Paperscapes kids’ books review and giveaway

I’m delighted to join forces with Carlton Books for this exciting review and giveaway. Carlton Books have very kindly gifted me copies of four new titles from their Paperscapes series of children’s books, in exchange for an honest review. All opinions within this review are therefore both honest and my own (or my son’s).

I also have a complete set of these lovely books to give away to one lucky reader. So stay with me whilst I explain why these books would be great for your kids!

What’s different about paperscapes books?

I must admit that I’m a bit of a fiend for novelties and things that are out of the ordinary. That’s why, when I saw these unique looking educational books, I just had to have them for my son. The Paperscapes series are beautifully illustrated hardback books for kids, with a twist! They can also, with a little craftiness, become a beautiful work of art.

 

These stunning books look like your average fact-based reference books. Until you open the first page to find this:

Yes, it is telling you to tear the pages of your beautiful new book! But trust me, it’s fine….

I have to admit that I was a little nervous about this concept at first. My generation was brought up to love and respect books. Scribbling edits into science text books at school (however funny they may have been) or tearing out pages, always ended in detention. There is also the fact that my son is a couple of years younger than the recommended age group for these titles, of 7+. At just turned 5, I wondered if this might end in disaster.

But with a little help from Mommy…

 

And super careful hands…

 

He did a great job and I needn’t have worried!

 

The conclusion being that younger kids, I would suggest 4+, could easily appreciate these books too, with just a bit more parental guidance. The result was beautiful and my son’s reaction was “Wow, it looks like the animals are in real life!” Another noteworthy point, which had concerned me prior to review, was the ‘post popping out’ integrity of the books. Well fear not, each page is constructed of more of a thin cardboard than thick paper. Even with an eager 5-year-old turning pages back and forth, the book’s integrity was, thankfully, not compromised by the loss of its edges.

 

Which titles are available in the series?

So, once you are past the amazement of books that are also a mini craft project, what do you get from these books? There are four new titles available from the Carlton Paperscapes range, which include:

They are all presented in a lovely simple format, which appeals to a wide age group. There are small concise paragraphs about each creature or topic, with bullet formatted facts picked out. They have chosen to highlight the type of facts that would be most appealing to primary aged kids. You know, the type usually accompanied with an “eeewww” or “woah!” reaction.

The illustrated maps and repeated familiar logo usage throughout, allows for easy fact comparison between pages. For example, each dinosaur has a little knife and fork next to the dietary information, so even pre-readers can recognise this and ask questions about what they see. At the same time, the language doesn’t pander to its youngest audience and I feel that this provides a great feeling of balance. The result being, a broadening of the age range these books would suit, which I would suggest as between 4 and 12 years.

 

“The Incredible World of Bugs” taught us that mature Braconid Wasp larvae release a paralysing chemical to keep the caterpillar still whilst they chew through it. Nice!
Zeke’s favourite dinosaur is a Pachycephalosaurus, so he enjoyed learning in “The Fearsome World of Dinosaur’s”, how they were herbivores that loved eating seeds, just like him!
We can’t wait to create our journey through space next, with “The Spectacular Journey into Space”

I’m sold, how can I get some?

All four of these awesome titles were released in February 2019 and are available to purchase at a very reasonable £12.99 each from Carlton Books online, Amazon or your local book store. You can also visit their social media pages here to keep on top of new releases:

Facebook

 Twitter

Instagram

Or, if you’re feeling lucky, they have also very kindly given me a whole set, worth over £50, to give away to one of you lucky people. Just enter using the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win!

Enter to win today and You too could create this level of amazement in your child (edit: not guaranteed – he’s a bit over dramatic, bless him)
Zeke’s reaction to finding that the frog on Mommy’s arm is POISONOUS!!! Gasp.

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I also have a competition still live until 16th February to win a Half Term Busy Pack

 

I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database! Competitions listed on Loquax! I list my competitions on The Prizefinder!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
Mudpie Fridays

Please note: There are some affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee if you decide to purchase via them.This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.

Arid desert scene with the text "Has your comping cup run dry"

Hidden gems – where to look when you run out of competitions

Dry January?

So it’s January, and after the insanity of the December advent giveaways, comping really seems to die a death! As a compulsive comper, I often find myself scratching around for new competitions to enter at this time of year. Does anyone else ever end up half way through entering a comp and then second guessing their motives. I know it’s an addiction when I find myself asking if I would ever really use a hoverboard!? (I walk badly, with crutches)

As usual, I digress. The point is, I’ve noticed quite a lot of people commenting that they are similarly struggling to fulfil their personal comping quota this past week or so. I thought it would therefore be useful, to dig deep and provide you with some additional places to find competitions when the comping cup runs dry.

