Load up the car, it’s travelling time!

Who doesn’t love travelling with kids? It’s so exciting throwing them in the back of the car and strapping them in for 8 hours of rolling hills, thousands of cows, millions of power poles and a very long game of eye-spy. Sorry myhappy kids in car, family travel enthusiasm sort of waned at the end there didn’t it. These are the common first thoughts when you discuss travelling with the kids, but if you’ve done it more than once then you’ve probably got a decent idea what to expect.

I’ve got a friend who’s eldest child loves to travel; car, train, plane, anything, he loves it all and always has. Yet his younger twins were the total opposite. Even a short trip from Sydney to Canberra were torture. They constantly wriggled and annoyed each other and it was draining on everyone in the car. The family flew to Fiji and the twins tagged-team as to which one hated it more. My friend and her husband vowed to never take those two younger ones on a plane ever again. Then the weirdest thing happened, the twins turned four and were suddenly awesome travellers. In the space of a couple of months the family drove from Sydney to Brisbane and back twice without a single altercation from the back seat.

What had changed in that time? Mum & Dad learnt how to prepare for travelling with a hoard!

Here are my friends’ top tips for travelling with kids for longer than 2 hours,

  • Individual lunchboxes filled with what each kid likes (tedious to prepare but worth it)
  • At least one activity book per child with a small selection of crayons
  • A comforting toy from home to ease potential anxiety
  • 1-2 small interactive toys per child. Like a barbie/figurine (minus annoying shoes) or 2 matchbox cars or a rubix cube
  • For longer trips and ipad/tablet or headrest dvd players

&

  • One good sixe backpack for all their “stuff” to fit in. Therefore, they are responsible for keeping it all together and somewhat organised back there.

You know your kids better than anyone so it is important to listen to your own intuition when sorting out the travel arrangements. There’s no need to take a whole toy box along because kids are going to want to explore their new surroundings. You’ll also want to engage on the journey like our parents did with us. You can play good ‘ol eye-spy, or the game where you make a sentence out of the number plate of the car in front of you. Long road trips can be a marvellous opportunity to explore the creativity of your little ones.

Now pack up the car and go explore. But first, share with us your top tips for traveling with kids.

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Jimmy Giggle Interview with What’s On 4 Australia

We sat down with James David Rees aka Jimmy Giggle to talk about his upcoming tour and ask the tough, hard-hitting questions that every child (and mother) wants to know the answer to (such as determing his marriage status!).

WO4 asks: What areas are you visiting with your tour in 2014?

Jimmy Giggle: Our summer tour is heading to Melbourne, Brisbane, Newcastle, Sydney and Canberra. We are in each city for a few days so I hope to see a bit more of the areas in the down time because often I am in and out of a city in a flash.

WO4 asks: Will there be any others joining you on tour?

Jimmy Giggle: Yep, we are touring with the loveable Bananas in Pyjamas and the crazy acrobatic Hoopla Doopla team. The show will be a Giggle-icious, fun filled Hootastically amazing song filled BONANZA! Haha!

WO4 asks: What were your favourite characters or shows growing up?

Jimmy Giggle: I absolutely loved Sesame Street and had the pleasure of working with Elmo, Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby in the past few years. I was also obsessed with a show called Art Attack, I had the videos, books, magazines EVERYTHING! My folks put me in front of ABC for Kids when I was a kid and it’s wonderful to be on the other side now entertaining kids of today. It’s also a testament to the ABC for keeping children’s TV a focus over the years.

WO4 asks: We know that your a HUGE Bombers fan, who does Hoot follow?

Jimmy Giggle: Oh man! Bombers fans have had to endure a lot over the past few years, a shame we didn’t make it further into the finals. Hoot follows all the teams that have birds as a mascot, so he is winning all the time.

WO4 asks: You travel a lot with your job, where is your favourite place that you have been?

Jimmy Giggle: I am lucky to be able to travel around a great country, that said I’m often not in a city for long but I have had many highlights over the past 5 years. I’ve been to all the major cities but I have to say being stranded in Townsville due to a grounding of the Qantas fleet was an unexpected extended stay. I was able to see a bit more of the town, we had a laugh thats for sure.

Questions from our young fans;
Ella 4 asks: What does your real voice sound like?

Jimmy Giggle: Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat? My voice is the same, maybe just a little lower, the same amount of giggling though.

Jake 5 asks: What’s it like living with 2 owls, do they keep you awake at night?

