Tuesday 22 June 2021

The Benefits of the Arts In Education

Does your child love music, dancing and drama? These subjects offer countless benefits to your child’s education and play an important role in developing their communication, creativity and problem-solving skills.

I have collaborated with a performing arts school in North London to explore more of the reasons why these creative subjects are an important part of your child’s education…


Drama lessons are a great way to build a child’s self-esteem. Speaking clearly and confidently in front of others isn’t easy for all children. However, these skills can be developed through drama exercises. Learning to play an instrument can also help to increase confidence. This is because music provides many ‘levels’ of learning and accomplishments. This motivates children to reach new musical grades and gives them a sense of pride when they are achieved.

Encourages Teamwork 

Performing arts encourages solidarity within a class. Teamwork is important for children to learn because it will allow them to form friendships and work together in order to reach a shared goal. Additionally, through these creative subjects students will be exposed to many different opinions and perspectives, and receive feedback and advice. This will teach children how to respect, support and encourage each other.

Enhances Literacy Skills

In drama classes children will learn about famous plays and practice script reading. Not only will this help to improve your child’s reading skills, but it will also introduce them to different ways of using language, extend their vocabulary and advance their spelling and punctuation. This will help greatly when it comes to creative writing exercises in English lessons.

Behind the scenes

Finally, if your child’s school like to put on a show, they may have an opportunity to experience different activities that go on behind the scenes. For example, they may have a chance to get involved in costume making or set design. School shows also provide an opportunity for students to help with lighting and sound, or even experience filming and photography.


Saturday 19 June 2021

4 months of loving Bea

 4 whole months of loving Bea!

I can't believe it, it feels like she's been part of our lives forever but then like she only entered the world yesterday.

She is our little ray of sunshine, she has brightened up all our lives since she arrived.

Bea has finally met her great granny! My Gran has been desperate for me to have a girl and was over the moon when I told her. In one year she has gained two great-granddaughters! She is feeling very blessed.

Bea has mastered rolling over and can now move around her playmat in a sort of push and pull motion.
We've just had to buy her a new playmat as her one is now much too small for her.

We also got her and all the boys baptised last weekend, and she was a little star and enjoyed the whole day.

She has also found her voice and likes to share her daily shouts with the world.
She also learned to giggle, though she doesn't do it much right now it is the best sound, and all the boys love trying to make her laugh. It has become a daily competition to see who can make her laugh first.

She is also starting to take notice of the four-legged furry ones.
She never really paid much attention to them before, but now if one of the pets walks past her she will follow them until they are out of her eyesight.

Sleep....she is sleeping but sometimes it'll be on me, sometimes it'll be beside me and when it was really hot she actually slept in her crib beside my bed.
However she does it, she does it. She'll still have night feeds and to be fair I can't see them stopping anytime soon but I don't mind as she goes right back to sleep afterwards.

Bea is also teething now, my mum bought her an amber necklace as all the boys had one and I swore they helped.
She also enjoys munching down on her Sophie la girafe.
I'm excited for her to get her teeth but worried for me at the same time, I haven't breastfed a baby with teeth before!

Now she's on the move slightly and is able to hold things, I'm starting to look for toys to keep her entertained.
If anyone has any recommendations for some good sensory or developmental toys please let me know!

Getting Your Child To Like Science

 How to Raise a Science Lover

Science gives children the opportunity to practice and develop many different skills. This diverse subject offers numerous advantages to your child’s education. Science helps to encourage curiosity, problem-solving and sparks new ideas. Most importantly, science gives children a better understanding of how the world works. 

If you would like your child to develop an interest in science from an early age, here are some helpful tips from an independent school in London

Have fun with your child’s questions

There are many fantastic resources available for teaching your child about science; however one of the best places to start is exploring your child’s own questions and ideas. For example, if your child asks you why the sun and moon change, you could set up a learning activity using a globe and a torch to demonstrate. If they ask why certain objects sink and float, you can experiment in the garden using your paddling pool. The trick is to always make learning science fun!

Take science learning outdoors

Exploring the great outdoors is another fun way to teach your child about science. Encourage your child to explore plants and wildlife by making it interesting. Children can help in the garden by planting seeds and helping them grow. You could even give them a jar and a magnifying glass and let them collect flowers, leaves and insects. They can then use the magnifying glass to study them closely and learn more about them. Exploring nature together will also teach your child to respect the environment and all living things. 

