Back to School – tips for parents

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Little A started his last year at nursery last week (gulp) and I cannot believe that this time next year ‘big’ school beckons. I want to make sure that Little A is as equipped as possible for his classroom days and I recently followed up a friend’s recommendation and attended a Phonics, Reading and Early Writing Workshop by Educate With Iona. Wowee. Quite the eye-opener. The workshop’s aim in a nutshell is to help prepare your child for school and support them in their first year there.  So if your Little Ones are heading that way then attending one of Iona’s workshops is definitely something you should consider.

Hosted in Iona’s Chelsea home the groups are small, packed with info and you get to take a handy guide home with you. It made me appreciate that realistically Little A’s one bedtime story is not really going to cut it given that I could be doing so much more. Key to Iona’s success is that she understands that we are all busy people and so she give you lots of tips, games and resources to help channel those precious minutes you get to sit down with your Little One. One of her top tips is that is should be fun. Little A and I now enjoy our ‘special time’ when we play one of Iona’s games and I have to say he loves it. Whilst I have friends who are teachers, I personally had no idea what Little A would be taught during his first year at school and now I feel so much better having a general gist. More importantly I now feel that I can support him at home whilst knowing what he will be learning at school.

iona

All in the detail:

Educate with Iona workshops, click here for details
All workshops run by Iona, a qualified and experienced teacher, who has taught in Kensington and Chelsea for over 9 years and co-ordinated the school’s phonics teaching for 6 years

She is also a mummy to two young boys
Workshops last approx 1.5hrs and each session has no more than 12 participants
Sessions are aimed at supporting children from the age of 3 upwards, including those in their first year at school
Based in Hampshire and London, Iona also offer private classes hosted in your own home in or outside of London

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Life’s Little Luxuries – changing mat pillows

changing mat pillow
So I may be coming late to the party on this one as Little B has rested her little head on a couple of rolled up muslins for the last year but just look at these sweet changing mat pillows.  Designed and handmade by the clever mum of two behind Bundle & Bow, they come in a multitude of designs and make very sweet baby shower gifts. We have this lovely Liberty print one.

Also check out Bundle & Bow’s pillows designed specifically for car seats – perfect for all Maxi Cosi infant carriers and great to combat the sweatiness of synthetic car seat fabric.

All in the detail:

100% cotton pillows for baby changing mats and car seats, by Bundle & Bow
Click here to view
Prices range from £13  – £17.50
Each changing mat pillow is approximately 17.5cm x 23cm.
Car Seat Pillows fit any Maxi Cosi Infant Carrier, The Cybex Aton, STOKKE® iZi Go™ by BeSafe and the Britax Baby Safe (once the removable new born padding has been taken off the seats.) Simply slot the pillow neatly into the head section. Pillows measure 22cm at the base and 18.5cm at the top with a 17cm width.
Each pillow has a removable case – machine washable at 40 degrees.
Each pillow comes in a gorgeous Bundle & Bow box perfect for gifting.

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Hello…is it me you’re looking for?

Hellloooee. I am back. Hope everyone had a great summer. Apologies for PATP’s summer off but our house move is now complete and I have finally unpacked the last of the boxes. Thanks to one fabulous reader for flagging up this T-shirt from good old Marks and Sparks. Obviously perfect for my little man, this one is on order.

m and s

All in the detail:

Little A T-shirt
Aged 1-7 years
Cotton Rich

Click here to view

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Happy Feet – personalised baby high-tops

 

hi top
There must have been something in the air 9 months ago, as the stork has been busy delivering amongst my friends and a whole new gaggle of babes have arrived.  Top of my pressie websites at the moment is My 1st Years.  I got these super cute new kicks for my friend’s baby with his personalised initials on.  I opted for Classic White high tops with baby blue embroidery and as they were promptly instagrammed by his mother I take it she likes them! Also worth checking out their range of personalised towels and hooded fleece robes.  All items come in their own gift boxes which is great if you are posting a gift or your wrapping skills aren’t up to scratch.

All in the detail:

All items by My 1st Years
High Top Trainers, £20, available in lots of colours
Sizes: 0-6mths, 6-12mths and 12-18mths
Click here to buy

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In Full Bloom(ers) – new label alert: Pipkin Clothing

floral bloomers
Whilst I was pregnant with Little B, I was convinced that she was going to be a he. Although I wanted it to be a surprise, my sneaky glances at the sonograph machine meant I washed and ironed Little A’s old wardrobe of blue breton stripes and boyish dungarees.  Instead, to our amazement Little B arrived into our lives in a flurry of pink and I began to discover how much fun it is clothes shopping for girls.  One look I really wanted to perfect was the bloomers over tights combo.  Having looked high and low I think I have found the perfect pair.  Made by Pipkin Clothing, they are 100% cotton, soft and lightweight and look fab when teamed with cream tights and a chunky cardi. Reasonably priced at £18 and available in lots of colours, check out the sweet turquoise pair for boys.  You can tell that the designer behind Pipkin Clothing is a mother by the classic design feature of an elasticated waist which is included throughout the collection, making the clothes perfect whether you are changing nappies or potty training.  Little A is now wanting to surprise me every morning by getting dressed himself and Pipkin’s trousers certain make it easier for him.