Hidden Gems

These 5 lesser known sites all have a great collection of competitions to enter and I highly recommended them. I usually tend to dip in and out of these whenever I have extra comping time anyway, but this month, I’ve been a daily visitor to them all. They have done a great job keeping me busy in the bleak January drought.

Twitaculous

Twitaculous is actually a really cool little app (can be used on laptops etc, not just for phones) and the only reason I don’t use it more often is due to lack of time. I’m an incredibly methodical person and as I discuss in my top 5 competition sites post, I rarely get beyond those five. Nevertheless, January has found me wanting for more competitions and Twitaculous has been a great little source. It’s not a pretty format, but it’s easy to use and the service is free. As it’s clear a lot of time and hard work has gone into creating this platform, there is a small voluntary contribution that you can pay if you intend to use the service often. This seems only fair and it does offer VIP access (advert free).

To use Twitaculous, you simply create an account, connect it directly to your Twitter account and it lists available Twitter competitions, complete with a nice easy entry system. Each competition post has its own Retweet, Like or Tweet button, allowing you to enter right there, without following a link to Twitter. It has nice sort functions, including sort by category or the option I prefer, show only those you haven’t entered yet. This is very handy! I would definitely recommend this to those who like to enter Twitter competitions.

An example of what the Twitaculous page looks like.
A screenshot from the Twitaculous listing page

 

PrizeDeck

PrizeDeck is a nice neat little site that provides their own giveaways with a simple one click entry format. Once signed up and logged in, you literally just click enter on the prizes that you fancy. There are no links to follow and no additional information to input.

I spoke to Lon at PrizeDeck about their ethos. PrizeDeck was born of the desire to stand in opposition to the increasing number of prize draw promoters running unfair giveaways (especially on Facebook), with elusive or non-existent prizes, difficult entry methods and dodgy terms and conditions. In stark contrast, PrizeDeck only run their own exclusive giveaways in a fair, honest and compliant way. They always list winners, announcing them both on the website and across social media. The prizes are widely varied and they make great efforts to work with local British brands, particularly start-ups. I have to say that I really appreciate the sentiment of this website and their good nature makes me want to comp with them that little bit more!

PrizeDeck is a relatively new site and I have seen them grow quite significantly over the past year. The prizes are not added daily, but there are at least a few new ones each week and you can set up email notifications for these. The new comps are very obvious, as those you have entered will automatically show you with a big green tick. It couldn’t be simpler!

They also have a blog page, which generally focusses on points of interest in the comping community and their own giveaway sponsors. It’s certainly worth a look if this topic is of interest. Highly recommended.

A screenshot from my PrizeDeck account

Prize Ticker

Prize Ticker is a very new competition listing site, which went live in late 2018. It is a nice simple, but very bold and colourful format, with some basic sort functions such as prize category and one I don’t think I’ve seen before, Age group. This refers to the age group that the prize is intended for. Obviously some of this might be a bit objective, unless it’s very obviously baby related items, so I would tend to steer clear of this function for fear of missing things.

I spoke to Anthony, who administers the new site. His main goal is to provide a place for competition listings and promotions but without any of the adverts or spam. The website, although live, is still undergoing some development and he intends to add a directory page that links to other listing sites, which sounds very useful.

For bloggers and prize promoters, they offer a nice simple upload page where you can share your own competitions at the cost of £1 for 90 days. Whilst other listing sites don’t charge for this service, Prize Ticker guarantee no adverts around your listing and a direct link to your competition.

A screenshot of the upload page for interested bloggers or giveaway providers

Snizl

Snizl is an unusual format for a competition listings website. They are another relatively new site and offer prizes from predominantly small businesses in the East Midlands area, although most prizes are available nationally. I have been entering competitions with them for about a year now and won one of the first that I entered last year for a cute Easter bunny plush toy.

The entry method is simple, as all giveaways are hosted directly on the site. Once signed in, you can just click on the picture of the prize you want, which will go to the main comp page. Click on ‘confirm entry’ and there is the option to share each prize on social media for additional entries. New prizes are not by any means added daily and tend to come in peaks and troughs. They are also very long dated comps, usually with about 3 month entry periods. Still, it’s easy enough not to take up too much time and you might get a nice surprise when you had completely forgotten about it, 3 months later!

A screenshot of the prizes listing on Snizl

 

rosemary and pork belly (blog)

Rosemary and Pork Belly is a great blog with really varied content, but largely focusses around travel. If you’ve read my “About me” page, or actually any of my blog posts, you have probably got the gist that I enjoy travel. They also have an excellent discounts and deals section, again largely centred around travel. So right of the bat, this is a blog for me. You might be thinking, that’s great, but your post and blog are about comping!?

Well, you’d be right of course. And here we have my favourite thing about Rosemary and Porkbelly blog, their travel competitions listing page!

The format is beautifully simple, with a “new since …” section each time the feed is updated. The descriptions often go above and beyond any other comp listing sites, due to the blog format, so closing dates and terms and conditions are clearly laid out for you. There are not hundreds of competitions on here by any means, but they are great ones, often that I haven’t come across on the big 5.

