Showing posts with label #parentingbloggers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label #parentingbloggers. Show all posts

Friday, 18 October 2019

... Pumpkin Patch Fun ...

Hellooooooo.

Yes, I know I've been away for well over a year, but I'm back now!

I had a break from the blog as life got a little bit hectic with work, Uni and family life.
A lot has happened in the past year and I will write a proper catch up about all of that in another blog post.
But for now, this is just a short one about our fun at a pumpkin patch over at Undley Farm in Suffolk.



The boys have always enjoyed visiting Pumpkin patches and we did it a few times when we lived in Kent but have never done it since we moved to Norfolk.
Last year we grew our own in the garden so there was no real need to go and buy them.
 This year however only two grew in the garden, and after seeing a friend post some pictures I knew the boys would enjoy it. 


It only took an hour for us to get there, most of the drive it was chucking it down, but fortunately for us, the weather dried up as we arrived.
The inflatables weren't on as it was too wet but the boys weren't really too bothered by that, as there was plenty of other things to do once we had finished pumpkin hunting. 




We each picked a pumpkin each and then we decided to get a massive white pumpkin for the whole family.
I think it will look pretty awesome once it's carved.


In total we spent just under £30 on a ridiculous amount of pumpkins as Ru sneaked in some diddy ones towards the end.

I now need to think up lots of uses for the pumpkins we aren't going to carve.
If you have any good pumpkin recipes I would love to know.


Happy Pumpkin Picking if you're heading off to a patch this weekend.




Thursday, 17 October 2019

Easy craft ideas for kids to make at home


As the days draw in, and the weather takes a turn for the worst, entertaining your children at home becomes ever more important! So, from DIY hamster toys to seasonal crafts, here are a few easy ideas for activities to do with your children at home.




Get your seasonal craft on

It’s a beautiful time of year, so why not do some seasonal crafting to suit! Here are a few ideas:

1.    Cut an apple in half and create pumpkin paintings. 
Simple dip the half apple in orange paint and print the shape onto paper. 
Glue on a brown pipe cleaner stalk, googly eyes and draw a mouth and away you go!

2.    Go pumpkin picking. Pumpkins can be fun for many different things. 
Why not pick out your favourite at the pumpkin field; carve a fun shaped face into the side; get your bake on for a pumpkin pie; or cooking up a pumpkin soup.



Go on an adventure walk, and then get crafting

This time of year is beautiful, with its autumn leaves, fallen conkers and so much more. 
Why not take your children out on a nature walk and pick up a load of seasonal goodies to get craft with? 
Here are a few ideas for things you can do with your autumnal pickings.

1.    Use conkers to help toddlers paint. All they need to do is dip the conker into the paint, and make patterns like flowers, dots and so much more.

2.    Create bunting or an autumn mobile with fallen autumn leaves. Use a piece of string and tie the stalks of leaves into pretty patterns. 
There are so many beautiful, bright colours to include.



Make something for your pets

From DIY hamster toys to homemade cat or dog toys, why not recycle old items from around your home to create things for your home. 
Here are a couple of ideas:

1.    Rip an old t-shirt into strips and tie them around an old tennis ball. This creates an ideal tug toy or fetch toy to play with puppies and dogs!

2.    Stack up old toilet roll cardboard inserts into a pyramid and glue old ice lolly sticks to the sides to hold them together. This creates a fun tunnel stack for your hamster.



So, whether you want to have a little adventure outside before getting crafty with seasonal ideas or recycle things at home to make DIY pet toys, these ideas should be everything you need to keep your children occupied indoors.


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Images: www.unsplash.com 

Monday, 24 April 2017

Bath, Book, Bed:


Book Trust have teamed up with Peppa Pig and Jo Frost to bring you their new campaign.
Bath, Book, Bed.

We were lucky enough to be asked if we wanted to be part of the campaign and seeing as I've just got Ru back into a routine of bath, book and bed I happily said yes.


