The Word Game: A Rainy Day Activity


I can be pretty rubbish at rainy days and often give in to the temptation of ‘yes you can have the TV on for 8 hours’ but sometimes it’s fun to do something together, especially when you have heard the theme tune to Peppa Pig a million times. This is one of those games that stretches their creativity a bit and gets them to practice a bit of English without realising it. I only do this with my eldest who can read, it’s just too much to read each word to my daughter, then repeat them because she has forgotten, then start the whole process again with the next word.

It needs a bit of prep work so don’t get them jumping up straight away leave Paw Patrol on for a bit longer. I write 30 words on 30 small pieces of paper. You can choose your number, more or less, do what feels right. They can be anything, themed anyway and about any subject. Some of those words you need to be useful words for sentences like the, and, it etc.. Others are objects or people, or things around you.

They choose the words they like best to make their sentence. I can assure you that putting poo or something similar in as a choice, the word ends up in most sentences. Mild insults usually form part of some sentences smells like and something unpleasant is a favourite. You know your child and their interests and humour, use words that will suit them.

Once they’ve “written” one they can move the pieces and start again with another sentence.

There is no mess apart from some paper bits you can either keep for next time or recycle, they practice their language and sentence structure; throw a few new words in and you give them better vocabulary.

We’ll be making some funny Halloween stories this way and it’s a definite for the Advent Activity Calendar.


Home Bargains Every Parent’s Dream

I love Home Bargains. When I first found a Home Bargains store there weren’t many around and it was like a little secret. The place you get birthday gifts from when you want to look like you spent more than you did.


Thankfully, they hit the modern age and developed a website you can buy from. Never heard of them? You’ll find them here.

They don’t just sell toys, but since this is a toy blog, I’m not going to concentrate on the other things.

Everything is branded. However things don’t tend to hang around in the stores and they change their stock frequently. At the moment you can get the Playskool Learn the Alphabet Activity Set for £3.99 that’s £7 on Amazon!

Most of my stocking fillers come from Home Bargains (and the other pound shops). But who doesn’t want to spend £3-5 on a birthday present for a party gift and look like they’ve spent double?

They have some brilliant craft boxes full of things to stick with (and sparkle dust – sorry!) Play-Doh can head sets from £3.99, busy books from £3.99, Barbies from £3.99 and Matchbox car sets from £4.99. That’s just a tiny snapshot.

If you’ve never done it. It’s worth a look, and if I’ve saved you a few pennies on something you were buying elsewhere, you are very welcome.

Lego Star Wars Sets for Less Than £20

Lego Star Wars is very popular in our house and with Christmas fast approaching the time has come for some strategic planning for making your Christmas budget stretch further. If Star Wars Lego makes it onto the list, one of these sets might provide a less expensive option. Amazon affiliate links are provided but the key to bargain finding is to shop around! All prices are correct at September 2016 but check the up-to-date price before you purchase.

Since I originally started planning this post the price on Amazon has varied for most of these items, some more expensive, some actually slightly cheaper. (For example the biggest change has been the Ghost ship that went from £5.99 to £9.89)


