Tuesday, 30 August 2016

We're going on a journey - CBeebies Prom 2016!

You may have noticed I've had a break from blogging over the summer but now I'm back and have something very exciting to review:

we were lucky enough to get tickets to go the CBeebies Prom! We have just come back home, having seen it on Sunday (28th August).

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Making music doesn't have to be expensive

Watching and taking part in performing arts can be expensive, even for children. And often not just a little expensive, but £££. Going to the theatre costs money, learning a musical instrument costs money, even singing in a local choir can involve a fee. 

However, there are some things you can do that, whilst not totally free (because what is), can cost a lot less, and so I'm going to try to cover some of those things in this blog as well. 

The most obvious "free" way to make music is what my baby boy likes to do - give him a wooden spoon and he will bash the floor and walls, giggling. (Eventually, he might work out he can bash the upturned pan I keep putting in front of him, but so far it seems that the floor is an easier target!)

My daughter also likes bashing things with a spoon, but as she is at the age/stage where "things to be bashed" can sometimes also include her brother, we tend to do this activity less often when she is around! Instead, we sit down to sing nursery rhymes with shakers which are shaken and banged (and occasionally thrown), sometimes even in time to the music...

The shakers we use are homemade and contain food stuff so if they do open up and spill, it won't matter if either child takes it upon themselves to eat the contents. Our old shakers were looking a bit tired so recently my daughter and I made some more...

Monday, 30 May 2016

Chance to catch CBeebies Midsummer Night's Dream again...

Sorry for the lack of posts last week - we were on holiday (yay!). Now we are back (boo!) there will be more coming very soon but in the meantime...

I've just found out that CBeebies are showing Midsummer Night's Dream again today (Bank Holiday Monday) and so that should mean it will be available on iPlayer again for anyone who missed it.

Here is my review of it from watching it with my two and a half-year-old the first time round.

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Classical music for babies: online resouces

After discussing my baby watching Andre Rieu concerts in the last post I thought I would look a little bit further into other online resources for classical music for babies.  This is very much a work in progress at the moment: my plan is to create master lists for music and theatre resources, ideally also categorised by age, so this is just a start...

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Orchestral concerts for babies?

I'll be honest with you, sometimes I find being a mum bloody hard work. I have two gorgeous children and I know how lucky I am, I really do, but sometimes I do find it difficult trying to cook for, tidy after and play with two Under-3's at the same time. I'll admit that sometimes - sssssh! - I resort to screentime...

Actually, I don't think that a little (carefully chosen!) screentime is too bad really. You'll see CBeebies mentioned a fair bit in this blog because I think they do provide some very good music and arts programming. However, my daughter's first taste of screentime wasn't actually CBeebies.

Karl-Heinz Meurer [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0) or CC BY-SA 3.0 de (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/de/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Live music for toddlers near you?

I live in the South West, and whilst this obviously means we don't have the range of activities that the South East has in terms of the performing arts, living near(ish) Bristol and Bath means that lots of cultural events are still relatively accessible to us.

One thing I have recently discovered is a company called Music for Miniatures which runs classical concerts for 0-4 year olds in Bath (and sometimes out in Somerset). 

A bit of the blurb from their website reads: 
Music for Miniatures is a series of short live classical concerts specifically designed for parents, grandparents and carers to enjoy in the company of babies, toddlers and young children (aged 0-4).

The best thing about a Music for Miniatures concert is... we don't mind noise! Babies can sleep, cry, babble and crawl whilst toddlers are free to explore and enjoy in their own way without being told to "ssh". Older little ones can dance, play air-instruments and get right up close to the performers. We don't even mind if the audience needs a nap!

I've been to a few of the concerts which they held out in Somerset with my two and was impressed. 

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Still chance to see My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty in some places...

A recent advert on my Facebook feed caught my eye: The English National Ballet is touring with "My First Ballet: Sleeping Beauty".

By Stano Novak (own photo, assembled myself)
[CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)],
via Wikimedia Commons
Apparently this ballet is aimed at children from three years old and upwards. It's a shortened version of the "grown up" ballet and has a narrator to help children follow what is happening.

It's been on tour for a while but you still have a chance to see it if you live near Bristol, Woking or London.  I'm sorely tempted but I think my daughter is just a little bit young at the moment.  We've watched some children's ballets on TV and she doesn't really have the attention span for ballet yet. (I think it is the lack of words, so perhaps the narrator would help her keep focus, but I don't fancy risking it - she has a habit of saying "It's boring" really quite loudly at the moment!)

The website also has some resources including word games and character sheets that might be of interest to older children, even if you can't get to a performance.

If you have been to see it, or do go over the next few months, I would love to hear from you. How old were your children? What did they think? Would you recommend it to others? Please let me know below.