Memory Book – Siblings and friends

 

A little bit of history repeating. Me and my brother, L and G.

Dear L and G

I had this little pram when I was two and a half, maybe three, when we lived in the house in Neston, on the Wirral, overlooking fields of donkeys and mice, both of whom sometimes crept into our garden. The pram was navy with a 1970s pattern of green flowers.  I pushed my baby round the living room in it, swerved past the grey gas fire, looped the loop round the living room.

My mum, your Gran, looked on anxiously, hovered near me, tried to help me steer. She was torn, she smiled at me playing mummy whilst she pleaded with me to slow down, using that side of the mouth voice she used when we had visitors. But I wasn’t going to be slowed. I was giddy with excitement, perhaps the adrenalin of playing mummy danced through my little veins, but more likely I think, the excitement was down to me being a fearless exhibitionist. It was the roar of the crowd.  I had an audience.

The audience, my Grandma W, Grandad L and Gran E, were there to see me, but they were giving far too much attention to my new baby brother. It didn’t take my two-year-old self long to work out if I picked him up and put him in my pram, then I could steal back that limelight. And so I came to be swerving round the living room with the precious little bundle of my brother.

I don’t remember how the story ends, to be honest I don’t even know if it is memory or fantasy. Like you L, I liked to explore the boundaries between truth and reality. But I like to think of it as my first ‘memory’ of my baby brother, who is 2 years and 4 months younger than me, just as G is 2 years and 2 months younger than you L.

I am told repeatedly I used to wrap my arms across his body, under his chubby chin. I would haul him round the room, as I gleefully called out ‘I love my little brother.’  Love and rivalry all mixed up in a too tight squeeze.

As he grew he got more fun.  We both loved the Fisher Price Camper Van and garage and Duplo. He still wouldn’t let me baby him, except for once, one dark cold morning when we had to drop our Dad off at work at Pork Farms in Trentham, so our Mum could have the car for the day. A moth had crept into our beige Renault 5 (see picture above), in the window beside my brother’s black plastic car seat, he was terrified and let me cuddle him all the way home. This is a real memory, I remember screwing my eyes up tight and putting it there, probably because I knew he’d never sit still for a cuddle again.

Then there was bunk beds, Lego, cooking together, inventing new recipes, silly challenges, toilet humour, falling over with laughter over biscuits called Bums in Denmark. We became a united force against our parents, holidays stick in my mind. Our in car entertainment caused them to take major wrong turnings on motorways across Europe.

When we went to school, I finally got to mother and protect him. More so at secondary school, and mainly on the E78 bus, where he picked fights from time to time and launched the dish from his Hom Ec class out the window of the top deck, onto the cars below.

There were discos, parties, festivals.  Stories best left for another day. Visits to each others’s universities, proper jobs. Uncle A lived with me and Daddy in London. More cooking.

Then you two arrived, a little bit of sibling history repeating itself.

Then a nephew for me, a cousin for you.

And that in a very small nutshell is me and my brother.  Brothers are brilliant.

Happy Birthday Uncle A!

 I’m sure Uncle A will tell his own version of the story, in fact he’s already started look:

@AResidence  

The last Thursday of the month is the Memory Book linky. September’s theme is Siblings or childhood friends. You could post a single photo, write about your memories, interview a relative, get a relative to guest post, write it as a letter to your child, include a bit of a diary entry, write a list, make some bullet points, whatever you like. When we’ve collected a few, if you want to join me, we can self publish them into a Memory Book.

Next month the theme is Food.

How to be a Superhero

You may have been following the Avenger’s themed fun I have been having over the last few weeks, with Kodak’s Avenger’s Assemble free printables.  We’ve been making masks, flagging up amazing prizes with Kodak and Britmums and making a super hero city in a box.  It all had to end at some point. But hey, let’s go out with a bang right? Let’s do it. Let’s be superheros.  You could win £500, or a fab Kodak printer.

Superhero Walkie Talkies

Playing Superheros is a great way to encourage young children to be helpful and to encourage active play. The free and easy to use Kodak Avengers Assemble printables: masks, superhero name badges will make the experience all the more authentic. But what better to encourage teamwork and communication skills than a superhero walkie talkie? You can assign powerful lasers to the buttons, call up the Hulk for back up and report in for duty.

To start with you will need a small box, a pipe cleaner, coloured card or paper and some shiny wrapping paper or tinfoil. I printed off two sheets of Avengers Assembled free printables, from the Kodak website, the name labels and some fold figures for decoration.

