We love music in our house, and make good use of our Amazon Prime music subscription, but I do try to keep the music we listen to appropriate to the children, since I think music has a much bigger impact on our subconscious mind than we might always realise. When we were invited to review music from the top-rated animated CBeebies preschool TV series Kazoops we were happy to oblige. New music is always welcomed.
What we like about Kazoops is that it is actually music. It isn’t plinky plonky piano music as so many kids songs seem to be, and the tunes are both simple and catchy. They are also great songs for getting children dancing and acting out, which I find a great way of curbing the indoor frustrations on cold and rainy days.
The music covers a range of genres and styles, the lyrics have substance and relate to each preconception and Monty’s creative and critical thinking processes. That said, we don’t have TV so we don’t watch the show on CBeebies, but even so, the children like the music. You don’t have to watch the show to ‘get’ the songs, or know the characters to appreciate it. (For those that don’t, Kazoops is all about Monty, a six-year-old boy who challenges life’s questions both big and small with the help of his limitless imagination and his best friend, Jimmy Jones, the family pet pig. In each episode, the duo enters make-believe worlds to challenge everyday preconceptions such as ‘do things have to be the same all the time?’ or ‘do all games really need rules?’)Read more: Kazoops Music For Kids & Their Grownups
I can’t claim to have grown up with much awareness of religious diversity, and I can’t claim to be one way better or worse off for it, but I do know that my children are growing up in a much different way and in a very different place to the close, conservative, and supportive community that I did, so I think it’s important for them to learn two things: 1) Tolerance for other religions, 2) an understanding of other religions in relation to what I believe, and what I hope they will believe. Religious observances are also different now, and sometimes more commercial – for example the Colour Run, based on the Holli celebration, or locally, we have Electric Woods, where Robin Hill lights up the autumn nights inspired by Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. While we could just go and enjoy the prettiness, I think there’s value in explaining what it is that we’re exposing ourselves to, so that the children can learn something about ‘other people’. As it was, the Electric Woods event saw us walking through the woods at Robin Hill enjoying the cold evening air, listening to music and looking at light displays. It was a lovely evening out, fuelled by hot chocolate. Read more: Learning About the Hindu Festival Of Diwali
Summer’s coming, or has now come, depending on where you are, and one of the best ways to escape the heat is by going to the movies! I normally end up having to take something warm to wear at the cinema, so it’s the perfect escape.
But you can’t go to the movies every day, right? So here are some fun new videos from DCKids & Warner Bros‘ new Youtube channels – included are favorites such as Batman Unlimited, DC Super Friends and Scooby-Doo! There will be many more updates over the next year, so subscribe to their channel and be first to know when the new stuff comes out.
Make a floor bed, bring out the popcorn, and settle in for a quiet day at home.
Have a look at this for a preview!
If you’d like to a win a box of goodies to go with your movie night, you can enter a giveaway hosted by your comic heroes here. The baskets are worth a minimum of £40 (UK Pounds), and winners will be picked by the staff of Warner Bros and DCKids.
Preparing for a homebirth is one thing, but preparing your older child for a homebirth has been a whole different adventure. I think how much you’re able to prepare them depends massively on the child’s age, and while I have no evidence of this, I suspect the younger they are, the more ‘easily’ they’ll just ‘go with it’.
We’ve been reading books and practicing mooing and making groany noises together so that Ameli knows what mama might do when the baby comes. With her birth there was no crying or screaming, it was actually very calm and gentle. I’m hoping for the same again this time.
As with any birth, our preparation will only take us so far, then it’s up to nature and a little bit of luck to take you the rest of the way. It’s no different with preparing a child for a birth, whether it’s a home birth or hospital birth. Having never been through it before, we have no idea how Ameli will react, whether she’ll be in any way interested, or will in fact even be awake!
But on the hope that she’ll be there and understand what’s going on, we’ve been watching birth videos together, for preparation.
Below are the best we’ve found. I’ve specifically chosen videos that aren’t overly graphic, and are relatively short – while the lead up and pregnancy pictures and all that make for a beautiful dedication, they don’t really captivate a two year old! I’ve also gone for gentle and calm births. There were some amazing ones with lots of screaming. She found them disconcerting, and I didn’t feel they were contributing to the positive preparation we were hoping for.
This is an unassisted birth at home in the bath. Mama doesn’t make a sound the whole way through!
Another in the bath at home. Another really quiet mama! Birth happens about a minute in.
Here the mother labours in a birthpool and it is probably closer to our setup. Mama rocks up and down in the pool while holding her belly through the contractions and there’s some heavy breathing. This is useful for explaining the way you’ll be breathing (i.e. golden thread breathing) and to ‘practice’ it together with your child/ren. (For the record, I don’t think her breathing would be ideal for me – it’s too panty, but it obviously worked for her.)
While we’re not planning a land birth, there’s no harm in preparing Ameli for it too. Also, they’re a bit for explanatory of where the baby comes from, since they show a little more. These are still not very graphic.
Here mama labours on all fours and has gives birth around the 2 minute mark
Quite explicit and straight on, but I still thought this one was tastefully done in a way that was child friendly to watch too.
Older siblings at birth:
Here’s a mix of different births, but with older siblings present. I found these really useful for comparisons. “See how the boy stands next to the pool and doesn’t try to climb in? Ameli mustn’t climb in either when mama’s having the baby.” And so on.
This clip has the nine year old sister aiding in the delivery of the baby, along with the midwife. It’s good though as it shows the baby coming out without actually showing any gory bits.
There’s about a minute of pregnancy pictures here, then a few seconds of labour pictures – birth ball use and so on. This video is good as it involves a bit of groaning and ‘noise’ but nothing ‘violent’ or frightening. The boy gives his mama cuddles and kisses and generally ‘hangs around’. It’s a beautiful and gentle birth and Ameli copies the lady’s ‘ooh,ooh’s’.
A longer video that has the older brother in the tub with mama for much of the labour. This was a good clip for me to watch too, as I’ve been concerned about being able to focus in with Ameli around, but if this mama can do it, then it obviously can be done! Birth happens around 7 minutes with a realistic amount of panting and groaning and moaning.
And of course, no birth viewing session would be complete without the picture slideshow of Ameli’s own birth. This one has the lead up of labour, including the birth ball, gas and air for a while, and labouring in water. Birth occurs around 2:20.