Tag Archives: CBeebies

Review: Tree Fu Tom and the Carrots Of Doom DVD

The Tree Fu Tom and the Carrots Of Doom DVD was released on 5th October and it contains over two hours of Treeopolis fun and adventures! Join Tree Fu Tom, Ariela, Zigzoo, Twigs and friends to perform some Big World Magic and help Tom to save the day in his usual way – with the help of his loyal friends and some Big World Magic!

The Tree Fu Tom and the Carrots Of Doom DVD contains six action packed episodes, each featuring our hero – Tree Fu Tom. Aimed at pre-schoolers aged 2-6, there’s lots of fun and adventure with an emphasis on friendship and a little lesson in each episode (patience is a virtue etc). We’ve been avid fans of Tree Fu Tom since it began on CBeebies in 2012.

The six action packed episodes on the Tree Fu Tom and the Carrots Of Doom DVD are –
– Carrots of Doom
– Picture This
– Dragon Fruit Fiasco
– Ranger Tom: A Badge Too Far
– King Stink
– The Sprite Before Christmas

We’ve always enjoyed watching and joining in with Tree Fu Tom and helping him to create the magic at home. The series was originally developed with the help of the Dyspraxia Foundation with the intention of promoting movement and co-ordination in pre-school children, plus it’s fun to join in with, and it gets us all off the sofa! 

Being a huge Tree Fu Tom fan, the small boy loved watching this DVD, true to form he got up and copied Tom and his magical movements to create the magic at home. We think Tree Fu Tom and the Carrots of Doom is a must for any Tree Fu fan!

The Tree Fu Tom and the Carrots Of Doom DVD is available from a wide range of retailers including Amazon from Monday 5th October 2015. Tree Fu Tom and the Carrots Of Doom DVD

Review: CBeebies All Stars DVD

One of the best things we’ve ever bought for the small boy was a small portable DVD player. During our annual 7 hour schlep to Cornwall it provides an excellent back of the car entertainment service, plus it means that if he fancies watching his favourite shows in our TV-less cottage he can do so.

He’s a massive CBeebies fan, and though his tastes have changed as he’s grown up, he loves to watch The Octonauts, Peter Rabbit, Mike the Knight, Chuggington and The Clangers, amongst others. So the CBeebies All Stars DVD seemed a good bet.

CBeebies All Stars DVD

He was almost beside himself when the CBeebies All Stars Bumper Collection DVD popped through our letter box. Released on 7th September, and rated U, the CBeebies All Stars DVD contains over two hours of CBeebies fun, including the Twirlywoos, Peter Rabbit, Octonauts, In The Night Garden, Mike the Knight, Chuggington, Furchester, Dipdap, Cloudbabies, The Clangers and Topsy and Tim.

The CBeebies All Stars DVD is a great DVD for any CBeebies fan, with all of their favourites in one place – and it certainly kept him entertained on our long journey!

Follow CBeebies on Facebook here.

CBeebies All Stars DVD

 

Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble’s Circus!

There’s something magical about taking your child to the theatre, since he was small we’ve taken the boy to see lots of shows at local theatres (we live in Manchester so we are a bit spoilt). In his four years he’s been to the ballet, watched The Gruffalo, Charlie and Lola and In The Night Garden amongst many others; we’ve seen pantomimes and end of pier shows. He loves the theatre, he loves the lights, the music and the action.

Of course taking a small child to the theatre can require a bit of planning. We always talk about what is likely to happen, the lights will go out, there might be loud noises, there will be singing and dancing and lots of fun etc. When the lights do go out it can be very dark, so it’s good to reassure them, also I find that a snack offered when they start to fidget can be useful in helping them settle back and watch the performance.

Often children are just awed by the theatre itself, the size of it, the acoustics and the scenery. We like to arrive a little early to take them all in fully, as well as find where the toilets and baby changing rooms are just in case.

These days children, especially pre-schoolers are very well provided for in terms of theatre shows. There are lots of touring companies which cater for young theatre-goers, and a number of children’s TV stars also do regular tours. One of these TV heroes is Justin Fletcher aka Mr Tumble. Justin is a legend among pre-schoolers and their parents. I know the small boy would LOVE to go and see Mr Tumble live.

Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble’s Circus

Thankfully Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble’s Circus is coming to town, in fact lots of towns over Easter, the tour starts on April 1st in Cardiff and ends in Manchester on April 14th, visiting  London, Sheffield, Birmingham,Liverpool, Nottingham and Glasgow along the way.

Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble’s Circus stars the amazing and versatile Justin Fletcher and the show will also feature CBeebies presenter Cat Sandion and Swashbuckle star Gemma Hunt, as well as dino-mad Andy Day, Robert the Robot played by Steve Kynman and Little Monster. Mr Tumble will be inviting a few family members along too including Aunt Polly as well as some familiar faces from Gigglebiz including Keith Fitt. Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble’s Circus is a brand new production and it will be touring UK arenas during Easter 2015.

Check out this exclusive behind the scenes peek at Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble’s Circus, it looks really, really awesome!

For all the latest news from Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble’s Circus visit www.facebook.com/cbeebieslive, or to book tickets go to www.cbeebieslive.com Tickets for the Justin & Friends: Mr Tumble’s Circus tour are priced from £13.50 for children, with family tickets from £54 (for four people and subject to booking fee).

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Review: Peter Rabbit: Tales of the Start of Spring DVD

As a child I had a Peter Rabbit cuddly toy who used to come and stay with me in hospital. I loved the Beatrix Potter stories and have kept the books to pass onto my son when he’s a bit older, especially now the small boy and I enjoy snuggling up together and watching Peter Rabbit on Cbeebies, Peter is a little feistier than I remember from my childhood but still very fun to watch.

We were sent the Peter Rabbit: Tales of the Start of Spring DVD to review.

Peter Rabbit

My own Benjamin was really excited to be given this Peter Rabbit DVD, naturally his favourite character is Benjamin Bunny, but he loves Peter Rabbit and Lily Bobtail too. We put the DVD on and watched it together, he was gripped throughout. It’s fair to say he loves his Peter Rabbit DVD and we’ll be watching it an awful lot over the next few weeks.

This lovely DVD collection features a free Hop Outside insert with outdoor activities for little ones and over one hundred minutes of Peter Rabbit’s adventures to enjoy including the special 22 minute episode ‘The Tale of The Start of Spring’. The DVD also features The Tale of the Radish Robbers, The Tale of the Secret Treehouse, The Tale of the Dash in the Dark, The Tale of the Broken Bed, The Tale of Benjamin’s New Map, The Tale of the Terrible Trap, and the Tale of the Peekboo Rabbits.

For more information about the Peter Rabbit: Tales of the Start of Spring DVD visit the Peter Rabbit Facebook page. The Peter Rabbit: Tales of the Start of Spring DVD is available from a wide range of stockists including Amazon, it has a U certificate and it would make for a lovely Easter present for any Peter Rabbit fan.

Peter Rabbit

Our Top Five Most Fun Summer Things

It has not by any stretch of the imagination been a boring summer, ok the sun could’ve shone just a little bit more, but we definitely made the most of it. We had days out to exciting places, met new people and tried new things. We had days in and did painting, crafts, splashing in the paddling pool. But mostly we had a really good time. Looking back over the summer here are our top five most fun things we did…

1. Coombe Mill – we snuck in a visit to meet the Coombe Mill gang, and take a tour of their farm while we were on holiday in Cornwall. It’s such a beautiful place and 100% geared towards families. The small boy loved it and still talks about his visit. We met and helped feed all their animals, collected eggs, tracked down a newborn deer, we played pooh-sticks on the river which runs through the farm and best of all, we visited their miniature railway. A grand day out and we can’t wait to have a proper holiday there soon.

Coombe Mill

2. CBeebies Land at Alton Towers – this falls squarely into the “we didn’t think we’d like it as much as we did” category. Neither of us adults like roller coasters, so we visited with very mixed feelings. By the end of the day we were completely won over and the small boy had the time of his little life. His highlights include meeting Postman Pat, the Charlie and Lola House and the In The Night Garden boat ride. A brilliant day out and the queues weren’t as dreadful as we imagined. We’ll be back!

Things to do summer

3. Blackpool – Being a northern girl I have fond memories of trips to Blackpool as a child, one sunny day we decided to hop in the car and head off to see a show on the pier, take in the sights and have a stroll on the beach. Blackpool has changed a lot since I was a girl, but the small boy loved the razzmatazz of it all and couldn’t get over the fact there were actual, real donkeys on the beach. We’re going to try and take him to see the illuminations this year, I think he’ll be wowed by them.

4. Just So Festival – We managed to bag ourselves a day ticket to the festival and we were suitably wowed. The Just So Festival which is held in the Rode Hall Estate in Cheshire was a magical, mysterious, marvellous experience. It’s a family festival which is packed full of amazing things, from pirate boats and buried treasure, forest adventures and crafty fun, drumming and dancing to theatre productions and circus training. All the festival goers dress in “tribes”, so be an owl, fox, stag, fish, frog or a lion, be yourself if you want. This was most definitely the highlight of my summer. I came home with flowers in my hair, looking more relaxed and happy than I’ve done in a long time. Oh, and the boys had fun too, as much fun, if not more than me! We’re already booking our ticket for next year!