I love this blog and highly recommend keeping it on your watch list if you are a fan of free holidays!!

A screenshot from the travel competitions page on the Rosemary and Pork Belly Blog

 

Still not enough? Enter My Competition

So there are some of the great additional sites that I have been using to get me through the comping dry spell this January. Are there any new ones there for you? I’d be keen to hear your recommendations for comping sites that I haven’t mentioned yet. There are some that I don’t use because I either don’t trust them or don’t like the format (I’m a bit fussy like that). Please check out my post for comping site to avoid for further details.

If you still haven’t found enough, you can pop over to Twitter to enter my new giveaway, which you will find pinned to the top of my page. I’ve decided to change it up from the Gleam and Rafflecopter entry systems this time around, just to keep things fresh.

Terms and Conditions:

This giveaway is provided by Prizewarriors.com.
Entries must be received by 31 Jan 2019
The prize is one Transformers shaped wall puzzle.
Open to UK residents over the age of 18 only.
Entry is via instructions on Twitter, with an additional entry for those that have commented on this post.
The winner will be informed on Twitter within 48 hours of the closing date and have 7 days to claim.
Please allow 14 days from claim for delivery of the prize.

 

I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database! Competitions listed on Loquax! I list my competitions on The Prizefinder!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
Mudpie Fridays

Please note: There are affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee if you purchase via my links. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.

My Prize Wins 2019 and beyond

As my old prize wins post was getting a little long, I’ve decided to start a fresh one for 2019. I’ll be using the same format as previous years, as I think bulleted lists are more easily digestible. I will however be linking to reviews etc of these prizes as the year goes on and hopefully, the prizes roll in. As I mentioned in my top wins of 2018 post, the start of 2019 is already looking pretty killer!

2019 prizes

  • A T2 goodie bag full of tea and associated products
  • A madness special edition album and board game set
  • A box of 10 of 2018s best children’s books from Egmont publishing
  • Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse – The Art Of The Movie
  • A Lightbox display with changeable letters
  • An Exit ladies watch worth £139
  • A 7 day all-inclusive 4 star family holiday to Port Aventura World resort!!!! I’ll be taking this in May 2019. Comping goal for the year achieved on 9th January – and yes I did have to go live on the radio (Heart FM) for this one!!! Post coming soon about stepping out of your comfort zone.
  • A Xiaomi Mi Mix 3 Smart Phone worth £500
  • A one of a kind illustration from How to Train your Dragon 3 signed by the director
  • A Transformers Bumblebee movie rubix cube style key chain
Fireworks display

My Top Wins of 2018

As with most of us, for me the end/beginning of the year has led to a bit of reflection. I had a decent year for comping, but I don’t feel that it was my strongest. I have much higher hopes for 2019. Join me as I explore how to get the prizes I want and share my ideas and tips along the way. As my year is already off to a good start, I have decided to begin a new “My wins” post for 2019.

Whilst not my favourite year of wins, I did still have some great ones in 2018, so I’ve picked out my favourites below. (You can check out the full list here) I thought I would use this opportunity to thank the kind prize givers and pay it forward, as let’s face it, without them, what are we all doing here?!? (In the comping community, not on earth – I’m not feeling that reflective)

A wooden hear plaque with the words I am grateful embossed into it
Comping literally improves my life!

The Prize providers

So, whilst there were a few larger wins for me last year that came from big brand names, I would have to say that the majority of my wins were from small businesses. In fact, half of my favourite chosen prizes of the year came from small businesses and therefore I feel it’s only right to thank them properly.

Hafoty

I would like to thank Hafoty Farm Cottages for their super generous prize of a 7 night stay in one of their luxury accommodations in Snowdonia. I will be reviewing my stay in April, so please look out for that, but for now, here’s a bit about them.

Hafoty are a family run business, who own six picturesque barn conversions in Snowdonia, North Wales, nearby Anglesey, the Llyn Peninsula and Caernarfon. Their 4 star self catering cottages range from characterful, traditional cottages to stylish, modern conversions.

You can check them out on Facebook for some stunning shots of their properties and grounds. The local area is filled with stunning views and plenty of attractions suitable for all ages. It would make a great base for any family holiday, but especially for those with a penchant for action and adventure! On a personal note, I should mention just how helpful I have found them throughout the booking process. You can certainly see how they won “Best Holiday Cottage Accommodation – North West Wales” at the Welsh Enterprise Awards 2018.

An image of the back yard breakfast area of one oh Hafot Farm Cottages
Here is the lovely breakfast terrace area at the cottage I have booked for April. The views from that bench are incredible!!

Heating Style

I would like to thank heating style for the stunning Accuro Korle Champagne Anthracite Designer Towel Warmer that I won from their Facebook competition. It is a beautiful piece of equipment and certainly a luxury item for me.

