‘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.

~

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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How you and your child can learn from your history

Our daughter keeps asking to see photos of me as a baby.  She’s fascinated!  I keep meaning to dig them out at my parents.  (Yes, they actually have them stuck into photo albums, not saved and hidden from view on a hard drive and in ‘clouds’…)

There’s one particular photo of our daughter when she was around 6 months old in her bouncer.  She’s the complete and utter, absolute double of me as a baby in this photo (except her eye colour and tone, which are 100% hubby’s – the shape of the eyes and the gaze are absolutely me though…)

I love looking back at photos.  It’s fascinating that my baby face started out so soft and unweathered!  I wonder now what the first real stress was that I experienced and what effect that had on my features.  And then as to how much more stress and lack of sleep over the years contributed to my ‘now’ face!  (No, I’m not doing before and after pics!)

But it’s life, isn’t it?  It’s what makes us, us.

how you and your child can learn about history pin1 wellbeing inspiring plans nurture teach parenting life virtually all sorts virtuallyallsorts

How we deal with life and stress, of course, can determine how rugged and weathered we look years down the line.  Some of it’s genetics but if I knew growing up what I know now about life, about healthy living, about the effects of ‘what goes in, comes out’ (so to speak!), I would very likely have had a different approach, have been kinder to my younger self!  Maybe even have taken things more slowly…

I certainly deal with stress in a different way now.

I’m not even sure how I dealt with such things as exams, boys, student life and budgeting.

But nowadays, I choose to relax with candles, yoga, meditation and reiki, and I also eat lots of fruit and veg.

My older, wiser self would, no doubt, be critical of my much younger self.

And as our daughter grows up, I know she takes it all in because she’s asked to do yoga with me.  She asks which crystals are which.  She notices things.  She copies my healthy eating.  She copies my attitude to others and adopts my kinder, more patient qualities (hark at me!)

Being a parent is my chance to re-write history, to open doors for our daughter, to open her mind to possibilities that my younger self knew existed.

I’m using my knowledge and turning my story, my history into her-story

~

What would you do differently in turning your story into your child’s future history?  I’d love to know!  Please comment below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

~

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Captain Pug book review #AdventuresofPug

Welcome to my ‘Captain Pug’  book review!

Captain Pug 1 review book for children Bloomsbury publishing Dog who sailed the seas fiction Laura James Eglantine Ceulema

Here we have a lovely little tail tale which follows Pug and Lady Miranda on a  nautical adventure.

The first thing I noticed was that, given it’s a book for children, at 124 pages long, it doesn’t take long for the author Laura James to build up Pug into a lovable character.

You see, Pug is afraid of water and isn’t very keen when Lady Miranda turns him into a seafaring Captain for a day!

Nonetheless, he perseveres and we come to the point when Pug faces his fear of water.  A fear that Lady Miranda is unaware of.  This worries Pug.

We now learn that when Pug gets sad and worried, he gets hungry.  As luck would have it, his nose leads him to an unattended picnic basket, which he falls into…

And so the adventure really starts… with a Pug-napped Pug!

The story moves on at a good pace, which is great for children.  James’ story-telling kept the attention of our little girl (aged 6), who loves a good book.

And what good story for children is complete without good illustrations?  They appear on every page and help to move the story on.

Captain Pug 1 review book for children Bloomsbury publishing Dog who sailed the seas fiction Laura James Eglantine Ceulemans literacy reading

One of our favourite parts was when Pug finds himself the captain of a boat in a rowing race.  He’s very worried about being on the ‘open sea’ but there’s no food to calm his nerves.  He barks and barks, which the crew take to be him ‘barking orders’ and row faster!

The speed worries Pug even more, but with no food on paw hand to calm him down, he barks more, which makes the oarsmen row even faster…

Will Captain Pug and his crew win the boat race?

I’ll leave it there for you to find out for yourselves!…

The final verdict from us?

A heart-warming, slightly farcical story for children; as we follow a pug who faces his fear.  Beautiful, colourful, quirky illustrations and endearing characters.

The right length to enable a good adventure to unfold.

A portable size too – perfect for little(ish) hands and to slip into a bag for an adventure on the move!

And a good price… published by Bloomsbury and available from Amazon
for £5.99

Join the conversation #AdventuresofPug

And include @AllSortsHere in the tweet!

~

And in January 2017…

Cowboy Pug is coming!  Yeee-haaa!

We’re looking forward to reading a new adventure with Pug 🙂

~

We were sent this book to review but all opinions are my own. See here for my full disclosure policy.
Also, this post contains affiliate links.

