Jun 172016

Dora The Explorer

Sometimes parenting calls for desperate measures: today we’re on day 5 of toilet training miss Sybbie and I am using every trick in the book to make it a success. It has taken lollies, stickers, special undies, charts and even prizes for a full a chart, but I think we’ve finally turned a corner! If you know your child’s soft spot you can achieve a lot and Dora is definitely scoring brownie points. If you have a little Dora fan in the house too you are sure to enjoy this new release by Universal Sony Pictures:

It's a Puppy Party DVD

Who can resist an adorable little puppy? Our favourite explorer Dora sure can’t! Join Dora and her friendly pals for four fun and furry adventures in the brand new DVD Dora the Explorer: It’s A Puppy Party.

No challenge is too big for dog lover Dora, who is always happy to lend a helping hand or find a solution for a tricky problem. Together with her best buddy Boots she tracks down runaways, returns lost pets and even travels back in time for a very special rescue, get ready for more than 90 minutes of pawesomeness with Dora.

‘Dora the Explorer: It’s A Puppy Party’ is now available on DVD (RRP $19.95) at all good retail stores across Australia.

To find out more about Universal Sony Pictures and to take a closer look at ‘Dora the Explorer: It’s A Puppy Party’ visit www.theviewingloungestore.com.au.

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May 282016


Yippee, with exactly three months to go until our European holiday the countdown is finally on! By now we know what to bring to survive a very long plane trip with young children so I have started filling their backpacks with little bits and pieces already. To add to the excitement I wrap some of the items in pretty paper and of course I keep the contents a secret until the plane has taken off…

Crayola Paw Patrol

A new colouring book is always an excellent boredom buster and Crayola happens to have some ‘PAWesome’ new arrivals my kids will love:

Paw Patrol Color WonderWith this clever PAW Patrol Color Wonder (RRP $13.99) set you don’t have to worry about your budding artists leaving their colourful mark on the plane seat, fold-out tray, their outfits or even their own skin. Like magic the included Mess Free Markers only colour on the special Color Wonder paper, keeping the colour exactly where you want it. With 5 different markers and 18 colouring pages featuring the furry PAW Patrol friends there is plenty of decorating to be done.

On our last holiday we gave each child his/her own Color Wonder pack which worked a treat, together we had a rainbow of coloured markers and they could swap colouring pages to keep things interesting. Color Wonder is such a fabulous idea, enjoyable and intriguing for the kids and mess (and sanity) saving for mum!

Paw Patrol My First CrayolaEven the smallest puppy lovers can join the fun with PAW Patrol Color & Shapes Sticker Activities (RRP $4.99), part of the toddler-friendly My First Crayola range. This well-priced activity book is designed for ages 12 months+ and uses adorable PAW Patrol stickers to help young children practise shapes and colours through play. It is also an excellent tool for parents to work on fine motor skills with their child in a refreshing way, and the best part is that you can do it anytime and anywhere.

Crayola Paw Patrol GCPDue to their generous measurements (32 x 49cm) the PAW Patrol Giant Coloring Pages (RRP $8.49) are more of an at-home activity than an on-the-go entertainment, they’re absolutely huge in size and big in fun too. Decorating these large pictures of Chase, Marshall, Rocky and the rest of the PAW Patrol gang will keep the kids busy for ages. Once done why not stick them on your bedroom door or wall and turn them into your own unique PAW Patrol poster?

To find out more about Crayola, to browse the range and to locate a stockist near you visit www.crayola.com.au.

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Apr 142016


One. More. Day. I don’t know who is more excited about the upcoming school holidays but I am guessing it is me. After what felt like the longest school term ever we are all longing for two weeks of relaxing and having fun. We’ve already picked out some craft to make, recipes to bake and of course some new movies for a relaxing afternoon on the couch with popcorn and drinks. Miss 5 will be over the moon when she finds out her favourite Nickelodeon star is waiting for her with plenty of silly jokes:

SpongeBob DVD

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea? It’s the world’s funniest yellow sponge and he is back to entertain with ten hilarious underwater adventures in ‘SpongeBob SquarePants: Glove World Forever’. To most mums a sponge is just an ordinary household item but there is nothing boring about SpongeBob SquarePants. SpongeBob, Patrick Star, Mr. Krabs, Squidward Tentacles… all your favourite sea creatures are reporting for duty so put on your best swimmers and dive to the deep end of the ocean for a whole lot of giggles in the Glove World amusement park and of course SpongeBob’s hometown Bikini Bottom.

