Trainer Tuesday – walk to school in your trainers

Trainer TuesdayOur school does a lot to try and encourage children into walking to and from school. Their initiatives help cut down on traffic and bad driving around the school plus it promotes good habits of walking, fresh air and moments away from screens.

They have been holding Trainer Tuesdays for years and who doesn’t like to get their trainers on every now and then? If a trainer has been sized properly they can feel like slippers and I for one can get far too accustomed to my sports shoes and fall into the habit of wearing them all the time.

I also think owning a pair of trainers is a rite into The Land of Being Cool.

I wasn’t the mum who kitted her babies in incy-wincy  trainers – they kick them off all the time so I couldn’t see the point and until now the girls have used the trainers and shoes I have found on my shopping journeys, bought because they were on special offer, cute, pretty, fun. Whatever ticked the box on that particular shopping expedition.

So when SportsShoes got in touch and invited me to take a look at their collection I was really pleased to find some very girly trainers in there too, shoes I knew my two would love.

SportsShoes asked ‘The government promised to support the Olympic legacy and invest £100 million into primary school sports.* Do you feel that your children’s school has a suitable amount of outdoor space for sport and enough hours of PE teaching a week?

Well actually the Koalas have two PE sessions a week, one indoor and one outdoor, this is one more than Reception year. It also means double kit, plimsoles for indoors and trainers for outside along with tracksuits and jackets in case of it being cold.

The initial outlay at the beginning of the year is quite expensive and I have made sure that everything is properly named as I have seen them getting changed here at home where clothes end up all over the place, trouble is I forgot to name vests and we are already two down one month into term.

I am very happy with our schools view on PE, the classes they give and the areas we have available. The girls always chat happily about their physical education lessons. They sound like a lot of fun. I’m also really happy they do Trainer Tuesdays and the girls will come home with a sticker to show they walked to school too that day.

Have you noticed your primary school investing in sports?

Disclosure: We were sent two pairs of trainers shown in the photo by SportsShoes who have a fabulous collection of shoes for all ages.

LeapFrog LeapReader review

 

LeapReaderLeapFrog have been enjoying enormous success with their LeapPad and now the Ultra LeapPad, in fact I imagine that at least one of their toys has slipped into your child’s toy box over the years. Now it’s time to talk about the LeapReader which we have been sent to review.

You may have seen the LeapFrog Tag reading system, well this is the next step forward as not only can you read with the LeapReader but you can also learn to write.

The LeapReader is an instrument like a pen, a thick pen easily held in little hands. It has an on/off switch and once turned on you hear a signature tune and the interactive buttons light up.

The interactive buttons change colour to green, blue and orange depending on which activity you choose,

GREEN is for the audio books

BLUE is for music

ORANGE is for Trivia fun

LeapReader pen

By placing the tip of the pen on a book the LeapReader will read you a story, sound out words to you and spell them too depending which symbol you touch.

On pages in the books you can find extra symbols which offer games to play expanding on the reading content and adding a fun activity to do along your way.

The LeapReader is split into varying levels

Getting ready to read – great for preschoolers

Early Reading – perfect for reception

Read & Write – excellent for Year One and Two

Read on your own – perfect for year 1 & 2

Learn through Reading –  a great way of expanding your child’s knowledge

so it becomes a toy that grows with your child’s development. As you can see the scheme has been colour coded making it easy to see which material is available in each level.

The levels cover the basics of letters and sounds and preschool skills through to science, geography, creativity and puzzles.

What do we think?

From the moment the girls spotted the ‘new toy’ they wanted to play and as it’s a sharing toy there was a lot of arguing as they both wanted to try it out. After some discussion they managed to sit together and read the book Monsters University together.

Luckily the Talking Words Factory which encourages children to read and write short and long vowels, consonant blend and to write words, also comes with a pack of learning paper which you apply to the page in order to follow the exercises so I am able to share this between them.

LeapReader writing

Do I think you need a pen each?

