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Tag: nursery

One More Step Along the World She Goes…

One More Step Along the World She Goes…

When I began writing this blog our children were tiny. I blogged about how difficult parenting was and how having two under one was harder than I could ever have imagined. Back then, it seemed like I was swamped. Like I would never emerge from the baby bubble and begin living a ‘normal’ life again. How wrong I was. For now I’m about to hand my youngest daughter over to nursery each morning. One more step along the world she goes and that means I’m leaving the baby bubble well and truly behind me.

I’m finding it so hard to believe that school is upon us. Where did that time go? A cliché I know, but it flies. The sleepless nights are gone. The nappies, bottles and dummies are no more. They don’t have sides on their beds and they take themselves to the toilet. It’s the end of an era and one that a part of me isn’t ready to leave behind. Sadness looms if I sit and think about the littlest going to school. My world is going to change just as abruptly as it did when the biggest was born. Literally, overnight.

Shes ready for the world –

Taking a step back, it’s easy to see just how ready the littlest is to start school. At this stage her speech is excellent, she’s eager to make friends and socialise with children her own age. She’s almost envious of her sister, who already gets to go to nursery each day. When we drop her off, the littlest doesn’t want to leave. Her feet are firmly under the table and getting her back out of the door has become more of a challenge as the weeks have passed. Her frustration at home is a definite sign that she’s ready for more. It’s as though she’s reached the point in her little life, whereby I just can’t give her enough.

It makes me sad to think that she’s outgrown me, just like her sister did. When I look at her sister now, I know that ‘outgrown‘ is the wrong word to use. They’re simply growing up and they need their lives enriching in ways that can’t be achieved at home. Things like discipline from another responsible adult, making friends, learning that not everyone is nice, meeting people from families different to our own and respecting them for their differences are all a vital part of growing up. The biggest has proven that school is an essential learning curve and for this reason I know I shouldn’t feel sad.

Over-thinking it –

In my heart of hearts I know I’m over-thinking it. Nursery will take three hours out of her day. Three short hours that I’m sure will feel like half of the time, especially when I use it to work. I know I’m prone to over-thinking things, analysing them to the nth degree. I know that I always think the worst, but more often that not things turn out just fine. It’s one more step along the world for me too. It’s time for me to take some time to concentrate on myself, to do the things that I want and need to do in my own life. In all honesty, most of that time will be spent working. In the last four years, the freedom to work without restriction and interruption has been the thing I’ve missed most of all.

 

 

 

 

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The Ease of One Child Parenting

The Ease of One Child Parenting

Ok, so the title to this post is probably a little misleading. Parenting and easy don’t really go well in the same sentence. I suppose what I mean is that when you’ve been bringing up two children for the last three years, then when that number drops to one for part of the week, I do believe that parenting gets easier. The logistics of having only one child to care for, are much simpler than having multiples. I love having two children, but I have to admit that I can see the positives of a little one child parenting.

The biggest was so young when we had baby number two, so I really do find it hard to remember only having one child to look after. For the best part of two years I’ve been permanently attached to two kids. For half of that time I had two kids that couldn’t walk, then for the rest of the time I’ve had two who think it’s hilarious to run in opposite directions. With me stood in the middle wondering which one to retrieve first!

 

Altering the dynamics –

Since the biggest started nursery, our family dynamics have completely shifted. It’s been a really difficult time for me, I certainly wasn’t ready to let her go. So for the first week, we filled every minute away from her with some sort of activity, anything that meant I didn’t have to think about leaving her with what felt like a stranger. I thought that if I didn’t think about it, then one day I’d wake up and be used to it.

The trouble is, I can’t fill every single hour of nursery with super fun stuff for the littlest to do. For a start, the house would start to look like a complete tip as I’d get nothing done and work would just pile up. So now, when the biggest is at nursery we spend some time at home too. I have regular periods where I only have to parent one child and do you know what? It’s not all bad. All of a sudden life with kids has become simpler then ever before.

There’s less bickering, no chasing each other around shops or disagreeing on what they’d like for lunch. I only have on child to keep safe on the playground and only one hand to hold as we walk down the side of the road. I only have one child to wrestle into their car seat and I only have one child to entertain whilst trying to do a million and one other things at the same time.

