Showing posts with label children. Show all posts
Showing posts with label children. Show all posts

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Teaching Your Child To Read

A while ago now we were sent a reading programme to try out and I thought I'd do an update as to how it's going.

Well it's fantastic, my son can now read some quite long sentances and he is only four! I have tried to make a few videos for you so that you can see for yourselves. They aren't great quality as they were filmed on my phone and there also only 1 minute each. (Sorry I will get better at all this tecnology stuff one day).

So here is the first video... 


We have been working through the programme every night just before bedtime story and he really enjoys it. 
We have been doing it with my daughter too but she doesn't really have a great attention span at the moment (she's only two) although she is definitley picking up bits as we go along. (I will try to get some videos of her, although she is a little camera shy).

 I really cannot rate this reading programme highly enough, it has been great for my son and I have no doubt that he will be reading fully by the time he goes to school in September.


If you have any questions about the programme I would be happy to answer them.
You can find the reading programme on their website 

Children Learning Reading Stage 1

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Thrifty Pirate Party

For my sons birthday this year we decided to have a pirate theme. He is just slightly obssessed with pirates at the moment thanks to Jake and the Neverland Pirates!

 As always I hate spending money so I needed to come up with some money saving ideas, as parties can be pretty expensive events these days. Once you've paid for all of the food, decoration, party bags and cake it all adds up. To try and save some money I always aim to make as many of the decorations as I can, like for example the cups...

I brought a massive pack of Tesco value plain white cups which cost pennies. I then printed off the above image from the web (I cannot find the original source for this, if it's you please shout). I then cut it out and stuck it onto all of the cups. It was quite time consuming but worth it I think. As cups with pre-printed design on can cost you around £2.00 for a pack of 8 where as I only paid 55p for a pack of 25!

 I also stuck some on some old beer bottles that we had lying around ready for recycling, just to add some more decoration to the table.

Like my daughters Enchanted Forest Party that we had last year I made up name labels for all of the food. This is the fun bit...

I made the labels myself by printing off images from the web and sticking them all together. The little flags I brought online and I believe they cost me about £2 for a pack of 50!

I also wanting to get some healthy food in there somewhere...

 The party food doesn't have to be expensive, if you shop around you can find some great deals. I personally like to use a lot of the value range party foods that you can find in most supermarkets. Kids don't care in the slightest about how much the food cost. Here's the party boy enjoying his value party snowballs...

I started to worry about finding my son a pirate outfit for the day. Every pirate outfit I found online seemed to cost between £15 - £25 which is way more than I was prepared to spend on an outfit that he would only wear once! Until luck would have it I went into our local charity shop on my weekly recky and came across a pirate outfit and it was only £1...

For the table decorations I was able to use the paper plates that we had left over from my daughters party and make it work with the new theme, from toadstools to pirates. I also brought a few bags of gold coins in advance at Christmas in our local pound shop to scatter across the tables. The gold on the table were rocks from the garden that I spray painted with gold spray, again form the pound shop...

For the party bags I brought the red and white striped paper bags online at very low cost. I printed the name labels off on my computer and stuck them on. I then just used some string I had at home to tie them off. I thought they turned out pretty good...

So there you have it, a thrifty pirate party. I think everyone enjoyed themselves...

I'm linking up with Faith, Hope and Charity Shopping's linky Ta Dah Tuesday

Friday, 22 March 2013

Teach a Two Year Old to Read - Update

I thought I'd do an update on how we are getting on with our 'Children Learning Reading Programme'.

We are now 5 weeks into the programme and I feel it is going really well. My son (who's 4) is now able to recognise quite a few different letters and can now read quite a few words completely on his own. (Which I think for a 4 year old is pretty good). We probably would have been further along with the programme if I had stuck to it religiously every day, which I admit I haven't (life gets in the way).
You are suppose to do each lesson (which don't take more than 5 minutes) at least twice a day, where as we have only being doing it once a day at the moment. Even so I feel my son is really starting to get to grips with it now and has finally mastered the art of 'blending'. (You can find out more about this on the website).
My daughter who's 2 can also now recognise quite a few different letters and everywhere we go now all I hear is the two of them shouting out letters whenever they see them on signs.

We are all really enjoying spending time together learning the letters and new words and at this rate I reckon my son will be able to read by the time he goes to school in September!

