Role play and learning curves

The Gallery time again and I was lucky to meet the lovely Tara in person last week when I took part in a video training session….be warned everyone – 30 bloggers let loose with video cameras can only mean bedlam in the blogosphere :D

Education is our prompt and I’ll be honest, I opened a can of Numberetti which the girls are adoring right now. I even used supermacro to make out I knew what I was doing and .. it came out black and white? Eh? I have no idea what I did wrong but it was back to the drawing board for me and luckily the girls got out all the little figures from the Happyland box and I could hear them playing….

‘Oh, My fall over!’

‘Don’t worry, poor little boy.’

‘Let’s play in the garden’

‘OK, put my boots on.’

‘No, put my boots on.’

‘No, my put my boots on!’    and so on

Introducing the cast


It’s lovely to sit back and watch them create their stories and watch them learn how to converse and act in the social world.

'Let's go and play in the garden Upsy Daisy' 'Ok Iggle Piggle, let's go'


and the next thing I knew they both had their wellie boots on over their pyjamas and had found the keys for the back door into the garden, only problem it wasn’t 7am yet!!!

Talking of education, here’s what I have learnt so far about using a video camera for blogging and give you my take on Why I Blog! Enjoy and please leave a comment – they make my day :)

World Book Day 2011

So how did your World Book Day day go?

I received a book ‘Toast’ by Nigel Slater, the story of a boy’s hunger to read. I find it really something special that 1,000,000 books have been printed and distributed randomly with the intent of encouraging reading. What with news that we’re losing our library’s thanks to cutbacks this at least restores some faith in the countries education.

I got my book from Northern Blokes Ramblings who incidentally I have added to my blog roll so I hope you’ll pop over and have a look. I was invited to leave a comment – what was my favourite toast topping ? Well it couldn’t be anything else than Mature Cheddar could it? Melted and ready for the evenings viewing once the girls are in bed, I couldn’t have a Sunday evening without it!

What a brilliant idea to share books. In our family it’s quite the norm to pass a book around sayign ‘Oh, you’ll love this one!’ in fact I have a pile of unread books from various generous family members that I’m just waiting for time to read them as I know they’ll be brilliant but the beauty of this copy is I register it at World Book Night and once read I pass it on. that person in turn will register receiving it and passing it on after. How fabulous, like an upmarket and friendly chain mail, well maybe there aren’t any friendly chain mails but a wonderful initiaive that I am proud to be part of.

Schools across the country have been preparing and Dotterel has a writing competition going for kids, so if your child would like to try their hand at writing something why not prompt in this direction? You never know you may have the next J.K. Rowling on your hadns and not know it!

Take some time out tomorrow and treat yourself to a read, lose yourself in the web of a story and enlighten your brain to some well deserved feed.

Stupid is as stupid does

How does the look and feel of that word make you feel?

As I sat down to lunch with the girls, they were happily eating their pasta, Bessie chasing hers around the plate muttering ‘Come here!’ under her breath as she hasn’t quite mastered the prodding action of her fork, Alice looked at me directly, a beautiful sunny smile on her face and said ‘I’m stupid mummy.’

I was horrified. I have NEVER referred to either of them as stupid before and I immediately set to with ‘No Alice, you’re not stupid? to which her reply was again ‘I’m stupid mummy’ angelic smile on her face. Needless to say Bessie saw all the commotion, left chasing her pasta for a minute and tried the word for herself ‘My stupid too!’ she piped up enormous grin stretching from ear to ear.

It was clear they had a new word to try out and try it they did but once the novelty had died down they forgot about it..until next time that is.

I can’t remember ever using that word in front of them in such a context, ie calling someone stupid, not even my other half when he clearly has been… I only do that when they are in bed :) So I imagine they picked it up playing at one of the toddler groups we go to, where they have loads of fun and I wouldn’t dream of not taking them for such an incidence but it does go to show that by mixing with other children, some of whom have older brothers or sisters, some of whom have started pre-school we are opening ourselves up for a whole new vocabulary here. Don’t get me wrong, contrary to popular belief I am not an angel and every now and then I have been known to come out with some unsavoury words myself and I cross all fingers on both hands, eyes pleading the clouds and pray the girls didn’t catch the word. It does happen and I immediately regret my slip of good-mummyness but like it or not we shall be mixing with loads of new children as of September at pre-school and our lives are going to be filled with a whole new load of experiences as we follow our ‘babies’ on their new path.