Heating Style are a small specialist business, retailing high-end designer radiators and accessories. They work with industry leading manufacturers to bring you a large range of Vertical Designer Radiators, Designer Bathroom Radiators and Designer Towel Rails available in energy-efficient aluminium, luxury stainless steel or even glass!

Fancy radiators or towel warmers are not something I’d ever considered for my home, given their somewhat luxury status. With that in mind, I was really surprised to find that actually, some of their pieces are way more affordable than I’d imagined. If, like me, you have a passion for interiors and home styling, I would highly recommend you take a look. The designs are show stoppers and so varied that they could be the perfect finishing touch to any room.

In terms of customer service, the team are super friendly and helpful. They couldn’t do enough to advise me when it came to the specifications and fitting advice. My prize also arrived really quickly.

An example of some heating style radiators in a high end lounge set up.

Universal Textiles

Another of my favourite wins was an adult sized Superman hoodie from Universal Textiles. My 5 year old son is a big fan of superheroes and when I saw the competition prize was a hoodie that was exactly the same as one he owns, the desire overwhelmed me to twin with him whilst he’s still young enough not to mind!

The hoodie arrive quickly, was well packaged and the quality is excellent. It’s actually quite a lightweight fabric, rather than the heavy sweater material I expected. For a women’s hoodie though, I felt that this made it hang much better. It’s also thin enough that I can wear it underneath a coat without looking like the Michelin man, which is a huge bonus!

Universal Textiles are based in Leicester, but supply a wide range of clothing, home textiles and work wear both nationally and internationally. They stock quality branded products at very reasonable prices and offer low delivery fees. If you pop over to their website now and sign up for their newsletter, you will be given a code for 10% off your first order! They also run regular competitions on their Facebook and Twitter pages, so maybe you will be lucky too…

A picture of me and my son wearing our Superman hoodies.
In my case winning is twinning!

So with 2018’s prizes reflected on, I’m looking forward to 2019. I’ve already got a feeling that I am going to have a MUCH better year of comping. Less than two weeks into the year, I have already met my comping goal, so I’m going to have to come up with some more! Check out my list of wins for 2019 to date to see why I’m such a happy bunny. I’d love to hear your comping goals for the year.

Happy New Year everyone and happy comping!! x

a cu p of herbal tea and a bottle of Bristol CBD oil in the sun

Full Spectrum CBD Oil Giveaway

Win Full Spectrum CBD oil from Bristol CBD (Closed)

This week, I have joined forces with the amazing Bristol CBD  to bring you a great giveaway. Simply complete the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a 300mg bottle of full spectrum CBD oil.

You may have read my recent review of the very same oil, which I tried myself with huge success (and continue to use daily). If you suffer from any type of ailment, whether it be physical or mental, then I would strongly recommend a read.

2 bottles of Briston CBD oil, one dropper top and one spray

The Giveaway

If you would love to try Bristol CBD Oil then I have a couple of options for you. You can either enter the giveaway below or I also have a discount code available if you can’t wait to find out if you have won or not.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database!

Competitions listed on Loquax!

I list my competitions on The Prizefinder!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
Mudpie Fridays

Please note: There are affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee if you purchase via any links or codes that I supply. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.

A beautiful christmas scene with an armchair and presents in a sack.

Big Christmas Stocking Filler Giveaway

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My final Christmas giveaway of 2018

Well, it’s been a great start to the blog this year! Having launched on 1st November 2018 and already built up a small, but lovely community of followers, I am ecstatic with the progress to date.

As a huge thank you to everyone that’s given me a chance by reading and/or following my little blog so far, I am making my last Christmas giveaway of the year a big one!  So I wish you all the best of luck if you’re entering and a very merry christmas and holiday season.




This competition ends on 16th December and I will be posting it out to the lucky winner on 17th December (providing the winner comes forward straight away), so it should reach you just in time for Christmas.

What’s in the bundle?

After struggling for a while with exactly how to put together a bundle of stocking fillers, I came up with the only solution I could think of. I’ve tried to include something that would be suitable for everyone. So, here we have a 12 piece prize bundle, see below for descriptions and to enter.

This should be ideal for anyone that has a couple of awkward people left to buy for or just need a few extras to complete their gifts. Either way, enjoy!



A picture of a number of giftable items intended as the prize for this giveaway.
A Christmas stocking bundle with something for everyone!

Lotto Social OFfer link button

For the little ones:

A Big and Small 35 piece jigsaw puzzle set

A snuggly fleece Gruffalo hat and scarf set

For the slightly bigger ones

2 x 3DIT Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles crafting sets

2 x Top Gear Stig Stuff putty tins

An Odd Dog Balloon cross stitch picture set

Super Heat skateboard trading card game




For the full sized ones

A set of 2 official Coca Cola ‘Holidays are coming’ Photo clip frames

A beautiful Tropical Paradise LED dome jar ornament

A 4 piece faux suede Rodier Make up bag set with mirror, key ring and document holder

A limited edition X-Files flash light by Loot Crate

How do I win?

