5 Ways to Share the Happiness of Books with your Child ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

5 Ways To Share The Happiness Of Books With Your Child And Lay The Foundations For Literacy #IfShesHappyImHappy

5 Ways To Share the Happiness of Books

I recently introduced a regular feature #IfShesHappyImHappy and this week I’m talking about sharing the happiness of books with your child.  #IfShesHappyImHappy is all about the cycle of happiness – you being happy, making your child happy and it coming full circle to make you happy again!  You can read it here if you missed it.

5 Ways To Share The Happiness Of Books With Your Child And Lay The Foundations For Literacy #IfShesHappyImHappy

Laying Foundations

I’m passionate about encouraging children to read.  Laying a good foundation in literacy really does have its advantages – increases vocab, increases interaction and increases bonding.  With enjoying books comes the joys of bedtime reading and mini libraries.  You don’t need much to instil a love of reading into your child – just grab a book, and away you go!  These books (see the picture below) hold such a special place in my childhood and the warm, fuzzy feeling I got when our daughter began to read about Silky, Moonface and Saucepan Man in The Magic Faraway Tree was beyond words.

5 Ways To Share The Happiness Of Books With Your Child And Lay The Foundations For Literacy ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

Encouraging reading

  1. Read the book to your child ~ From an early age, we read to our daughter every single day.  As a newborn, it doesn’t matter if you read them something that’s not a board book or that goes way over their heads; the point here is that reading to them is a bonding experience and increases their vocab, laying vital literacy foundations as they grow.
  2. When your child is old enough to read themselves, give them the books you read (and that were read to you).  We did this when my Mum unearthed some of my childhood favourites (as seen in the picture above).  My copies are well-loved and that just adds to the charm for me.
  3. If you don’t want your own copies to be used, consider borrowing from a library or buy another copy.  But also consider that charm of seeing your child read the very book that you read and that was read to you.
  4. Ask your child what their favourite part or character is.  And then tell them yours.  Our daughter was amazed that I had read the same books that her Grandma had now given her!
  5. Do a ‘Create Make Do’ activity around your child’s favourite book from your stash of ‘oldies’ (or if they haven’t got your stash, choose their favourite from their own collection).  Perhaps a puppet show, thinking of a different ending to a chapter (what could happen in the next chapter now?), a new take on a pivotal point in the story…

The only limit, as they say, is imagination!

 What happy memories have you got of reading to your child(ren) or being read to when you were a child?   What was/is your favourite childhood book?  And your child’s?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

Thanks.

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5 Ways To Build Your Child’s Confidence ~ #IfShesHappyImHappy

5 Ways To Build Your Childs Confidence And Self Esteem And Empower Them #IfShesHappyImHappy Main

5 Ways To Build Your Child’s Confidence  

I recently introduced a regular feature #IfShesHappyImHappy and this week I’m talking about building your child’s confidence.  #IfShesHappyImHappy is all about the cycle of happiness – you being happy, making your child happy and it coming full circle to make you happy again!  You can read it here if you missed it.

5 Ways To Build Your Childs Confidence And Self Esteem And Empower Them #IfShesHappyImHappy Main

All Children are different

We all know that children are different, that siblings can be like chalk and cheese and that children develop at different rates.

Yet most children will benefit from activities that include the same factors; the factors that encourage their own development and more importantly, that encourage them to develop at their own speeds.  They may include activities that encourage:

Being sociable

Being expressive

Being vocal

Being creative

Being together

And all of these factors encourage development in so many other ways.  In fact, they all come together like a big jigsaw puzzle.

All like pieces slotting in together. 

And the middle piece?

That could be you – the parent or carer.

The piece that nurtures, guides, encourages that vital independence to enable your child to develop in a way that’s healthy for them.

And of course, when our children have these pieces slotted together, it does help them to have a more confident, happier outlook on life.

We could sometimes all use a little help to have a positive outlook!

By giving children the opportunity to get involved in the activities involving the factors listed above, we’re laying their foundations for healthy development.

 What are your thoughts on building confidence in children?  Please share your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

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Easter Craft ~ How to make an easter egg box

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorate Easter Egg Box

Easter Craft ~ how to make an Easter egg box

We love crafts in our house and Easter always brings out our creativity!

So when our 7 year old’s school ran a competition for the best decorated Easter egg, you can imagine the making and creating that went on…

…and here’s how she made it.  (I say ‘she’ because apart from boiling the eggs, she pretty much did it all by herself!)