Assembling everything you need to make an Avenger’s Assembled Walkie Talkie

Then Miss L got to work covering the box with shiny paper and sticking a piece of foam to the front to build the controls on:

Then we decided what buttons to have, she wanted to be able to make calls, rescue the universe and find her way home:

I decided I want to call the Incredible Hulk for back up, and possibly Capatain America and the Iron Man, so my walkie talkie developed multiple screens. Miss L wanted everyone to know she was Cat Woman the Black Widow, so stuck a picture of her on the back:

I would be tempted to cover these in sticky back plastic to make them robust enough to cope with the superhuman play strength of superkids. Apart from that, job done, here’s one I made earlier!

Making a Superhero Entrance

Once you’ve got your mask, walkie talkie and found an old blanket/shirt/pilowcase to make a cape, you’re good to go.  Almost. Making an entrance as a superhero is an essential component on the job description, whether you disappear in human form and find a phone box to change in, fly in, explode in, crash in or mysteriously appear ninja like, from nowhere/the shadows/a cloud of dust.

Five superhero entrances kids will love rehearsing:

1. Flying in  – aka jumping off the sofa

2 Rolling in – stunt rolls a plenty

3 Sneaking in – aka stealth walking.

4 Exploding in – jumping out from behind a door/ sofa.

5 Ninja like -combine all four of the above into one grand entrance.

Trainee Superheros will also be keen to know they can protect their headquarters with Avengers Assemble printable doorhangers.

Avengers Assemble Printable door hangers from Kodak

Don’t forget to head over to the Britmums Kodak Avengers linky to find out how you can win £500 or 1 of 3 Kodak Hero 7.1 printers and ink, just by posting a photo of your child/family/self as an Avenger.

Follow #KodakAvengers for more super, heroic, crafty fun.

I am an ambassador for the BritMums #KodakAvengers project, sponsored by Kodak. I was paid for this post. I’m not eligible to win the competition, but you are 😉

Quib.ly the new community for Parents

The Alexander Residence getting down with technology at the Gadget Show earlier this year

Recently I was invited to write for a new online community called Quib.ly. Quib.ly is the first community at the crossroads of parenting and technology, a place for parents to inform themselves on complex issues and to join the debate.

Did you know you can get computer coding tutorials for kids? That you can have an iTunes pocket money account?  That internet addiction is genetic and more likely to occur in females? That teenage brains are more adaptable? That there’s an app that tells you how much time you waste in a day?

How far ahead of your kids do you feel when it comes to technology?  Even as a media teacher I had to accept learning about technology was a two way street. I taught my teenage students how to theorise and conceptualise gadgetry, they taught me how to use it. It’s going to be even harder to stay ahead of my kids, as our day at the gadget show proved.

The unique thing about Quib.bly is that each article starts with a question which is opened up by one of the writing team for the community to debate.  Writing for Quib.ly is a challenge it itself, the questions I have been given to research have sent me across the internet, busily gathering evidence for and against, to pack into a neat, punchy and witty verbal exploration of the debate.  Did I mention each article has to be under 350 words?

I love a challenge and I love learning something new every day.  I think you might too.  Like that two hours or more of using backlit devices, like smartphones or Kindles suppresses melatonin. Melatonin being a hormone that regulates other hormones and maintains the body’s circadian rhythm, allowing you to sleep. Why not register with Quib.ly now ahead of the launch, and follow Quib.ly on Twitter, and get a little bit ahead.

Why Pretend Play is great for your child’s creative development

I’ve spent far more time on pretend play than any other type of play with my children, as a drama teacher and a writer it’s where I am most at home, as are my children. So when Wooden Toy Shop offered to explain why pretend play so important to creative development in a guest post, I was really interested to read more.

Also, we’ve had a huge toy clear out recently, I found overwhelmingly it was the wooden toddler toys we’d attached the most sentimental value to, and found the hardest to part with.  We decided to put them in the loft to pass on to my nephew. So it was good to see Wooden Toy Shop also have some great ideas for play things for older children.

Why Pretend Play is great for your child’s creative development – Guest Post

As children, we all loved playing with toys and for the majority of us who have children today; we all played with more traditional, wholesome toys that did not necessitate batteries in order to operate.

Wooden toys in particular have been played with for thousands of years, with some toys being discovered and dated from three thousand years ago. In fact, the word toy once meant a small, inexpensive artefact or object; not necessarily the play thing that it represents today.

Many children today also learn from computer games or television, and although this approach can in itself be great, television does not teach children about things like hand-eye coordination.

