The new DC Super Hero Girls show – Win a £100 Visa Gift Card

Earlier this year, Talitha had a super hero party to go to. As we talked about who she could go as, we realised that she wasn’t familiar with many female super heroes. I mean, the super hero thing isn’t hugely on her radar even now but she at least had some awareness of characters like Batman.

More recently, she’s started donning a cape, flying about and saving people. I don’t think that she’s particularly thinking of herself in gender when she’s playing these games but I’ve felt that if she wasn’t exposed to female heroes, she might begin to absorb the message that the business of power, rescue and adventure is better left to the boys.

So, we enjoyed watching the new DC Super Hero Girls playlist on the DC Super Hero Girls YouTube channel together.

In this new show, DC reimagines its female (and some male) characters, like Wonder Woman and Supergirl, as teenagers attending Super Hero High.

I have to admit that I found it a bit goofy and maybe even cringey in parts but I think that’s possibly because it’s not the mostly serious, tense, action-packed stuff I grew up with. I’d love to introduce her to those comics and videos at some point but for now this is probably more age-appropriate for her as I doubt she’d be able to deal with the suspense they’re laced with just yet. I was also pretty surprised to find Poison Ivy and Harley reimagined as heroes!

Talitha loved watching these clips and has gone on for ages about how strong they are and that they can save people, asking about their different powers. I like that there’s also an emphasis on friendship between them and that they’re all so unique, there’s a favourite for any child to latch onto.

For kids who want to take the experience further, the DC Super Hero Girls website offers play games, free printable activities, and more.

DC Super Hero Girls is also currently giving away a £100 VISA Gift Card giveaway to one lucky entrant of the giveaway below:

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New Be Cool Scooby-Doo! cartoons – win a £100 Amazon gift card

There’s lots of spooky fun about this week in the lead-up to Halloween so it may just be the perfect time to introduce your kids to a classic from our own childhoods, Scooby-Doo! It’s as silly and amusing now as ever but kids aren’t just watching it on TV anymore. Now you can watch videos, play games and download printable activities on ScoobyDoo.com and The Warner Bros Youtube Channel makes it even easier for kids to watch the mystery squad, on-demand, and from any device.

Scooby-Doo! is now giving away a £100 gift card for Amazon, so this is a great time to check it all out. Watch the video then enter for your chance to win.

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LEGO® Scooby-Doo stop motion PLUS Win a £150 Smyths Toys voucher

How cute are these amazing Scooby-Doo stop motion videos created using the brand new LEGO® Scooby-Doo sets? They’re admittedly a bit spooky for my sensitive four-year-old but they’re a great throwback for me and neither of us can resist anything LEGO®.

If your kids love Scooby-Doo be sure to visit ScoobyDoo.com and subscribe to the WB Kids YouTube channel. New videos are being added all the time.

WB Kids are giving away a £150 voucher for one lucky winner to spend at Smyths Toys. Enter the rafflecopter widget below to win!

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Create a superhero and win a Warner Bros toy gift set

Talitha was invited to a superhero party earlier this month. After looking around for some superhero costume inspiration, she decided to make up her own superhero, Purple Girl. Apparently Purple Girl wears a crown and cape and turns things into purple ice. Sound like anyone to you?!

Create your own superhero

You can create your own ultimate super hero with a fun name, look, powers and more to enter to win a Warner Bros toy gift set. Enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.

Warner Bros has put out lots of new videos, including favorites such as Scooby Doo and Batman Unlimited on the DCKids Channel and the WBKids Channel . There’ll be lots of updates over the coming year, so don’t forget to subscribe.

We’ve been spending a rainy afternoon checking out Batman at chatting about superheroes. It’s definitely a growing interest here! Don’t forget to enter the rafflecopter widget below to win.

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Brilliantly weird fun at Hoo Haa! Festival

We’ve spent the past few days doing two pretty random things: finding non-musical objects to make music with and singing “Do a little poo in the forest” to each other. We’ll have to blame the gigs we’ve taken in at Hoo Haa! Festival at Colston Hall in Bristol last week.

The first I’ll explain in a minute but the second definitely requires music video explanation. Do show your kiddies this. They’ll love it – and so will you if you’re into toilet humour.

On Friday we had Laurence’s brother with us (he normally lives in Thailand) so we all headed down to Hoo Haa! to check out Kid Carpet and The Noisy Animals. It was a show described as “a punk rock musical following the adventures of gorilla, bear, hedgehog and badger as they make friends, cause mischief, contemplate the world and rock out at the grand dance contest.”

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It was, in fact, one of the most gloriously weird things I’ve ever seen. I knew I was going to be blogging about it because Hoo Haa! had given us tickets but at one point I leaned in and whispered to Laurence, “This is insane! How the heck am I going to write about this?!” He shrugged and said it sort of reminded him of The Mighty Boosh.

Essentially it’s a man playing with some toy animals, singing some crazy songs and messing around with some audio visual tech. It’s brilliant and you could see that the kids (adults too but kids, especially) loved it. The fact that I’m merrily humming the song in the video above as I type this probably says it all.

Afterwards, the kids had some fun putting together a building for a cardboard city. There were some pretty inspiring builds. We’ll definitely give this another go at home.

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The day before, we made it down with my parents and saw Paka Piki Music. British experimental folk artist Rachael Dadd played “instruments” that ranged from a banjo to a carrot to a toothbrush. Her bandmate Japanese artist ICHI wore what I think was probably an ant-head mask and played an equally eclectic range of objects. I loved that they included the steelpan in their lineup. Any opportunity for my kids to hear that instrument is exciting for me as a Caribbean migrant.

Both girls were absolutely spell bound during the performance. Talitha had lots of questions spilling out afterwards and she jumped at the chance to get play long, knocking chopsticks together. I would go see them again and again and again.

