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Gift Guide: Wooden toys made in South Africa

When it comes to supporting local, one of the easiest ways we, as parents, can do so, is by buying wooden toys made in South Africa! There's just something extra special about a toy lovingly crafted from nature... It's a win for your child, and a win for your home -...

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What to know before taking your kids to the movies

by | Aug 14, 2019 | Family Outings, Places we go | 70 comments

Thinking about taking your kids to the movies? What age is the “right” age? Are going to the movies with little ones even a good idea at all?

There’s no “right or wrong” answer… You know your child and parenting style best and should make a decision based on both.

We are a movie loving family and I couldn’t wait to take the girls to their first cinema experience. We enjoy being entertained by wholesome storylines, cute characters and see movies as another opportunity to expose the girls to various real life situations (in a safe environment).

Before taking your kids to the movies consider the following:

  • The age of your child. Movies are dark, noisy and an overload of stimuli. At around age 4 most kids are ready to sit still, wait patiently, interpret and understand what they are seeing.
  • The content and storyline. At age 2/3 what a child sees, is what they believe. Being exposed to the wrong content can lead to nightmares. It’s very important to consider whether a film is age-appropriate. Look for movies that are slower-paced, shorter, look past the special effects and evaluate the underlying themes.
  • Ask your local cinema to check their sound levels. Noises above 85 decibels are very harmful to infants and children’s ears. Being exposed to noises over 100 decibels for 15 minutes or more can cause permanent loss of hearing in kids.
  • Do a test run at home. Start with family movie nights. Pick a classic and see if your little one enjoys sitting still, watching with you.
  • Skip the trailers. Trailers might be fun for us BUT adding an additional 20 minutes of viewing time could simply be too much especially when most trailers are high stimuli snippets of excitement.
  • The time of day matters. Weekday mornings are best. Crowds are usually smaller and there’s an entire day to process and discuss what happened.
  • Book a seat near the isle. You’re sure to need the loo more than once during a full length feature. Sitting there also ensures an easy escape, if needed.

Going To The Movies With Kids

While at the movies:

  • Eat at home and make sure your little one isn’t hungry.
  • Always pack extra water to wash down the salty popcorn and other sugary treats.
  • Eliminate tantrums and unnecessary meltdowns at the snack counter by deciding what to order beforehand.
  • No need for a sugar overload. Have extra, healthier options available in your diaper bag.
  • Do another restroom check right before entering the cinema.
  • Be flexible, go with your child’s cues and never force them to watch till the end.
  • Talk through scary moments, answers questions and explain unsetting of confusing moments or themes.
  • If things become overwhelming or tiresome, take a moment to step outside for a breather.
  • If you have more than one child, invite a friend (a 2nd adult). You’ll need an extra person to stay with your little one in case the other needs the restroom or a break outside.
And now you’re ready, just find something to go see!

One of our favourite family movies of 2019 has been Toy Story 4

Duration: 100 minutes
Age Restriction: PG

Plot: TOY STORY 4 begins with a flashback to nine years earlier. Woody and the gang is still Andy’s toys. Molly (Andy’s little sister), is giving away her porcelain Bo Peep and sheep. Woody tries to save Bo, but she’s actually fine with being passed along, and so the two say goodbye. Fast-forward to the toys’ current home with Bonnie.

Woody has been replaced by Jessie as Bonnie’s favourite toy. Woody however still sees it as his job to be the best toy to her. So, on Bonne’s 1st day of school, he hides in her backpack to comfort her through school orientation. Day 1 is challenging but Bonnie makes herself a new, special friend Forky.  A spork with googly eyes, pipe cleaner arms, and popsicle stick feet.

Forky unexpectedly comes to life, but keeps trying to throw himself away believing he’s garbage. Woody takes on the responsibility of keeping Forky safe but while on a family road trip, Forky flees. Woody follows to get Forky back, to Bonnie. On their way home Woody stumbles upon Bo’s lamp in a display window of an antique store. Forky ends up being held hostage by a 1950’s doll called Gabby Gabby. Gabby Gabby has never had a home due to her defective voice box. Now she wants Woody’s voice box for a chance at happiness and so the true adventure unfolds…

Themes of the movie: Friendship, loyalty, imagination, and the power of play.

What the girls thought: Eliana loved getting to know Bo and her strong female character. Lia was captivated by Forky and the idea of making her own toys. Other new friends like Duke CaBoom as well as Ducky and Bunny provide Both girls could easily follow what was going on enjoying the beautiful animation and exciting storyline. 100 minutes also proved perfect with no one getting bored or tired.

