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Thursday 17 December 2015

Presents suitable for travelling - babies and toddlers

baby toddler gifts suitable for travelling

If you are spending Xmas day away from home this year, it can be tricky trying to work out which gifts to take with you - particularly so if you are flying anywhere! 
Airlines often have strict luggage weight and size allowances, not to mention babies and young children often don't have their own luggage allowance, so you are already sharing a suitcase. Whatever your mode of transport, it can be hard to find gifts that are exciting for little ones, whilst also being lightweight and flexible!

Here are some of the gift ideas I came up with for Arthur - luckily he can't yet read so this wont spoil a thing!

There are also some great tips for memorable travel with children here. 

Sunday 6 December 2015

Arthur's 10 month update

baby ten months

Arthur at ten months

 I had intended to do one of these every month - but that didn't quite work out, so I'm starting at double figures! I'm am sure when it comes to having baby number 2, I will wish I had the other updates to look back on, but better late than never!

Friday 27 November 2015

Car safety - our cargo is too precious to forget these important points!

baby car safety

Years ago I was involved in an accident. I wasn't driving a vehicle at the time. I was a pedestrian crossing a zebra crossing, along with a friend,and we both got hit. She stepped out first and I tried to grab her. I suffered from broken ribs, but she had much more serious physical injuries. Thankfully she recovered and is now married with a child, but the experience affected me more than I realised at the time and the effects have been long lasting. 

Tuesday 24 November 2015

Visiting Ilkley Cinema - Europe's smallest Ultra 4k Cinema

This weekend we took a trip to Ilkley Cinema - a boutique cinema based in the building of a former nightclub, it is the smallest ultra 4k cinema in Europe!

This was also the first time we had left Arthur in the care of someone else during the day, so I guess you could call it our first 'date' post baby! We went to see the new Bond film at a 12.45pm showing - here is how we got on...

Monday 23 November 2015

Danger - please share - choking hazard

baby choking raisins

Danger-please share:

(Originally posted on Facebook )

Please think about biting or cutting raisins in half as well as grapes before giving to your baby...

In the small hours of this morning Arthur started gasping for breath and choking in his sleep. After getting him upright and trying to help him breathe he vomited up the blockage - 5 raisins which had rehydrated and swelled up with water, increasing to their previous size of a (slightly squashy) grape. He had eaten them 12 hours previously after his tea.

I know we all think about choking hazards when giving our baby food to eat, and I'm sure most of us know the dangers of giving whole grapes to babies and small children - it had never crossed my mind that I would have to consider the choking hazard of food such as this if it comes back up in the other direction!

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday

Monday 16 November 2015

Our visit to Jackrabbits Pottery - Nadiya GBBO

Jackrabbits pottery Nadiya
Photo courtesy of Jackrabbits

A few weeks ago I was invited along to the Jack Rabbits Pottery studio in Roundhay, Leeds, along with some of my other Mummy friends and their little ones! I'd not been before, but a few from my NCT group had visited previously to make some gifts for Father's Day  and absolutely loved the results!...

Friday 6 November 2015

Quote: Today's thought - smile and the world will smile with you

smile quote

Thursday 5 November 2015

Baby challenge baskets

baby challenge basketbaby challenge basketbaby challenge basket

baby challenge basket

This is a really simple but effective activity which will offer an element of challenge to babies and young children, enabling them to work on their 'characteristics of effective learning' as part of the Early Years Foundation Stage: 

Thursday 29 October 2015

For all the Mummies going back to work - End of maternity leave poem

A poem for all of the mummies returning to work at the end of maternity leave. Includes an option to buy this poem as a printed card.

end of maternity leave poem - for all the mummies going back to work

I have a lovely friend who is about to start work again after maternity leave and her child has recently started nursery. She has been feeling a bit sad about the whole thing, and so, although this post is for every single Mummy out there in this position - she is the one who I thought about whilst writing this maternity leave poem....

Monday 26 October 2015

Outcast on our train journey - mums and babies - is this fair?

baby train journey

I don't normally like to write about negative experiences on this blog but I feel this one needs to be aired...

Today I decided to take Arthur on a train journey into Leeds to meet a friend. Although he is 9 months old, this is only the third time I have actually done this, mainly because my last experience left me in a situation where I had to leave Arthur on the platform and board the train to ask for some help from a fellow passenger ( a school boy!) in getting the pushchair onto the train. We almost didn't make it as the conductor started to shut the doors. The station where I board the train has not only a HUGE gap between the train and the platform, but also a noticeable height difference making it impossible for some to walk onto the train, let alone board the train with a buggy/pushchair without help. 
Truthfully, it surprises me that there is no help offered automatically from staff on the train to mothers with babies/toddlers, which brings me to my experience today...

Monday 19 October 2015

The diary of a 9 month old escape artist

My name is Arthur, I am 9 months old and I LOVE to break free! My Mummy thought it was great at first, she used to clap and tell me how clever I was...