So if you would like to win this entire bundle of gifts, just enter using the Rafflecopter below.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

A beautiful christmas scene with an armchair and presents in a sack.

You still have time to enter this other great giveaway I have on:

Win a Nightmare Before Christmas Wallet – E: 16/1

 

I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database!

Competitions listed on Loquax!

I list my competitions on The Prizefinder!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
Mudpie Fridays

Please note: There are Amazon affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee from Amazon if you purchase via my link. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.

Jack Skellington Wallet

Win a Disney Nightmare Before Christmas Wallet




Win a Disney Jack Skellington Nightmare Before Christmas Wallet

For my penultimate Christmas giveaway, this week I have a fabulous Disney Jack Skellington wallet to give away to one lucky reader. The competition ends on 16th December, please see the bottom of the page for terms and conditions.

We’re huge fans of Tim Burton’s A nightmare before Christmas in this house. We watch it as both a Halloween and a Christmas movie as it can easily get you in the mood for both. It’s a film that transcends age ranges and I know plenty of adults, as well as children that love it. The prize is a bi-fold canvas wallet with all over print and plenty of space inside for money and cards, as well as the all important photograph window.




Jack Skellington Wallet

For your chance to win this awesome prize, just complete as many or as few options as you like in the rafflecopter below. Obviously the more methods of entry you complete, the higher your chances. Plus I have put a few daily entries in there, so you can go nuts if you choose to!

Win here!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms and Conditions:

This giveaway is provided by Prizewarriors.com.
Entries must be received by 16th December 2018.
The prize is one Disney Nightmare Before Christmas Wallet.
Open to UK residents over the age of 18 only.
Entry is via the Rafflecopter form and amount of entries awarded will depend on the number of actions performed by user.
The winner will be informed by email within 7 days of the closing date. 
Please respond within 7 days of your winner notification email or the prize will be redrawn.
I will try to get the prizes posted out to arrive in time for Christmas, however please bear in mind Christmas post times and that you will need to respond quickly to enable me to do this. Therefore please allow 14 days from claim for delivery of the prize.

More chances to win!!

I have a couple of competitions closing today (30/11) at midnight. There are also these awesome Doctor Who figures and a  My Little Pony giveaway finishing in the run up to Christmas. Also, remember to check back next week for my final giveaway of the year, which will be a bundle giveaway. My final giveaway will close on 16th December, so that I can get the prizes posted out to you in time for the big day!


I have also recently written a blog post about how to win the biggest Christmas toys of 2018. This contains plenty of links to toy giveaways elsewhere, so if you’re still trying to fill those stockings, I would recommend having a look.

A fireplace with christmas stockings surrounding and a lit candle.
Lotto Social OFfer link button

I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database!

Competitions listed on Loquax!

I list my competitions on The Prizefinder!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
Mudpie Fridays

Please note: There are affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee if you purchase via my links. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.

How to Win 2018’s Top Christmas Toys




 

Every year at this time, there are a huge amount of new toys introduced to the market, that every kid ‘desperately needs’. As parents, grandparents, aunties, uncles etc, we often feel under great pressure to fulfil these ‘needs’. I, for one, am going to find it a real struggle to provide the thousands of toys on my son’s list! And, he’s an only child!

Which toys will be most popular for Christmas 2018?

So, with the above in mind, I want to try to help reduce that burden on you to buy EVERYTHING. Recently I’ve paid a lot of attention to articles created by the main toy shops and online retailers listing what they consider to be the top toys for Christmas 2018. Below, I’ve compiled a list of what I consider to be the top eight desired toys/categories of toys this Christmas, as a result of that research. For each toy on the list, I’ve provided as many links as I can find to competitions where you can win them.

Make sure to check back regularly for more opportunities to win the toys that your kids are asking for, because I’ll keep updating this post between now and Christmas.

 

1.LEGO

At my top spot this year is LEGO. It’s surprising to me that a toy that has been around for so long remains as popular as Lego does. I do, however, really love that, at the number one spot, is a toy that encourages dexterity, design and concentration skills. This year, with lots of new sets available just in time for Christmas, including the sought after Harry Potter range, I’ve seen LEGO pop up on every single toy shop list I’ve read. In addition to a wide range of Harry Potter sets, new sets from the LEGO Friends range, Duplo range, Creator range and Ninjago range, all appeared in top 2018 Christmas toy lists.

Here are some links to LEGO competitions that are running throughout November and December. Please note the end dates at the beginning of each link. I will try to keep the list as current as possible, but some of them may close before I get the chance to update it.

