Happy Halloween!

Daniel & Joshua decided on fairly easy costumes this year (one year we'll do homemade family outfits...) D wore his skeleton pyjamas and a 50p mask from Tesco, J wanted to be s pirate so we recycled a t-shirt from 2013 and grabbed a hat from the toy box. Armed with pumpkin buckets they were ready to. I borrowed a vampire outfit from a friend (thanks love!) & managed some fairly impressive eye make up, though I didn't take a picture so did t even happen? I made Colin up to look like my victim after he spent an hour trying to put contacts in! Joshua was so excited to "trickle treat" but we only found a few houses with pumpkins outside so we stopped for a sneaky sweetie break at Nanny's before going to two parties. The boys aren't accustomed to late nights so we were back home and in bed, eating sweets, by 10pm. Perfect! 


Books on my TBR. November 2015.

Excited to get some serious reading done this month. Trying to branch into a variety of age ranges and genres, and apparently loving the colour blue!


Daniel's Favourites. October 2015.

We are BIG on books in our house. I have read to the boys since they were newborns, and they are constantly bringing me books to curl on on my lap and listen to. I am an avid reader, and understand the importance of reading to children. It's such a big part of our everyday, it makes sense to incorporate it into our blog too. I thought it would be fun to explore books from another angle with Daniel, who is 5 and a half, by doing book reviews with him. I asked him to choose five of his favourite books, and tell me what he liked about each one. 
Daniel thinks: “I like it because it’s a finding book and I like finding things.”
Mama thinks: "Daniel can spend a long time independently searching for Wally and getting super excited when he does, perfect for when I need to get things done!"

A Squash and A Squeeze by Julia Donaldon, illustrated by Axel Scheffler
Daniel thinks: “I like it because the old man tells the old lady to take all the animals in and at the end she thinks her house is enormous. It is very funny!”
Mama thinks: "I have such a soft spot for Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, even I giggle my way through this story!"
Daniel thinks: “I like Spiderman because it’s got lots of stories in and it’s super cool.”
Mama thinks: "This is a graphic novel with lots of small writing, a little too tricky for Daniel to understand but he is often looking at the pictures."
Daniel thinks: “I like it because Norman finds a doughnut shell and it’s really funny!”
Mama thinks: "Both the boys love this story and think it's hilarious!"
Daniel thinks: “I like this dinosaur book because it has got puzzles in and it tells you the dinosaur names.”
Mama thinks: "I'm always a fan of the Usborne books, this one has a puzzle on every page showing where the dinosaurs lived, and a breakdown of the dinosaurs with their names, which is pretty interesting. The jigsaws are about 20 pieces, perfect for D to do by himself."

I have a post full of my favourites coming up next week. This post contains affiliate links to Amazon. What books have YOU been reading this month?



The One with the Fire Engines.

Today our local fire station had an open day, with a whole bunch of emergency vehicles that we were allowed to climb on and ask questions about. Joshua insisted I went on ever one with him, often complete with helmet. Daniel safely strapped himself into every vehicle and refused to talk to anyone else. I found it all very interesting. The pictures are pretty poor because we used Daniel's camera, my phone was out of charge after spending all morning reconfiguring it and deleting a whole load of photos. But, memories, right.


The Letter S.

Joshua started Nursery school in September, and last week I had his first Parent Consultation. Overall, he's settled well but doesn't listen to instructions particularly well, and the word stubborn may have been used once or twice. Still praying it's just a season. Anyway, his targets included learning the symbols for letters and numbers, so I decided to start introducing them at home. Knowing a little about the primary curriculum, and having a phonics seminar last week, I know the best place to start is with the letters SATPIN, so we dived straight in with S.

We made these paper plate snakes. We didn't have bubble wrap to hand, so we used cotton buds to paint the scales instead. This was great for fine motor skills too, holding the tiny handle and carefully placing dots.


I'm a big fan of these simple alphabet colouring pages. We'll be using them all week alongside these blank block letters, and probably make an alphabet art mural on the boys' bedroom wall.

Daniel and I particularly enjoyed this detailed colouring page, and discussing all the things we found beginning with S. Joshua had lost interest by then though.

We read A Squash and A Squeeze by Julia Donaldson and Norman the Slug with a Silly Shell by Sue Hendra, I got Joshua to spot the S's as we read and Daniel kept count for us (practising his numbers to 100, win win!)



The Natural History Museum.

Ventured to the Natural History Museum with Grandad & my cousin Caitlin today. Primarily to see the dinosaurs, though the queue was so long we didn't even attempt it, the boys seemed to enjoy plodding round looking at the various animals and skeletons on offer. Honestly, I thought it would have been a bit more child friendly, but it was incredibly busy which meant it was hard to see most things. Definitely worthwhile if you love close by, but probably not worth the £50 train fees, especially as Joshua was petrified of the underground! Highlights did include watching my Dad teach Daniel about various exhibitions & pretending to get eaten by a hippopotamus!