Hoo Haa Festival at Colston Hall

Talitha also got to play with some fruit and vegetables wired up to a computer, experimenting with them to make music.

There was so much more on, including a classical concert for babies and toddlers, a beatboxing workshop for all ages, a poetry battle for over 10s and a disco. I wish we’d been able to make it along to more but even the little we saw gave us all a taste of something different this summer.

This was Hoo Haa! Festival’s first year at Colston Hall and I hope it returns next year but even if not, we’ll be keeping our eyes peeled for other events there. In fact, my parents have bought tickets to take the girls to see The Tiger Who Came to Tea there later this week.


What we’ve been watching on Netflix – June

So, thankfully Laurence has been working in Bath for the past couple of weeks, which means he’s been home in the evenings rather than just on the weekends. Unfortunately, we seem to have got into bad habits and now don’t want to watch things together. We made a film attempt with 22 Jump Street but I don’t think either of us were really in the mood for it. Actually, I don’t think I’ll ever be in the mood for it. Sorry if it’s your thing. As soon as it was over, I went back to what I’ve been binge watching…

What I’m watching

For me, it’s all about Orange is the New Black (still from Series 3 above). Everyone kept telling me I’d like it but I’ve only just got around to giving it a go. I think I thought it was a comedy for some reason and I’ve been busy watching crying over indie movies instead. I turns out everyone was right. I’ve been sucked straight in.

We follow affluent “good girl” Piper Chapman into prison, sent there by her secret past as the girlfriend of an international cartel drug dealer, Alex Vause. Every episode asks questions about what leads us to the choices we make, whether we’re really that different from anyone else and what our judgment of others is based on.

I love getting to know the characters and their back stories. It’s often funny, at times heartbreaking and usually makes me think. And I’ve almost forgiven Laurence for calling it soapy, mainly because he’s probably right and I’ve decided I’m cool with that.

I’m into Season 3 and not finding Chapman and Vause’s relationship that convincing at the moment but I like Laura Prepon (Vause) enough not to mind (too much).

daredevil

What Laurence is watching
Laurence is watching Daredevil. I know I’d probably get into this if I weren’t busy with OITNB. I have watched a bit and hope to pick it up another time. It’s very cinematic and not at all budget.

He’s a superhero that neither of us know much about. My brother used to talk about it and there endeth my knowledge. All Laurence has seen is the rubbish movie version but he tells me this is much better.

The series demonstrates how TV is able to dig more deeply into character as it attempts to uncover what motivates Daredevil and how he comes by the name. He’s a more “realistic” hero as is the baddie, Fisk. You kind of feel for him. He has a bit of tenderness to him while being quite brutal and unhinged.

Pocoyo

What Talitha is watching
Talitha spent the month of June walking around with one eye raised, pretending to be Pato the duck from Pocoyo. We struck gold with this one as it’s not at all scary. She loves it because it’s laugh out loud silly. I like listening to Stephen Fry’s narration.

Other favourites have been Pingu (not on Netflix anymore, sadly) and The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Other Stories by Eric Carle. We have the latter on DVD but she hadn’t watched it in a while so it was a pleasant rediscovery. It’s such a gentle, soothing, pretty animation.

What are you watching at the moment?

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Diddi Dance review and giveaway – Win 3 CDs

Talitha, Ophelia and I had great fun trying out Diddi Dance pre-school dance classes recently, along with Diddi Dance CDs which allow you to continue the fun at home. In fact, the CDs have pretty much become our daily soundtrack, with the three of us throwing shapes in the kitchen. Even Laurence has had a Diddi Dance-a-thon with the girls.

I got Talitha a simple CD player for her to operate herself and gave her my old CD case since I don’t really listen to CDs much anymore whilst she’s amassing quite the collection. She fastidiously puts each one in it’s place an clearly enjoys the autonomy this set up has given her.

We have had to agree to turn the music off during dinner time and we went through a period of time where she listened to nothing but the Diddi Dance CDs but now we’ve settled to a point where I’m allowed to listen to my music too (mostly folk) and sometimes we enjoy a bit of classical music on the radio.

Diddi Dance review and giveaway-3

What’s great about the collection of original songs is that it’s not too kiddy or samey. It covers a variety of different dances and holidays. Our favourite tune has to be “What’s the time, Mr Wolf?” You’d have to be stone cold for this not to get you dancing with your kids, I reckon. We randomly break out into lines of it through out the day but then, I basically view life as a musical so maybe that’s just us.

Talitha is also fascinated by the songs that incorporate Spanish and French. She’s really interested in other languages at the moment, noticing when she hears other people speaking in an unfamiliar language or if we come across it in books we’re reading. I’ve been thinking about how to start introducing this a bit more into what we do day to day and these songs are useful, especially when counting.

Diddi Dance sent us the CDs before we went to a 45-minute class so Talitha enjoyed recognising songs in the dance routine. Ophelia was a bit too young for it at the time. It’s specifically aimed at 2-4 years, though am 18-month-old would happily get a lot out of it, I’d say. The teacher was warm and lively and there was a good mix of group and individual activities, with parents and carers encouraged to join in.

There’s good variety in the music, themes and moves as well as fun props like hoola hoops and shakers. It’s a good, active class. We all enjoyed it so much that I was even up for signing up along with a friend who’s daughter used to do it. However, scheduling conflicts and the fact that I don’t have a car got in the way. If you are looking for a fun preschooler dance class I’d definitely give this a look in.

Diddi Dance review and giveaway-2

Diddi Dance is giving away a bundle of three Diddi Dance CDs here on the blog. To enter to win, use the Rafflecopter widget below and comment with the song that gets you dancing every time (with or without your children!).

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Giveaway ends 22nd July 2016. Open to UK residents only.