Tag Archives: Starting school

Six Children’s Books About Starting School

In England, the start of the school year is just a few short days away. It’s a time of year I have very mixed feelings about. I’ll be glad for my son to be back with his friends and in more of a routine, but I’ll also miss spending time with him and having him to myself. I remember when he started school and how nervous he was and how much more nervous I was. It’s a huge landmark in a child’s life and it does need preparing for. With that in mind, I’ve picked out six children’s books about starting school, which might help smooth the transition!

Six Children’s Books About Starting School

Charlie and Lola: I Am Too Absolutely Small For School by Lauren Child. I adore Charlie and Lola, the Charlie and Lola books are relatable and fun to read. This classic picture book is all about starting school and all the worries children might have about that.

Lola says, “I am absolutely not BIG. I am still really quite small. I probably do not have time to go to school. I am too extremely busy doing important things at home.”

Which is the kind of thing my son says about going to school too!

Six Children's Books About Starting School

My First Day by Leilani Sparrow is a lovely rhyming book for children getting ready for their first day at school. Each page covers what might happen on their first day, such as a making new friends, having a snack and maybe falling over. The illustrations are lovely and the rhymes are simple too. It’s a lovely book for little ones nearing their big day!

Topsy and Tim Start School by Jean Adamson. Topsy and Tim Start School is a lovely, reassuring picture book for children who are just about to start school. Topsy and Tim learn what to expect in lessons and in the playground. They find out all about school dinners and that school can be lots of fun too! I remember reading Topsy and Tim books when I was little and it’s so lovely to be able to sit and read them with my son too.

Do I Have to Go to School? A First Look at Starting School by Pat Thomas. Do I have to go to school is a beautifully illustrated picture book for children who are starting school for the first time. Going to school can be a huge change for young children, this book encourages children to discover the joy of learning new things, meeting new people and having new experiences. Written by a psychologist, this is a really helpful book for those who might be nervous about their first day.

I’m Going to School by Chris Dickason is a great little activity book to help children prepare for starting school. There are lots of colouring in pages, places to stick pictures and lots of scope to discuss what happens at school. It’s a good book to work on over the first few weeks of school too.

Starting School by Allan Ahlberg and Janet Ahlberg. From first day nerves to finding your peg, this reassuring read is full of good humour and fun for children and parents alike. This classic picture book offers advice and enjoyment for the whole family before school starts, all in a lovely Ahlberg style which children and adults both love. It’s such a good book, you wont just be reading it at the start of term!

Good luck for the new school year!

Six Children's Books About Starting School

Treads School Shoes – Are they indestructible?

I’m not sure what my 7 year old son does with his school shoes. Within a day or two of wearing them, they are usually scuffed and fraying. I constantly despair that I spend around £50 a time on something which within 48 hours of first wear look like they’ve been run over by a truck. Treads are a new kind of shoe. They come with a one year guarantee and are said to be indestructible. But can they cope with the treatment my son routinely dishes out to his footwear?

We chose the Madrid style, which is the style of show he usually wears for school. They have velcro straps to fasten them and are comfortable, trainer style shoes, but smart enough to pass a uniform inspection. They are £45 (but are currently just £35 – a bargain!).

Treads School Shoes - Are they indestructible?

These Madrid school shoes are designed for active children. They’re made with soft permair leather and the tough, durable sole is moulded to the upper, so no glue. They have reinforced heels, reinforced seams, they’re scuff proof and have a shock absorbing insole. They appear to be very well-made. My son tends to wear the toes of his shoes quicker than anything else, so it was good to see that the toe area has been reinforced.

Treads School Shoes - Are they indestructible?

These school shoes are fitted with ‘dual fit’ technology which means there is a padded and shaped insole inside which you can remove if you need a wider fit for the shoe. I think this is a great idea, I know the width of my son’s feet seems to change each time we get him measured.

Treads School Shoes - Are they indestructible?

Treads currently have eight different styles of shoe to choose from and the Madrid style we have chosen are perfect for my son. They’re easy to get on and have the easy velcro strap fastener, so he can have them on and be off running within a moment.

The Treads school shoes arrived during the Easter holidays; so although he’s not worn them to school yet, he has worn them for several days to break them in. He’s worn them to an adventure playground and to a local farm; so I feel he’s given them a good work out.

He’s told me that they’re very comfortable, or in his words “like my slippers”. The soles have really good grips and he’s walked over slippy surfaces at the farm in them with no problems. The adventure playground was full of things he could and should have scuffed them on; but apart from some mud splatters they look as good as new.

I am absolutely delighted with them. We’ve tried rough, tough “indestructible” shoes before from leading brands; but they’ve all come home after a few days looking battered and bruised. I have incredibly high hopes for these Treads school shoes. I think, I really really do think these might actually be genuinely indestructible. Even if they’re not, they do have a one year guarantee.

There are several different styles of school shoes on the Treads website, with a girls range planned for next year. If your children have a habit of destroying their school shoes; then I’d say it was well worth having a look at TREADS to see if they are the answer.

