A Trip to the Cinema is a great treat for kids and a way to keep them occupied over the long summer holiday. It’s especially good on those wet summer days when planned picnics have been cancelled. Even on hot days what could be nicer than a cool air conditioned cinema.

Here are my top picks of family films to watch this summer.

Thomas and Friends, Big World Big Adventures.

When my eldest was a little boy he adored Thomas and Friends, he had all the trains, all the books, all the DVDs. Sometimes I wished he’d never grown up because I loved Thomas too. I might have to drag my Little Man along to watch this new film.

Catch Thomas and his friends at the cinema from July 20th 2018

Get up to 40% off your Thomas and Friends Cinema Tickets here.

Hotel Transylvania 3: A Monster Vacation

I love the Hotel Transylvania films and I’m so glad they’ve made another. This time they are off on a cruise, I’m sure nothing can go wrong…right?

The film also has a timely message of love, acceptance and tolerance of those who are different.

Catch the film in cinemas now, rated PG

Get up to 40% off your Hotel Transylvania 3 Cinema Tickets here.

 

The Incredibles 2

The Incredibles are another one of my favourites. Who can resist superheroes!

Incredibles 2 truly shines as a sequel, with top critics claiming it has even outshone the original. Behind the hi-tech adventure that young and old kids will appreciate, there are genuine themes here that we can appreciate – the perils of parenthood, family stress and gender inequality. Smashing the box office, Incredibles 2 deserves a family cinema trip this summer, with lots of popcorn.

Released on 13th July 2018

Get up to 40% off your Incredibles 2 Cinema Tickets here.

Disney’s Christopher Robin

Now, I’ve never really been a huge fan of Winnie the Pooh but this film intrigues me. It’s set around a grown up Christopher Robin (Ewan McGregor) who is helped by the stuffed animals of his childhood that have now embarked on our world.

You can catch Christopher Robin in cinemas from August 17th, rated PG.

Get up to 40% off your Christopher Robin Cinema Tickets here.

Teen Titans Go! To The Movies

We love Teen Titans Go! It’s quirky and fun, and sometimes totally ridiculous.

The Teen Titans are a group of sidekicks and minor heroes in the DC Universe. They are very American but that shouldn’t be a problem with the young YouTube addicts of today. (Do your kids have American accents sometimes?) If your kids are a fan of the TV show then they should enjoy the film.

Released on July 27th

Get up to 40% off your Teen Titans Go! To the Movies Cinema Tickets here.

Kids Pass

I hope you’ve enjoyed my top picks of family films for this summer. Let me know if you go to see any of them.

You may have noticed some links that I’ve included offering up to 40% off Cinema Tickets.

These are through Kids Pass

I am a member of Kids Pass and they offer some great offers for families from Days out, eating out and holidays. You can even get discounts on your favourite theme parks. You can sign up for a 30 day trial for just £1 to see if it suits you. Download the app to your phone and your discounts go with you everywhere.

I am an affiliate for Kids Pass so if you join through any of my links I will receive a small monetary reward.



 

Memories

During the half term we took a trip to the local Wildlife Conservation Park, on the Pershore Road in Birmingham. I’ve written about our visits there before and I wasn’t going to write about it again until I read this post by Captured By Jade on Memories. It made me realise that this is exactly what I want my blog to be, a record of memories, something we can look back on and enjoy. So, even though I’ve written about the Wildlife Conservation Park before, this was a new memory to treasure and record. Also, just look at how my children have grown since our first logged visit back in 2014.

If you don’t have time to look, here’s a peak!

 

The Old and the New

I’ve been visiting the Wildlife Conservation Park for about 30 years now. I used to take my older children when they were youngsters. It was originally known as the Nature Centre, then the Nature Reserve and now the Wildlife Conservation Park. I’ve seen it grow and change with many different species of animals and growing gardens and wildlife areas. (I do wonder when they’ll upgrade the toilets though.)

This time we had some new animals to see including this creature which didn’t have an information plaque and we have no idea what it was. When it moved it kind of reminded me of a cross between a rabbit and a deer. I have asked Mr Google what he thinks and I believe it might be a Patagonian Mara.

patagonian mara, looks like a cross between a rabbit and a deer.

We saw a lot of the usual animals like the otters and monkeys, wallabies and flamingos. The kids went into the darker buildings to look at the snakes and the nocturnal animals. I preferred to wait outside soaking up some sunshine.

A lovely new addition was the wooden play park which the kids loved. They were able to run around and swing like the monkeys.

We had a wonderful day and now I’m wondering when my young ones will get too old for this place? I don’t think I need to worry about that, Daddy still loves it, even at his age 😉

 

 

Country Kids

The Big Bounce!

 

I don’t have a fancy camera, I took this on my phone by keeping my finger on the button and taking a burst of 24 photos. This meant I could get some fabulous action shots like this one of my girl bouncing in the air.

Can you believe, we’ve had this trampoline since December but have only managed to put it up in our garden. Thanks to all the snow and miserable weather our garden has been like a swamp. Now it’s all dried out and the grass has been cut (and partially destroyed) so it was a good time to get it out.

The kids have always wanted a trampoline and we got this one from Big Game Hunters it’s an 8ft Orbisphere with enclosure and it’s currently on offer for just £100. My kids are going have loads of fun on this all summer.