I will keep you updated with our progress and I will try and post up some videos so you can see for yourselves, (that is if first I can work out how to record it and second how to put it on here!)

If you like some more information on this reading programme then check out their website...

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Enchanted Forest Party

For my daughters 2nd birthday we had an Enchanted Forest Party and I thought I'd share some of the pictures with you.

The best bit about creating this party was by far the food!

 I had great fun choosing names for all the different dishes...

Some of the names included fairy berries (raspberries), squirrel chips (dried bananas) ,birds nests (chocolate krispy cakes) and fairy wands (sticks with chopped fruit on).

I managed to get a good dose of healthy food in there too.

I made a wooden sign to go outside the hall instead of the normal balloons (see how I made this here)

For the decorations I went with a colour scheme of reds, whites, greens and browns. We put up our green gazebo in the hall and hung green crepe paper streamers from it...

 I also made some mini toadstools to scatter around the room and on the tables. (See how I made these here)

 For my daughters outfit I managed to find her a green fairy outfit in a charity shop which only cost me £3.00, bargain and I made her a flowery crown...

Following with the enchanted forest theme I didn't want to go with traditional party bags instead I made my own from old jam jars...

In all it was a great party and I think everyone enjoyed themselves although I'm not sure Lowenna really knew what was going on...

Linking up with Ta-dah Tuesday on Faith Hope and Charity Shopping

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

10 Tips for Surviving the School Holidays

1) PLAN, PLAN, PLAN - You don't have to follow your plan to the letter but even if you have a rough idea of what you might do each day helps!

2) ARRANGE MEET UPS - with fellow mummies, preferably somewhere that the kiddies can run wild for a bit while you have a good natter

3) EXCEPT MESS - Unless you are prepared to spend the next few weeks constantly picking up after them, just let them get on with it an have a good tidy up when they go back to school

4) PUT ON THE TV - Yes I said the T word, obviously I don't mean for the entire holidays but even just once a day for a limited amount of time gives you a break and makes them just sit and chill for a bit. We all need some R&R time and maybe throw in some popcorn to make it a bit more exciting. (I wouldn't advise popcorn everyday though)

5)  GO FOR WALKS - Of course this is weather permitting but it's a great way for the kids to burn some energy, get some fresh air and best of all it's FREE. Or perhaps try a treasure trail which makes the walk more interesting!

6) RESEARCH NEW CRAFT IDEAS - Get online and find some new ideas for things to create, bake or build. There are loads of good websites out there that have loads of fun ideas. Pinterest is one of my favourites.

7) STOCK UP ON CRAFT SUPPLIES - Prior to the holidays beginning make sure you have all of the resources that you may need, glue, scissors, toilet rolls, coloured card etc. Start collecting up a stock a few weeks before.

8)  GET A COLLECTION OF BOARD GAMES - Time to raid the charity shops and find some new games. You can pick up some great ones for a fraction of the price that the high street stores sell them at. This is always good as a back up for the horrible rainy days.

9) VISIT YOUR LOCAL LIBRARY - Go and find some new books to read. You could have a theme for the week, like the Tudors, and then find books on your chosen subject and see who can learn the most by the end of the week. Maybe create a quiz for the end of the week and see who wins. Libraries also stock DVD's which you can hire for very low cost too.
10) DON'T FEAR BOREDOM - It is okay for your children to get bored, this forces them to use their own imagination and create fun for themselves. No one expects you to be super mum for the entire length of the holidays. 

So what about you? What are your top tips for surviving the school holidays?

Monday, 4 March 2013

Personalised Reward Charts

Personalised Reward Charts

 Today we were sent a very cute, personalised, potty training reward chart for my daughter.

There are loads of different styles to chose from on the website such as dogs, pirates, ponies and football. You can also chose different themes such as potty training and brushing teeth. 
Pony BlankBrush Teeth Pink Photo Seaside Task with Days Photo Pirate Task
They are great value at only £3.00 each and come with stickers and a pen.
We went for the potty training one as we are about to go through this stage again! (Something I'm not looking forward to!)

As you can see from the picture my daughter was very impressed with hers and hopefully this might just make the process of potty training a little smoother.

 Wish us luck!

To check out all of the other designs and themes head over to 

This company is run by a Work At Home dad who runs a couple of small businesses making products aimed at children and their parents.

