create your own happy book

 

One compliment can keep me going for a whole month. — Mark Twain (Author)

Compliments always make me feel a bit out of my comfort zone – someone has said something nice about me that I wasn’t expecting and although it makes me squirm a little, it’s in a good way. I am chuffed that person took the time to share that thought with me.

Would you agree with that statement? How do you feel when you are on the receiving end of a compliment?

I also like to give compliments especially to my friends and family or my work colleagues. I think a compliment can really help you, it’s like a turbo boost to your morale and on a bad day it can be all you need to get you through.

YOU, dear reader, are the kindest, nicest person I could wish to have here on my little old blog, thank you for passing by. — Marianne Weekes

Why are compliments good for us?

There have been studies into the effect of giving and receiving compliments. Researchers have found that to the brain, receiving a compliment is as much as a social reward as being given money.

In fact, focusing on and noticing the good qualities in the world around us gives our moods a boost all by itself.

create your own happy book

Create your own happy

Do you know where I found that information? In an awesome book called Create your own happy. Written by Penny Alexander and Becky Goddard-Hill and Illustrated by Clare Forrest.

The book has been written for children aged 7 – 11 and is full of activities that help them to learn to be happy no matter what is going on around you. They teach you to be resilient, positive and optimistic, three qualities that are sure to help everyone in life.

The activities are designed to boost happiness and emotional wellbeing with information on why each activity is worthwhile and how it can help change your mood.

The book is split into three parts, Part One is about making yourself happy, Part Two is about making others happy – like giving out compliments and Part Three is about making a happier world which would benefit us all.

Create your own happy teaches kids that they are in control of a huge part of their own happiness, it also reminds them that if they are happy then it’s so much easier to make other people happy.

create your own happy book

Happiness fact

Did you know that happiness is made up of?

50% genes and upbringing
10% life circumstances beyond you, (money, where you live)
40% of things you can control yourself (attitude, relationships, hobbies and activities)

The book has a wonderful collection of quotes that are inspiring and great reminders of what is important in life like this one

Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, have enough. — Oprah Winfrey (Actress and TV show host)

create your own happy book

Find Create Your Own Happy on social media

Instagram  https://www.instagram.com/cyohappy/  and we use #cyohappy

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/CYOHappy/

Twitter https://twitter.com/CYOHappy #cyoHappy

Where to buy Create Your Own Happy

Here is  the link to Amazon  https://amzn.to/2NEeljs

Create Your Own Happy website

Create Your Own Happy

Find out what others think by following the Blogger book tour

Create your own happy blogger trail

www.herecomethegirlsblog.com     Create Your Own Happy Jar 6/9

www.diaryofthedad.co.uk     Create a Laughter Kit         7/9

www.emmaand3.com   Be a Happiness Philosopher    8/9

www.marisworld.co.uk   Give Compliments   9/9

www.goingonanadventure.co.uk  Learn to relax 10/9

www.growingfamily.co.uk  Create New Life  with  Seed Bombs 11/9

www.theanamumdiary.co.uk Use Music to change your mood 12/9

www.amummytoo.  Learn about another culture 13/9

www.muminthemadhouse.com  Making a calm down jar     14/9

www.science-sparks.com  Invent a solution   15/9

www.pennyreads.co.uk   Saying thank you 16/9

www.boorooandtiggertoo.com     Snail Mail 17/9

www.rainydaymum.co.uk  Reduce,  Reuse, Recycle 18/9

www.redtedart.com   Upcycling!   19/9

Disclosure: We were sent a copy of the book for the purpose of this post, all opinions are our own.

school uniform

With 6 years of school uniform now under our belt and 1 year working as a TA in our local primary school, I feel I can talk quite confidently about school lost property. I have been rifling through the lost property bins at school since they started. In Reception, all manner of their clothes and shoes went missing on a very regular basis and as the twins have moved up the school they have continued to forget cardigans on the back of chairs, misplace PE kits when getting changed in class, and one of them even managed to lose one trainer for about six months before it miraculously turned up!