Lego Star Wars £5-£10


Snow speeder set 75074 £7.35

Resistance X-wing 75125 //“>£7.18

Galactic empire battle pack 75134 //“>£9.99

Cookie gunshot 75129 //“>£6.98

Ghost 75127 //“>£9.89

First Order Snowspeeder 75126 //“>£7.18

At-DP Action Figure 75130 //“>£8.42

Poe’s X-Wing (bagged not boxed) 30278 //“>£8.84


Lego Star Wars £10-£20


Rebel alliance battle pack //“>£11.93

Obi-Wan’s Jedi Interceptor 75135 //“>£17.87

Imperial Troop Transport 75078 //“>£11.93

Rey’s Speeder 75099 //“>£14.51

Carbon-Freezing Chamber 75137 //“>£19.05

First Order Storm Trooper 75114 //“>£14.95

Droid Escape Pod 75136 //“>£19.94

Both Attack Mixed 75138 //“>£17.46

Resistance Trooper Battle Pack 75131 //“>£11.67

Darth Vader 75111 //“>£18.49

Geonosis Troopers 75089 //“>£10.95

First Order Battle Pack 75132 //“>£9.58

Shadow Troopers 75079 //“>£11.95

Straighter and Kamino (hanging planet display set) 75006 //“>£14.90

Kylo Ren 75117 //“>£15.98

Commander Cody 75108 //“>£11.99

Captain Phasma 75118 //“>£15.95

Gang Fett 75107 //“>£11.98

Luke Skywalker 75110 //“>£14.98

Obi-Wan Kenobi 75109 //“>£11.99

Finn 75116 //“>£15.99

There are some great Lego Star Wars ideas here – Lego sets are a timeless toy, make sure you keep the boxes and instructions because when your child has had enough (and providing you still have all the pieces) you can sell second hand.


Finding Dory: Toys From The Film Ideas

I loved Pixar’s Finding Dory we saw it in the cinema over the summer and to be honest I much preferred it to Finding Nemo. on a recent trip to New York City we brought my four year old some Finding Dory blind bags back and seeing as Finding Dory features heavily on her “what I what” list I thought I’d run through some of the more expensive merchandise options as well as the cheaper gift ideas.

Finding Dory Toys for Over £15

PVC figure sets are always popular and Finding Dory has it’s own figure set featuring the main characters. They are always fairly pricy, so it’s well worth shopping around. We don’t have this set but have had similar sets for Frozen and Zootropolis and they are well loved and well played with toys.

This Finding Dory robofish play set is a great idea. I love the fact it comes with the coffee pot just like one scene from the film. Batteries are included.

Finding Dory Don’t Wake Hank board game. The octopus version of Buckaroo.

My children love swimming and love their diving sticks even more. These Finding Dory diving sticks from Zoggs make some great games in the swimming pool to build confidence going underwater.

Pop-up tent and ball pits are always good play options for younger children and can be used indoors and outside. This Finding Dory one is very sweet with some lovely details on it.

Aqua Beads produce a lovely Finding Dory set where you can make some of your favourite characters from the film.

This is slightly cheaper at £13 and I make no apologies for how annoying it might get but Dory can teach you to speak whale! Let’s Speak Whale playset looks hilarious, you speak to Dory and she repeats it in whale language.

Finding Dory Gift Ideas Under £5

What child doesn’t love stickers? For a pound or two you can get some lovely Finding Dory stickers for making pictures with. I get the children to draw a sea scape first with lots of shells and seaweed and stick the stickers on afterwards. Word of warning don’t use crayon, they peel off really quickly resulting in tantrums!

A see-through Finding Dory pencil case would make a lovely stocking filler or birthday gift for a friends child, especially if you fill it with some pencils and other bits.

Finding Dory colour-in jigsaw puzzle and it comes with crayons. A lovely idea for a child who loves to create something because then they can keep it and play with it afterwards.

A Finding Dory torch. Both of my children are obsessed by torches. Don’t know why but they keep them happy.

So there we are a quick glance at some of Toy Infinity’s favourite Finding Dory toy ideas. If you have any of them leave a comment on the good (and the bad) things about them so others can read them.



The Toy Infinity Pre-Christmas Mission


Over the next few months I’ll be highlighting some of the bargain buys out there that I have picked up or seen online and in various retail stores. As far as possible I will provide links and information so you can find them yourself and I’ll also provide Amazon affiliate links if they happen to be the cheapest retailer. They might interest you, they might not.

Most of them will be time limited or may sell out so I apologise if you miss anything or it’s out of stock; I will have no control over that!

Let’s be honest most of us start to look for and put away presents and stocking fillers well before December. Now I’m never organised enough to do it in the Christmas sales for the next year (although I know someone who does), but from September onwards I do pick up what I see.

