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Christmas Gift Guide for 10 – 13 year olds

Christmas Gift Guide for 10 – 13 year olds

Or Tweenagers as some people call this age group. Isabelle will be sitting in this bracket next year, but I think her choice of presents are still quite young, not that I’m complaining as she has the most amazing imagination.

Here are some things that I think I would buy for this age group but leave me a comment if you think I’ve got it totally wrong.

Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak

Harry Potter Invisibility Cloak – Like in the film, you can disappear. Make video’s of your headless self and play tricks on your family. I’ve had a go with one of these and think you could have a lot of fun.

Make your Own Strawberry Topped Chocolate Slab

Make your own Strawberry or Mango topped Chocolate slab from La Chiva. This kit is fun to mak and you get to eat it afterwards. Top it with strawberry or mango or a mixture of both.

Meccano Super Car Set

Meccano Super Car Set – Challenge them with this 328 piece set to create a motorised Super Car. It could be a great project to do as a parent/child project.

Guinness World Records

Guinness World Records – We used to buy the new edition for Ryan every Christmas. At this age he absorbed facts and the stranger the better like the worlds longest nails which is quite gross really.

Nerf Fortnite AR-L

Nerf Fortnite AR-L – Whilst I’m not a fan of guns even for play, a Nerf Gun is a lot of harmless fun. Get together a group of friends in the park all armed with a nerf gun for hours of fun. You can also buy extra bullet packs to make the fun last longer.

Fortnite Jumbo Llama Loot Pinata

Fortnite Jumbo Llama Loot Pinata – As I said I’m not into gun play but it seems that Fortnite is really popular for this age group. My niece and nephew are really into this and are desperate for more for Christmas. Essentially inside the pinata you get loads of bits and bobs including building materials, armour, weapons and figures so that you can create your base

Nintendo Switch Lite

Nintendo Switch Lite – As a mum of a gamer this looks great. We’ve been through the Nintendo DS and also had a Wii and it’s fair to say that gaming technology always gets played with even if it is a bit pricey. I love the colour of this one. You could always ask for games and accessories from family or friends who buy for your children.

I would love to hear your suggestions. Just add a comment below.

Lisa x

Christmas Gift Guide for 10 - 13 year olds. This is quite a tricky age to buy for as they grow out of playing with toys

*This post contains some affiliate links which means that I receive a small referral fee at no extra cost to you if you click on a link and make a purchase

Christmas Gift Guide for 7 – 10 Year Olds

Christmas Gift Guide for 7 – 10 Year Olds

Christmas Gift Guide for 7 – 10 Year Olds  – Each year that goes by, the list gets longer and the cost of each gift gets more and more expensive as Isabelle has taken an interest to technology and gadgetry which generally come with a hefty price tag. Here are some of the gifts that Isabelle has mentioned that she would like as well as a few that have caught our eyes.

K’Nex Rad Rides

K’Nex Rad Rides – These kits are great for keeping the kids entertained. You can make 12 models with this kit or you can use your imagination and make one up yourself.

A Treat Trunk Kids Treat Box

A Treat Trunk Subscription Box – Full of great treats for kids. This is a great way to discover new brands and flavours that your kids will love. Join for a monthly subscription or buy a one off box. I would quite like this for myself.

Spirograph

Spirograph – Some things just never get old and Spirograph is one of them. I played with this as a kid and now Isabelle has it. Use the different shapes to create endless patterns that you can colour in afterwards.

Gelli Worlds Fantasy Unicorns and Fairies Pack 

Gelli Worlds Fantasy Unicorns and Fairies Slime Play Pack

Gelli Worlds Fantasy Unicorns and Fairies Pack – What’s not to love about a kit that comes with slime and things that you can put in it. This kit comes with five sachets that transforms into gloopy slime and 8 figures to create your own fairyland. 

Wannabee’s – I want to be a Teacher

Wannabee’s I want to be a Teacher Pack – Do your kids like to set up their dolls and teddies? Take a register? Mark school work? Give out certificates? and teach their ‘class’ in a booming ‘Teacher voice’? Then this pack will be perfect for them. Isabelle has enjoyed playing teachers since she started school and now has perfected her lessons, but this pack takes it to another level! Included in the pack are pages and pages of registers, lesson plans, timetables, stickers and even certificates to give out for good work and behaviour. This will keep them busy for hours!