Today things have taken a drastic turn! I managed to tip my baby bouncer over whilst Mummy was on the toilet and I crawled out of the room with it strapped to my back!! 

baby 9 months

(That'll teach her - sitting down to do a wee - why does she think nappies were even invented??! ...You just carry on making my lunch Mamma, whilst simultaneously singing me a song so that I am fully entertained and then just do your wee then!)

Honestly, grown ups!

Friday 16 October 2015

Having a baby...the things they never told me about pregnancy, labour and motherhood

pregnancy labour breastfeeding

I almost didn't publish this post - not because of all the new and soon to be mums out there reading this who don't know me, more the fact that the people who do know me will definitely read this and then KNOW...

Wednesday 14 October 2015

DIY sensory pouches TUTORIAL

baby sensory pouches using laminate sheets

We have probably all seen various sensory pouches available for babies and young children - they are a great way to let your little ones explore different textures and materials safely and without any mess. I have made these in the past using ziplock bags, but it can be hard to stop them leaking. This version uses laminating sheets and you don't need a laminator to make them!

baby safe  sensory laminate pouches

DIY glitter sensory bottles

glitter glue baby sensory bottle

If you read my previous post all about sensory play for babies and toddlers, you may be wondering how I made the glitter sensory bottles, so here is a quick how to guide so that you can make your own....

Sunday 11 October 2015

Today's thought...Mondays...

quote mondays

Saturday 3 October 2015

Developing Speech and Language in the Early Years - helping babies and children to communicate

This blog post focuses on appropriate communications and interactions with young children,  explaining how to aid and develop language by use of questions, when not to question, how to 'give language' to babies and toddlers and when to seek further help.

speech language EYFS
Arthur doing the actions for 'incy wincy spider'

How many times have you looked at a baby and thought " I wish I knew what they were thinking?!"

Friday 2 October 2015

Online games for children

Children love technology. Give them a game to play online and they generally have more fun just because they feel like they are 'playing'. Here is a list of some educational games for your child to try at home which I have used successfully in an Early Years classroom:

Do you have any great games you have tried which I should add to my list? Comment below.

Today's thought - learn through play not through demand

learn through play quote

Wednesday 30 September 2015

10 fat sausages number activity

I have had a couple of people message and ask me about the sausages in the photo on my last blog post about Maths (click here), so I thought i would do a quick post to explain the activity so that you can use it at home or in your own setting:

10 fat sausages number activity10 fat  sausages number activity
(Sorry about the photo quality - it is the only one I can find at the moment! I definitely have a better one somewhere! i'll keep looking)

Tuesday 29 September 2015

Maths for boys (and girls!)

maths for boysmaths for boys

Boys. And weapons. Particularly guns. Hmmm...

What really happens when you tell a group of boys "no guns allowed" ?

Writing for a purpose...accident reporting station

EYFS writing station accident reporting
EYFS writing station

If you've ever spent time with children, then you will know just how often they manage to 'hurt' themselves! 

I'm not talking about actual, serious injuries, but those minor little accidents that need your full attention RIGHT NOW! For example (I few I've come across):

Today's thought

children love quote

Sunday 27 September 2015

bareMinerals Blemish Remedy Foundation | review | Before and After

Bare Minerals blemish remedy foundation review before and after

Like most Mums, I don't have a lot of time in the morning for makeup - ironic, as now is the time in my life when I feel I need it the most! (Friends and family if you are reading this, just buy me shares in the production company for under eye concealer for xmas!)

I have suffered with 'problematic' skin for years and have used a range of bareMinerals foundations for a long time. I have always found them to be pretty fail proof. Being non-comedogenic they don't seem to cause any out-breaks for me and give that 'natural' look to the skin which is a huge plus.

Friday 25 September 2015

Dealing with colic and reflux in babies

The two don't always happen together, but for many, the symptoms are incredibly similar (usually including inconsolable crying) and equally as distressing  - for the baby AND for the parents. This post includes some advice, links and helpful information on how to deal with colic and reflux in babies...

Dealing with colic and reflux in babies

Like many parents, we suffered the effects of both colic and reflux, and tried almost everything we could to remedy the situation. 

Included in this blog post are some suggestions and some information which you may find helpful if you are an expectant or new parent going through a similar situation. 

(Addition: Since writing this post, I have had another child who also suffered with Reflux, but not colic, and have another blog post here with 6 products which help with Infant Reflux the second time around)

NB: I am not a medical professional, and any information or advice given in this post should not be deemed to be of a professional standard, or used as a substitute for seeking medical advise from your GP or HV. The information given is simply our own personal experience of different solutions.

Here is our story...

Wednesday 23 September 2015

He's cross because...

cross baby

I took my hair out of his mouth...


Monday 21 September 2015

Baby and Toddler Sensory activities to develop speaking and language

In this post you will find some information on how to use language within sensory play for babies and young children, followed by some play examples and links to some sensory activities for you to try at home..

baby toddler sensory activities to develop speaking and language

Now the first question you may ask is "why is everything green?"