Role playing is very important for any child; not only do they get to experiment being in different situations and communicating to different people, but they are also having fun whilst they are doing so.Traditional toys, including dolls houses, musical toys and train sets let children learn and empathise with everyday situations as they expand their knowledge of the everyday world.

Interestingly, before children reach the age of five, usually they will not yet have learnt to discriminate toys by gender appeal.This means that before this age, a child’s toy can be coloured, oriented or designed in any such way; helping them to further broaden their knowledge of the real world.

But how do pre-school children learn through wooden toys?

Thanks to Le Toy Van pretend play from the Woodentoyshop, children are able to learn and experience a whole range of new experiences, simply from playing with every day toys. As wooden toys are often coloured very brightly, this gives children the excellent opportunity to learn and distinguish all the colours of the rainbow as they play with their building blocks, shapes or trains.

But of course, along with colours, there are also magnitudes of shaped toys which teach even the youngest of children about the shapes of the world, some of which are uniquely textured, optimising the senses as they play.

As children get older however, we often find that the things that used to amuse them no long have the same appeal; the reason that wooden toys come into all shapes and forms!
Intricate honeybake ovens, baking and ice cream sets can also be bought which advances their role playing creativity even further, because role playing at a young age has a distinct impression on a person’s creativity when they are an adult.

Creativity, for children as well as adults, is a form of self-expression that helps them cope with their feelings. Interestingly, the creativity of a child will distinctly help them progress in life and will help teachers understand how mature a child is, along with where they are academically.

The way to support creativity is to encourage children to play with a variety of toys and artistic hobbies that will help them progress their creative abilities in their own way and with their own intuition.

Guest Post provided courtesy of sponsor Wooden Toy Shop.

How to measure bra size: Panache vs 3 year old

The lingerie from Panache speaks for itself. All the sets are gorgeous. The images above are from the Superbra (D-KK) and Cleo (D-J cup) ranges. I love the bright colours of the Superbra range and the sweet-inspired patterns of the Clio range.

I was immediately drawn to the Clio range, (modelled by the blonder model with the headband above), maybe because the photoshoot was themed on sweets, or because the range is subtitled ‘treat your curves’

The Panache website has some great tips on how to measure bra size including a bra fit guide illustrated with images of good and bad fits. There’s a list of problems caused by the wrong bra that makes me want to throw all my old bras out now.

While I am talking about bras, I should tell you about the conversation with my 3 year old in the swimming pool changing room last week, and a less scientific approach to how to measure bra size.

‘Why do they live on you?’ he said, prodding my bust.

Long and lengthy explanation of how girls and boys bodies are different, punctuated by lots of ‘whys’.

‘Why do you wear that?’ he asked next, prodding my bra.

Long explanation of comfort and privacy factors, punctuated by lots of ‘but whys’.

‘But I can still see them, they’re poking out,’ he giggled, prodding my cleavage, ‘you need a bigger one’.

You can track down your nearest Panache stockist here.

Sponsored post.

Mr Benn for Bloggers

I was having a cup of tea with some blogging friends whose blogs have a different theme. It got me thinking, I quite liked that idea. Of having a different type of blog I mean. My blog lets me talk about pretty much anything that takes my fancy and I love that, but sometimes I feel a confined as a parent blogger, sometimes it feels like a pigeon-hole or a straight jacket.

Sometimes I’d like to step into a completely different blogging world, a bit like Mr Benn in the children’s television story, walk through a magic door at the back of the virtual blog fancy dress shop, greet the ‘blogkeeper’ and wander into a completely different blog. Maybe just for a day like Mr Benn, maybe for a bit longer.

I haven’t decided what that other blog might be yet. Theatre, arts, film and television would be obvious choices, I’ve already dabbled with film reviews, and theatre reviews for Lakeside Arts. Vegetarian food could be an option if writing up recipes didn’t drive me so stir crazy. Education if someone paid me to write about it, as Quib.ly sometimes do. But maybe those are still to obvious choices for me. Perhaps I need to step out of my comfort zone, exercise some new writing muscles.

I met a business blogger a while back, at an event we both attended, I was there mainly as a favour to a friend, rather than as a business person.  Reading his blog post afterwards made me think that sometimes, form is more important than content; I don’t read about business much, but I loved the way he wrote up the day, the words and the imagery he used to define and conceptualise business. I enjoyed stepping into another world.

So. what would your Mr Benn blog shop adventure entail?  Do you have designs on another type of blog?

As if by magic…the blogkeeper appeared!