Movie Director Maths Board Game

Movie Director Maths Board Game – Create your own movie whilst you solve maths problems along the way. Making maths fun for kids can give them a much better understanding of something they may consider a chore. This is just one of the OJO Educational Board Games which you can support by popping over to their Kickstarter page.

L.O.L Amazing Surprise

L.O.L Amazing Surprise – According to Isabelle this is the ‘Ultimate in unboxing’ for L.O.L dolls. This set includes 14 dolls and over 70 surprises.

FabLab Designer Tie Dye Kit

FabLab Tie Dye Kit – Isabelle loves a kit and she’s keen on this one in particular as she can create something to wear using colours and techniques to suit her style. We’re going to have a go at tie dying a crop top which is Isabelle’s choice of top even though it’s freezing!

Gangsta Granny by David Walliams

Gangsta Granny by David Walliams – Isabelle is reading a lot more now with a combination of real books and downloaded books on her kindle Fire. She really likes the David Walliams books and some of them have been made into TV shows. She says that they’re funny and we can hear her chuckling to herself when she’s reading.

LEGO Star Wars Millennium Falcon Starship

LEGO Starwars Millennium Falcon Starship – This is something that Ryan would have loved to have been given when he was younger. Isabelle does love LEGO but I’m not sure that she would have the concentration span to sit and build something on this scale. She would love the characters though.

What are you buying your kids for Christmas this year? Leave me a comment below.

Lisa x

A Christmas Gift Guide for 7 - 10 year olds. Isabelle falls into this group this year and it's all about kits, tech and collectibles along with a good book

*This post contains some affiliate links which means that I receive a small referral fee at no extra cost to you if you click on a link and make a purchase

Christmas Gift Guide for 4 – 7 year olds

Christmas Gift Guide 4 – 7 years

I think this is a really easy age group to buy for as there’s so much including the world of collectible toys and ‘blind bags’. It’s the whole package from the surprise of what you’re getting to the accessories that it comes with which ,makes them irresistible.

They also have the most amazing imaginations when it comes to imaginative and role play as well as being able to keep their concentration long enough to be able to play games and crafts.

Here are some of the things that we’ve either bought or caught our attention.

Playfoam

Christmas Gift Guide for 4 - 7 year olds. Playfoam multicoloured 8 pack set

Playfoam 8 Pack Set – If your kids like slime or putty then they’ll love Playfoam. Playfoam is tiny little balls all stuck together with a non-sticky like slime which can be moulded into lots of different shapes providing hours of fun.

Fuzzikins School Playset

Fuzzikins School Playset – We’ve got a few of the Fuzzikins Playsets including the Fuzzikins Bedtime Bunnies and the Fuzzikins Campervan. Each playset comes with a number of characters that can be coloured with the pens included and can be wiped clean ready for a new design. The school playset has a pop-up cardboard school with a school room, playground and dining room with built-in furniture. The characters include a teacher and four animal pupils.

A Personalised Letter from Santa

A Personalised Letter from Santa

A Personalised Letter from Santa – Give the kids a good incentive to get themselves on the ‘Nice list’ by receiving a beautifully written letter from Santa himself.

Playmobil Family Fun Aquarium

Playmobil Family Fun Aquarium – Isabelle wasn’t quite ready for her Playmobil stuff that we bought her when she turned three, but once she turned 5/6 she really got into setting up her sets taking up her entire bedroom floor and would play with it for hours. No matter what your kids are interested in there’s a Playmobil set for them. We haven’t got this Aquarium set but it looks like a lot of fun, and you can play with real water.

Mardles HugARmals Dragon

Mardles HugARmals Dragon – This isn’t just another soft toy. Bring your Dragon to life using the FREE Mardles App. Feed your Dragon, change his or her colour, do a funky dance and then cuddle up in bed. Read our Review of the HugARmals Dragon Here.

Vtech Kidizoom Camera

Vtech Kidizoom Camera – Kids love taking pictures so thus sturdy camera makes a great present. They can also take selfies which lets face it, even babies can do this with your phone, and videos BUT this is able to withstand being handled roughly and even dropped. They can edit the pics by adding in stickers and captions as well as playing games.