We were sent some amazing Peppa Pig goodies, a whole range of bath time fun and some new bedtime stories.
Ru is slightly obsessed with Peppa and George at the moment so when he opened the box he squealed with delight!


Sweet dreams start with a simple routine.

Bath, Book, Bed is all about developing a regular nightly bedtime routine, which we know is associated with improved sleep in young children - and, of course, there's nothing better than snuggling up to share a soothing bedtime story.


With all the boys I have always stuck to the same routine of bath, book, bed and it has always worked.

Then along came Ru and he shook things up a bit.
He was great at sleeping as a baby and would settle by himself after a cuddle, but then came the day that he decided to jump out of his cot at around 18 months old.
Then from then until very recently he wouldn't sleep and would stay up till midnight being crazy.

It had become his routine, he would watch me read to the others and put them to bed and then he would come downstairs and have a few hours playing without the others around or being glued to the iPad.

We were so tired and we thought we had tried everything so we caved and thought that was it, he was never going to sleep like the others.

But then enough was enough, our relationship was suffering and we were beyond tired and Ru's meltdowns had reached boiling point.
We needed to do something and quickly.


I reverted back to my tried and tested routine which was bath, book and bed.
This time round I made sure at 6'oclock the TV was switched off and the iPad was hidden out of sight.

A nice warm bath with some essential oils in was run and Ru was put in on his own, as when he baths with the twins, things get silly and the bathroom floor always ends up with more water on it than in the bath.


Having the Peppa Pig bath bubbles really helped him enjoy the bath more, he loved blowing the bubbles and watching them pop.


We give him at least 15 minutes in the bath as this seems to really help him wind down.
Then its out and teeth brushing time.
He absolutely hated his teeth being brushed before, and I have been through so many toothbrushes with him to see if different ones would make it more fun for him....


Never had I seen a flashing one before,
Of course a Peppa Pig flashing one was bound to do the trick!

He brushed them first and then let me do the rest.


After the twins are in bed and Noah is reading to Jon, I take Ru in to his room switch on his night light and let him pick a story.
He tends to want the same story night after night, but thats ok as I know he's going to listen.
He'll lay in bed drinking his warm milk and listen to me read.

He still has a bottle which I know is bad but its a comfort for him and eventually I'll phase it out.


Once I have read the book twice I'll then hand it to him as he likes to have a look and pretend to read it back to me.

After we have finished with the book we will then switch off his night light and then sing some nursery rhymes (incy wincy spider is his favourite) and then finally he will drift off to sleep with me patting his back.

Now most nights he is fast asleep by 8pm.

My next challenge is to keep him in bed all night.
He still wakes around 11 to get into our bed but compared to his last routine this is much much better and it works.
He gets more sleep and we actually have a child free evening.


So my top tips for getting little ones into bed....

Turn the TV off and take the tablet away an hour before bed,
Always have a warm bath to start off the bedtime routine,
Read a story, reading a bedtime story as reading together is a great way to bond and relax the mind.
Keep lights nice and low, night lights are great at this.

Another tip that I find useful at bedtime .... a tidy bedroom helps keep the atmosphere nice and calm.
I will always make the boys tidy up before bed.
Otherwise they're normally tempted to get out of bed and play with the toys that they can see.




Book Trust Events

Join us for our Bath, Book, Bed events at intu Trafford Centre, Manchester on April 27 and intu Lakeside, Thurrock on 28 April.

You’ll have the chance to meet Jo Frost and a very special surprise guest, and get lots of advice on winning those bedtime battles from Jo and the BookTrust team. The events are free and there’s no need to register in advance – we’d love to see you there.





Tuesday, 4 October 2016

HELP YOUR CHILD SWIM WITH CONFIDENCE

Last week I was invited along to a Fusion Mother and Baby confidence swimming lesson, unfortunately we were unable to make the lesson, but I wanted to share with you the tips that I would have learnt if I had been able to attend.


