Thursday, 12 May 2022

Helping Your Child Transition from Nursery into Big School


When the time comes for your child to move up to a big school from nursery, they are probably feeling a mixture of emotions. It can be both exciting and daunting, as there will be lots of new experiences coming their way. 

To make the transition a little easier, I have teamed up with a nursery school in London to share some advice on what parents can do to support their little ones.




 

Talk About School in a Positive Light

 

To help your child feel less nervous and more excited about their new school, try and use positive terminology when talking about it. Talk about how exciting it will be to make new friends and explore new hobbies. Avoid saying things like “I hated school when I was your age” because that will fill them with anxiety. 

 

Take Your Child to Visit the School

 

If possible, try and take your child to the school a few times before their first day so that they can become more familiar with it. You don’t necessarily have to go inside because even simply getting them used to the journey to and from will help ease some of their nerves.

 

Encourage Your Child to Be Independent

 

When your child starts big school, they will be expected to know the basics of looking after themselves, like dressing and undressing for PE, using the toilet, or managing cutlery when eating. With this in mind, encourage your child to attempt these things at home without your help until they become more proficient and therefore more confident. 

 

Buy the Uniform Together

 

Get your child involved in buying their new uniform and other school supplies and try and make it an exciting, fun experience for them. Once you have bought the uniform and shoes, encourage them to practice putting it on and taking it off before the start of term so that they are ready for their first day.

Wednesday, 11 May 2022

Top Tips for Preparing Your Child for the School Bus

 

Catching the bus to and from school is a big step for children and it can often fill them with a sense of anxiety. With that said, it’s a good idea for parents to try and prepare their child as much as they can if they are going to be riding the bus going forward. This should help them feel less nervous when the time comes. So, how can parents help prepare their child for the school bus? Here are some tips from a senior school in Surrey.




 

Practice the Route

 

Before your child has to start catching the bus on their own, you should practice the route with them a few times first. This will help familiarise them with the journey so they are confident about when they should get on and off. It will also help them feel more comfortable with getting the bus as they’ll know what to expect. 

 

Talk About It

 

Don’t avoid the subject of the school bus. Try and ease your child’s nerves by talking about it and using enthusiastic, positive language to describe the experience. Give them the opportunity to ask any questions they may have so that you can put their fears to bed.

 

Find a Travel Buddy

 

Talk to the school and see if they can inform you of any other children in the local area who might be catching the same bus. That way, your child will have a familiar face whom they can travel with, even if they don’t necessarily sit together. 

 

Prepare for the Worst

 

Chat with your child about what they should do if things go wrong like if they lose their bus pass or money, miss the bus or if it doesn’t turn up. Your child needs to have a plan in place for these scenarios so that they don’t end up panicking.

Tuesday, 10 May 2022

How to Help Your Child Learn a New Language


 

There are lots of benefits to learning a second language, particularly in childhood. It can support cognitive development and aid memory and concentration, as well as improving the ability to multitask. In most UK schools, children must learn a language as part of their education. As a parent, there are various things you can do at home to help them, as explored below by private school in Cheshire.




 

Encourage Regular Practise

 

When it comes to learning a new language, the phrase “little and often” comes to mind. Memory is aided by repetition, so the more often your child practises the language, even in short bursts, the more likely they are to remember it. Even if you schedule in half an hour or so each day for studying, the language will sink in more quickly than if they only practise once a week.

 

Label Everything

 

As mentioned above, constant exposure is key, so it would benefit your child to label items around the house in the target language so that they can practise the words and phrases every time they see them. 

 

Use Technology

 

There are lots of apps and games your child could download onto their smartphone or tablet to help them learn the language, as well as TV shows, music, and audiobooks they could engage in. This will expose them to the language in a fun and entertaining way, as opposed to sitting with their head in a textbook for hours on end. This makes it more engaging and memorable.

 

Look for a Study Buddy

 

If you can’t speak the language yourself, you won’t be able to practise with your child. However, you could encourage them to invite a friend over after school so that they can practise together. They will be able to work on their conversational skills, which is difficult to do when studying alone.

Monday, 9 May 2022

Helping Your Child Become More Independent


Helping your child with their independence is important for their self-esteem and overall development. This is because it aids them in completing certain tasks without needing help from a grown-up. It’s also important for helping prepare them for the future when they eventually fly the nest.

