Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Sydney Children's Festival | BIG



Our friends over at BIG will be at the Sydney Children's Festival today..... say hi to them at the Lawn library from 12pm.  Join them in making a tiny inside/outside portrait or create a response on a side by side postcard.

Also on todays list of fun things to do at the festival includes Hula hooping, KAPOW!, Paper, Torch Torch! workshop, Disco - Au Go Go  ++

The festival runs until the 28 September at the Seymour Centre.





Monday, 22 September 2014

The Walking Neighbourhood | Art and About Sydney



The Walking Neighbourhood is a concept that premiered in Brisbane in 2012 and involved children leading tours in their own neighbourhood - giving people a rare insight into the world of kids living in inner city suburbs.

 

Today we took The Walking Neighbourhood tour in Kings Cross that is running within the Art and About program. We all met in the Departure Lounge in the Rex Centre and selected which tour we wanted to take.  The departure lounge is an interactive waiting station where you can view the gallery of found items from previous tours, draw on the large map of Kings Cross, learn more out the tour guides and share what you love about Kings Cross. We all decided that the Underground Mystery tour was the one for us. (There were many other tours to choose from) Our tour guides Finn and Nick (aged 11) were confident and proud of their neighbourhood as they lead us around their underground hangouts.



The Walking Neighbourhood moves to Redfern next week. To  book tickets (free) or to get more information visit: Art and About Sydney.

Thanks Finn and Nick for sharing your world.





Thursday, 24 July 2014

Thomas - Tale of the Brave


My five year old son has been into Thomas the Tank Engine since he was about two years of age. As soon as he started school this year aged five, he has become influenced by the older kids at school and therefore is now completely obsessed with superheroes, and unfortunately all that comes along with them like the violence and weapons.  So, I was a bit afraid that he would not be interested in seeing 
Thomas And Friends: Tale Of The Brave, as he hadn't shown much interest in the series lately through watching his DVD's or playing with his train set.

The movie is along the lines of the previous films; Thomas and his friends learning important lessons. In Thomas And Friends: Tale Of The Brave, Thomas and Percy learn that bravery can be shown in many ways and that being supportive and encouraging of others is an important part of friendship. Thomas learns to deal with his fear of the unknown and also deals with negative peer pressure and how it affects himself and his friends. My son sat through the whole film and I could see that he really felt connected to the situations that Thomas was placed in, and as being of school age those situations arise with him daily. We later talked about the movie and how Thomas dealt with his problems, so it was refreshing to have a dialogue with my son that enabled him to open up about his emotions and their connection to Thomas's experience, rather than our usual conversations of generic superheroes challenging evil!


Thomas And Friends: Tale Of The Brave was enjoyable for both myself and my son. I'm glad I took him along to see the movie as it has reinvigorated his friendship with Thomas the Tank Engine. My son is back to watching his Thomas DVD's and has also begun playing with his train set again, so hopefully Thomas will stay with him a few more years before the superheroes take him over completely.

Review by Rose Miller

Thomas - Tale of the Brave is now screening nationally.

We are giving away three family passes  to a Hoyts Jnr screening of Tale of the Brave (2 adults and 2 children) - email info@artsrocket.org with your name and postal  address and tell us what your child loves about Thomas the Tank engine before the 7 August.  

Only winners will be notified. Terms and conditions.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Friday Finds | Arts Rocket

I found some time last night to put together a small selection small Friday Finds.......

Here is my official list of Friday Finds for Friday 4 July 2014:
  • Expose your kids to cinema.... Last month I re-watched DO THE RIGHT THING with my eldest son (now 16) and as it celebrates it's 25th anniversary - the messages are still very clear.  It was wonderful to share this film with him for the first time. Search out films in your local dvd store that show them the world but are also age appropriate. 
  • Let your kids have their own space in your garden - let them dig it up and go crazy. If you don't have space for a garden - get a herb box
  • Lastly - have fun over the school holidays and enjoy your time together.
x


Kids in the Garden - Butterflies, birds and planting peas



We asked Sarah from Grow Eat Enjoy for some tips on how to get creative outside over the school holidays........

Ok, so we’re nearly through the first week of school holidays, the weather is great, hopefully your children are too and I’m sure we’re all having fun.  But there’s another whole week to go so here’s some garden ideas to keep up your sleeves in case you find yourself lying in bed at night wondering how you’re going to fill another day.