The purpose of these resources is to encourage Arthur to use his senses to choose and explore the different  materials.  I have noticed in the last few months that Arthur often has a particular interest in the colour green, therefore, I already know that Arthur is using his sense of sight to distinguish between resources based on the colour he can see - choosing a toy because it is green.

I want to encourage him to explore the materials using some of his other senses:

Sunday 20 September 2015

Magic Fairy / Elf door 15% off

If you read my post on provoking imaginative play with a fairy garden (here) then you will know just how excited I was when 'MY ELF DOOR' arrived from The Magic Door Store. ( They also sell magic fairy doors, both in a choice of colours!).

First of all, let me tell you, the packaging for this product is wonderful - wrapped in coloured tissue paper which you peel away to reveal a lovely illustrated box with cut away pieces displaying the door itself and the 'magic dust' - if you are buying this as a gift for someone else it really wont disappoint.

The back of the box inspires ideas of how to encourage imaginative play for children by suggesting how exciting it would be to discover "tiny magic dust footprints on the floor, little gifts and messages left by your elf friends" and the box even includes a letter welcoming the fairies and elves to their home with a space for your child to sign - its no surprise then, to find out that this company is a small family business run by a mum of two- and one who clearly has inspiring imaginative play and creativity at the heart of what she does!

magic fairy elf door

My initial worry was how I would fix this to the wall without causing any damage - no problem! The door comes with a pack of 'mounting putty' which does an amazing job of sticking the door to a surface without ruining the paintwork:

Anticipation box-learn in a fun way! Activity to aid phonics and maths

anticipation box eyfs literacy and maths activity

Whilst teaching this was hugely popular and a great activity to help your child learn in a fun way.

In the morning the children in my class would put a secret object inside the anticipation box and it would stay closed for the rest of the day until home time. We would anticipate all day what could be inside! Not only do the children really enjoy this activity and look forward to the end of the day when we finally open up the box and see what is inside - it is also a brilliant way to help your child with their speaking and thinking skills, as well as exposing them to mathematical language and giving them an opportunity to practise their phonic skills.

Tuesday 15 September 2015

3 of the best sleep solutions - Aromatherapy Associates, Neom, This Works

sleep solutions

As a new parent, it's easy to focus so much on creating the perfect sleep scenario for your little ones, you forget about yourself.
Whilst it may be true that parenthood can be so exhausting you fall asleep as soon as your head hits the pillow, for others, there are a number of reasons why it may still be difficult to fall asleep - perhaps you struggle with flashbacks from a traumatic birth/labour experience , you may be too busy thinking about all the things you have to do  or it may just be that for the first time in a long time, your baby is asleep  but your body clock is  still used to being awake!

Here are three product ranges which focus on sleep and relaxation I really could not live without:

Thursday 10 September 2015

Wizard writing! - provision area for home and classroom

wizard writing provision area with magnetic chalkboard wall  EYFS

Here is an exciting writing and mark making area I created which should hopefully encourage your child to have a go and practise their writing skills.

The wall was painted using magnetic blackboard paint. LOTS of coats are needed to make it magnetic. I used 5 coats and although i could stick on some miniature magnetic words on a magnetic strip, the usual 'plastic letters' with a magnet on the back were too heavy.

The table was painted using standard blackboard paint. Both the wall and the table worked well with the chalk and enabled a large writing area both vertically and horizontally so that your little one is able to practise both their gross and fine motor skills.

To make the area more exciting, i included 'wizard writing hats' for use when having a go at writing (Ebay), some plastic cauldrons with letters and spoons inside and also some gel glitter dry wipe boards  (not pictured) for extra sparkly magical writing.

Cobweb and star materials were used to give a real 'wizard cave' atmosphere to the area.

Blank spell books and pencils painted to look like magic wants were also included , along with mini jars of spell 'ingredients'.

Some wooden chairs - painted and then decorated with Sharpies would make a great addition!

Why not view my other activity posts:

Learning through play posts

Tuesday 8 September 2015

Arthurwears edible finger paint....baby and toddler activity

edible finger paint

Let's go straight to the lesson with this one: probably best to undress your child and let them do this one in their nappy sitting on a waterproof, washable shower curtain.... We have one, we didn't use it, we may have to repeat this activity with more colours on a warmer day!!

Arthur LOVES Greek yoghurt - it's great for BLW as its thicker than natural yoghurt so they can get a good handful and scoop it into their mouth. I made the edible finger paint using Greek yoghurt mixed with food colouring (obviously babies and young children need 'edible' mark making resources because it WILL end up in their mouth!). 

He spread it around, he splatted it (hard) he rubbed his fingers, hands, arms and then his face in it.

This is a brilliant sensory experience.

He did lots of exploring, feeling and tasting and when he had finally coloured his clothes and hair pink - he lifted his arms up to get out. 

This is a great early mark making activity and introduction to messy play. Worth the clean up afterwards!

Why not view my other activity posts:

Learning through play posts

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