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorate Easter Egg Box

You will need:

A standard empty box

Hard-boiled eggs (it depends how many you’d like to decorate!)

Glue ~ pritt-stick type glue is better than gloopy glue because of handling the egg while decorating it… unless you want to look like a decorated easter egg yourself!

Felt-tips and/or paint ~ depending on whether you like really messy or not!

Paper for drawing pictures to cut out and stick on the eggs

Crafty things ~ anything crafty that you’ve got knocking around

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Get a standard egg box

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorate Easter Egg Box Step 1

Then get the glue

Easter Craft ~ How To make A Decorated Easter Egg Box Step 2

And some green ‘grass’ for paper

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorated Easter Egg Box Step 3

Stick the ‘grass’ anywhere on the outside of the box (the corners work well)

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorated Easter Egg Box Step 5

Pour some glue inside the egg box and stick some yellow ‘nest’ paper inside

Easter Craft ~ How To Make A Decorated Easter Egg Box Result

And there’s your Easter egg box!  (our daughter won a prize for hers!)

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What do you like to make for Easter crafts?  I’d love to know!  Tell me by commenting below and then tweet me @AllSortsHere.

Thanks 🙂  

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The Cycle of Happiness #IfShesHappyImHappy

The Cycle of Happiness #IfShesHappyImHappy . It's About Making You And Your Child Happy

The Cycle of Happiness #IfShesHappyImHappy

Today, I’m introducing a regular feature #IfShesHappyImHappy.  It’s all about the cycle of happiness – you being happy, making your child happy and it coming full circle to make you happy again!

There are 2 schools of thought here, as far as I can see.

1… as a parent, you can only be happy if your child/ren is/are happy

2… as a parent, you need to be happy first before they can be happy

I fit into both of these schools, which is why I said above that it’s about the ‘cycle’ of happiness, the big jigsaw, the ‘happy circle’ (as cheesey as that sounds!)

The Cycle of Happiness #IfShesHappyImHappy . It's About Making You And Your Child Happy

It’s a 2-way street

We all know that our children (especially young children) can really feel our emotions – good or bad.  No matter how hard we try to hide our anxiety, we still show it through our feelings.

Children can be sensitive little beans and pick up on these feelings.  A classic example could be the first day or school – you drop them off into their new classroom, you’re all smiles etc and when you’re out of the school gates, the floodgates open (usually yours, not theirs).  I’ve been there myself.

To my mind, or school of thought, it’s about empowering them, giving them the confidence to be happy.  And that’s where the cycle comes in.  Because we feel our childrens’ feelings just as much as they feel ours (arguably more at times!).  So we feel each other’s happiness or otherwise.

Here’s the point

So, here I am finally getting to the point of #IfShesHappyImHappy

I make no apology for saying that my daughter’s happiness and good mental health is the most important thing to me.  I’d do anything within my power to make her happy, as any parent would.  And I know that if she’s happy, I’m happy, and if I’m happy she’s happy.   There’s that cycle again!

I will be sharing posts on things that our daughter has said, done, made, given, shared that’s made her and me – us ‘happy’!  I do this anyway but I wanted to dig a little deeper and make a little feature of it.

Because #IfShesHappyImHappy

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How I turned a complicated pregnancy into a positive campaign

How I Turned A Complicated Pregnancy Into A Positive Campaign HELLP Syndrome Pre-eclampsia

How I turned a complicated pregnancy into a positive campaign

First up, let’s get something out of the way, and then let’s get onto the positive.  When I see pregnancy announcements or perfect birth stories, I often make a conscious decision not to read.  If it’s a blog post linked up in the same linky, I may have a skim read and then I often ‘just’ share the post.

It’s because I struggle to read ‘perfect’ pregnancy and perfect birth stories.  The reason being that I had a Complicated Pregnancy
which involved a low placenta and resulted in pre-eclampsia, an emergency c-section and HELLP syndrome (which saw me in intensive care for a week).

I realise that people go through far more than that in pregnancy and I’ll always be grateful for having a healthy daughter.

Everything’s relative

I understand that people can’t wait to share their news and they have every right to (just like I have every right to choose not to read something that is likely to upset and frustrate me.).

What I really struggle to understand is why women choose to have a home birth.  There, I’ve said it.

Things can go wrong very quickly during labour.  Why risk not having the top consultants and surgeons literally scrubbed up in a theatre for you and your baby?

I’m getting a little ranty, I know.

And that’s not really my style.

