Blog : Little Lilypad Co

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The Little Lilypad is a lifestyle blog mostly written by a mum to two beautiful, cheeky and entertaining daughters. It is sometimes written by the Man on the Pad or our baby bloggers and occasionally we accept guest posts. There is frequently talk of shoes and clothing (we love fashion and savvy shopping), chocolate (who doesn't love chocolate) education and swimming (we love this too). It is hopefully helpful, sometimes funny and always honest.

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  1. And breathe.,

    The kids are "almost" all back to school and the summer holidays are officially over. I have to admit that I fall into the category of mums that gets really sad when the start of term is looming, I adore having the girls at home over the summer and whilst there is no doubt it puts more pressure on my purse strings, I love not having the madness of the school run and the daily regime.

    Back to School : School Reviewer

    That said, this year has brought new adventures with new schools for both girls. My eldest had her SATS at the end of Year 6 and (without entering the proud parent realms too much) did exceptionally well so starts her senior school at a high level, which I obviously want her the maintain. I am forever telling her that knowledge is power and learning will give her options in the future. From a parents perspective, I am always trying to make the best decisions for my girls, which is why I was delighted to find which is the one site that empowers parents with the knowledge that they are doing all they can to ensure their child’s educational journey is as happy, fulfilling and as rewarding as they can possibly make it.

    I am a big stat geek so I love that School Reviewer is the only site in the UK that not only gives parents the invaluable stats and knowledge about every UK school at every level. There are presently 41,826 establishments on record within the School Reviewer database and they have detailed profiles, academic data and OFSTED reports for most of these. All that information in one place! But that is not all, it also ....

    • Identifies which homes fall into which catchment areas.
    • Allows parents to talk with other parents on school forums, both individually as single schools and nationally.
    • Is the only site with walk through question by question downloadable videos for GCSE math’s, SATS and 11+ papers.
    • Is recruiting tutors for free to create the biggest and most trusted tutor site for parents in the UK.
    • Is the only one to show how a 100% A+ grade can be scored on all papers. (Wow!!)

    Getting the right education is important for our children but as parents new schools, new uniform and new areas can be just as daunting, so having a forum is a great place to buy and sell school uniform and find like minded parents in your area. The School Reviewer "Parents Forum" opens up an avenue for parents to interact and discuss a whole range of topics and this isn't restricted to your local area, you can chat to parents regionally or nationally, which is a really interesting feature.

    Education is a journey for both the children and us as parents (this is without mentioning the fear that descends when we are asked to help with some of the homework) so having a resource to help you and your child is a winner in my book. But don't take my word for it, go and take a look for yourself .....

      School Reviewer



  2. Where have the summer holidays gone? Those precious moments with my girls are slipping away and they are both starting new school adventures in September. This has meant whole new uniforms, shoes, bags and books to buy for me but the apprehension of new teachers and friends for them.

    Back to School : Collins

    Are you ready for the new school year to start? With school uniforms and shoes to fit and new routines to think about, finding the time to choose the best books to buy may not always be a priority. There are lots of great books to choose from and Letts has some engaging and motivating learning books to help your child get back into a learning frame of mind. All of their books support the national curriculum so that you know they are reinforcing what your child is being taught at school.

    Have a little look at their website to browse their range of books by age group. What’s more they are offering a 30% discount on all books until 30 September 2016 when you use code BACK30 at

    Would you like to win a bundle of Letts books tailored to your child age this Back to School? I am thrilled to say that we have £50 worth of books to giveaway.

    Back to School prize bundle

     All you need to do is enter below.

     a Rafflecopter giveaway

    Good luck!

    Terms & Conditions

    The Prize: £50 worth of Letts Books
    The winners will be chosen at random by the random winner generator on Rafflecopter and notified within 7 working days by email
    Letts will make every effort to tailor the books to the age of the children but this cannot be guaranteed
    By entering this competition, you understand that your details may be retained for future mailings. You can unsubscribe from this mailing list at any time.
    There is no monetary equivalent.
    Little Lilypad Co take no /responsibility for loss or damage in the despatch of prizes
    If the prize is unclaimed within 7 days we reserve the right to redraw the winner.
    End Date 03/09/2016 at 12am

  3. We are big fans of Hatton Country World and this Summer sees the launch of their brand NEW activity, Waterwars; and what is more exciting is that Hatton Adventure World is the only place that you can play this in the whole of the West Midlands. So on a very sunny August day we decided to go and check it out!