Not necessarily, if your children are able to share – which is an excellent skill to learn, one LeapReader will do.

I’m happy to tell all parents that the LeapReader also has a headphone jack.

One thing to keep in mind is this isn’t a toy that they will learn to use by themselves immediately and will need some parental interaction in the initial stages but I think as they get the hang of it they will need less attention
and be able to use on their own

The LeapReader RRP is £39.99 available from major stores

For another mum’s view on the LeapReader visit Emma from Mummy, mummy, MUM!

Disclosure: We were sent a LeapReader to review for the purpose of this post, all opinions are my own.

Star of the Day – Bessie

I spoke very briefly of the start of the school year and how the girls were finding Year One and I’m pleased to announce that as each day passes the girls are relaxing more and beginning to enjoy the new school year. This was even more evident on Wednesday when I stood in the school playground at 3.15pm waiting to collect them.

I understand, after conferring with the other school mums, that each child is responsible for their own book bag, this also means putting things in and taking things out. I noticed this after Bessie had her trainers in her bag for three days on the go, I added a quick note in her contact book ‘Please could you check that Bessie removes her trainers from the book bag and puts them in the PE bag? Thank you’

It worked, that very evening the trainers had finally found their way into the PE bag yay!

Being responsible of one’s book bag is a big thing seeing as Mummy has always done it for them in Reception and my Bessie has been one of the last children out of the class at 3.15 most days till now as she gathers all her belongings before exiting but on Wednesday my Bessie was an unheard of third in the queue!

A beaming smile on her face as she found me amongst all the parents she waited her turn hopping from one foot to the other. finally released she ran towards me grinning and squealing “I am Star of the Day today mummy.”

star of the day

‘Well done Bessie, what was that for?’ I asked

‘For writing very well.’

I could feel how proud she was, it was oozing from every square millimetre of her. She showed me her certificate and her sticker on her cardigan and I praised her loudly, hugging her and sharing her delight.

Alice arrived to join us a little downcast as she hadn’t been chosen and I reminded her that lots of other children hadn’t been awarded with a star yet and there was plenty of time to keep trying her best

So please allow me to enjoy a proud mummy moment with you all and share with you a conversation with the girls last night as they were discussing the Star of the Day award.

Bessie: What did I have for breakfast this morning mummy?

Me: We had toast and jam this morning as we had run out of milk remember?

Bessie: I’d like toast and jam tomorrow morning please, then I might get Star of the Day again, Alice you should too then you might get one too.’

Bless her heart, I had to explain it doesn’t quite work like that but I was really touched at her thought process as she tried to figure out why she had been chosen.

In other news, so far so good with the after school activities.

We are on Green level reading books and whizzing through one book each per evening  – about 24 pages.

And last night for the first time I picked up a BIG girl’s book The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton and read chapter one to them. They’re used to looking at the pictures whilst I read so this was the first time they had to conjure up the picture in their heads, they loved it and it’ll be on with Chapter 2 tonight.

End of reception year – school report

going to school‘We break up, we break down, we don’t care if the school falls down …’ do kids still sing that song these days? It was hollered at the top of our voices as we left the school building for the final time in the school year but maybe it’s more of a senior school thing to do?

We break up on Wednesday and I can say that the twins have thoroughly enjoyed their first year at school, they settled in easily and the decision to keep them together has worked wonders, we were also allowed to mention a few friends names to add to the same class and as they had such a great little group started at pre-school the mums decided to request to continue these little friendships and we have watched from the sidelines as the friendships grew stronger and bonds were made.

I am stunned at how much they have learnt this past year, their reading is amazing and the teacher mentioned that the class is above average and has gelled really well at the last parent’s evening.

This term started with each child writing something they’d like to work towards this term, Alice said she’d like to swim without armbands

alice star wish

Bessie said she’d like to ride her bike without stabilisers

bessies' star wish

For the record they are still both ‘work in progress.’

