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The Ultimate guide to the Costa Del Sol with kids!

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Monday’s Parenting Pin It Party #68….

Now it’s officially September, am I allowed to talk about Christmas?

I may even link up some Christmas posts to this week’s Parenting Pin It Party although thinking about it, I don’t think I will as I think that might just tip people over the edge with the stress of last minute uniform shopping and all manner of back to school chaos!  Next week though….

Anyway, back to the point of my post which is to ask you all very nicely to link up your favourite parenting post of the week.  If you haven’t joined in with us before, it really is super easy.  Just add a link to your favourite parenting post to the linky at the end of this post and then add  the badge to your post (not required but it’s always rather nice to do).

Sometime this week Andrea will pop over and pin your post to the Parenting Party Pinterest board along with all of the other entries and then next week’s host will then choose  her favourite two posts to be featured in their post next Monday.

It couldn’t be simpler could it?

Parenting Pin It Party Badge Monday Parenting Pin It Party #21

The Parenting Pin it Party is co-hosted each week by myself, Romanian MumKiddy ChartsMum of OneMummy AlarmAll you need is love and cake and The Fairy and the Frog.



Making a peaceful homework space….

homework

The older children get, the more homework they will inevitably be sent home from school with and the older they get, the more important the need to complete the homework is.

I believe that the guidelines in place advise that children in Years 1 and 2 should do 10 minutes of homework a night although most of this would be reading with parents I would suspect.  By the time children are in Years 5 and 6 it’s recommended that they do around half an hour a night although our school have never really given the kids homework that takes more than an hour or so a week.

Homework area

Miss Frugal is moving up to secondary school this week and I have heard that she’ll be expected to do up to an hour and a half homework a night which seems like a massive amount to me but I will be there to support her whenever she needs me to and I’ll make sure she always gets it done.

She has her own little study area in her bedroom where she can go to do her homework although I suspect she’ll sit at the dining room table most of the time as she doesn’t like to think she’s missing anything.  At least she has the area though, so if she needs somewhere quiet to study or she has a project to complete that she doesn’t want to keep clearing away then she has the space to do this.

Making her a homework space wasn’t expensive and it takes up hardly any space in her bedroom although we did have to rearrange the whole room to make the space!  She has a little desk and chair that she chose herself and then  lots of pretty mugs filled with all sorts or pens and pencils along with some stationery drawers by the side and a whole drawer of notebooks near by!  She also has a memo board that she can clip things to as well and we’re thinking of a big wall calendar but we’re not sure yet if she would actually use one so we’re leaving that until she settles in at school.

We bought the desk on sale from Argos, a cheap chair from the car boot sale and some other random things that we found and the whole thing cost less than £35.  In fact, I bet that the stationery on there cost more than the furnishings of the homework space as she loves to spend her pocketmoney on random stationery goodness!

If you’re thinking of making your child a homework space, I’d definitely say to go for it.  If it helps at all, here’s some of the things we looked at when we put together our homework area to give you an idea:

Homework space

August Review Round-Up….

Monthly Review Round Up

We’re lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to review lots of great products but there never seems to be enough time to blog about them all separately so I’m going to start doing a monthly round up post of everything I didn’t get chance to review individually through the month.

Pringles Speakers

cool pringles speaker

We love this cute portable speaker – it’s been all over with us since we got it so we’ve had music with us wherever we’ve been!  The speakers work by plugging in to your smart phone and they flash in time to the beat of the music.  The sound is surprisingly clear and you can turn it up quite loud before the music quality suffers.

You can get your hands on your own speakers by buying two promotional tubes of Pringles and visit the Pringles website to redeem them.  A £3 postage fee applies but they’re well worth it!

 Get Your Skills On with Robinsons Fruit Shoot

Fruit shoot

Fruit Shoot have been busy this Summer promoting their Get Your Skills On challenge which is all about getting outdoors and getting active.  To celebrate this, they sent us a fab outdoor pack that’s kept the kids busy in the garden.  You can find out more about how to Get Your Skills On over on their YouTube channel – there’s some great videos including one featuring Union J which has pleased Miss F!

Nintendo UK

Nintendo UK

We’re having a great time being part of the Nintendo UK Family bloggers team.  We’ve reviewed some brilliant games and this month we were sent lots of crafty goodies to make our own Nintendo door signs.  We’re making them tomorrow so watch this space!

 

The Summer of Independence….

This Summer has been the Summer of independence as far as my children have been concerned – they’re 11 (almost 12) and 9 now so I’ve had to find the line between letting them have too much freedom and not allowing them enough!

It certainly hasn’t been easy and if I’m honest there’s been plenty of times when I’ve just wanted to keep them at home with me where I know exactly where they are and what they’re doing.

Water babies

I started introducing a little more freedom a few months ago by letting them go swimming on their own at the local swimming baths.  Don’t tell anyone but the first time I let them go by themselves I dropped them off telling them I’d pick them up in an hour and then went and parked the car so I could sneak back and make sure they were being sensible. The good news is that they were and the even better news is that they didn’t see me but that little check made me feel so much better!  Now they go swimming on their own once or twice a week and they love it.

scooters

The hardest part has been letting them play out with their friends as they’ve wanted to go further afield than they have in the past – they’re no longer happy just riding up and down the street unfortunately!

They have scooters and  BMX bikes so getting about is easy enough which is a good job as their friends are scattered about all over the place.  They like to go round and collect everyone and then spend the day playing somewhere between everyone’s houses. This is where I’m really lucky because the kids that Miss F plays with are all lovely (I’m sure they get up to mischief as you’d expect). It’s a group of boys and girls who she’s been with since Reception and they’re quite happy for Master F to tag along which is great because otherwise, he’d be at home while they played out as his friends aren’t all close by.  And he certainly wouldn’t be allowed the freedom he has now if he was on his own or with children his own age.

I find it difficult not knowing exactly where they are but at the same time, they have set limits of where they can and can’t go and they’re actually really good about this usually. They stick together and rarely have a drama or a falling out so I know I don’t really need to worry but it’s the not knowing and the not being able to actually see them that I hate.  I’m trying though and I worry less now than I did at the start of the Summer!

I’ve also made sure they know that any of their friends are welcome at our house anytime which is great although it does mean that my freezer needs to be constantly stocked with ice pops and my cupboards always have to have tins of hot dogs just in case I have lots of hungry people to feed. I’ve also started to make juice up by the bottle and keep it in the fridge along with a stack of plastic cups!

hot dogs

Another thing I want to do, but know that I can’t, is to get involved when they are upset. I’d love to tell the little boy round the corner who tried to steal their football where to go or to tell the little girl who calls them names exactly what I think of her but they need to learn and they need to fight their own battles to a certain extent. I’d be there in a shot if it got serious but for the most part, I know that I only hear one side of every story and that they probably give as good as they get.

We’ve done less this Summer than ever before as they’re content to play with their friends and play on the Xbox every now and again. In the past we’ve always planned days out and trips to museums etc and even though I had that planned this year, we’ve done hardly any of it.

What we have done has been fun though….

summer Summer 2

This Summer has actually been quite reminiscent of Summers from my own childhood – a couple of brilliant days out, a week away and chilling out with my friends. Except for the fact that I used to actually knock on my friends doors to call for them, this lot text or Face time each other and the other day, Miss F even got a Instagram message with a picture of her friends asking if she was coming out.

All in all, it’s been a great Summer and I’m sad that it’s coming to an end.

Not long until Half Term though!

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