The time of year when parents across the globe dread those 3 little words:
“World Book Day” – 5th March 2020
Of course, it’s really nothing to dread. In fact, it’s something to celebrate and fully get behind for our children.
World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. It’s also a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.
World Book Day costume
The thing to dread is the inevitable fancy dress costume that your child will ask for.
Even worse, parents often face the last minute panic of scrapping together an outfit for World Book Day because either the school forgot to send the memo, the kids forgot to give you the letter, or you simply forgot to check your notifications on the app.
Whichever one it is, and no matter how awesome it is, World Book Day is another thing that parents have to try to fit in.
So we thought you might need some help organising a World Book Day fancy dress costume that’s not too expensive and is easy to find.
Even better, you might even be able to pick it up whilst you do your weekly shop.
World Book Day dress up that’s easy to find
Asda George. The bigger Asda stores might have a selection of costumes in, but otherwise, you can do click and collect within a couple of days, or select next day delivery directly to your door.
Sainsbury’s. With lots of costumes on offer this is one to plan ahead as they currently have 25% off but only until 17th February 2020.
Matalan.The costumes here also have 25% off, so order soon to make sure that the one you want isn’t out of stock.
ALDI. These Specialbuys are always a “once they are gone, they’re gone” deal, but there is a selection of outfits available to order online or pick up in store. You might just have to chance your luck to get the right sizing.
TK Maxx (& Homesense). These can be a bit hit and miss in terms of what is in stock, but if you can find something, you’ll definitely bag yourself a bargain.
B&M.This shop can also be tricky to guarantee what you might find on the day, but they have an app to help.
We all know how horrific a shopping trip with kids can be. Whether it’s the supermarket or post office, children get bored, fiddle with things they shouldn’t or you end up carrying them out after a meltdown over nothing.
A trip to IKEA can be better as it’s almost like an adventure playground already and they really cater for the kids, but there’s still a chance it can all go a bit Pete Tong. Even with the offer of meatballs and hot dogs.
Over February half term however, IKEA is going that step further again. The stores are offering children the chance to take part in some free activities to make the shopping experience a whole lot better!
Kids can pick up a treasure hunt sheet for the chance to win 1 of 5 hampers. There are spray bottle craft sessions where they can make their own piece of art using washi tapes, arts and crafts supplies. And of course, don’t forget, there’s also the free SMÅLAND crèche for children over 3 years old.
IKEA treasure hunt
Pick up a copy of the treasure hunt and enter for the chance to win 1 of 5 IKEA hampers,
IKEA Children’s Craft: Spray bottle art
Using spray bottles, washi tapes, arts and crafts supplies and a pinch of your creativity, you’ll be able to make your own piece of art.
Apart from tonnes of books for all ages and interests, events for children are typically free, or at least very cheap. We all know how keeping the kids busy can start to add up! Even better, weekly classes tend to run during term-time, but some groups and special events also run throughout school holidays.
Above all, you don’t need to be a member of a library to take part either. If you do want to join a library for your children up however, that’s also free too.
Once they are members, there are a whole load of resources for children. Children can borrow up to ten books at one time, CDs, audio books, games and DVDs for instance. They can also request and reserve books for free, and keep them for out longer than adults.
Free weekly activities for under 5s
As big fans of the weekly activities at our local library, we therefore wanted to help you find your nearest.
Here’s our handy guide for you to find your nearest libraries, events for under 5s, and how to join up.
BABY RHYME TIME – Songs and rhymes for newborn and young babies with their parents and carers. Therefore, ideal for babies not yet moving around.
RHYME TIME – Songs and rhymes for 0 to 2-year-olds and parents and carers. In other words, toddlers.
STORY STOMP – Fun for 2 to 4-year-olds and their parents and carers, following on from Rhyme Time.
Rhyme Time 0-2 years Lillington Library 10.30-11am
Story Stomp 2-4 years Warwick Library 9.30-10am Rugby Library 11-11.30am
The findings from the recent study showed that miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy can lead to ‘long-term post-traumatic stress’. In fact, they went on to state that one in six women experience these effects.
