Weather Crafts With #BostikBloggers

Our Bostik Blogger box this month was just awesome! We had so much fun with it.

When a box arrives I tend to look through it to see what we can make for our #BostikBlogger posts, and then let the kids play and create with what they want for the rest.

Can you guess the theme for this box?

Bostik Blogger Read more: Weather Crafts With #BostikBloggers

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Take The Quiz To Find Your Perfect Father’s Day Gifts

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that we’re almost in June – which means Father’s Day!  It can be really tough to know what to buy for dads for Father’s Day, specially when money is tight, or dad isn’t a resident parent, but I think it’s really important for the children rather than the adults, to acknowledge important days. And by the time kids are over half a decade old, well, you’ve done the hand print crafts, you’ve done the commemorative jewellery and you’ve done the photographs so what’s there really left to do?Father's Day Quiz

I saw this video last year where they identified 10 types of dads – Tesco have narrowed that down to six types of dads, with really apt and rather clever categories.

Take the quiz below to see which category the Father in your Father’s Day falls into, then pop on over to Tesco to find the perfect gift for your kind of dad.

    Read more: Take The Quiz To Find Your Perfect Father’s Day Gifts

Find Your Perfect Holiday Destination

I’m on a total quiz binge right now, killing time while I wait for our pending holiday to arrive.

I really, honestly need this holiday too. It’s been a rough couple of months, what with moving house and a whole host of issues around that, an epic 9-week cold and flu, complete with chest and sinus infections, a broken toe and a sprained pinkie finger. I’m fairly exhausted, and I really, really want a holiday close to nature, relaxing in fresh air and hopefully, sunshine.

Dog QuizRead more: Find Your Perfect Holiday Destination

Temporary Victory For Term Time Holidays (And Why This Really Matters!)

I am so excited today about the High Court’s verdict in the case of Jon Platt versus the Isle of Wight council. For those who don’t know about this, Mr Platt took his child out of school in April last year for a term time family holiday. As is normal, he was fined £60 by the Isle of Wight council for removing child from school, and the fine was doubled to £120 when he refused to pay it. In October, Mr Platt went to court because he was of the opinion that he was within the law, which states that children have to be regularly attending school. The exact wording of the law says:

If a child of compulsory school age who is a registered pupil at a school fails to attend regularly at the school, his parent is guilty of an offence. 1

In the previous year, Mr Platt’s daughter had 93.6% attendance at school 2 which he deemed constituted ‘regular’ attendance – which is what the High Court today agreed with.

This ruling may not affect me personally, but I am beyond happy with it. My children are educated at home, so we can (and do) go where ever we want, whenever we want, and the inability to have term time holidays was a big – obviously not the only, but a big – part of why we opted to home educate. statues-919023_960_720Read more: Temporary Victory For Term Time Holidays (And Why This Really Matters!)

  1.  http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1996/56/section/444
  2.  http://news.sky.com/story/1695495/father-wins-court-battle-on-school-holidays

The Changing Face of Learning At Home

Many people have – through no fault of their own – a really outdated view of what exactly homeschooling – or home education as it’s called in the UK – actually is. People still see it as children sitting around the kitchen table, or in bigger homes a dedicated learning room, following a curriculum and doing ‘school’ at home.

There are still some places where that is exactly what homeschooling looks like – school at home – which is generally a state-mandated control on home based learning. We are fortunate in the UK that we are not currently bound by many laws around how we teach our children, or what we teach them, so long as they are receiving an adequate education.

Some people follow the idea of ‘unschooling’, which is a term I don’t particularly like myself because I think it causes a misconception of what exactly it is. People hear ‘unschooling’ and if they don’t immediately think ‘lazy parenting’, they think ‘uneducated’. As a degree level student, who loved most of school, that is exactly what I thought – unschooled children couldn’t read, didn’t learn, and had no chance in life outside of childhood… but this simply isn’t the case.Learning at HomeRead more: The Changing Face of Learning At Home

Can You Identify Celebrities As Drawn By Children?

I’m fairly useless when it comes to the names of celebrities. I’m always like, ‘Oh, it’s the guy who played in that movie where the world was going to end and he was one of the guys that saved the planet?” – Yeah, I really know how to narrow it down ;)

I’m always interested in the way children view the world. Like when my daughter drew her father as Jack Sprat and me as that wife. You know, the one who “could eat no lean”? Thanks for that, kiddo.

