Maths Help Online with the Smartick Method

Recently I found out that one of my twins, H, did rather badly in a maths assessment at school.

He’s only 7 and the youngest in the class. Both of my twins struggle a little bit at school, not to the extent of needing additional help, and because of them being premature August born, it’s almost like it’s to be expected! Which isn’t really fair.

Their teacher (who I really like and who my twins really like too) read out everyone’s results of the test to the class, which meant EVERYONE knew H got the lowest score (9 out of 40)… bless his heart! No one was mean to him about it but a few kids said things like ‘It’s ok, you tried your best’ ….. which singled him out and made him very embarrassed!

He cried when he got home and said ‘I can’t do anything, I’m rubbish at everything!’

I was so annoyed with his teacher…. I don’t want him to feel bad about himself because of a stupid maths test at only 7 years old! I made sure he knew that it really doesn’t matter at all. I told him in no uncertain terms that he is NOT rubbish at anything and he is in fact the most wonderful human being on the planet…. But something like this could put him off maths and learning for life…. his confidence had really taken a knock so I made a promise with  myself to help him more at home.

smartick method maths kids education

A lovely friend put me in touch with Smartick… an online maths learning platform for kids, as they were looking for bloggers to review their program. I jumped at the opportunity as I really liked the sound of it and felt it was something we could realistically incorporate into our schedule without too much effort.

Smartick is designed in short daily sessions of 15 minutes of maximum concentration. Children need to login every day and do their maths. This helps create a study habit and routine, it avoids burnout and keeps children motivated and coming back for more. Smartick recommends that they do it at least 5 days a week to truly experience the benefits of the program.

We started Smartick during the Easter holidays with the free trial period of 15 days, that anyone can try at any time, and I put all three of my youngest children on it as the age range is from 4-14. We then continued for another few weeks.

H was obviously the first to give it a go and the animated look of the website made it appealing straight away. We set up his profile and off he went. The first couple of sessions are assessment based, although they look exactly the same as any session, but the answers H gave and how long it took him to answer were giving Smartick an idea of where he was at. The questions weren’t too difficult, in fact some were ridiculously simple…. but this was intentional as going over the basics is the most important aspect of grasping maths. It was perfect for H. Other questions ranged from simple adding and number bonds, some games and then some problem solving questions. I sat with him and helped guide him through each question and it was great to see him get excited when he found the right answers.

smartick method maths program

There’s a temperature bar on the left hand side of the screen which shows gold stars, these add up the more questions you get right! This is a great incentive, my twins love seeing this bar go up when more stars added to their collection!

If the student gets a question wrong, a little pop up box will show them the right answer, and at the end they have the opportunity to do their corrections and obtain more stars! There’s also a fun area for them to go into after the session is finished. This is a little virtual world where they can create their own avatar and are able to spend their stars they’ve earned as money to buy things for their character, like pets and things for their house! It’s so cute, my children love this.

Because none of the questions in the sessions were too difficult and H was able to find most (not all) answers without help from me, he didn’t get fed up, bored or frustrated in any way…. which CAN happen to kids when they get the answers wrong regularly. I’ve also found that online games we’ve tried before where there’s a timer involved, makes both my twins upset if they can’t work out the answer quick enough. It makes them panicky and angry then they just want to stop. Which is absolutely pointless. With Smartick, although there IS a time limit to each question, it’s so long that this very rarely runs out. But it IS useful for times when kids are dawdling a bit!

Each screen is very simple in appearance and incredibly easy to navigate. We are using a laptop but you can use an App downloaded on tablets too.

The Study Program at Smartick is mapped in such a way that allows the student to progress naturally and fully adapts to the level of each student. There are video tutorials when new concepts are introduced and guided exercises when the program has detected that the student is taking too long to respond to certain questions. The exercises are generated on the spot and based on a number of variables that the algorithm behind the Smartick method measures. Among those variables will be effectiveness (if the child has responded correctly or not), the speed of the answers, performance history etc. The platform does not have preloaded exercises, but rather has its own “intelligence” that always seeks the highest level of competence of each student. Always backed up and monitored by a team of educators.

