Archives for posts with tag: children

We have two days left until school starts and we have managed all but one (sort of) of our 10 things to do with mummy/daddy before school starts.

Since the last time we have…

…Face Painting DIY style.

This can only be described as ‘interesting’.  My son loved it, but my face painting skills are somewhat lacking – quite a lot.  When I showed friends the pictures and asked what our son was meant to be, I got a range of answers from ‘I have no idea – what is that?’ to random guesses ‘Spiderman?’ ‘Tortoise?’

They are meant to be dragon and snake! You can see it now right? Maybe not.  Either way our son loved this and I can only get better surely.

face painting

…Climbed a tree.

Well we couldn’t find a climbable tree so we opted for the climbing wall and ropes in the park!  But it just wasn’t quite the same as being able to find a tree so we have made a pact to look for a climbable tree wherever we go and climb it!


…Play in the park like children, Like REALLY play like children.

Ooo this was fun – some things made me feel slightly ill (why is that as you get older any spinning or swinging feels awful!?) and we got a lot of smiles our way.  Either people were thinking ‘ah that’s nice’ or ‘wow that is one childish crazy mum!’  I’m now going to play in the park like this every time and if our son has to wait his turn until I’ve finished then so be it J


We didn’t manage to camp in the garden.  BUT we do have the tent.  Something was stopping me – I wasn’t quite comfortable with sleeping somewhere that wasn’t necessarily secure.  Yes we have a lockable gate on our garden but it can be jumped over. I also got a slight possibly irrational fear that the foxes that always seem to be in our garden would come and maul our son.  I can’t decide if I am right to have this security fear or not.  What would you do in this situation?  Have you camped in your garden before?  And so that leads me to think ‘why am I OK with camping in campsite but not in our own garden?’ Thoughts on a postcard please.

So we managed all but 2 really – but I think we can say we ticked 8.5 out of 10 of the list if we half count the climbing a tree?  And now school starts!  That’s a whole other blog post.

  1. Grow some butterflies (sons idea)
  2. Camp in the garden (my idea)
  3. Cook a meal – main and dessert ( a mixture – I say cook he says bake)
  4. Build a den using things we already have at home
  5. Go to the theatre
  6. Grow something we can eat
  7. Climb a tree
  8. Create something from cardboard boxes
  9. All play in the park like children, like REALLY play like children all of us
  10. Face painting DIY style

Hope you have had a good summer and your kids, whether their first day or starting back to school after the summer, are all happy and settling in well.



Little girl playing with mothers makeup

I’m not sure if it’s just me but does anyone else find pamper parties for children that are 4 years old just plain wrong?  Even up to the age of 8 I wouldn’t feel comfortable – maybe age 12 would be OK, when they start senior school? Although I know I’m being a bit naive there when I think about what makeup I used to wear when I was 12 and what some of my friends were getting up to.

I have to admit I have a little boy but if I had a little girl and she or my son were invited to a pamper party where he could get his nails and makeup done, that would be one party he wouldn’t be going to.   Take the fact that applying makeup so young is surely not good for such young skin out of the equation, what about the message they are getting about their appearance at that age.  Shouldn’t 4 year olds be outside playing or playing on the cbeebies app rather than thinking about how they look?  Are we not breeding a generation of kids hung up on looks?  Should we not be talking to them about what they see in the media and all around them so they feel confident in themselves and have self-esteem as they naturally are rather than encouraging them to use makeup and cosmetics to make them look different?

Pamper parties are all around now though.  Within my family and circle of friends, parents are having pamper parties for their 4 and 5 year olds. While at the hairdressers the other day having my locks cut off they were preparing for a birthday pamper party. It looked great! Cocktail glasses full of mocktails, nail bar set up with an array of nail varnish colours to choose from and a range of hair styles to pick from that I couldn’t get my head around how they would possible pull the styles off. Plaits and braids that looked out of this world! But the kids were a group of 6 year olds.  For a business I understand that its big money and so it’s at the parent’s discretion, but for parents is it about pester power or peer pressure?  If I had a little girl would I end up letting her have a pamper party giving into peer pressure and pester power?

Let me know your thoughts.  Have you had a pamper party for your little one?  What was your thinking behind it? I’m interested to know if I’m alone in my thoughts or if you think little ones should be getting their hair, makeup and nails done.

The Gruffalo – every parent (nursery worker and reception class teacher) knows all the words by heart – I promise you that.  If you are one of the above and you don’t then how have you got away with that?!  I’d like to know your secret.  We have read the book, along with the Gruffalos Child, more times than I would like to remember, seen the films, have the Gruffalo soft toy and the Gruffalo Childs fancy dress.  And now we have been to see the theater production!


