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It’s half term this week, and so far we’ve been ice skating, been out for lunch twice, been to the local soft play, and a forest where we collected pine cones and did a spot of tree climbing.

pine cones

In other words, we’ve done something pretty much every day this week. Today though, we’ve just had a day in of doing precisely NOTHING. Nothing organised, nothing doing.

Since when were kids lives so micro managed as they are now? We’re always expected to be DOING something, and there’s never just enough time to relax.

There’s always football practise to go to, swimming and Beavers and whatever club is on after school.

They’ve actually forgotten how to be bored. Being bored is GOOD,sometimes. I’m not Entertainment Manager, you are your own people and you don’t need me giving you ideas on what to do every five minutes.

It’s good to be bored as it makes you think for yourself what you want to do,. You’re making your own decisions, using your imagination, and learning to think for yourself.

Plus, it’ll make you appreciate the days you DO go out a hell of a lot more!

Next holidays, I’m making a stand and not arranging half as many days out.

We’re having more days of leaving them to it and making their own entertainment.

Who’s with me?!

I

Joining Bloglovin!

As if I don’t get about the internet enough, I’ve now joined Bloglovin, where I’ll be sharing any new posts on there as well.

If you’re on there, why not follow for more updates?!

You can find me here

Now, it’s all new to me over there so I’m off to try and find some new blogs to follow and get my head round it!  :-)

Amanda Holden faced a public backlash yesterday for sending her daughter Lexi, aged 9, into school dressed as Vivien from Pretty Woman as part of a 1990’s themed dressing up day.

Vivien, as anyone who has seen the film will tell you, is the prostitute that Richard Gere picks up off the street and hires as his ‘beck and call girl’ for the entire week by going to events and business meals with him.

Dressed in a red, strapless skin tight floor length gown, Lexi was pictured on Twitter next to a grand piano with the words “1990’s day at Lexi’s school today. Julia Roberts ‘Pretty Woman’,”

After eight minutes of the picture being up though (and probably due to outraged tweets) the picture was pulled. With a swift denial saying it wasn’t meant to be Pretty Woman at all, and was Cindy Crawford instead.

Oh come off it. We all know what Vivien did on the grand piano in Pretty Woman. Or was the grand piano in the background just a coincidence?

Regardless of whether or not she was meant to be Julia Robert’s Pretty Woman character or Cindy Crawford, the fit of the dress was pretty bloody inappropriate for school anyway.

How the heck are you supposed to run about in a clinging to you, off the shoulder dress at playtime?

By the looks of the photo (that is apparently now trying to be pulled off the internet) you couldn’t do much more than do a waddle to the school door.

Why the rush to stick children in grown up type clothes, even for school dress up days? There’s a million and one more appropriate styles to choose without sexualising them and sticking it online for the world and its dog to see.

(Who knows who’s looking and for what purpose?)

Dress them in clothes they’ll be comfortable in and more age appropriate. Plenty of time for body con dresses when they’re older.

What do you think?

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When you’re a child, birthday parties have always been about having fun with your friends, having a party, and unwrapping whatever present they have chosen for you with glee.

Half of the excitement of receiving presents is not knowing what you’re going to get, so for some parents in Myleene Klass’ school to specify that they would like money donations to buy a kindle and a desk has my jaw dropping a little.

Especially when it is coupled with anyone wanting to partake in the present giving should give a suggested £10 and they’ll be round to collect it.

Why? Why would you do that?

They want a kindle and a desk, that’s all well and lovely. Shouldn’t presents like that be from the parents themselves though, or relatives?

When it comes to their little friends coming to your child’s birthday party, that’s surely what’s important? The child having fun, seeing their friends and having something fun to unwrap.

Lego, Play-doh, jigsaws, dolls or a colouring book. Simple, inexpensive, fun things when you’re 7 years old like her daughter.

What’s happened to birthdays?! What with last week’s shaming of people who are too lazy or rude to bother to reply to party invites and now this, it’s getting ridiculous.

Strip all birthday parties back to the basics, forget all this claptrap of expensive hiring of places, or demanding that your precious has money towards their ideal gadget present.

