Book Review- Supertato: Veggies in the Valley of Doom by Sue Hendra & Paul Linnet

We all absolutely love Supertato he always has the best adventures with his friends the veggies. In this adventure a game of hide and seek turns into a rather epic treasure hunt. There is a great twist in the tale where they have to enlist the help of evil pea which my six year old really enjoyed and as usual its full of bright colourful scenes born from the genius minds of Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet. We loved the Cactus canyon in particular!

Supertato is a really popular picture book character and has even been a World Book Day read. These are just fabulous books for pre-schoolers and KS1. The artwork keeps their attention, the narrative is great for this age group being easily understandable, funny enough to keep attention and also simple enough to emulate in early writing exercises.

You can find out more herewww.facebook.com/supertatoandfriends 

We give it ten out of ten!

Check out this trailer:

Vintage 1940’s Weekend at Bletchley Park

I’m really ashamed to say that despite being a museum professional and living within 30 minutes or so of Bletchley Park we hadn’t actually been until today. I think its possibly because we tend to have a bit of ‘museum fatigue/ indifference’ about places nearby as they seem so reachable that we just don’t make the effort to go as a family. SHAME ON US! Bletchley Park is completely awesome, it is so worth a visit that we are considering going back again next week.

bletchley parkWe were invited along to Bletchley for its Vintage 1940’s weekend. This happens once a year and the site fills up with 1940’s re-enactors (and geeks). There was the chance to shop vintage fashions and bric a brac, learn how to swing dance or meet with the army! Lots of the visitors also dressed up which added to the atmosphere. It really gave an excellent flavour of life at the time.

Getting our National Identity Cards

For those of you who don’t know, Bletchley Park is the home of the WWII Code breakers, Alan Turing being the most famous, it was where the Enigma machine code was deciphered and a top secret place employing the brightest and best. You can tour the buildings where the codes were broken (absolutely pivotal to the allied success in WWII and see some of the machines. Along the way you can find out all about the spies who worked there, their stories and daily lives. There is even a James Bond exhibition.

We particularly enjoyed looking at the old cars, this one was owned by Mick Jagger who bought it when his production company was making the film Enigma at Bletchley Park.

The interpretation at Bletchley Park was great, we liked all the films which brought it all to life and there was a handy audio tour guide. As adults we enjoyed the exhibition panels, although they were a bit wordy for the kids, so make sure you take up the chance to do the trail to keep their interest. One of the really nice things about it was that there was always a guide on hand to answer questions or provide a bit of added detail. Particular hats off to the man staffing the National Radio Centre who did a fantastic job engaging the children so that we could have a look at the displays in peace.

We enjoyed lunch in the cafe which had plenty of seating an an excellent view of the children’s playground which enabled us to enjoy a peaceful cup of tea! It did get busy but there were plenty of spare tables which is virtually unique and I think related to the variety of places to buy food. It should also be said that there are plenty of toilets which are essential when out and about with kids.

The Potters Bar Zeppellin

Sometimes days out with children can be stressful particularly on busy Bank Holiday weekends, however Bletchley provided the perfect day out for us. There was plenty of parking, toilets, food options, loads to see and do, it didn’t feel too crowded (although there were clearly loads of visitors) and we all learnt something new. There was something really thrilling about standing in the places which had such a powerful impact on the war and without which if the war had taken a different direction, when you think about it, our family might not even exist.

If you’d like to visit you’ll find out all the information you need here: https://bletchleypark.org.uk/

Bletchley Park are holding the worlds largest swing dance lesson on June 23rd 2018 and attempting to break a Guinness World record. It should be jolly good fun, maybe we’ll see you there?

Featured Post: Fun for kids: 5 Things Every Parent Should Do for a Road Trip With Kids

Any expert will tell you that it pays to be well prepared before attempting a road trip with kids. Having some fun things to keep the kids occupied, along with snacks, drinks and the expectation that you’ll need to stop often, a road trip can actually be an enjoyable way to travel for kids and parents. The following ideas are sure to make the miles speed by without taking the smiles off your faces.

Make a Map

Kids, especially younger ones, like to ask repeatedly whether you’re there yet. By making them a map, they can assess how much further you have to go. Make a child-friendly map that features photos or drawings of the landmarks you’ll encounter along the way. Your child can mark off the landmarks as you drive so they know when you’re getting closer.

Make Some Stops for Fun

If you plan for stops along the way, you’ll all have fun and you won’t have to stress so much about making good time. There are all sorts of great attractions all over Britain and making time to see some of them makes for great memories and keeps kids from getting bored and cranky in the car. Look for museums, roadside fruit stands, quirky truck stops and other stuff along the way. You won’t be sorry! If you think you would make a better trip with a bigger or better car, take the opportunity. IntelligentcarLeasing.com offers the best prices for car leasing and you can lease a vehicle ideal for your trip.