What we thought: I’ll never forget the magic of Toy Story 1. Seeing the world through the eyes of our most loved friends, our toys! It opened up a brand new world of fantasy and adventure and over the years, as the Toy Story franchise has grown, creating increasingly realistic worlds, adding more loveable characters and giving us more insight into our favourites (Woody, Buzz, Bo…), so has our admiration.

This is most probably the last of the movies and although the ending is a little sad, this movie definitely lives up to everything we’ve come to expect from the series. Action packed, funny with lots of positive messages, high-stakes missions and close calls.

New friends Duke CaBoom,  Ducky and Bunny provide loads of laughs and although I didn’t particularly like Gabby Gabby and her team of creepy ventriloquist dummies. Gabby does redeem herself in the end.

Would we recommend the movie? Yes. If you’re a fan of the 1st 3 movies, the 4th is sure to be a hit too. Parents will enjoy it just as much as the kids. It’s fun with just enough peril and despair to keep everyone interested without overwhelming little viewers (4+) although one or two themes and characters might need to be discussed afterwards.

Toy-Story-4-movie-review

GIVEAWAY CLOSED CONGRATULATIONS Thea Lennox!
Win a Toy Story 4 hamper consisting of:
  • 1 x Buzz Rapid Blaster Role Play toy PLUS
  • A Bo Peep Interactive toy
Total value: R1500.
How to enter:
  1. Leave us a comment below telling us who your favourite character is from Toy Story.
  2. Make sure you follow Disney Africa on Facebook (@DisneyinAfrica) and / or Instagram (@DisneyAfrica)
  3. Follow us on either (or both) if you like, @justamammablog or @justamamma (Not compulsory)
  4. For extra entries be sure to enter on this Facebook post as well.

The giveaway ends on Sunday, the 18th of August 2019.

What-to-know-before-taking-your-kids-to-the-movies

COMPETITION RULES: 

  1. Only entries via Facebook and comments left below will be considered.
  2. Facebook is in no way responsible or associated with this giveaway.
  3. You need to follow Disney Africa on Instagram and / or Facebook to qualify.
  4. Competition only open to South African residents residing in South Africa.
  5. Winner must be 18+ years old.
  6. Competition closes on the 18th of August 2019.
  7.  The winner is picked at random and announced on the 19th of August 2019. 
  8. This prize is not exchangeable or refundable.
  9. Please enter valid email and contact info. If we can not get hold of you within 48 hours a new winner will be picked.
  10. The greatest care will be taken when mailing your prize but Just a Mamma and Disney Africa do not accept any responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged goods.

70 Comments

  1. Carolyn Augustus

    Buzz Lightyear has always been my fave

    Reply
    • Janel Sunderlall

      Woody is our favorite

      Reply
  2. Geraldine Lokchander

    Has to be Woody

    Reply
    • Adele

      My son has just turned 4 so was wondering when the ideal age for a movie would be… think going to take him and see how he does.
      Our fav is Buzz

      Reply
  3. Lutfiyyah

    Woody? but forky looks interesting in Toy story 4

    Reply
    • Reshika Rachpall

      Buzz, but my kids just loved Forky in Toy Story 4, he was just to cute throwing himself into the dustbin. ❤

      Reply
  4. Laila Williams

    I love Buzz Light year ❣

    Reply
  5. Thea lennox

    Lpve woody

    Reply
    • Nirvana

      Love Woody – our all time favorite ?

      Reply
    • Shakira khan

      I love Woody … still have the toy from the first movie … which belonged to my nephew and got passed down to my 3 boys…

      Reply
  6. Marilize Nelson

    We LOVED Toy Story 4!! Strong, independent Bo-Peep and quirky Forky were our favourites!

    Reply
    • Erica

      Buzz Lightyear is our favorite

      Reply
    • Kim

      Buzz Lightyear has always been my fave

      Reply
  7. Lynn botha

    Forky is the new favourite

    Reply
  8. Michelle Graham

    Buzz lightyear! Brilliant read!

    Reply
  9. Ruweida Muhammad

    Buzz Light Year is my favorite ?

    Reply
  10. Anusha Naidoo

    Woody ❤

    Reply
    • Kelly Hall

      Woody is our favourite character!

