AS a parent in the age of technology, it won’t be long before you’re debating how much ‘screen time’ to allow your child.
For some parents it’s not a real issue, while others prefer to limit the amount of time their little one spends in front of a screen to the bare minimum – each to their own.
But when choosing WHAT they watch it helps that it’s both fun AND educational, which is what the launch of Learning Time with Timmy seems to have achieved.
Created by Aardman – the Oscar-winning animation studio behind classics Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep – in partnership with the British Council, the interactive online series is aimed at making learning English fun.
And while my boy has just turned one, he took an interest to the preview episodes we were shown, in particular trying to join in with the animal noises and the dance at the end of each episode with Timmy the sheep. It also helped that there was popcorn – and a giant-sized Timmy in the auditorium…
The episodes are also short enough to deal with a toddler’s attention span!
You can watch the series on YouTube at www.youtube.com/LearningTimeWithTimmy
With a voice cast boasting the likes of Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, James Corden, Bill Nighy and Colm Meaney, it’s no surprise a crowd of VIPs and their children braved the cold to enjoy a Sunday morning screening of latest Lionsgate offering Norm of the North.
Singer Una Foden stepped out with her three year old mini me, daughter Aoife Belle – the pair clad in matching denim ensembles.
Other celebrities taking part in the ‘fun in the foyer’ activities included Cherry Healey, Justin Lee Collins and former X Factor contestants The Brooks, before TV presenter Kate Garraway introduced the film to a packed screening room at London’s Empire Leicester Square cinema.
In the film Schneider voices a dancing polar bear who can speak to humans, tasked with saving his Arctic home from property developers.
My six year old enjoyed the film but a big part of that was probably due to the soundtrack – which included Walk to the Moon’s catchy Shut Up and Dance – rather than any riveting storyline.
While the animated offering is not on a par with Disney’s Frozen which is of course loved by children and adults alike(!), I did find myself sniggering at some of the jokes. And judging from the reaction of children at the screening, they also seemed to find the film amusing.
Norm of the North hits UK cinemas on March 18.
When I heard about this film I thought it would be the perfect film to review for my blog – with an all-star cast including Jennifer Lopez, Matthew Morrison, Cameron Diaz, Chris Rock, Chace Crawford, Elizabeth Banks (the list goes on) – it covers everything from conception to childbirth, in all its glory!
I really enjoyed the film, directed by Kirk Jones, the ensemble cast and different strands to the storyline gives it a kind of New Year’s Eve/Valentine’s Day feel to it. A comedy with some laugh out loud moments, the not so happy aspects of pregnancy are also covered, so be warned that it’s not all smiles and without giving anything away, there may be some tears…
But the thing people seem to want to know about is Cheryl Cole’s cameo in the film. But to be honest it’s a moment I’ve tried to block from memory, as I always have an irrational desire to scream or lash out whenever I see her or hear her voice. But for those of you interested, she said about two lines, appeared as herself – so no real acting involved – and was on the acreen for less than five minutes.
Also, the film is definitely not just a chick flick, the cinema had its fair share of guys in the audience when I saw it, who were laughing and cringing in equal measure. As Vic, Chris Rock leads the pack of fathers making regular trips to the park with their broods, providing several of the laughs as they try to convince Alex (Rodrigo Santoro) to join their world of parenthood.
I’m not gonna lie, this isn’t the movie to see if you like hardcore action movies, but for a couple of laughs and several soppy moments, it’s definitely worth a try.
Media Mummy rating? 3.5 stars out of 5
WHO doesn’t remember playing with LEGO DUPLO as a child?
Well this year the brand is celebrating half a century after being invented to help creative toddlers play safely.
As mum to a toddler I’m constantly shouting phrases like ‘Take that out of your mouth!’, ‘What’s that in your mouth?’, or ‘Why is that in your mouth?’
So it’s no surprise I’m a fan of the chunky bricks which my little boy can play safely with. Because let’s face it, no matter how much we shout, for some reason plastic bricks must be chewed and dribbled on!
They’re twice the size of usual LEGO pieces but they can still be used together, which is useful as kids get older.
I love watching little ones playing with LEGO DUPLO – you can almost see their brains ticking as they attempt to build their little – or big – creations.
It’s useful to know that LEGO DUPLO products are actually designed with this in mind – to inspire and encourage playful learning.
FUN FACT ALERT! DUPLO comes from the Latin word ‘duplex’ meaning double. (You’re welcome.)
Share your pictures on social media celebrating 50 years with the hashtag #LEGODUPLO50th
Note: My boy is playing with the LEGO DUPLO Police Bike set #gifted