Bring a Portable DVD Player

Any parent who has taken their child on a road trip will tell you that a portable DVD player is the best investment you’ll ever make. You can hook the device up the car via the Bluetooth or cigarette lighter, allowing your child to watch his or her favourite movies along the way. This is a great way to keep things calm and quiet along the way and a movie can also help a child fall asleep if you’re traveling at night or during naptime.

Save the Electronics for a Last Resort

Kids love their tablets and handheld video games, but even those will get boring after playing for hours. Stash them until your child is on his or her last bit of patience with riding in the car or when you’re stuck in traffic. Just when things are reaching their breaking point, hand over the device and things will be immediately better.

Consider Elevation

If you plan to drive into the mountains or otherwise climb in elevation, pack some snacks your child can chew or suck on. This helps relieve the pain and pressure in your child’s ear and gives them a tasty treat to look forward to on the road. You might even want one for yourself if you’re uncomfortable with changes in elevation. No one turns down candy!

A road trip doesn’t have to be a miserable experience. By planning it well in advance, you’ll have plenty to keep the kids entertained and everyone will look back on the trip with fondness because your memories will be pleasurable rather than disastrous.

Review: Molly Brown London Children’s Jewellery

As Fifi gets older she is developing her own sense of style. She’s a very different girl to me and very glamorous which is a learning curve for us both! She was asked by Molly Brown London if she’d like to choose herself some jewellery from their website and was absolutely delighted. Molly Brown London are a British children’s jewellery company that specialise in good quality simple designs.

Molly Brown Honey Bee necklace

Fifi had a great deal of agonising over what to select as she absolutely loved everything on the site. I thought this was great because jewellery is a brilliant keepsake gift for little girls and I often wonder if I’m choosing something that would be loved long term. Clearly you cant go wrong shopping on the Molly Brown London website!

Fifi chose the Molly Brown London Honey Bee necklace. This is a beautiful necklace made from silver and 9ct gold vermeil. Its adjustable so it will grow with her which makes it a perfect gift for a special occasion like becoming a bridesmaid or a birthday. I’m very jealous and Fifi loves it!

 

Film Review: The Marmalade Challenge to celebrate #Paddington2DVD

If you are a regular reader you’ll know just how much we loved Paddington 2 when we went along to the press screening. Its a fantastic feel good movie which is perfect for the whole family. It’s so good its nominated for 3 BAFTAs! If you didn’t get a chance to see it at the cinema then you’ll be pleased to hear that its out from today on digital download, DVD, Blu-ray and 4k UHD + Blu- ray. My kids are thrilled as they’ll now be able to watch it over and over again.

paddington2

To celebrate the release we were asked if we’d like to take part in the Marmalade Challenge to design our very own marmalade sandwiches. Now, this was a tricky one- do you go traditional? Off the wall? or shaped? My kids threw some spanners or curve balls at it as they pondered whether marmalade is better on sourdough or traditional bread. Hmm, tricky! This left us with no choice but to try a selection over the weekend, using low sugar marmalade of course. We concluded that the best marmalade sandwiches are traditional white sandwich tin bread (from the bakers not the processed stuff from the shop), but we also give you the option of wholemeal here. Let me know what you fancy the most in  the comments.

Since its the perfect film for our Friday movie nights I anticipate making a lot of marmalade sandwiches!

About the Film

The much-anticipated sequel to the worldwide hit family film finds Paddington happily settled with the Brown family in Windsor Gardens, where he has become a popular member of the community, spreading joy and marmalade wherever he goes. While searching for the perfect present for his beloved Aunt Lucy’s 100th birthday, Paddington spots a unique pop-up book in Mr. Gruber’s antique shop, and embarks upon a series of odd jobs to buy it. But when the book is stolen, it’s up to Paddington and the Browns to unmask the thief…

Paddington’s biggest adventure yet sees Hugh Grant and Brendan Gleeson joining the all-star returning cast of Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Jim Broadbent, Peter Capaldi and Ben Whishaw as the voice of the beloved bear.

A Heyday Films and STUDIOCANAL production, Paddington’s return to our screens is helmed by BAFTA nominated director Paul King (PADDINGTON, COME FLY WITH ME, THE MIGHTY BOOSH) written by Paul King and Simon Farnaby (YONDERLAND and MINDHORN). 

PADDINGTON 2 is produced by multi award-winning David Heyman (producer of all eight of the HARRY POTTER films, GRAVITY, THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PYJAMAS, FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM).

The PADDINGTON 2 Blu-Ray and DVD Extras include a director’s commentary, ‘Rain on the Roof’ with Phoenix Buchanan (Full Screen), Paddington 2: The Challenges of Making the Film & a BAFTA Q&A with David Heyman, Paul King, Simon Farnaby, Hugh Grant and Pablo Grillo. iTunes Extras include exclusive junket interviews with Cast & Crew.

PADDINGTON 2 is nominated for three 2018 British Academy Film Awards: ‘Best British Film’, ‘Best Actor in a Supporting Role’: Hugh Grant, and ‘Best Adapted Screenplay’: Simon Farnaby and Paul King.

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