650 women who had experienced an early pregnancy loss took part in the study. Consequently, it’s the largest ever study into the psychological impact.
The results from this miscarriage research revealed that one month following pregnancy loss, 29% suffered post-traumatic stress, 24% experienced moderate to severe anxiety, and 11% had moderate to severe depression.
Nine months later, 18% of women had post-traumatic stress, 17% anxiety, and 6% had depression.
It therefore highlights that we need more miscarriage support and aftercare.
Sadly, here at Warwickshire Kids, we’ve been through miscarriage ourselves so we know just how devastating it is.
No matter how many weeks pregnant you are, you lose your baby and all of the dreams you’ve already made.
After that, the woman then has to ensure invasive medical procedures, the horrible physical process, and the longer-lasting after effects. Partners are often expected to ‘get on with it’, but they too are, of course, affected by the loss.
One of the main reasons that it is so hard to understand is that there are no answers or reasons why. In fact, a lot of parents feel that they can’t talk about what has happened. It might even be that they don’t know who they can reach out to. In addition, other people don’t always know what to say or say the wrong thing to a grieving parent.
This can make you feel very alone, so it is no wonder that it can cause mental health issues.
Support for miscarriage
If you have experienced an early pregnancy loss, your recovery and how you try to come to terms with it will be completely personal.
Perhaps you’re a talker and could benefit from counselling? Maybe you prefer to read other’s stories? Whatever it is, for your own wellbeing, we recommend finding out what miscarriage support is available to you.
There are 250,000 miscarriages and 10,000 ectopic pregnancies every year. In other words, you are not alone and not to blame in any way.
Here is a list of organisations that you can contact for support to help with your miscarriage recovery.
Miscarriage support will vary depend on your location, but we hope that you can find something.
As we wave off 2019 and welcome 2020, a lot of us will make plans for the year ahead.
Often, even with the best of intentions however, we’ve given up on them by mid-January. This is especially true when it’s new year fitness goals.
It’s not our fault though. When you have children, jobs, pets and a life, there can be lots of distractions. In fact, our goals may never have been achievable in the first place.
So would you like some realistic new year fitness tips for busy lifestyles?
Well, it’s your lucky day.
We asked Sinéad O’Connor from Back To It Personal Training to give us her expert advice on how to set realistic fitness goals that we can stick to.
Here’s what she says.
New Year, new you…
Or rather, New Year, same you, only a much better version.
There is so much focus on the whole ‘New Year, New You’ idea, and I think that it’s nonsense!
With 52 weeks of the year, although we do like to over-indulge in December, the damage isn’t done in a few weeks of festive feasts. Yes, we all like to treat ourselves, but 1lb of fat is made up of 3,500 calories, so it’s a little more than the odd mince pie!
When it comes to setting new year fitness goals, just remember that you need to have balance to succeed. If you don’t eat, drink and do the things you love, then you will be miserable, and so will those around you.
Try to consistently eat moderately and train often for both physical and psychological wellbeing.
I know it’s easier said than done however. Even when you are a personal trainer.
Balancing exercise with parenting
I am a mum of 3 boys under 3 with no family support locally. As a result, like most other families, I struggle to get everything done. I have to be everything to everyone who needs me, and still find time for myself.
Something always gives, and it is usually my health and wellness.
In 2015, I ran the London marathon. I was the fittest I had ever been, and whilst training I fell pregnant with my first son Harry. After he was born, I went back to work after a few months and hardly saw him. I didn’t exercise as much because of my 50-60 hour weeks, so I got bigger. I then fell pregnant again when he was only 4 months old.
During my second pregnancy, I put on 4 stone and suffered from SPD. I decided to start studying to make a career change because I wanted to do something which I was really passionate about. I also wanted to help others in the same position as me.