 

Getting used to our new way of life –

Even though there are many positives to only having to parent one child, I’m still not completely sold on the idea of one child parenting. I’d much rather have both of my girls by my side, but I know things have to change. Slowly but surely I’m getting used to our new way of life and soon enough I’ll have a few hours of completely child free time to contend with. For now though, I’m going to relish the ease of one child parenting. Who knows, I might even start to enjoy it!

 

 

 

 

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Nursery Woes and Birthday Shows

Nursery Woes and Birthday Shows

When you have two children born ten and a half months apart, it’s hard work. Trust me, I know. When you’re the primary carer of two children born ten and a half months apart, it’s really hard work. Trust me, I know. I’ve spent the best part of three years willing time to pass. Looking forward to the next milestone because that’s when things will get ‘easier’. One particular milestone that’s been in my sights, is nursery. Life would surely be simple when the kids start their nursery placements.

Now nursery is literally just around the corner, the biggest has her third birthday and then BAM, she goes to school. I honestly didn’t think it would bother me, I would get the quiet time I’ve been craving. I’d get time to work as when one is at school, the other will nap. The perfect scenario. I’m absolutely dreading it though, how can she be three already? How is it possible that she’s old enough to attend a state nursery? Seriously, where did that time go?

Less than 24 hours old.

Ready for the next step –

Her, not me. She’s so ready, you can almost hear the cogs going around in her brain it’s working that hard. She loves reading, drawing, riding her bike and being outdoors. Everything that nursery will nurture and make even more fun for her. She’s been asking to go to school ever since we went to visit back in November. She loved every second and I know it’s time for her to spread her wings.

It’s me that’s not ready for the next step. I know she’s ready and I know how much she will blossom, but I just can’t help but think it’s too soon. She’s my first-born and time has just gone too quickly, time that I sincerely wish I enjoyed more. Just like everyone told me I should. Hindsight is a wonderful thing I know, but I can’t help but look back on the times I’d wished things were easier with regret.

 

Becoming a big sister at 10.5 months old.

Three is a magic number –

On the day that this post was published, the biggest turned three years old. Three whole years passed in a flash and she’s gone from a tiny 6lb 3oz baby to a walking, talking, tornado of incredibleness. She’s funny, she’s clever and she definitely knows what she wants. All I have to do is believe in her, believe that she’s ready to take on the world and know that this is where she needs to start. So Happy Birthday my beautiful girl, here’s where your next chapter begins!

 

Happy 3rd Birthday!
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Preparing your Child for Nursery – Including Tips on Working Towards EYFS Goals

Preparing your Child for Nursery – Including Tips on Working Towards EYFS Goals

Education has always been a priority in our house. We love to learn, just about as much as we love to have fun, it’s even better if we manage to combine the two. My husband is a perpetual learner and I’ve always been keen on keeping my brain in shape wherever I can. Educating ourselves is one thing, but with two little people under our belts education has become even more important. With nursery just around the corner I find myself drawn to enriching our children’s lives as much as I can.

Ever since our children were born, I’ve had a clear idea of the level of education they would receive at home. First and foremost, I recognise that it’s essential to make our children’s world as fun as it can possibly be. They are happy, healthy and loved which is paramount. Within the realms of fun though, I knew I wanted to teach them as much as I could along the way. I took some time out to educate myself on the Early Years Foundation Stage goals (EYFS), so that I’m aware of what goals our girls should be achieving and when.

Now that our eldest daughter is close to three years of age and therefore about to begin her school career, at an educational, state nursery. I’m keen to get her as nursery ready as can be.

 

The key thing to remember with EYFS goals, is that ultimately they’re just guidelines. I personally believe that it’s necessary to have an idea of where your child is on the scale, without getting hung up on, or upset about them not hitting every goal by a certain age. 

 

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How do we work on reaching EYFS goals, age 2-3 years?

 

Communication and language –

  • Reading together, recognising characters, discussing the story.
  • Role play.
  • Listening to fun and educational nursery rhymes.
  • Involvement in everyday activities, discussion, fun and giving them responsibility.

Physical development –

  • Visiting soft play centres.
  • Toddler play groups.
  • Outdoor exploration.
  • Messy play.
  • Use of different equipment and teaching how to use them e.g) sieves, pouring from jugs, holding and using scissors.
  • Practicing climbing stairs using the hand rail.

