My Mini Pop Artists At Warhol Croydon

Research from the International Child Art Foundation has found that a child that is exposed to the arts acquires a special ability to think creatively, be original, discover, innovate, and create intellectual property – key attributes for individual success and social prosperity in the twentieth century.

This is why exposing my litttle ones to as much art and culture as possible is of great importance to us as a family.

By this I don’t mean sitting in front of text books flicking through endless pages of text, but actually getting out and exploring which for me is a far more interesting way of gaining knowledge.

This weekend we took a trip into Croydon to explore the Warhol Croydon exhibition that has been bought to the streets of Croydon by the award winning RISE Gallery.

The street exhibition has been inspired by the life and works of Andy Warhol who was a leading artist in the 1960’s pop art movement.

A group of extremely talented artists have come together to create twelve instillations taken from the inspiration of his work and placed across the whole town centre.

There are plenty of free guided walks that you can book online to take part in or go it alone like we did.

The tour took us from the bustling high street full of shoppers to super quiet derelict buildings, from high rise offices to beautiful gardens and the quirky streets of Surrey Street Market.

We stopped and took time to take in each piece and the children really loved telling me their thoughts…some not so complementary and some hilarious.

It’s wonderful to see what others see when looking at the same piece of art and there is nothing thing better than seeing things through a child’s eyes.

The tour took us some time as I didn’t follow the route as marked out which from experience I would suggest doing.

With the tour complete we headed off to the Whitgift and Centrale Shopping Centre to take part in the Andy Warhol themed session that allowed Oscar and Frankie to become Mini pop artists for the afternoon.

We are familiar with Whitgift Weeenies Kids Club sessions that are put on throughout the year and are completely free to take part in.

The sessions can be anything from animal handling to art sessions and are suitable for children aged 3-10.

This session saw the children trying their hand at printing by carving out a picture into a foam board, covering it  with as much and as many different colours as they like and then creating their own Pop Art style masterpiece.

The friendly staff were at hand to help out where needed yet allowing the children free reign to really bring out their creative side.
Cleaned up and art in hand we finished off our jam packed day at RISEgallery they at the moment is homing some pieces of original artwork by Andy Warhol himself.

It certainly wasn’t a stuffy gallery that didn’t want enquisitive children around, we were infact all warmly welcomed, shown around the gallery and even had a chat about the art work that the boys had created.

The exhibition is on until the end of the month and there is still time to book in for this Sunday’s Wennies Kids Club session, so get yourself booked in as it’s something not to be missed!
*collaborated post

Ain’t No Party Like A Num Noms Party

Last Sunday we were up bright and early to catch the train into Shoreditch to celebrate the launch of Num Noms Series 4 at All Stars Lanes in Brick Lane.

For those of you that aren’t familiar with Num Noms, they are basically a collection of super cool collectables that come in the shape of scented characters, lip glosses, nail varnishes and light up characters that can be stacked, raced and traded to your hearts content.

After trying out a collection of Series 3 Num Noms my guys were super excited to see what the new collection would have to offer!

We walked into the most spectacular party where there were literally Num Noms galore, from a whole play area dedicated to them, images of them all over the big screens and a creative area where the boys loved trying out the new nail polish maker.

This fab new toy allows you to make your own individual nail polish with scents such as strawberry and banana with a sprinkling of glitter if you fancy.

Im sure this is going to be on the top of many Christmas lists this year!

The fun didn’t stop there and we had after a game of bowling that was made pretty competitive by Izzy they tried their hand at icing some Num Nom inspired biscuits with the lovely people from Biscuitiers.

I was more than impressed with the level of concentration that was kept by my extremely active children and the results were pretty tasty too.

They then all headed off to get their faces painted while I got treated to a much needed manicure at the nail bar.

Suitabaly worn to from all the fun it was time for some lunch and a chat about what they had thought of the day.

They were on an absolute high from such a fantastic afternoon…probably a little to do with the pic’n’mix and yummy milkshakes too.

What I really love about Num Noms is the fact that even though they are branded more towards girls, my boys absolutely love playing with them alongside their sister who even after hitting high school this year is still very much a fan and has loved building her collection at home.

Do you have any Num Noms fans at home?

Fit To Dance With Disney On Ice And Ashley Banjo

Last week I got to have a few hours on my own with Oscar to visit Danceworks in West London to take part in a ‘Fit To Dance’ workshop with some lovely performers from Disney On Ice and the dishy Ashley Banjo!

Oscar skipped his way along Oxford Street telling me how excited he was about going to sing and dance until he was confronted with a room full of strangers and his thoughts of being star of the show soon dwindled.

Luckily enough the super friendly skaters made all the children feel at ease and after warming up and a little to much participation from me he soon soon got into the swing of things and was happy to join in independently.

‘Fit To Dance’ is a way to encourage children to dance through the use of story telling which in turn helps them to use their imagination and improve their fitness levels in a fun way.

They got together in a group to chose the story they would like to recreate through dance and each picked a character at be throughout the performance.

With characters named and a story plot in place the children were running, jumping, twirling and whirling around the hall to their hearts content.

After a few practice runs they donned their fancy dress and showed the audience their work.

Oscar was extremely happy with himself and still had a pretty big treat to come.

Fed and watered the children all gathered by the door to await the arrival of two very special guests…Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

Their eyes literally lit up and such excitement filled the room.

They all got the chance to meet the cuddly pair and it was certainly a very special treat.

We couldn’t let the afternoon pass without getting a snap of Ashley Banjo too which certainly made my girls very jealous when we arrived home.

