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 by one of our baby bloggers. Occasionally we accept guest posts too. 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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Category: School Days

  1. How to prepare your child to return to school

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    After a long summer holiday, when the school reopens, a little anxiety can creep in and more often than not, parents face the challenges of getting the children back into their routine. As again the child has to familiarise with the school environment, they have to again learn new things, make new friends, so on and so forth. The child, on the other hand, faces a different problem altogether, as he/she has to again come to the routine of getting up early and making themselves ready for school. Apart from that, after a long vacation, children tend to forget subjects they were taught in their previous class and here comes the problem of again making them learn the same things and bringing them back in track. 

    Many schools give holiday homework which is good for a child to brush up his/her knowledge. Apart from this there are many simple things that can be done to make your child or more appropriately prepare the child to return to school. Lets figure out some simple things that can be done to make the child get rid of return to school fear:

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    Learn with fun: This is a simple formula to be followed while on vacation. While you and your little ones are enjoying the holidays, you can spend some time on teaching things which you child has already studied and which he/she would be studying in the next class. This will make it easy for you child to grasp things when taught in class, as this has already been taught by you.

    Read books daily: Purchase story books and other knowledgeable books and make it a habit to make them read these books daily, so they don't lose the flow of reading and this will also add to their knowledge. Also keep reminding them that their school is going to reopen soon, so they get prepared for the final day.

    Go shopping together: you have to shop new books, new uniform, and new shoes! Take your children along. Make them feel excited about return to school. Buy the books together, buy them new shoes and also some learn and fun stuff like creative writing books, painting books, so they feel excited about the same. My girls love shopping and are small stationery addicts, so this is a day of fun for them! 

    Early to bed and early to rise: As the children have to again make a habit of early to bed and early to raise, its better to keep the school routine going. Get up early and go for a walk with your kids, this will make them feel fresh and healthy and they will also get into the habit of getting up early. Similarly make them go to bed early. NO late night cartoon watching or playing games as the summer draws to a close. You all need to get back into the school run routine. 

    I absolutely adore having the girls home over the summer but following these simple things to make your child ready for the new session of the school without any hassles and without they having a fear of return to school after a long and tension free summer.

  2. Will the sun come out tomorrow?

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    So, as the UK swelters in a heatwave, the forecast will most certainly predict that the sun will be out tomorrow and like it or not the next few days too - however in this case we are taking a break from the near constant weather themed conversations and instead heading away from talking about the actual sunshine, and instead directing ourselves towards the metaphorical sunshine of hope, optimism and enthusiam that tomorrow will bring.

    The smash-hit production of the much loved film ANNIE comes to the Birmingham Hippodrome for 3 weeks only, direct from London’s West End and as fans of the original (and remake) were thrilled to be gifted the opportunity to visit on launch night. The story is loved and well known by every generation of children and adults alike and most (but not all) of the familiar timeless songs are here however this production breathes some new life into the story with the added bonus of a new cast and new songs too. 

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    Starring Jodie Prenger (winner of the BBC’s I’d Do Anything, Oliver!, Spamalot, Calamity Jane) as the tyrannical Miss Hannigan, the audience was given a more familiar 'true to movie' performance vs the representation delivered in previous shows starring Craig Revel Horwood's deliciously over the top characture of the Miss Hannigan character - both equally satisfying in different ways.

    Set in 1930s New York during The Great Depression, brave young Annie is forced to live a life of misery at Miss Hannigan’s orphanage. We all know the story of how her luck changes when she’s chosen to spend a fairytale Christmas with famous billionaire, Oliver Warbucks. Meanwhile, spiteful Miss Hannigan has other ideas and hatches a plan to spoil Annie’s search for her true family.

    The tale has always been about Annie piecing together the missing parts of her life whilst enriching and adding to Daddy Warbuck's shallow existence this is fantastically reflected in the set design which shows puzzle pieces that glow during scene stages. I was unsure of the relevance of the set design at first but on reflection proved a great way to show how the story evolves and comes together, not only for Annie but for the key characters too.

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    As always, there has to be a soft spot for Daddy Warbucks and his assistant Grace, who were both fantastic in their roles and very true to the original movie, however even more impressive was the Easy Street performance which combined impressive choreography, great character and charm in Miss Hannigan, her evil brother Rooster and his pick-pocket wife Lily proved to be a highlight for me.

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    The young cast are captivating and we left the show convinced that regardless of any heatwave, the sun really will come out tomorrow! If you want a live action adaptation of the original movie that combine familiarity with the charm of the stage, then this is the show for you!

