School uniform tips for budding sports stars

There’s only one thing at school that comes close to rivalling Jack’s love of hot dinners and that’s playing sports. He’s a typical boy after all, but I’m sure there are plenty of girls out there too who can’t wait to be mini athletes at break times.

While I love the fact that he’s getting plenty of exercise and having a ball at the same time (pun intended), it did mean that to begin with he was constantly coming home with messy clothes and scuffed shoes. Over his year of being at school I’ve come up with a few ways of combating tired uniform that I wanted to share with you. I hope you find these school uniform tips for budding sports stars useful.

Spare shoes

The thing that gets the most wear is definitely Jack’s shoes, with wear from kicking a ball about and skidding on the floor. There are a couple of things you can do – first is to get a good quality pair of school shoes, a lesson I learned the hard way. But boys’ school shoes needn’t break the bank as you can pick up a good-looking leather and scuff resistant pair from the selection at Tu shoes and plimsolls.

What I’ve also taken to doing is packing a spare pair of trainers (with Velcro fastening) in Jack’s PE bag that’s always at school and I’ve asked his teacher to remind him to change into them at lunchtimes. They completely understand as I’ve explained how he loves his sports and that I want to keep his nice school shoes in good condition.

Uniform fit for the job

Now that the shoes are sorted, it’s on to school clothes that stand up to grass stains and sliding in the mud. Fortunately there’s lots of hard-wearing uniform options out there with teflon-coating and reinforced knees that don’t cost much more.

We’ve got into the habit of Jack taking his uniform off when he gets home before it gets any messier in the garden. I’ve also bought an extra set of uniform that I keep as a spare until after school photo day, so it’s good as new.

Freshly laundered clothes

Keeping on top of washing is much easier with coated trousers or skirts, but shirts need a little more focus – especially white ones that turn grey over time. Lemon juice works wonders as a natural and gentle whitener, for example. Either run half a lemon over the shirt before washing or, to refresh a full load of whites, add 100ml of lemon juice to your detergent when washing.

If you have kids who are becoming more fragrant as they get older, you might also have to take extra measures. In this case, always air-dry the uniform rather than tumble drying as the dryer will lock in odours. If the smells are lingering, pop some white vinegar in a spray bottle and squirt it on the underarms and collars of shirts before they go in the wash. For more tips, take a look at this handy guide on making clothes last.

What do your little or big sports stars get up to at school, and what tips do you swear by for keeping their uniform good?

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Our Weaning Journey So Far

We were sent the Babease items for the purpose of review – all thoughts & opinions are our own.

Olivia recently turned six months old and we decided to start weaning her. She is still breastfeeding but we have introduced a few meals a day with her having milk when she needs it. We are giving a few different things a try – we are combining both baby led weaning and purees – and seeing how she gets on.

Right now, she currently has porridge or toast for breakfast – we feed her the porridge, she feeds herself the toast. For lunch, she will have a puree or toast if she had porridge for breakfast – we won’t give her toast twice. For tea, she will generally have a puree but we are also going to give BLW a try for this too – we are often having salads for tea ourselves so it will be easy to make her a small amount for herself. For snacks, she generally has some age appropriate crisp puffs or wafers.

We were recently contacted by Babease,  a company founded by trained chef Tom Redwood and endorsed by expert nutritionists and parents. They aim to introduce little ones to distinct flavours and textures through a broad range of fresh and tasty recipes. They are championing the importance of babies developing savoury palates before sweet ones with a vegetable-led, real food focus.

We were sent a variety of 6m+ pouches and 7m+ – of course, Olivia hasn’t yet tried the 7m+ but we have been trialling the 6m+ ones so far. Her first pouch was the sweet potato, carrot and cauliflower. The puree itself was very smooth and I love the fact that the pouches are organic and that the ingredients list literally includes just the three vegetables that make up the puree. So far this has proved to be her favourite, although the pear and mixed berries is following closely behind. I can’t wait to see how she gets on with the 7m+ range!

What I really love about these pouches is that you can either squirt the puree out into a bowl and spoon feed your child or you can let them hold the pouch themselves and feed themselves. As you can see, Olivia much prefers to feed herself.

She is getting so good at feeding herself and is finally starting to understand how food differs from breastmilk. For the first few days of weaning, she seemed very confused – trying to suck on everything and not realising she needed to gum stuff to mush it up in her mouth. We believe she has a tooth coming so that will definitely help her as she continues on her weaning journey.

The Babease range is available in Tesco, Boots and Ocado and you can also buy them from Amazon too {affiliate link}, retailing at between £1.20 and £1.50 per pouch. There is such a wide variety of flavours!

So far we seem to be having a really successful weaning journey and long may it continue – Olivia seems to enjoy most of what she is having – whether that be pouches, porridge or toast – and we can’t wait to try more things with her over the upcoming weeks.