1234 I declare heating wars

One morning last week I woke foggy headed, heavy and reluctant to leave my nest. I couldn’t work out why. I staggered out of bed and along the landing and immediately detected the heat from radiator which was busy toasting Miss L’s uniform and Mr G’s clothes for the day. Mr A, who had stayed up later than me, had sneaked the heating on.

The heating gatekeepers in my life have previously been men, my Dad telling me to put another jumper on, the head of the school I taught in, refusing to budge the dial until October was well and truly in. In our house however, I am the gatekeeper. The one who endlessly cries ‘put a jumper on’, ‘turn the dial down’, ‘turn the radiators down’.

So the guerilla tactics have begun, Mr A’s coup de main a signal that the ‘heating wars’ have begun. From henceforth there will be secretive dial twiddling, counter dial twiddling. There will be patrols to to safeguard the central heating remote from plundering, foiled by late night raids in which it is hacked and reset, followed by counter attacks in the early hours.

There will be tampering with radiators, interdiction to stop the supply of heat to target enemy locations, followed by ambushes.  There will be no surrender and no withdrawl.

1234 I declare heating wars.

Crafty and oh so quiet with Baker Ross

Baker Ross sent us some lovely craft kits to review over the summer.  I was really impressed, not just by the kits themselves and the great prices, but by the way the people at Baker Ross sussed out my kids.

The Baker Ross Gallery at Alexander Residence

Pirate masks for Mr G, bug themed badges for nature mad Miss L.  Plus they are both MAD about sand and sand art.

I’ll confess we rarely buy craft kits, instead my kids are used to me plonking a load of scraps and a pot of glue on the table and waiting for inspiration to strike.   Although Baker Ross also sell all the supplies you might need for that kind of free form craft too.

I was really interested to see how they found these kits. I think they both found them deeply satisfying, it was like the craft equivalent of a Maths lesson, with lots of matching shapes and planning patterns.

They loved matching up the sticky dots to the picture, peeling back the sticky panels and applying the sand to make sea creatures, colouring the badges with the gorgeously rich and grippable felt tips, lining up the foam sections of the pirate masks, scraping patterns into the scratch art door hangers and car bookmarks.

I also enjoyed this kind of craft more than I expected, especially over a busy summer when I had little time to myself.  It was really satisfying to have something I could hand over quickly when we needed some calm.  They liked the fact that they could work out what to do for themselves and direct themselves largely.

I would be tempted to invest in a few things for half term, and in preparation for Christmas. Especially when I saw what great value they were. There are some great themed sets which would make excellent presents for nieces and nephews or come in handy for those Winter mornings when it’s too cold for the park and Mr G’s friends pile round for a play date. They would also be great for parties or party bags, the set of 10 scratch art door hangers for example is only £3.40.

Build a Superhero play city in a box

I’m an Ambassador for the #kodakavengers Linky Challenge. The Linky celebrates the power of Super Heroes as well as the DVD and Blu-ray release of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, along with free printables for creating your own Super Hero adventure at home from Kodak. I’m highlighting the cool things you can do with the printables – join in and you could win £500 or one of 3 Kodak Hero 7.1 All-in-One printers plus Marvel’s Avengers Assemble on DVD!

Making an Avengers Superhero play city in a box

This week we decided to explore superhero play with the Avengers printable figures and posters from Kodak.

We assembled our Avengers superhero city in about half an hour, using the awesome free Avengers printables from the Kodak website and a cardboard box.  There was no pre planning, I know, you can sort of tell. To be honest I was going to enjoy making it on my own, when the kids were in bed, but they caught me at it and wanted to join in. Being 3 and 5, they are eager to get on with playing with whatever they make, and being impulsive types, we rarely craft to any kind of plan. So our Avengers city evolved before our eyes at a rate of knots.

Box worlds are my thrifty way of addressing my children’s need to worship at the altar of their cultural heroes.  We’ve moved on from our Nightgarden, Charlie and Lola and Dinoland box worlds. Time for something a little more grown up. Avengers Assembled is a 12A, my kids won’t be able to watch the DVD, but my research into superheroes convinced me they can be positive role models for play, even for children as young as mine. Superhero play is all about helping, rescuing and dancing on the boundary between good and evil.

I had vaguely envisioned ‘Avengers Assembled’ as a static scene, a kind of a comic book in 3D, but my 5 yo had her own superhero play ideas, she suggested we make holes in the side of the box and turn it into a puppet theatre, including holes behind the buildings so the characters could pop out. We had no lolly sticks to hand but it turns out that jumbo pipe cleaners are quite good fun.