But looking at children’s drawings can be really enlightening. It can show what they value, it can show how they see the world around them and it can be a valuable insight into their minds. Kids Celebrity QuizRead more: Can You Identify Celebrities As Drawn By Children?

Capture the Flag – Clip & Activities

The film weaves a fantastical tale of a boy, his father and grandfather who come together to protect the legacy of the original moon landing while restoring the relationship between 12 year old Mike’s father and grandfather.

“Space travel runs in Mike Goldwing’s family: both his father and grandfather were astronauts and they all live on a NASA base. But the plucky 12-year-old’s estranged grandfather, Frank, has lived a life isolated from his family after missing out on the chance to make history as a member of the Apollo 11 crew.

However, when Mike discovers that an eccentric billionaire plans to fly to the moon, claim its vast, valuable mineral resources, and destroy the American flag planted by the Apollo 11 astronauts, the countdown to a spectacular adventure begins! Mike, teamed with his grandfather, best friends Amy and Marty, and a clever chameleon, blasts off on an incredible moon-bound mission, determined to thwart the billionaire’s evil plan, capture the flag, and reunite his divided family.”

You can see the opening scenes from the film here:

Read more: Capture the Flag – Clip & Activities

The Original Mr Frosty – Crunchy Ice Maker

There are things in every person’s childhood that, when reintroduced sometime in your future, they get really excited about. Well, Mr Frosty isn’t actually one of mine, having not grown up in the UK, but when I told a friend that I had received a Mr Frosty in the mail, she squealed down the phone so loudly I had a fright! Apparently Mr Frosty of her childhood filled many a summer and she was really excited to hear that they were being relaunched in the UK. And yes – her childhood was in the 90’s. Mine, not quite!

Mr Frosty is an at-home slushy maker that comes with a snowman with handle and removable drawer, with an internal grater for crushing the ice. 9bc1faf9-cb5e-497d-9c84-c7a06667c92e

It comes with two bowls and two spoons – the bowls are tiny, but perfectly child sized. They don’t honestly need more, and seconds aren’t a problem. There is also an ice mold with summery ice shapes – fire hydrant and summer fruits – and a lolly maker for three icy popsicles and snowman handles. Finally there’s a squeezy penguin with a removable hat so that you can fill it with cordial and a hole in the hat so you can squeeze it out over the plain ice. I’m told that the Mr Frosty of the 90’s came with sugary syrups, but in this 2016 version, those aren’t included.  You can, however, buy concentrates from your local supermarket, or choose to use something else or nothing else! The kids won’t know the difference, really!Read more: The Original Mr Frosty – Crunchy Ice Maker

Summer Time, Beaches and Gazillion Incredibubble Wand

Tonight I’m sitting here shivering because my skin is burning up from sun exposure. Warmer weather took it’s time in coming, but it’s here, as the back of my neck can attest! One of the best things about summer for my kids is bubbles on the beach. I quite literally have up to 6 bubble wands in the boot of my car all summer long because I know that wherever we are, the kids are going to want bubbles! They bring kids together in a play ground, they make even the dull at the beach look up, point and smile, and they turn ‘mummy I’m bored’ into a great session of running and squealing in the garden.

This week we got a new toy – the Giant Gazillion Incredibubble Wand set, and it was an instant hit. You just have to look at these pictures to see why!

Gazillion Incredibubble Wand

Read more: Summer Time, Beaches and Gazillion Incredibubble Wand

Two Questions To Ask Your Kids Every Day

“How was your day today?”

“Fine”

“What did you do today?”

“Nothing”

“Learn/see/do anything exciting?”

“No”

Sound familiar?Two Questions To Ask Your Kids Every Day

This is pretty much what every conversation with my daughters was like, till about a year ago.  Whether they’d spent 3 hours at nursery, or spent the whole day with a friend, they pretty much couldn’t remember what they’d done an hour ago, or they couldn’t really tell me much about their day at all.

I found this really frustrating, and after a while, I stopped asking. Not because I didn’t care, but because I found ‘nothing’ or ‘I don’t remember’ to be too infuriating.

But this didn’t sit right with me.

want to know about their days. I want to know what they’ve been up to. And even if we spend the whole day in the same house, their days often involve different experiences to mine.

About a year ago, I decided to give up on questions that weren’t getting answers, and to instead, change the questions.

While I will still ask loose questions about the time we spent apart, I don’t have feelings one way or the other if they don’t answer fully. What we do now is this:Read more: Two Questions To Ask Your Kids Every Day