After my second son was born, I took a major risk and left my job running a successful health and racquets club to start up my own business, specialising in pre- and postnatal fitness.
Fast forward 2.5 years, and my third son is now 11 weeks old. During this pregnancy however, I stayed active and carried on working.
I set myself little goals each week, and even managed to grow the business despite the obvious challenges.
To help me to manage the business, I took on a lovely lady called Laura to deliver my classes whilst I concentrated on baby and ran the business from behind the scenes. She is now running her own classes for BTIPT and we have doubled the amount of classes we offer. As it turns out, Laura was one of my clients and a mum who also decided to re-train and do something she loved.
I suppose the message is to never feel trapped. No matter what your fitness goal is, set small steps to achieve them in the longer term. By making time to be active and working hard, it will happen!
New year fitness tips for making a healthy start to 2020
There are plenty of excuses not to exercise.
We all do it, and worse still, we then crave quick fixes because our body isn’t getting enough protein and healthy fats. Did you know that if you don’t consume enough of these 2 macronutrients your blood sugar can rise and fall at an abnormal rate? This causes those darn sugar cravings!
Here are some really simple new year fitness tips for you to make some positive changes in 2020.
Get to bed early. Ok so I know that this isn’t always possible with youngsters around, but try and do it. Just 1 extra hour a night could be an extra nights sleep over the week. Sleep, or lack of is definitely the solution and cause to everything in my opinion!
Find out what your BMR is. Without this, you are pushing water up hill. Create a deficit (if required) in line with you goal. Track your calories, allow for treats, and don’t make yourself miserable!
Drink at least 2 litres of water per day. Buy a big enough bottle, fill it at the beginning of the day and make sure you drink it all.
Get support. Tell people around you that you are trying to change so that they can support you.
Find a training buddy. Or perhaps a group because they will push you to train, even when you don’t feel like it.
Be consistent. It’s the only way to get long term sustainable results.
It’s not all about going to the gym either. Make exercise work around your family.
Here are two quick workouts you can do from home, even with the kids around. You don’t need any special equipment and they are guaranteed to make you sweat! Do these at least 5 times a week for 6 weeks and track your calories. You will get results!
AMRAP 15 (As Many Rounds As Possible in 15 min)
Write down how many rounds you did and set challenges to beat your record each week to track your fitness progress.
If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook there are always other exercises you an switch and change to keep things fresh:
Mountain climbers x 10
Jumping jacks x 10
Sit ups (ab crunches for ab separation) x 10
Press ups (knee adaption for ab separation) x 10
Sumo squats x 10
4 minutes of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest and 1 minute break before moving to next exercise:
Tuck up (ankle tap for ab separation)
Don’t follow the fad diets and quick fixes. They don’t work in the long term. The science is really simple; create a calorie deficit and burn more.
If you’ve been inspired by Sinéad’s words, drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or send her a message on Facebook.
Your social media feeds will be full of 10 Year Challenge posts. Some of which will make you feel really old.
And if that’s not enough to remind you of your age, if you remember the turn of the century, you’ll be trying to work out where the last 20 years have gone.
It’s a fact of life that as we get older, time seems to tick by faster and faster each year.
Throw children into the mix, and you’ll feel as though it’s been five minutes since last New Year’s Day.
The reason? As modern parents, we feel pulled in every direction to keep everyone happy.
Organising and caring for kids is a full time job in itself. Anything on top of that explains why the weeks just disappear. Not to mention parent guilt and trying to cram family time in too.
Don’t worry though, we have the answer.
Make memories that last a lifetime
Family days out and adventures with the children are, for most parents, what weekends and holidays are about.
Exploring new places or activities and making memories are what help to shape a child’s upbringing. It goes without saying therefore, that family times are what they that they will remember the most.
They are often what we forget to do though, and can be expensive.
Well, perhaps not.
Planning made easy
The key to winning at any kind of parenting task is to break it down.
Things don’t seem quite so daunting if you’re taking baby steps and get a loose plan together.