Make butterflies out of used milk bottles. This is a little tricky to cut but a good tracing exercise if your kids haven’t fully mastered scissors yet.  Cut out the shape of a butterfly from the sides of your milk bottle.  When you have 5 or more you can thread them with fishing line and hang them in your garden.  They look sweet, flutter in the breeze and may even signal to cabbage moths that these plants are taken thus saving you that annoying task of picking caterpillars off your brassicas.
Make birds out of used milk bottles.  This is like a magic trick and children of 8 or over love it.  You can paint them afterwards and string them up in a similar way to the butterflies.  Instructions here Persist, with practise these get easier and better.

Plant peas.  Big seeds for little fingers.  Even if they sit on the surface they’ll still often germinate so hard to go wrong.  And they grow quick, and taste sweet.  You can eat the tips or wait for the pods.  You can even grow chick peas at this time of year which are a pretty alternative.  Soak your store bought chick peas in water and watch them sprout.  Plant them out or keep them in damp cotton wool and watch the plant unfold before your eyes.

If nothing else just get them outside observing.  Dig a hole, climb a tree, pick your neighbours rosemary, smell it, taste it, stick it in a jar of water and pretty soon it will sprout roots and you’ll have a rosemary of your own.

Monday, 30 June 2014

LEO | Sydney Opera House


The stage consisted of a large screen and an empty room - the lights darkened causing tiny apprehensive whispers to circulate around the room. When the lights went up we are introduced to a man and his suitcase - how did he get there and most importantly - why was he there?

LEO is a beautiful performance incorporating physical theatre, video projection, dance, music and a piece of chalk. French acrobat William Bonnet glides around the room with his movements projected onto the big screen pulling us into alternate worlds. Bonnet's strength is spectacular but not surprising with his extensive background in aerial acrobatics.

The young audience were in fits of laughter as they jumped from screen to room in delight of this gravity defying adventure.  A small segment consisting of a repetitious dance routine may have little ones restless but will be enjoyable for older children and parents.

How does this lone man eventually leave the room?
Well......we will leave that up to you to find out.

Recommended for school holidays.

LEO 
until 13 July
Sydney Opera House
for ages 8 and over



Monday, 23 June 2014

School Holidays - IMAX



School holidays have started for some or about to for others. We love heading to the movies as we turn the outing into a full day - it has become a ritual for us - take public transport, get lunch out, check out the surroundings and then head home after the movie.

Our friends at IMAX have given us 2 family passes (2 adults and 2 children)to give away so you can make a day of it in Darling Harbour over these school holidays. They will be screening How to Train your Dragon 2 and for older children Transformers 4: Age of Extinction.

For your chance:
Win 1 of 2 family passes to IMAX Darling Harbour to see the best in 3D film these school holidays like HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON 2 and TRANSFORMERS 4: AGE OF EXTINCTION releasing on June 26. To enter email info@artsrocket.org before Monday 30 June with your favourite ritual over the holidays. Winners will be notified by email on Tuesday 1 July. CLOSED

Competition details

Monday, 16 June 2014

Rio 2



It was with much excitement that I took my three sons (11, 9 and 4) to the preview screening of Rio 2.  My four year old couldn't remember the first movie when we spoke about it the night before but quickly remembered as soon as we walked in and he saw those familiar images again.

All the favourite characters are back in this one plus some new ones and it was the new characters that seemed to catch my children's imagination.  So much so that I wondered if some of the characters from the first movie seemed a little superfluous.

The movie was fun with similar environmental themes, lots of music (and songs, were there songs in the first one?  I can't remember) and colourful flying/dancing sequences.  The laughs were slow to come but were definately there a little after mid-way.  All three children enjoyed it.  My eleven year old said he enjoyed how distinctly different all the characters were from each other.  If I told you what the nine and four year old liked I'd be ruining the end and a minor twist.

Sarah Brill

RIO 2
Release date: 3 July 2014


Sunday, 8 June 2014

Next Goal Wins | Sydney Film Festival 2014



I wanted to take my eldest son (16) to one of the classified films within the Sydney Film Festival.  He is a mad soccer fan and with the World Cup coming up soon, the documentary Next Goal Wins was an easy choice. 