I find this incredible. The program is completely tailored to the unique way your child works!

My twins are not doing the same sessions each day but they quite often like to watch each other and see what the other is doing which is funny, and also means they’re kind of doing TWO sessions instead of one per day!

My daughter, aged 11, is doing ok at maths at school. She’s no mathematician but she doesn’t struggle. There’s always room for practice and improvement, so I was interested to see how she would get on with Smartick. Again, each session starts off with the basics. For her it’s timestables. This is an area that she does need practice on and doing the multiplication sums (which includes some very tricky ones) over and over has been drumming home the core necessities. I just think this is the best way to improve anyone’s maths! Then the session moves on to more challenging topics.

She is really enjoying the program.

H is thoroughly enjoying it too and I can already see him starting to understand concepts that he didn’t get a few weeks ago. For example he’s been working a lot on subtraction and now he knows exactly what to do when he gets questions like this….

smartick method maths

It’s also opened my eyes to how my twins minds are working.

I’ve learned that H doesn’t always read the questions properly and this was, obviously, affecting his results. I am working on this with him now as we go through the sessions. He was trying to reach an answer in the wrong steps but again… now that I know this, I can help. He also gets distracted easily, although I’ve noticed this already improving which is wonderful.

O likes to race ahead with his session. He actually WANTS to do it and asks me if he can do his daily session without me having to tell him! He also likes to get on with it on his own. He is more studious than H though, whereas H is a lot more laid back. O is eager to see his star tally rise so will work fast on his questions to fit more into the time frame! He doesn’t need me to sit with him unless there’s a new topic that he’s not sure about, then he will ask for help.

They both seem to enjoy their little log in area to their own program and the fact that it’s only 15 minutes makes it achievable. It honestly doesn’t even feel like it’s 15 minutes. The sessions fly by.

Parents get the results from their child’s session instantly delivered to their inbox. They can also access the tutor web anytime and check progress. There are detailed metrics on the performance of the student and lots of various tutorials that they can go over to reinforce learning. I like this area… you can even compare how your child is doing compared to the other children their age!

I’m so happy with the Smartick Method. I can honestly say I’ve seen H’s confidence in learning maths already starting to grow and I didn’t want to stop once the initial trial ran out, so we have signed up for another three months! The kids are loving it and I absolutely can’t wait to see what progress has been made at the end of these three months!

If the past two weeks are anything to go by, I’m sure H will be top of his class the next time he has an assessment! But seriously, that’s not what this is about…. all I want is for my children to enjoy maths and enjoy learning… and that is exactly what Smartick is giving them.

 If you want to give it a go, sign up now for your FREE 15 day trial and see how it goes.

Sip N Sound Straws

My children love straws, especially my daughter. She always wants one with her drink! Her favourite drink is tea though so some of the curly straws I’ve bought in the past I end up throwing away because if they’re not rinsed out immediately, I find they don’t clean easily and I worry about the bacteria!

These new Sip n Sound Straws by Flair are absolutely fantastic! Not only do they come with a cute farmyard animal attached that bursts into life, making animal noises as your drink passes through, but they are rather wide, which I love… meaning they are super easy to rinse and wash out!

sip n sound straws

We were recently sent four of the different animal straws to review at home… there was a pig, a sheep, a cow and a horse! My children were so excited to open them and try them out!

sip n sound straws

We made the drinks and they got stuck in! My 7 year old twin boys opted for juice and my daughter went for milk!

The cute little animal sound.. either a moo, a baa, an oink or a neigh comes out as they suck the drink up the straw! I mean… how fun is that? What child isn’t going to be impressed with this? There’s also a little button on the back of the animal which you can press to hear the animal sound, even when you’re not drinking, which is great because my kids just love listening to it randomly! The button also means you can switch off the sounds if they become annoying… which I have to say they don’t because they’re not THAT loud, which is a good thing!

sip n sound

The animals are made of a sturdy material, meaning they can be played with separately too and can be easily removed from the straws for thorough washing.

sip n sound straws

My children absolutely love the Sip n Sound Straws, as do their friends who have all used one whilst over at our house on a play date. I’m pretty sure they’ve gone home and asked for one immediately after their visit! They would make a fun addition to any children’s party too, where kids could create their own snack time tune!