Yet it seems that I’m harbouring frustration towards home births.  Some may say it’s  jealousy.  Well, I say not – I never wanted a home birth.  Just a healthy baby.  And I was happy to have a section, more than happy to be ‘scheduled in’!

In an age where you have the best medical staff and equipment that a developed country can offer, why be so naive to think that everything will carry on hunky dory?

The serene dream

Yes, it’s lovely to have that serene dream of a home birth, of course it is.

but let’s get real here.

This is pregnancy.

Things can and do go very wrong.  A sad fact.

Although a *little* ranty, this post actually serves to illustrate that I’m grateful for being healthy, for being here with my little family, for having a healthy daughter… when things could have been so very different.  And undoubtedly would have been if I’d been insistent on having a home birth or at least sticking to any other birth plan.

How I Turned A Complicated Pregnancy Into A Positive Campaign HELLP Syndrome Pre-eclampsia

When things had settled into newborn life, I started to post a few updates on facebook about how we were both very lucky to be here.  And one night, a good friend said, “wow, you should turn this into a book.”

So I did.  An ebook to be precise.  An ebook that I published to ‘hellp’ raise awareness of HELLP syndrome.  Because it’s more common than you think, yet the healthcare professionals often don’t treat it with the urgency that it needs or just plain don’t recognise it for what it is in the first place.  Then I decided that as well my letter to the NHS, another way to giving something back when I got so much care, would be to give half of the proceeds to the charity Action on Pre-eclampsia (APEC).

And that’s what this post is for

 

It’s not for a rant so much as to tell you how I turned my complicated pregnancy into a positive campaign.  (I didn’t mean to rant quite so much by the way, but it did feel good…)

If I’ve caused anyone an offence on their past, present or future birth plan that may include a home birth, that wasn’t my intention.  This is my little corner of the internet and I wanted to show how I turned a trauma into a positive project.

Thanks for reading and I’ve hope I’ve raised some awareness.

Have you turned an unpleasant experience into something positive?  (pregnancy-related or otherwise.)  I’d love to hear from you!  Comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

*This post contains affiliate links.

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Book review ~ One Third Stories

Book Review One Third Stories Help Your Child to Learn A New Language

Book Review ~ One Third Stories

When I heard about One Third Stories – ‘a story that starts in English and ends in another language’, I was intrigued.
Book Review One Third Stories Full Help Your Child to Learn A New Language 2
The people at Boolino asked which language I would like to review and I chose the Spanish because I thought it would be a good starting point.  Those episodes of Dora the Explorer must have given our 7 year old a good grounding for Spanish surely?…

 

Seriously though, not being a language expert, I also thought Spanish might be one of the more straight-forward languages.
So that’s what I thought, but I was also interested to see how our daughter would approach it and how she would react.
She loves reading and happily reads fluently alone.  And so I had little doubt of her capabilities.  As I said, she’s also seen her fair share of Dora so I thought she would already have a feel for the intonations of Spanish as a language!  A logical conclusion to draw perhaps?!

 

The unboxing

What made me smile on reading this book was her realisation that some of the book was in a different language!
When we opened the parcel, she read the cover and I explained what it was.
Curious, she began to read and by page 4  she came across a Spanish word which was very cleverly woven into the text.  Having been through phonics, sounding out and blending with her, it was fascinating to hear her do the same with the Spanish word.
Book Review One Third Stories Full Help Your Child to Learn A New Language Reading
I did have to jump in and tell her how to pronounce ‘si’.  But due to the accompanying pictures, the word meaning was pretty self-explanatory within the context of the story.
Genius!

 

Does the concept work?

Having the Spanish slotted into the text didn’t slow the story down at all, which I thought may have been the case.
A very clever concept that works brilliantly with competent, engaged readers (or at least a 7 year old and her mum!).  I can see how this book (and no doubt others in the series) would aide in actually introducing a different language and therefore learning new, basic words.

 

My thoughts

Based on our experience and our daughter’s reaction, I would highly recommend this book.
Not only for the general concept of ending in a different language but also for the sheets of ‘flash cards’ that come with it.  On one side you have the Spanish and the other is the English.  A great idea to enhance visual learning.  What also impressed me about this book visually was at the start, the numbers were introduced alongside clear drawings of the number of the relevant item, so the child can count them and work out what the Spanish word is for themselves.  The package also came with a free audio book download which is a great idea for the pronunciations and also a cute Spanish fact file that you can see here.
Book Review One Third Stories Full Help Your Child to Learn A New Language With Fact File

One Third Stories came with a cute Spanish Fact File

 

With an RRP of £14.99, there is value for money because you do get a fair amount for your money – a good quality, sturdy story book with flash cards.  My initial thoughts were that it’s a little bit pricey, but when I considered the concept a little more; that this series could engage with your child and ease your child into a new language, I do think it’s worth it.