Guess Who

Guess Who Game – At this age you’re probably starting to build up quite a good collection of games. Some you’ll hate where as the kids will love, but this is definitely an ‘Oldie but Goldie’ in your collection. It’s easy and fun to play and doesn’t take ages to set up or play (all need to be considered).

L.O.L Surprise Hairgoals

L.O.L Surprise Hairgoals – Like the original L.O.L dolls but with actual hair. Each surprise doll comes in a hairspray capsule and includes 15 surprises such as shoes, a bottle and an outfit. The capsule can be used as a display case or a salon chair. There are 12 different dolls to collect.

I’d love to know what your kids are playing with and loving at the moment.

A Christmas Gift Guide for 4 - 7 year olds. Interactive toys and collectibles fit so well for this age group with L.O.L dolls and tech being at the top of the list

Lisa x

*This post contains some affiliate links which means that I receive a small referral fee at no extra cost to you if you click on a link and make a purchase

Christmas Gift Guide for 3 – 4 year olds

Christmas Gift Guide Age 3 – 4 years

The heavy handed age where toys need to be sturdy and robust.

Orchard Toys Farmyard Heads & Tails Game

Orchard Toys Farmyard Heads & Tails Game is an easy but fun way to introduce games. Match up the heads and tails of the animals or make up silly new ones.

Augymer Magnetic Building Blocks

Augymer Magnetic Building Blocks – These are great for creating a number of different models including houses and planes using the different coloured shapes.

A Splashsuit 

A Puddle Splashsuit – what kid doesn’t love to jump in puddles. Keep them warm and dry in the range of splashsuits available from Rydale’s. They have elasticated cuffs and hood as well as reflective Hi-Vis piping which is great for this time of year.

BRIO Railway Starter Set

BRIO Railway Starter Set – Both Ryan and Isabelle have played with a wooden train set so this starter set is great to get started with and easy to add to with additional trains and track.

Hape Chef’s Choice Wooden Play Food

Hape Chef’s Choice Wooden Play Food – These foods are stuck together with velcro and can be chopped using the knife which is fab for imaginative play and encourages hand eye co-ordination.

Play-Doh Starter Set

Play-Doh Starter Set – This comes with lots of tools for cutting and rolling and comes with 4 pots of play-doh. My kids have always loved playing with play-doh. The feel of brand new just out of the pot dough is the best. I used to get really stressed out if the colours got mixed up, nut three kids in and I’m totally over it!

Velcro Brand Blocks Construction Triceratops Set

Velcro Brand Blocks Construction Triceratops Set – This set looks like a lot of fun. This 26 piece set will challenge your little one’s problem solving skills. The chunky pieces can be easily stuck together by velcro to make this cool triceratops.

Juno Interactive Baby Elephant

Juno Interactive Baby Elephant – Apart from this baby elephant looking totally adorable and starting off being shy by hiding behind it’s ears it makes lots of cute sounds including songs. She comes with a peanut and a mouse which she interacts with. Just watch out when she decides to sling her peanut at you,

We’d love to know what you’re getting your little ones for Christmas. Just pop us a comment below.

A Christmas Gift Guide for 3 - 4 year olds. This is the heavy handed stage so good quality hardwearing options are a must.

Lisa x

*This post contains some affiliate links which means that I receive a small referral fee at no extra cost to you if you click on a link and make a purchase

Christmas Gift Guide Age 2 – 3 years

Christmas Gift Guide Age 2 – 3 years.

This has to be my favourite of all ages as everything is so WOW and they are like little sponges wanting to know everything…….talking in their own way with the cutest pronunciations.

I think you’ll have to agree that this collection of Christmas Gift ideas is pretty cool.

Clementoni World Cup Winner

Clementoni World Cup Winner – As soon as my eldest was able to walk he was obsessed with playing football so this mini goal would be a great gift for any budding footballers.

Baby Shark Plush Puppet

Baby Shark Plush Puppet

Baby Shark Plush Puppet – This is going to be a great hit with the littles. The puppet plays the Baby Shark song and you get to control the tempo of the song. See how fast or slow you can dance along with the puppet!

SmartMax My first Safari Animals 

SmartMax My First Safari Animals – I thought these were really unusual as I haven’t seen anything like these before. The set includes 6 brightly coloured animals – a lion, giraffe, elephant, crocodile, rhinoceros and a hippopotamus which connect together with magnets. I think Freddie would have a lot of fun making up his own animal combinations.

