Back to school! 

Last week of the holibobs and the craziness begins, checking you’ve got & labelled all the uniform. 

Miss 4 starts on 12th September and she’s made my life easier by insisting she labels all the clothes for me, every 4year old loves stickers, so I bought them from http://www.mynametags.com, I sit back with a cuppa 👍🏻

 Genius! 

My mother is an amazing woman, and such an inspiration to my parenting, how she managed school shopping & sewing labels for 4 children’s uniforms &  4 different schools, and work, I will never know!! 

Boredom buster

A lounge, drive in cinema.  Simple a couple of cardboard boxes, crayons or felt tips, paperplate for steering wheel, popcorn & a good film. 2 happy children 😁👌🏻

Social Media/smart phones

Child Grooming & Abduction – A True Story.

So, I read this blog & I’m not exactly naive to the World Wide Web, but I do feel I ‘avoid’ the conversations, maybe, my reasoning is that mr 8.5 does not yet have any such mobile devices, we only have a PC in the lounge which we can all see. This reason I know, still isn’t enough.

I know Mr 8.5 is aware of on-line safety and school’s are doing a fantastic job of educating our children these days, but no matter how much educating we do, my question is; are children still too ‘immature’ to have so much access to these devices? 

I don’t mean ‘immature’ in a patronising way, but the average age of a child getting a Smart mobile phone is 10. An age of where children endure major changes in their life, physically and emotionally, from beginnings of puberty and changes in their schooling-SATs, secondary school etc. Their emotions are all over the place. For me, I often call it the dark ages, you wake up with a zit and feel ugly to the rest of the world, or your best mates got a new best mate,  or you feel like a failure because you didn’t pass the 11plus! 

Such insignificant issues now I’m 35, but thinking back, these things had a real impact on my moods and my emotional well being. So if someone, anyone shows any empathy with our children on line or otherwise, for them, all they can see is maybe a light relief from the everyday pressures, which I can completely relate to, but when I was younger there was no World Wide Web, there was the longer route home from school that was a ‘no-go’ area, but I went that way on occasions, why? I don’t know, maybe I wanted my parents to worry? maybe I needed to clear my head? maybe it felt good being rebellious? I really don’t have the answer, but at age 10, 11, 12, the dangers seemed minimal in comparison to whatever dramas the day had held.

so no matter how much on-line safety education is in place, our children of ages 9,10,11,12, or 13 plus, are still so vulnerable, and are they actually in a place where they are able to make such head strong decisions regarding their own safety? 

Should there be an age band on smart phones?  

Then there’s tablets? And consoles? A topic I have discussed before! Although, I do feel parents can monitor these to more of an extent, if children aren’t bedroom-bound to them! What are your thoughts? 

I don’t know what the answer is? The World Wide Web is a wonderful, yet very dangerous place!

What age did your children get a mobile device? 

What measures have you got in place? 

Do you monitor your children’s access? 

Three Little Pigs

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A few days at home together, and the children begged to go to the library, we returned with a themed selection of books Miss 4 chose.

 

 

So, the next couple of days we had lots of 3 Little Pig related fun.  How a simple, traditional fairytale can be brought to life.

We began by lunch: sticks, straw, bricks and cement, aka; Pepperami, cheese strings, thins and butter and jam. Not by any means suggesting we play with our food, but it was fun!

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Tub time, consisted of pink water, foam pigs and wolf on the tiles, a straw house made of drinking straws, a stick house made of lolly sticks and a brick house made of lego, not forgetting laminated parts of the story, to support  Miss 4 in story sequencing.

Needless to say, Little Miss 4 had a whale of a time, as I read the story while she bathed. She then used the story sequencing cards and put them in order. Then rein-acted the whole story herself, huffing and puffing at the houses!

Tub-times in our house are so much fun!

This morning greeted Little Miss 4 with a word hunt, I chose 9 words that were familiar in the Three Little Pigs story, and wrote out each word 3 or 4 times on post-its which I hid around the house, Miss 4 had to find them and read them aloud (if she could), before placing them on her clip board.  Little Miss 4, is ready for this literacy challenge and is quite good at sight reading, however you could always do picture, phonics or number hunts too.

 

Being such a glorious day, the afternoon found us in the garden, trying to build the pigs’ houses out of straw, sticks and bricks.  It was interesting watching little Miss 4 struggle to actually ‘build’ with straw and lift the heavy bricks and so on. I think this experience really brought the story story to life and enhanced Miss 4s understanding of the properties of different materials.

We then came back inside for some snacks, whilst Little Miss 4 performed the Three Little Pigs puppet show.IMG_9175IMG_9177IMG_9178

 

I must say, we’ve had a truly fabulous couple of days making memories together.  Sharing books is such a lovely warming experience in itself, bringing them to life is something else entirely!

So….what’s the story?

World Book day!🌍📚

I know, as a parent we can be extremely busy, & as much as I’m all up for making costumes, I respect this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

However, it’s world BOOK day, so before you go out and buy a random costume off the supermarket shelf, think about the books you actually read with your children, the ones your children know well!

Some children don’t even enjoy dressing up-keep it simple, there’s no competition for parent of the year award, best homemade costume etc, it’s about your child & installing a love for books. 

Bought costumes can get expensive, especially with multiple children, look around at household items you could use, and papier-mâché is the cheapest most valuable resource you could ever use! 


This was my son a couple of years ago as R2 D2-an adults white t-shirt, a few felt tips & a plastic mixing bowl! Cost=nil! 