  1. E: 04/12 £150 to sped on LEGO
  2. E: 05/12 Harry Potter LEGO bundle
  3. E: 07/12 Fantastic Beasts LEGO set
  4. E: ??? Harry Potter LEGO bundle
  5. E: 03/01 LEGO Winter Train Set

2. Barbie

Another toy that seems to have been around forever and manages to keep its popularity is the Barbie doll. A number of items from the Barbie range appeared on the many top 10, top 50, top (#random number) lists that I’ve read. Sought after dolls and sets this year include; Barbie Baby Doctor, Baby Care Clinic Ambulance and Barbie Dolphin adventure range.

Here are the links to the Barbie related competitions that I’ve found:

Currently all closed: Will update in new ones found…

I appreciate that this is a wide category of toys, but as STEM seems to be a real buzz word for parents and teachers at the moment, I felt it deserved its place on my list. STEM is the acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, in case you were wondering. They are toys designed to make learning fun for kids and as someone who is currently arranging a science themed birthday party for a 5-year-old, I can confirm that they succeed. On the top toys lists, I came across many different types of toys, catering to a wide age range, that fell under the banner of STEM. Some of the most sought after ranges this year are Learning Resources including Botley the coding robot, the Nickelodeon Experimake range, such as Experimake Sludge and Slime and Gravitax sets from Ravensburger.

Here is a list of the awesome STEM toys that are available to win online right now:

  1. E: 4/12 Detective DOT Megapack (Coding Toy)
  2. E: 9/12 Beaker Creatures Super Lab and Magnifying Chamber in £450 bundle!!
  3. E: 18/12 Geomag Gravity Up and Down Circuit
  4. E: 23/12 2 Single Ready2Robot Packs

4. The Grinch Movie and associated merchandise

As a huge Dr Seuss fan, we are very excited, in our house, that they have decided to revive this absolute classic. We were lucky enough to see the live performance of The Grinch last Christmas at Universal Studios in Florida. It was amazing! And yes, I did shed a tear lol. My son, who is almost 5, has the gorgeous young Grinch toy from Build a Bear factory on his Christmas wish list (aka hidden in my bedroom). I’ve also seen a plethora of related merchandise and clothing available for the Grinch movie. Unfortunately, the actual Blu-ray release is not until February 2019, which is a shame.

A picture of Kellie's son, a 4 year old blonde boy, meeting some characters from the Grinch production they watched in Florida in 2017
My son meeting some of the Whos from the live production of The Grinch last year at Universal Studios, Florida

Here are some links to competitions where you can win Grinch related prizes:

  1. E: 15/12 The Grinch Collection Edition Book bundle
  2. E: ?? Grinch Plush Toy

5. LOL Surprise Toys

LOL Surprise Eggs were huge last year, with parents being forced to pay way over the odds for items that had been bought up in bulk and sold on eBay at ridiculous mark ups. Well, they haven’t really lost much popularity in the mean time and this Christmas will see the launch of their LOL Biggie Pet Figure, LOL Bigger Surprise and LOL Surprise House ranges. These 3 items appear on a lot of the top toy lists, as well as the original range still having notable popularity, given the collectible nature of the toy.

Here are the links for LOL Surprise related competitions that I have found

  1. E: 15/12 LOL Bigger Surprise (2 winners)
  2. E: 1/12 LOL Surprise Doll House
  3. E: 18/12 LOL Bigger Surprise
  4. E: 20/12 LOL Surprise! Doll House

6. NERF Guns and associated toys

Anyone with a child that watches YouTube will appreciate (or not) the popularity of NERF guns. In the US they’ve been popular for decades, but they’ve also become increasingly popular here in recent years. They also seem to interest kids from a very wide age range! Although intended for ages 8 and up, my son has been interested since his 4th birthday and I also know teens that still love NERF. This year, the new and sought after additions to their range are NERF Laser Alpha, NERF Rival Prometheus MXVIII-20K Blaster and of course, the Hauck NERF Battle Racer is still popular, particularly with younger kids.

Here are some links to where you can win NERF toys in time for this Christmas:

  1. E: 15/12 Translucent LED NERF Dog Tennis Ball Blaster

7. My Little Pony

My Little Pony have been around since I was a little girl (I’m showing my age now!) and it was really nice to see that they have brought out a retro range this year that look just like the originals. These toys have had a real resurgence in popularity in recent years and this year is no different. Both the Ultimate Equestria Collection and Mega Collections appear in the top anticipated toy lists for 2018.

