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Thomas and Friends – Rescue on the Rails

21 May

Thomas the tank engine is a firm favourite in our house. Actually its been so for as long as I can remember, what with the little man loving Thomas all through his toddlerhood and beyond, and now his little brother Harley loves it just as much!

We agreed to do a review of the latest Thomas DVD release and share our opinion with all you Thomas the tank engine fans.

The newest release “Thomas and Friends – Rescue on the rails” hits the shelves of all good retailers today (Monday 21st May 2012)

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It makes great viewing for any Thomas the Tank Engine fan, with four new episodes and lots of heroic adventures and edge of your seat entertainment.

The DVD sees the Sodor search and rescue team on one of its biggest missions as they race to help Bertie who’s stuck on Shake Bridge. Gordon one of Harley’s favourite engines needs help as his derailed and poor old Thomas’ firebox catches on fire.

All the engines brave the rails to save their friends in this heroic new DVD that does well to teach children teamwork.

As expected, Harley loved it and spent lots of time dashing in and out of the kitchen excitedly, shouting “look mummy look” Yes, I didn’t get much washing up done at all and decided it would be easier to give in a watch it with the little guy.

Here he is working the Thomas trend

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Yes, the Thomas hat is now far to small, will he give it up? hell no!

Thomas and Friends – Rescue on the Rails has a RRP of £12.99
Check it out on Amazon who currently have it for an awesome price.

This is a review post, opinions are my own. We was not paid to write this review but did receive a sample pre-release copy in-order to share our thoughts and write this review.

A Picnic on the Moon

19 May

My 2-year old may be going through them “terrible twos” where’s his ability to throw a tantrum at the drop of a hat for no apparent reason occurs all to frequently, but his still at that really cute stage too!

This maybe hard to picture when your toddler is fast becoming a real little handful but it’s very much the case.

I love watching my 2 year old sons interest evolve, that almighty smile that breaks out across his cute little face when his excited about something or another!

At the present moment, besides his beloved ‘Bob the Builder’ and that magical engine ‘Thomas the Tank Engine’… His now totally nuts on Peppa pig and Ben and Holly’s Little kingdom. So when asked to review the newest DVD release of ‘Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom – The Elf Games” how could I refuse?

Harley was a very lucky boy as we got sent the pre-release copy of ‘The Elf Games’ which was officially released on DVD for the worlds Ben and Holly fans to enjoy on the 14th May 2012.

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Episodes include…
Elf Games
Cows
The Toy Robot
Dinner Party
Big Bad Barry
King Thistle’s Birthday
The Wand Factory
Daisy and Poppy’s Pet
The Elf Rocket
Picnic on the Moon

As a grown woman it’s a little disturbing that I’m about to admit the fact that I found myself almost sucked into the world of Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom during more than one of the listed episodes above! Now, some may argue that I just don’t get out much, to some degree I’d defiantly agree, nonetheless, hand in the air, I admit… I quite enjoyed it! 🙂

Yes, it was a tad hard not to, especially the last two episodes that caused Harley to chant “Again… Again” every time they came to an end!

The last two episodes are in fact one, this is because “The Picnic on the Moon” is a follow on from the “Elf Rocket”
Both are really sweet and surprisingly funny especially when nanny plum gets sucked out the rocket looking for a toilet, then bops about in the atmosphere in-till she’s rescued! Part two carries on the humour when nanny plum causes one of her famous jelly floods on the moon. This turns it red, well, in-till the aliens happily eat it all up returning the moon to its natural state. But by far the best bit was just how they got back to earth… I won’t spoil it but it had myself and the toddler giggling.

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‘Ben and Holly’s Little Kingdom – The Elf Games’ gets a big thumbs up from the toddler who is actually practising magic every time his cross with someone “I do magic on you….” is his new favourite turn of phrase.

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Above he sits cuddling his beloved Ben Elf, Princess Holly and Gaston the lady bird… Thank goodness for eBay.

The DVD is available over on Amazon for just £7.99

Disclaimer: This is a review post but all opinions are that of my own. We were not paid to write this review but did receive a pre-release sample of the DVD in-order to write the review.

The Return of Olly The Little White Van

4 Mar

Olly & his friends are back on our screens with all new episodes of Olly The Little White Van! 

Olly (voiced by the fabulous Justin Fletcher aka Mr Tumble, Justine’s house & loads more besides) is the most helpful little white van in town, doing errands for everyone, and being helpful in anyway he can 

Olly, teaches our children this important message throughout the first series (Harley reviewed last year). Now his returned to do it all again in series 2, which consists of some 52 x 5 minute episodes, aired on Mini CITV every weekdays at 9.45 AM and then again at 12.45 Lunchtime.

Harley, has been incredible lucky and has been invited to review the second series which was sent to us on a sample dvd. I was confident he’d enjoy it, given his love of the first series and in all honesty, I could do with seeing some new episodes considering he had really worn out the last lot (Kids never seem to get bored of watching the same thing over and over again)!  