Another year he was The snail & The Whale-must dig out those photos, absolutely phenomenal use of paper mâché!

This year Mr 8 (a huge book worm!) is Frodo Baggins from Lord of The Rings, and yes, he has actually read the books! (I hang my head in shame as I have not!)


A cheap eBay costume, with made accessories-paper-mâché feet with artificial hair. Homemade sword, again, paper-mâché & tin foil. 

Miss 4 wants to be Matilda, no it’s not a book she’s read herself, but it’s a book we read together of which she has a profound understanding and passion for. 


This costume was by far the most simple, I didn’t choose for her to be Matilda for the simplicity of the costume, in fact, that’s my point, I didn’t choose at all-it came from her. I simply assisted in putting the costume together.

So ask your children, what they would like to be for World Book day? What is their favourite book? Who’s their favourite character? 

Early literacy is so important, how often do you read with your child? Enough? How often is enough? 

I never read growing up, didn’t enjoy it at all, still don’t particularly, however as a mum and a nursery manager I recognise & understand the importance of reading with children. I’ve therefore always made a concerted effort to read to my children at least once a day, and as my first born got into Roald Dahl, so did I! 

Both my children could read and write pre-school, both my husband and I are busy people, work full-time, & not really readers, so why? I genuinely believe it is because I’ve read to them daily from the day they were born! 

So, if there’s one thing to do with your child on a busy working day-Read together.

World Book Day is almost like a religious festival in our house, don’t leave it until Wednesday night, get organised, make use of February half term-after all paper-mâché takes time to dry! It should be a fun occasion to share with your children not stressful! 

Tub time-Weather

One of my signature parenting activities is themed tub-times.  Such valuable times you can spend with your child, engaging and have fun!  And generally the ingredients are similar!

The themes I choose are generally around my children’s interests, stories or related to topics they are doing at school/nursery.

Today’s was weather related, so as Miss 3 has taken a great interest in literacy recently I displayed weather related words using foam letters, the clouds, rainbow, raindrops etc, I simply cut out from craft foam, which is great for sticking to the sides of the bath and wall tiles!  I used shaving foam (sensitive! LOTS!!) to represent snow.  I used blue food paste for colouring the bath water-go easy though!

Then we had a little science experiment in the glass bowl, I filled it with water, and Miss 3 squirted shaving foam on top (Fantastic activity for developing those fine motor skills for early writing!!), she did need a little help to do this, the shaving foam here, represents clouds.  Miss 3 then used a medicine syringe (again, really working on those fine motor skills, but not even realizing it-parenting at it’s best!!) , to suck up some of her blue bath water and squirt it gently on top the clouds, as yo can see from the pictures, eventually the ‘clouds’ become heavy and it starts to ‘rain’!

Bedtime stories tonight were weather related ‘What Makes a Rainbow’, ‘The Other Ark’ and ‘Meet the Snowy Animals’.Great fun!

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Post Comment Love

An Ode to a Two Year Old

I must say, two year olds have to be my favourite age group to work with, such an exploratory  impulse, wanting to learn, but little understanding of communication and limited social skills, a time when a mummy (and daddy) is their best friend! And a time where their innocence shows no discrimination’s.

I thought I’d share with you a poem I wrote several years ago, relating to the frustrations of a mother in a supermarket referring to their child as going through the ‘terrible’ twos!!

 

I see it.

I want it.

It’s mine RIGHT NOW!

I take it.

They cry, but it’s okay; I’ve got it now.

I speak with my actions

           as words I have few,

I do what I do 

     because, me,

I’m only 2!

In fact,

It’s all about me,

In my  little zone,

You?

Them?

Her?

Him?

How can I understand their emotions

While I’m still learning my own??!!

I stamp my feet.

I shout and scream.

It’s my prerogative

       to be emotionally extreme!

After all;

Words I have few,

I do what I do

      Because me,

I’m only 2!

 

Sorry if I embarrass you

In the supermarket shop-

I don’t get why I can’t have what I see

So I tell you in a ‘strop’.

I don’t mean to upset you

Or turn your face tomato red,

I lay on the floor,

Shout and struggle-

An emotional puzzle in my head,

I can’t describe it as words I have few,

I do what I do

          Because me,

I’m only 2!

 

Physically,

Cognitively,

Emotionally,

I’m changing every day,

I’m becoming independent

And NOTHING can stand in my way!!

A determined explorer-

     that’s me at my best!

An inquisitive learner

On a twonager quest.

I see it, so I touch it,

I smell it then taste it.

“What are you doing now?!”

You then say to me.

I’m exploring with my senses

        Because me,

I’m only 2, not yet 3!

 

So before you throw negative comments

          my way:

“Yet another tantrum”

“It’s the terrible twos”

Please think before you say.

And just remember this:

There’s nothing terrible in me being 2,

I do what I do

   Because me,

I’m ONLY (not terrible) 2!!!!

 

By Katie Keeley

Hello world wide web!

Wow! I am mightily excited to be starting this blog! It was actually requested by many close friends who love my ‘bombarding Facebook posts’ of mischief my children and I get up to in the evenings and weekends.  Many people have said my Facebook page is ‘inspiring’, which made me realise I need to share it with you, so here goes……..

First blog post

Hello world wide web!!!

Wow! I am mightily excited to be starting this blog! It was actually requested by many close friends who love my ‘bombarding Facebook posts’ of mischief my children and I get up to in the evenings and weekends.  Many people have said my Facebook page is ‘inspiring’, which made me realise I need to share it with you, so here goes……..