First Day of school year 3

As a TA in Year 4, I was met daily by the lost property bin as it stood outside our classroom. It was overflowing all year around. There were shoes, plimsoles, COATS, ties and an ongoing stream of cardigans and jumpers. I decided to take action, being fully aware as a mother how frustrating it is to continually lose items. On one Open Classroom day just before Easter I asked for the four lost property bins to be brought into the hall and with the help of some of our wonderful students, we laid out all of the items on long tables and invited the parents to come and check for their lost clothes.

We had racks of coats, piles of swimming gear, even a towel! I can’t put a number on the amount of overflowing odd gloves and hats that there were.

school year 4

The most frustrating thing is, a good part of the lost property was NEW.

Fortunately, a fraction of the various garments had been labelled. The names were recognisable and even if we didn’t know the class, our lovely receptionist was able to direct us to the correct owner.

Label your school uniform

school uniform labels

That is the secret to being reunited with your school uniform and not having to go to the shops and pay out lots of money to replace it. Label your school uniform.

You have no idea how much lost property has no name on it!

It is impossible to get a garment back to its correct owner if there is no name inside.

There are many companies out there who produce labelling kits and Korbond has a great TAGIT range. They have iron-on labels for clothes that are washable and tumble dryer safe. They have stick-on labels for shoes that are heat resistant and durable and they have dishwasher safe labels for lunch boxes and water bottles. They also produce a handy laundry marker which has been developed to withstand continuous washing and is perfect for uniform and PE kits.

So, please – on behalf of the lost property bins up and down the country – label your child’s uniform before school starts!

Korbond has a wonderful #backtoschool competition on their Facebook page to win a family ticket for Diggerland UK, pop over and try your luck for a great family day out.

Disclosure: We were sent the TAGIT range for the purpose of this post.

11 + exam

Summer 2018 has been a fantastic school holiday so far but a toughie at the same time. The 11+ exam is set for our first week back to school and the girls decided that they want to have a go so, our summer has been a mixture of fun activities mixed with a lot of studying.

We’ve been going over English and maths, we’ve checked their comprehension skills and we’re taking a look at verbal and non-verbal reasoning, two areas that aren’t covered at school as they’re not part of the national curriculum.

We’ve had tears and tantrums along the way but I’ve got to hand it to them as they apply themselves and are very upset when they don’t get top marks. They have the school they want in mind and are afraid they might not get in. I can’t take the exam for them but I can help them as much as possible to try and make their dream come true.

Husband and I took the decision to not tutor the girls. The cost was a huge part of our choice along with the fact that we didn’t want to push them into doing something that was out of their reach. I couldn’t think of anything worse than gaining a place in a school only to find them struggling to keep up with the class. I certainly don’t want to set them up for failure but I do want the very best for them.

I bought a set of Bond books from Amazon aged 9 – 10. The girls were doing very well and getting 80% and over which was very encouraging. The advice at the back of the book is to go up to the next level if they are getting 80% +. So I did.

Uh-oh. I didn’t know that between the two levels there was such an enormous gap and the girls were coming across work they haven’t even covered yet at school. After a quick online discussion a friend, who is also a tutor, informed me that that level was intended for children in Year 6 who take the exam in January and therefore are slightly ahead. With this knowledge, we started to look at the girls scores in a different light and saw that actually, they were doing well. My friend also advised me to concentrate on the verbal and non verbal reasoning with continued exercise in English and Maths.

Fingers crossed. The twins will sit their exam on 6th September. If they don’t get it, it’s not the end of the world, there are plenty of other great schools out there but for the moment, we’re going for the dream.

Good luck to anyone else who’s going for it.

Numbalee

Does the thought of helping your child master maths make you groan with despair? I feel your pain. I can show the twins spellings, comprehensions and English tests until my heart’s content but try anything maths related and it’ll end in tears if I’m not careful. When I was asked if we’d like to review the new fun maths game Numbalee, I jumped at the chance with every hope that it would be fun and the girls would become more confident in their maths.