~

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How do you introduce children to the news in a positive way?

Our Little Girl was asking her Daddy what he was watching on the ipad.  He was watching the news and said, “It’s for grown-ups, let’s watch something else.”

And she did.

She watched a sugar-coated episode of Sofia the First.

PositiveThinking how to introduce our children to the news current affairs knowledge learning parenting information kids

But it got me to thinking abut child-friendly news.  I enjoyed watching programmes like Newsround when I was younger.  For the benefit of the International readers and the younger (!) readers, this was a great programme presented by John Craven in a very simplistic way that made it very easy to understand and digest.  Our Dad used to like watching it with us too.  I think it took the jargon out for adults too!

This was on at 5 pm or thereabouts – always just before we had our tea.  I loved it.  Granted, I was a fair bit older than Our little girl, who is currently 6.

Yes, the news is usually full of depressing stuff BUT it’s important to keep astride of world events, I think.  Even from a fairly young age.

But what are the best ways of introducing a young child to the news, without tainting their innocence?

I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below or tweet me @AllSortsHere

Thanks 🙂

I’d love to hear from you. Tweet me @AllSortsHere using the hashtag #PositiveThinking.

Let’s create a virtual wave of positivity!

#PositiveThinking is my monthly blog linky and twitter party.

Link up any blog post with a positive and happy theme (and it’d be great if you could copy my badge below into your post).  Perhaps your positive thought could be connected to a goal you have in mind, something funny you’ve heard or something funny you’ve seen.  If it’s got a PositiveThinking theme, it works for this linky.  Old or new posts, it doesn’t matter – link up as many as you like.  

The linky door is always open.

~

Also join me on twitter.  Tweet anything positive and/or promote your positive blogpost (the one you link up!) with #PositiveThinking and include a direct tweet to me @AllSortsHere… I’ll share by retweeting.

Let’s get the positive vibrations going good and strong

And join me tomorrow for #TheZenZing, putting the zing back into your life

~

3 Little Buttons

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Meet Kiki from Message in a Bottle ~ personalised book for children

 

Meet Kiki ~ a friendly, lovable bird from ‘Message in a Bottle’. 

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki sunset

She’s relaxing in front of the sunset, thinking about her travels around the world and looking for her next adventure…

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present world

But why is she going around the world? 

Because she’s got a very important journey ~ to deliver a message in a bottle to a very special person.  What a very helpful bird she is!

And you can help Kiki by getting involved and getting behind the launch team for Message in a Bottle ~ a personalised book for children.

Over recent weeks I’ve had the privilege of watching Kiki develop from a hand-drawn sketch to the wonderful colourful character that she is now 🙂

ttle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki splash

How can you not love Kiki?

During the launch process, I popped some colouring-in sheets under our little girl’s nose (you can get yours by pledging your support on Kickstarter.

Her eyes lit up and she began to inject some colour into the sheets.  As she coloured, we had a chat about what the sheets were for.

I told her about Kiki’s task and how the little bird was going to get a special message to a very special person.  I love the work in progress here, don’t you?

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present work in progress

~

I’ve been excited to be able to show our little girl illustrations by Tuire Siiriainen as the book has been tweaked.  Myself and other members have given great feedback which has enabled the team to bring Message in a Bottle to what you see here on Kickstarter.

I love that Kiki (lovely little Kiki!) is ready for an adventure;

an adventure with an important goal…

Now we’ve got an important goal… to help Kiki get that message delivered.

Help her now!  You can even get a soft toy of Kiki… can you even imagine?…

Message in a Bottle has been produced with love by the very talented team and it’s now live on Kickstarter.  There are lots of different ways to pledge your support for Kiki and the Message in a Bottle book.

Message in a Bottle personalised book for children adventure journey special child bonding reading learning gift present kiki reading

And follow Kiki’s journey with Message in a Bottle across the World Wide Web!

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

And you can spread the word by pinning from my Message in a Bottle board on Pinterest

As they say, ‘don’t delay, get involved today!’

*This is a collaborative post but all opinions are my own.

 

~
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How the seed was planted for my childen’s book series ~ The Friendly Little Trolls

I recently launched my ‘The Friendly Little Trolls’ funding campaign and now I’d like to share with you all how the seed was planted for my children’s book series…

The Friendly Little Trolls FLT Fizzle and Wizzle children's book series reading learning Long logo 300 dpi

My passion for writing, particularly in rhyme, has never left me.  Once I get in the flow, I often feel that there’s no stopping me!