Treads School Shoes - Are they indestructible?

Disclosure: We were sent a pair of Treads school shoes for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

The small boy, who these days is not so small, starts Year 2 in just under a fortnight (where has the time gone etc etc). He needs new school uniform, but the thought of spending hours of our precious summer together trawling through various shops buying various bits of uniform and kit fills me with horror. Better to buy it all, or almost all in the same place at the same time. Last week we popped to Debenhams and did just that.

If I was fancy I’d talk about our Debenhams School Uniform “haul”, but I’m old-fashioned for that. Instead we just went shopping and bought a big bag of school uniform. Hopefully enough to see him through until his next growth spurt. Debenhams School Uniforms are currently 20% off in store and online, something we took full advantage of.

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

This will be his fourth “school year” (School Nursery, Reception, Year 1 etc) so this is not our first time at the school uniform rodeo. We know what he likes and what he doesn’t like.

We bought a new warm padded school coat (£18), 6 pristine white polo shirts (£5.60 for a pack of two), 2 pairs of slim fit trousers (£8.80), 2 pairs of flat fronted trousers (£9) and 10 new pairs of grey socks (£4 per pack of 5 pairs). All we need are a couple of jumpers with the school logo on and we are ready for the start of the year. Our shopping trip cost us just under £63, that’s including the 20% off!

I was really pleased to find some nice slim fit trousers. I always think the flat fronted ones make him look like a junior accountant, so we bought some slim fit to try out. Like most children, he is very hard on the knees of his trousers. If he’s not falling over and grazing his knees, he’s crawling along being a ninja superhero or something.

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

He’s six and whilst he’s grasped the rudimentaries of getting himself dressed. If he’s rushing he can still get frustrated with fiddly buttons on trousers, especially if he’s getting himself changed for PE or nipping to the loo. We like to adjust the waistband on his trousers so they’re loose enough to just pull them up in a rush if he needs to, but not loose enough to fall down, obviously. Both the flat front and slim fit styles we chose have adjustable waistbands. Phew.

He is also very hard on the white polo shirts he has to wear for school. I’m enjoying them now in their pristine white state before term starts. His polo shirts get washed to death. We like to buy enough so he has a clean one each day and a couple of spares waiting to be brought into circulation once he starts destroying them.

We have tended to buy cheap supermarket polo shirts which often shrink in the wash a bit. I’m hopeful these will stand up to regular washing a bit better than their supermarket counterparts. They do feel like they’re a cut above in terms of quality and doesn’t he look smart (and clean)!

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

As for his new coat, it’s light to carry and nicely padded for the winter months. With an easy zip up the front and zipped pockets so his treasures won’t fall out. He’s thrilled with it and at £18 we have no complaints either.

We have high hopes that our “haul” of Debenhams school uniform will last the year; or until he grows out of it. I am impressed with the price and quality. Everything seems well designed with sturdy stitching and made from good quality material. Even the socks are thicker, stretchier and more comfortable than the cheap supermarket ones I’ve made him wear.

If I have one regret, it’s not buying more polo shirts, another couple of packets couldn’t hurt, could it?

Debenhams currently have 20% off school uniform online and in-store now. Visit their website to have a look at their range.

Back to School with Debenhams School Uniform

Note: This post is in collaboration with Debenhams as part of their Back to School Campaign. All images and opinions are our own.

Review: Trutex School Uniform

If I utter the words “school uniform” and “boys” in the company of the parents of boys a collective sign of despair goes around. The small boy (aged 5) came home on his last day before February half term with a hole in the knee of his trousers, the sole hanging comically off his new (bought at Christmas) school shoes, a white polo shirt that was now grey and covered in felt tip and a too-small school jumper. All of his uniform was beyond saving, so it all went in the bin. 

We were sent a few new items from Trutex for him to put to the test. His school uniform is a smart and quite forgiving navy with black or grey trousers. Trutex sent us…

  • a navy crew neck sweatshirt
  • a pair of junior sturdy fit trousers
  • a navy polar fleece

Trutex School Uniform

As you can see he looks pretty happy with his new uniform. He certainly looked very smart and he loved his new school fleece. 

The trousers we chose were sturdy fit with an elasticated back, he’s still at the age where he’s pulling trousers on like jogging bottoms, so these seemed the best option. He’s a tall boy for his age and has just had a growth spurt, so these should hopefully see him through to the summer and hopefully beyond. The fabric is thick and good quality, and the seams have been well stitched, they seem like they’d be able to withstand the rough and tumble of the playground.

The crew neck jumper is cosy with good stitching, and at size 5/6 long enough for my long boy to still have room to grow into. It fits well and is easy for him to pull on and off by himself.

Trutex School Uniform

The polar fleece jacket is his favourite new thing, ultra cosy and it fits him really well. He likes the zippy pockets where he can keep his treasures safe and sound. And it fits snugly under his waterproof jacket, so when it’s wet he can still be warm. As we move into spring and towards summer he will wear this jacket more and more, it’s very roomy without looking ginormous, so I’m confident that it’ll last him a good long while, and fleece washed beautifully too, so if he gets it mucky it’s no problem.