Add science to play activities

Finally, try to incorporate science learning into your child’s play activities. Building blocks and modelling clay are both ideal for introducing science to younger children. These activities encourage children to be creative and problem-solve, which are both important science skills. If you don’t mind getting messy, you could also introduce some safe home experiments like making slime. Children LOVE slime and it is a great way to teach them about chemical bonds and molecules.

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Friday 18 June 2021

Review // Amawrap stretchy wrap

- Free to Roam with the amawrap stretchy wrap -

Ever since I bought my first wrap for Ru I have been in love with babywearing.
I was always gutted I never did it with the others, but since I found out I was Bea I was so excited to be starting another baby-wearing journey.

Recently I was very kindly gifted a 100% cotton stretchy baby wrap from Amawrap in olive green.

About Amawrap

Amawrap is now one of the most respected baby sling companies worldwide. They pride themselves on being there for parents, going as far as to offer one on one video calls if they feel hesitant in their tying abilities!

They are delighted that amawrap's are still Made in the UK, and their manufacturers have been making them for nearly ten years. They have as much passion and love for their wraps as they do!

They also provide slings and training to local hospitals in order to encourage them to use them with their premature babies, a method called “kangaroo care”, and they also provide wraps for charities.

I have used woven, ring slings, half buckle half woven, buckle carries but never a stretchy sling until Bea was born.
Stretchy wraps are worn like wovens but without the added fuss of trying to get the difficult carries right,
something I always struggled with.
The stretchy wraps use one simple method and boom you're ready to go!
 What I love is if you are going on the school run but need to drive first you can put on the wrap on before you leave the house and once parked up at school you can slip the baby in and you're good to go!

 A few shots of me putting on the carrier ...

You can find a full how-to video here 

I love the closeness babywearing brings and how it leaves me hands-free to get on with other things, such as the housework or cooking the boys their dinner or even just getting out in the garden. Bea can be with me at all times, as she is most happy when I'm in her eyesight and she hates to be left in her seat whilst I dash about the house.
It also makes shopping trips much easier, as at the moment I'm not too happy about popping her in those baby trolley seats due to covid just in case they haven't been cleaned properly.

Bea loves the closeness our amawrap brings, it's like an extended hug. 
She feels safe, she can hear my heartbeat and at the moment she is teething, so rather enjoys munching down on the side of the wrap when she's in it.
I love that I can wear it in the car ready for when I need it, or that it rolls up nicely to fit into my changing bag.

The amawrap baby sling is made with100% cotton making it super soft and snuggly.
It can carry from 5lb right up to 33lb!
It provides the optimal positional support for babies knees - always remember to make sure the babe's legs are in that all-important  'M' position.
Made right here in the UK.
It can also be washed in the washing machine at 30 or 40 degrees, depending on how dirty it is, it's best not to tumble dry.
RRP £44.99 with same day free shipping!

Here are some babywearing benefits -
  • Decreases risk of SIDS and flat-head syndrome.
  • Babies carried in slings are calmer and cry less. In most cultures, where babies are held almost constantly, they are typically in a quiet alert state and rarely cry for more than brief periods.
  • It is easy to nurse discreetly when the baby is in a sling as the fabric shields both the baby and the mother from the public view. Nursing in a sling is most successful when both feeding and carrying skills are mastered separately.
  • Travelling is easier when babies are tucked securely into slings.
  • Babies in slings are more receptive to learning and display enhanced visual and auditory alertness.
  • Strengthens the bond between parent and baby, as you maintain a closeness throughout your day, especially during the "4th trimester."
  • Wearing your baby helps them adjust to the outside world
  • Worn babies have the opportunity to learn more

When babywearing it is important to remember the T.IC.K.S rule;
T - tight
I - in view at all times
C - close enough to kiss
K - keep chin off the chest
S- Supported back.

This wrap would make a perfect newborn gift! 
We love ours and I'm currently using it more than my buckle carrier, as I find it doesn't hurt my back as much. Bea also feels more supported in it.
Even if we go out with the pushchair, it is always on hand for when Bea gets fed up with being in the pushchair and would rather be up with me being able to see what's going on all around her. 

amawrap come in a range of colours to choose from and you can find them over on their website https://amawrap.co.uk, not only do they design beautiful stretchy wraps they have a range of maternity and nursing wear.