Using the straws I think is a fantastic, sneaky way to encourage kids to drink more healthy drinks, which is so important… especially now we have the summer months approaching! Straws also have other health benefits for the mouth, including less tooth cavities and less stains!

The recommended age for the straws is 3+ but a child of any age would find these fun! My 11 yr old loves them and uses one every single time she has a drink now! Even my older teenager has had a go and passed them around to his friends.. and he’s 18! :)

Sip n Sound straws are priced at around £5.99 and are available at all the good toy retailers as well as other selected stores.

 

Boss Baby Movie Previews – Our Day from Two Perspectives

Ever since I read about new film The Boss Baby being released, from a press release I received at some point last year, I just knew it sounded and looked absolutely unmissable!

the boss baby review

We were lucky enough to be invited to a preview screening at London’s Westfield, with a visit to the fantastic Kidzania first!

Because the film explores view points from different perspectives, as in the adults v’s the children, I thought I’d write about our day from two perspectives… one from me and one from one of my twins..O.

So on the morning of the event.. having to get up early to make sure we were at the venue for 9am…

O is up nice an early encouraging me to hurry up “it’s The Boss Baby today and I’m so excited”! So he sit’s on the sofa and watches TV.

I, meanwhile am also up. But unlike O, I am running around like a headless chicken. Once I’ve jumped in the shower and tried to find something to wear, I shoot downstairs to ask the three kids what they’d like for breakfast. O’s twin, H wasn’t feeling great last night and we were all a bit worried as to whether he’d be ok to go out, but he seemed better this morning! We were all pleased. However, the three of them are staring at me blankly as I ask them the million dollor question…. what would they like for breakfast! Grrr…. “We’re in a hurry you know……”!

During breakfast the kids chat excitedly about the film, wondering what it will be like.

I am running around again choosing outfits for all three children. After breakfast I give said clothes to them and encourage them to get dressed as quickly as possible.

O take his clothes.

I continue to get ready and clear up after breakfast. I do my makeup etc then I go to check back on the kids.

O is sitting watching tv. In his Pyjamas!

I turn the TV off and remind him that if we don’t leave soon we will miss the film! This seems to spur him on.

Once at Westfield O is excited to be at Kidzania, although we have been before so he’s done a few of the activities there.

kidzania baby boss

He decides he doesn’t want to do anything and instead wants to eat some of the specially prepared breakfast treats that have been put out for us!

I take my daughter and her friend over to the Newsreaders part of Kidzania because she wants to do that.

kidzania london newsreading

I leave O eating with my friend and his twin. His twin H has informed me that he feels sick! Gosh.. ‘not now’ I’m thinking… beginning to go into panic mode!

O continues to happily stuff his face and manages to go up to the different food and drinks tables to get one of everything… bacon butty, pastries, cakes, apple juice, black current juice, oh yes and a little pot or two of fruit!

I have no time to eat anything at this point. My daughter finishes her news reading ‘job’ so we then head over to grab some last minute food ourselves, although now we’re getting called away  because it’s time for the film to start and we need to get over to the Vue cinema. H is hanging off me complaining of feeling sick which I’m now very worried about!

O skips happily through Westfield’s beautiful shopping centre to the cinema which is located inside Westfield itself. Not a care in the world!

Once in the cinema I encourage all the kids to go to the toilet. Past experience has told me this is a must. H needed a ‘wee’ right at the very end of a film once and when we got back into the auditorium, the credits were going up!

We pick some seats. I put H right on the end who keeps saying he’s ok to watch the film (he’s not going to let feeling sick get in the way!) but I’m very worried about him. I’m actually extremely stressed at this point. I give him a bottle of water to sip and hoped that the film would take his mind of it poor thing!

Meanwhile, this is O… he’s sat ready, 3D glasses on and just can’t wait for The Boss Baby to start!