Here are some links that I have found to win My Little Pony toys:

  1. E: 7/12 Set of 3 My Little Pony plush toy zip purses (this is my giveaway)
  2. E: Ongoing? My Little Pony Bundle of Figures

8. Board Games

Another very broad category here, I know. It makes me very happy though, that in these days of technology overload, the number of board games on kids’ Christmas lists continue to increase. Ironically, I’m pretty sure that YouTube is the culprit for the rise in popularity, due to the millions of unboxing videos, however as long as they’re still being appreciated, where’s the harm! There are a lot of board games from different manufacturers appearing on this years top toys lists. Here are a handful of the most frequently mentioned titles that I came across during my research; Pie Face Canon, Don’t Step in it, Fortnite Monopoly, What’s in Ned’s Head and Soggy Doggy.

Here are some links where you can win a whole host of different board games. They are actually one of the most abundant giveaway items this year, so if there are any on you kids’ lists then I would recommend starting here:

  1. E: 04/12 Wally The Washer
  2. E: 05/12 Super Ski Jump 
  3. E: 6/12 Jumanji Orginal Board Game
  4. E: 06/12 Wally The Washer
  5. E: 10/12 £110 worth of Drummond Park Games
  6. E: 10/12 Wally the Washer
  7. E: 10/12 Rapidough
  8. E: 12/12 Word Bandit

Where else can I find toy competitions?

And of course, in addition to those links I have mentioned above, I must recommend the following pages’ toy categories. These sites have been very good to me in the past when sourcing presents, so I wish you the best of luck with winning some for yourselves. I would love to read your comments about what you are/were trying to win this year and whether or not you succeeded.

Competitions Database Children and Toys Competitions

Loquax Toys and Games Competitions

The Prizefinder Kids and Toys Competitions

Please note: There are Amazon affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee from Amazon if you purchase via my link. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.



Hand giving thumbs up sign

My Top 5 Favourite Competition Listing Sites




Finding Competitions

Competition listing sites and forums take a lot of the hard work out of finding the prizes you want. There are a fair few of these available now and each comper will have their preferences, based on what they feel matches their needs. Below I have listed my top 5 favourite sites. These are the sites that I use every day, listed in order of preference.

#1: Competition Database

My absolute favourite comping site is competition Database. I just feel that this site is the best thought out in terms of what a comper might want. It is straightforward, organised, methodical and allows you to manipulate the prize list in a number of useful ways. The site is updated with a huge amount of competitions on a daily basis, by both the site owners and registered users.

Features that I love:

  • If you register for a free account, you can keep a track of every competition that you have entered through the site.
  • Your name is searchable in the site winner announcements, based on your tracked list.
  • The prize list can be filtered to show multiple categories, whilst leaving out any that don’t interest you.
  • You can filter the prize list to only show prizes of a certain minimum value or search the entire list by sorting into prize value groups i.e ‘Very High Value (£500+)’. I haven’t found this feature anywhere else!
  • If there is a prize provider that you would never want to win from (i.e any company selling meat or dairy products for me, as I’m a vegan) you can choose to hide all future competitions from that provider. Again, this is a feature that I haven’t seen elsewhere and I love it!

 

Screeshot from Competition Database website



#2 The Prize Finder

Another site that I love is The Prize Finder. This site offers free registration and is updated daily with a large amount of competitions and prize draws. At the time of posting there were 2579 active competitions. This site also provides the use of a handy little tracker tool so that you can mark comps either entered, ignored or saved for later. When entering as many competitions per day as I do, this function is more necessary, than a bonus.

Features that I love:

  • You can search the entire list across all categories for competitions that close that day. This helps you to prioritize those with limited time left to enter.
  • You can sort by prize category to only show certain prize types, for example, I will always search by the category ‘Holidays’ first.
  • You can filter the categories to show only a particular entry method, for example, all Twitter competitions
  • They have a ‘Monthly Winner’s Stories‘ competition, where they award a £50 gift voucher per month to the member they feel submitted the best story about what they won using The Prize Finder.

Prizefinder homepage screenshot

#3 Loquax

Loquax is a forum style site that lists competitions, casino offers and has a discussion forum where registered users can chat about them. They were the first competition listing site in the UK and are still going strong 21 years later! This site is maintained by user submission and has a good amount of new listings added daily. Despite being a forum layout, they do have very nice filtering and entry marking features.

I recently spoke to Jason at Loquax and he told me that they are in the process of giving Loquax a bit of a facelift to make it more mobile friendly. He also pointed me to their blog www.loquax.co.uk/blog/, which has a lot of interesting articles about competitions related news. I will certainly be keeping up with this one myself, now that I know about it.

Features that I love:

  • You have the option to sort the competitions by those closing within the next day
  • They have their own giveaways every month, which has great quirky prizes, such as bread slippers!
  • The posted links are not masked by Loquax and therefore your browser will recognise if you have already visited them via another site (these links should be purple, dependent on browser). This is a really helpful feature and prevents confusion and duplicate entry.
  • You can click to thank the person that uploaded the link. This is not essential, but I think it’s always nice to show your gratitude. Also if the users that are uploading links feel appreciated, they are more likely to continue doing so.
  • You can click ahead and enter all competitions closing on any given date within about 30 days

Screeshot from the Loquax website

Top 3

Before moving on, I should put a caveat that I consider the below two websites to be secondary sources. They are the next best websites for if I manage to complete all of the listings available on the top 3, which really are the best in existence, in my humble opinion. At the weekend, there tend to be fewer listings all round, so you might find yourself moving onto options 4 or 5, but on the last day of the month, when 90% of competitions meet their end dates, there is very little chance that I will be going beyond the top 3! 

