> I love these bug themed playdough activities. It’s so easy to make your own playdough from just a few store cupboard ingredients, and it’s so versatile there are a million and one things you can do with it! Using playdough helps to develop fine motor skills and build up the muscles in their hands and arms that children will need for writing, so it’s a great material to use whenever you can. You can use it on its own or with added tools and playdough mats. To download the ones I’ve used for the bug themed playdough activities pop your email in here and I’ll get them straight over to you! FREE PRINTABLES My playdough recipe is very slap dash and it doesn’t make ‘the best ever playdough the world has ever seen’ so if that’s what you’re looking for then you might need to keep on searching, but I’m sure pinterest will serve you well. Our playdough tends to end up with all the colours mixed together and scattered all over the floor by the end of the first day, so I don’t spend too long making it or worry to much about it. I basically just chuck…

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I can’t believe the last week of September has been and gone already! I am a week late with this post, you may have noticed… this week has kind of run away from me. But we had such a great time last week, I’m just going to go ahead and tell you all about it and pretend like it’s on time and if you could all just play along then that would be great ūüėČ On Monday we started the week off right¬†with some good old fashioned playdough fun, then after lunch we walked down to the pond and bought some seeds to feed the ducks (and pigeons… ok mostly pigeons) with. Then we hung around at the park for hours while the girls made a succession of friends as other families came to play and got dragged into their games. On Tuesday we had a slow start with iPad games in bed¬†while I got¬†showered and dressed (is there any¬†other way to get showered and dressed these days?). The my Mum came over and we popped¬†to the shops to find¬†the girls their autumn/winter¬†boots and to get Ernie his first pair of little shoes. My Mum had a week off of…

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To Mabel and Greta, If you decide to become Mothers… of course I’d be lying if I said I don’t hope that you have Motherhood in your future, and at the moment I am¬†guiltily¬†pleased that when asked what you want to be when you grow up Mabel, you simply reply ‘a Mummy’. Becoming a Mum had been the absolute defining experience of my life so far, and I would love for you both to experience it too, in all it’s intense, all-consuming, glory. But that is not my decision, or assumption to make and who knows where your life will take you? Indeed, who knows where life will take me? When I look ahead to the future, to the three of you all grown up, I dare to dream of¬†the five of us¬†as a happy family unit, still living close enough to pop in for Sunday lunch or Friday night dinner, still getting on well enough to share secrets and giggles, hopes and fears. And I do know that I will do everything possible to be the Mum that you need at all stages of your life and¬†I would love nothing more than to¬†still be your trusted confident in 20…

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We are a few weeks into home educating now and we are finally starting to get into the swing of things. Whereas over the Summer we had no routine at all and just took each day as it came, I’ve made a big effort this month to get our days and weeks to flow more easily and the best way I know to do that is to introduce a flexible homeschool routine.¬†The loose structure¬†helps the children, who now have a rough idea of what is going to happen and in what order, and to be honest it makes me happier too. I can’t really explain to you why, but it just makes me feel better to have a few simple routines in our life. I’ve started trying to capture parts of our weeks in weekly vlogs for our YouTube channel and I will try and write weekly here too about what we have been up to and how things are progressing with our homeschool life. Last week I didn’t manage to write, so I’ve popped both last week’s and this week’s vlog at the bottom on this post. So, this week… this week¬†was a good week. We started it off…

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This week I made a bug themed activity based around repeating patterns. Mabel has talked about patterns before, noticing when two alternating colours repeated themselves and I’ve heard her calling out colours and making patterns when she is using the threading beads, so I wanted to explore this a little bit more with her. We had a chat about what she was supposed to do while I cut out the spare bugs and then she started completing the patterns one line at a time. She picked it up really quickly and didn’t need any help after my initial explanation. Greta also had a go at the first two lines with my help, before going to play with the playmobil when she’d had enough. This activity is great for developing problem solving skills and understanding patterns will not help with learning how large numbers work¬†and also times tables. When Mabel had finished I printed out another sheet and cut out all the bugs so that she had a big¬† set to make her own patterns with. She really enjoyed this part of the activity and spent a long time calling out the colours as she arranged the bugs in different orders.…

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When I first heard¬†about¬†the¬†Zany Zebra Trail that had taken over Southampton City Centre this Summer, I knew that it would be a great free family day out for us and I mentioned to Carl that we should try and pop over to it. But before we knew it, very much like the whole of this year, the Summer had slipped¬†through our fingers and disappeared without a trace,¬†and we hadn’t had the chance yet to go Zany Zebra hunting. Luckily for us, the trail is on until 25th September, so there¬†was still time for us to get over and see how many zebras we could spot. As soon as we walked into The Marlands Shopping Centre we saw our first Zebra ‘The Trojan Zebra’. This one was painted with hundreds of pictures of cartoon lions as if they were inside a wooden zebra, and the girls ran straight over for a closer look. They spotted lions getting up to all sorts of crazy things, as well as their favourite, Elsa and¬†Anna lions with their very own little Olaf of course! Mabel and Greta loved following the¬†hoof print stickers on the floor of the shopping centre which led us to ‘Marwell’s Zany…

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Mantras for Motherhood is my¬†six part¬†series, where I talk about the little quotes and phrases that get me through life as a mum to three little ones,¬†get me focussing on the good stuff and keep mama guilt at bay as much as possible. I love a motivational quote on a Monday morning, Facebook and Instagram are full of them,¬†but to be honest most of the offerings that float around my timeline don’t really apply to my life… it’s hard to get ‘fired up’ about ‘smashing my goals’ or ‘reaching my dreams’ when my goal is just to get everyone dressed so we can go to the shop and get milk, and my dream is to get to bedtime without any major calamities… shoot for the moon indeed. So I’ve been saving little quotes that really do help whenever I find them, and they have evolved into six mantras that I look at most days and even better than that, if I’m having a crappy day, if I’m stressing over something or feeling like a rubbish mum, I can usually find a mantra that will help me out and give me some perspective on the situation. Every Monday¬†I have been¬†introducing you…

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One of last week’s¬†activities was this bug themed invitation to create. I love open-ended creative activities and I love to encourage my children’s natural creativity. One of my main aims of home educating them, especially in the early years,¬†is to give them lots of time and opportunity and the freedom to create without the pressure of worrying if it’s ‘good enough’. Obviously creativity takes so many different forms, but there’s such a simple joy in making something with your hands. My girls are always dressing up and role playing in their own created imaginary worlds, but they don’t very often sit down on their own accord to¬†actually make¬†something. But if I give them a little prompt, that’s usually all it takes to get them enthusiastically creating. I don’t tell them what to make, but I find that if I provide them with some even slightly exciting looking materials (just some cut up coloured card in this case)and a loose theme, they can’t wait to get stuck in and making. They love having an ‘invitation to create’ and I find it works to spark their creativity and they are soon completely focussed on their creations. We have been having a look…

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