Checking out School Reviewer

 *Collaborative Post*

When it came to choosing a primary school for Ben I didn’t actually investigate the options too thoroughly, I put down three schools (incidentally the three closest) but I didn’t visit any of them, I had already chosen which school I wanted him to go to and it was purely for social reasons.  My friends’ children went there, my childminder did the school run there.  I never really considered that he would go anywhere else.

Now that Ben is in the Juniors, we are already starting to worry about which high school he will go to, it might be a good few years away but I know it’s going to come round quicker than any of us would like.

Kids ready for school.

Choosing the right school for your child can be really stressful, particularly when you’re not sure quite how much choice you actually have.  We all know we have to put down our first, second and third choices but we also know that in the end it comes down to your LEA and you might not get any of those schools at all.

School Reviewer Logo

School Reviewer aims to empower parents with the knowledge they need to make informed decisions about their children’s education – from catchment areas to statistics and even parental opinions.  All things which I’m increasingly aware of as I start to think about my children’s future in education.  We all want to know that we’re sending our children to the best school for them don’t we?  For some of us that might mean we want the most local school, one they can walk too.  For others it could mean a focus on sport, music or science.

The School Reviewer site isn’t just about choosing schools.  The site is clearly organised into sections to help you find information about specific schools at every level, exams at different stages, a buy & sell section allowing parents to sell pre-loved resources and text books, a parent forum and a section to find a local tutor as well as a School Reviewer blog to keep you up to date on the latest news and views in education.

I had a good nose at my children’s current schools (of course!) but as yet there’s no reviews or information held for them – perhaps I should be the first person to contribute!

What I love about the School Review website is that it really is a “one stop shop for parents” – so much information, clearly presented in one place.  Check it out and keep the link to hand, you never know when you might need it next!

Legoland Discovery Centre Ninjago event

Earlier this month, Dave and the kids went on an adventure without me!  Here’s how they got on: 

Ben has been a fan of LEGO since he was two.  Starting with Duplo and then moving up to the proper stuff with great speed.  He loves the it.  Whenever he’s saving, either pocket money or money from birthday presents, you can bet he’s saving for LEGO.  Ben’s passed on his love of LEGO to Chloe and Amy.  Chloe has started to buy the LEGO Friends or princess themed boxes and Amy has been playing with the huge box of DUPLO we’ve got in the playroom.  Ben’s got various sets, Star Wars, super hero, and recently he’s got a few Ninjago boxes.

So when LEGOLAND Discovery Centre contacted us and asked if we’d like to go to the visit their new Ninjago event, even though Colette was in London for the MADs and I would have to take all three of them on my own, I knew I couldn’t say no.

We turned up to Barton Square quite early on Sunday morning.  Ben knew where we were going before we had parked the car.  If you’ve never been to the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre before it’s in Barton Square, the complex adjoining The Trafford Centre.  As we entered the kids were given Ninja goggles (free during the event).  If you turn up wearing a Ninja outfit then you get a free poster too (while stocks last)!

For the uninitiated when you enter the Discovery Centre you are treated to a bit of an interactive play describing the process of making LEGO.  There’s a professor who needs help from the kids in getting the machinery to work.  All very interesting and gets the kids blood pumping with plenty of cheering and such.  This time there was the added element of some Ninja skills displayed by the professor.

LEGO factory

Once you’ve done that you go through into the actual play/display area.  The first thing you can do, although it’s not compulsory, is a ride haunted house/laser quest, ride where you sit in a buggy on rails and get driven round a track while you shoot various creatures and things on the walls, ceiling and screens.  Amy was very reluctant to get on the ride.  I think she thought she was going to be scared.  The other two were very keen though so I made her get on and after a minute she was fine.  You get points for every thing you shoot while on the track.  Ben and Chloe did far better than the last time they had been there.  Of course I won.  I didn’t tell them that though.  I’m not a showoff!

Lego mini land

After that you’re into the Miniland.  Locations from all around the world are recreated in LEGO.  It’s fantastic stuff.  For the Ninjago event there are Ninjas hidden throughout Miniland.  Test your own Ninja skills by trying to find them all!  It was while looking for mini Ninjas that a huge one sneaked up on us!  We turned around and there was Kai, the Fire Ninja!  Ben was very excited to meet Kai.  Amy was a little perturbed by this 6 foot red Ninja, and who can blame her!