    Tickets start from £24 and as the show only runs until the 11th August at the Birmingham Hippodrome, make sure you don't miss out.

     

    Directed by Nikolai Foster, Book by Thomas Meehan, Music by Charles Strouse, Lyrics by Martin Charnin.

     

  3. How to save money on school supplies

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    Back to school sales are beginning to pop up and organised parents are starting to think about the start of the new school year. School supplies lists are growing and every year more parents find themselves frustrated with the growing cost. With a plan and a little thinking ahead you can save money on school supplies this year. 

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    Go through what you have in the house from last year before you buy anything new. You do not need new pencil sharpeners, scissors, and other odds and ends that do not get used up. This can lead to a big savings as you work your way down the teacher's list. 

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    Keep an eye on the sales. The early sales are often not as good as the later ones so only start shopping if you know a better price will not be coming. If you have the budget but want to wait for the sales getting a gift card to set to the side is always a great way to set your budget.

    Buy non-school supplies items off your teacher's list at the pound shops or use vouchers and sales to get the best deals. Some teachers list items that help keep our kids from getting sick during the school year. While this bothers some parents it can be valuable for keeping your family healthy come flu season. Tissues, disinfectant, and hand sanitizer in your child's school will save you a lot of money after so if you find a good deal, your child's teacher would love some extras.

    Stock extras when the best sales hit or grab extras when offers are online, so you won't need to pay full price later. These extras can be pulled out when your child needs more supplies without paying full price or if you really want to plan ahead, they could even be used as frugal stocking stuffers.

    If money saving is on your hit list for this summer, why not take a look at easy ways to save money from Baby Budgeting.

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  4. 7 Top Tips to Make the Morning Rush Bearable

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    I am not a morning person. I like to stay up late, chatting, reading and falling into a deep sleep that I struggle to get out of the next day. So just when you thought all those sleepless nights and nappy changing was over, there comes the school time madness. I might have mentioned that mornings are already not my favourite thing, and to top that comes the crazy rush of making sure the lunch boxes are packed, the clothes are clean and the kids are ready in time for the school run. It’s tough. We get it. 

    I've been doing the school run for over 10 years now, so have put together 7 super simple and actionable tips to make the morning rush a little more bearable.

    7 Top Tips to Make the Morning Rush Bearable

    Make A Good Nights Sleep a Priority

    Even before we get started on the morning, we’ve got to focus on the nights. Getting restful sleep every night is crucial- not just for your little one but you too! Make it a point to get to bed early every single day- make sure you’re getting at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, and your little one is in their bed depending on how much sleep they needs as per their age.

    This little trick can work wonders and both you and your little ones will wake up fresh and less cranky!

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    Create a Routine

    You knew this one was coming- creating a routine is exceptionally helpful in all parts of your life. It basically helps you stay more organized and in control of how things are going. Divide your mornings into time slots, and assign different activities to each slot- depending on how long they take. This will also help you stay more realistic, and therefore, feeling less rushed.

    Determine What Sucks

    Whether it is your kid’s bathtime resistance or his habit of watching YouTube while having his breakfast, determine what is it that’s actually sucking and draining off the time and energy from your mornings. Work on ways to get that fixed, and you’ll notice how your mornings become less of a struggle.

    Bring the Fun into it

    Mornings don’t always need to be taxing and dull, infact you can actually make them a lot of fun! Look for ways to energize yourself and your kids every morning- you could play an upbeat song during bathtime or do a few light stretches before you grab your cup of coffee- just anything to put you in a fun mood.

    Prep the Night Before

    The simplest, most straightforward way to remove the rush out of mornings is to reduce the number of tasks you (and other members) have to do in the morning. This means prepping at night, but when you do it, you’ll feel much more relaxed in the morning (and at night too). Look up simple breakfast ideas and prep them the night before. Lay out the clothes to be worn, and all the essentials handy, so that there’s no last minute rush trying to find things.

    Wake Up a Bit Earlier

    Waking up a bit earlier everyday can make a huge difference, even if you’re not a morning person like me. I got up an hour earlier this week and by 7am I had stripped beds, done some washing, made lunches and felt really accomplished. It feels that somehow you’re able to get things done faster and more efficiently when you’re up early, and of course, you’ll be less rushed than you ever were.

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    Let it Go

    And last, but definitely not the least, be easy. Even if things aren’t turning out the way they planned, and if your little one took a longer time to brush, or if you didn’t get the chance to chop those strawberries and add them to your children's cereal bowl, that’s okay. Don’t stress too much over the details and how things didn’t turn out perfect.

    There is always tomorrow ......