Just So Festival 2014

5. Picnic in Delamere Forest – at the start of the summer we hopped on a train and the boy and I went to Delamere Forest. It was our first solo trip since my operations and I was nervous, but everything was fine, better than fine, we had a great day. He loved the train ride and was as good as gold. We got to the forest and found all our friends there, so we set to work making sandwiches for our picnic with the help of Roberts Bakery, while the children ran around and tumbled on the grass, later being entertained by a storyteller. Delamere Forest is a fabulous place to explore, I’ve heard they’ve got a Gruffalo trail, so we’ll be heading back their soon, you never know who we’ll meet in the deep, dark woods!

Roberts Bakery

Of course wherever we go, whatever adventures we’re having, we always take a picnic, you can find some of our favourite picnic sandwich recipes here and here. And if you’re looking for something to keep boredom at bay and for summer things to do, then Roberts Bakery have some great ideas in their 50 Days of Summer Activity Pack which you can download for free from their website.

Note: This is not a paid for post, I have not been financially compensated in any way.

Days Out: CBeebies Land & Alton Towers (part 2)

We were recently invited by CBeebies magazine to attend an event to learn about their #CBeebiesMagKidsGoFree promotion. I wrote about the fun we had that morning and how the dreams of a small boy came true when he got to meet Postman Pat. I faithfully promised to blog about our afternoon exploring CBeebies Land at Alton Towers, so here goes…

CBeebies Land is near the main entrance of Alton Towers, we found it really easily. It is perfectly designed for small children. The boy walked in and all he could say was “wow”!

Cbeebies land

There were lots of things to do, but first things first, we were hungry, so our first stop was the Little Explorers Lunch Box. There were various meal deals available, but the three of us had a sandwich, crisps and a drink for around £16 which wasn’t hellishly extortionate. If you’re watching the pennies then you can always take a picnic, but the food was of good quality and there were healthy options available.

After lunch we explored Charlie & Lola’s Moonsquirters & Greendrops, which was Charlie & Lola’s house, you could dress Charlie & Lola up, there was an interactive kitchen area (every time I opened the fridge the small boy fell about in fits of giggles). The house has a soft play type area at the back, but it was heaving as it was a rainy day, so we gave that a miss.

We moved on to the Numtums number-go-round, which was quite a sweet little merry-go-round which he enjoyed, and we got to have a sit down for a few minutes.

We were initially put off by the advertised 25 minute wait to enjoy the Postman Pat Parcel Post ride (my back means I can’t stand for long, so queuing is a nightmare), but having watched the queue for a little while we were sure it was moving quicker than advertised; it was, we queued for just 15 minutes. Queuing isn’t as bad as you might think be either, there are little games and things to look at for little ones in CBeebies Land, which helps a lot.

He enjoyed the Postman Pat Parcel Post ride and afterwards we toddled off to the Big Fun Showtime Arena to see the Mike the Knight show. The arena is a nice place to stop and have a picnic, the toilets are there and there’s a small shop selling ice creams and drinks etc. He was engrossed by the Mike the Knight show and it really was one of his highlights.

Next on our CBeebies Land agenda was the Get Set Go Treetop Adventure; really we should have gone on this first as it travels around and over the top of CBeebies Land, which would’ve made it useful for getting our bearings at first, plus it’s actually a really fun ride. We did have to queue, but it wasn’t for long and I do regret not queuing up again and having a second go.

Cbeebies land

Time was marching on, the small boy was beginning to tire, so we queued for one last ride, the In The Night Garden Magical Boat Ride. This was quite lovely and restful really, a gentle boat ride around the night garden. You see all of your favourite characters, they’re animated too, so Iggle Piggle and Daisy wave at you. It’s really very sweet.

There was so much to do in CBeebies Land, plenty to fill a day out. Other attractions in CBeebies Land include the Justin’s House pie-o-matic factory, Nina’s Science Lab, Mr Bloom’s Allotment, the Something Special Sensory Garden and the Tree Fu Tom Training Camp.

Would we go again? Absolutely. This was our first family day out to a theme park and I think we were both dreading it for various reasons, our worries were mainly about massive queues and losing the small boy in crowds, but everything was fine.

Every issue of CBeebies Magazine until the 7th October, will come with two vouchers for kids to go free to a different attraction every issue, with some of the most popular kids’ attractions in the country including Legoland, Chessington World of Adventures and Sealife Centres.