Box worlds are an activity with loads of scope to engage children of all ages, older children could really develop and embrace the 3D futuristic city design and pay homage to the style of Marvel comics.

Here it is our superhero play in action, excuse my 3yo’s hiccups:

We used:

For the set

  • a grocery box (I like boxes with lids so you can shove the lid on and keep all the world’s bits together when it needs tidying away.)
  • Kodak Avengers poster printables as the back drop, printed on plain paper (Kodak cartridges are really good value so I’m pretty relaxed about colour printing).
  • A toothpaste box, a tissue box and a ready meal box covered in white paper.
  • Green and blue cellophane we found in our local scrapstore, but wrapping paper or any old paper would do, you can always colour it in or paint it.
  • glue stick, scissors, black felt pen.

For the characters

Pipe cleaners or lolly sticks/strips of strong cardboard, selloptape and Kodak Avengers Printable Fold Figures printed on photo paper or card. Fellow ambassador Maggy from Red Ted Art has a detailed post on making up the puppets with lolly sticks, we bring you a set, if you like, for her creations.

For more superhero play and craft ideas check out #kodakavengers on Twitter. Remember to enter the Avengers competition over at Britmums, you can win £500 or 1 of 3 Kodak Hero 7.1 printers and ink, just by posting a photo of your child/family/self as an Avenger. See my last post for inspiration. Check out what Imagination Tree did too.

Linking up with…

LittleBuilders

Blue Mountain Mystery

All good Summers must come to an end.  What marked the end of yours?

We were invited to review Drayton Manor and Thomasland in Tamworth, plus the New Thomas the Tank Engine DVD Blue Mountain Mystery last week, and for me, it was the perfect end to our Summer.

There was a little pre-trip cynicism from my Dad and Miss L, who both said they weren’t fans of Thomas, but that they were prepared to go for the sake of Mr G.  I was secretly hoping Mr G was still enough of a fan to make the day out pull together, but I needn’t have worried, look at the sheer joy on his face:

And dear reader, look closely at these pictures of My Dad and Miss L, do they look like they are just there for the sake of Mr G? I think not. It turns out that Thomasland is packed with fun rides perfect for all ages and that Drayton Manor has more to offer on top of that.

Thomasland is an area within the huge theme park Drayton Manor.  Thomasland does get busy, but we found this peaked between 11-2. We avoided queueing for more than a few minutes by doing a couple of rides early on, before taking in some of Drayton Manor’s many rides and attractions. When we returned to Thomasland around 2pm it was easy to hop on rides again without queueing.

 

We took the train from Thomasland, into a quiet, spacious, leafy and crowd free area containing a playpark, zoo, driving school, cafe, dinoland and a model railway. L was impressed that Rosie a girl train was in charge. Both children loved the Terence Driving school which also had Dad and me fondly remembering my attempts at driving cars at Legoland in Denmark where I spent most the time on the wrong side of the road.

An unexpected highlight was the beautiful model village and railway, Dad and I were in stitches at Mr G who spent the whole time chasing the train round and round the glass cabinet screaming ‘Thomas is coming!’

Before lunch we caught the train back, rode the carousel and had a pirate adventure on a boat in the dark. Given our penchant for pirates in the Alexander Residence, this was a huge hit.

My Dad takes a well earned rest from pirating on a bench

Then it was time for the film Blue Mountain Mystery.  I was interested to see how the 60 minute film would develop and sustain our interest. The story was suprisingly deep and complex;Thomas encouters a train who did something so bad he believes he will be sent away from Sodor for ever. While Thomas works hard to unravel the mystery in the blue mountains, the film still maintains the engaging and familiar world or Thomas we know from TV.

What I came away thinking was that I really like the social and emotional aspects of learning in the film.  Blue Mountain Mystery explores the complex emotions and boundaries which pre-schoolers have to face. It really took me back to the days when I didn’t fully understand how the world worked.  My children enjoyed watching Thomas piece the world together and solve the mystery.

I wasn’t sure how Mr G would feel about an hour of Thomas before we went in. I don’t know about you but I have noticed kids and trains fall into two camps.  Those for whom trains are trains are trains are trains, they police their play tracks like mini controllers, woe betide anyone who breaks the rules. Then there are those whose train play involves building a train track, making the trains talk animatedly about anything but trains, sprinkling them with fairy dust and making them fly, before inventing a giant who comes along and smashes up the track.