I think you can see the pattern created throughout the morning…

As a Mum, I spent the entire morning flitting around like a manic woman in various stages of stress and O spent his morning completely relaxed, doing as he pleased, feeling excited and happily looking forward to the film! Two very different takes on the morning!

the boss baby movie reviews

Actually I think all the other children, apart from H spent the morning like O. All just with one thing on their minds…. the film! The girls here in the pic above eagerly awaiting for it to start… we took our seats straight away and it looks here as though the whole place was empty, it wasn’t. It was absolutely full by the time the film begun!

Kids just don’t care about anything do they? They’re usually just in their own little worlds while us Mum’s are in the background taking care of everything! But that’s as it should be. My children are very considerate of me but I wouldn’t want them to take on any of my stresses or worries. I want their childhood to be as happy and carefree as possible. There’ll be enough stress when they grow up and try to make their way in the big wide world!

So what is the film like?

Our verdict on The Baby Boss….

The movie starts off with only child Tim, narrating, telling us about his perfect happy life with his wonderfully attentive perfect parents! He has a delightfully overactive imagination and loves nothing more than inventing games to play! We then witness his whole world begin to fall apart when his parents have a new baby! Obviously highly exaggerated but absolutely hilarious to see the horror on Tim’s face and the carnage that immediately ensues when his little brother The Baby Boss (voiced by Alec Baldwin) arrives!

But this is no ordinary baby brother. This one can talk like an adult, carries a briefcase and wears a suit! This is a baby with an agenda…. he’s with Tim and his family to fulfil a mission, set by the Baby Corporation he comes from, to ensure that the baby species continues to be the most desirable thing in the world… as it’s being pushed aside by the arrival of something even cuter!

The Boss Baby (like all babies!) begins to take over the whole house, causing mayhem and taking ALL the attention. Tim tries to ‘expose’ him but without fail, until one day the two of them hook up to help each other out in a bid to make everyone happy again!

The boss baby movie

Created by Dreamworks Animation, the film offers the heart-filled message about the importance of family and is an authentic and broadly appealing original comedy of all ages.

We loved the film. The children were all suitably captivated throughout. I mean, it must’ve been good, H didn’t complain once about his tummy ache during the whole film, and was even hopping and skipping on his way out of the cinema he enjoyed it so much! We laughed out loud and I must admit to shedding a tear towards the end, but then I’m an emotional wreck when it comes to anything even remotely soppy!

A big thumbs up from us and definitely one to take the children to during the Easter holidays! The film is so unlike anything we’ve seen before in terms of storyline, that I would say you simply cannot afford to miss out. A great movie for all the family!

The Boss Baby is out now across the UK.

Here’s the trailer…..

The Girl On The Train

I recently received a fab delivery containing a copy of newly released box office smash The Girl On The Train DVD… along with some of my favourite choccies and a box of popcorn!

Girl on the Train DVD film review

It was a coincidence being asked to review this movie because at the time of receiving the email, I’d just started reading the best selling book by Paula Hawkins, which I’d borrowed from a friend at work. I’d heard it was really good so it was something I’d wanted to read for ages. Then the film came out and I was like Nooooo, I have to read the book first!

Anyway, the book (a psychological thriller) was certainly a page turner and I did manage to finish it in super quick time so I could watch the DVD! I couldn’t wait to find out how the film compared to the book. I’d heard that some people thought the film was actually better, which is unusual as it’s normally the other way round!

So, in case you’ve neither read the book OR watched the film, it’s about a young woman (The Girl) Rachel (Emily Blunt in the film), who has lost her way after her divorce and lives in a bit of a fantasy world. She drinks too much and interferes somewhat with her ex husband Tom (Justin Theroux – pic below with Emily) and his new wife! She finds herself watching the world go by every day on her commute to work and sees the same people in the same houses along the railway lines. It’s some of these lives she unwittingly gets involved in when she sees something from the train one day. The story then takes you on a dark, mysterious journey as Rachel tries to uncover the truth.