 

What language would you consider buying for your child?  Tell me in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere 🙂

*I was sent this book for the purposes of this review but all words and opinions are my own (and my daughter’s!)

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Days out that are fun and educational

Days Out That Are Fun And Educational For The Family Rossall School
 

Days out that are fun and educational

Some days you can’t just sit around watching TV, you’ve got to get out, and take the kids for days out. It’s not hard finding fun things to do, but what about keeping their brain invested too? Rossall School have a few ideas that should tick both boxes as being fun, educational days out.

Days Out That Are Fun And Educational For The Family Rossall School

Zoo/Aquarium/Safari

Who doesn’t love animals? What better way to celebrate than by going to see a host of exotic beasts up close you wouldn’t normally see at home. There are plenty of dotted around the country, but how about Longleat Safari Park?  It’s the perfect example of a great day out; there is plenty to do around the grounds, see animal shows such as birds on display, chances to hold reptiles and see all the creepy crawlies up close, then finish it off by getting in your car and driving round the actual safari part, getting up-close and personal with the bigger, more impressive creatures.

Museum

Museums aren’t all just old paintings (not that there is anything wrong with that), but it’s not a bad idea to educate the kids in some famous artwork to encourage their creativity. There are loads of different exhibitions on offer, from Ancient Egypt, to dinosaurs to science and technology. There’s no limit to the amount of stuff, often all under the same roof. A perfect way to spend an afternoon and usually free entry!

Castles

There are literally hundreds of castles dotted around the UK.  They are a big part of our history but a good day out is the Northumberland Coastal Route where there are a bunch of castles still in good condition. There’s Bamburgh which is right by the beach, Warkworth, more ruins now and Alnwick, which has been used in a few films including a little known movie called Harry Potter. It also has a fantastic epic tree house and gardens where the kids can learn all different kinds of plants and flowers and there’s even a poisonous plants guided tour section.

Beamish

Speaking of the North East, there is also this brilliant open air museum which is practically a whole town frozen in time. Three times to be precise; The 1820s, 1900s and the 1940s. You can explore what life was like during those times with shops, farms, schools, blacksmiths (with a working blacksmith) and even doctors, dentists and the best part, a sweet shop where you can watch old-fashioned treats being made right in front of you. The staff play in character and can provide information about their respective roles and era.

 

*Sponsored post

 

Have you got any suggestions for great, educational family days out?  Share them in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere 🙂

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‘Making room for her nearly 8 year old things’ ~ poem

Making room full for her nearly 8 year old things poem poetry parenting growing up virtually all sorts

‘Making Room for her nearly 8 year old Things’

 

We often tell our daughter that she needs to de-clutter,

“To make room for more tat!”, I say with a mutter;

Her room needs a sort out with a fine tooth-comb,

For the old toys that now need a new home…

 

Instead of tidying, she’s often found playing,

Unearthing old toys that it seems are now staying,

“It’s a pre-school book, you no longer need,

It’s been in a box, chapter books you now read!”

 

Okay, she tells me, she’ll sort that box out,

So I leave her to playing, not sorting, no doubt;

But a little while later she presents a small pile,

Of nick-nacks that I’ve not seen for a while…

 

“I don’t need these now, they’re too young for me!

I’ve had them since I was around about three.”

‘Tis true and my heart, well it does a small flip,

Cos I know she’s growing up in a hop and skip!

 

Peppa Pig, Disney Princesses are all relegated

To the ‘not wanted’ stack, I feel somewhat deflated…

But you know what?  It’s all good and exciting,

The next step of our journey that it seems we’re alighting…

 

With makeup, with fashions, with disco lights,

With pop music, with dancing and slightly later nights,

All signs our little girl is little no more,

As she practices dance moves on the living floor.

 

We see her character growing and growing,

Moulding to where the wind takes her, it’s blowing!

Leaving her old toys, all stacked up in the wings

Making room for her nearly 8 year old things…

 

By Carol Cameleon 2017

How do you cope when your child decides they’re suddenly too old for the toys that, actually remind you of their earlier days? Does your heart skip a beat of excitement or is it bittersweet?  I’d love to know!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

~

WonderfulWorldofWriting

 

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Will this book help your child fall to sleep?

