Thursday, October 20, 2011

Review: Prima Princessa presents Sleeping Beauty

I had already reviewed two previous videos by Prima Princessa, and we loved them, so I was happy to get a copy of this one to review. It did not disappoint. I think this one may even be the girls' favorite, because the story is somewhat familiar and it involves a prince and princess.

Prima Princessa presents Sleeping Beauty follows the same format of Prima Princessa's previous productions in that it features a shortened version of a ballet, performed this time by the Royal Ballet from London. Between segments of the ballet, dance steps are demonstrated by ballet students and then viewers are encouraged to try the steps and dance along with the children on the DVD. The programs are arranged specifically to hold the attention of young children. They can enjoy watching a ballet and learning about dance whether or not they can attend a live performance or participate in a dance class.

The girls wanted to get involved in this one. Suzi, who barely touches anything girlish these days, felt moved to run upstairs and fish a pink tutu out of the dress-up basket. I took about 30 pictures.

Ivey wanted to play too. She grabbed the tutu, put it on herself and pranced around the living room in circles saying "I Aroya! I Aroya!"

So they both loved watching the ballerinas in Sleeping Beauty. I enjoyed it too, as it's much more pleasant to hear and watch than almost any kids' show and encourages them to get off the couch and move around.

Also, Prima Princessa presents Sleeping Beauty has a little something extra at the end--arts and crafts, a tea party, and acting demonstrations. My girls were happy to see the DVD keep going after the ballet was over. The cute craft ideas were my favorite (and there are more craft ideas on their Tutuzone website). Since we are homeschooling, we frequently enjoy making things together!

For all the entertainment and fun activities this video provides, the price cannot be beat. It can be purchased here on Amazon. I think it'd be especially good to save for a rainy day or a playdate!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

When zoning out is a useful skill

A couple of friends posted on Facebook recently about First Flight, an organization that helps people who aren't necessarily athletic to become runners. I've tried running before. It never stuck. But when I saw my friends posting photos of themselves decked out in colorful running gear, grinning before a 5K, I thought maybe I did want to run again. I hate the idea that because I am no longer a child, and now have children of my own, I have missed a chance. I never lost all the weight I gained with Robert, and sometimes I feel weak and tired. I want to be able to keep up with my kids as they grow and ask me to play tag or go hiking. So I went to First Flight. They are starting us out slow and working us up to running a 5K.

The first night was hard, but good. Megan and I had jumped in on week 3 of training, and the most we ran without walking breaks was three minutes. I did all the running but struggled to keep up. When I started running on my own I tried using my iPod, and it helped. I could turn on my favorite fast-paced music and focus on it. I think this is why I've never liked talking to people while I run. It brings me back into the real world where I am tired and my legs hurt.

It made me think of Robert's birth, for which I had taken a class to, in a sophisticated way, perfect my oft-discouraged zoning talent. In Hypnobabies, we listened to scripts for relaxation and self-hypnosis. We practiced, and for various stages of the birth there were special scripts to listen to. We never played them, though. Robert was born without a lot of commotion--so unlike Suzi's hospital birth, at which I had yet to perfect my zoning and it was discouraged, anyway.

I am totally zoned out here, minutes away from meeting Robert.

This skill is quite helpful with running. I pick a tree or cloud to stare through and fall into a rhythm with whatever is playing on my iPod. It helps me run longer and a little faster. If I didn't have this capability I probably wouldn't run at all. When I am done running I feel great. I am happier and have more patience with my kids. I also think regular zoning-while-running will help me greatly if we ever have another baby.

So to all those teachers who got on my case for zoning, which is basically the only thing I ever did to get in trouble in school: See how wrong you were? In our homeschool, The Lost Art of Zoning will be a required class. We will do totally aimless painting, listen to music, walk, run, jump on the trampoline, and stare out the window at the pretty clouds and trees. I bet having a designated time to do it will improve focus when it is necessary, like during math. This is a God-given capability and we must have it for a reason. I know I am not the only one.

Do you zone? Has it ever been useful to you?

P.S. I'll be back soon with pictures of the kids and more about my new running adventure!