Sunday, 27 July 2014

Look, it's a Plane - 207/375

While we were having lunch outside in the garden today Zoey pointed it's an aeroplane flying high in the sky. I think she may be trying to tell us she wants to fly somewhere warm and sunny. 


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Kings of the Castle - 206/365

Ben loves Helter Skelter so was delighted to see one at our local festival. He was very excited to get to the top before whizzing back down with Daddy. 


Friday, 25 July 2014

Big School Is Looming

I'm still in denial that Ben is actually finished preschool for good and "big" school is looming ever closer. His last day of preschool was last Wednesday which was all a little emotional, well for me anyway. I'm not convinced Ben realised that was it for good when we said our goodbyes and thank yous as we left. He is however very excited about his new school, especially about the giant wooden pirate climbing frame an swimming pool they have there.


Big Changes on the Way

Ben's preschool really encouraged learning through play so he had a lot of fun there everyday. I have a feeling things will be a bit different at his big school as they are pretty academic so I hope he won't find that too hard to adjust to. 

As he did mornings he was only away from me for three hours a day hence it's going to be a shock to the system (both his and mine) dropping him off for an 8.45am start and not seeing him again until 3.10pm. I'm going to miss my big little guy. I am also slightly worried none of the other children from his preschool will be going to his big school however the school have arranged some picnics during the six weeks holidays so the children and their parents can get to know one another which is a fantastic idea I think.

School Uniform

I have got some of the official bits of his school uniform that we had to purchase from the school including his school tie, jumper, polo shirt, PE kit, book bag and water bottle but have yet to get trousers, shirts, shoes, socks and so on. I need to figure out how many of each he will actually need as at the moment he has a change of clothes every day. 

One of the things mentioned at the new parents evening was that we should get our children ready for big school by teaching them to tie their tie and button and unbutton shirts so I guess we should start practicing. I may have to consult google myself as it's years since I tied a tie, shame they couldn't have those ones on a string of elastic. 

Six Weeks of Fun Ahead

For now though I'm concentrating on packing as much fun as we can into the next six weeks. That and getting Ben over his recent ear infection so that he is fighting fit for school in September. September seems so far away right now but I have a feeling it will come around all too quickly!

* Disclaimer: This post is written in collaboration with George at Asda

Super Summer with Amazon Prime Instant Video

Recently we headed off on an adventure to London for the Amazon Prime Instant Video Super Summer event in a very cool and quirky venue, Drink, Make, Do. Ben (or should I say Spider-Man) had an absolute ball and I think he fell a little bit in love with Snow White who along with Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty did a fantastic job of entertaining all the kids.


New Kids Content

Ben was in his element when he discovered the screening room where we were treated to the UK premiere of Annedroids – which is one of three original kids shows made by Amazon Studios for Amazon Prime Instant Video and is released today, 25th July, in time for the summer holidays. It was Ben's perfect show as it included adventurous kids, robots and science. He loved it so much, he stayed for the second viewing after our slot and insisted on going back in again later to view it another few times. Needless to say he has been eagerly awaiting for it's official release on Amazon Prime Instant Video so he can watch it on Mummy's Kindle and show Daddy it too. 

Other new content especially for kids this summer includes Tumble Leaf and Creative Galaxy, both of which have become new favourites of Ben's and the twins. Zoey and Zachary become completely mesmerised by the bright colourful graphics and cute characters in these two shows and there is always a lot of pointing and wordsbeing said when they are on. Below is some background on the shows. 

Annedroids (for children ages 4 to 7 years) 

 


Premiering today (25th July), Annedroids is about a young scientist. Created by Emmy-nominated JJ Johnson (Dino Dan) and Sinking Ship Entertainment, and aimed at children aged four through seven, Annedroids is a live-action adventure series about a young female genius, her human friends, android assistants and the amazing scientific discoveries they make while undertaking the biggest experiment of them all: growing up. Addison Holley (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood) stars as “Anne,” Adrianna Di Liello (Stage Fright) plays her friend “Shania,” and Jadiel Dowlin plays “Nick.”