 I have teamed up with a prep school in West Sussex to share some advice on how you can help your child become more independent. 




 

Give Them Space

 

You don’t always need to jump to your child’s side and save the day whenever they have a problem. Doing so won’t help them learn how to overcome obstacles independently. Give them some space to figure things out on their own because even if it takes a little longer, it will help them with their confidence and give them a sense of accomplishment. 

 

Give Them Chores

 

As your child grows older, give them some responsibilities around the house. Doing so will allow them to develop various key skills so that they don’t have to rely on you forever. Start off with some simpler tasks so that it is easy for your child to succeed, as this will make them feel good and motivate them to do it again in the future. 

 

Ask Their Opinion

 

Help your child understand that they can have their own thoughts and ideas by regularly asking for their opinion, like what you should have for dinner or what movie you should watch. By doing so, you will help them understand that their views are valid and give them some self-assurance. They shouldn’t have to rely on you to speak on their behalf or make decisions all the time, as this won’t lead to an independent thinker. 

 

Embrace Failure

 

As your child gets to grips with doing things on their own, they will most likely fail from time to time. When this happens, don’t be too hard on them or make a big fuss as this will damage their self-esteem and they won’t want to try again. Instead, remind them that everyone makes mistakes from time to time, even grownups

Friday, 29 April 2022

Here come the girls

So we finally have chickens again!
We got our new girls just over two weeks ago now and I could not be happier!


All the girls are hybrids so should lay most of the year.
I also picked 6 different hens so that I can get 6 different coloured eggs.
I miss having a basket full of rainbow eggs so it was high on my wish list to get that again.

Agatha 


We’ve named them 
Agatha, Audrey, Lilith, Violet, Hetty and Ivy.
They should lay, blue, olive green, white, brown & dark brown eggs. 
I have two blue egg layers, but they may be slightly different in colour.

Though I think of the blue eggers Ivy may be an olive egger, as I think she is the only one laying and we’ve had two olive eggs. 
So I’m not 100% sure until all 6 start laying. 
I’d say in a week or two we should have all 6 girls laying. 

Olive eggs are definitely my favourite!


I love having them in the garden and from Monday they can free-range as the avian flu restrictions are being lifted. 
I can’t wait to see them wandering around.

Lilith and her fancy feathers! 

I already want to set up another run for some Pekin bantams! 
Chickens are so addictive and they definitely have magic healing powers! 

Along with the chickens and all the gardening that I've been doing my mental health is definitely improving.


I hope you're all ready for lots of chicken-related posts.









Thursday, 28 April 2022

Summer Is Just Around The Corner, It's Time To Get Your Property Ready

 

Many families are spending more time in their gardens as the weather improves, kids in the yard playing, and adults having a BBQ with some "bevies." 

Summer is most definitely on its way; now is the ideal moment to consider preparing your garden and home for summer evenings!



Give your garden a fresh look by changing it. If your garden needs improvement, now is the time to do so. Here are a few ideas for getting your property in tip-top condition before inviting guests over the summer:

Considerations When Making Garden Improvements.

Garden renovations may increase the value of your home and make your gardens more pleasant for entertaining.

Add a garden room to your property

Garden rooms/offices are extremely popular at the moment as a result of the UK's pandemic-induced shift in working habits. What about a garden bar? Perfect for summer BBQs! Consider a summer house or gazebo if you don't want to build a garden room. These may be utilized for entertaining guests or as an additional seating area.

Seating Area And Patio

Patios and sitting areas may also be a good place to start when it comes to quick improvements since they are so easy to maintain. For example, patio cleaning with a pressure washer is simple and will greatly improve the appearance of your garden while freshening it up for summer. After being cleaned, you should consider applying a weather sealant to the surfaces to prevent the growth of moss, algae, and lichens in the future.

Enhance your existing UPVC windows and doors

One of the most significant upgrades to your home that may enhance its worth is UPVC Window Spraying. Even though doors and windows on your property are typically one of the most expensive things to alter and improve, window spraying has grown in popularity in recent years.

At the moment, replacing your windows' colour with a more fashionable hue such as Anthracite Grey or deeper tones of grey appears to be an "in" thing. 