LEGO Duplo Construction Set

LEGO Duplo Construction Set – I’m not sure I know a kid who doesn’t have some form of LEGO and Duplo is great for smaller hands. The pieces are too big for little ones to choke on but perfect for a toddler to manage and build with and the range of sets is great.

Leapfrog Lovin Oven

Leapfrog Lovin Oven – I’ve got my eye on this set for Freddie as he’s already loving playing with Isabelle’s play kitchen and this one has songs and sounds. We have the teapot set already and he loves the pouring sounds when he makes me a cup of tea.

Millhouse Wooden Play Kitchen

Millhouse Wooden Play Kitchen – This is the exact one that we got for Isabelle when she turned two and Freddie plays with now. We chose it because she was only tiny so this was a perfect height and it also folds away so is great if you don’t have much space

Count with Peppa

Count with Peppa is a great way to introduce counting to your child. Posting the coins into the slot on Peppa’s purse whilst learning colours, numbers and pictures. It also features three songs which your kids will love.

If you have anything that you think would be fitting then give us a shout and I’ll add it.

Happy Shopping.

Lisa x

A Christmas Gift Guide for 2 - 3 year olds. I think role play is huge for this age group so a kitchen and play food would be the perfect this year

*This post contains some affiliate links which means that I receive a small referral fee at no extra cost to you if you click on a link and make a purchase

Christmas Gift Guide for 1 – 2 year Olds

Christmas Gift Guide 1 – 2 year Olds

Now that they’re on the move the choice in gift increases and WHEELS. All manner of push, pull and ride on toy becomes top of the list not to mention the size of the toys. Here are some great ideas:

I’d love to know what you’re buying your little ones this Christmas. Leave me a comment x

Stickle Bricks

Christmas Gift Guide 1 - 2 years. Stickle Bricks are great for little hands

Stickle Bricks – These are great for clumsy baby or toddler hands and really easy to stick together. Freddie plays with his for ages!

Hape Early Melodies Pound & Tap Bench

Christmas Gift Guide for 1 - 2 year olds. Hape early melodies pound and tap bench

Hape Early Melodies Pound & Tap Bench – Use the hammer to pop the balls through the holes and play a tinkly tune on the xylophone. This wooden toy is nice and sturdy and provides loads of fun.

Vtech Learn & Dance Dino

Christmas Gift Guide for 1 - 2 year olds. Vtech Learn and Dance Dino

Vtech Learn & Dance Dino – Use the shape sorting pieces to make the dinosaur dance and play music which can be stored in the dinosaur egg. This looks like a lot of fun. Freddie loves music and dancing so we can’t wait to see what he thinks of this.

My First Totem

My First Totem from Gifts for Little Hands – Freddie loves to build so this set is perfect for developing his hand eye coordination and has lots of sensory features including textures, shapes and sounds. Your baby can create their own combinations as well as following the 24 challenge cards.

Pyramid 3 in 1 Pre-school Toy

Pyramid 3 in 1 Pre-school Toy – Sticking with the building theme this 3 in 1 toy is slightly more challenging for little hands with three different shaped pyramids to achieve. This one is made from hardwearing chunky wooden pieces in bright colours and can be used to help with counting as they get older.

Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Board

Christmas Gift Guide for 1 - 2 year olds. Melissa and doug Wooden Latches board

Melissa & Doug Wooden Latches Board – If your little one loves nothing more than fiddling with plug sockets and other things that they shouldn’t ten they will love this board. There are six different latches for them to work out and open to find a farmyard animal. After a while change it up by adding your own pictures behind the doors.

Smartrike Smartfold

Christmas Gift Guide for 1 - 2 year olds. Smartrike Smartfold is a great first trike and folds up for easy storage

Smartrike Smartfold – Isabelle had her first Smartrike for her first birthday and we got such a lot of use out of it. However, we’re really struggling for space at the moment so this foldable one looks ideal, and i really like the look of the pram style handle.

Tidlo Wooden Fruit Salad Play Food

Christmas Gift Guide for 1 - 2 year olds. Tidlo Wooden Fruit Salad Play Food Set

Tidlo Wooden Fruit Salad Play Food Set – Freddie inherited Isabelle’s wooden kitchen and loves nothing more than bashing pots and pans about so these wooden fruits will be great to add to his collection.

