5 Websites To Keep Older Kids Busy While You Home Ed Younger Siblings

Websites To Keep Older Kids Busy

One of the first questions people ask me about home education or homeschooling my children is how I manage to ‘teach’ children of different ages and at different levels at the same time. I’m going to share with you 5 websites that I use to keep my 7 year old busy while I’m doing structured learning d Before my youngest was of school age, it was easy – she’ll happily potter about on her own, colour, play with her small world toys and so on, so being able to spend 40 minutes ‘teaching’ her sister was easy.

Now that she’s also ‘of school age’ and there’s a ‘requirement’ to ‘educate’ her, I focus more on doing some structured activities. At the moment we’re learning the alphabet, which involves a lot of colouring, sticking, gluing, so not really high intensity, but still good for her to have some undivided attention.

To facilitate this, we use one of five websites that Ameli can self-manage her time while I focus on her sister. These are the websites and programs we use most:Read more: 5 Websites To Keep Older Kids Busy While You Home Ed Younger Siblings


Sale Shopping With Lovethesales

I don’t know about you, but shopping with kids can be a nightmare at the best of times, never mind when they’re drowning in coats and scarves. Being able to shop online makes a huge difference to the trauma of high street shopping! Which is where websites that bring together all the sales across the internet in one place really come into their own. Never have to hop from site

But internet shopping has its down sides too – you know when you’ve seen something great, but then look somewhere else to compare, get distracted by Facebook, and then come back and can’t remember where you saw it in the first place? Now you never have to hop from site to site again! Shop the high street end to end as Lovethesales.com has brands from over 500 retailers across the UK with over 500,000 sales for you to choose from including fashion, homeware, electronics, outdoor and a kid’s section.

And with Christmas slowly creeping up on us (as it always does), there’s plenty of reason to shop the sales. If you’re looking to get the kids presents done early this year then browse Lovethesales.com’s fabulous kids section which is brimming with hidden gems – there are over 10,000 items currently on sale in the Boys, Girls & Baby/Nursery categories alone.Read more: Sale Shopping With Lovethesales

Solve Your Winter Laundry Woes With An Air Dryer

This isn’t a sponsored post. It’s the kind of thing I’d tell my best friend. All my friends, actually, because it’s been a life saver for me. When you live in a sunny country you take the simple things for granted. Like the ability to dry laundry on the same day you hung it on the line, rather than four days later, having had it hung on every radiator around the house.So last year I took a leap and bought a Maxi Dryer to help with the drying of the masses and masses of clothes that two children seem to generate. It was one of the best purchases of the year, so I want to share it with you.

The Maxi Dryer, or one of its lookalikes, is basically a tube looking, circular dryer. You hang clothes up on hangers and put the cover over them. Set the dryer for up to three hours, and go about your day.

Now, there are two things an air dryer is not: 

An air dryer is not a tumble dryer

This is a good thing and a bad thing. An air dryer doesn’t heat up as much as a tumble dryer, and doesn’t dry things as quickly as a tumble dryer does. It also means that a 3-hour drying cycle costs* about 70p as compared to the give-or-take £5 a tumble dryer takes in that time.

An air dryer is not a football or a climbing frame. Nor is it art.

It doesn’t like being climbed on, kicked about or otherwise used as a toy. I’m about to replace mine because my youngest thought it would be cool to sit on, and broke one of the legs. It’s also not particularly pretty, and as it’s bright blue, it doesn’t exactly blend in.

But here are the things that an air dryer is…

Read more: Solve Your Winter Laundry Woes With An Air Dryer

Girls Who Climb Trees


I watched you the other day, sitting high up in a tree, watching the world go by. Actually, high up in a tree isn’t an unusual place to find my daughters when there is a tree around. I watched you scamper down again, skirts billowing, underwear flashing to the world, newly ripped tights revealing a red patch of scratched skin you didn’t even notice.

I need to tell you something about girls who climb trees:

Actually, there isn’t a quote I know of about girls who climb trees. There’s something about girls who sit on tables – apparently they don’t find husbands, or so we were told, growing up.

But there’s nothing about girls who climb trees, because girls aren’t supposed to be interested in that.