Olly is just as energetic & cute as ever, as he continues to do what he does best “Helping others” Bazza (Olly’s best friend) is still getting himself into light-hearted mischief, and a host more adventures are had with Stan Olly’s driver in episodes such as the Bumpton Cup.

We received the dvd via royal mail a few weeks back, though Harley didn’t actually get to watch it till yesterday morning! He actually posted the dvd into his Early Learning Post Box, causing me to spend the best part of 2 weeks searching high and low for it… just as I was about to give up, Harley the Little Postman delivered the dvd to me, along with the words, “Mum… What’s that?” Nonetheless, it was worth the wait, giving Harley something to enjoy on a Saturday morning and myself the chance to get “Mummy stuff done” 

Of course he loved it! His watched it again this afternoon before finally crashing out for a Sunday lunchtime nap. 

The online website is just as great as when we last checked. I’m loving how it has a facts and fun activities section, which contains a number of PDF downloadable fact-sheets and activities, which have been designed with the help of a child psychologist and number of parenting experts to encourage your child to be helpful on a daily basis. 

Plus there’s a fabulous kids section, packed with fun colouring in activities and a host of games & puzzles to keep them busy.

What’s more, Olly the little white van is currently running a fun & exciting competition with the most amazing prize, one I’m sure will delight any young Olly fan! 

If your Little one just can’t resist belting out that catchy theme tune as the credits run, get out your  video camera or mobile phone and start filming! Why? Because they could potentially win the opportunity to meet the man behind the voice, “Justin Fletcher” himself! 

There is no mistaking it, Olly The Little White Van, which first hit our screens back in June 2011 is something of a raving success, that just looks set to get bigger and better with each episode. With new toys, games and apps, set to launch this spring (sometime after Easter) plus the edition of exciting collectable die-cast models, brought to us by ‘Hornby’ (see my Toy fair 2012 post) Olly & his fun gang of friends, look set to be around for a long time yet! Harley for one couldn’t be more pleased!  

For a sneak preview of some exciting episodes and full instructions & terms and conditions on the amazing competition, visit Olly’s magical site.

Facebook loving Mums and Dad’s can check out what’s up and coming in Bumpton via the awesome Olly Facebook page, or follow this cute and helpful white van over on twitter 🙂

 

Tara’s Music Magic – Snuggles in Scotland

20 Feb

Tara’s Music magic, is a children’s production consisting of both DVD’s and CD’s specially developed for little ones 5 and under. I thought it would be a nice DVD for Harley to review, something for him to watch while his siblings were at school.

 We received the DVD the week that south London got covered in a layer of snow, so there were fewer trips out about and more snuggling by the fire indoors. It was on one of these cosy afternoons that we settled down to watch Harley’s new DVD, here’s what we thought!

Tara’s Music Magic, Snuggles in Scotland is made up of 20 songs, including classics like ‘Row, row, row your boat’, (one of Harley’s favourites) ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’ and ‘Snow Angels’. With each song Tara (presenter and singer) a group of children & snuggles (the panda) dance, play around or  have fun acting out the words to each song.

This is not an animated protection and reminded me of how children’s productions were when I was small. This was great though, as the DVD had a feel of simplicity about it, making it pleasurable viewing. It was easy for Harley to remain engaged as the DVD runs for just 30 minutes. Harley is also a huge fan of Snuggles as his already crazy about Pandas! This came about as a result of  last years summer festival to celebrate the release of the New Kung Fo panda 2.

When a song came on that Harley recognised, he would start clapping, jumping up & joining in! Its great that the DVD gives you the option to select which songs you want to play, as well as the option to play all. Harley did a fine job of recreating the Teletubbies as he shouted, “Again, again” after a number of songs, especially the ‘Old king Duke of York’ and ‘Row, row, row your boat’ so, being able to select each song from the menu saved me having to constantly rewind it.

The clip for ‘Old MacDonald had a farm’ was particularly well-played out, as it showed clips of all the different animals, allowing Harley, age 2 years, to easily relate each animal to the sound that it made within the song. I find that the singing was of a really good quality and despite the number of times we have watched the DVD, the songs are yet to take over my brain and send me potty!

However, their was one thing that slightly worried me and this was the recreation of the well known rhyme “Ten Green Bottles” We instead got “Ten Little Panda’s” which was fine, though the fact that Snuggles can be clearly seen to be pushing each cuddly panda of the wall, as the words ‘Accidentally fall’ were sang out, was definitely a little bit confessing for my Little one who with each push, put his hand over his mouth and with a look of horror, stated “Oooo… bad Panda”  Harley also watched the DVD  with his big brother a few days later and of course my eldest spotted this and was therefore the first to state, that it wasn’t actually an accident at all! Nonetheless, I do understand that the production is aimed at children under five, it’s just that many parents may be in the process of teaching their child what the word accident or accidentally actually means, or like Harley, some may end up accusing Snuggles of being a naughty panda!