Personal, social and emotional development –

  • Making conservation.
  • Toddler groups – interaction with peers.
  • Organised classes – taking instruction and interaction with peers.

Literacy –

  • Arts and crafts – painting and drawing lines, patterns and shapes.
  • Flash cards – first words, recognising items.
  • Use of favourite characters to engage them in story telling.
  • Rhyme and verse to instigate learning phonics in a fun environment.

Mathematics –

  • Arts and crafts – painting and drawing numbers.
  • Flash cards – recognising numbers and putting them in order.
  • Rhyme and verse to instigate learning numbers in a fun environment.

Understanding the world –

  • Toddler groups – interaction and exploration of different situations with different people.
  • Allowing children to develop meaningful relationships with their peers.
  • Teaching them about themselves – how to recognise themselves and introduce themselves to others.

Expressive arts and design –

  • Organised classes e.g) dance.
  • Exposure to music, learning to enjoy rhythm using fun and educational songs.
  • Free play.
  • Messy play.
  • Role play.
  • Arts and crafts.

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Not everyone chooses to prepare their children for nursery in the same way. Here are few words from my fellow bloggers, giving an insight into how they got their children nursery ready;

 

 

Becka from Mummy Est. 2014: ‘I’ve always believed that the ‘Prime Areas’ are the most important part of the EYFS. I think that supporting skills such as having experience around other children (such as toddler groups), knowing their own name and identity, being able to communicate (signing, speaking or symbols) and having basic self care such as getting shoes on and off, washing own hands etc. These sort of basics I believe help children have a starting point to grow from.’

Beth from Twinderelmo: ‘We let ours choose their own water bottle and lunchbag so they were excited to go and use them. In terms of EYFS, we just practised their name. Jolly phonics is a great place to start and they used to watch on YouTube.’ 

Suzy from Our Bucket List Lives: ‘I let nursery prepare my little one. Because they are linked to the school they prepare the children by teaching them the basics for reaching those goals. I did no ‘learning’ with him at home at that age as I wanted him to enjoy the time he had with mein a non learning sense. I did no letters or phonics and he is doing really well because he has been taught by one person and not more than one. We did some maths such as counting to 20 and down from 20. If you aren’t sending your child to a nursery linked with a primary school then I’d concentrate on lots of play based activities that strengthen there grip and movement. I’d do a lot of counting songs with them and other similar rhymes. Again if there’s no chance for nusery then toddler groups, especially at centres, are great for children. They tried to get Jamie to get himself changed too early in his life and it made him scared of jumpers. I’m all for when they’re ready with regards to getting himself dressed.’

Jessica from Beauties and the Bibs:  ‘I wouldn’t worry about if they are ready academically that’s what nursery is there for. I would say make sure they are ready emotionally so if your offered settling in sessions take them and talk about nursery at home so they know what will happen.’

Jenni from The Bear and the Fox: ‘We found that reading books together about nursery beforehand really helped. I shared some of our favourites here…http://www.thebearandthefox.com/2017/09/books-starting-nursery-pre-school/’

Michelle from Seeing Rainbows: ‘All I did was encourage to draw, colour and know/write their name. I also took them to playgroup from very young to encourage socialisation and attempt to avoid shyness. But of course none of this is necessary, every child is different and nursery will encourage all these things anyway!’

Emma from Bubba Blue and Me: ‘I didnt prepare him because he’s been in day nursery from a year old. So socially and psychologically it was just another step for him the same as going to school. At home we just did normal things through play. Lots of communication, singing and activities that helped with motor control. He wasn’t interested in phonics or writing even though they did it at nursery. I just made sure there were plenty of books and drawing things available for when he wanted to use them.’

Sinead from Sinead Latham: ‘We spoke a lot about exploring a new school (nursery), making new friends and having a teacher just for them. They had a good 2 weeks settling in period so when they went full time all the kids were ready. 
As for EYFS at home. We focus on play, imagination and encouraging his love of books. He’s too little for extra ‘teaching’ at home, he’s got enough of that ahead of him.’