‘The Friendly Little Trolls’ was much the same.  After countless occasions of reading to and with our little girl (6), not to mention the children’s books I read when I was younger, one day a little vision (a little seed) came into my head.

The Friendly Little Trolls Fizzle and Wizzle morals childrens stories books book learning educational kickstarter planted a little seed

There are 2 friendly little trolls,

Do you know their names?

Fizzle is the girl and she likes to play games.

She has fluffy pink hair which is curly wurly,

Fizzle the troll is very, very girly!

~

So, there were the characters (or one in the rhyme above in any case).  I played around with the names for the Trolls and settled on Fizzle and Wizzle because like looking for a new home, the names just felt right.  Also, the idea was (and still is) that they zapped germs with a ‘fizz’ and a ‘wizz’.  A few of the other names just didn’t flow…

~

The next stage in my creative process was the adventures they could have.  It was important to me that they couldn’t be seen by grown-ups and that they were friendly with a little bit of cheek thrown in for good measure 🙂

Seeing as my artistic abilities are generally limited to stick people (and I didn’t see Fizzle and Wizzle as stick people!), I approached an illustrator with my brief to create 2 friendly looking ‘trolls’.  It’s amazing how she just ‘clicked’ with my brief and created Fizzle and Wizzle (and other characters besides).  This was exactly what I was looking for and you can see one of her later illustrations on the front cover of ‘The Dentist’ book…

Fizzle and Wizzle The Friendly Little Trolls book series for children visit the dentist

~

Let’s have a recap.  We have:

  • The initial idea, you could call it a ‘concept’
  • The stories in draft
  • The visual characters

Next, we have a plan which is all encompassing of a major project and too much to share in a blogpost.  I’d like to hold some of it back to keep a surprise element for future blog posts.

Although I will share that the first book in the series of 6 includes a ‘brushing teeth’ ditty 🙂

~

I’d be interested to hear how this compares with writing projects that you’ve had or have on the go.  I found that F&W just clicked into place in the creative process.  It was difficult to stop the flow at times!  What have you worked on where the flow keeps flowing?

If you’d like to get involved, just follow this link.

~

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~

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Books for children – developing speech and language

books for children to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years main abc pic final edit

I make no secret of my passionate belief that reading books to your children every day helps to develop their speech and language skills.  Right from when Our Little Bear was only just home from hospital as a newborn, I would read her cloth books while she happily kicked and gurgled under her play gym and at feeding time, in fact any time really.  Then she moved on to board books and took her abc’s and her 123’s in her stride.

Fast forward to 5 years later and there is no denying that all of this has stood her in very good stead with her literacy.  While in her first year at school, she has learnt her phonics, learnt to read and write and just recently her teacher told us that she is doing ‘fantastic’ with her spelling.  All of this reading to her and with her in the foundations of her early years can surely be no coincidence…

So, which books are recommended to develop your child’s speech and language skills?  Kimberly’s blogpost at MommyEdition talks us through a comprehensive list of books to do just that.

From read-aloud, nursery rhyme and picture books like ‘A Child’s Garden of Verses’ by Robert Louis Stevenson…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years 1

and books for the late talker like ‘The Einstein Syndrome’ by Thomas Sowell…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years einstein syndrome thomas sowell 1

 

to books about animals and classic stories like ‘Sammy: The Classroom Guinea Pig’ by Alix Berenzy…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years sammy classroom guinea pig alix berenzy 1

 

Do pop over to Kimberly’s post at MommyEdition for more information on the above books and follow MommyEdition on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and Pinterest

…and let’s not forget the role that letter blocks and flash cards play like ‘Read with Biff, Chip & Kipper: Fun with Words’…

books to help develop todder's pre-schooler's toddlers preschoolers childs kids childrens children language speech parenting literacy blog early years biff chip kipper flashcards 1

Indeed, we used flashcards when our little bear first started her reading and it helped immensely.  It also helped that we had picked up the flashcards through hubby’s work book club that happened to be the same series that our bear’s class was using – the Biff, Chip and Kipper series from Oxford Reading Tree.  By turning it into a game, our bear had no idea that she was learning!

Of course, along with reading books to and with your child, talking to your child is a great stepping stone to great vocab, literacy and speech.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all words and opinions are my own.

So tell me, which books did you or do you enjoy reading with your child?  Were/are any of them the same ones that you read as a child?

Share in the comments below the link badges!