So let me tell you a few things about girls who climb trees:

(Yes, girls can possibly be substituted for boys too, and no, probably doesn’t apply to every girl, but I’m really thinking about my girls as I write this, so the generalisation of ‘girls’ will do!)Read more: Girls Who Climb Trees

Blue & Other Colours: With Henri Matisse & An Art Project {Book Review}


Over the summer, Phaidon sent us a book to review. I kept looking at it with an idea in mind, but being summer, we were just so busy, we never got round to it. Well, rather than heading to the paddling pool after our regular Tuesday (brrrr) we came home, so I decided it was high time to turn our Blue & Other Colours book into a Matisse themed artwork.

Blue & Other Colours “takes children through Matisse’s colour palette, one artwork per page, beginning with blue and returning to it as a familiar refrain throughout. The variance of shapes, depth, and scale will keep readers engaged, while the text enriches the reading experience with relatable and humorous commentary.”Read more: Blue & Other Colours: With Henri Matisse & An Art Project {Book Review}

Learning About the Hindu Festival Of Diwali

I can’t claim to have grown up with much awareness of religious diversity, and I can’t claim to be one way better or worse off for it, but I do know that my children are growing up in a much different way and in a very different place to the close, conservative, and supportive  community that I did, so I think it’s important for them to learn two things: 1) Tolerance for other religions, 2) an understanding of other religions in relation to what I believe, and what I hope they will believe. Religious observances are also different now, and sometimes more commercial – for example the Colour Run, based on the Holli celebration, or locally, we have Electric Woods, where Robin Hill lights up the autumn nights inspired by Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. While we could just go and enjoy the prettiness, I think there’s value in explaining what it is that we’re exposing ourselves to, so that the children can learn something about ‘other people’. As it was, the Electric Woods event saw us walking through the woods at Robin Hill enjoying the cold evening air, listening to music and looking at light displays. It was a lovely evening out, fuelled by hot chocolate. dewali-robin-hillRead more: Learning About the Hindu Festival Of Diwali

Schleich Horse Club Pick Up With Horse Box {Review}

Schleich have come a long way since I was a child with a drawer full of blue smurfs! We have a decent selection of farm animals from Schleich and a lot of plastic horses from Playmobil, so I was really excited to be sent the new Horse Club Pick Up With Horse Box to review because I knew my horse loving 7 year old would be thrilled with it.Schleich Horse Club Pick Up with Horse Box

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DIY Bonfire Night Hair Clips #BostikBloggers

This year is spinning by at an insane velocity! Here we are, still enjoying warm-ish days on – or at least near – the beach, and already thinking of bonfire night, which is less than a month away! This month our #BostikBloggers project theme was just that: Bonfire Night. I didn’t want to make something fireworks related this time, but thought we’d focus on the “fire” aspect of it.

I wanted to make something a little more step-by-step, too, so here’s our instructional on how to make bonfire hair clips.

bonfire-night-clipsRead more: DIY Bonfire Night Hair Clips #BostikBloggers

Disney Princess Ariel Bath Styling Head {Review}

I’ve never considered myself very girly, so where my daughters have developed a fascination and love of girly things is beyond me, but a love for girly things they have! We’ve been sent the Disney Princess Ariel Bath Styling Head from Just Play to review, and it’s one my girls are thrilled with. In fact, slipped in among a group of birthday presents, this one in play for the best part of an entire day, which is strong praise from one of my children!disney-princess-ariel-bath-styling-head-reviewRead more: Disney Princess Ariel Bath Styling Head {Review}

Tree Detectives’ Handbook For Tree Identification

Over the summer we bought a wonderful little book called the Tree Detectives’ Handbook with which the children are able to identify common British trees by their leaves, fruit and flowers.

Each two-page set has a species of trees, and each set contains vital statistics for the tree in question, including height, location, and fruiting and flowering times. The book contains fifty trees and common shrubs found in the UK including identification tips and detailed illustrations for every tree. There are also interactive boxes where little explorers can record their sightings.Tree Detectives Handbook

Read more: Tree Detectives’ Handbook For Tree Identification