Memorial Day weekend is not only the start of beach, pool, and grilling season, but it's also the official start of the Summer movie season! While we like to encourage our lil ones to spend as much time outside as possible during the warm weather months, a cool, air-conditioned theater is the perfect respite on a scorching day, or when foul weather comes into play. While mom and dad may have a few flicks on their must-see list this Summer, we're pretty sure you'll also enjoy a number of the season's animated movies, too. Click through to see what's on tap for the coming months and let us know which are on your list of must-see movies!
Disney Junior introduced hit new series Sofia the First earlier this year, and it quickly became the channel's highest-rated show (sorry, Mickey). But Sofia might be getting some competition starting Monday, April 15, when Henry Hugglemonster makes its debut at 5 p.m. At least one toddler (my daughter) thinks Henry is the coolest monster to ever hit the small screen, and just to prove her allegiance, she watched my 22-minute preview episode a record 15 times over the course of three days (mostly during a road trip; I'm not that crazy of a mother!).
So what makes fun-loving, 5-year-old Henry so addictive? I'm guessing the combination of bold-colored, silly-looking monster characters, fun sayings (everything in Henry's world is "Hugglerific" and "Roarsome"), and sweet story lines that focus on the close bond between the Hugglemonster family, which consists of Henry, Momma, Daddo, big sister Summer, older brother Cobby, and baby Ivor. Grandparents Nan-oh and Grando also make guest appearances. Family dynamics and support are a huge focus of the show, but we also see the Hugglemonsters interacting with their neighbors and friends in the town of Roarsville, a friendly community that's home to a variety of species of monsters.
Look for Isabella Roarson (voiced by Spice Girls' Geri Halliwell), a spirited and popular monster pop star; the Enormomonsters, a family of very large monsters including Ernest, Ernestine (voiced by Atonement's Brenda Blethyn), and their daughter Estelle; and Denzel Dugglemonster, Henry's best friend who has scoop-shaped hands that are perfect for digging.
Whether Henry is trying to help his baby brother, Ivor, get to sleep or asking his sister, Summer, for help, the show is all about optimism, persistence, and teamwork, great lessons for toddlers — and their parents, now that I think about it. Add in the upbeat songs found in each episode (Momma Hugglemonster often plays the piano and Summer is a budding singer and dancer), and you have a recipe for kid success. Check out Henry Hugglemonster on Monday, and let us know if your kids are as obsessed as ours are!
Source: Disney Junior
Letting your grade-school-age child watch a movie you've never seen yourself can be like walking in a field of land mines. As many Circle of Moms members point out, even movies with G and PG ratings contain violence, crude language, and sexual themes that are scary or age-inappropriate. What's more, a G or PG rating is far from a guarantee that your child will be enchanted.
Circle of Moms member Teresa resignedly states, "It depends on the specific movie, not the rating." So what's a mom in search of a good movie for her grade-school-age child to do?
I surveyed the Circle of Moms communities for movies that not only get the mom seal of approval, but that grade-school-age kids also tend to love. Queue up your DVR!
It may not be the most politically correct thing to admit, but sometimes in order to get the laundry done, phone calls made, and other important things accomplished, we moms turn to the TV to keep our little ones occupied. Just because the TV is on though doesn’t mean your child has to be watching something without merit.
Many Circle of Moms members are working hard to make TV time worthwhile for their kids by setting time limits, not using the television for background noise, and paying more attention to the educational ratings and content of the shows.
The most exciting episodes on our favorite TV shows are when the characters, who we feel like are actually a part of our lives, experience a major life event — an engagement, a wedding, or in this case, the birth of a baby. Whether you counted down trimesters along with Rachel on Friends or shed a tear when Parenthood's Julia and Joel finalized the adoption of their son, Victor, a new addition to a beloved TV family is a must-watch affair. Here, seven of our favorite babies to make their debut on the small screen. Don't change the channel!