In 2001, Australia famously beat the American Somoa team 31 - 0 taking them to the bottom of the ladder and was the worst defeat in international soccer history. The documentary follows the American Somoan team in their quest to move on from their past humiliating defeat and to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  It was a joy to meet the team and be a part of this uplifting journey - especially Jaiyah Saelua and Dutch coach Thomas Rongen.

Next Goal Wins is a celebration of team work, acceptance and perseverance and is a breath of fresh of air in a world of sporting endorsement deals and badly behaved players.  You don't need to be soccer or even sport mad to take something away from Next Goal Wins. 

rated M
Screening at Sydney Film Festival
7 June and 11 June 2014

Not classified at the festival but from what I have seen so far I will be taking all or some of my family to see the following films when they get released: 







Saturday, 7 June 2014

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

How to survive Vivid Sydney with your family




As we are heading up to the last weekend of Vivd expect more crowds and from experience - crowds and strollers do not work! The team at Vivid have given us some family tips to survive this event with your family (stroller optional).  Vivid is something every family should see and for more information on what is on offer visit http://www.vividsydney.com


1.       Go early in the week and early on!
Tuesday is set for fine weather and earlier in the week is less busy!  The crowds build at the weekend so we suggest you make your Vivid visit on a weeknight.

2.       Take an early mark: Martin Place now opens at 5.30pm every night!
Beat the rush and get to Vivid early – Martin Place opens at 5.30pm.  There’s The Urban Tree to mesmerise the littlies, as a tree grows out of the ground and up a building, complete with birds and bugs!

3.       Enjoy Vivid from one of the new precincts
There are newer Vivid precincts including Walsh Bay, North Sydney and Martin Place.  Head to one of these spots for installations, projections and much more!

4.       Leave the car at home and remember, ferries are very busy
There are an extra 3,500 bus and train services to help get families in and out of the city this year during Vivid, so families should plan their trip at www.vividsydney/transport

Ferries are also busy so bus and train are probably the way to go!

5.       Catch a show – a water show that is!
Darling Harbour is again transformed each hour from 6pm into a theatre of water with spectacular water displays, fountains, water jets and lasers. There are also fireworks displays during the week as well as weekends - Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7pm.

Monday, 2 June 2014

Leo - Sydney Opera House


Dancing on the ceiling like Fred Astaire, scaling the walls like Spiderman and floating mid-air like an Indian guru – escape with Leo into an impossible world, where perception and imagination are turned inside out and upside down.
Through an ingenious combination of staging and video projection, Leo rockets you to a world where the laws of gravity are thrown out the window.



We have two family passes to give away (2 adults and 2 children) for the 28 June - 3pm performance of Leo. For your chance email info@artsrocket.org with your child's favourite dance scene from a movie.
Entries close Friday 13 June. ENTRIES CLOSED

LEO
28 June - 13 July 2014
Sydney Opera House
Ages 8 and over



Arts Rocket is not responsible for prizes once they have been dispatched to the winner. Tickets are are not redeemable for cash. Full Terms and conditions

Navigating the Sydney Film Festival - Youth Guide - Under 18's




The Sydney Film Festival takes off this week and for under 18's we look at the best way to  navigate yourself around the festival.

Head to Martin Place for SFFTV
Every day over the festival -  SFFTV will present a special program of animated shorts, Big Window on a Big Screen curated by guest programmer Malcolm Turner, director of animation festivals in London, NZ and Australia.

Learn about the process
If you have a teen interested in film making - head  along to the Apple store talks.

Catch a classified screening
Check out the list of classified films screening at the festival that under 18's are permitted to attend.

Experience the world of the Vladmaster
Attendees are given a View-master viewer and a set of disks, and led through  strange and fascinating 28-picture stories created by the artist Vladimir.

Sydney Film Festival
4 June - 15 June

Friday, 23 May 2014

Arts Rocket Friday Finds



It's been a while since we posted our Friday Finds - so we have added a few extra:


Monday, 19 May 2014

Next Gen | MIFF


This morning the Melbourne International Film Festival announced their line up to their Next Gen program.  Although the program is structured for schools there will also be selected screenings for the general public over the weekends of the festival.

