I love educational toys (and luckily the Madhouse kids do too) so we were over the moon to receive some Discovery Channel science toys from Trends UK to review. The first one that we tried out was this Bug Barn.
Inside the box, you get a viewing barn, a magnifying viewing canister, a magnifying glass, tweezers, a net and a sheet of insect clings to decorate your bedroom windows or mirrors (and give your sisters a heart attack when they brush their teeth in the morning and see a huge spider looking back at them !).
Everyone was fascinated by all the tools in the box, particularly the magnifying glass - what big eyes you've got, Juliette !
Time to go bug hunting.
Can't see anything in here. Where are you all hiding?!
Aaaggghhh look Mum, I've got something !
Time to have a closer look in the magnifying canister. It's only a tiny greenfly but we could see its legs and antennae moving.
Hey Sophie, come and see what I found !
It's great to find a toy that appeals to all three of the Madhouse kids - it's a rare occurence to find something that will occupy a 5, 9 and 13 year old, as well as being of interest to children (and adults !) of both sexes. This is actually an important point for Trends, who are keen to show that girls can get just as much enjoyment from science projects as boys, despite coverage in the media saying that girls have less interest in science and don't choose it as a career.
We eventually managed to find some tiny snails and an ant to look at in the small magnifying canister. It works really well for seeing the creepy crawlies close up but it's very hard to open, particularly for little fingers. (This does have the added advantage of making sure the bugs don't get out by accident though !)
The viewing barn is good for bigger things that you can catch with the net - Sophie managed to catch a huge bluebottle but she had to recruit Madhouse Grandad to set it free because she ran away to hide !
This is defintely a toy that will be getting a lot of use throughout the summer. Our favourite item is the transparent plastic, magnifying canister and we've already decided that we'll be using it to look at flowers, dandelion seeds, pieces of bark and anything else that we come across as well as bugs on our nature walks. If we get the chance to go pond dipping, it will give us a chance to look at the tiny pondlife too so I'm looking forward to lots of adventures throughout the coming months.
For everything you get in the box, I actually thought it would be more expensive so I was pleasantly surprised by the price.
star rating : 4.5/5
RRP : £14.99
for more information : http://trendstoys.co.uk/store/cart.php?m=product_detail&p=571
Disclosure : We received the product in order to write an honest review.