Pete from Household Money Saving: ‘We took are daughter out to quite a few groups. One was a music group near to us that was run by the local library. A lot of the time, they would need to sit quietly in a circle and listen to the lady explain. We thought this was great leading up to nursery, and something she would never have learned at home.’

Jade from Thrifty Yorkshire Mum: ‘Our local nursery used to run ‘stay and play’ sessions, essentially a playgroup where we stayed with him. This got my son used to the environment, and members of staff. I also spent a lot of time explaining what he’d be doing etc. He’s a sensitive little boy but thankfully settled in very quickly.’

 

Thankyou to everyone who took the time to contribute to this post!

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Getting Nursery Ready with Petit-Fernand – Review

Getting Nursery Ready with Petit-Fernand – Review

This week has been bitter-sweet for us. We’ve been visiting the schools and nurseries in our local area, in an attempt to find the perfect environment for our girls to be educated in. It’s bitter because as a mother, I don’t think I’ll ever be fully ready to let our girls out into the big wide world. It’s sweet because I’m so excited for them to experience the next stage of their lives!

There’s so much to think about when choosing the right school. Hubs and I have exhausted every option, finally finding what we feel is the perfect place. Now it’s time to get ourselves nursery ready! There’s uniform to buy, as well as everything else they’ll need to get them through the day. So this week I’ve teamed up with Petit-Fernand, to bring you a selection of their personalised labels, lunch boxes and water bottles. Perfect for making sure our girls start their nursery days right!

I’m sure all parents of school age children know, that personalising property that will be used at school is a good idea. There’s every opportunity for items to get mixed up, lost and left behind. Having unique products without children’s names on them can save a whole lot of bother!

 

Unique & Personalised

 

The great thing about Petit-Fernand is that you can personalise their products ’til your heart’s content. You can even get the kids involved! From colours, designs, fonts and text, you can make each product completely unique. When my eldest daughter starts nursery she’ll be staying for lunch with her friends, so I thought their customised lunch boxes were a great place to start!

We had lots of fun creating different designs for each of our girls, opting for a cute woodland theme for one and a pretty unicorn theme for the other. I added their names using a funky font, in a colour that complemented each design. We then went on to design our girls an isothermal water bottle each, matching their lunch boxes in pattern and colour. There’s also the option to choose cute lunch box bags, making it the perfect set!

 

 

As well as the lunch box sets, Petit-Fernand also offer personalised stickers for objects and school supplies. These are a great idea for all of the extra bits and bobs that our girls will need to take with them! These too can be personalised with colours, images and fonts. I ordered a two sets of stickers, including an image of our girls favourite animal on each!

 

 

Quality Products & Excellent Service

 

On ordering our products I had a confirmation email almost immediately, which also stated that our items would be dispatched within 48 hours. They were absolutely spot on and everything arrived in super quick time! I was immediately impressed with the look of each of the items I ordered, the designs on each look amazing – our girls adore them!

 

 

The quality of each product really stands out. The lunch boxes have clips around the edge to keep them secure, as well as a built-in ice pack and compartments for different foods. The water bottles are very impressive too. They’re able to keep things cool or warm, which isn’t something you get with your everyday water bottles. The labels arrived packed in a compact booklet, ideal for keeping them neat and tidy and ready for use. They’re pretty and colourful, I’m certain our girls nursery kits will be easily recognisable!

 

 

Overall, I’m super impressed with each and every item we received from Petit-Fernand. I highly recommend their products and their customer service. As our girls go through school, we’ll definitely be back!

 

The guys over at Petit-Fernand would like to offer my readers the chance win a lunch box and bag, all you have to do is enter using the form below. Please do take a peek at the terms and conditions…good luck!

 

Petit-Fernand Lunch Box and Lunch Bag Giveaway

*We were gifted items from Petit-Fernand for the purpose of this review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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Nursery Necessities For Mums

Nursery Necessities For Mums

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When planning your baby’s nursery, the majority of your focus will – quite rightly – be on what the baby needs. You’ll spend hours hunting down the right crib, looking for a stimulating mobile, and making sure you can clean up every spill and nappy change in seconds thanks to everything being to hand.

All of the above is well and good, a normal concern for the expectant parent – but have you given much thought to what you as a Mum might need in the nursery?

Why Do Mums Need To Think About What They Need?