I’d love to know what you’re buying your little ones this Christmas. Leave me a comment below.

A Christmas Gift Guide for 1 - 2 year olds. Freddie will be 18 months old at Christmas so here are some things that we've got our eye on for him this year

*This post contains some affiliate links which means that I receive a small referral fee at no extra cost to you if you click on a link and make a purchase

Christmas Gift Guide: Baby’s First Christmas

Christmas Gift Guide – Baby’s First Christmas!

As a parent of a New Baby everything is so exciting and Christmas in particular is a great time, but it also gives us the dilemma of what to buy for the little person that (let’s face it) needs pretty much nothing. Freddie was six months old last Christmas so here are some of the things that we bought, and some that we would recommend.

Fisher Price Laugh & Learn 3 in 1 Smart Car

Christmas Gift Guide for Babies. Fisher Price Laugh and Learn 3 - 1 Smart Car
Fisher Price Laugh & Learn 3 in 1 Smart Car

Fisher Price Laugh & Learn 3 in 1 Smart Car – Not only can this car be used as a ride on toy, but the seat bounces up and down for baby to bounce along with the music. The dashboard has keys, a steering wheel and a horn with lots of music and sounds to keep baby entertained. The car width is also a great feature since it doesn’t tip over when your baby gets on and off.

Bamboo Penguin Plate

Bamboo Penguin Plate

Bamboo Penguin Plate – What better way to serve their first Christmas Dinner than on this gorgeous penguin shaped plate. Made from natural bamboo which is great for the environment (biodegradable, recyclable and highly renewable) with a suction plate to keep it from being tipped off the highchair.

Vtech Baby Turn and Learn Activity Cube

Baby's First Christmas Gift Guide. Vtech Learn and turn activity cube
Vtech Baby Turn and Learn Activity Cube

A Letter from Santa

A Personalised Letter from Santa

A Personalised Letter from Santa for Baby’s First Christmas. What a lovely keepsake explaining the magic of Christmas for that special First Christmas that you can read to them as they get older.

Vtech Baby Turn and Learn Activity Cube – This cube has a different activity on all of its sides with lots of buttons to press making animal sounds, songs and musical instrument noises. It’s a tough toy that can withstand the heavy handedness of a boisterous Freddie, and is played with daily.

What the Ladybird Heard Book

Baby's First Christmas Gift Guide. What the Ladybird Heard Board Book
What the Ladybird Heard – Julia Donaldson

What the Ladybird Heard Book by Julia Donaldson – This was Isabelle’s favourite book when she was little so we thought Freddie would like it as well. Follow the ladybird through the book as its raised from the page in a touch and feel way.

Fisher-Price Jumperoo

Baby's First Christmas Gift Guide. A fisher-price Jumoeroo
Fisher Price Jumperoo

Fisher-Price Jumperoo – If you haven’t got one of these already I would definitely recommend. Not only is it a great noisy jumping activity for your baby, but it also gives your arms a bit of baby-free time to eat your lunch or grab a hot cuppa.

Tomy Hide and Squeak Eggs

Baby's first Christmas Gift Guide. Tomy Hide and Squeak Eggs
Tomy Hide N Squeak Eggs

Tomy Hide and Squeak Eggs – Each egg has a different face on it, a shape on the bottom and makes a squeaking sound. Babies enjoy putting the eggs in and out of the box.

Lamaze Captain Calamari

's First Christmas Gift Guide. Lamaze Captain Calamari baby sensory toy
Lamaze Captain Calamari

Lamaze Captain Calamari – All of the Lamaze Baby Sensory Toys have multiple features including crinkles, sounds, textures and teething aids. They are all brightly coloured and come with a hanging ring so it can be attached to a pram or baby gym.

What are you buying for your baby this year?

A Christmas Gift Guide for 0 - 12 month olds. Here are some of the things that we've really loved for Freddie's first year

*This post contains some affiliate links which means that I receive a small referral fee at no extra cost to you if you click on a link and make a purchase

17 Month Baby Update

17 Month Baby Update

This is officially his last month of being a baby and becoming a toddler. Every day we watch him growing into a happy, cheeky little boy who just wants to be involved. He hates baby gates or anything that stops him from being with you and joining in everything from putting the washing on to Daddy having a shave.