Tumble Leaf (for preschool-aged children) 

 


Available to stream now on Amazon Prime Instant Video Tumble Leaf comes from Emmy Award-winning director Drew Hodges and award-winning studio Bix Pix Entertainment. The preschool aged show follows Fig the Fox and his best friend Stick as they discover adventure, friendship and love around every bend. Themes found in the show promote exploration and scientific thinking through play. The talent behind the characters includes Christopher Downs as “Fig” and “Stick,” Zak McDowell as “Hedge,” Addie Zintel as “Pine,” Brooke Wolloff as “Maple” and Alex Trugman as “Ginkgo.”

Creative Galaxy (for preschool-aged children) 

 


Also available to stream now on Amazon Prime Instant Video is Creative Galaxy, from acclaimed creator Angela Santomero and Out of the Blue (Super Why!, Blue’s Clues, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood). Featuring Samantha Bee (The Daily Show), Christian Distefano, Jason Jones (The Daily Show), Cloris Leachman (Malcolm in the Middle) and Jason Priestley (Beverly Hills 90210). In this make-along, create-along, interactive art adventure series for preschoolers, characters Arty and Epiphany travel around the galaxy to solve problems with art, inspiring creative thinking through crafts, music and dance. To give kids and parents the real-life tools they need to re-create Arty’s experience, a live-action piece at the end of each animated episode will take viewers through the craft project that Arty showcased in the galaxy.

Downloadable Content

The great news is that these new shows and other fantastic Amazon Prime Instant Video content can be downloaded onto your Kindle and watched offline. I, for one, was very glad to hear about this as it will be perfect for keeping Ben entertained on a few long car journeys which we have planned this summer. I can imagine it will make life a whole lot easier for any parents travelling abroad this summer and having to endure long flights with their childrentoo.

Amazon Prime Subscription

To get unlimited streaming of these new shows along with more than 15,000 popular movies and TV episodes through Amazon Prime Instant Video in addition to one-day delivery on over 7 million items from Amazon and access to 500,000 Kindle books to borrow you can sign up for an Amazon Prime Subscription which costs just £79 a year. If you are already an Amazon member and would like to try out the service before committing to it, you can start a 30-day free trial of Amazon Prime by visiting http://www.amazon.co.uk/prime.

Kindle FreeTime

I love Kindle FreeTime, it allows you to choose content which you have purchased to create a personalised experience for each of your children on your Kindle Fire HD/HDX, giving you complete control over what content each child can access and letting you block any adult content you do not wish them to access including things such as Facebook, YouTube, Netflix etc if you do not wish them to have asscess. Kids can seamlessly switch between apps, books, movies, and TV shows in a simple, fun, and safe environment designed specifically for them.

All Kindle Fires come with FreeTime already installed and the app is free to use. You can set daily time limits for your child to read, watch, or play educational content, and set educational goals (like reading 30 minutes every day) in Kindle FreeTime. Parents of younger children who can’t read yet can set goals to use educational apps (such as those that help teach counting, learning letters, and matching shapes) for a certain amount of time each day. It encourages a broader experience of using a tablet for kids who if left to their own devices are often all too happy to sit there and watch movie after movie. 

Amazon Making it a Super Summer

The new Amazon Prime Instant Video kids content, coupled with downloadable content and the parental controls thanks to Kindle FreeTime really do make the whole Amazon experience super and perfect for families with kids. 

*Disclaimer: I attended the Amazon Super Summer event where we were treated to lots of entertainment and fun along with viewing all the kids content. I also received a Kindle Fire HDX and my children got fantastic goody bags. All views and opinions are my own and unbiased.  

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Ice Lolly Cheers - 204/365

Day one of Ben's summer holidays started with a trip to the doctor's for Ben where he finally got antibiotics for an ear infection followed by a walk to the park after lunch. He wasn't in much form for running about once we got there but definitely enjoyed an ice lolly.