According to Genesis Collection's study, changing the colour of your UPVC windows may raise the value of your property by £61,000 in some cases! As this is a more complicated solution it would require a professional spraying company such as Spraylords.

Gardens that require minimal maintenance.

A low-maintenance garden may also add value to your home if you want to sell it. After all, they don't need cutting, so replacing your grass with fake grass is a good idea! There are many different grades of artificial lawns available to suit any budget. 

They do however come in varying qualities and with different "pile" lengths, similar to buying a carpet.

Another excellent strategy to cut maintenance is to be inventive when it comes to the plants you choose for your planters. Here's a list of low-maintenance plants that are great for your garden, depending on the colours you want to use.

Privet hedges, while beautiful, can be a pain to maintain since they require constant trimming. If you want to create a low-maintenance garden, composite fence panels might be a better alternative. Composite panels are generally constructed from recycled plastics that are long-lasting and require no upkeep. The same may be said for decking boards.

Garden Furniture Ready For Summer

Furniture in your garden is an important aspect of making it the ideal location for entertaining throughout the summer. There are a lot of things to think about when it comes to garden furniture, if you have children do you need some hard-wearing furniture? Children play in the yard utilizing the table and chairs as "garden forts"...

All of this can make the garden a lot more pleasant to sit and relax on, including rattan furniture sets, fire pits, etc... All of these things can improve the comfort level in your garden.

Weeding and Plants

It is the time to weed. Weeds tend to be dormant throughout the winter, waiting for spring weather to improve so they may burst into life again after it arrives. Because weeds grow rapidly, maintaining a weeding schedule is critical. 

Maintaining a minimal amount of weed growth might be difficult, but it will certainly make your garden and outdoor area.




Now is a good time to begin preparing your flowerbeds for the coming months. Adding fresh mulch to the beds, which will aid in weed suppression and moisture retention, is a great place to start.

It's also a good idea to start pruning any bushes and trees that need it now, which will encourage new development and make the plants appear neater. If you have any climbers or vines, now is an excellent time to begin training them in the desired direction.

Finally, after the winter season, clean up your garden and remove any leaves and debris that have accumulated. This will make the garden appear cleaner and more appealing.

Exterior Painting

Painting your decking, fences, and garden walls may be a time-consuming job, to put it mildly. Rather than spending time in your garden painting when the sun is shining, wouldn't you rather be outside in your freshly prepared garden enjoying that sunshine instead?

Exterior painting is often completed every few years, and it's one of the most time-consuming tasks when taking care of your outdoor spaces and property's outside appearance.

Outside Lights

Even though the hours of daylight and temperatures are increasing, summer nights are still warm. By installing exterior lighting on your property, you may extend the amount of time you spend outside. 

They might be wall lights, decking lights, or garden spike lights, each of which may enhance the ambiance in your gardens significantly. 

Summary

It's time to get your home and garden ready for the summer! 

There are several things you may do to increase the value of your property and make it more appealing to potential buyers. 

From UPVC window spraying to low-maintenance gardens, there are plenty of options for adding value to your house.

There are a variety of activities you can do to get ready for your guests, such as weeding and cleaning up seats, and it's also necessary to prepare to entertain visitors during the summer.

Thursday, 7 April 2022

Protecting the Earth with 100% recycled Eco Plush Toys!

Ahead of National Earth Day, Bea has been sent these 100% recycled Eco Plush Toys to help spread the word about being more eco-friendly. 


The super cute Eco Plush Teletubbies Toys are created from 100% recycled material and packaged in sustainably sourced cardboard boxes. 
They have been lovingly produced with future generations in mind.

These are the perfect way to help teach your little one about recycling and all the benefits that come with recycling.


The Eco Plush Toys are super soft and extra cute, Bea adores her Teletubbies Laa-Laa and Po, she loves talking to them as she wanders around the garden.
The Teletubbies is one of the only TV shows that she watches so it was lovely to see her face light up when she saw her new toys.


I love that they are 100% recycled, as when we found out we were having Bea we made a promise that we would do our best to make conscious decisions on toy buying and make sure what we did buy wouldn't end up in Landfill.
So most of Bea's toys are wooden and those that aren't will be saved as keepsakes for her to give to her children when she's older.


National Earth Day is this month and I feel it's important to get the next generation interested in saving the planet by making small changes, such as making better choices when it comes to buying toys.
If we don't all start making better choices there won't be a world left for future generations to enjoy.