Check out his other sites below


Friday, 1 March 2013

The Joys Of Charity Shopping

I had a very weird day on Wednesday! It was my first morning all on my own in about 4 and a half years. My baby went to pre-school.

I didn't really know what to do with my self and I thought I'd just go home and catch up on 4 and a half years of housework, that just never gets done and then I thought I have devoted all that time to my children taking them to toddler groups, sign and rhyme classes or whatever the latest craze is at that time. So I'm going to spend the morning doing something that I want to do and something that I just can't do with two little ones in tow. Raid the charity shops!

I love charity shopping. I get a real buzz when I walk into a shop, not knowing what treasures you will find inside. I then I get an even bigger buzz when you find a real bargain. I hardly ever buy new anymore, I just find new products boring in comparison, they have no history and no story.

Sometimes you don't find anything in any of the shops and then you have days when every single shop you go into has something that you simple must have. This day was one of those days.

Here's a few bits I found that I was really pleased with...

 These two Moroccan lanterns were £3.99 for the pair!

 and these two, his and hers, crochet blankets were just £2 each.

The kids love them and it's really cute when they are all snuggled up on their chair together with their blankets.

So what about you are you a charity shopper or does the idea of buying second hand goods just not appeal to you?

Me and My Shadow

Monday, 11 February 2013

Teaching a Two Year Old to Read!

I am very excited this morning!
We have been sent a new product to review and I generally can't wait to get started with it. 

'Teach your child to read, and help your child become a fast a fluent reader!'

  It's called the Children Learning Reading Program. Now I know what your thinking, Oh God not another 'teach your child to read product', but this one looks different.
The programme has been created by a family that have three children of their own. 
If you check out the videos on their website then you can see their daughter at the age of 2 years 11 months reading and then another video of her reading at a grade 3 by the time she was just 4 years and 2 months! There's no tricks in the video, she is generally able to read that well through learning with this programme that her parents have created.
If you still don't believe me then check out their website here and see for yourself.

'The Children Learning Reading TM program comes in two jam-packed e-books presenting a simple, logical, step-by-step, and extremely effective system for teaching your child to read quickly, effectively, and fluently without watching television or sitting in front of the computer.
The program is instantly downloadable, and contain a total of 50 step-by-step, super simple, yet amazingly effective lessons that will show you how to easily teach your child to read spending just 10 to 15 minutes each day. Whether your child is 2 years old, 3 years old, 4 years old, in pre-school, kindergarten, or in early grade school, our system of learning to read will help your child become a fast and fluent reader'. 

We have started the programme this morning with both our 2 year old and our 4 year old. I will keep you updated with our progress and maybe even throw in a video or two (if I can work out how to do that). As I said already I am generally very excited about using this product and can't wait to see the results. Wish us luck x

' If You've Had Enough of All the Other Hyped "Quick Fix Programs" that Promise Easy Results - Programs that Sit Your Child In Front of the TV and Computer for Hours Upon Hours, That Have Failed You and Your Child in the Past, and You Are Ready to Teach Your Child to Read the RIGHT Way, Then This is the Honest and Truly Effective Learning to Read Solution You've Been Searching For'



Monday, 7 January 2013

Aims for 2013

Nothing Beats a Fountain Pen
Image by Kartikay Sahay

I've put aims for 2013 rather than resolutions because resolutions always seem to get broken, usually within the first month of the new year. So perhaps if I call them something different then I just might manage to stick to them.

So here are my AIMS for 2013...

  • Become a registered childminder (at last)
  • Get my business (caroboutique) really flying
  • Teach my son how to swim (could come in handy on the boat!)
  • Start yoga (again)
  • Get my son ready for starting school
  • Spend more quality time with my children

and that's it, for now, no doubt I will add stuff along the way. So what about you, what are your aims for 2013?

Friday, 4 January 2013

Crushed Dreams by NHS

For the last year now I have been training to become a Childminder. 

