Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Summer crafting with Yellow Moon

Summer is on its way, despite the dull and chilly weather we've had recently and what better way to get into the right mood than by making some colourful summery crafts? They're also great for those rainy days that we're bound to get in the summer!

Yellow Moon have a great selection of seaside & summer themed crafts on their website and we were sent the following to review;

The gnome windchimes are really cute. The website recommends using acrylic paint or deco pens  but we used felt tips. Aside from a little bleeding it worked really well. The children will be hanging them up on their windows indoors but I would imagine that if they were being hung outside they'd need a coat of varnish to protect them.

The children love the trainer money boxes and Molly used deco pens to decorate hers. Deco pens were used on the sun catchers but the website recommends fine tip glass pens or glass paint. We still think they look pretty though. 

The eldest two used the seaside foam stickers to decorate the notebooks and they're going to keep summer diaries and use them to make mini scrapbooks. They're small enough to fit in a backpack and take out and about with us. 

I've been saving all of our used glass jars for months now and other than filling a few with Easter treats for Harry's school fair I haven't come up with many uses for them yet. Molly has a very messy desk so I grabbed a jar and a hot glue gun and stuck the sequins randomly on the jar. She loves her 'bling' pencil pot and asked me if she can make some more for all the other little bits and pieces covering her work space.What I really liked about these sequins is that they were a decent size, perfect for little hands (and my clumsy, fat fingers too!)

I found an old photo frame and decorated it with the stickers, ready for a summery photo of the children. I take a huge quantity of photos but never seem to print any off so it gives me a great excuse to get an up-to-date photo of them all, having fun in the sun.

We all sat doing the scratch art decorations and it was a rather therapeutic exercise, coming up with our own designs. The children thoroughly enjoyed scratching the black coating off to discover which colours would be underneath. They look rather fetching hanging on the children's walls. 

The seaside sewing kits contained a clownfish, whale and turtle. Everything needed is in the pack and they're really simple to make. Molly just needed a little guidance with direction of stitching and finishing off but other than that she was able to make it herself. They're a good introduction to sewing for little ones.

We haven't yet done anything with the fish craft boxes but we loves these as much as the bird ones we had for our Spring crafts. They can be decorated in so many ways; decopatch, paints, pens, stickers, sequins and so on and used for little keepsakes or as gift boxes.

Take a look at the Yellow Moon website for more crafty ways to keep your children creative and busy!

*We were not paid for this post. We were sent the products to review as part of belonging to the Yellow Moon Bloggers' Network. All opinion is honest and based upon our own experiences. 

Sunday, 24 May 2015

The Chris & Pui Show *review*

When I spoke to Pui a couple of weeks ago (blog post here) she promised a show full of good old-fashioned family fun and entertainment and that's exactly what we got when Harry and I went to watch the Chris and Pui Show at Norwich Theatre Royal this morning.

There was slapstick, singing, dancing, audience participation, topical and local jokes (featuring last night's Eurovision and Radio 1's Big Weekend which was just down the road in Earlham Park), costumes and plenty of cheeky asides for the adults to enjoy.

There were lots of Show Me Show Me elements;  Toddler Tom, Momo, Teddington, Miss Mouse and Stuffy, the groovy moves dance, and the shop characters including our family favourite the Grand Old Duke of York.

Chris and Pui have been entertaining little ones on CBeebies for 13 years but everything they do is still fresh and full of energy. They looked as though they were having so much fun up on stage.

Everyone in the audience appeared to be having the time of their lives while joining in with the singing and shouting out, adults as much as children, and one particular grandmother behind us was laughing her socks off throughout the entire show!

From preschoolers to grandparents this is a show that has something for everyone. If you've got fans of CBeebies' favourite duo I thoroughly recommend it.

At the end of the show Pui announced that they are currently filming a new series of Show Me Show Me, which will be on TV in the not too distant future. Harry can't wait!

