Some of you may have seen the National Trust have launched a new campaign called ‘50 things to do before you’re 11 3/4‘ which as it sounds is a list of things that children should try before they reach the age of 11 3/4.
I first found out about this from TheBoyAndMe and she currently has a linky open over here of The Boy’s journey and how he’s getting along.
If you’ve not seen the list well here it is
|1. Climb a Tree
||11. Go on a Really Long Bike Ride
||21. Pick Blackberries Growing in the Wild
|2. Roll Down a Really Big Hill
||12. Make a Trail with Sticks
||22. Explore inside a Tree
|3. Camp Out in the Wild
||13 . Make a Mud Pie
||23. Visit a Farm
|4. Build a Den
||14. Dam a Stream
||24. Go on a Walk Barefoot
|5. Skim a Stone
||15. Play in the Snow
||25. Make a Grass Trumpet
|6. Run Around in the Rain
||16. Make a Daisy Chain
||26. Hunt for Fossils and Bones
|7. Fly a Kite
||17. Set up a Snail Race
||27. Go Star Gazing
|8. Catch a Fish with a Net
||18. Create some Wild Art
||28. Climb a Huge Hill
|9. Eat an Apple Straight from a Tree
||19. Play Pooh Sticks
||29. Explore a Cave
|10. Play Conkers
||20. Jump Over Waves
||30. Hold a Scary Beast
|31. Hunt for Bugs
||41. Plant it, Grow it, Eat it
|32. Find Some Frogspawn
||42. Go Swimming in the Sea
|33. Catch a Falling Leaf
||43. Build a Raft
|34. Track Wild Animals
||44. Go Bird Watching
|35. Discover what’s in a Pond
||45. Find your way with a Map and Compass
|36. Make a Home for a Wild Animal
||46. Try Rock Climbing
|37. Check out the Crazy Creatures in a Rockpool
||47. Cook on a Campfire
|38. Bring up a Butterfly
||48. Learn to Ride a Horse
|39. Catch a Crab
||49. Find a Geocache
|40. Go on a Nature Walk at Night
||50. Canoe down a River
The girls have already completed a few of these but the aim is to do all of them again and this time document them fingers crossed before they reach the age of 11 3/4.
It’s been a hectic few weeks and we haven’t managed to get out much but this past weekend the weather was so nice we couldn’t waste it.
Me and the girls spend the whole weekend in the garden and got lots of jobs done such as planting some vegetables and for the first time this year we cut the grass.
The girls are always so willing to help out and would spend hours outside without even arguing with each other.
While gardening we had a little visit from a blackbird which is probably the first time a bird has entered the garden for months.
And once we went indoors a cheeky little visitor popped in to the garden but only to steal some of the hanging basket lining for his nest.
I’ll be totally honest, I’ve never really learnt to swim, no lessons nothing but I can swim. I’m pretty lucky that I can try most sports and can wing it and get by.
We try and take the girls swimming as much as possible but with working and other things getting in the way it’s not always possible and Aly loves getting in the swimming pool. The problem is I can’t teach her to swim as I have no idea what I should be teacher her and I am not great at teaching people to do anything.
With this in mind we’ve decided to get Aly some swimming lessons which will mean she’ll learn how to swim and also allow her to go swimming once a week which hopefully she’ll enjoy.
Before she starts lessons she had to go for an assessment so they know what class to put her into. All week I think this has been playing on her mind a little bit as she’s been very quiet which is unlike her but she didn’t say anything.
The day had arrived and we headed off to the leisure centre and we got changed and she made sure I put her armbands on and we met the instructor and the first thing she said was no armbands which Aly didn’t seem to pleased about but again didn’t say anything. She walked to the other side of the pool and looked so lost but she knew I was nearby. I watched on as she tried everything that they asked even stuff that was out of her comfort zone.
It was no surprise when they said she’ll be in the beginner class but that does mean she’ll be in a group with one of her school friends.
I’m so proud of her for going ahead with this even if she’d been worried about it all week…
That’s right KAPOW!!
You know the one, the word/noise you used to head in brilliant cartoon versions of Batman or Dangermouse. For some reason Dangermouse seemed to use it a lot or may be that’s my memory playing tricks on me.