Numbalee is a neatly packaged game in a zip bag containing 150 number tiles, two 12-sided number dice, one maths symbol dice and five symbol discs alongside an instruction booklet for 12  family games.

The game is aimed at players aged 6+ (perfect for Key Stage 1 and 2) and can be played from 1 – 8 players as there are a range of games to play solo for practice or competitively in a group. Players are encouraged to talk through the sums they are making to improve their understanding and their confidence.

Each of the games has been designed to cater for a wide range of abilities and specifically to improve skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.

The game was initially created by Oliver Leck to help a friend’s daughter who was struggling with maths in school. He spotted that there weren’t any fun maths games on the market and together with his father, a teacher, he developed the game with primary school children in mind.

What’s the verdict?

With my teaching assistant hat on I can say this game is an excellent resource for practising the essential maths skills needed in everyday life. It also makes my afternoon interventions more exciting, the children look forward to playing a game with me rather than ‘doing maths’.

I also gave Numbalee to a few members of my school Blog Club to get some feedback and where they (Year 5 and 6) enjoyed the game and played happily for an hour, they said it wasn’t for them. I asked them why and they said it was ‘too easy’ for them.

Would you recommend it to anyone else? I asked. ‘Yes, for the younger students. It would be perfect for them.’ came my reply.

Numbalee is now available online (RRP £19.99) at www.numbalee.com as well as on Amazon.

A dozen roses in watercolour markers and black pen

I got a B in my O Level art, I painted a magpie in a bird’s nest, I think the prompt I chose was ‘an intruder’ and I remember being mightily pleased with my efforts. I often wish I had taken art further but truth be known, at 17 I didn’t have a clue about what I wanted to do.

Although being creative has never left me, I never really settled down to paint or draw again and always found myself saying, ‘Im no good at art.’ This gave me the perfect excuse to not even try. Plus it seemed, everyone was so much better at it than me, I would just ridicule myself if I tried, I would be uncovered as a dud artist the minute I put pencil to paper.

For years, my desire to draw and paint was squashed and forgotten, stuffed in an unused filing cabinet in the recesses of my mind.

Then a couple of Christmases ago I was given an adult colouring book. I was delighted and treated myself to a lovely set of pencils with a drawstring holder to keep them in. I spent time filling in the intricate designs and confess to still having lots of pages to complete! I quickly realised that I loved colouring in but, halfway through the picture I was getting bored with the repetition and blankness of mind. Although great for thinking time, the only creativity I was getting was choosing colours or blending them to my own choice.

I needed something more.

The following year I bought a copy of The Year Of The Doodle… 365 pages with a daily prompt to doodle. I didn’t get very far. Something was missing and I wasn’t getting much enjoyment from the book.

draw every day draw every way

Whilst surfing the internet for the umpteenth time towards the end of last year in search of novelty stocking fillers, I came across an intriguing book called Draw Every Day Draw Every Way. A book that focused monthly on different areas and gave daily prompts for pictures to draw. What’s more, each month uses different materials so you get to use a lot of different techniques and discover your own art.

I bought two copies, Alice said she didn’t want one, and Bessie and I sat down to have a go at the first section in the book – a month of nature.

To start us off I find some images online and screenshot them to use as a reference for shape and colours. By the time we were halfway through the chapter Alice asked if she could have a book too seeing how much we enjoyed the process.

dragonflies - Bessie

It hasn’t been plain sailing, I have had a couple of prompts I really disliked and Bessie cried a bit over ‘A dozen roses’ … “A dozen?” she yelled at me making clear they were way too many. I told her to just do one and cross out the prompt which she did and she was happier with that, her confidence restored until next time.

I think we may have found something good here, I see others showcasing their work on Instagram and we take a look at them for inspiration too @Joglassjo for example has shown us how to add fabulous backgrounds to our images. Even though we don’t draw every day, this book with its lovely prompts have got us drawing more often and trying things we would never have thought of, like a dozen roses or one…

Watch out for our work on our Instagram channel too.

draw every day draw every way