After the show Chris & Pui held a meet & greet with some of the audience. My usually outgoing little man decided to choose that moment to become painfully shy but he patiently queued up & I managed a quick hello with them both while he got high-fives from them. I was disappointed that Harry wouldn't allow me to take a photo of the three of them but he walked away with a signed photo and a smile on his face, eager to show Molly and Charlie what he had got!

For tour details check out http://www.chrisandpui.com/90512.html

*We were not paid for this post. We received tickets for the purposes of this review. All opinion is honest and based upon our own experiences.

Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure *review*

It was a long time coming for Harry as we'd organised tickets last year but on Saturday me, Molly and Harry finally headed back to my old home town of Lowestoft to see the Octonauts live on stage at the Marina Theatre in their show 'Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure'.

It's their first live show and is produced by Fiery Light, the team behind the hugely successful Peppa Pig live shows so it had a lot to live up to.

We took our seats with 15 minutes to go and there were a few countdown announcements from Dashi. Just before the curtains went up a human Octo Cadet appeared amongst the audience and spoke with a few of the children. Harry didn't know quite to make of her but I think that's because he was aware she wasn't in the TV show and wasn't expecting to see a human.

All the characters appear; the life-sized costumed Captain Barnacles, Peso, Dashi, Kwazii, Shellington and Tweak, puppets Tunip and Professor Inkling.

I won't give the plot away for those that still have to see the show but I was told by Molly that it was an exciting, action-packed show worthy of the TV series-she may be nearly 11 but she's as much of a fan as Harry is! During the scene where one of the characters is in mortal danger Harry gripped my hand and panicked as the curtain came down at a crucial moment and there were gasps of horror from some of the children in the audience. Thankfully, all was okay in the end!

There are parts where audience participation is actively encouraged (a sure-fire winner with little ones) including some catchy tunes, some amazing graphics on large projection screens and a spellbinding underwater scene with ultraviolet sea creatures.

Harry sat enthralled throughout the entire show and the production team have done a great job of converting an animated TV series into a live action show. The show was about 1hr 20mins long (with an interval of 20 minutes). It was just the right length of time for young theatregoers and it's a great show for all the family.

For tour information visit www.OctonautsLive.co.uk 

*We were not paid for this post. We received tickets for the purpose of the review and tickets for a competition which was run on this blog during September 2014. All opinion is honest and based upon our own experiences.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Octonauts Live

A show based upon the popular CBeebies TV show Octonauts is currently touring the UK. We're going to see it at the Marina Theatre in Lowestoft this weekend. 
For tour information please go to: www.octonautslive.co.uk

In Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure the entire crew of the Octonauts, led by intrepid explorer Captain Barnacles, Lieutenant Kwazii and Medic Peso, embark on an exciting new underwater quest and visit amazing underwater worlds full of adventure, with surprises around every corner. This action-packed interactive show features new music (from BAFTA-award winning composer Mani Svavarsson) and all the Octonauts live on stage for the very first time.

Richard Lewis adapts and directs this new production for the stage. He also adapted and directed the hugely popular three Peppa Pig stage shows and last year’s Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom tour. Matt Lewis is lyricist, Simon Scullion is designer, Matt Haskins is lighting designer and Ian Horrocks Taylor is sound designer.

Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure is produced by live children’s show supremos Fiery Light (joint venture by Fiery Angel and Limelight Productions), the team also behind the recent tours of the three successful Peppa Pig stage shows. Their most recent – Peppa Pig’s Big Splash - is currently on tour. It has broken box office records for a pre-school show and will return to the West End for fifth consecutive Christmas season at the Criterion Theatre this year. Other Fiery Light productions include the recent tour of Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom, LazyTown Live! and Roald Dahl’s The BFG.

Director/adapter Richard Lewis said: ‘Octonauts is all about adventure and exploration which offers up a whole host of possibilities in a live environment. From the colourful characters and fantastic underwater setting to the amazing octopod where the Octonauts live, there’s great scope for a really unique, interactive theatre experience. We can’t wait to take fans on an adventure like never before.’

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