A lovely end to Kids Week (if you don’t know about Kids week in London check it out here and get ready for next year). A fantastic production with 3 fantastic actors, a great set that moved adding an extra element to the scene, perfectly used ambient lighting and wonderful costumes. The production was an hour long but it whizzed by as although it used the wording from the book and the story line it was intermingled with the  odd catchy song and some silly messing about which was actually funny, mainly as it wasn’t too childish or over the top.  (No inappropriate adult humor which we have found in some productions) Our 4 year old found it hilarious and even got the giggles at one point.

As always with a children’s production there is some interaction with audience and some children and parents found themselves sitting next to the Gruffalo for a short time. This wasn’t over the top in length which meant it was fun for the children not directly involved to watch too.

An awesome production, as we have found with other Julia Donaldson’s books which have been turned into theater productions – all created by Tall Stories.  A definite must see! It’s on at London’s Lyric Theater until 6th September and then takes a tour round the country.  Check out where here.

And our 4 years olds favourite bit – “the funny big Gruffalo” (of course it was!)


Since my son turned 3 we have been going to the theatre every so often. I didn’t realise, until it was pointed out to me by my mother in law, that there were theatre productions aimed at children and to be honest what a numpty – why wouldn’t there be!

I have to be honest, the first time we went to the theatre I was a bit apprehensive. I was worried that our son and also daddy would be bored but I was very wrong. Even some productions we have been to since which haven’t been great have still kept my sons attention and daddy’s too!

The first production we ever went to was Room on the Broom (courtesy of my mother in law) and to this day it is still the best production we have ever seen, and unfortunately for all other theatre productions has set the bar rather high. With just four people to play the witch, the cat, the dog, the bird and the frog this is an ingenious and colourful way of using puppets to cover all roles. The hour went by so very quickly and with all children’s production there is a level of interaction that you just don’t get with adult productions. The cast got a bit of the giggles at one point as one child in the audience decided to copy the howling of the dog and wouldn’t stop but it was all handled very well. A definite must see if you get the chance. 10 out of 10.

The latest production we have seen is Cat in the Hat at the Palace Theatre in Southend. It seemed a bit chaotic – but then I guess Cat in the Hat is. It looked great and was exactly as you would expect from the book but some of the scenes of chaos went on a bit too long with a repetition of action that even my 4 year old got bored of. He also kept jumping quite lot as it was very loud where were sitting – the downfalls of theatre – be careful to pick your seats well. There was a lot of interaction with this production which was great but only for those sat in the seats in front of the stage and not for those in the circle above the stage and so some of the time it was not possible to see what was going on at all. We expected more and although the hour went quickly, the chocolate buttons saved us some of the time. A take it or leave it production unless your child is really into Cat in the Hat. 5 out of 10.

As for what is next …… we really want to see Dinosaur Zoo!! Using life-like dinosaur puppets it looks like a highly interactive dinosaur adventure for ages 3 and over. Unfortunately it is only showing on weekdays near to us (not great for those who work during the week) so we may have to wait until it comes around to us again – which we hope is soon!

My 4 year old son has been dancing around saying ‘my arms are in the air like I just don’t care!’ since we first saw the trailer for Home, oh so long ago.

Directed by Tim Johnson and from the creators of The Croods and How to Train your Dragon, this Dreamworks animation stars Rhianna as Tip, Jennifer Lopez as Tip’s mum and Jim Parsons as Oh. This obviously meant that Rhianna released a concept album for the soundtrack so you can imagine what the tunes sound like. But even if you don’t rate Rhianna’s music you really can’t help but wave your arms in the air like you just do not care!

When an alien race called the Boov conquer earth and relocates the human population to the far corner of the world (you can imagine where that far flung place might be), all apart from Tip (Rhianna) who managed to hide from the aliens during the relocation process, a great friendship forms when Tip meets fugitive Boov Oh (Jim Parsons). We soon realise that Oh is not like his alien comrades and Oh realises that humans are not as simple as their leader has led them to believe and they form a great friendship and set out to find Tip’s mum (Jennifer Lopez). Along the way they get a little side tracked as they learn that the Boov’s enemies the Gorg are on their way to destroy earth which is all Oh’s fault…… maybe.

Running at 98 minutes this was a great film for ages 3 and up. The film isn’t scary even though aliens take over the earth (there was one moment when my 4 year old jumped) and it’s especially good for those who are learning and can understand emotion. With every Boov wearing their emotions all over their bodies as they change colour with how they feel which allows for some great moments around telling fibs and being ‘sad mad’.

Home official trailer

We really wanted to love this film and maybe our expectations were too high as it is a goodie but it was just lacking in a little……something. About an hour in my son was more interested in finding number 4 on the seats as the pace reduced but 10 minutes later and he was interested again. It wasn’t lacking any fun or one liners….. there are some great one liners that to be honest only a parent will like and probably use from now on – I will! When it looks like Oh may not keep his promise Tips face turns to anger and is met with ‘what is the purpose of your face?’ and Oh feels that ‘I do not fit in, I fit out’ – we all know how that feels…

This film is great for showing kids emotions and also about how people can’t be judged by the way they look – the Gorg, who are a bit scary to look at (SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT) are not anywhere near as scary as they seem and it turns out that they have a very good reason for following the Boov everywhere they go. Great for conversations around keeping promises, owning up to mistakes and not taking what isn’t yours.