The Girls on the train film review Barry Wetcher/Universal

So, my honest opinion having seen the film now, was that I think I watched it too close to reading the book, where every single detail was still etched in my mind. Films can’t cover every single detail so of course, bits are always missed out. If you haven’t read the book or at least not so recently, it would be a million times better!

I think it’s probably a difficult book to portray on the big screen because of the diary style writing and the jumping back and forth between lives and times but I enjoyed it nevertheless.

The book is set in London with the commuters travelling to Euston. This is the route I take to London as I live only 15 minutes away from Euston on the train, and although the other stations are fictional, I could really relate to the Victorian houses and views from the train. In the film, the commute is into New York and the houses are quite substantial so it didn’t quite capture me in the same way!

Emily Blunt is brilliant. I think she captures perfectly the desperate, pathetic character of Rachel. She’s a complex, mixed up character who hasn’t got a clue what she’s doing half the time because she’s always either drunk or hungover! But you find yourself willing her on in the hope that she can either do something right or sort herself out! Emily Blunt definitely carries the film as she is such a huge part of it.

The film definitely draws you in from the start and like the book (even though I knew the end, let’s pretend I didn’t!) you find yourself eager to know what’s going to happen next and where it’s going to take you. There are some great twists and turns in the story which is what makes it so good and the film didn’t lose any of the suspense. The cinematography was instrumental in keeping the tone of the film dark and rather grim at times. I would’ve liked to have seen a bit more from the character of Anna, as I don’t think her nastier traits came across too well and the ending seemed a little rushed but does keep you guessing right up until those final scenes!

I thought the film moved along at a very fast pace. It seemed to have finished as soon as it started, which is obviously a very good sign!

I really enjoyed The Girl on the Train and would highly recommend. I have lots of friends who have seen it and not one said they didn’t enjoy it.

I will certainly be watching it again… that’s if I get the chance because a couple of relatives and work colleagues have all asked if they could borrow my DVD first!

You can buy the DVD and Blu-ray now from all good retailers.

#LOLSurprise Launch Party

On Monday we headed into Westfield, London for the L.O.L Surprise Launch Party!

Popular young YouTuber Toys AndMe was there, who was going to do the big reveal and ‘unboxing’ of these these fun new collectibles.

LOL Surprise launch Westfield London

We then got to meet her afterwards inside The Entertainer toy shop which was lovely because all three of my younger kids have watched her You Tube channel!

The L.O.L Surprise Dolls are set to be massive!

You get seven layers of fun with every L.O.L. Surprise doll! Inside there is a secret message sticker, a collectible sticker sheet, a water bottle charm, a pair of shoes, an outfit, an accessory and a L.O.L. Surprise!
The event was open to the public and caused quite a big stir. Hoards of children queued up to get their hands on the toys, which I can’t blame them for… they DO look so enticing with their ball shape and gorgeous colour!

Inside The Entertainer, the kids all sat down unwrapping the L.O.L Surprise Dolls, eager to see which combination of goodies they had inside!

LolSurprise dolls

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The L.O.L. Surprise doll itself is the best layer of the surprise! Dress her in all of the accessories you’ve revealed. Each character is completely different and there are over 45 dolls to collect in Series 1!

We were at the event some of our blogger friends including Ruth from Rocknrollerbaby, Katy from Modern Mummy, Emma from Joy of Five and Karen from N4 Mummy, which made the day even more fun! We all plotted up in the food courts of Westfields and plonked all the kids together on this long table, where they proceeded to unwrap their many L.O.L Surprise Dolls! So exciting are these… uncovering all the little secret hiding places for the bit and bobs inside that they appealed to the boys in the group just as much as the girls!
LOLSurprise Dolls Westfield Bloggers
Even though my daughter is a bit older (she’s 11), and not particularly into dolls anymore (sob!), she LOVED these little collectibles! She has since messed around with them quite a lot at home which is wonderful!
We had a great time at the event and finding out about the L.O.L Surprises. They retail at around £8 which I think is reasonable, considering you’d pay almost £5 for a small packet of trading cards! You get a lot more for you money with these and a lot more play factor too!
You can pick them up at most good toy retailers.