Jimmy Giggle: As you see on the TV Jake, Owls are heaps of fun. They do fall asleep a lot but it makes it all the more fun to think of new ways to wake them up. hehe! Hoot has the important job of going on the ’Night Watch’ so I get a great nights sleep every night.

Miss 5 asks: How did Jimmy Giggle get his name?

Jimmy Giggle: My first name is Jimmy and after years and years of giggling all the time, Hoot decided to call me Jimmy Giggle.

Master 4 asks: How does the magic piano work?

Jimmy Giggle: With Magic! Im not really sure how the magic actually works but theres never a dull moment. Its unpredictable, its crazy and its MAGIC!

Connor 4 asks: How old is Hoot & Hootabelle

Jimmy Giggle: I’m not really sure it’s hard to tell how old Owls, maybe 4, they could be 100!

One very important question from one of our mum’s

Karen asks – Is there a Mrs Giggle?

There is a Mrs Giggle, we have been married just about a year now! She is an enormous support to me even so far as wearing a pair of Giggle and Hoot pyjamas to bed.

Giggle and Hoot and Friends Live On Stage

This December Giggle and Hoot and Friends are touring Eastern Australia and we are giving you exclusive access to pre-sale this Wednesday. Simply sign up here : http://bit.ly/1CHda8l

Tickets open to the general public on Friday the 12th of September. For full tour details click here : http://bit.ly/GiggleHootFriends

Disney On Ice: Princess & Heroes

Disney On Ice is back again for 2013 and I recently attended the show with my two very excited little ones, Julius 4 and Charlotte 3 and my mum who quite honestly was equally as excited!

Growing up in the eighties, I have early and fond memories of Disney with my first cinema experience being the beautiful Bambi and my first theatre performance being Beauty & the Beast. Watching Julius and Charlotte transfixed by the dancers on the stage, waving with both hands to Mickey and Minney Mouse and calling out the princesses names was so much fun for me as a parent and something I will never forget.

Charlotte was keen to be dressed her favourite princess (Cinderella), which I’m glad she did as most girls were and she would have been very disappointed otherwise . Minnie Mouse says early on how beautiful everyone looks (which my daughter was thrilled about) but also comments that you don’t need to be dressed up to ‘feel like a princess’ which was lovely.

Ready and waiting!
Ready and waiting!

The ability of the skaters is amazing. There is something magical about seeing lifts, spins and jumps live on the ice. I also went to Disney On Ice last year and if possible this performance is even better!  The skating is flawless and each story is told one at a time so it like reading a chapter book.

Favourites for me were Be Our Guest performance from Beauty and the Beast and the seven dwarfs’ Heigh Ho fun and the songs from The Little Mermaid were a highlight!

Here are few question I got asked about the performance…

Qu:  Which princesses make an appearances?
The princesses appearing in the show include Sleeping Beauty, Ariel, Snow White, Belle, Jasmine, Tinkerbelle, Tiana & Cinderella.

Qu:  I see the performance is about princesses, would boys enjoy it?
Well all the princes are there as well and there is plently of drama with the dragon scene, but regardless of all that I think boys would be just as impressed with the music and skating.

Qu:  How long does it go for?
The nearly 2 hour show is split into two halves with a brief intermission between which is great to get the wriggles out of toddlers and for a toilet break.

Qu:  Are there scary parts for young children?
There is only one scene with a Dragon during Sleeping Beauty that may scare younger and sensitive children. I chose to take my daughter out during the scene as she had already the picture in the program and was quite scared.  My son on the other hand love it and still talks about it a week later!

Qu: Is it really loud?
Not so loud that children would find it over bearing.  Babies and children with sensitive hearing may find it loud though.

Qu:  How much are programs?
At the Brisbane performance were $22 and you also get a pink pretend rose.

Qu: Is it cold?
It’s not as cold as you would think with all that ice but dress in layers just in case.

This was such a fun family day out. I’m so grateful we were able to take part in promoting this show. Feld Entertainment definitely doesn’t disappoint! I highly recommend getting tickets and spending an enjoyable visit as a family to Disney on Ice when it visits a city near you!
 
Disney On Ice Logo
 
HISENSE ARENA, MELBOURNE 4-8 JULY
ALLPHONES ARENA, SYDNEY 10-14 JULY
PERTH ARENA 19-21 JULY
 
Tickets can be bought here
 
Elise Easdown