Have you got any top tips for weaning? Any things in particular you think we should try?

Olivia | Six Months On

Since Olivia’s five month update, a lot has changed. She has really come into her personality a lot more and the biggest thing is that she has started weaning! Instead of just doing purees/pots or baby led weaning, we are doing a bit of both – getting her to try different textures and flavours and see what she likes the most.

So far she is adoring porridge and some baby banana wafers we found. She has also been trying some of the Babease range which we will be reviewing very soon. She’s still trying to sit upright and getting very frustrated when things don’t go her way. She has really found her voice right now and can shriek (and cry) really, really loud if she wants to!

She is still attempting to roll over and has managed it a couple of times now – but not consistently. Her sleeping pattern is a little weird – some days she will have lots of sleep, other days barely any at all. She’s got such a cheeky personality now and it is brilliant to see her interacting with my family and friends and enjoying spending time with them.

I can’t believe she is now six months – she’s half a year old, how did that happen?

5 Funny Little Things About Jack & Olivia

I was recently tagged in this quiz by Jenna from Chic Geek Diary – you can read her answers here. Here are five funny little things about Jack and Olivia – they are both such characters and so adorable!

  1.  He is obsessed with Trolls and will sing ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ constantly to make Olivia laugh. He sings it pretty much all the time and Olivia cracks up. The funniest thing is that at school Jack and a few of his friends have formed a ‘Troll band’ where they all sing songs from Trolls together….would be hilarious if they decided to join the talent show!
  2. On the theme of singing, he was once singing Christmas carols at the bus stop that he had learned and people came over and gave him money – that only made him sing longer and louder! I think I have a mini busker on my hands.
  3. Olivia will find the strangest things funny. Jack bowing, someone sneezing – the most obscure of things can set this little minx into a fit of giggles and it is very hard to keep a straight face.
  4. She can get so confused by the smallest things too – and it is so cute to watch. When Steve is at work, we sometimes video call him on Facebook Messenger. Well I wanted to show him her reaction to the ringing as we wait for him to pick up – she has a right little chat – so I called him despite him sitting next to me. She had just been sat on him and when she saw him on the screen, she looked so baffled as to how he had gone from the sofa to the screen and had to check he was still actually on the sofa!
  5. The two of them together against the world. If I leave the room normally, Olivia kicks off – she’s very clingy to me at the moment. However if she’s with Jack, I could go to the moon and back and I don’t believe she would ever notice – she’s so enamoured with him and he adores her. Hope this lasts forever.

I tag Vicky from Being Tilly’s Mummy, Rachel from Rachel In Real Life and you if you would like to take part – what funny things do your kids do?

Helping Jack With His Learning

Jack is now coming to the end of his year in Reception and will be moving to Year 1 in September. We are extremely happy with how he is progressing – he has moved up to level 8 on his reading and is one of the highest in the class for both that and Maths. His spelling and writing is really coming on well too. Both Steve and I have a big passion for learning – in fact, Steve is actually going to be retraining as a teacher soon – and so we are keen to keep the passion for learning alive in our son. We like to test him on things when we are out and about using things we can see. We have also recently discovered KS1 quizzes for pupils where he can test out his knowledge in a fun way.

Education quizzes are designed for all children all the way up from KS1 to GCSE. The quizzes are written by teachers and the objective of the site is to help children be successful at school. The KS1 section is fantastic – there are quizzes for pretty much every subject and each subject has a variety of quizzes within. Jack particularly loves the Maths section where he can switch between his 2D shapes, his 3D shapes and addition. Maths is probably his favourite subject so if he is eager to learn and find out more, we are keen to help him.

The site is available to all parents and their children for a monthly subscription fee of £9.95. Education Quizzes themselves are quite conscious of the fact that this not may be so affordable to some parents and they are keen to promote the idea to schools – with the schools paying the fee, the students get to benefit from reduced costs – perhaps even £2 per year per student, depending on the number of students in the school. They hope to get more engagement between parents and the school and believe it would certainly help come the next Ofsted inspection.

I will definitely be sharing the resource with Jack’s school – they really encourage parent engagement with their child’s learning and this site really does help to get us involved in the learning process – Jack can also be quite quiet about what he has learned at school and we can be pretty clueless until we speak to a teacher – with him choosing quizzes on the site, we can see exactly what new things he has learned and how far he has progressed since we last had a consultation with his teachers.

They even have a nature blog which Jack enjoyed reading alongside his class blog which we were catching up with. I really do believe this is a fantastic resource. Jack is keen to log on to the site and try new quizzes and for £9.95 a month, it is definitely worth it – I’m going to keep encouraging him to learn whilst he is still happy and eager to as I am sure the passion for learning will wane as he gets older.

How do you encourage your child with their learning?

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