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Educational Play with Schleich I'm a big fan of learning through play. Unforced educational play. I'm not a teacher and I don't want to be. I want my children to naturally learn whilst they are having fun. When I was contacted recently...

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Say Eh-Oh to the new Teletubbies toys! There back!! Teletubbies made a joyous return to CBeebies last year, and this year marks the launch of the new range of toys. As you know I was sent a box just before Christmas, and today I can finally...

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Travel: Ox Pasture Hall Hotel, Scarborough Last weekend Nana and I took a rather lengthy journey north for a night away at the Ox Pasture Hall Hotel in Scarborough, with Little Dude in tow. The Ox Pasture Hall Hotel is a luxurious country hotel...

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A Place To Enjoy My Garden I love my garden. I love the fact that I have a garden, especially with the recent gorgeous weather we've been having. Whilst I have a pretty compact garden, there's a lot going on out there. Plants, fruit...

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Cuddles With Ben Cohen Some days I have a really difficult job. Days like this for example. *Ahem* That rather nice young man is former rugby player Ben Cohen. Ben is a bit of an expert when it comes to cuddles. He has...

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Guest Post: Cool Family Activities to do over the Summer

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Competition, Days Out, Guest Post, Information | Posted on 02-05-2013

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When the children are off school all Summer it’s difficult to keep them entertained without spending an arm or a leg. It’s worth looking online for events locally to you on directory websites, to be able to get out and about as a family for as cheaply as possible.

Another option is monitoring online competitions, which are often advertised via social media, such as this one from Wow247 where you can win an annual merlin pass allowing you entry into over thirty attractions for free for four people (normally costing £146!). This also means exclusive offers on short breaks within resorts such as Legoland and Chessington Hotel.

You could also find some free activities online to do such as arranged park explorations to identify animals, trails and their habitats. Check out the top film releases and buy a family ticket to receive a discount.

If it’s enjoying your own home that you want to do then get baking with the kids, teaching them about ingredients, shopping for a recipe and culinary skills. What better excuse to invite friends and family round for a tea party afterwards to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

Hopefully, you’ve been inspired to keep your eyes out on the Internet for discount deals, as well as competitions and free activities to keep you all busy over the holidays for a realistic price.

 

Cold Wives Tales…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Information | Posted on 22-02-2013

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Guest Post: What Does Mum REALLY Want For Christmas?

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 13-12-2012

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What does Mum really want for Christmas?

With the festive season being one of the busiest times of the year for parents, what does Mum really want for Christmas? Expensive jewellery? Perfume? A new car? Most mothers probably just want the big day to go without a hitch! Happy children, delicious food and the joy of everyone enjoying their presents as the family relaxes would probably be enough to satisfy mothers up and down the UK as Christmas looms juts around the corner.

Christmas is a special time for children. Jumping on the bed at 5am asking if Santa has been yet, the sheer thrill and shriek of delight as they open their presents, singing and munching on yummy food are all part of the excitement. But it takes a lot of work in the build up to Christmas.

After all the planning, putting up the Christmas decorations, budgeting and saving for presents, Christmas shopping, wrapping presents and either cooking or assisting with the cooking – it is no wonder that Mum is exhausted before even sitting down to Christmas lunch! Then once the meal is over, keeping the kids amused until they go back to school in January while trying to work can be a significant challenge.

While Christmas is a very special time for everyone, if Mum is doing a lot of the work behind the scenes to make everything perfect, maybe some great ideas are needed to make Christmas easier and less stressful, why not find out more here.

Perhaps all Mum really wants for Christmas is to be happy, to have a happy family and for a chance to relax and recuperate herself after a busy year? This is something that all the family can help with and if Mum has been the one doing a lot of the work to make the season magical, why not help to make things a little easier? Thanking her for all of her efforts is not a great deal to ask for is it?

Christmas is always more fun if everyone joins in so everyone should play their part in the festivities – help with the shopping, offer to help with food preparation, come up with gift ideas, write out some Christmas cards, put some of the decorations up and put them away carefully after Christmas – anything that helps to make the season go more smoothly!

Your Mum may have spent most of the year preparing for Christmas, so try making her Christmas just as perfect by thanking her for everything she has done!

Introducing Cleaning Gift Vouchers

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Christmas, Home & Lifestyle, Information | Posted on 03-12-2012

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I was recently asked to take part in a campaign with CleaningGiftVouchers.co.uk who provide, what they call, the “Gift Of Time”. As parents we’re all busy people. As well as the 24/7 job of looking after our children, we are perhaps also holding down jobs, running the home, and occasionally even finding five minutes to ourselves. Time is something we don’t have a lot of, so to be able to find a company to lend a hand is pretty exciting.