‘SpongeBob SquarePants: Glove World Forever’ is now available on DVD (RRP $19.95) at all good retail stores across Australia.

To find out more about Universal Sony Pictures and to take a closer look at ‘SpongeBob SquarePants: Glove World Forever’ visit www.theviewingloungestore.com.au.

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May 272012

I am sure I am not the only one who has watched a kids tv show and wondered: How is a kids tv show born? Who is behind the characters? Where do the director and the team draw their inspiration from? Recently I had the fabulous opportunity to find out the answers to some of these questions from mum Kristie, the talented lady behind the new Nick Jr. show Didi and B.

Creator Kristie developed Didi and B. with curious preschoolers in mind, they will love going on many fun adventures with butterfly Didi and a cute spelling bee B. Singing songs, learning the alphabet, practising the days of the week and much more, kids will have a ball in Didi and B. garden world of learning.

What does your ideal Sunday look like?
I work in Sydney and live in the Southern Highlands, so my ideal weekend is snuggling back at home with my family. My hubby usually cooks a big Irish fry-up which we often eat in the garden, followed by a morning browsing country markets, bric-a-brac and bookshops. Usually we end up with a playdate for us all with other families who have a similarly hectic city/country lifestyle. (I also love popping down the South Coast for a weekend at the beach – this photo was taken last weekend at one of my favourite spots.)

How did you come up with the idea of Didi and B.?
I was given the task of finding a new couple of characters for Nick Jr. and it was wonderful discovering who they might be. I’ve worked at Nickelodeon and Nick Jr. for 17 years and have spent a lot of time trying to understand what kids enjoy and endeavouring to create that for them. Nick Jr.’s shows are some of the most progressive pre-school shows in the world for kids, and we draw on the latest research and expertise of educators and colleagues, as well as watching our own little kids play, and that all feeds into that journey of development. (I also remember very well what I loved as a kid and I definitely tapped into that!) I then collaborated with a wonderful team of the most talented artists who helped draw what was in my mind’s eye, and others who sculpted and lovingly built the puppets. Set builders created the world by turning fluff and paint into magical grass on bolders and the most talented kids, producers, puppeteers, writers, composer, the most brilliant cinematographer and director all collaborated to create golden moments. It really is so fulfilling to see it all come to life.

Are the characters based on someone you know?
I wanted a boy and a girl character that would appeal to both boys and girls and that they would want to cuddle. The characters needed to have a warmth and humour that would enchant kids and add some joy to their lives. I’ve always been drawn to nature and know how much little girls love sparkles and glitter and wings. My own girls are obsessed with craft, so nature-inspired crafts were perfect for Didi.

Didi’s name actually came from a baby word my daughter, Gracie used to call butterflies before she could say the word. B and D are also some of the first sounds a baby makes. I’ve also always loved bees, especially the fluffy ones in Tasmania, and the idea of a spelling bee that could play with words appealed. I also wanted B. to be cheeky and funny, and be a real boy. Finding 8 year old Jordan to be the voice was so important. His husky cheekiness sums up B!

What did you think when you got to see the finalised show for the first time?
I was so proud of what the whole team achieved together, and I hoped that the kids at home would love them as much as we all do. I hope that all the love that went into it comes across to the kids at home. I also thought, thank goodness I listened to Gracie and Rosie’s feedback and changed the puppets’ eyes! They are way cuter with the girl’s expert feedback!

What part of the Didi and B. show do you like most and why?
I think B. is cheeky and charming, I especially love his B. song and had a tear when recording the Goodnight song. The Days of the Week song makes me laugh and is exactly the tone I was aiming for. I’m excited that we’ve created a show that not only reflects daily routines of littlies but also gently educates and entertains both kids and their caregivers. At Nick Jr. our whole philosophy is play along and learn and I think we have created something special that kids will want to play along with, giggle with, and grow with . I am most proud of the authentic warmth and humour, and the gentleness of the world we created out of fluff, and paint and a whole lot of love.

To find out more about Didi and B, to watch Didi and B. videos and to check out some fun activities visit www.nickjr.com.au.