It might go a little outside of conventional thinking, which rightly prioritises the baby – but let’s be clear: the things you should think about as a Mum aren’t a replacement for your baby’s needs. Of course not; that would be ridiculous and no one would ever design a nursery with only Mum in mind!

The needs of Mum should be factored in because, frankly, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in that nursery. It’s probably where you are going to do the majority of feeding, for example. It’s definitely where you’re going to sit night after night, watching your baby sleep and wondering how something so precious could have come into your world. It might be the baby’s room, but it needs to be functional for you too.

What Sort Of Things Do Mums’ Need In A Nursery?

The foremost concern should be one of practicality. These are the items that are going to make caring for your baby easier.

A steady supply of nappies for your changing table is an essential, along with various wet wipes and creams. You should also add in at least a few changes of clothes for both you and the baby; accidents do happen after all!

From that point onwards, you can look towards comfort. You’ll find that tub chairs, with their supportive arms, are really useful when it comes to feeding. Holding your baby up can be tiring, especially if it’s the middle of the night, so every little helps in that regard! You’re also going to want to invest in soft furnishings that will feel comforting and pleasant to be around; a few cushions, a nice rug. This is a room you’ll spend a lot of time in – so don’t be afraid to make sure it’s sumptuous.

What If You Can’t Fit Everything In?

If you have a small nursery, then you might not be able to fit everything into it – which, while not ideal, doesn’t mean you have to compromise.

Storage is always essential in a nursery. It helps parents have everything on hand when they need it, be it a change of clothes for baby or a phone charger so they have something to read after their baby accidentally falls asleep on them. If you don’t have a lot of floor space for storage, then look for shelves or storage cubes which can increase the capacity of your room hugely. This should mean no long trips to the bathroom to retrieve something; you can just have it all on hand, making life easier for Mum, baby, and everyone else!

 

*This is a collaborative post.

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Preparing Your Home For Baby’s Arrival

Preparing Your Home For Baby’s Arrival

The thing about having your first baby is that there is absolutely no walk through. You’re totally new to the whole thing and no matter how much information you get (which can feel a lot like walking through mud most of the time) every experience is different. What’s more, there are a million and forty-four things to prepare for and get done before the baby gets here.

As new to this as you are and for all the pointless anecdotes and advice you get, preparing your house for the new arrival is totally universal. Read on for our top preparation tips and tricks!

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Choosing Baby’s Room

Those first months will see you constantly getting up and out of bed throughout the night. That’s just how it goes. So keep that in mind when choosing the baby’s bedroom. This doesn’t make it an easy choice, though. Baby’s room could be close so that it is convenient for night time feeds, it could be as far away as possible so that one of you can be on the ball in the morning.

Get Your Decorating On

This is one of the most exciting times in any new parent’s life because decorating their nursery is totally magical. Of course, decisions and compromises need to be made. First, there are probably things in this room because it previously used to be the spare room. So, decide whether you want to store anything with canningvalestorageunits.com.au or give it away to charity. Safety is another must-have consideration, as is convenience. So only start with the basics of a cot, change table, dresser and a comfy chair and then add to it after the arrival.

Baby Proofing Everything

This is one of those tasks that will never end because, as they grow the protection needs to adapt. When it comes to newborn versus toddler, you’ll see how your home becomes more hazardous. As overwhelming as this may seem, the earlier you start the better. So, ask your husband to get on his hands and knees and have him start protecting any hazards he can see from his new viewpoint; these will be hazards to the baby when they are crawling and toddling.

Baby Monitor

This is for your peace of mind as much as anything, especially in those first few weeks when you haven’t quite got the motherhood swag down perfectly. This is natural by the way, so embrace it. Luckily, there are so many amazing baby monitors on the market that allow you to almost be all places at all times, which a mummy skill you pick up pretty quickly. Some just let you hear when they are crying, other’s play music and some let you see their faces while they are sleeping. So go with what you are happy with.

Your Bedroom

It is inevitable that your bedroom will be taken over and dragged into being a new suburb of Babyland. Try not to let this happen, but don’t stress over it too much. In fact, have a few essential things to help you through the first stages of mummyhood, such as a rocking chair in the corner somewhere and a trunk where you can just throw the baby stuff that litters your floor so it is at least out of sight. Voila. Your home is basically ready!

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