17 month baby update. Boo it's the last month where he's officially a baby and his cheeky personality just shines through

New things

These are getting harder to list as he seems to add something new in each day. His favourite game at the moment is putting a cushion over Isabelle’s head and asking ‘where’s she gone’ before she pops out from underneath which he thinks is the funniest thing ever.

His obsession with doing things he shouldn’t is obviously his current life goal. I would say my most current phrase is ‘Freddie NO’. My stealth ninja skills are quite good when it comes to catching him before he jumps off the sofa or the coffee table or anywhere that he can.

Using your head! Literally! If he can’t open something he headbutts it.

Temper tantrums in the making. He’s not quite got this but he’s definitely on his way. He gets down on the floor face down and spreads his arms and legs out like a star and then whinges. If you react he carries on but if you ignore him he stops to have a look where you are, gets bored so he gets up and carries on playing. Let’s hope that’s as bad as it gets.

His speech is coming on so well. He will attempt to repeat lots of words and has everything he needs to get what he wants:

  • Juice
  • Snack
  • Pooh
  • Me
  • Yes
  • No
  • What’s that
  • Who’s that
  • Where’s she gone?
  • Upstairs
  • Downstairs

Char! Our poor dog Charlie has a new best friend whether he likes it or not. Freddie likes to sit with him or on him, grabs his tail and generally doesn’t leave him alone. I think he must shout ‘Char’ about a hundred times a day!

17 month old baby update. Grumpy baby face but still totally gorgeous and cute

Play

Freddie loves it when you get down on the floor and play with him. He likes cars, balls and building which we do a lot.

He likes it when you put things in a bag for him to find which is good when you need to keep him distracted. It used to keep him entertained for quite a while when he used to put his hand in the bag and take each thing out, but that was before he figured out that it’s quicker to just tip the bag up so that everything falls out.

Give this boy a box, a basket or anything that he can get inside and he’ll play with it until you take it away.

We’ve also just started to let him play with play-doh as an alternative to Isabelle’s slime which he’s always trying to get to. He likes it when you make sausages that he can ‘chop chop chop’ with the play knife. He’s also partial to licking it as well at every opportunity.

Growth

Now that he’s 17 months he’s not growing as rapidly as he was and I would say he’s average for his age so not too small or too big. He’s got a little bit of growing before he will fit into 18 – 24 months clothing but I think that in terms of clothes this is the biggest leap size wise.

He’s got a little waist but is quite tall so he’s going to be in 12 – 18 months bottoms for a while yet but we’ve got no worries at all with his growth.

Food

He was and is doing well with his food but this very much depends on his mood. Some mealtimes he eats really well by himself and with some help, and then the next meal will be thrown all over the place. It’s really frustrating and we were offering him other options which we’ve stopped now. When he throws his food around we clean him up and get him out of his chair in a meal times over kinda way. Hopefully this is a fad that will end soon for our sakes. The dog on the other hand thinks this is amazing!

In terms of what he eats he’s doing really well. I would say his top three favourite meals are pasta (in any form), curry and rice and chilli and rice. He really enjoys fruit and vegetables and loves anything in frozen form.

I bought some ice lolly moulds and make him fruit purée and yoghurt lollies which he always loves as a good way to get something into him. He’s also a massive fan of Blueberry Yoghurt Bites which you can make with whatever fruit or yoghurt you have in.

Feeding

We’re still plodding along with our breastfeeding journey. Chris is keen for us to stop as he thinks that Freddie uses me for comfort rather than him being hungry.

I can see what he’s saying and I never imagined myself breastfeeding for this length of time, but both Freddie and I are happy doing it so for now we’ll keep on going. I dread it coming to an abrupt end, but he’s such a booby monster than I can’t see this happening too soon.

Sleeping

I think Chris’ logic that if Freddie stops feeding at night he might sleep better. We’re still co-sleeping which I’m not going to lie, I love having Freddie snuggled up with me. There are nights when I wish I had more room, but he’ll grow out of it before we know it so I’m savouring this time where he wants comfort from us.

