I like surprises. Most of the time anyway. Not the kind of “bath surprises” Eva likes to leave for her brother but nice surprises, yes. And this was the nice kind of surprise. My mind has been a bit…busy of late, so I’d forgotten that a lovely PR lady was sending me some Tree Fu Tom things to review, including the newly-launched Tree Fu Tom magazine. It came while Roo was at school, and once I picked him up I told him that we had something exciting at home. I told him he’d have to test something to see whether he liked it and decide whether other children would like it too.
Turns out he’s not the most discerning. “I like everything!” he said, before launching into a list of things he liked, including rain, lamposts, roads, pavements, dogs, cats and clouds. So if I tell you that he liked the magazine, it doesn’t seem like high praise. But he did REALLY like it. And he also liked the DVD with free Tom figurine (pictured here with Eva, presumably not actually suitable for under 3s)
So, what was in the magazine? Well, there was some counting – Reuben specifically asked “to do some maths” and wasn’t disappointed. Unlike me, when he told me he liked maths more than he liked writing. That’s a win for Daddy.
But I wasn’t disappointed with how beautifully and carefully he did the musha-themed sticker pages (part of the “Maths Adventure”). Lots of it was fairly straightforward counting, which is a bit basic for him a few weeks into Reception. But with stickers that you could stick over the ladybirds, there was the opportunity to do some adding and subtracting in the “how many ladybirds are hidden and how many can you still see?” vein. So, his maths-desires were satisfied.
With such an active show, you’d expect some physical activities in the magazine too – and it had those. There were two spells, and quite some nose-touching and pose-making. Excuse the sight of Eva’s lunch in the background of these photos – she’d been eating the same bite of sandwich all afternoon. Houston, we have a toddler.
There were also three free gifts with the magazine – another Tom, a bug toy and some crayons. The toys came in useful for the Ranch Race game, even if Reuben didn’t quite get the rules and Eva kept stealing the pieces. There are also two stories, one with stickers, and you can make your own holopax as well as learning about ladybirds, colouring in and factfiles. It’s impressively low on filler and there’s some good educational content in there. Reuben really concentrated when drawing over the lines and doing the stickers:
He spent at least half an hour concentrating and we haven’t got through half the activities yet. That seems like pretty good value for money. We also watched one episode of the DVD and did some of the colouring in the colouring pack, before lining the crayons up in rainbow order: