Tag: children

Review of Octopus Learning
Review of Octopus Learning

Oh wow we had such fun with this subscription box which we were asked to review – it was intended for our pre-schooler but actually ended up being enjoyed by all the kids, plus Mummy and Grandparents!

The idea of the subscription box is to teach a wide range of concepts using fun games and tasks broken down into different Octopus Teachers. It works really well and everything you need is included in the box (which fits through the letterbox). I was impressed by the range of activities and how long the box lasted in terms of interest in small kids, the boxes are also themed – ours was all about rock pools and nature. If you’d like to see what else they do you can find them on social media and their website www.octopuslearning.co.uk.

The kids enjoyed all the activities but we do love to get outdoors so particularly liked the Scavenger Hunt in the garden – we didn’t find everything so it also came with us to the woods the next day. It was the kids that remembered to take it, and even remembered what items they were still looking for so it made a big impression. We also made the paper flowers, and as more people wanted to join in we added some scrap paper to make more. We completed all the tasks over a week away, it really did last us and many of the resources and ideas could be used again, it was plastic free and nearly all recyclable so we were REALLY happy x

The boxes have been created by a qualified Primary school teacher with 20 years of classroom experience, so the content is based on current educational best practice and fits with the Early Years Curriculum that pre-schoolers will also cover in a childcare setting. It’s nice as a parent to get the chance to see these levels at home, and engage in specific learning activities at home. I certainly found it fun to have things to do that I hadn’t had to plan and resource as it made it new for me as well. We still have our Rock Pool – made from a used cup we found! We’ve been thinking about the eco-system and weather changes, all inspired by that first exercise we did some weeks ago now…

We have very generously been given a 10% discount code if you would like to try a subscription – you can use the code BLOGREC10

Unexpected Parenting #10

How can there not be an app for all the repeated phrases a parent needs? I could put them on a timer to just be randomly called out from a tannoy…

“please don’t jump on the sofa”

“is that safe?”

“no pushing”

“sit down to eat”

I could go on and on and on – I bore myself sometimes…

Unexpected Parenting #9

How beautiful a tidy bedroom can be… Frustrating getting there but hugely proud of myself now – and tea I think.


Unexpected Parenting #3

That you can still be totally google eyes in love with someone that just bit your boob…


Unexpected Parenting #1
Unexpected Parenting #1

watching my 5 year old singing Status Quo in the worlds smallest school choir… go girl!


New set of funny evaluations starts later today under the banner of

Unexpected Parenting #

first one will be published at 3pm, just in time for the school run here x

Ode to Mr Average

The kids are at the various places they need to be – school, nursery and asleep on my chest. The washing machine, tumble dryer and dishwasher are all whirring away, the kitchen counters are all clear and have been wiped down, as has the table now it is cleared from breakfast. The floors have been hovered and the first de-toy of the day has taken place (there are 4 as it happens), it’s 9:30am and I feel very accomplished and in control. Having already ordered the food delivery last night (should be here by 10…) and made lunch boxes and breakfast, I have now planned lunch for baby and me, dinner for the kids is ready and I have the next load of washing downstairs waiting in line.

The dog, guinea pigs and fish are all alive, fed and watered and will be exercised (as appropriate) when baby wakes up. I was even contemplating making myself a cup of tea when I decided to write this instead. Mornings are good here, they are productive and tidy and efficient – and so am I.

I’m so sad that you never see this me, or the house this way. You arrive home when the kids are tired and fractious, when I’m clearing up from the fifth meal I have made that day and the dishes are stacked up in the sink looking menacing. When the counters are full of detritus from the day, the table is a mess of homework, drink cups, food spills and laundry to fold. When I’m already working on the things that need to happen for tomorrow, my mind a whirl of lists and I seem so distracted and uninterested in you.

I hate that you only get the worst bits of me – the tired overwhelmed ‘end of the day’ me. I hate that you only get the worst of the kids, when they have lost all control of their behaviour and need their beds. That you take on ‘bedtime’ is a credit to your willingness to be in this team – and I know it’s not always much fun.

The wonderful day we had yesterday I hope is a bit of payback for all you endure. That you got to have fun with us, to see the kids in all their crazy glory – that I was awake!

Parenting is the hardest job ever, and I often wonder what we were thinking to start on that path, but despite what you see and hear for that last hour of the whole families day, every day  –  it really is the best thing we ever did. Totally. Absolutely. Both Feet In.

Happy Monday…

Book a relaxing break they said, it will be good for you they said… Of course once we are there it will be brilliant, but getting ready for a self catering holiday with four kids is not child’s play, especially when the kids are at home needing you. I have lists to tick off but it’s been pretty hellish frankly!

We are leaving today, and I’m about to put on a 30min wash…all because I have a bad back so normal chores couldn’t be done let alone the extras for hols – the second we leave the house it will be so wonderful BUT we have to navigate that last bit. Hold your breath Mr A!

That really stressful,
last bit of packing,
super excited kids,
busy adults,
forgotten items, ‘
‘you can’t take THAT’,
packing the car,
praying for dry weather,
checking the list,
counting the kids,
feeding everyone random leftovers,
do last years sandals fit?,
sending off pets,
last quick list check,
finding the emergency 2am tumble dryer socks,
peeling children off the ceiling,
re-packing the car 🙃,
Happy Holiday Monday!


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