The Lego Batman Movie UK Premiere

Lego Batman Movie Premiere

Last weekend we were invited to the amazing Imax cinema Leicester Square, London, to see the highly anticipated new Lego Batman Movie!

My twin boys were beyond excited at the prospect….. I mean really, what child (especially boys) isn’t going to get hysterical about a film that combines the cooler than cool Batman, but also their favourite toy, Lego?! Yes, this film was destined to appeal to every single kid (and big kid) in the whole entire world!

We arrived in Leicester Square at the Imax and there was a little press area outside for photo’s which we made use of ;) this led inside where there was fun in the foyer! There were snacks and drinks (the coffee went down very well on this Sunday morning!) and entertainers on hand in the shape of face painters, illustrators and circus skills artists!

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After having a mooch round we headed to our allocated screening room to grab some seats! The Imax is a great cinema with those magnificent screens and luxury seating with plenty of leg room. It’s such a treat coming here!

lego batman movie premiere

We couldn’t wait for the film to start!

legobatman movie

lego batman movie review

Right from the start, the very first scenes brought action and suspense, with Batman being everyone’s dream Superhero…. oozing charisma, immense bravery, confidence and almighty wit to save the day! So much craziness and fun is piled into the first few minutes! I glanced sideways at my twins who were literally on the edge of their seats almost shaking with excitement!

We are introduced to Batman’s arch nemesis, The Joker, early on and it’s their relationship that provides the backbone of the storyline!

the joker lego batman movie mummy endeavours

The film pokes fun at the whole Superhero thing! The main characters, Batman and The Joker in particular are massively over characterised and send themselves up throughout the film, which is hilarious!

Batman is voiced by Will Arnettt. It’s an extreme, gravelly growl, similar to Christian Bales’ but deeper! This amused me so much but it’s absolutely perfect! We learn that, although he’s an utterly amazing superhero and great at keeping Gotham City out of the hands of the bad guys, Batman is a little complacent and still a loner. He’s completely self absorbed and has no time for anyone else in his life… apart from of course, his guardian and butler, Albert! This aspect makes for a funny scene when, despite his immense wealth and supersonic Bat Cave (the vast array on Batvehicles kept here is mind boggling…. another feast for the eyes of little AND big kids!), Batman still sits eating a microwave dinner for one and laughs at soppy movies!

That’s all set to change though as he reluctantly, and in some cases, unwittingly, allows people into his life, who in turn help him in his bid to save Gotham City from the clutches of the conniving Joker once again!

I admit to being blown away by the sheer scale of this film and the attention to detail animation wise. The whole world is made out of Lego and not in any place did we forget, Every single tiny ‘brick’ had a use… this fascinated me. The huge wide angled sweeping camera scenes were just visually breath taking. There was so much content in this film, from the detail in the backdrops to the incredible dialogue.

The dialogue was what made this film stand out!

I’ve said this about a number of kids films before, when there’s been added content placed in a kids film purely for the adults that take the kids to watch. But the script for this Lego Batman movie was on a whole new out of this world level! It was pure genius. The jokes and references came thick and fast, with much of it going over kids’ heads of course… but they were more than satisfied with the action and fun bits… the adults in the audience with us at this press showing were all equally as appreciative of the humour, laughing out loud and enjoying every second!

I love the fact that Batgirl is in this movie too…. something for the little girls out there! She really proves to be a great character and role model too!

We all loved this film. My twins said their favourite bit was when Batman sang a song, which I have to admit was very funny! I haven’t seen them this excited about a film upon leaving the cinema for a long time. They could NOT stop talking about it and have asked if we can see it over and over again!

All three of my children said they thought it was much better than the first Lego movie, and they enjoyed that so this MUST be good!

It’s a fantastic film, funny, intelligent and very clever.  Definitely not to be missed. Highly recommend. 10/10.

The Lego Batman Movie is released throughout the UK on 10th February!

Here’s a little taster…..

Stick Man at the Theatre

This afternoon we headed into London to see a live show of one of the kids’ favourite stories – Stick Man.

stick man live

I think if you have children, the likelihood of you having read this book to them at some point is probably very high. It’s one of those brilliantly written stories that as a parent, you don’t mind reading over and over again.