    Based in Hatton, Warwick, Hatton Adventure Park has something for all ages but I really think this summer that they have worked extremely hard to target the 8-13 year olds. We have always struggled to find days out that appeal to the differing ages of our girls, so having a range of activities at Hatton meant that everyone was kept happy! The little ones didn't want to get wet so didn't try Water Wars but the older girls LOVED it and it was a perfect way for them to cool down on a VERY hot summers day. Take a look at the video to see what we mean!


    You can take part in the timed battles throughout the day (but make sure you check the timetable to avoid disappointment) and you and other combatants will be armed with water pistols and with only a few obstacles to hide behind you’ll have to do plenty of running to avoid trouble! We took towels with us but given how warm it was, the girls soon dried off although if you went on an overcast day you may want to take a change of clothes.

    Although Hatton Adventure World is always busy we have never found that we are stuck in long queues waiting for our turn, which is just as well when the children want to have a go on EVERYTHING.

    In addition to the Water Wars, the packed programme for up to 13's includes:

    • Laser Combat
    • Orienteering
    • Survival Skills
    • Assault Course
    • Superslide

    So while the big kids were enjoying their adventures, it gave us time to let the little ones do what they wanted to do and that included everything from petting and feeding the animals to the Zoobee puppet show and tractor ride, all of which is included in the entry cost. The only additional thing we had to pay for was a Pony ride at £2.50 per child.





    The outdoor fairground rides for the younger children were a big hit (I can't tell you how many times they went on the teacups) and the sandpit is a lovely way for them to enjoy some sensory play but Hatton really do have every area covered, so if the weather isn't as glorious as we found, they have a fantastic indoor play area too.

    We were gifted our entrance tickets but we know that a day out with the family can be costly so we would recommend taking a picnic as there are lots of places to sit and eat but our top tip is:


    Save 25% when booking 7 days in advance

    Save 17.5% when booking 4 days in advance

    Save 7.5% when booking 1 day in advance

    We have been to Hatton every year for as long as I can remember and the range of activities and adventures grows every year. Come rain or shine, there really is something for every age ...... including lovely ice creams for the Mums! The Water Wars will be at Hatton until the 4th September, so grab the family and enjoy a fun filled day out while the sun is still shining.

  4. We have spoken openly about asthma and the affect it has on us as a family, so we have been working closely with Asthma UK about children starting school and are therefore delighted to share this information on their behalf.
    You know the location of every spare inhaler within a five-mile radius. You know exactly when the neighbour’s birch trees start releasing their pollen. Even before your child starts to wheeze, you know the signs that their asthma symptoms are getting worse.
    You are an expert at your child’s asthma – and it still catches you out. So it’s understandable to be nervous at the thought of handing them over to a new teacher on the first day of the school year.
    Make sure you’re all on the same page
    Lots of parents tell us that they worry about leaving their child with other people – and it’s a fact that children are much more likely to go to hospital with their asthma in September than in August. But there are things you can do to make sure that you and your child’s school are working together to reduce the risk.
    Sharing and talking through your child’s asthma action plan with the school is a great start. At a glance, a teacher or classroom assistant can see exactly what they need to do if your child starts feeling worse. And because it’s personalised to your child, you know they’ll get exactly the treatment they’ve been prescribed. If your child doesn’t have one yet, ask your GP or asthma nurse, or download an asthma action plan here. Your GP can help you update the action plan every six months to make sure it includes any new triggers or changes to their medicines.
    Prepared, not pushy
    Parents sometimes tell us that they worry about being seen as ‘pushy’ or over-protective if they speak to their child’s teacher about their asthma. But more than a million children in the UK are affected by asthma – so the odds are that there’ll be a couple in your child’s class. A few minutes’ discussion could help your child AND their classmates to stay well, and make sure they don’t miss out.
    Every child’s asthma is different, but asking a few key questions can help you make sure the school is prepared.
    Keep lines of communication open
    It’s not just about the start of term, though. Starting the conversation about your child’s asthma now makes it easier to update teachers during the year – for example, if your child is more tired during the day because symptoms have kept them up at night. And teachers can feed back to you too: maybe your child benefits from the warm, humid air of the swimming pool.
    We’ve collected more back-to-school tips from asthma experts and other parents at - you can also find us on Twitter and Facebook.
    And if you’re concerned about  your child’s medicines, feeling under pressure or have a question you’ve always wanted to ask, call the Asthma UK Helpline. Our friendly asthma expert nurses are on the line Monday to Friday between 9am and 5pm – just call 0300 222 5800.
    Thank you Little LilyPad for donating this space to Asthma UK – we wish ALL parents and children a happy and healthy new term.