There are lots of times when we can’t get away from home because either mine or Star’s illnesses, so it’s great to bee able to provide the kids with lots of entertainment in our own back garden. Yes, I would like a pretty garden full of flowers and ornaments, but for now I’ll be happy with the swings, slide and trampoline which make my garden look more like a park. Sometimes I miss my old garden, it was so much bigger and I had room for both.

Is your garden full of flowers or toys?

 

Photalife

 

Sunday Snap

 

Pastimes aren’t always something that we should place a value on. Not least some kind of inherent moral value as some things seemed to be in the past. However, when you have children, and you see them beginning to form their own views and personalities, it’s a complex conundrum. Children are so innocent and should be left to discover the world on their own. Yet we can’t help ourselves as parents to want to gift them something of our generation. Seeing little parts of your personality in them, makes you wonder could they possibly love what you did when you were growing up? Maybe you could give the gift of passing on pastimes to them and see if they resonate within them.

six children playing on the grass outside

Photo by Kyra Malicse

 

Sport and physical games

With the advent of modern technology, it seems as though children get more fun out of staying still than they do moving around. A shocking paradox as many parents will know, getting the kids to sit still while at the dentist was once a chore in itself. Now they have games on their smartphones, tablets which are all portable. However growing up in a simpler time might get you looks of sympathy from your kids until they try out the games you once played. Teach them how to play rounders, teach them the classic games of tag, and hide and seek. Get them to a park where they can run around and practice hopscotch, play with other children in a game of capture the flag, jump rope and double dutch. These games that once brought you so much joy playing with friends shouldn’t be lost to the ages.

a victorian dolls house

Image credit Vassil

Virtual to real

Indeed there are virtual game creators that you cannot deny are brilliant, no matter how distracted they make your child. The complex coding alone just for the backgrounds let alone the interactive nature should be respected. No wonder children get lost in video games because they afford them the ability to make something their own. That’s why dollhouses were much loved because they gave you the ability to make the home however you wanted. There were assortments of decor, lots of delicate pieces like lamps, paintings, mirrors, pictures and other finer details. Buying your son or daughter their own dollhouse which you can then both collect and build together will add a new layer to your bond. There are still companies that make dolls house furniture and make them in a more contemporary and traditional type of manner and style. All rooms are supplemented for, kitchens, bathrooms, living rooms, even study offices.

Birthday games

It’s harsh to admit, but some kids just won’t want to play the droll old games mum and dad used to play. So you can sneak them in when it’s their birthday. Games like musical chairs, crack the whip, pass the parcel etc. are games that have a ‘last man standing’ trait. The person who can win these games is awarded a prize. It adds a competitive layer to it and thus creates an incentive for kids to drop their video games and get involved.

It truly is a gift of memory when you introduce children to your pastimes. The games create moments of pure joy that when they’re older, they will miss. Hopefully, when we’re gone, our children can pass on the games we taught them to their own children.

Are there any pastimes from your childhood that you have passed on to your children?

 

Disclosure: collaborative post

Studying hard certainly prepares you to be a good preschool educator, but there are a number of inherent characteristics that will ensure you are a sensational teacher. For instance, you can certainly learn how to create a warm classroom or teach the preschool program, but exuding enthusiasm for the education of your students is something that can only come from the heart.
With that in mind, here are more important qualities that make a great educator for pre-schoolers.

1. Passion

Do you have an intense desire to really make a different in young children’s lives? Passion is arguably one of the most important qualities for any teacher. There will be those days when teaching preschool will be difficult, whether it’s because your salary isn’t what you thought it would be, the parents seem ungrateful, or the kids are acting up, getting through those low points can be overwhelming. But, when you have a burning passion for education, it is your drive and determination that will get you through.

2. Patience

Besides your passion for education, you need lots of patience. Each class, such as those in Guardian child care centres in Sydney, has children with a variety of developmental skills. When it comes to pre-schoolers, constant reminders about protocol, manners, and hygiene are all part of a normal school day. From behaviour difficulties to learning difficulties, it takes a great deal of patience to keep your classroom in order. What’s more, working with difficult parents, teachers, and administrators means you need to be patient outside the classroom, too. A great teacher knows how to keep his or her cool under varying degrees of pressure.

3. Creativity

Being creative in the classroom involves more than making projects. You may have to work in a restricted environment with limited resources, and your classroom may be a melee of children from different backgrounds and cultures. So, you need to be able to draw from your creativity to make decisions in the best interest of your class.

4. Flexibility

Even when you have every detail of each lesson planned, unexpected turns can arise. A great educator is one that is flexible in dealing with change. Whether it’s as straight forward as having a back up plan for rainy days or amending the entire plan to accommodate for budget cuts, your fine-tuning skills and flexibility will help you tackle challenges with grace.

5. Dedication

Finally, excellent preschool teachers are those who are dedicated to their career and their learners. They stand up for their beliefs and educational values, and for their student’s needs. What’s more, these educators are dedicated to education and continue to inspire students to continue learning. At preschool level, creating a fun learning environment can resonate with children for the rest of their life.
Along with these 5 important qualities, a great educator will also form part of a supportive teaching community. Many teachers find even more inspiration by aligning themselves with professional associations.
Above all, exceptional preschool educators are those teachers that continue to work on their craft and personal development to continue growing.



Disclosure: Collaborative Post