• Issue 411 (13th Aug) – Alton Towers Resort inc. CBeebies Land – Save £86.40 (£43.20 per ticket)
• Issue 412 (27th Aug) – Warwick Castle – Save £39.60 (£19.80 per ticket)
• Issue 413 (10th Sept) – Legoland and Legoland Discovery Centre – Save £82.80 (£41.40 per ticket)
• Issue 414 (24th Sept) – Sealife Centres and Seal sanctuaries – Save £39 (£19.50 per ticket)

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Note: We were invited to explore Alton Towers, CBeebies Land and enjoy an activity morning by CBeebies magazine to help promote their #CBeebiesMagKidsGoFree campaign. We have not been paid and all opinions expressed are my own.

CBeebies Land at Alton Towers (part one)

It’s not often you get to make dreams come true, but taking the small boy to visit the faraway kingdom of Alton Towers would’ve been special enough, but going to CBeebies Land while we were there made us in his eyes at least, the best parents in the world.

We were invited by CBeebies magazine to spend the morning with the team playing games and having fun, then the afternoon was ours to enjoy Alton Towers and Cbeebies Land. We were there to find out more about their CBeebies magazine kids go free promotion, as they’ve teamed up with Merlin Entertainments to launch a Summer long campaign, giving parents the chance to save up to £355 on top kids’ attractions in the UK.

CBeebies

Every issue of CBeebies Magazine until the 7th October, will come with two vouchers for kids to go free to a different attraction every issue, with some of the most popular kids’ attractions in the country including Legoland, Chessington World of Adventures and Sealife Centres.

It was a rubbish, rainy day, but we arrived at the Alton Towers Hotel and met the team. We were divided into groups and we were guided round some fun, CBeebies themed games and activities, some of which we’ll be recreating at home. Our first stop was the Swashbuckle table where we put on our pirate hats and made pirate medals, then we sang the song and did the pirate salute.

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The next activity was throwing a soft toy into a hula hoop. If it landed in the hoop you had to make the noise of the animal in the hoop, so if you threw it into the Jess the cat hoop, you had to miaow. This game took a bit of getting the hang of, due to hand-eye co-ordination issues, but once he got the idea he loved it and we could barely tear him away.

We soon moved on and did some drawing, he drew a Postman Pat, he’s really starting to get the hang of drawing now and his masterpiece was magnificent. Lastly we were read a story about Peter Rabbit and friends, and then we tried some fruit and vegetables that the rabbits might eat, his favourite was the strawberries, but he nibbled at the radish and didn’t hate it. Result.

We drank some juice and sang some songs, we were told we were about to meet a special guest, who would it be? He drives a van, he has a cat, it was no other than Postman Pat. It was a big moment for the small boy, he waited patiently to meet his postal hero and was rewarded with a cuddle.

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The morning done, we mooched off to CBeebies Land, which quite frankly deserves a post of it’s very own. Coming soon, watch this space etc, suffice to say it was a grand day out.

CBeebies magazine are offering a kids go free deal until October, below are when the vouchers for each attraction are published. We’ll certainly be taking advantage of this brilliant deal.

• Issue 410 (30th July) – Chessington World of Adventures – Save £68 (£34 per ticket)
• Issue 411 (13th Aug) – Alton Towers Resort inc. CBeebies Land – Save £86.40 (£43.20 per ticket)
• Issue 412 (27th Aug) – Warwick Castle – Save £39.60 (£19.80 per ticket)
• Issue 413 (10th Sept) – Legoland and Legoland Discovery Centre – Save £82.80 (£41.40 per ticket)
• Issue 414 (24th Sept) – Sealife Centres and Seal sanctuaries – Save £39 (£19.50 per ticket)

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Note: We were invited to explore Alton Towers, CBeebies Land and enjoy an activity morning by CBeebies magazine to help promote their #CBeebiesMagKidsGoFree campaign. We have not been paid and all opinions expressed are my own.

The Day CBeebies visited Playgroup

Yesterday CBeebies came to film at our playgroup bringing the very lovely Alex Winters with them. Alex was so lovely, all the children loved him, some of them were a little starstruck, some of them recognised him but couldn’t quite place him, but he was lovely, normal, unstarry and lots of fun. My son just kept pointing at him and saying “Beebies man”.

Alex Winters CBeebies

Alex Winters chats to the children at playgroup. My monkey is modelling the paper hat!

Alex “worked the room” but then settled himself down at the craft table. The children were making woolly sheep with cotton wool. He did several pieces to camera and chatted with the children in between takes.

Alex Winters - CBeebies

Lots of sticking and glueing – Alex watches as the kids make woolly sheep.