The latter describes how my son plays with trains. But I am happy to report both children really engaged with the moving story, the characters and their moral dilemmas.  Mr G is still playing around, and talking about, the storyline.

We really appreciated having a post-lunch cinema stop at the 4D cinema, it’s a great way to give little ones a chance to chill and renergise during a big day out. The 4D elements, water jets and moving seats were a fun surprise too.

There are lots of lovely Blue Mountain Mystery tie-in products, including books, engines and playsets from Fisher Price. We were lucky to be given some Thomas products to try in a goody bag. Mr G has been very busy with the engines, re-enacting some of the film’s story lines, plus lots of his own back at home. He was also really happy to sit still and listen to me read for the whole of the book version of the film, which is much longer than anything he would usually sit still for. He hasn’t complained once about the Thomas toothpaste either, which he normally does with the other stuff daily.

I was so pleased to finally meet Mirka from All Baby Advice blog, and as she was busy juggling beautiful baby Olivia, it was a real pleasure to take her daughter Isabelle on some rides with us. Isabelle and Miss L are the same age and were soon running round hand in hand. Although Isabelle will probably always remember me as the woman who took her on that rollercoaster. My kids had all day to work up to the Thomasland rollercoaster and it was a bit of a high, although Isabelle bless her, had less time to gain her ride legs.

Overall impressions, a great day out with plenty to do for all of us. I’d forgotten how great a mini dose of adrenalin is, for all the family from 3 – 67. It was lovely to have quieter areas to escape to, and to be able to dabble in the Drayton Manor rides as kids get older, or for families juggling different age groups. Dad also threatened to go on Malestrom, but sadly we were too busy, I’d love to have seen it though.

We got away without planning much, and just pottering, which for me is what a good day is all about. We also left a few corners unexplored. If I went back I would factor in some time to queue for the rapids, as Mr G at just 1m is big enough. But you can’t do everything, and we’ll definitely go back. It’s under an hour from Nottingham.

More information on Thomasland here and Drayton Manor here, including the magical Christmas winter wonderland celebrations. Find out more about the Blue Mountain Mystery here or follow @thomasandfriends on Twitter. The DVD went on sale on 3rd September.

Which Superhero are you? Amazing Kodak Avengers Competitions.

I’m an Ambassador for the #kodakavengers Linky Challenge. The Linky celebrates the power of Super Heroes as well as the DVD and Blu-ray release of Marvel’s Avengers Assemble, along with free printables for creating your own Super Hero adventure at home from Kodak. I’m highlighting the cool things you can do with the printables – join in and you could win £500 or one of 3 Kodak Hero 7.1 All-in-One printers plus Marvel’s Avengers Assemble on DVD!

Kodak are doing some super-heroic stuff to mark the release of Avengers Assemble on DVD and Blu ray. If you have any Avengers or Marvel fans in your house, check out Kodak’s new Avengers printables, there’s everything from party invites to masks and door hangers. Everything you need to assemble your own Avengers.  There’s also two amazing Kodak Avengers competitions I want to tell you about, with some awesome prizes.

The first of the two competitions I want to tell you about, a draw to win a 3D TV package or 1 of 10 limited edition Avengers printing kits, involves finding your inner avenger. As a drama teacher I take getting into role very seriously, so I relished the soul searching super hero questions. Would you believe it, I’m serious, happy working alone, prefer flexible super hero clothes and I’m attracted to magical hammers…

Sadly we didn’t have a blonde wig, red cape or armour to hand. Sadly Mr G’s agent wouldn’t clear him to be anything other than a pirate.  But, my nephew and daughter were keen to muck about with the printable masks.  So instead I give you Captain America and the Incredible Hulk:

As you can tell, the hours of method acting in rehearsal paid off. Okay, so we cheated, I printed them some Avengers posters from the Kodak site to help them perfect their posing. I’ve had my Kodak 7 in 1 printer since I tested the Big App last November and now I know how economical it is, I’m relaxed about colour printing. The cartridges are cheap at around £10 and last much longer than others I’ve tried.

Which brings me to the other great competition, head over to the Britmums #KodakAvengers linky to find out how you can win £500 or 1 of 3 Kodak Hero 7.1 printers and ink, just by posting a blog post with a photo of your child/family/self having fun with the Avengers printables. I’ve got lots more ideas for what to do with the Avengers printables over the next two weeks, look out for my superhero box city and superhero play ideas. Check out which masks Maggy and family chose over at Red Ted Art. Sadly I’m not eligible to win the competition, but you are 😉