Until next month…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Personalised Kids Stationery from GiftPup

Back to School with Personalised Kids Stationery

It literally feels like the kids have only just gone back to school, yet here we are edging our way to yet another school holiday. Isabelle’s school do things a bit different in that they lump all the teacher training days together so that we end up with a two week break instead of one.

In some ways it’s great but not so much if you’re looking for holiday club type childcare which doesn’t exist during the first week. Thankfully this isn’t an issue for us, and it does mean you can have an October break a bit cheaper if you go in the first week.

Personailsed Kids Stationery from GiftPup the online personalised gift shop. They offer a great selection of kids stationery perfect for getting the kds back to school

Starting Year 4

Isabelle went into year 4 in September which, as with every new school year she gets quite anxious about everything from not liking her teacher to who she’s going to be sat next to.

Being in year 4 means that there’s less play and more work, but there are also some perks like being able to take your own pencil case. Isabelle, like me is a magpie to stationery and loves everything from gorgeous notebooks to pastel coloured paperclips.

A couple of weeks before she went back to school she got her bag ready and not one, not two but THREE pencil cases full of pens, pencils, erasers and highlighters. There was enough to supply the whole class so we had to come to a bit of a compromise with the amount she was allowed to take.

Personalised Unicorn stainless steel water bottle is great for making sure the kids stay hydrated whilst at school. It can be easily clipped onto their schoolbag and as it's personalised should be easily identifiable

Personalised Stationery is the way to go

Obviously as parents we encourage sharing, but there have been many occasions when some of her things have been borrowed by her classmates and not returned so either name label stickers or better still personalised stationery is a great way of things not ‘going missing’.

Isabelle was kindly gifted some personalised stationery from GiftPup who do a range of gifts for every occasion and can be personalised as an added touch. I don’t think I’m wrong in saying that all kids love things with their own name on it and even better if it features a unicorn on it.

We received a set of twelve white glittery rubber topped pencils that are personalised with Isabelle’s name. They came in a white presentation box all sharpened and it was very satisfying to see twelve unused pencils all lined up, must be the stationery lover in me.

Isabelle still does the majority of her work in pencil since she has yet to gain her pen license (ridiculous if you ask me) and does a lot of drawing at home so we’ve always got a lot of need for pencils. She has been particularly precious about these pencils and likes to keep them in the box all nice and neat.

We were also sent a Unicorn Notebook which says ‘Isabelle was born to ride unicorns”. She is going to use the notebook to keep note of the books that she reads at home so that she can do the online quiz at school which increases her reading level.

Personalised kids water bottle and notebook. Perfect for going back to school

Personalised Water Bottle

As well as the notebook and pencils we were sent a Personalised Water Bottle in keeping with the unicorn theme. I think this was our favourite thing since water bottles seem to disappear off the face of the earth on a regular basis. It’s an aluminium bottle which comes with two lids. A screw top drinking cap and and a hand carabiner clip which could be clipped onto a school bag. It’s a nice size (600ml) so perfect for taking to school.

A Little bit about GiftPup

GiftPup offers a range of Personalised Gifts for Men, Women and Children for all occasions from the Birth of a Baby to a Wedding Celebration.

To help you decide on your gift there are a range of options to choose from including gender, budget and the relationship of the person you’re buying for. This narrows down your search and helps you choose a gift they will enjoy.

There’s loads to choose from so pop over and have a browse.

Our Thoughts

Isabelle was very pleased with the items she received. She’s totally into unicorns and her name being on everything is just the icing in the cake. As a Mum, it’s great having things for school that stand out from her friends stuff, and less stuff to label is even better.

Our favourite item is the water bottle which is a great size and has been keeping her drinks cool which is great. Isabelle loves that it can clip onto her bag!

*We were sent some items for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are our own.

Tips for Breastfeeding and Returning to Work

Top Tips to make Breastfeeding and Returning to Work Easier

Going back to work following Maternity Leave is essential for most of us rather than a choice. There are so many things to think about and organise long before your first day back such as childcare and possible changes to your hours. Something that kept me awake at night, other than the baby was worrying about how I was going to carry on breastfeeding when I went back to work.

Do I have to stop Breastfeeding when I go back to work?

The answer is simply, NO. There’s no reason why you should stop feeding your baby but you may need to express milk for your baby to take whilst you’re at work, and you may need to express during your working day.