~

The Uncheshire Wife
The Twinkle Diaries

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Why pets are good for our children

We’d been thinking seriously about getting a pet (or even pets ) for a while but we knew that it couldn’t be a dog because our little bear was very jumpy around dogs.

Maybe a Talking Tom?  Hmmm been there, done that…!

Maybe a hamster? Not ideal because of the relatively short life-span and that fact they’re nocturnal…

A goldfish? Maybe, but again the life span’s short and although they’re very relaxing to watch, you can’t interact with them much.

  • A cat sounded ideal because:
  • They’re relatively independent
  • They curl up on your lap
  • They don’t need walking (bonus due to us both working and hubby’s shifts meaning it can be hard for me to get out in the evening once our bear’s in bed).

Yes, we decided we would get a kitten.  That way, the family pet could grow up with our little bear.

cats pets benefit family therapy calming responsibility love home loving 2

…or 2 kittens!  When hubby went to choose a cat, there were 2 that ‘chose’ him and had apparently also decided to ‘hang out’ together!

The timing for introducing pets to the household was ‘purrfect’ (sorry!) – it was our little bear’s 1st week in Reception at school.

Though she settled in really well and coped with the expected tiredness really well, she would come home from school and chat to the kittens about her day.

While I pottered about in the kitchen getting her snack and then tea, I could hear her telling the kittens about someone or other and what they had been doing, what they had been saying, what they had been learning!  Yes, our kittens know phonics, what our little bear had in her lunchbox and the ditties for forming all the letters of the alphabet!

It’s not just after school, it’s also before school.  Because in the morning when hubby or I open her bedroom door to wake her up, in run the cats, the black one especially, to say “good morning” in their own cat-like way.  They worked wonders for getting her up and out of bed 🙂  They still do.

Our cats have taught her about:

  • responsibility
  • caring
  • personal space
  • respect (not stroking them if the’re eating and not touching them after a visit to the vets ‘to stop them having babies’.)

One day we’ll have to deal with the grief, of course.  Until then, we will enjoy them.

As the nursery rhyme goes:

“They followed her to school one day

It was against the rules!

It made the children laugh and play to see the cats at school”

…and that is the therapy – they make our little bear laugh.  You can’t say fairer than that.

Have you got family pets?  Do you think they make a difference to your little one’s behaviour?

~

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Review: LovefulBeings ~ a Bowtique selling Head wraps

head wraps bowtique top knows big bows babies head wear cute Loveful Beings review sponsored post parenting style accessories accessory

…at LovefulBeings this weekend only!!!

Yes readers, as this beautiful picture tells us, Tara at LovefulBeings is offering you all 30% off her head wraps line for this weekend only…

That’s 30% off her Top Knot and Big Bow Headwraps at her Bowtique shop! (Promo code at the bottom of this blogpost.)

In her etsy shop, Tara tells us that:

One day when my little family was driving to the beach, top off the jeep, wind in our hair, my then 5 year old son said that being this happy is called being “loveful”. Loveful. I like it. We should all search to be “loveful” people. Hence, my shop name, Loveful Beings. One thing that makes me feel loveful is crafting and sewing things for my family. I started this shop because I was posting pictures on Instagram of things I was making and started getting lots of purchase requests. I love making things and people love seeing their children in my products!

She was once a working mum but while on her last maternity leave, she found a passion in sewing and she went into overdrive making headwraps!  Aren’t they adorable??

I love this pack of 4 top knots with the 2 vibrant colours and the other 2 pastels.

Grab bag 4 top knot head wraps lovefulbeings baby accessories

So what’s the difference between the two styles?  Well, the Top Knots are simple headwraps that can only be worn in top knot style. While Big Bows are longer, the bows are bigger, and they can be retied several ways. Either way, they’re both adorable! And both are 2-3″ wide.

Perfect for a contrasting polka dot patterned main outfit, or just as cute with a plain main outfit is this orange top knot…

orange you happy top knot loveful beings baby accessories

And then there’s this gorgeous pattern in a big bow in green, which is just right for Summer.

zebra print green top bow head wrap lovefulbeings baby accessories

There are many more designs and various colours to be seen over on the LovefulBeings instagram… and why not put in a cheeky follow too? 😉

Go on, you know you want to… and don’t forget there’s 30% off this weekend only.  Just use the code: Love30

You can follow Tara at LovefulBeings at her etsy shop and on instagram @LovefulBeings.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post but all words and opinions are my own.

All pictures credited to LovefulBeings.

~

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