Penned by the amazing Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler (creators of The Gruffalo), The Stick Man is a lovely story about, you guessed it… a Stick! Stick Man lives in the family tree with his wife… his ‘Lady Love’ and their ‘Stick Children 3′. One day Stick Man goes out for a run but his day goes from bad to worse when he finds himself in all manner of silly yet dangerous situations and becomes lost! He’s chased by a dog, grabbed by an excitable little girl and thrown around, used as a flag and a nest before ending up in someone’s fire! Will he escape in time and manage to get back to his Lady Love and the family tree?

stick man leicester square

On arriving at the theatre we literally couldn’t wait to get inside! We’ve seen a number of productions at the Leicester Square Theatre, which is tucked away, almost hidden, down a little side road, and it’s a lovely, intimate auditorium. No matter where you sit, you never feel too far from the stage! It’s perfect for children.

There was an abundance of booster seats for little ones, the stage setting looked intriguing and the auditorium was full.

stick man theatre

I had wondered how Scamp Theatre were going to bring the brilliant Stick Man and all the characters to life. It’s a relatively short book with only a few sentences on each page so I was intrigued to find out how this would transfer to an hour long show! Would it be anywhere near as good as the book?

Well let me tell you… it was everything we could’ve hoped for and more.

An incredibly clever, artistic production and superb lively performances by just THREE actors, who took on all the characters from the story. Two men and one woman. They were all dressed in normal clothes but added subtle props and used their incredible acting talents to bring the whole thing to life and completely draw you in from the start. One of the actors used instruments too to help tell the story. The actor who played Stick Man held a prop that looked like Stick Man, but used his own self to act out the role! It really WORKED!

stickman_0145_photo-by-steve-ullathorne

I have to say that the longer the show went on, the more brilliant it got. It kept to the books’ storyline completely and used all the wonderful poetry throughout. The songs were simple but ever so catchy. The actors were animated and hilarious.

What made the show even more special was the inclusion of the audience! From the dog chasing Stick Man… both actors crawling through the isles of the auditorium. The ‘Dog’ even came down our row of seats, stopping at various children to give them a little squeeze… all three of mine were delighted by this! To the big beach ball that we were encouraged to catch and throw around the audience to each other! Again, the kids (and big kids!) loved this and it brought a real sense of fun and togetherness for us all. The energy it created was fantastic!

Such a big, warm, happy, fun part of the show! Love, love LOVED it!

Another scene which my twins enjoyed was with the Swan… where Stick Man is taken to be used as part of her nest! The swan was just a simple puppet on the arm of one of the actors but it’s cheeky character tickled my twins so much! They laughed their heads off and it was an absolute joy for me to witness!

stick man live theatre

‘The Stick Man is Cold’ song was a favourite of mine!

But what I loved most was that the kids in the audience were all having the most amazing time. They were calling out (a little) and joining in. They were leaning forward out of their seats trying to be as involved as possible! One little boy a few seats down from us was calling ‘Stick Man’ really loudly at one point, shouting ‘Can you hear me?’ – We were in hysterics at this and during any other show it probably would’ve been frowned upon. Not here! The actors included it in the story!

The stage lighting and twinkling lights in the set behind the actors created a very magical scene for Santa’s sleigh ride towards the end of the show. The Christmassy feel makes this a perfect show to see at this time of year, and actually, Scamp Theatre productions have been performing Stick Man in the Leicester Square theatre for a number of years now. It’s incredibly popular and I can see why!

I cannot recommend this show highly enough. It blew me away how utterly creative and fun it was. We were all completely bowled over. My children thoroughly enjoyed themselves and said they loved it just as much as the book (and a bit more!)

If you have the chance you simply MUST go and see it. It’s on now until 8th January and you can book tickets here. If you don’t get around to watching it this year, be sure to check back next year and book your tickets nice and early as it usually opens in November!

Disclaimer: We were given complimentary tickets for the show in exchange for an honest review. All words and opinions my own. 
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