Monday, 31 August 2015

The Final Countdown

Great Back To School Traditions     

The Final Countdown

I can't believe the school holidays are nearly over. When we broke up from school seven weeks seemed like ages but by this time next week I will have finished my first day in Year 3 and Lottie will be getting ready to start school. 

Despite having no car for the first two weeks of the holidays, after breaking down on the way to Oxford, the time has gone really quickly. On the very first day we decorated some boxes, one for at home and one for out and about, and all put ideas inside them of things to do so if we dared to announce we were bored we could pull something out to get on with (my Mum insists on telling us that her Mum always said 'Only boring people get bored- so Lottie has taken to announcing 'I'm boring!') and yet despite having loads of ideas we have hardly pulled any out to use, except baking and a cinema afternoon, as we have managed to fill the time with lots of other activities as well as just enjoying being at home with our toys and friends. 

We won tickets to SportFest (AMAZING- and well worth a post to itself!) spent two weeks in France, saw plenty of friends- although there is still a few more we would really like to catch up with, did lots of arts and crafts, visited the local museum, saw some theatre at the local park, celebrated Lottie's birthday, entered a few competitions, read lots of books- completing the library reading challenge, watched a couple of films, spent lots of time outside and are now getting excited for Lottie's party which is coming up next week. 

I have a feeling this last week will fly past- sadly we are now doing the final preparations for returning to school, I have got new school shoes and Lottie has her very first pair, we have got all her school uniform and I have been putting off trying mine back on which I now have to do first thing tomorrow as Mum thinks I have grown again! We have a friend coming to play tomorrow and it's off to the dentist-yuk. 

On Wednesday Lottie's friend is coming to play and his Mum will be helping ours to get ready for the big Frozen disco party- there are lots of books to wrap and sweets to put in bags as Mum doesn't like party bag toys so each child is getting a book, piece of cake and some sweets but she always forgets how long it takes to wrap 30+ books! We also have to set up pass the parcel, draw an Olaf to 'pin the nose' on and Lottie and I want to make some snowflake decorations so I think we will be fairly busy with this.That just leaves a couple more days before it all starts again. 

I will be sad to be back at school and having to rush out the door in the morning. Mum will start rushing around and we won't get to stay up as late at night and see as much of Dad, there will be homework to do, school reading every night and I will have to start music practice again properly but I am still looking forward to going back to school. I want to see my friends and start back at football. I am also starting playing table tennis at school this year and am finally going to be starting hockey outside of school, which I can't wait for. I am looking forward to my little sister starting school too, although she is only just 4 and is a bit scared.

We will have to make sure we really enjoy this last week... it's not long until half term is it?!


Saturday, 15 August 2015

Review of Opal Plumstead

Review of ‘Opal Plumstead’ By Jacqueline Wilson

Guest Review by Amie age 10

We were recently offered the chance to review Opal Plumstead, Jacqueline Wilson’s 100th book and immediately thought of our friend Amie, who is a huge fan. She jumped at the chance to read it and share her thoughts with us.

Amie really enjoyed the book, which is set during World War One and tells the story of Opal’s family life. Opal comes from a modest background but when it looks like her father’s book is going to be published the family are delighted to think they might soon have some more money. They start to spend more than they should and then when the publication of the book falls through, rather than tell his family her Father keeps up the pretence, stealing from his work to fund their spending. Inevitably he gets caught and ends up being put into prison. Opal then has to find work to help support the family and her story continues from there.

Amie says she loved the fact that there are lots of twists and turns along the way, which kept you interested in what was coming next. She really enjoyed learning about the time the book was set in and the events that surrounded this time, particularly the suffragette movement which features in the book. She also liked the fact that Opal wrote letters to her Father without her Mother knowing. Overall Amie really enjoyed this book giving it a score of 5/5 and would recommend it to children age 9-14.

A quick note from Luke’s Mum….

Opal Plumstead is a good read with an interesting story line and it will keep Jacqueline Wilson fans well entertained for a fair while.

From an adult point of view I feel this book covers some quite grown up issues so would personally recommend it for the older group within Amie’s recommended age group or for more mature children within the younger side of it.

Friday, 7 August 2015

A chance to win tickets to see Hetty Feather!

Those of you who have been following the blog will know I am really excited to have the chance to go and see Hetty Feather, based on the original book by Jacqueline Wilson, at the Duke of York's Theatre in London and I am thrilled to now be able to offer one of our readers the chance to win a family ticket (for four people) to see the 11am showing on either the 5th or 6th September (subject to availability)

Don't miss out on your chance to see this fantastic show!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Major Fun from Magformers!

At the start of the school holidays we were lucky enough to be sent a Magformers WOW set to have a play with and have been having loads of fun making lots of different models.

agfomers sets are super powerful magnetic toys which allow you to create just about anything from within your imagination. Whichever way you place the magnets they connect together so there is always something to build. There is also a fantastic set of design instruction cards ranging from very simple to more complicated to get you started. You build the 2D shape shown on the card and then are able to join it together to make a 3D model.

Magformers say this set is aimed at 3-4 year olds and my sister who is nearly four and just about to start school loves the set- she is able to follow the instructions and make the models by herself and also has fun building her own ideas. I have found this Magformers set to also be fun for kids my age, they are straightfoward to use but you can also make just about anything you want and I am really hoping to add one of the other sets to my Christmas list- they do an LED set and a R/C set which I have my eye on but there are lots of other different types for whatever you want to do- neon, construction, carnival, emergency and racer are just a small selection and they all look really good.


I would say this would be fun for children age from around 3-10 as they would all play with it in different ways- perhaps the smaller sets would be best for younger children and some of the larger ones better for older kids.

A quick note from Mum-

We really liked the look of the Magformers sets but initially I felt they were rather pricey for the number of pieces within the set- however, seeing the quality of the pieces and how much enjoyment the children got from playing with them I have soon revised my thoughts and will certainly be considering Luke's request on his Christmas wish list! 

If you would like to find out more about Magformers or to place an order they can be found as follows-

Disclaimer- We were sent a Magformers WOW set to review but all views and opinions are our own.