January 17, 2014 6:53 pm

Barometer: self-assembly toys

Show the young tykes the benefits of building their own playthings. Also featured: family films for 2014

Clockwise from left: Mr Printables calendar, Eenymeeny lip balm, Clara and Macy sewing kit, Three Potato Four dinosaur and HedgeHog weaving loom

 Meet the Monthers

A free printable calendar to assemble at home from this excellent website

mrprintables.com

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. . .

Shimmer Lip Balm

Makes four pots, with beeswax, cocoa butter and pearlescent colour powder

£14.95, eenymeenykids.co.uk

. . .

Wind-up T-Rex

Build your dinosaur with a wind-up motor

£5, threepotatofour.co.uk

. . .

Clara and Macy Kitten Kit

Very cute kitty sewing kit; a whole menagerie of animals is also available from Clara and Macy

£18, etsy.com

. . .

Weaving Loom

Children make (and then cut) their own cloth with this kid-friendly loom

£15, hedgehogshop.co.uk

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The line-up: Family films for 2014

Children get another bumper year from the silver screen in 2014. First up is Mr Peabody & Sherman from DreamWorks (released February 7), an animated tale of a Nobel Prize-winning dog with a human sidekick. Directed by The Lion King’s Rob Minkoff.

Postman Pat

Spring arrives with Postman Pat: The Movie, in which our heroic delivery man, voiced by comedian Stephen Mangan, finds himself in a TV talent show.

In the summer, Dorothy Gale dusts off her shoes for Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return, an animated foray back into yellow-brick road territory, with an all-star voiceover chorus including Kelsey Grammer, surely irresistible as the Tin Man. DreamWorks returns with How to Train Your Dragon 2, and the big franchises hammer out more hits through the year with Muppets Most Wanted, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Night at the Museum 3. Also released in the summer is Pudsey: The Movie, starring David Walliams as the voice of the eponymous dancing dog, of Britain’s Got Talent fame.

Promising the best laughs is The Nut Job, a cracking heist movie in which a motley crew of squirrels and other rodents plot to rob Maury’s Nut Store. They risk all in hope of a heavenly supply of walnuts, pistachios and peanut brittle. Katherine Heigl and Liam Neeson are among the star voice cast (release date to be confirmed).

And as a Christmas treat from the Weinstein Company in December, Colin Firth packs his marmalade sandwiches for his stint as the Peruvian bear in Paddington, co-starring Hugh Bonneville and Nicole Kidman.

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