So why have I decided to write about a random 80s cartoon saying? Well somewhere along this parenting road Aly has picked up this word (honestly I haven’t been watching reruns of Dangermouse) and I’ve no idea where she got it from. Now I can think of a hundred worse words she could have picked up from
me mum so it’s not to bad.
The thing that really got us was when we went into a newsagent and she asked for a magazine and Mia also asked for one so we said they could share one as they look at it once and then that’s it. Mia was fine with this but Aly kicked up as fuss so we said no one could have one.
This is when Teenage Mutant Ninja Aly sprung into action and tried Kapow-ing me, what was out reaction? We started laughing which in turn made Mia laugh and ended with Aly also laughing and much like in Peppa Pig we all ended on the floor laughing.
What started out as Aly losing her rag and trying to attack us ended with us making a joke of it. Sometimes we’re too serious and forget that they’re only children and only young once.
There’s no doubt that new parents have a lot to think about. When you’re trying to prepare your home – and yourselves – for the new arrival, there’s everything from sleeping bags to nappy supplies to take care of. Perhaps unsurprisingly, some of the biggest decisions are to do with the nursery itself. It’s likely that your baby will spend much of the first two years of their life in this room, so it’s important to buy smart when looking at furniture.
Just like any bedroom, the easiest place to start is the bed, or in this case, the cot. Some parents prefer bassinets in the early stages, and while these can’t be tested to the same safety standards as cots, it really comes down to personal judgement. However, if you’re looking for a reliable cot, Mamas and Papas offer some of the sturdiest options out there, and with their convertible toddler-beds, you can also buy for the long-term.
Another essential item is the changing table. Many parents happily use a dresser with a changing mat, but if you are starting from scratch, you might want to browse the Cosatto Hogarth range. Spacious drawer and cupboard units with a sizeable changing area on top, these products are also handy for use as clothing and linen storage as they grow older.
Convenience might dictate buying a full set in one go, and plenty of family stores will cater for this, but where’s the best place to look for nursery furniture sets? Kids Line La Jobi do some well-considered wooden sets including cot, chest of drawers and separate changing table with shelving. For bulk buys, these are decent value for money and the extra storage is a big plus as well.
Kitting out a nursery is often a question of preference and individual needs. Smaller nurseries may require more multi-functional pieces, while those with a bit more space might want to look at rocking chairs and toy storage. Bear in mind that while safety is paramount, you need to make the room comfortable for you, as well as for your baby. After all, you’ll be spending nearly as much time in there as they will.
I’m scared very scared.
My little girl is growing up, on paper she’s actually only 5 but I’m not so sure. This past week she’s been to her friend’s house after school for dinner and that same friend has been around ours for dinner. Now I’m sure I wasn’t that young when I started doing that.
The subject between the two of them of sleepovers has already been raised and so far we’ve put it off but it won’t be long, once again I’m sure I was about 10 before I stayed round a friend’s house.
So far not too bad I guess.
The next worry is she wanted her own phone! Now of course I asked who she would phone. Without a thought she replied her friends and of course Teddy…silly Daddy. Luckily we came to the agreement that she should be 10 before we thought about her having a phone. Now this one I am confident I was about 16 when I got a phone and it was for doing well in my exams.
How long is it going to be before the Dad’s Taxi service starts? How long before I get the 1am calls asking for her to be picked up from some club because they missed the bus?
What comes after that? Dad I’d like you to meet my boyfriend?!!!! Ah maybe I should ban boys now.
Dad can I borrow the car? May be it’s time to sell the car now.
Possibly the best thing for us as a family to do is to win the lottery and move to our own island.
Research being revealed today by nursery retailer Mamas & Papas confirms new parents in the UK are feeling the financial pressure of the recession. A significant proportion of young parents are having to use their savings, take out a loan or even borrow off their families in order to pay for day-to-day essentials. One in three new parents are concerned about how they will pay off their debts and even more worry about how they can possibly save for their children’s future. Recent research* reveals that parents-to-be put aside on average £2,547 to pay for the extra expanses that come with a new baby.
To support increasingly hard pressed new families, Mamas & Papas are today launching ‘Baby Basics’- a hand-picked list of all the quality essential items parents will need for those first few crucial months and beyond.** Consisting of 21 items and at a total of £717, parents are able to get everything they need for the same price some parents would spend solely on their first push chair. Parents can be safe in the knowledge that all the products selected for the list are of a high Mamas & Papas quality – the list includes the award winning Luna push chair as well as a car seat, cot, bedding, clothes, steriliser and feeding equipment.