This is something that is asked time and again on Parenting Groups and Forums, and a lot of women use their return date as an ‘aim for’ date when thinking of weaning their baby from the breast.

This isn’t the case for everybody though. Some babies don’t take from a bottle or cup at all so feed before mum goes to work and then when they get home again. Some mothers also find that they aren’t able to express milk easily so it’s worth having a go a little while before you go back to work.

The European Commission recommends that Employers should provide Breastfeeding Mother’s with:

  • Access to a private room where women can breastfeed or express breast milk
  • Use of a secure, clean refrigerator for storing breast milk during working hours
  • Facilities for washing, sterilising and storing receptacles

What will I need to Express Breastmilk?

A Breast Pump – This could be a manual or electric pump but I find the most effective way to pump is with a Double Electric Pump.

Bottles/Cups – This is personal preference to your baby. Some will take breast milk from a bottle whilst others will take it from a sippy cup or other form of beaker.

Teats – If using a bottle, it may be that you might have to try out a few teats before finding the right one for your baby. I’ve been using slow-flow or newborn teats so that the milk comes out slower which mimics the rate at which your baby feeds from the breast.

Milk Storage Bags – Milk can be expressed and frozen which is great for building up a bit of a stash for when you’re away from your baby. This could also be useful if you were ill or need to catch up on some sleep when they can be fed by someone else.

A Cool Bag – For putting your expressed milk into. I pour all milk into one bottle and cap it, pop it into my cool bag and put it into the fridge. I prefer this since I don’t want colleagues to question it or touch it to be honest. This also keeps it nice and fresh on the commute home.

A Safe Place to Express or Breastfeed – This ideally needs to be a comfortable lockable room with a chair and access to the above. A toilet cubicle is most definitely not an option and if this is suggested I would seek further advice via the Health & Safety Guidelines for New and Expectant Mothers.

Accessible Clothing – This may seem like a no-brainer but the first time I wore a dress as I considered myself ‘baby free’ I had to get pretty much undressed to express. Clothes with buttons I find best.

Letting your Employer know you’re continuing to Breastfeed

If you’re planning to express breast milk or breastfeed (if baby is nearby) then you will need to notify your Manager so that they can put the necessary arrangements in place

Other things to consider when discussing this with your employer is that you have somewhere comfortable to sit with a plug socket within reach.

It’s always a good idea to keep the lines of communication open with your employer so that you both know each others expectations. I thought that I would need to express twice during the day which is what was agreed between us. Once in the morning and again in the afternoon, but I find that once a day suffices and leaves me comfortable to work and doesn’t eat into my working day too much.

If you work with hazardess substances your employer will need to make the necessary arrangements in place to ensure your safety for the duration of your breastfeeding journey.

When is the Best time to Express Breast Milk?

This is very individual to you. I thought that I would need to express at around 11am and the again at 2pm which were when Freddie would usually feed, but I’ve managed to get it down to one pump session at 1.30pm which is enough until I get home again.

Also be prepare for your baby to want to feed more than usual when you get home, and unfortunately they might start to wake up to feed when they’ve previously slept through the night.

Like breastfeeding in the beginning, it’s all about finding your feet. Having been back at work since May I feel that we now have a good system in place. Freddie does feed more when I get home and the following day but it’s working well for us. As far as work is concerned, I schedule the time into my calendar like I would a meeting and so far it’s gone without any problems.

Looking for a decent Breast Pump?

I’ve been using the Ameda Finesse Double Electric Breast Pump which is designed with the same technology as a hospital grade breast pump. It can be plugged into the mains or be used with batteries so you can move about.

The pump is both easy to use and wash, and is light enough for transporting to and from work. There are multiple settings to find the perfect speed and suction for both comfort and optimum supply. The proven Airlock Protection reduces the risk of contamination for safe milk.

It was recommended to use the Dr Brown’s Options+ Baby Bottles featuring the new breast-like teat shape which is great for switching between breast and bottle feeding. The teats flow mimics the flow of the breast which is perfect and reduces confusion for your baby.

Our Breastfeeding Journey has by no means been an easy one, but Freddie is fifteen months old now and we seem to have quite a good feeding routine going on which is definitely a weight off.

 

 

*We were sent the Ameda Finesse Double Electric Pump + a selection of Dr Brown’s bottles for the purpose of this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.