I take no responsibility for helping you to remember where you stashed all this stuff on December 24th! I’ll have enough trouble trying to find my own….

Lego Disney Castle 71040 Research Your Price Carefully!

Since it’s release in September the Lego Disney Castle set 71040 is much sought after, which is hardly surprising, I mean look at it. It’s fabulous. I am very keen to get my hands on one to be able to do a proper blog post about it, but I am not keen enough to pay over-the-odds for the set.

In the spirit of retail you can get it for retail price or you can end up paying a massive amount more because it is hard to find.

The Lego store currently has it on back order, with a shipping date of October 3rd in the UK and for it’s retail price of £289.99 with free shipping.

Amazon UK on the other hand only have two listings: one for £499 and one for £549! And they don’t even include shipping in that.

Ebay has the cheapest set for £344.99 but at least they are offering free postage! I dread to think what the price will go for on the auction items if people get carried away bidding. And the best match on Google shopping is currently £598.78.

Set 71040 isn’t available at Toys R Us or Argos or Smyths Toy Stores.

If you are trying to get hold of this set especially for Christmas consider a back order with the Lego store. You can find them at Lego Store. If no-one buys these over-priced Disney Castle sets then eventually the price will come down everywhere, until then do your research, decide your budget and if you are going to wait or just invest the extra cash.


Monster Jam Cardiff Principality Stadium September 2016

I’m a bit late writing this blog post. I blame the start of school and nothing at all to do with my being a lot disorganised.

Monster Jam visited Cardiff again this year on September 3rd to bring their monster trucks and big air to the Welsh capital. My son loves monster trucks, my daughter was excited without having a clue what she was excited for. Lunch and a quick trip into Boots for ear plugs and in we went.


It was great to see they brought the well known trucks: Grave Digger, Son Uva Digger, Maximum Destruction, Medusa, El Toro Loco – all the trucks that he was obsessed with in one place and live.


Don’t underestimate like many people seem to have judging on the Facebook page comments the next day how loud a monster truck is in the Principality Stadium when the roof is shut. They were loud, I mean ear hurtingly loud (stupidly we didn’t get ourselves ear plugs). If you stumble across this post and are going to see them buy ear plugs, ear defenders or something for your children to protect their ears. They might be loud but the engine noise is awesome. If you wait until you get to the merchandise stands it will cost you £16 for a set of Monster Jam ear defenders.


The afternoon followed the usual format. Qualifying races, the actual races and the freestyle. A racing and freestyle winner is declared after each event. Let’s just say Son Uva Digger had a clean sweep that afternoon.


We enjoyed it, although my son would have liked more doughnuts, only two trucks did any, and my daughter would have liked it to be 30 minutes shorter. It is great entertainment. If there is one thing I’d have liked to have seen is every driver driving like Dennis and Ryan Anderson, they gave their all and the others were slightly lacking in comparison.

We didn’t join the enormous queue to meet the drivers afterwards, it looked like it was a good few hours long. But we did get a free bar of Cadbury’s chocolate. And very nice it was too.

If you get to see Monster Jam live let me know where and what you thought, and if you are going yourself look after those ears.


Great British Bake Off The End Of An Era

This is a strange choice of blog topic but my son and I love Bake Off. To make me sound very sad and with no life it is one of those shows that I look forward to each new series. I mean this week is batter week, what can be better than see that these brilliant bakers struggle with Yorkshire puddings as well?

As with all things, time moves on, and sometimes change is not a good thing. So Bake Off leaves the BBC for Channel 4. Channel 4 might do a fab job (without Mel and Sue – good to see them stay with their principles), but it just got me thinking.

This TV show has summed up what is wrong with us. 15 million viewers aren’t good enough. £15 million a year isn’t good enough. There had to be more; a bigger offer, no matter what that offer might do to something you’ve worked hard for 6 years to build into the success it is. Is money everything? Are the current headlines worth £25 million a year to Channel 4? No such thing as bad publicity after all.