Some great National Earth Day activities to spark a child's interest could be,
  • Make a bird feeder out of items that you'd recycle -eg. an old loo roll, and an empty plastic bottle.
  • Litter pick.
  • Plant a tree in the garden.
  • Start a seed jar.
Making fun choices always helps encourage kids to join in, they'll be having fun whilst learning about how important it is to make those right choices.


You can collect Eco Plush Toys in all your little one's favourite characters such as CoComelon, Blippi, My Little Pony, and Peppa Pig.
Suitable for ages 18 months +
widely available online and in-store from the likes of SmythsAmazon & The Entertainer and most big supermarkets.

 

Tuesday, 29 March 2022

Top Tips for Helping Your Child with their Homework

 

We all want our children to succeed in school, which is why it’s important to find ways to support their academic progression at home. Homework is obviously a crucial aspect of their education and certainly something you can help with. 

This doesn’t mean you should take over and provide your child with all of the correct answers, there are other ways you can ensure your child succeeds. Here are some top tips from an independent school in Oxfordshire.




 

Provide a Positive Outlook

 

Not a lot of children would say that they enjoy doing homework, so it's your responsibility to try and help adjust their mindset. 

When talking about homework, try and have a positive attitude. Avoid saying things like “I hated homework at your age” because your child will adopt a similar approach. Instead, remind them why homework is important and perhaps offer a reward once it’s complete.

 

Create a Study Environment

 

Try and find a place in your home that is solely dedicated to schoolwork. This environment should be quiet, well-lit, and free from distractions such as the TV. Providing your child with a study space will show them how much you value their education and will allow them to separate leisure time from studies so that they can fully concentrate. 

It will also benefit them if the study space is equipped with all of the necessary supplies, like stationery and relevant books. 

 

Communicate with the School

 

It’s a good idea to maintain regular contact with your child’s teachers so that you can understand their expectations regarding homework and the curriculum in general. If your child is struggling, the teachers might be able to suggest some additional learning resources you could look into to help your child. 

After all, both you and your child’s school share a similar goal; you both want your child to succeed academically.



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Monday, 28 March 2022

Why Are Chores Beneficial for Child Development?


 

There aren’t many kids who would say that they enjoy doing chores, which can be a bone of contention for many families. However, encouraging your child to help you with household chores is crucial for their overall learning and development. 

I have teamed up with a London private school to explore why in further detail below.




 

Reinforces Respect

 

Children need to learn to appreciate what other people do for them and assigning them chores can help achieve this. If they know what’s involved in running a household, they are more likely to respect their parents and all that they do. 

What’s more, if your child is responsible for cleaning up after themselves, they might have more respect for their possessions and the house in general.

 

Teaches Teamwork 

 

Teamwork is an important skill that benefits many adults in the world of work. Being a productive member of the family is a great way to teach children the value of working as part of a team and playing on one another’s strengths to get the jobs done more quickly.

 

Improves Various Life Skills

 

Your child won’t be little forever. One day they will need to do their own laundry and cook their own meals. Asking them to help you with the household chores while they’re young will help them develop these important life skills so that they are well equipped when the time comes for them to move away from home.

 

Promotes a Strong Work Ethic

 

The sooner that children can learn that hard work usually pays off, the better. Putting effort into something to complete a task might feel grueling, but the end result is often more than worth it. This strong work ethic will usually be carried over to other areas of your child’s life, such as at school or in a future career. 

 

Allows Families to Bond

 

Chores might not seem like a particularly appealing bonding exercise, but it is bonding, nonetheless. They provide opportunities for parents and their children to experience special moments and help one another, building stronger relationships. 


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Sunday, 27 March 2022

We're getting chickens...again!!


 Ever since I sold my last gang of chickens I've deeply missed them, to the point where I dream about having to collect their eggs and find them shut in a horrible coop, it's awful and I do regret selling them but at the time it was the right decision.

So when we found out we were going to have an allotment I knew instantly I wanted to get chickens again.

Chickens are definitely my happy thing and do wonders for my mental health.

The plan was to pop a chicken run and coop on the smaller plot along with some beehives and flowers, but during the storm Eunice the polytunnel in the garden got damaged and we were just left with the metal frame and I thought to myself that would make a rather good run for the chickens, and having the chickens at home meant I wouldn't be worried about people pinching the eggs and I could get some fancy birds again and aim for rainbow eggs.

