Monday 16 November 2015

Review: Activity Cards by Cardooo

I seem to spend most weekends at parties these days. Kids’ birthday parties to be precise so don’t be too jealous. It’s well and truly birthday season over here, which means our freezer is fully stocked with vegan cupcakes, Ebony is in need of some new dresses and I am finding hangovers worse than usual. Truly, there is nothing worse for a hangover than 20 excitable small children arguing over balloons.

It is also means I should have a constant supply of birthday cards, wrapping paper and child-friendly gifts in the house. I don’t, of course, I’ve not quite reached that stage of being a grown up yet. When Ebony was a baby, we spent an afternoon having fun with some paint and ended up with a year’s supply of ready decorated personalised card. Maternity leave is great, isn’t it? These days, I’m much more likely to chuck a felt tip and blank card towards Ebony as we’re getting in the car in the hope she’ll create something beautiful. Organisation really isn’t my strong point.

So when I was offered some children’s birthday cards to review, well, I couldn’t really turn it down, could I? Now, first, let me say, these particular birthday cards are so much more than cards. The range of activity cards by Cardooo have the magical ability to entertain children. The cards double-up as activity booklets filled with stories, games and activities to enjoy with your child.

Ebony wanted to try out the dinosaur card, so one afternoon last week we cosied up in the conservatory (thanks to the heating, not any sun) and took a closer look at the cards. It looks like a normal birthday card, but opens up to reveal plenty of things to do. There’s a short story in the form of a comic and a dinosaur puzzle to be solved. There’s also a maze puzzle, but Ebony really hasn’t got the hang of those yet so she just scribbled across the page. The cards are aimed at 4-7 year olds, and Ebony is just on the cusp of entering that age bracket (sob). Some of the activities were a little old for her, but the ones she could do still provided plenty of entertainment.

Ebony is a fan of stickers (understatement of the year), so I knew she’d be thrilled to discover a sheet of dinosaur stickers hiding inside the card. The centrefold is your typical dinosaur environment complete with volcanoes and you can arrange the stickers however you want. If you’re Ebony that means piling them one on top of another in an endless heap of dinosaurs (I’m hoping she’ll grow out of that soon).

There’s a colour by numbers page which I thought was going to be too old for Ebony but she actually enjoyed searching for the numbers and colouring in the right bits. She didn’t quite get round to completing it so at the moment it is excessively yellow, but that’s because the board game caught her eye. The book comes complete with pull out board game and this has genuinely provided hours of entertainment since we opened the card last week. I have played this game more times than I can remember and, weirdly, Ebony seems ok about losing this one (the same cannot be said for Snakes and Ladders, Snap or Dinosaur Race).

I think these cards would be perfect for giving children something to do during a birthday lunch. It’s not always easy keeping young children happy in restaurants, but I think this card provides a pretty perfect answer. The cardooo activity cards are being sold exclusively at ASDA, so you should be able to pick one up at your local store. The cards are £3 each which I don’t think is bad considering how much entertainment they provide. You can also order Cardooo activity cards online here.

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