Tuesday 15 June 2021

Helping Your Child Become More Optimistic

Helping your child to foster an optimistic attitude will give them the skills they need to deal with any challenges they encounter in life. Being optimistic will also boost your child’s happiness and motivate them to achieve their goals.

So how can you help your child to become more optimistic? Here is some great advice from an independent school for boys in London

Highlight the positives

If you want your child to be more optimistic, then you will need to teach them how by setting a good example. This means trying to avoid negative comments when something goes wrong and instead highlighting the positives. Teach your child to view mistakes as learning opportunities and always give them praise for trying hard even if they didn’t achieve their desired outcome.

Nurture a growth mind-set

Help to nurture a ‘growth mindset’ within your child by discussing the importance of resilience and perseverance. A growth mindset is an optimistic way of thinking, which will help to support your child through challenges and setbacks. Children with a growth mindset believe that their abilities will improve over time if they keep trying.

Give your child trust

Showing your trust in your child and giving them more responsibility will help them to develop an optimistic outlook. Allow your child to do more things on their own to help build their feelings of competency. For example, you could give your child a list of household jobs to help with, such as cleaning up or feeding a pet. 

Encourage gratitude

Finally, for an instant boost of optimism, encourage your child to think about all of the things they are grateful for. This can be anything from the weather to a person that they love. You could even encourage your child to keep a gratitude journal, in which they write down everything that makes them happy each day. Practising daily gratitude is such an effective technique for improving mental health and maintaining an optimistic attitude. 

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Thursday 10 June 2021

Exploring Mindfulness with Your Child

Mindfulness is a relaxation technique, which helps you to focus on the present moment and calm a busy mind. This means slowing down and paying attention to your senses and feelings, in order to achieve a calmer presence and improve your mental health.

For many children mindfulness is particularly helpful for managing stress caused by exams or their social life. Mindfulness teaches them how to slow down and focus on the present moment, instead of their worries. Mindfulness will also increase your child’s emotional resilience and help them to develop important coping skills for the future.

If you want to teach your child mindfulness, here are some top tips from a Prep School in Buckinghamshire

Practice with your child

Take time each day to practice mindfulness with your child by slowing down and observing your surroundings. This could be anywhere; in the car, at the park or simply at home. Pause and remind your child to tune into their senses. What can they see, hear, smell and feel? - Share your observations with each other. You may be surprised to find that you have both noticed something different.

Pay attention to breathing

Teach your child to pay attention to their breathing. You can do this by lying down and focusing on the sensation of the air going in and out of your body. This is helpful for relaxation, particularly if your child is stressed or anxious. Encourage your child to put their hands on their tummy and feel it moving up and down. After you have practised this for a short time, ask your child if they feel more relaxed? 

Try mindfulness when eating

‘Mindful eating' is a great activity to practice with children. Choose a favourite food and then ask your child to take a bite and really savour the taste using all of their senses. Instruct them to smell the food, describe the flavour and observe the texture. Use this exercise to enjoy a special treat together such as chocolate. You could even include a few surprise flavours to see if they can identify them.

Encourage mindfulness at bedtime

Bedtime is an ideal time to introduce your child to mindfulness, especially if they have difficulty sleeping. Try a mindfulness technique called the ‘body-scan meditation’ to help your child relax. Ask your child to close their eyes and lay comfortably in bed. Then ask them to gradually observe different areas of their body starting at their feet and working their way up to the top of their head. What feelings do they have in each part of their body? For example, they might tingle or feel heavy or warm. They may even be more aware of how the bed feels against their body. This exercise will help your child to relax and fall asleep.

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Monday 7 June 2021

Review // Myrtle & Maude Breastfeeding Bundle

I was recently sent this lovely breastfeeding bundle from Myrtle & Maude.
Lately, I have been having some issues with thinking that my milk supply is a bit naff, so I was quite excited to try their Milk Flow tea, which helps aid lactation due to the special blend of herbs.

What's in the bundle?

- Two bags of Milk Flow tea (30 tea bags)
- One Muslin square
- 6 bamboo washable breast pads and 1 little breast pad pouch.

RRP £19.99

The milk flow tea is organic, caffeine-free, certified vegan friendly and in biodegradable tea bags!