** Rainbow eggs are different coloured chicken eggs - different breeds lay different colours.**

Previously I had olive green, pastel blue, white, brown and light brown.

So after sweet-talking Jon we went ahead and bought a coop suitable to 5-8 birds, My plan is to just have 6 this time.

I've found a really good chicken farm not too far from us that sells the chickens that I want, and they'll all be fully vaccinated and wormed which is an added bonus as before when I bought some of my previous girls they weren't too healthy when they arrived.

I've painted the coop a sweet pea pink (obviously Jon had no say in the colour choice!) and Jon is putting up the chicken wire around the run, the woodchip is down and I've planted up some herbs at the front of the run in the giant pot ready for the girls.

The boys are all excited to have chickens again and I can't wait to see what Bea thinks of them.

I have a few more chicken accessories to buy still but hopefully, in a couple of weeks, I'll have some new girls to introduce!




Helping Your Child Develop their Fine Motor Skills


 

Fine motor skills are something we all need in order to complete some of the most normal everyday tasks in life. They are essentially the ability to move and control the small muscles in our hands, fingers, and wrists, so we need them to write with a pen, tie our laces, and use cutlery to eat. 

With this in mind, parents should try and find ways to help their children develop these skills from an early age. Here’s some advice from girls’ private school




 

Encourage Arts & Crafts

 

Creative activities are great for helping children develop their fine motor skills because they involve the intricate use of pens, pencils, and paintbrushes, to name but a few. 

Your child will start off with scribbles but as their fine motor skills improve, they will start to have more control over their crafting tools which will make for neater work. 

 

Play Board Games

 

Most board games require players to move small pieces across the board. This is another entertaining way to engage your child’s fine motor skills and help them practice. 

Board games can also be quite educational as they often require numeracy or literacy skills, as well as problem solving and teamwork. 

 

Ask for Help in the Kitchen

 

There are lots of cooking tasks that require the use of fine motor skills, so it’s a great opportunity for your child to practice. For instance, they may have to use a pair of tongs to handle food and pour liquids without spilling. 

Even asking them to help set the table is a great way to strengthen the muscles in their hands and wrists. 

 

Encourage Independent Dressing

 

While it might take a little longer to get everyone out of the door on time in the mornings, encouraging your child to dress themselves rather than doing it for them is important for their fine motor skills and independence. 

They will need to do up their zips and buttons, tie their laces, brush their teeth and hair, amongst other tasks.


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Wednesday, 23 March 2022

Down on the Allotment

We finally got our allotment plots and have been busy trying to get set up for the growing season.
The big plot needed a lot of work as it hadn't been used in a good few years and the ground isn't that great.

So Jon hired a rotavator and gave the ground a good seeing too and we then put down sheeting to help kill off all the weeds underneath.

We are busy making raised beds as we think going up rather than digging down will be our best bet.

We have made 7 beds so far and have enough wood to make the rest, by next weekend we are hoping to have all the beds done.



The kids love coming down to help us and it is becoming a great way to get them off their games.
Even Bea is loving waddling around whilst the boys are busy weeding and spreading out woodchip.



We have so many plans for the plot and know it will take a couple of years to get it how we want it but we are excited to see what we can produce in our first year.

The long-term plan for the small plot is to grow some apple trees, plant some of my cut flowers there, have some beehives, and build a new polytunnel on it.
For the bigger plot that will be mainly where all our veg is planted, we want a shed on there and possibly some ducks as they are good for pest control such as slugs!



I was planning on having chickens on the small plot, but during the strong winds a few weeks ago the polytunnel sheeting in our garden got ripped off and just left the frame behind so I decided that would make a great chicken run, so we have decided to have the chickens at home and my new run arrives this week!

I can't wait to get it all set up and finally have chickens again.
I miss my old ones so much and I regret the day we decided to sell them.
But because of them, I know what we need to do to keep those pesky rats away, and thankfully where the new chickens are going to be there aren't many hiding places for said rats to hide, so hopefully, it won't be too bad this time around.



I'm looking forward to sharing the plot's progression on here as well as my flowers that I have been busy planting up in the garden.



Do you have an allotment?
If so what are your handy tips?