It is quite worrying, they are good girls. They aren’t aggressive and they’re bound to come across some aggressive behaviour at school. They are well-behaved, and they’re bound to come across bad manners, answering back, general misbehaviour too which will make our parenting all the more challenging I can only imagine. I don’t think it’s gender related and I don’t believe it’s ‘class’ related either as much as I hate to use that word in such a context but sadly it exists. There is a huge part of my heart that would like to keep them close and ‘safe’ from the bad society but that is not conducive to growing up and learning to accept others, learning to live with others and interact with them.

I was blessed when bringing my older two up as we lived in a small community, everyone knew everyone, there was the ‘rule’ of the village and we all looked out for each other and kept an eye on all the kids as a whole. It was a good system and I can see quite clearly via Facebook that most of the then children are still all friends today but that clearly won’t work here in the UK. I realise I’m going to have to play this one – one day at a time and trust my girls to recognise good from bad as they start their journey through life.

How did you survive or how are you coping now?

Photo credit – Matze_ott

We are Talking Tots!

Fun, fun, fun has been had in our household today as we joined in our first ever Talking Tots session over in Istead Rise.

Seeing as the girls are getting more and more curious the time has come to start occupying their time with tasks that help them learn about the world around them. With twins that is difficult and I can’t keep picking up pieces of puzzle from the lounge floor forever so on receiving an email sent via Bounty, my attention was sparked.

An interactive class to boost children’s communication and social skills including concentration techniques – definitely need some of that! Social skills, pre literacy skills, communication AND more importantly sharing and taking turns – oh we soooo haven’t got that yet!

So off we set arriving early for our 9.45am class and three boxes of toys laid out on the floor greeted us, the girls made a beeline for them whilst I, more politely, introduced myself and them to the other mums. Thank goodness Claire gave all the children sticky labels with their names on as I am terrible remembering other people’s names first off.

We sat on colourful carpet circles, Alice and Bessie kept changing their minds as to which one to sit on and class started. Various activities were involved, each one using a colourful prop – the first a large yellow ball where the girls had to listen to the order ‘Bessie, roll the ball to Pippa’, and with a little encouragement from mummy we managed and by the third time both girls were getting it, only then they got bored and got up to run around everyone in a circle squealing in glee.

Claire very professionally stepped in and introduced the next game which kept their attention again for as long as they needed to understand (sometimes not) and then whizz, they were off again running around the circle of mums and children much to their delight and my distress. They even cottoned on to run around me at more than arms length so as not to get caught.

We sang songs and todays story was ‘Where’s Spot?’ one of the girls favourites but they kept leaving their ‘seats’ to go and open the flaps to see where Spot was interrupting yet again the flow of the story and overall class.

I didn’t know if maybe my girls were a little too unruly for this class as it was evident their concentration span was about the same as a gnats but Claire assured me that no child is expected to follow the entire class first off.

She also explained that Talking Tots is structured over 3 levels, Sprites for 12 months +, Sprinters 2 years + (my two!) and Sparklers for 3 years +. She said what an amazing difference parents could see after 5 or 6 lessons! Have a look at this video for an idea of what to expect.

If I think back to bringing my Tommy up, he was an intelligent, curious child but lacked the self restraint to sit, look and listen. He was so easily distracted and this did lead to problems in class later on as he struggled to concentrate on the lessons. So I would like to prevent this with the girls and make sure they have as good as opportunity at school.

The best thing of all here is siblings go free, so twin mums like myself who falter over choosing activities can now take both twins to a weekly session for £5!

If you think you could be interested in a class, have a look at Talking Tots website and find out where your closest is. If you need a little more reading to convince you read their blog which is full of information too. You’ll see they’ve been nominated for the mumpreneur award so they must be doing something right.