Our new Trutex School Uniform items appear to be very good quality, and importantly they operate an ethical trading policy, ensuring that their school uniform items are made ethically, so no child labour, no long working hours, no sweatshops are involved. I try not to think too hard sometimes about the realities of how some of our clothes are produced, but knowing that these are ethically traded does make me feel very positively about them.

Keeping a five year old boy looking reasonably smart and respectable in his school uniform can feel like an uphill battle, buying better quality, hard-wearing, easy care uniform makes a big difference. We’re very happy with this Trutex school uniform, it’s nice to see him looking both smart and adorable!

Visit the Trutex website to find your nearest stockist of Trutex school uniform.

Note: We were sent these items of Trutex school uniform for review purposes. All images and opinions are our own.

Special Cuddles

The small boy started big school this week. We were both brave and have managed the transition quite well, but it’s made me all reflective about my little baby growing up.

He’ll be four in November and those years have gone like a blur. I know it’s a cliche, but sometimes, most of the the time, cliches are so very true. I remember holding him when he was born, doing the skin to skin thing and I was just shocked, amazed, full of love and terrified that I had a real life baby in my arms. I knew at that moment, I would fight anyone to the death if they so much as gave him a funny look.

I remember holding him during our first days at home, when I was alone and wondering who on earth had decided I was grown up enough to care for this beautiful, helpless, vulnerable creature. He smelt great too, newborns are almost edible, almost.

Cuddles

I remember his Christening and watching his grumpy face as he was passed around family and friends when he just wanted to cuddle his mummy or daddy. I remember holding my breath in case he cried when they baptised him. He didn’t.

I remember taking him to nursery for the first time, just short of his first birthday and breaking my heart in the car on the way to work. I held him extra close for a long time that night and for several nights after.

Cuddles

I remember the nights before I went into hospital for my operations, sticking that brave face on for him and squeezing him tight before bed, knowing that I wouldn’t see him for a few days, and those nights in hospital when I hadn’t been able to kiss him goodnight, they seemed horribly long and lonely without him.

He’s not overly cuddly, but when he’s poorly he really goes for it, so I make the most of his under the weather snuggles, when he’s burning up and he just wants his mummy. I know he’s coming down with something when he just climbs on my knee and nestles in.

His first day of school, he was all manly and grown up. No proper cuddles for mummy, just a cursory hug of my knee and he was off. He’s growing up fast and I hope we’ve done enough to prepare him for big school.

Special snuggle

He’s a tough little monkey, independent, funny, chatty, charming, with eyes that’ll get him both in trouble and out of trouble in equal measure. I know his cuddles will become less frequent now he’s growing up and becoming a man of the world, so when they do happen I’m going to make the most of them, hold him extra tight for a little bit longer.

He’ll always be my baby, no matter how grown up he is, I hope he’ll still occasionally give me a special mummy cuddle. I hope one day he’ll feel his heart fill with love for the tiny newborn in his arms, and understand for himself what unconditional love really is.

Fairy Non Bio have made this gorgeous little video (it made my eyes leak a bit) about the #PowerOfSoft and how important and special sharing those lovely cuddles are.  Watch it and I dare your eyes not to leak a little bit too!

Sponsored

Back to School: Your School Uniform

It’s with incredibly mixed feelings that in just under a fortnight we’re sending our small boy off to join the nursery in “big school”. We’ve been busy over the summer buying all the things he needs, school uniform, water bottles, book bags, the lot, but it’s well documented that I’m not a happy shopper, so I’ve turned to the internet to see if I can save myself the stress of being in an actual shop; the internet did good, I found YourSchoolUniform.com

As he will be in nursery he doesn’t need the fully badged uniform just yet, so we can get away with just a plain jumper and a plain coat, but YourSchoolUniform are able to supply uniform with the logos on, you just need to check if your school is listed. The website was really easy to use and free delivery options are available. Like most parents, typically we chose to buy clothes that he will grow into, so he’s sporting the baggy look in the pictures.

School uniform

We went for a dark blue sweatshirt made from cotton and acrylic, it’s really soft and comfortable and he’s very proud and excited to wear it. The sweatshirt is made by Hubaco and has been designed exclusively for YourSchoolUniform to ensure it’ll stand up to the rigours of school life. We also chose a matching fleece jacket in dark blue, which I think he looks great in, you can’t really go wrong with a fleece, they wash so well, hold their shape and it will keep him warm while he’s running about outside.

The uniform we’ve got from YourSchoolUniform looks to be good quality, the stitching is good and strong and I’m hopeful that it will last, I think it will endure the rigorous testing that only a small boy can give it.

For me I’m happy that while he’s in school I know he’ll be warm and comfortable. I think he looks really smart and whilst I do have incredibly mixed feelings, I can’t wait to see him lining up with his friends on his first day, looking smart and adorable in his uniform.

Note: we were sent a sweatshirt and fleece free of charge for review purposes. All images and opinions are my own.