With Christmas fast approaching, chances are you’re going to have a steady stream of friends and relations in your home so you’ll no doubt want it looking at its best. Finding the time to clean your house can be tricky at the best of times, but with the added pressure of shopping for Christmas too, it can be almost impossible. Or perhaps your house is tidy but you’re oven could do with a little TLC before the big day and the mass cooking begins.

CleaningGiftVouchers.co.uk are here to help. They have  a range of cleaning packages available to buy for yourself, or to treat someone, to suit any problem area. I was instantly attracted to the “Sparkling Single Oven Cleaning” package. My oven door seems to collect remnants of past meals, and because my grill is inside the oven it gathers any fat splashes from roasts and then proceeds to smoke any time we use it. We’ve had a go at cleaning it ourselves but it is such a time consuming ordeal that didn’t seem to work at all.

Using the payment code I’d been given I went online to book my oven cleaning. Purchasing a voucher was simple enough, and with a little help from the online chat support I managed to select the best package for me. Arranging the appointment was also easy and I had the details confirmed by phone and email within 24 hours. I was really pleased to have booked the cleaning so easily and so efficiently. The website makes is really helpful and the online chat support provide valuable extra details and great customer service.

I am really looking forward to having my oven cleaned in time for Christmas.

Guest Post: Helping With Homework

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on 01-10-2012

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I know what you’re thinking – children’s homework is easy, particularly if the child is still primary school age.  A few simple sums and a bit of reading – piece of cake.  However, times have moved on and helping your child with their homework could turn into a stressful and confusing situation for both the child and parent without a bit of forward planning.

Here are three of my top tips for avoiding any last minute homework panics and to make sure you can be top of the class:

  1. Shouting the words ‘well, that’s how I was taught’ won’t help.  If the grid method and number line sound like world war two codes, then arrange for some after school tuition to learn how it is done now.
  2. Have the right equipment ready so there can be no excuses.  This could include plenty of plain paper, pens and pencils (sharpened) a PC or laptop and wireless printer.
  3. Reward good homework.  It’s easy to leave reward and recognition to the class teacher, but your child will be so proud if you praise them for a job well done.  This should also encourage them to try even harder next time.
This article was written by Kathryn Thompson, a freelance writer and mum to three daughters aged 12, 10 and 5.  Kathryn once bought a leather Filofax for her eldest daughter in a last minute shopping panic, as she convinced her they needed to record all their homework in it.  Her daughter was in year one at the time.

Back To School…

Posted by SussexMummy | Posted in Book Review, Product Reviews | Posted on 28-08-2012

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Well that time is upon us all once again, where the mad dash to find essential supplies for our children before we send them back to school next week – unless you’re in Scotland of course where they are already out from under your feet! Now Little Man isn’t 2 yet so I have a few more years to psych myself up for this eternally stressful time, but I do have a few products here that might just appeal to you, and your young scholars!

Smencils
A new school year means a brand new pencil case loaded up with new pens, pencils, rulers and erasers. If you fancy treating your child to something a little more unusual this year – something special if its their first ever day at school – then I highly recommend a set of Smencils. Smencils are just what they sound like – smelly pencils. Made from recycled paper and scented for added fun, these pencils are a great idea. I really like the Fruit Shoot scented range, which is great for young children just starting school. I don’t think there are many children out there who don’t love Fruit Shoots, so a matching set of pencils will be a perfect addition to their very first pencil case.

Click here for a Facebook Competition to win a set. Closes Friday September 7th 2012.

Back To School Books
If your child is a bit nervous about venturing to school for the first time then there a couple of great books here that might just ease their worries. “Foxy” by Emma Dodd is about a little girl called Emily who is starting school the next day and is worried that she doesn’t have everything she needs. Her magical friend Foxy comes to her rescue with some very amusing results, and a brilliantly reassuring message for all children. “Come To School Too, Blue Kangaroo” by Emma Chichester Clark is the latest in the Blue Kangaroo series. Lily takes Blue Kangaroo to school with her and wants to help him through his first day, but his day goes on longer than planned when he is left behind. A great fun story for all Blue Kangaroo fans worried about starting at school.

Forget Me Not
If your child has something of a hectic schedule – school, clubs, sports teams, music lessons, etc – or the mad rush each morning means they often forget something important for school, investing in a Forget Me Not from Tidy Books might just save you a lot of stress. It comes with a large magnetic whiteboard for jotting down reminders or fastening letters from school or timetables on. Beneath that is a small shelf with a lip to put small items that need to be taken, such as lunch money or letters that can be posted on the walk to school. Finally you get a row of hooks which can hold school bags packed ready for the next day or sports kits for PE lessons. The Forget Me Not has a compact slimline design, but has plenty room to store all your school day essentials.