      Reply
  11. Martie Schoeman

    All of us love Woody. Our Grandkids love, love to go to the Movies with us. AGE 10 and 6. We took them as soon as they turned 4. We love to see how much they enjoy it. ??

    Reply
  12. Leandra Du Toit

    Buzz lightyear

    Reply
  13. Diosa NTSHINGILA

    Lovely giveaway ❤We love Woody

    Reply
  14. Janet Watson Perry

    Woody is toooooo cute!!

    Reply
  15. Chris-Marie

    Buzz all the way!! You’ve got a friend in me!!

    Reply
  16. Abeda Albertyn

    Oh my this is an awesome giveaway.
    My all time Favorite is Buzz Lightyear ❤❤
    He puts some buzz in my life?

    Reply
  17. Anushka Maharajh Moonilal

    We love woody

    Reply
  18. Aneesa

    My fav character is Woody ?

    Reply
  19. Trudy Shiburi

    We love Woody ???

    ⭕I’ll be honoured to win this phenomenal giveaway ❤❤❤

    Reply
  20. Cherelle France

    Mr Potato head is our favourite 🙁

    Reply
  21. Carmen

    Definitely Buzz Lightyear!!

    Reply
  22. Yolandi Lubbe

    Woody is my favourite.. He’s funny and witty.

    Reply
  23. Fatima Koor

    Definitely Woody ♥️♥️

    Reply
  24. Kirsty Robinson

    Woody is our favorite

    Reply
  25. Priya Jackson

    I love Gaby Gaby cos she is kinda scary at first and then we realise how sweet and nice she is.

    Reply
  26. Firzana Martin

    Woody

    Reply
  27. Tharishia Ebrahim

    My little boy would love this ?? His favourite character is Buzz Lightyear.

    Reply
  28. Roanne Lalsab

    This would be so awesome! Woody is my favourite ?

    Reply
  29. Megan Little

    My fav character is woody. Always has been?

    Reply
  30. Ramanya

    Mr potato head is my favourite because he is always so positive about falling to pieces. It shows us a deeper meaning of falling apart only means we can get back together and carry on…

    Reply
  31. Saamiya Ahmed

    Buzz Lightyear is my favorite ?

    Reply
  32. Lisa

    Woody ?

    Reply
  33. Bhavana Singh

    Woody is our favourite

    Reply
  34. Carri

    Woody & we love Rex too!!! ?!

    Reply
  35. Hasina Hajat

    We love Woody ?.

    Took the kids to see Toy Story 4 during the holidays and we loved it!

    Reply
  36. Anusha Govender

    We all love Woody ???

    Reply
  37. Moipone Islam

    Love Buzz lightyear

    Reply
  38. Lizaan

    Buzz Lightyear

    Reply
  39. Layla Saban

    We love Woody

    Reply
  40. Belinda

    Woody

    Reply
    • Sharleen

      Buzz is best

      Reply
  41. Claudia Mc Namee

    This is quite a difficult one Jessie Cowgirl is MY daughters favourite Buzz is MY sons favourite Woody is hubby favourite and for me Rex the Dino ? have all three movies and have watched them over and over ❤

    Reply
  42. Claire

    We love Woody!

    Reply
  43. Janice Williams

    Hi i love Woody

    Reply
  44. Simone Cameron

    I think it’ll always be Buzz!

    My husband took my boys to see this when it came out. My youngest is 3 (turning 4 next week) and it was his first movie and it went really well. Didn’t think about an aisle seat, because he did give dad beans with the toilet runs…just as a joke eventually. lol. So I love these tips!

    Reply
  45. Michaela Thomas

    We have watched the first 3 movies so many times now. My 3 year old absolutely loves it! Keeps repeating lines from the movie. We love Woody and Jesse! ❤️

    Reply
  46. Marisca Wakefield

    Woody is our favourite character!!!

    Reply
  47. Lethabo

    We love woody

    Reply
  48. Emma campbell

    I’m team woody but my son is team Buzz.

    Reply
  49. emlyn thomas

    Buzz Lightyear

    Reply
  50. JP Botha

    Huge Buzz fans

    Reply
  51. STELLA ATKINSON

    WOODY

    Reply
  52. Zayne Khan

    From Toy Story 1 I’ve been Woody and my cuz, Buzz.. Infinity and beyond!
    I follow!

    Reply
  53. Yumna

    Buzz lightyear

    Reply
  54. Anwar Goolam-Mahomed

    Mr. Potato Head

    Reply

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