Got an opinion on gendered marketing to kids? Have your say by joining Hasbro’s Family HotSpot community

**This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Hasbro**

I’ve written a lot about toy maker Hasbro in the past. They are the master licensee of Star Wars and Marvel toys – two of my favourite fandoms since childhood, which I am now passing on to my daughter. Continue reading Got an opinion on gendered marketing to kids? Have your say by joining Hasbro’s Family HotSpot community

Observations on hosting boy girl playdates (#mysundayphoto)

Recently I have been hosting boy girl playdates with my daughter and various boys in her class. They’ve been fascinating to witness. Continue reading Observations on hosting boy girl playdates (#mysundayphoto)

Girl with a Spider-Man camera (#MySundayPhoto)

It was love at first sight when our daughter spotted this Spider-Man camera toy.

She has never really been one to use pester power too much, and if she was I’m sure my wife and I wouldn’t easily acquiesce to her demands.

That said, on the rare occasions that she DOES beg me to buy her something I tend to go along with it, as this happens so rarely. TBH, it helps a lot if it’s something I think is cool. Continue reading Girl with a Spider-Man camera (#MySundayPhoto)

How – and why – ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is based on ‘The Wizard of Oz’

The Force Awakens has been frequently dismissed as a lazy rip-off of Star Wars, and it’s easy to see why – Death Star type threat, desert planet, stolen data in a droid, etc. But it’s clear to me that another story has been a key influence – The Wizard of Oz. Continue reading How – and why – ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ is based on ‘The Wizard of Oz’

Riding her bike without stabilisers #MySundayPhoto

I have a strong memory of riding my bike for the first time without stabilisers. We were at our old house, so I was no older than 6. It was on the street outside, which was safe as this was a time with far fewer cars. And my dad was holding the bike as I tried to balance. I kept asking for reassurance that he was holding on, and he assured me he was. Only at this moment he wasn’t, and I was still keeping upright. I was cycling.

While I was happy to be cycling without stabilisers, I still remember that moment of being lied to by my father. Sure, you could say it was for my own good, but I think it’s telling that I still recall this deception decades later and it remains the dominating aspect of the memory. If this were the Pixar movie Inside Out, this would be a core memory – and a bittersweet one.

As I still carry this memory of being lied to with me, one thing has always been clear in my mind as a parent – I will never lie to my daughter. Sure I may be disingenuous at times (“Daddy, is Father Christmas real?”, “Well, I’ve never seen him” I reply), I do not lie – and with riding a bike I tell her when I am going to let go.

I recall growing up with stabilisers on my bike, so was always of the mind that our daughter will learn this way too. I ignored the balance bikes that most parents seem to favour these days. But I now realise this was probably a mistake. Learning to balance is the key aspect of cycling that she simply couldn’t master, and wasn’t going to be able to with stabilisers. I recently read that children learn to ride despite having stabilisers on their bikes, not because of them.

So, we recently thought screw this – and ditched them. And within a few sessions, our 5-year-old daughter had learned to balance – and ride her bike for real. This photo isn’t the moment she learned – that was series of incremental incidents that extended in length from split seconds upwards, and they likely first occurred with her mother – but it was the first one I captured.

And I explained to her I was going to stand back and take a photo before she set off.
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Photalife