So school holidays are upon us parents! Where did the year go?? 6 long weeks lie ahead waiting to be filled with entertainment. Oh joy!
Don’t get me wrong I do like to plan a few outings with the kids to fun favourites or new places we can all explore together. I will certainly be making use of trips to the beach and playdates to help stretch the budget as well as a few special treat outings that cost a bit more. We will also be heading off for a short camping trip and another weekend away but won’t be going too far from Cape Town – I mean why would you? Everyone else is paying ALOT of money to come here for a holiday!
But, I’m not super mom and will definitely not be traipsing around the town every. single. day! We also need to have a few days at home, relaxing and chilling out. (Well at least for half an hour until some or other fight starts!) I’ll also be needing to do a bit of work in between the full time job that is full time parenting! That is where the magic that is Disney will be coming to my rescue!
We don’t have DSTV and the TV offerings on the other channels are pitiful so we are fully reliant on DVD’s for our home entertainment. In that regard we have built up a great collection of good family-friendly films. My life-savers during many a very windy afternoon or long car journey (those portable DVD players are a real WIN!)
With that in mind I thought I would share with you a few of our favourites that have become available this year…I hope you enjoy these suggestions for kids home entertainment over the holidays! (p.s. I know TV is not recommended for kids at all. I’m not advocating it as a form of babysitting but rather controlled watching of a particular age appropriate film for a set length of time – and preferably none for kids under 2!)
Age 2 – 3
Lady and the Tramp – This Disney classic was re-released this year and proved to be a firm favourite – who doesn’t love the “tail” of two dogs falling in love! Boys and girls of all ages will love this sweet story.
African Cats – Disneynature is a great new series of movies featuring real animals in the wild but with a narrated story. This features the lives of 2 families of wild cats – the lions and leopards. My kids are crazy about animals as I’m sure most are so this is a fun film for them to watch.
Cars 2 – My son is a HUGE fan and has been since age 2. This is a fun-filled, action packed classic for boys of all ages! Be on hand for a few of the more intense scenes just in case they prove to be too scary!
Age 4 – 5
Cinderella – From age 2 most little girls adore all things “Princess” so any of the Disney Princess movies would be perfect for them but be warned that some of the villians are quite scary for small people. We usually fast forward the scary bits and once my kids were able to work the remote they started to do it themselves if things got too intense. Cinderella is definitely our favourite Disney princess and we have watched this over and over – it is a real classic! (Tangled is another of our family’s favourites and appeals to the whole family with it’s variety of fun characters!)
101 Dalmations – Who doesn’t love this story – Cruella deVille certainly is one of the most memorable Disney baddies. I suggest this is for over 4’s as some parts are quite frightening (as is the case with a few of the Disney movies but we still really enjoy this classic.
Santa Paws 3 – As my son is getting older we have found ourselves discovering more “real life” movies that feature people or even better – talking animals!! Leading up to Christmas this is a super DVD to enjoy together and my kids have LOVED it. Let me know if you know of any other sweet Christmas themed DVD’s!
Age 6 – 7
The Muppets – A classic that takes me right back to my own childhood – these puppets have becoming quite popular in our home these days too!
Beverley Hills Chihuahua 3 – Viva la Fiesta! – As I mentioned my kids are LOVING talking animal movies – I was never a fan until I saw how much they are obsessed with them! They adore this one with it’s cute little dressed up Chihuahua’s talking, dancing and even playing the piano! My daughter who is two is also a huge fan of “the doggie movie” and it’s been on repeat for a few weeks now!
Treasure Buddies (and all others in the “Buddies” series – Again talking dogs – what’s not to love when you’re a kid! These cute little lab pups head off to Egypt to discover the land of the pyramids!
Age 7 plus
Brave – I loved this beautiful story of a brave young Scottish maiden. Set in the most beautiful Scottish countryside – I was mesmerized by the animation and really loved the message behind this movie – however I probably wouldn’t recommend it for under 7’s and will be thinking twice before I let me 6 year old watch it. Although maybe it will be better at home with the fast forward button at hand and a more familiar environment. An overwhelmingly huge cinema with no lights and super loud sound is quite something for any little person to handle!
Phineas and Ferb – The Perry Files – This series that has taken the globe by storm. The inventing brothers have lots of fun conquering boredom with their pet-cum-secret-agent Perry the Platypus. It proves to be lots of fun for boys!
Something to look forward to is that Peter Pan, the 1953 animation classic, is being released from the Disney Vault for the first time in stunning high definition Blu-rayTM in February 2013. A perfect addition to any collection! Nemo and Dory will be swimming onto the small screen in Finding Nemo which will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in March 2013. Look out for it at cinemas
Alternatively you could plan a family outing or a “mommy date” to the cinema – a real treat for littlies but I wouldn’t suggest it for under 3’s! Some highlights suitable for the kids coming up in 2013 include:
· Finding Nemo – 30 November 2012
· Wreck-It Ralph – 25 Jan
· Chimpanzee (Disneynature) – 22 March
· Monster’s University – 21 June (Follow up to Monsters Inc)
· Planes – 16 August (Follow up to Cars!)
· The Little Mermaid 3D – 11 October
And not to forget the parents who also need to spend some “down time” relaxing after a long day of child-minding…. Some of TV’s most successful series will also find their way onto shelves in the New Year. The fifth season of the Grey’s Anatomy Spin-off, Private Practice, the thrilling second season of the popular Body of Proof, as well as the first season of the hit series Revenge, all arrive in stores in February. TV addicts rejoice!
I can’t wait to get stuck into all of these as I have been falling behind due to the lack of DSTV!! We LOVED Body of Proof’s first season and can’t wait to see what happens next! What other series can you recommend?