At Fusion Lifestyle, registered charity and leisure provider, we understand that for most mums ensuring their kids are confident and happy in the water is a top priority. If you or your child have a fear of water this is not always the easiest thing to tackle. Fusion teaches over 46,000 children to swim every year and, with the highest quality teachers, we pride ourselves on having one of the safest and most credible swimming programmes in the country.


We’ve compiled a list of top ten tips for parents on do’s and don'ts's to improve your child’s confidence in the water.

1. Be prepared
Before your first trip to the pool there are some handy essentials we’d recommend having ready.

• Towels for you both – a hooded towel for them to help keep them warm after getting out the pool can be handy
• Swimming nappies – these come in both reusable and disposable varieties, so you can pick what suits your family
• An insulated bodysuit /costume for them – babies can get cold in the pool which can affect their mood, so insulated bodysuits can be a good idea
• A snack as swimming can make them hungry and can be a good reward mechanism

2. Getting their faces wet
Even confident babies can find the thought of getting their faces wet, or putting them underwater, unappealing. If your child dislikes getting their face splashed, then before you go to the swimming pool or on holiday start with simple things in the bath. If they’re a baby, gently trickle water down their face while you bathe them.
Or, if they are slightly older, encourage a water-blowing contest and get your child to blow bubbles on the surface of the water and make it fun. If they don’t like getting water in their eyes then goggles are the perfect tip to help them keep their eyes dry and gives you the chance to remove anything that makes the experience bad for your kids.

3. Encourage your child
Children develop at different rates, in terms of size, strength, co-ordination, emotional and intellectual maturity and just about everything else.
Encourage your child to keep going and celebrate their time in the water this will give them the confidence they need to keep going. If they are learning to swim then encourage them to compete against themselves, and to measure themselves against only their own best efforts. If they do win and beat everyone else, it’s a bonus!

4. If they are nervous help them get familiar with the water
For babies and toddlers, early swimming experiences can be hit or miss, with some children downright refusing to get in the water.
The key is not to push it. If you are on holiday, it’s likely you’ll have the opportunity to try again without stressing or rushing your child. Take baby steps (literally) with your little one and gradually get them closer to the water, from sitting on the side to dipping toes in, without taking them out of their comfort zone.

5. Do be supportive – rain or shine!
Whether your child takes one day or one year to build their confidence, keep showing love and support. One of your most important roles as a swimming parent is to provide emotional support during the tough times, of which there will be many. Let your child know that they are still loved, no matter how much they struggle with swimming.

6. Don’t pressure your child
Remember that swimming is your child’s hobby. If your child has their own reasons and own goals for participating, they will be far more motivated to excel and therefore far more successful.
It is normal and healthy to want your child to excel and be as successful as possible, but parents cannot make this happen by pressuring them with expectations. Instead, you can encourage them and offer them unconditional support and guidance.

7. Don’t dangle carrots
Try to avoid extrinsic motivation (bribery!).
It’s important to be careful of the message you send out – swimmers should swim for themselves and for the positives the sport brings. When your child does well, try to praise them for what they did well, not the outcome that they achieved.

8. Make it fun
If you are helping your child practice swimming make it fun using games.
Animal Games can be a lot of fun and can help you child to gain much needed confidence as well as having fun in the water. As long as your child associates water with having fun you are on the right track.

9. Don’t push for Olympic or Paralympic glory
Maybe your child will become an Olympian, but for most this isn’t the case.
Encourage your child to be the best they can be and to enjoy swimming, but make sure both your and their expectations are not too set too high. It’s great to have goals and dreams, but the most important thing is that they are happy. If they are happy the good performances will come naturally.

10. Do respect the coach
Trust the coach or teacher to do their job.
If you have any questions about something your child’s coach is doing or saying in the sessions, it is usually ok to ask. However, their attention will be on the swimmers they are coaching during session times, so try and grab a word with them before or after the lesson. Remember that a huge number of coaching staff are giving their time voluntarily and are keen to get the best out of every one of their swimmers!


You can find more info on the swimming classes here.