Key findings from the research included:
- 28% (1 in 4) of new parents have needed to borrow money from their family to make ends meet
- 40% of new parents say they are having to use their savings to cover the day to day essential costs
- 20% of young families have had to take out a loan since having a baby in order to make ends meet
- 30% of parents are worried about being able to pay off their debts since having a baby
- Over 40% of new parents were worried about how they are going to save for their children’s future
Other research*** revealed that parents are most likely to feel under financial pressure when their children are aged under two than at any other time. Mums and Dads of under twos are also most likely to:
- Worry about their income and finances (56%)
- Argue about money with their partner / family (22%)
- See an increase in their household debts (19%)
More worryingly 27% of parents of under twos admit they’ve stopped saving as a result of having a family, while 32% have dipped into savings in order to make ends meet.
Olivia Robinson, Creative and Brand Director of Mamas & Papas and youngest daughter of David and Luisa (founders of Mamas & Papas) said: “As parents we understand that Mums and Dads worry about what they need to buy for their new baby and how much it’s going to cost. We recognise that for many parents this is a real challenge, so have used our experience to create the Mamas & Papas Baby Basics list. Parents can be assured that when they purchase the products on the list they are getting everything they need without breaking the bank!”
Baby Basics is launching today and will be available online and through stores. Parents interested in the list should pick up the Baby Basics leaflet in stores. A Mamas & Papas expert adviser will happily help parents find all of the items they need.
* Research supplied by Aldermore Bank
**Excludes nappies / food and other disposables
**Research supplied by Aviva Insurance
Baby Basics List
- Aton Car Seat – Black Jack – £120
- Luna Pram/Pushchair – £159
- Bedtime Hugs Changing Mat – £14
- Bubble Bouncer – £19.95
- Bibi Cot – £105
- Basic Foam Mattress 200 – £35
- 2 Cot/Bed Fitted Sheets (70x142cm) Cream – £19
- Cellular Cot/Bed Blanket Cream – £12
- Motorola Digital Baby Monitor MBP11 – £35
- Bedtime Hugs Deampod 0-6 Months – £18
- 3 Pack All in One White – £14
- 5 Pack Essential Socks White – £10
- Essentials 2 Pack Mitts Cream – £4
- Essentials 2 Pack Hats Cream – £8
- Knitted Star Cardigan, Welcome To The World – £24
- Essentials Velour Spot Pramsuit Cream – £32
- 5 Pack Sleeveless Bodysuits – £10
- Fur Booties – £8
- Tommee Tippee – Closer To Nature Electrical Steriliser Kit – £50
- Muslin Squares, White – £12
- 3 Pack Bibs – £8
If you’ve never bought a pushchair before, then trying to choose one from the thousands of different models that are out there can be quite daunting. However, if you do a bit of thinking about what you want from your pushchair or buggy, and do a bit of research into what’s available, then choosing a pushchair becomes easy.
Consider Your Lifestyle
The way you travel is a big factor in the type of pushchair you should buy. If you use your car a lot, then you’ll need a pushchair that will fit in your boot. Compare the size of your boot with the dimensions of the collapsed pushchair and ideally purchase a pushchair that allows for a little more room. If you use public transport then look for a pushchair that is small and lightweight, so it is easy to manoeuvre and store when not in use. If walking is your main way to get about then something that is durable, easy to manoeuvre and with good sturdy wheels so it can cope with any form of terrain.
Think about Your Baby’s Needs
The type of pram or pushchair that you purchase should depend on the age of your child. If your baby is a newborn they will need to be laid flat, whereas an older child will want to sit up and take a look at the world around them. Britax Pushchairs & Strollers accommodate your child from birth up until around 4 years of age, and have seats that can be changed from flat to upright. This is a very economical way to purchase a pushchair as it will last a long time. A pushchair that accommodates two children can also be changed from flat travelling to upright travelling so you can have children of different ages in the same pram.
Pushchairs that allow you to incorporate other travel systems like a carry cot or a car seat into the pushchair itself mean that travelling long distances with a small child in different forms of transport is easier and less stressful. A good travel system is uncomplicated and easy to use.
Test it Out
If possible, head to a showroom where you can test out the pushchair for the height of the handle, the weight of the chair itself and its manoeuvrability and whether it suits your personal taste.
As I sit and write this firstly I am amazed that my 3 month old is asleep before 11pm at night, I do feel a slight tingle of victory and secondly I am trying to find the right words to sum up how I feel about being a new mummy.
On Sunday 10th March mothers across the country will be celebrated for their awesomeness and damn right hard work. Mothering really isn’t for the faint hearted, I have run businesses, worked managing high profile events and even tried to train for a marathon, but I would say that my journey as a mum has been the toughest and most enjoyable.
I had the strangest pregnancy full of many complications and morning sickness you could not even imagine, if I was the Duchess of Cambridge the papz would have had to set up camp outside the Gynae ward. But it all made it worth it, when on 12th November I welcomed to the world my precious little girl. I still remember her birth (it was such a lie when they tell you that your forget) I still wince and shudder in fear when I think of the contraction pains, but I guess that in itself is a whole different story. (Mr Epidural guy I love you!!!)
I think I am getting distracted, back to the point of this piece. Motherhood has been the best experience I have ever had, not only has my daughter reminded me that there is more to life than chasing wealth or material things. But she also has shown me how to live, every day I wake up wanting to enjoy the beauty of each day. I look at her little face and see every hope and every dream I ever had, yes she is only 3 months old, but watching a baby really does make you realise that life is for loving and living. It’s such a different feeling from staring at my husband’s face in the morning, there are time I could quite happily turn over and go to back to sleep when I see him. The love I feel from motherhood is on a different plain, the type of experience where you just stare for ages into space and feel completely content.
In essence this mother’s day means to me that I am part of something much greater than myself, I have a little human being I am responsible for. It does not mean I don’t want presents, I think I have left my husband enough threatening messages that he won’t forget to buy me a gift. Just for good measure Mr O if you are reading this it is Mother’s day, where is my gift?
I hope you enjoyed my mothering mind dump so to speak? (Guess what she has been asleep for half an hour since I wrote this!!! I am still winning)
The brilliant Abi is Online Editor for OnInLondon please check them out and Abi also tweets under @boseonas
It often pays to treat your kids to something a bit different every now and again-if you’re able to, getting them gifts where they’ll be active, such as scooters, bikes and skateboards, can be a great way to get them some fresh air as well as guaranteeing they get a bit of exercise and time away from the computer-although you probably won’t want to be this strict, a family in Australia gave up on computers and other electronic devices entirely and as a result the children in question developed to a greater extent as people. One learned to play the piano, another became focused far more on sports and was all the healthier for it, and the third developed a talent and passion for art. If your children can get more involved with moving around on two or four wheels they’ll hopefully develop more of a degree on self-reliance (with the added bonus of not needing lifts in the car as much for shorter distances, if they’re going to see their friends for example)
If you’re thinking of treating your kids to a skateboard, getting them the right kind of shoes for the board can be a bit of a tricky decision. Obviously, the fashion implications will be the most important consideration as far as your kids are concerned at least! Most skate shoe suppliers have a wide range of styles, shapes and colours though; this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If they’re going to be used for actual skateboarding though, there’s one or two things you should have a think about. The materials and technology used in skateboarding shoes are by now fairly widespread in terms of
availability, further adding to your choices, but as children are liable to wear through shoes at a pretty rapid rate don’t spend too much on them unless you’re able to do so, or you may find yourself out of pocket! Durability and comfort, after style will be near the top of the wishlist-where durability is concerned, you may have to make a trade-off-skate shoes by their nature are more rigid, made of tough materials and narrow at certain points to allow for the width of skateboards and the amount of times they’ll be striking the ground and the board, with some scuffing to be expected as well. In this case, you might need to work on obtaining shoes that offer a good enough blend of features for what your kids will be doing.
Vulcanisation is a slightly complex but interesting method of shoemaking that you might want to consider-this involves the rubber molecules being ‘cross-linked’ by heating them and mixing with sulphur in the process. This in turn greatly improves elasticity and strength as well as longevity, which is a great upside, however going back to the comfort aspect, they can potentially be less comfortable due to the bonding process packing the molecules closer together. Also, the sole is thinner so may wear quicker even though it may improve feel and performance on a board.
There are plenty of places to get your kids shoes, and it might be worth checking out an online store or two to get a feel for what’s available. If you want to have a look at a selection of kids skate shoes - visit www.skatehut.co.uk.