#4: Latest Deals Competitions

Latest Deals is a vouchers, deals and freebies listing site, but I have found the competitions section to be increasingly impressive on this site. There are a decent amount of new uploads per day and I find that some of the competitions listed here, don’t necessarily appear on the other sites mentioned above. The layout is a little different, but I quite enjoy it. It is simplistic and yet has some good filter features.

Features that I love:

  • You can search by any or all entry methods and any or all amounts of entries allowed at the same time, for example ‘all Gleam competitions that can be entered on a daily basis’. I don’t recall seeing this feature elsewhere and am pretty sure it’s exclusive to them at this time. Really useful!
  • A lot of the magazine competitions, such as ‘Take a Break’ are listed with the answers to every page. I can understand why some people might not agree with this, but for someone who doesn’t buy magazines, I appreciate the effort and always thank the users listing this information.
  • Each competition shows you how many users have entered via that link. Whilst the accuracy is negligible, given the competition is likely listed across numerous sites, it gives an idea of whether a prize will be popular or not.
  • There is a point system in place for those users that share competitions or deals on the site. These points can be collected over time and exchanged for vouchers.

 

Screeshot from the Latest Deals Competition page from their website

#5: Competitions Time

Competitions Time is a comparatively small listings site, however, it does still have valuable content and some nice features. Again, it has a slightly different layout and approach to listing, but still uses the general prize type and competition type categories. You are able to search for all new competitions, but the ability to search by those closing soon is missing.

Features that I love:

  • Each post has an entry page preview and this can be helpful in reminding you whether you have already visited the page. Sometimes there are numerous websites offering the same prize, so the prize title alone is not always enough to recognise it.
  • Competitions are rated in terms of ease to enter and effort required. You also have the opportunity to contribute to this rating on each post viewed.
  • It provides you with a list of the details required from you to enter each competition, which saves you time if they are asking for information that you do not want to give away.

 

Screenshot from competition time website

Which are your favourites?

I hope that you will find this list useful and enjoy finding yourself lots of prizes to lust after. Let me know in the comments which competition listing sites are your favourites and why. There are certainly many more sites available than the ones I have mentioned, these are just my favourites based on my personal comping requirements and preferences. I would also highly recommend looking at SuperLucky, which is a far more established competitions blog than my own. It has invaluable information that Di Coke has gathered over 20 plus years of comping success.




Giveaways November 2018




My November Giveaways

I’m running a number of giveaways throughout November and December. Christmas is an expensive time and I often enter competitions in order to help complete my gift shopping list. I will therefore focus on items that can be given as gifts when chosing the prizes to give away.

Please bear in mind that this is a new blog and I have limited means. These prizes have all been sourced by me, they are not collaborations with companies or larger blogs, so they won’t be as impressive as some prizes that more established bloggers can provide.

I am hoping to list 1 new competition each week until the cut off date of 16th December, to ensure prizes can be received in time for Christmas. This gives you plenty of chances to win. You can also take advantage of the fact that, as I am a very new blogger, my entries will likely be really low. Remember what I said about Improving your chances of winning?

Week 1 – Win a Barbie Colour Change Glam Bag

Barbie and ME Colour Change Glam Bag
This cute and functional Barbie & Me Colour Change Glam Bag, could be yours in time for Christmas. Enter below:

Win a Barbie Colour Change Glam Bag

For more chances to win Barbie related toys, take a peak at my post How to win 2018’s Top Christmas Toys, which talks about the most popular toys this Christmas. Barbie comes in at number 2, followed by the ever popular LEGO!



Week 2 – Win “A Night at the Awards” Board Game

A Night at the Awards Board Game
This quirky and engaging role play style board game could be yours in time for all those dull Christmas parties

A night at the awards board game back of box

A Night at The Awards Board Game

Please see my other live competitions: Win 3 Plush My Little Pony Coin Purses and Win a Christmas themed photo shoot for your kids/pets

 

I list my free-to-enter competitions on Competition Database!

Competitions listed on Loquax!

I list my competitions on The Prizefinder!

SuperLucky Blog Giveaway Linky: the UK's biggest list of blog giveaways
Mudpie Fridays




 

Please note: There are Amazon affiliate links on this page, this means that I get a small fee from Amazon if you purchase via my link. This does not cost you anything and it allows me to continue to run my blog. Thanks for your understanding.