Home is released on 20th March – go see it! All in all a good watch but just missing a little something….

Over Christmas and the New Year something occurred to me, I (we) watch a lot of kids films and by kids films I mean rating U and PG. This occurred to me as hubby and I settled down to watch Brave one evening. Just us. Our 4 year old was tucked up fast asleep in bed.

On Christmas day night we had watched Prisoners, it’s rare for us to watch any films rated over PG and we decided to go back to our usual ways after watching children being abducted and parents going crazy over it – as any parent would – just a bit too depressing.

So, here is a rundown of my top 10 kids (and one for the adults) films that you and your kids may or may not have seen that you should, with some that you definitely will have but I think should be watched again and again. I’ve thrown in a film rated 15 for that time when we get a little us time (if you’re lucky enough!)

1) Brave – a couple of jump in your seat moments for a two year old but a brilliant watch. Girls are tough too.

2) The Lorax – I can watch this film over and over, never mind about my 4 year old. A colourful and moral filled film with Taylor Swift and Zac Efron staring (in animated form) and a soundtrack so fantastic you’ll be singing your way through your days for a while after.

3) Tangled – my son loves this! We watch it over and over and it doesn’t get old. How Rapunzel goes about her adventure without getting her hair in major knots or ripping her hair out in clumps amazes me.

4) The Lego Movie – really one for the adults with the moral of the film really aimed at them (‘not the kraggel!’) but good for all kids, just the oder they are the more they will appreciate the full extent of this film.

5) Kingsman: The Secret Service – Out in the UK on 29th January. See review coming soon – definitely one for date night. A big enough cast and enough twists and action to keep you on the edge of your seat but enough laughs to keep it light so that you can sleep a night – if your kids will let you……

6) How to train your Dragon 1&2 – OK that’s two films but still- some jump in your seat moments and a lot of fighting but a brilliant watch, showing you that doing things differently from everyone else is not a bad thing.

7) Cars (1&2) – never tire of these films. Good ole Disney Pixar fun at it’s best.

8) Toy story 1, 2 and 3 – I know that’s 3 films but are goodies you can’t disagree!

9) Lion king – Hakuna matata, what a wonderful phrase, hakunta matata aint no passing craze!!! No more needs to be said.

10) We’re Back! A Dinosaur Story – rather scary in places with old Screw Eye but balanced with just how great this is. My 4 year old loves it and started watching it when he was 3. My brother loved it too when he was that age and still does over 20 years later!

Where is Frozen I hear you all exclaim! Well I thought that one went without saying so didn’t include it 🙂

Right, off to book tickets to see Big Hero 6, can’t wait! Has been dubbed ‘Frozen for boys’ – we shall see and I’ll let you know.

Toodlepip x

We are coming to the end of our first week of crowdfunding, 6 days in and I’m exhausted.

Crowdfunding isn’t for everyone, it might not be for you. There are many pros which is why I chose it. Being beholden to the people I created Momawoo for is one great pro and really knowing if people believe in you and your idea is another.  The ability to get your services or product out there to those who have pledged is also great so they can help shape the company. But there are cons too, one being it is hard work! It’s not easy. The pledges don’t just roll in, you need to work at it and not get deflated when there is a day with no pledges at all. I’ve done six days, I have 24 left and I’m overwhelmed by the engagement as well as rather sleepy.

Lots of conversations on lots of different platforms from Twitter (@charlimomawoo) and Facebook (MomawooLtd) to email, phone and face to face with people I know, and random people I have started speaking to in shops (in that bright orange hoody with ears!).  I’ve taken to carrying a small notebook around with me – as apposed to the larger one I also carry – so I can whip it out to write down ideas as they come – I have spent quite some time racking my brains the past few days about what it was I thought was a great idea earlier that day or who I should contact. (Remnants of baby brain after nearly 4 years?  That’s what I keep telling myself!)  I also have a lot of draft tweets in my drafts folder, scared I’ll hit ‘send all’ at some point but so far so good. If you get a random tweet from me you know what has happened.

Crowdfunding is a fantastic platform for on many levels for raising the cash needed to start a business or take your business to the next level but if you’re not passionate about your idea or just want the cash to land in your lap, it isn’t for you.  If you are passionate, hard working and you are driven then it is for you.   If you have people around you that can help then even better, and the end game is very rewarding. Well I know it will be when we get there……

Visit our Crowdfunder page and tell us your thoughts and if you’re around in Sheffield next week at MADE: The Entrepreneurs Festival 2014 then say Hi! We’ll be at the Crowdfunding and other forms of funding debate with Irwin Mitchell on Thursday morning, bright and early!

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