The Next Gen program was established in 2007 to enrich the cinema experience for younger viewers, and to stimulate discussion and social awareness

To view films visit http://miff.com.au/nextgen/program


Melbourne International Film Festival
31 July - 17 August 2014
Melbourne

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Mother Artist Network Forum | 25 May




Our friends over at BIG Kids magazine will be at this months MCA Zine Fair on the 25 May to host the Mother Artist Network forum and launch Issue 6 Patterns of Pathways
My date for the event will be  the very wonderful Wolfgang and Rose - hope to see you there!
"Artists and co-creators of BIG Kids Magazine Jo Pollitt and Lilly Blue will be hosting the first Mother Artist Network forum at the MCA. Joined by artists Emma Magenta and Emma Gale, the panel will explore the challenge and rich terrain of navigating motherhood with an ongoing professional art practice. The Mother Artist Network (MAN)) was launched in 2011 as a platform to provoke dialogue about creative practice and motherhood."
This event is free but bookings are advised.
For more information and to book:  http://www.mca.com.au/events/mother-artist-forum/8772

Saturday, 10 May 2014

Sydney Film Festival 2014 | Family and Youth



The Sydney Film Festival revealed their full program last week.  I was hoping that there would be a full family/youth program - it's important for kids to watch films beyond the Disney repertoire - to have the opportunity to view different worlds.

We have gone through the program to let you know the films that under 18's are permitted to attend due to classification restrictions.

How to Train your Dragon 2 with special guest Cate Blanchett introducing the film at Event cinemas.

My Neighbour Totoro screens with the Studio Ghibli program.

Classified films at this years festival:
Once My Mother   rated PG
Gabrielle rated M
Two Faces of January rated M
Rock the Casbah rated MA15+
Faith Connections rated MA15+
Altman on Altman  - a retrospective rated from PG to MA15+
Classics restored
Rebel without a Cause rated M
Hiroshima, Mon Amour rated PG
Charulata rated G
The Rover rated MA+15

More films will be classified closer to the festival - we will keep this list up dated.

If you are unsure if a film is suitable for your child visit the parent guide at IMDb.

Sydney Film Festival
4 - 15 June 2014

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Minuscule - Valley of the Lost Ants


Over the weekend we went to a screening of MINUSCULE - VALLEY OF THE LOST ANTS. This is a wonderful film for families, especially for those who are ready to introduce their child to a cinema experience for the first time.

Unlike the majority of films that come out every school holidays -  Minuscule is a beautifully paced animation with live cinematography which weaves an engaging story of a lost ladybug and two ant armies battling it out for a tin of found sugar.


MINUSCULE - VALLEY OF THE LOST ANTS
screens nationally from 6 May.


Thursday, 24 April 2014

Minuscule - Valley of the Lost Ants



Minuscule - Valley of the Lost Ants is a film based on the beautiful french-made ABC TV series which follows insects within their day to day lives. 

The movie looks just as gorgeous  as the series, as two tribes of ants battle it out for a box of sugar.

In a peaceful little clearing lays the hastily abandoned remnants of a delicious picnic lunch - in particular a treat highly sought after by the creatures of the ground, a box of sugar. Not far away new life is entering the world in the form of three baby ladybugs, and when one of these brave little ladybugs is displaced from his family, he finds himself caught in the middle of a terrifying battle between two tribes of ants.

We have three family passes to give away to three lucky Arts Rocket readers. Email info@artsrocket.org with your name and postal address and let us know your favourite minuscule insect and why. Entries close Wednesday 30 April. Winners will be notified by email on 1 May. CLOSED

Minuscule - Valley of the Lost Ants will be released in cinemas nationally on May 6. 

Arts Rocket is not responsible for prizes once they have been dispatched to the winner. Tickets are are not redeemable for cash.



Monday, 21 April 2014

Movies over the holidays

It's school holiday time so yet again lots of films out at the moment to choose from.

This is what we have been watching:

We took the whole family to see Wadjda - the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and by a female director. My youngest son was restless through the film (9) - but I felt the biggest impact was on my eldest son (15).   This is an important film to take your children to - how other families live - we had great discussions after this movie.

My youngest son and I went to the preview to Mr Peabody and Sherman. We both enjoyed it - it's been a while since we have seen animation at the movies.  

I am taking the kids to see The Grand Budapest Hotel in the morning. I saw a preview of it and think they will enjoy it as they familiar with Wes Andersen movies.

As all families have different views on what films their children should see - I suggest you visit IMDb and view their parents guide.