 Regardless of the above, we did enjoyed the DVD and Harley has requested we stick it in the player on a number of occasion’s. With each one he remains entertained, showing no signs of boredom whatsoever! A great feature is that, Tara and Snuggles (the life size Panda) are joined by a group of children who sing and dance throughout, its this I feel gave it that special touch as children do well at relating to other children out and about, having fun!

 This is a production that both encourages and motivates little one’s to get up and dance and move about, while teaching them the words to both new songs and classic nursery rhymes that are loved by all.

Winners of the Timmy time & Holiday Inn Competition

6 Jan

So, it was a big competition with lots of entries and today I’ve sat copying and pasting everyone into the random picker (which took for ever) No, I was not going to sit and fold near on 200 pieces of paper to be drawn from the hat!

Let’s remind ourselves of the prizes at stake!

1st prize: 2 Nights at any Holiday inn within the UK (Only) for a family of 4, plus the added addition of a Timmy Time DVD (entitled Timmy’s Snowy Fun) and the code for the new Timmy Time App.

Runner up prizes: Five runners up will each receive a Timmy Time DVD (entitled Timmy’s Snowy Fun) and the code for the new Timmy Time App

So… here’s what the random picker generated this time… Drum roll please….

Winner taking… 2 nights stay at UK Holiday in of their choice for a family of 4 plus Timmy time DVD (Timmy’s Snowy Fun) & App code is… M williams (Twitter @melandjake99)

5 Runners up taking… A Timmy Time DVD (Timmy’s Snowy Fun) & App code each are as follows:

  1. Bob Clark

  2. Emma walters (@emmav6)

  3. Emma

  4. Martha P

  5. Sarah Parker

Congratulations to everybody please send your postal addresses ASAP to the email address located in the sidebar of the blog.

 I’m sorry to those who unfortunately didn’t win this time, please check out our competition tab where competitions are added on a regular basis.

To see the draw protocol please click HERE

Note to winners: The blogs competition T&C apply (can be found in the original competition post & on the disclaimer and PR page) Remember winners should send their details within 48hrs to avoid a redraw! If any of the winners have not left their contact details with their entries as requested, I urge you to make contact as soon as you read this post. 

Note: First prize winner must take their prize with the Holiday Inn by the 31st March 2012

Olly The Little White Van

16 Dec

Sometimes it’s Lovely to watch something other than Bob the Builder, Peppa pig or Ben and Holly in our house, so when Olly the Little white van popped through our letter box I popped it in the DVD player when Harley wasn’t looking and hoped he would somehow become drawn to it.

 Well, he did and who wouldn’t be? Olly is a lively little white van, who alongside his diver Stan is always happy to help a friend in need in any way he can, while embarking on a host of fun-filled adventures along the way!

 I’ve discovered that this energetic Little white Van is actually a very popular addition to the children’s shows broadcasted on the CITV channel. I will admit we didn’t know this, well we don’t really catch much CITV at-all! Why? Because we normally find ourselves watching Cbeebies (I say we, I actually don’t mean me, just the tiny toddler, Harley)! I was pleasantly surprised with this upbeat children’s show with funky theme tune and nicely wrote story lines, Oh, and yes… so was Harley. 

 There are many other fab-tastic characters besides Olly and his driver Stan! There’s Olly’s mischievous best friend Bazza and the ever experienced Jethro the tractor too.

When I loaded the DVD in the player, I did so before getting a look at any press release so instead of putting my coffee to one side and getting of my backside I sat thinking to oneself, “God I know that voice”and know it I did, once the penny had finally hit the ground I realised that the familiar voice being played through my TV set was in fact OBE award receiver Justine Fletcher, known to many as the lovely Mr tumble…. from “Something Special” amongst many other children’s favourites.

 We, Oops… I mean Harley 🙂 really did enjoy watching these perfectly timed episodes of Olly and his friends (each one lasting around five minutes each, therefore doing a splendid job at holding tiny tots and their tiny attention spans, unless your children are that bit older in that case you may find them a little bit short). 

 With each episode myself and the tiny terror swung our pants & pull-ups to the funky beats of the very catchy theme tune, and when it was over the tune just kept on playing (IN MY HEAD)!

 This really is one you might like to take a peek at! Little boys & girls alike will love the fun adventures of this super cool little white van who shares a very important message that… “Helping people is a good thing to do” Sadly you can guarantee you’ll be quite drawn to it too.

 Don’t take my word for it, just make sure you tune in to CITV weekday mornings at 9.45 am and if that’s to early or you’re not back from that oh so lovely school run by then, you can also catch it during the afternoons at 1pm

CITV

Image via Wikipedia

 Note

If your little one(s) get hooked and becomes a Olly fan, then get them over to the Olly site where little ones will be further entertained in one of the many activities laid on for them to enjoy, they can even make you a Christmas card… HO-HO-HO! 

 Check it out by Clicking HERE

Disclaimer

We received a sample copy of Olly The Little White Van on DVD in-order to write this review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own and haven’t been influenced in any way. 

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