If they want it, buy it yourself. Then revel in all the carefully thought or chosen ones that their little friends buy them too, regardless of cost.

What do you think?

As mum to a now 7 and an 11 year old, I have spent quite a lot of time over recent years organising children’s parties.

Parties used to be held at home with a handful of your best friends. Pass the parcel, musical statues, sandwiches and jelly and ice cream. Minimal fuss, minimal expenditure.

Whilst these types of parties still exist, there’s a whole new breed of parties that have sprung up that just weren’t really the norm when we were all small.

Nowadays, soft play centres can be hired for a few hours, at considerable cost per child. Mine used to love soft play parties, and got to play in the ball pools for an hour with all their friends and have a party tea too laid on by the staff afterwards.

On average anything up to £10 per child, it added up when you used to invite most of the class.

All well and good, but when the venue asks for definite numbers a few days before the party, you start to steam between the ears at the sheer damn RUDENESS of some of the parents who, for some reason, either can’t be arsed to reply, or are incapable of reading the invitation properly to see when a response is needed by.

So you’d inevitably end up chasing up parents in the school playground, asking if they were coming, and then dutifully reporting back to the soft play centre with numbers.

If you think that’s stressful enough, it got even worse when, after saying that they’d come, you’d always get at least one or two that just didn’t bother to turn up after you’d paid for them. Therefore a party bag and meal going to waste.

As the eldest’s birthday is at the end of the summer holidays, there’s no school to remind people. So you’d be wondering if everyone would bother turning up.

Nearly everyone did, but there’d always be one or two entitled people who’d say they were coming and then not bother.

One party, three people decided to do just this, which left me paying approximately £30 in total for three no shows. Grrrr.

So, if I was a bit more ballsy, I’d have done exactly what Julie Lawrence did when one dad decided that actually, he had something better to do that day and bogged off to the grandparents for the day instead.

Instead of telling her, or you know, just honouring the first thing that you said you’d do instead of ditching in favour of something else that comes your way.

Imagine if everyone did that? There’d be nobody at the poor child’s birthday.

Manners, people. If you can’t be bothered to go, SAY so before wimping out on the day and landing the host with a bill they didn’t need to pay.

Good on you Julie, even if you were a bit heavy handed and OTT. I know EXACTLY where you’re coming from! :-)

What does everyone else think?

Boy gets sent invoice for missing birthday party

So you’

A school teacher has accused the popular children’s book series, Horrible Histories, of dumbing down history and making it a laughing stock.

Mr Peal, a history teacher, claims that the books are encouraging children “not to think about the past but to laugh at it”.

horrible histories

For the uninitiated, Horrible Histories is a series of books that takes a light hearted approach to events of the past, and each book concentrates on certain eras.

For example, just a few of the titles are in the picture above: the Angry Aztecs, and the Blitzed Brits being a couple of them.

Why did the Spanish want to steal the Aztecs’ treasure? Why did Aztecs eat scum? Why did Aztecs drink live toads in wine?

Being just a few of the types of questions asked.

History, with all the gory bits left in and written to keep the children’s interest.

I’m sorry, Mr Peal, but how is that a bad thing?!

As a kid, I found history deathly boring and stuffy. Now I’m all grown up, I tend to find history pretty fascinating really.

When you’re small though, it can be dull as ditchwater and you feel like falling asleep at your desk as the teacher drones on and ON about things that happened to people you have never met, around what might as well have been 95 million years before you were born.

If someone out there has made a way to make history appeal to children, that’s fine by me.

It’s introducing an important subject to people who might not have had any interest in the subject before.

Kids love a bit of blood, guts, and gruesome details and if that’s what keeps them interested I’d rather a book written in their ‘language’ got them learning than some stuffy text book full of snore fest adults waffling on.

Anything that gets them learning and keeping them interested can only be a good thing, surely?!

What do you think? Should we stick to the cold, hard facts and only have sensible books out there, or have gory, or downright silly, history books as well written specifically for children?

Horrible Histories blamed for dumbed down textbooks

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