About their ingredients...

  • Fenugreek seeds are a strengthening post-birth tonic stabilising emotions, soothing nerves, helping to replenish energy levels, and promoting the production of breast milk.
  • Aniseed, beneficial for promoting lactation and encouraging healthy breastfeeding.
  • Fennel seed is a renowned breast milk enhancer and in addition to cumin, an excellent digestive herb.
  • Nettles and alfalfa leaves have been used since the times of the druids as a nourishing mineral-rich tonic and to improve the quality and quantity of breast milk.
  • Caraway, have the property to stimulate lactation in nursing women.
  • Chamomile to relax and soothe the nervous and digestive system, our lactation tea is a power-packed post-birth blend to support and nourish and all in a delicious cup of tea.

Since having Bea I have completely gone off coffee and have replaced my daily cups of coffee for cups of fennel seed teas, as I knew fennel was good for milk production, so anything to help I was up for. I have become quite a fan of the taste.

I was a bit sceptical about a tea that is meant to help increase your milk, but I do feel pretty confident in the fact it has helped me feel more confident about my supply.

***Though I do feel I need to stress that the number one way to increase your milk supply is to feed feed feed or pump pump pump, and if you are having troubles with a low supply speaking to a specialist will definitely help.***

Myrtle & Maude's milk flow tea has become part of my daily routine, I have a cup in the morning and another in the afternoon if I can catch a spare moment.

It tastes lovely and I'm pretty sure it is helping with my milk production, my breasts definitely feel fuller and Bea seems to be more settled after a feed.
I will be buying myself more once I have run out.

I'm a bit rubbish with using breast pads, lucky I don't seem to leak that much.
 I used them religiously when Bea was first born but since then I haven't really needed to, especially with lockdown in place, but now places are opening back up and things are starting to return to normal, it's nice to have these for when we go out just in case I do leak.
They are super soft and the handy bag is great for popping into the changing bag.

This breastfeeding bundle would make a great little gift for a new mum planning on breastfeeding.
The guys over at Myrtle & Maude have given me a special 10% discount for my readers, so if you are planning on buying this or any of their other natural products -  they have a great range covering everything from conception through to labour and breastfeeding, make sure you use it at the checkout.

- hannahshaw10 -



Wednesday 2 June 2021

Sunshine, haircuts and new houses

Well helloooooo sunshine!!!
How nice is the weather at the moment?

I know it will probably disappear as quickly as it arrived, but we are definitely making the most of it.

We finally got the twins and Ru hair appointments much to their disappointment, they wanted their hair cut but they also wanted to carry on growing it. After a pep talk from Jon, they were more than happy to go and have it all chopped off for the summer, They probably grow it back when the weather gets colder again.
Ru is always wanting his hair cut so he practically ran all the way to the barbers.

Last week we went to view the new house again and get some measurements so we can get prepared for moving in.
It was nice going back, as everything seemed bigger and more exciting, we took Noah along with us as he was off from school due to feeling under the weather and he has been on the fence about moving but once he saw the house he fell in love with it just like we did.
We also took a virtual tour of the new school we are hoping he gets into and he really liked the look of it.

Over the Bank holiday weekend, we went over to Jon's parents' house and the boys all got to splash around in the pool and Bea had her first hot tub experience.
She loved it, which wasn't a surprise as she is a big bath fan.
I was a bit apprehensive about getting into a swimming costume, but once in the hot tub and seeing Bea smile I completely forgot about my insecurities. 

Also in the last few weeks, we have cracked the laying down to feed position, which means we are getting more sleep coming nighttime! I'm also finding that I'm waking up before Bea and being able to get dressed and get the boys breakfast before she wakes, which is really helpful during the week when getting ready for the school run.

Jon turned 35 last week and me and the boys got him a little cake and popped some bunting up whilst he was at work, he usually doesn't get much fuss on his birthday so he was pleasantly surprised when he came home.

I dug out Ru's Oscha ring sling to get a snap of Bea in it, as I have a photo of Ru in it just like this, which I shared over on my insta 

Other than that we haven't really been up to much.
Just the usual and now it's the half term we will probably have a few park trips and hang out in the garden.

My new favourite Lucy & Yak dungarees.
I'm trying to step out of my comfort zone and try more things, also trying to get my head around my weight gain is a slow process but I think I'm on the right road.