So how do you fancy some help in planning your year?
This is something I came up with when expecting my second child. I was so worried that in the blur of newborn days, my eldest who was 3 at the time, would miss out on the fun times we’d always shared together. It’s also easy to forget your own name as a new parent, so planning to go to new places is often virtually impossible.
12-month memory planner
I created a 12-month planner of 3-4 manageable things to look forward to each month and ticked them off as we went.
Each month might include visiting a new park or attraction, learning a new craft, an annual tradition, an experiment, or simply just coming up with a fun new idea. For example, go for a picnic, have a tea party, do a treasure hunt, or make a pom pom creature.
Dolls Domain, Leamington Spa http://www.dollsdomain.co.uk/ You can find this shop just inside of the Royal Priors Shopping Centre in Leamington Spa. They stock a range of jigsaw puzzles, model kits, games, crafts and cuddly toys.
Abacraft, Kenilworth http://framingatabacraft.co.uk/ This place is a little confusing online, but it is essentially half picture framing shop, half toy shop. Not the standard combination but it seems like a really sweet shop. They sell a selection of toys across a variety of price ranges and are said to be very helpful, so one to explore if you’re local.
We once read a blog that reminded us that toys are disposable, but memories last for a lifetime. It gave us the idea that the really awesome presents are the ones that your kids will not only enjoy but that they will remember. So essentially, spending time together is more important on buying ‘things’.
The Chocolate Shed, Wootton Wawen http://www.thechocolateshed.com/ If you’ve got a chocoholic in the house, you could buy them gift vouchers to a chocolate making workshop where they can get messy and create some sweet treats that they will get to take home. They even run them for those ‘difficult to buy for’ teenagers. Explore the fun side of chocolate making.
The Barn Kitchen, Coventry https://www.spanglesuk.com/ This cafe runs themed afternoon teas throughout the year, ranging from Disney characters right through to Harry Potter or Elf. With loads of events on offer and gift vouchers available to buy, you’re sure to find something that will suit.
If you are looking for something a little bit different, look to independent clothing boutiques. You’ll find lots of hidden gems and maybe some things for yourself too.
Sofya & I, Hatton (Warwick) http://www.sofyaandi.co.uk/ This shop is all about real life girl power. Set up with the aim to allow Mums, Aunties, Nanas etc to all shop together, this is a very child-friendly shop located in Hatton Shopping Village. There is even a free craft station to keep kids busy if they get bored of looking around.
Eliza Doolittle, Rugby https://www.facebook.com/elizadoolittlerugby This little clothing shop has been selling designer childrenswear brands and occasion wear for over 30 years. Definitely somewhere to shop if you want something special for a little person.
Colourful Soles, Lutterworth https://www.facebook.com/COLOURFULSOLES/ Kids shoes can tend to be either boring and practical, or cool and ill-fitting. This shop crosses the border between the two, offering a welcome alternative to buying quality shoes that actually look bang on trend too.
Got a hard-to-buy for recipient? Independent gift shops are jam packed full of things you’ve never even thought of. The perfect place to look for something unique.
Sweet Retreat, Rugby https://www.facebook.com/Sweetretreatrugby/ If you’re looking for a gift for someone with a sweet tooth, then this is your place. With old fashioned pick’n’mix sweets, sweet cones, handmade fudge, hampers bouquets and more, this family-run business have something on offer for all ages.
Timeless Tales, Stratford-Upon-Avon https://www.facebook.com/Timeless.Tales.shop/ This shop is a Beatrix Potter specialist that brings the magic of her stories into your lives. They also stock other timeless children classics such as Paddington bear, the Hungry Caterpillar, Elmer, Gruffalo and many more.
The Nest, Rugby http://www.thenestrugby.co.uk/ Think Etsy on the high street. The Nest offers a marketplace for small, local, handmade and craft businesses to sell their items on the high street, so you can find some really unique gift ideas here.
Where else would you recommend to shop local in Warwickshire?
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