All in the detail:
Floral Bloomers by Pipkin Clothing
Available in pink floral or blue floral (other plain colour ways too)
£18 for ages 3-18 months and £20 for 2-4yrs
Click here to view 

 

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Different branches, same tree – family photo frame

frame
So most of my friends seem intent on making having 3 children the new ‘2’.  Recently a whole host of cute number 3’s have arrived to set my ovaries aflutter and serve as a reminder of how scrumptious newborns are. The perfect gift for any new family welcoming their No.3 has to be this fab photo frame tree.

However, if like me your family doesn’t quite number 5, then they also make great ‘Godparent Trees’.  Both Little A and Little B have them in their bedrooms as conveniently they have 5 godparents each.  Serves as a good reminder of who’s who if they haven’t seen them in a while. It’s easy to insert the photos and its clean lines would suit most nurseries.

All in the detail:

PT Photo Frame Family Tree Assorted Frame
Available at Amazon for £25.13 with free delivery
Hold 5 frames
Click here to view

 

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Home Sweet Home – cute nursery shelves

house shelf
Having just finally exchanged on our new house after 7 roller-coaster months, I am already filling up the new dream nest with treasures from the summer sales.  First up is this gorgeous Dolls House shelf for Little B’s room.  Perfect to house her knicknacks and I am sure her tiniest Jellycat bunny will happily perch on the stairs too. Grannie bought the mint green one for her upcoming birthday, now I just have to work on what colour walls for her nursery!?

All in the detail:

Gesso Dolls House Shelf from Cox & Cox, now £38.50 in the sale
Click here to view
Worth noting the green is not quite as duck egg as the picture implies
White version available non-sale for £55
h 61cm x 40cm x 5cm

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An Open Door Policy – chic children’s doorstops

little b
If you are struggling for a gift for a newborn and want to avoid giving clothes then I always consider something for their nursery. Little B was recently given a simply stunning bespoke doorstop by Flossie & Bumble and it has turned out to not only look rather pretty but be extremely useful too. Personalised with a duck egg blue ‘B’ stitched onto a vintage rose print, it is just the thing to prop open her door so I can peek in on her on my way to bed.  The perfect gift for a godchild or niece/nephew and there are a range of fabrics and colours to choose from.  I love the Lighthouse print for boys and for any elly-mad child the blue elephant print is charming.

All in the detail:

All doorstops by Flossie and Bumble
Personalised Initial doorstop, £24.50
Available in a selection of fabrics and each comes with an embossed ostrich leather handle
Click here to view
Plain Elephant doorstop, £17.99
Click here to view
Doorstops measure 14 x14 x14 cm

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Game, Set, Match – kids’ tennis pyjamas

tennis
We have had the Open, last week has been all about Queens which can only mean that Wimbles is round the corner.  Made from 100% cotton and with a smart blue piped collar, these lovely PJs make a fab pressie for any budding Wimbledon hopeful.  The matching dressing gown has a terry towelling inside – perfect for a spot of post bath telly watching.

 

All in the detail:

All by Em&Lu
Classis PJs sized 12-18mth up to aged 10, from £34
Dressing Gown available in ages 2-10. from £44
Click here to view

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My Father The Hero – subtle gifts for Father’s Day

 

FD14It’s Father’s Day this weekend and I am pretty sure high up on my hubby’s list is a child-free lie-in.  Gone are the days of lounging around until 11, a lie-in in our house is now considered 9am. As well as the must-have handmade card from the Littlies (well maybe Little B can add a fingerprint) I have splashed out this year and ordered him some customised collar stiffeners.  In the last three years of Father’s Day gifting I have noticed that the presents that go down well are the more discreet ones. I have learnt that the matching father/son swimmers are not for public consumption but only for private pools whereas the matching PJ bottoms are a winner in the home.  As much as my husband likes to celebrate his parent prowess he would just rather not do it in a novelty public way.  Matching T shirts emblazoned with Father/Son logos are out and that’s why I am hoping the collar stiffeners might be a winner.

Other more undercover options to consider are these character socks.  The perfect in joke that Father and son can enjoy getting ready in the morning yet one the boardroom won’t be privy to. Alternatively, if your husband is the leather bracelet wearing sort (sadly mine is not) these are also quite charming and you can personalise them with your child’s birthdate. Material gifting aside nothing beats telling your loved one what a hero they are.

All in the detail:

Personalised Men’s leather date bracelet, £39
With next day delivery there is still chance to buy!
All available at NotontheHighstreet.com
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