It takes a lot to get me up and out of the house before 9am on a Sunday morning – luckily enough my early hour traipse into the West End with a toddler to attend The Croods gala screening was well worth it.
Joined by the likes of Elen Rivas, Olympic athlete Steve Backley, Gaby Roslin and their broods, we all had the chance to enjoy ‘fun in the foyer’ – face-painting, balloons etc – before heading into the 3D screening.
If you’re looking for a film to take your little ones to I would highly recommend this offering from DreamWorks, the makers of How To Train Your Dragon and Madagascar. The ‘pre-historic’ animated comedy follows a stone age family as they finally venture out from the cave that has always been their safe haven. In my mind it was the perfect mix, appealing to both adults and children – I mean I laughed so many times I lost count and hell, I even almost shed a tear at one point (yeah, I said it).
Admittedly 3D screenings with toddlers who lose quickly lose interest in wearing 3D glasses is a challenge, but mine managed at least 40 minutes before deciding to discard them…
With characters voiced by Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone and Catherine Keener, each of them had something about them to draw you in, but when it came to my three year old, the star of the show was definitely the sloth and his catchphrase ‘dun, dun, daaah!’
So basically, I loved it, my daughter loved it – watch it.
I’m a huge fan of Alesha Dixon – she’s definitely on my list of favourite celebs to chat to – so I was pleased to hear she’s been announced as judge for the Explore Learning Writers’ Awards 2019.
This is a chance for budding young authors across the UK to have their work recognised.
Open to children aged from four to 14, youngsters are encouraged to write a 500 word story with the winner bagging a trip to Disneyland Paris for their family and £500 worth of books for their school library.
To top it off, Britain’s Got Talent judge Alesha will surprise them at their school with the news.
Mum Alesha is herself a published author and will this year release the third instalment in her children’s book series, Lightning Girl.
The comp opens March 11 when this year’s theme will also be announced.
Explore Learning will be running a number of free creative writing workshops with schools and libraries across the UK to inspire kids to take part.
The closing date for entries is Sunday May 5.
For more info visit www.explorelearning.co.uk/youngwriters
Hackney Empire pantos are renowned for being one of the best on offer each year. ‘Oh, no they’re not’ – Oh yes they most definitely are!
And while taking my two (nearly three!) year old daughter to her first pantomime, I couldn’t have wished for a better introduction to the theatre.
This year the east London theatre welcomed Joanna Riding to star in Dick Whittington and his Cat. The show was full of laughs, especially with Steve Elias in the role of the panto dame and Tony Whittle as Alderman Fitzgerald – they were the perfect comedy duo – and while my daughter definitely did not warm to the King Rat played by Kat B, he was also hilarious; playing up to the audience’s boos and hisses.
I must admit, even I was scared when a giant gorilla/king kong type character clambered on stage using some sort of puppetry/stilt walkers inside (although I still haven’t quite got my head round how they did that!), but my little one took it fairly well and didn’t bat an eyelid.
Vocally it was Dick Whittington’s love interest Alexia Khadime who stole the show alongside Elias who could more than hold a note or two.
All in all a great show and what better excuse to support your local theatre? Go check it out.
With the onset of the wintry weather, it would be great of the only thing us mums had to worry about was kitting out our little ones in warm clothes, putting up the Christmas tree and – constantly – replacing lost gloves.
Unfortunately as the temperature quickly dropped I was having to contend with my little girl’s dry skin which was driving her crazy and her constant complaints about having ‘itchy legs’.
On the look out for a solution I came across Dry Skin Baby Lotion by Green People’s Organic Babies, part of their No Scent Range. The fact that it doesn’t contain any chemicals or perfumes is a total bonus, and I have to admit that I’m one of these parents who appreciate organic products, believing there’s a better chance your little one won’t have any adverse reaction to the product.
Certified Organic, 100 per cent free of Parabens and Lanolin, with ingredients that help to soothe and moisturise your little one’s skin – Hemp Seed oil, Aloe Vera, Apricot oil and Marigold – I was almost sold before I’d tried it! But after using the product for a couple of weeks I would definitely recommend it. With a price tag of £9.45 for 150ml it’s not cheap, but luckily a little goes a long way, so I believe it’s worth the money. Plus I no longer have to listen to my daughter’s complaints about ‘itchy legs’!