I hope Channel 4 haven’t paid all that money for the tent and idea, for it drift back to a couple of million viewers. But if they have, shouldn’t it be a good life lesson? Just because you have the most money doesn’t mean it’s always wise to spend it. That sometimes it’s not what you have, but who you have that makes something special. I think that is the point lost in this transaction by the production company.

Good bye Bake Off on the BBC – all is not lost there are always repeats!

Halloween Decoration Ideas That Won’t Scare You With The Price.


I must admit that every year I try and get into the spirit of Halloween and going all out on decorating the house but I can’t quite bring myself to spend loads of money on scary looking decorations. Last year the scariest thing about our house was the paper plates on the Halloween snack table. So this year I thought I would try and do a small child friendly party room, somewhere to play a couple of games and eat some scary treats.

Here are my ideas for my Halloween party (affiliate links).

Pumpkin leaf bags. If like me you were thinking what are they? I actually really like this idea. A set of 20 pumpkin looking plastic bags that you fill with leaves and decorate your lawn with. Halloween is always in half term and what better way to get them outside than picking up leaves to fill these bags?

Halloween party balloons. A party has to have balloons right?
Hanging bats. A 3 metre garland of hanging bats, not too scary, but would provide a great centrepiece to the room.
Hanging pumpkins. A pack of 12 swirly hanging pumpkins to decorate your ceiling. They even have friendly faces!
Have fun with these photo props. With the smart phone era we take tons of photos and these would make some great memory shots. The delivery time is quite long so it is probably worth ordering early.

Happy Halloween banner. For over the party table maybe?
Pound shops often have a brilliant range of Halloween themed paper plates and cups, and even wipe clean tablecloths. Have a look in your local one and see what gems you can find. Last year I bought pumpkin and ghost shaped silicone moulds from Lidl to make spooky mini cakes and chocolates. They will definitely be coming out again this year (blog post coming soon on spooky chocolate making).

It is quite hard finding decorations that aren’t going to freak out your young children. There are all sorts of scary monsters and skeletons and zombies that appear like they are crawling out of the ground. But do you want that for your four year old? Mine wouldn’t sleep for a week. I hope this blog has shown you that tame Halloween decorations do exist and you can put on a fun room that won’t break the bank.

Back to School Stationary and Great Gift Ideas with Smiggle

Toy Infinity recently got invited to a bloggers event at the Cardiff Smiggle store, where we got to take our time and have a look at all the stationary for this season. I must confess my favourite part of the store was their tagline: where a smile meets a giggle. How lovely is that? I love the image that it puts in your head.

If like me, you have never been in a Smiggle store before or don’t know much about the brand I’d like to give you the Toy Infinity guide to what’s in store this September.

Although at first glance the store seems quite girly and pink and purple dominated there is actually a nice range of boy-themed products. Smiggle divides it’s range into 7 colours: purple, blue, pink, green, black, yellow and red. Each colour has a character that is constant throughout the range. Each colour range has the same products but in that colour scheme.

My son loved the green range, especially the football themed items and my daughter loved the blue range. So much so, I ended up buying her a vanilla scented milk shake pencil case.

So what kind of things do Smiggle sell? Pencil cases, rucksacks, punchbags, smelly pencils and pens (the coca cola scent is lush), slap bands, calculators, watches, wallets, keyrings, wobble clocks (!) and most importantly novelty rubbers. Hands up all those eighties children who were obsessed with collecting rubbers? My hand is firmly in the air. I’m glad to see my children have inherited my urge to buy rubbers and never use them lol.

Smiggle have actually only been retailing in the UK since 2014, and the Cardiff store recently celebrated it’s first birthday. The products range from less than £5 (for novelty rubbers) to a light up wheels trolley bag for £42. You can find them in the St David’s Centre, not far from Boots or online.

For bright, colourful, cool and smelly stationary and gifts it’s worth heading to Smiggle.