Alex was filming a series of information films for the CBeebies grown ups website. The segments he filmed with us were about doing craft activities with your child. He explained about how beneficial sticking and glueing and throwing glitter everywhere is to their development.

Alex Winters - CBeebies

Lights! Camera! Action!

Some of the Mums and Dads were then taken to a separate room to be interviewed about doing craft activities with their children. I think everyone enjoyed meeting Alex and we all had fun making our woolly sheep. I think there will be disappointed faces when he’s not there next week!

Look out for the film on the CBeebies website over the next few weeks.

Note: I had permission from the parents of the children pictured to use these pictures, some did ask that I blanked their faces out, thus allowing me to show off my very mediocre photo-editing skills.

Charlie & Lola’s Extremely New Play – Review

clI’ve seen more than my fair share of kids telly in the last three years. Some programmes really get my back up, some I tolerate and a rare few I actually love and look forward to.

One of these is Charlie & Lola. Maybe it’s the jaunty theme tune; maybe it’s the deliberately naive animation; maybe it’s the brilliant story lines or maybe it’s because big brother Charlie somehow manages to be wiser and more tolerant of his little sister Lola than any other parent ever.

Whatever the reason, when I heard that Charlie & Lola’s Extremely New Play was coming to the Waterside Arts Centre in Sale over the Christmas period, I jumped at the chance to get tickets. I did not regret it.

We’ve never been to the Waterside Arts Centre before. It’s a great family venue which really feels like it’s a big part of the community. The facilities are good, it’s easy to find and for once the refreshments are refreshingly cheap. We had drinks and snacks for three for just over £5, anywhere else would’ve easily charged double.

The play takes Charlie, Lola and friends on a magical journey through the changing of the seasons; where they discover that everything is different and not the same. A brilliant team of puppeteers bring puppet Charlie, puppet Lola and their puppet friends to life.

As the seasons change, Charlie and Lola together with their friends discover that they can’t fight change. The changing of the seasons is inevitable and there is always something wonderful or beautiful coming up next. The crisp brown leaves of autumn, the fluffy snow to build a snowman with and the glorious warm sunshine (remember that?).

During the performance, the audience were showered from above by tissue paper autumn leaves, foamy snowflakes, flying fish puppets and springtime bubbles. The children whirled and twirled trying to catch them and the lighting effects drew gasps of wonder from the audience.

It was brilliant. The boy was fascinated from start to finish and even we grown-ups enjoyed it. Sometimes “family” productions can be less engaging for parents, but this we loved. It’s telling that 24 hours after seeing the play and after meeting Father Christmas on a steam train, he is still talking about Charlie & Lola!

It runs until January 4th and it was so good we’re seriously thinking about going to see it again.

Read my other review for Mums & Dads Magazine here.

Disclaimer: I was sent free tickets for this production so I could review it for my blog and for Mums & Dads Magazine. 

In The Night Garden live

When my Mr suggested we take the boy to see his favourite thing in the world my heart sank a little. It’s not that I want to deny him fun, but thanks to BBC iplayer I get “treated” to about four episodes a day and I cannot bear it.

So many months ago I reluctantly agreed, took out a small mortgage and bought some tickets. We refused the horrifyingly expensive add-ones. £15 to meet Daisy. No thanks, if she was going to come back to ours and get cracking with the ironing maybe. But no. £20 for a goodie bag? No! He’s 2 he doesn’t really care.

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So we arrived early and we were ushered through the massive inflatable theatre in the car park of the Trafford Centre. The boy didn’t really understand what was going on but did get excited each time he saw a picture of a character. We found what were excellent seats and settled down. As I said, we arrived early and we waited half an hour for it to start. But no worries, they had fabulous projections on the walls which kept the little ones entertained as well as In The Night Garden (ITNG) sound effects. The half hour passed quickly, punctuated only by being mugged for £6 for a twirly light with Iggle Piggle on it, admittedly it kept him entertained for the rest of the evening and beyond. But tat all the same.

The show started much to the boys delight, it was colourful, entertaining and true to the TV version. Both husband and I were horribly bored after about 20 minutes but we were both enchanted by the delight on our sons face. He loved it, every second, every song, everything about it.

It lasted about 50 minutes and much to the boys disappointment we had to leave. In the car on the way home he was shouting “Again, Daisy, again!” Bless him.

Would I go again? Yes. But I do feel like I’ve been spanked for cash, but pretty much anything you do with your kids feels like that these days.

You can find out more about the show here – http://www.nightgardenlive.com/

Disclaimer: I wasn’t paid or asked to write this post, I went of my own accord and paid for the tickets and everything else myself.