This caught my eye in the class – the hot seat.

Bessie tells me that when you sit in the hot seat you pretend you are a character from the book the class is reading, when it was her turn she had to pretend to be a duck and had to quack a lot. Alice had to pretend to be a cow when it was her turn.

hot seat

We were also told at half term that term 6 would be focusing on transport, they covered all sorts of transport including packing suitcases for holidays and they also covered rockets and planets too.

planets

 

The water  transport also extended to explor ‘commotion in the ocean’

ocean art work

When we pick them up from class we can see their little outside play area and they have planted flowers, potatoes and made bird seed feeders too. I thought Superworm came into discussion during talks about that but on asking the girls I discover that Superworm saves the world!

superworm

 

The twins loved their teacher and their teaching assistant; they have blossomed under their instruction this first year and it will be sad to have to move on but it’s been confirmed we’re moving out of Badgers and into Koalas.

The school reports tell of two happy, smiley girls that socialise well and get on with everyone. They listen, they learn and are a great part of the class. We are over the moon with that and long may it continue!

As for homework over the holidays, practise number bonds and reading and that’s about it, let them relax and enjoy themselves, the beauty of having girls is they like to write, they love to read and they enjoy counting and number games so it really shouldn’t be too hard for us.

Sports day: no winners, no losers

sports day

 

We had our first sports day last week and were invited along to the school to watch from the side lines as the 4 reception classes were split into five groups to play the games that had been set out for them.

Each singular group was then split into four teams of 5 or 6 children who would then ‘compete’ against each other to finish their challenge.

I can remember my first sports day clearly as mum took the day off to come and watch me and I was so pleased to see her there I spent half my race searching the faces in the crowds to spot her rather than running to the end as fast as I could. Needless to say I didn’t bring home any prizes and I remember mum telling me, ‘You shouldn’t be watching me you should be running fast to the finish line so you can collect a prize!’

relay game sports day

 

Lesson learnt and one I passed onto the twins on the run up to their special day.

Some friends of ours spent one Sunday afternoon tracing start and finish lines on the beach and ‘training’ them to wait for starters orders and run as fast as they could to the finish line. I re-told my story and warned the girls not to look for mummy and daddy until they had passed the finish line.

As daddy and I found our places to watch the various races going on we quickly saw there was no competition at all, the teams played their games and then sat down at the end. No winners declared from each game and no losers either.

All of the children enjoyed it and it was a pleasure to watch them, the school had taken extra care to make sure the children’s water bottles were filled up and reminded the students to drink regularly after each game.

I had a great morning but I came away wondering why no competition? Why no medals, no first, second and third places?

Who remembers Mutley the dog from Wacky Races and his eternal search for a medal? Everyone loves a medal, don’t they?

mutley wins a medal

No parents races either :( No mum’s egg and spoon. No Dad’s running race. I always associated the parents participation in sports day as part of the fun for the children but maybe schools are struggling to find mums and dads willing to join in these days?

I understand the children small and have a long time ahead to learn but are we really so politically correct now that we don’t compete to save some poor child’s unhappiness at not winning a medal? Can’t we give out medals for 1st, 2nd and 3rd and then maybe stickers to all participants?

Isn’t losing one of life’s great lessons? Isn’t praising your friend, colleague or competitor their excellence on winning part of losing gracefully?

hoop game sports day

 

I can’t help but think that if Great Britain wants to bring up sporting champions then we have to start young and the school’s sports day is an excellent place to start.

Maybe the winning and losing starts next year in Year One, I’m new to this so will have to wait and see but I can’t help feeling it wouldn’t hurt for them to learn this important rule in life.

What do you think? should we protect our kids from the pain of losing or teach them early on so they get used to it?

I’m linking this post up to the Sainsbury 2013 School Games who are on the lookout for Sports Day posts

And here is some more interesting views across the board on Sports Day

Cheetahs in my shoes

Katy Hill Blog

Cakes Photos Life