The ‘Fit To Dance’ program is available online and is certainly worth taking a look at and trying out at home for yourself.

With Disney On Ice’s Passport To Adventure currently on tour this would really be the perfect way to get yourself ready in the the run up to the show.

Design A Purfume Bottle Competition With Whitgift And Centrale Shopping Centre

I am ashamed to say that I haven’t yet had the chance to get myself into Croydon to see all the fabulous events they are going on this month to celebrate the works of the great Andy Warhol with Warhol Croydon 2017.

From guided walks to kids crafting sessions there is so much to see and do it certainly has to be on my list this week.

Croydon biggest shopping centre couldn’t miss out on all the fun and as they are currently housing a huge canvas of the iconic Andy Warhol inspired Chanel purfume bottle they have come up with a great competition to run in conjunction with this.

You have until the 21st September to get creative and come up with your own, original idea of a design for a Chanel purfume bottle.

This is open to any age and simply needs to be assessed into the comments section of their Facebook page ‘HERE’ for your chance to be a winner.

The winner will then be announced on Facebook  on the 22nd September.

Good luck and I look forward to checking out all your designs!

Awesome Little Green Men:Review

My youngest two are huge lovers of anything to do with the forces. From police men to soilders  they are always having role play games together where they are catching robbers or battling it out in fields.

Any toys related to this are always a big hit so I had high hopes for the Awesome Little Green Men when we were asked to review them.

Awesome Little Green Men are blind boxed collectibles that have over 100 recruits and vehicles to collect in series one.

Each box comes with a figure, dog dog on a chain and and a new recruit poster.


There is also a battle pack that comes in a super cool truck shaped box and six figures that would make a perfect present to start off their collection.

The figures are more than just collectibles as the aim of the game is to build the best troop with General Pain and General Panic at the helm.

The figures to me are a new take on the traditional army figures of old and it makes a welcome change to have something different from the normal doll or animal theme.

With Christmas fast approaching these would make great stocking filling or a great little pocket money treat.

* We were gifted these toys for the purpose of this review and they are all my own, honest opinion.
 

Cutting The Heating Costs This Winter

Yes I’m sorry that I am already mentioning the dreaded ‘winter word’, but as we all to aware before we know it the big coats and boots will be out and we will all be finding ways to keep warm inside and outside the home.

When it comes to heating the home it can be a pretty costly exercise and I’m sure we could all find much better ways to spend our money rather than on something a boring as heating.

Below I have compiled some tips on ways to save a few pennies on your heating bill this winter:

Draft Proof The House – Whilst the weather is still mild take a bit of time to go around the house and find any areas that are letting in any draughts. Door frames and widows are two of the biggest culprits but can be easily rectified by getting some specialist tape or draught excluders that will go a long way to retain the much needed heat.

Shop Around For Energy Providers – Its very easy to get complacent and just carry on using your same energy provider. This however can be one of the biggest ways to save money and many people have made savings of up to £300 a year. There are plenty of comparison sites out there that find you the best deals in a matter of minutes.

Check Your Boiler – The boiler is the most vital part of heating your home so it is very important to make sure it is in good working order at all times. Now is the perfect time to make sure it is in good working order so that you don’t end up with any nasty surprises once a cold spell hits! Companies such as Homeserve Heating provide an excellent service that does just this.

Have A Rejig – Think about the positioning of your furniture and try to move big items such as sofas away from radiators to stop the heat getting trapped.

Doors Open and Doors Closed – This may be a bit of a confusing title but it means that different doors being opened and closed can have different benefits.  If you have the bath running or oven on for instance allowing the doors to be open will let the heat radiate through the house. On the other end of the scale if you have an unoccupied room then turn the radiator off and keep the door closed so you are not wasting money and energy heating an empty room.

Fill Up The Chimney – If you have a unused fire place then filling the chimney with a specialised balloon will stop a huge amount of energy being lost.

Turn Space Age – By this I don’t mean donning a spacesuit, it simply means getting your hands on a few rolls of tinfoil and covering the wall directly behind your radiators to allow the heat to be sent back into the room rather than absorbed into the wall.

I hope you have found these tips useful and would love to ear if you have anymore of your own.

*Collaborated post.

Please Don’t Let High School Take Your Sparkle

It’s that time of year again when the children are returning to school to start a fresh year of new and exciting challenges…for some it might not just be a new classroom it could be that big jump from preschool to reception or primary to secondary school.

In our house it is Izzy that will be taking that big leap to high school and to be honest she is taking it all in her stride.

It can be a huge change for both the child and parents with so many unknowns for everyone.

With Izzy being my third to take this step I don’t really have any anxieties about the whole process as it is a familiar school for us both and something I’ve had many years of practice with.

I am however getting a sinking feeling that the pressures of fitting it will cause her quirkiness to disappear and she will feel the need to conform and follow the crowd.

My little bare footed hippie certainly knows her own style but as she has got older the thoughts of others have been swaying her a little and as I’m sure we all know the pressures of a such a big change and that dreaded teen angst creeping in can have such a huge impact.

I know with the older two that I found the move to secondary school the biggest change as their it is such a tricky age. They are really trying to find themselves and this means much less parental involvement is needed in their day to day goings on which can be pretty hard.

They look to others for recognition and this is where I noticed a change with my older two as my opinion moved down the pecking order and their peers were not the people they wanted to please rather than me.

With this in mind I really hope she doesn’t loose  her huge zest for life, her don’t care attitude towards everything she does and her individual style. I hope she learns to withstand everything that it thrown at her over the next few years and let her inner sparkle continues to shine bright and be that one that stands out in the crowd.