the whole family (from 3+ years) and is based on the Disneyland and Walt Disney World attractions.

Toy Story Mania for XBOX 360

The games have a fairground feel to them and involve short challenges such as hitting targets, catching eggs in a basket and sheep with a staff. Each of these games centres around one or more of the characters from the movies.

At first I decided to play Toy Story Mania on my own. The game was amusing enough at first and I liked the fact that as you played you unlocked different games and levels but I have to admit I found the games a little repetitive and lost my interest after a while. However, all this changed when I had some friends over one evening and we decided to play together, this is where the game came into its own, we had a blast! The shortness of the games meant that those who weren’t playing (there were four of us and we were playing two at a time) weren’t sitting around for long and we all felt involved. Also, the challenges themselves lead to a lot of shouts of encouragement from those not playing, this really added to the excitement!

Toy Story Mania for XBOX 360I think it’s great that Toy Story Mania has been created with the whole family in mind, even the little ones. My only concern is that because such a wide age range is involved older ones might become a little bored after a while. That aside I would totally recommend that anyone looking for a family game consider this one, I love the fact that all the familiar faces from the Toy Story movies are included, even for a big child like me this was quite exciting.

The game is available in the XBOX 360 (plus Kinect) and Wii and I think that this would make the perfect gift for Christmas. I’m spending Christmas day with my parents and am planning to take this game with me as no doubt it will lead to lots of fun!

We were sent a copy of Toy Story Mania to review, all opinions are our own!


Music For Kids – Five Little Speckled Frogs

Music For Kids - Five Little Speckled Frogs

Having a vague musical background (well, I played the recorder at school) I want to encourage H to understand and read music when the time comes – but let her work it out in her own time. So when we were offered a chance to review the Music For Kids jigsaw activity pack, we opted for one of H’s current favourites (thanks to Jos!) ‘Five Little Speckled Frogs’. We’ve not been disappointed.

In the pack you get a jigsaw which I have to say H finds quite easy to do (she’s just turned 3), as well as a CD which has twelve nursery rhymes and a story on it, as well as a singalong songsheet and over 20 peel-able ‘Five Little Speckled Frogs’ activity stickers. The jigsaw is 1000mm x 200mm and is sixteen pieces in total.

Five Little Speckled Frogs - Music For Kids

Jigsaw-wise, I wish the pieces had been a bit smaller to make it a little more difficult, however the beauty of it is that it forms the notes to learn to play the song – so whereas the puzzle may become less challenging in time, it’s contents wont be.

The CD contents are :
Five Little Speckled Frogs
12345 Once I Caught A Fish Alive
1, 2 Buckle My Shoe
Ten Little Pigs
Two Little Chickens
Two Little Dickie Birds
Three Blind Mice
Three Little Kittens
Five Little Ducks
Alice the Camel Has Two Humps
One Elephant Went Out To Play
One Man Went to Mow
Bonus Story – Goldilocks and the Three Bears

So we lucked out with this – loads of counting songs which is great for where H’s development is at the moment – and some less traditional nursery rhymes too.

You can buy the Activity Pack, which is aimed at 3-6 year olds for £9.99 via It’s also available with other songs – ‘The Wheels On The Bus’, ‘Old Macdonald Had a Farm’ and ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’.

Coming soon we’ll be having our next giveaway – an ‘Old Macdonald Had A Farm’ activity pack, so keep an eye out!

We were sent this activity pack to review, all opinions are our own.