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.
KIDS’ favourite Fireman Sam and the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) have launched a timely new partnership to help teach youngsters about staying safe during Bonfire Night celebrations.
The Fireman Sam Safety Hero School has launched aimed at getting across key safety messages to pre-schoolers and their families.
Areas include fire safety, water safety, safety in the home, road safety and animal safety.
Children and parents can find a dedicated online platform at www.firemansam.com, where they can download a wealth of information in child-friendly language, including fire safety activity sheets, as well as the chance to watch fire safety videos from the Pontypandy firefighting crew.
The overall aim is to complete all the safety modules, gaining certificates and badges along the way to finally become a Fireman Sam Ultimate Safety Hero.
Such an important topic, so it’s great to see something which makes it simple – and fun! – for little ones.
The celebrities were out in force on Monday night for the launch of Audi City in Mayfair and I’m sure the sound of those jangling car keys to the free cars they’d [allegedly] be picking up helped with their attendance…
Glamorous mums Thandie Newton and Sophie Ellis-Bextor were joined by the likes of David Gandy, Brian Ferry and Clive Owen at the launch of the car manufacturer’s first digital showroom.
After a quick chat with the dashing Rupert Penry-Jones about the Chris Cunningham art/light installation, I grabbed Sophie for an update on how life as a working mum has been treating her – the singer gave birth to her third son in April.
‘What are my tips to being a successful working mum? Winging it! I’m quite lucky as I can take my children to work with me – even when I DJ. I’ve just been to Ukraine and Moscow and took Ray with me and he was fine. He’s only 10 weeks old, so I’m still at the stage where I don’t really like to leave him.’
Going on to praise my blog (yes – I had to get that in somewhere!), she added, ‘I think there should be more support for working mums and I have the utmost respect for them and of course, full-time mothers – what you’re doing is fantastic.
‘My one piece of advice would probably be – don’t be afraid of being selfish – I couldn’t give up what I do and I think that’s important.’
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.