Bought to you by Nuffnang and Disney Junior.
I don’t know about you, but Disney stories are very popular in our household. The modern and the classics. We have quite a collection of Disney DVD’s, most bought post children, but not all J. Toy Story, Cars, Tangled, Aladdin and of course Frozen have all been watched over and over here, and still retain their magic for the kids and for us too.
However, I have to admit that until quite recently I did not know about Disney Junior The Channel. Now, we don’t have pay tv (where it is found on Foxtel, channel 709) but for those like us, it’s also available online here. And this week, Book Week, they are launching the new season of ‘The Book of Once Upon a Time’, a beautiful, locally produced storytelling series hosted by Kate Mulvany, a fabulous Australian actor and playwright. And it’s brilliant to hear and watch an Australian accent! Kate’s storytelling is fabulous. They kicked the new series off on Monday 24th August at 7:10pm with “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt” and they’re going to follow up with new stories from “Winnie the Pooh”, “Aladdin”, “Sleeping Beauty” and, wait for it, “Frozen”. Yes that’s right, there will be more Frozen for the kids to shout wildly about.
Last night, we watched “Snow White and the Great Jewel Hunt”. Our normal bedtime ritual is reading a story all together in Ms 4’s room, before Mr 2 goes off to bed. Last night we all watched the story together on the couch and it was lovely to see how the kids reacted to it. The story was approximately 6 minutes, perfect for toddlers and preschoolers, who can’t always sit and concentrate for too long, especially in the evening when they’re tired. It was a lovely little magical moment to watch the kids faces as the story was told. The format is a little nod to the tradition of classic story telling – Kate Mulvany sits in a comfy chair, turning the pages of a lovely big book, not only using character voices but also jumping up and re-enacting different scenes. And there are moments of animation that add to the magical quality. I was thrown back to my childhood, watching the seven dwarves and the classic Disney animated characters. And I could see Ms 4, her face alight, loving the story telling as well.
At the end of each episode, the “Land of Once Upon a Time” lullaby is sung, and it was great! The kids were about to launch into requests for another episode when the lullaby started. It encourages kids to prepare for bed and snuggle down. It was brilliant! It supported me in pointing out that it was the end and time for bed – thank you!
I know some parents are unsure about screen time and how to balance it in their kids’ lives. I know we do, and it’s always something to monitor. I quite like these little episodes because they are short, we sit with the kids and it’s storytelling, something we are very passionate about encouraging as parents. Disney Junior know that parent’s want to encourage imagination in their children and that they also want educational content to include things like: Social skills, moral values , good basic habits and creative thinking. And so, they combine the story telling with the following learning components: Early language and maths skills, encouraging healthy lifestyles and emphasising social and emotional development.
We had lovely time last night, and we will definitely be watching more episodes. If you want to watch online just click here to go through to the Disney Story Room. Or if you have Foxtel, you can tune in at 7:10pm every day on the Disney Junior The Channel. The stories are available as eBooks from the Disney Store Central app, available to download from iTunes.
How about you? Are you surrounded by a small army of Disney fans who will love this? Let me know what you think!