  • I have completed and payed for my First Aid for Childcarers Certificate.
  • I have attended my Pre-registration Briefing Meetings
  • I have completed my Understanding How To Set Up A Home Based Childcare Service Course and Childminder Registration Course.
  • I have attended and completed my Safeguarding Children Awareness Course.
  •  I have spent hours writing all of my policies & procedures that are required
  • I have completed my Enhanced CRB Check
  • My partner has completed his Enhanced CRB check
  • I have sent off my forms and documents to be checked and signed.
  •  I have read and re read the EYFS so I know what is expected of me.
  • I have completed all of my risk assessements for every room in my house including the garden.
  • I have brought fire guards, first aid boxes, fire blankets, non slip matting and safety glass film etc (all requirements by OFSTED)
  • I have spent time creating activity rotas, and printing & laminating posters for my setting. 
  • I have paid for my registration fee to OFSTED
...and today I found out that I won't be able to become a Childminder!!!
Words cannot express how devastated I feel.

All because my local Doctors surgery will not sign my Health Declaration Form unless I pay them £87!

It is only two pages and seven tick box questions and would take less than 5 minutes to fill out. It could easily be done within one appointment time. All it requires is a doctor to look at my medical forms which they have on the screen at every appointment and just put a tick in the relevant boxes.

I have two children and currently don’t work as I am at home looking after them. I cannot afford to pay out for childcare and becoming a childminder is the only way that I can work, earn some money and still look after my children.
I simply cannot afford to pay this fee however without this small section of the form filled out I will not be able to become a childminder.

I thought the idea was to help people get back into work not stop them!

Today is a bad day

Thursday, 22 November 2012


I appologise for the lack of posts these past few weeks but things are still a little manic here
I have now officially gone from being a 'Stay at Home Mum' to a 'Work at Home Mum'.
After much cursing and shouting at my computer I now have my very own business and brand new website and it went live today, yay!

This is a big moment for me as I have always worked but since having the children it just wasn't viable anymore, what with having to pay out for two childcare fees. If I went back to work we wouldn't be any better off and I wouldn't get to be with my children. It just wasn't going to work so I needed to find something new that I could do from home and so Caro Boutique was born...

I'd love it if you could check out my site and let me know what you think.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Shhh don't mention the nits!

So here I am, sat in my dressing gown, with horrible greasy oil all over my hair, a red face and a body that feels like I have fire all over it! 

Today is not a good day! Not only is it the first day of half term and it's pouring with rain but we have had yet another visit from the little hair bugs that were all not suppose to talk about. 

The kids hair is easy to treat, being so young their hair is still really fine, one wizz over with the comb and the one nit they have is gone. Mine however is another story. I think I've worked it out the kids are just the carriers. They innocently bring the little buggers home who then set up camp in my hair! My hair is thick, really thick a perfect home. 

Lice Picking
Photo by choonMing
I spent most of my evening last night bent over the bath trying to get a ridiculously small comb through what can only be described as a thick mass of tangled madness. That's not too bad I can deal with that and I can deal with the fact that I have to repeat the process in 7 days what I can't deal with is the allergic reaction that I have to the lice. My skin feels like it's on fire! My forehead is bright red and I want to scrape my skin off to stop it from itching.

Oh the joys of motherhood!

Thursday, 27 September 2012

What happens at 8pm?

So this weeks theme for the Gallery is 8pm. 
You see the light brown sofa in this picture, that is where I am at 8pm. Usually with a glass of vino in hand and more often than not a big bar of chocolate. 

This room is a child free zone, there are no plastic things that sing the same annoying song over and over again. There are no sticky finger marks all up the patio door. There are no bits of lego to step on in bare feet. This is an adult room, the only adult room in the house and I love it!

This is my little haven at the end of the day where I can sit for more than 5 minutes without having to get up and change a pooey nappy, get someone a drink or referee the latest fight that has broken out over some toy that neither of them have played with in months but now that the other one has it they simple must play with it.

This is 8pm and it's adult time!  

So what happens in your household at 8pm? To check out what happens in others go to Taras blog at Sticky Fingers.

Friday, 14 September 2012

'Quote of the Week' - School


For this weeks theme for 'Quote of the Week' I have chosen 'School'. 
I thought this was fairly relevant for most people with children at the moment. Whether it be baby ones starting pre schools, little ones going to real school, bigger ones going to big school or even bigger ones fleeing the nest and going to university. 

September can be quite a stressful time for all involved with preperation, worry about the unknown and organisation but it can also be a time when a lot of mothers breathe a sigh of relief. It's not that we don't love them it's just that no one can be a perfect parent 24/7 and sometimes a break is very welcome.

Feel free to join in with this weeks quote of the week, click here for how it works. Happy quote hunting.