When we received a package from Vicks as part of their #VicksTricks campaign, we were intrigued by the book inside.  The title of my blog post for their campaign was ‘I’ve Got a Trick Up My Sleeve’ and so did they, it seems!

Their ‘trick’ was a book entitled ‘The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep: A New Way of Getting Children to Sleep
by Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin.

Will this book full help your child fall asleep Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin Vicks Tricks bedtime reading parenting virtually all sorts

And what an intriguing book.  The idea is to read this book to your child who doesn’t want to or won’t sleep, at bedtime.  I found it quite challenging to read because of the style.  By that I mean that parts were in italics (which you say in a soft, slow voice) and bold (which you say ‘in character’ and animate your voice etc).  To accompany the book were 3 finger puppets, to use alongside the book, to really bring the book alive.

Will this book puppets full help your child fall asleep Carl-Johan Forssen Ehrlin Vicks Tricks bedtime reading parenting virtually all sorts

We love a bedtime story in our house, we always have and in all honesty, we’ve never really had any issues with our 7 year old wanting to go to bed or to sleep.  I’ve mentioned before how she asks me to read 7 pages and then she reads the rest herself by torchlight..

So to be asked by our daughter to read the whole lot came as a surprise.  A nice one though!  It felt very odd not to be reading the whole 7 pages and our daughter didn’t even manage to read the rest herself!  Why?  Because by about page 4, she was curled up in bed, with her teddies and duvet around her, heavy-eyed and ready for sleep.  She usually sits up next to me in bed, snuggled up under her duvet holding a teddy.  So was this coincidence?  Well, we will never know but in any case, the concept of the book is really clever!

Have you come across this book?  Do you find bedtime challenging?!  Tell me in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere 🙂

This post contains affliate links which means that if you buy something from this page, I get a little happiness too, at no extra cost to you.  Thanks 🙂

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‘Scrambled Heads: A Children’s Guide to Mental Health’ ~ Review

Mental health.  It can be a very sensitive subject to approach.  Taboo even.
And it can be especially tricky to talk to our children about.
If you let it.

 

But here’s a helping hand because Emily Palmer has written ‘Scrambled Heads: A Children’s Guide to Mental Health
which was inspired after her own struggles with her mental health as a child and young adult.
For a start, what a great title!  It sums up very well the subject matter, I feel.
And with simple, colourful pictures, it’s such an easy read – a coffee table book that you can read in one sitting when the moment or need arises.Scrambled heads white childrens guide to mental health wellbeing book review young minds virtually all sorts
Apart from the simple illustrations, what really grabs me about this book is that it’s engaging.  It’s reassuring.  It gives useful advice in a non-aggressive and non-patronising way (very important for children, especially young adults).
‘Scrambled Heads’ normalises mental health, which is vital for everyone.

 

I say everyone, because when you first read the sub-title ‘A Children’s Guide to Mental Health’, you might think, as I did, that it’s aimed purely at children.  But when you consider that this book can be read by anyone of any age, so children, their siblings, their relatives, their friends and their parents, that covers a lot of ground!

 

What’s worth remembering is that many, many children have parents who have mental health issues and this book could help them to understand their situation better.   This would have been a very handy book when I had depression.  Books are one of 5 ways you beat depression.
The length of the book is just right for picking up off the coffee table, bedside cabinet, shelf or wherever and having a quick recap as the need arises.

 

The price is very reasonable too at £5.99.  And with 10% of the profits of the first edition being donated to ‘Young Minds’, it’s even more reasonable and a small price to pay, I’d say.

 

If I could change one thing, I would put a little less emphasis on visits to hospital and medication, and more emphasis on cognitive therapy.

 

Although it doesn’t actually refer directly to medication it has pictures that are open to interpretation.  And when it comes to mental health, I suppose it’s heavily open to interpretation on all levels.  Such as how someone looks compared to how they’re feeling.  And that’s just for starters.

 

Overall, given the complexity of the subject of mental health, I do think that this book does an extremely good job of not alienating anyone, not patronising anyone, not making anyone feel ‘odd’ and above all, not being flippant about what is a very serious subject.

 

I would encourage our 7 year old to read this at some point as and when the need may arise, as a useful aide to understanding mental health.

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I was sent this book at a discount for the purpose of a review but all words and opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliates links which means that if you purchase something from this page, I get a little happiness too.  At no extra cost to you.  Thank you.

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