Ninja Kai

There’s other Ninja based activities such as building your own Ninjago vehicles and in the Master Model building classes you can build Ninjago Eye masks.  There’s large displays of Ninjago models and face painting on hand for those that want a Ninja mask.  My favourite was the Ninja Laser Maze!  A darkened labyrinth where you can live out your fantasies of being a cat burglar in the middle of a heist!  I think the kids enjoyed it but to honest I was too busy tripping the laser beams!  They’re not made for people of a larger height I’m afraid.

Aside from the Ninja themed stuff the rest of the centre is still available including the 4D cinema with two different shows playing.  The large soft play area and climbing area as well as the Forest Pursuit (go kart track) if you’re over 4 years old.  Amy was gutted she couldn’t go on these and had to watch her big brother and sister crashing into each other.  I was a little sad I couldn’t join them to be honest!  Amy was very taken with the Merlin’s Apprentice ride.  You sit in a winged bike contraption that spins round a central pillar and rises into the air, if you pedal fast and keep pedalling!  Kids under 1.2 meters have to be accompanied which meant that I went on twice in quick succession with Chloe and Amy.  I was a little sweaty by the time I had got off.

Lego cinema

After all the exercise it was time for a drink.  The cafe bit has proper Costa coffee which I was most happy about and the kids enjoyed their Slush Puppies.  As a treat we got them some chocolate cake which Amy proceeded to smear across every surface she could find.  Bless!

The kids had a great time and as they had some money saved from birthdays and such on the way out I let them spend said money in the gift shop.  Ben got a huge box of LEGO.  Chloe and Amy got smaller sets but they were all happy with their lot (as were the The Brick Castle boys!)

LEGO purchases

If your child likes LEGO.  The LEGOLAND Discovery Centre is well worth a visit.  Whatever the time of year.

*We were invited to visit LEGOLAND Discovery Centre free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 39 – 2016)

It really feels like autumn is on the way this week – can you believe we are almost at the end of September already? Manchester is suddenly very wet!

Welcome to another week of #TriedTested! Of course we wouldn’t be able to say that without you lovely lot returning each and every week to link up your favourite reviews and taking time to read and comment on others. We have always been really proud of the fact that the bloggers joining in with #TriedTested are keen commenters; let’s face it there’s no point in linking up if you’re not going to get lots of lovely people reading your post is there – so gold stars all round. You’re ace, keep it up!

Please have a quick read through the points below to make sure you know how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you

* If you’d like Colette to tweet you a reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop her a tweet (@Lollinski) and she’ll add you to the list

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

So if this is your first time here then welcome along, where have you been? You can find out more about #TriedTested and how to join in here. If you’re a regular then welcome to you too, it’s lovely to have you back! Crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

This week we have loved:

#TriedTested featured blogger

Paw Patrol Weebles review from Hollybobbs. This brings back childhood memories, with a modern twist that will make them appealing for pre schoolers now.

#TriedTested featured blogger

Riverford fruit and veg box review from The Mini Me’s and Me.  Kate has a Riverford delivery, and it is great to see more people enjoying the produce.

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important:
* Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up
* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!
* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)
* Please don’t link up a linky or comment on other people’s posts asking them to join your linky too as it’s really not good etiquette!

We do our best to visit each post to leave a comment but we can’t promise to get round everyone every week – especially with kids and work to juggle too! We would love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too so other people know where to find the linky.
We're going on an adventure



Lunchboxes with BEAR “Happy by Nature” & Yoyos

BEAR Yo Yo Range

Packed lunches haven’t really been a “thing” in our house for quite a while now.  Up until this year Ben and Chloe have both benefited from the government scheme offering all children in EYFS / KS1 a free school meal.  Chloe, in Year 1, still gets her lunch for free and Ben’s costs us a fairly hefty £10 a week.

Little girl walking to playgroup

Amy, however is super excited to be starting some full days at play group this term.  The main reason for her excitement is that she gets to take a packed lunch!  It’s the little things right?  I’m conscious that, at not quite three years old, Amy’s lunch box needs to be filled with things which are easy for her to eat independently but are still healthy.  Amy’s playgroup have strict guidelines on what can be included in their packed lunches – basically no cakes and chocolates!   Along with making sure that things are simple for Amy at lunchtime, I also want to make sure that her lunch boxes are easy for me to put together – eg squeezy yogurts that don’t need spoons or fruit which doesn’t need preparing.   I know some people spend ages preparing beautiful packed lunches but I’m just not that creative!

girl with packed lunch

packed lunch BEAR

BEAR Yoyos are an ideal option for popping into lunchboxes. They are made from 100% pure fruit (and a little veg!) to create a high fibre, healthy snack. They are also free from added sugar, preservatives or concentrates, meaning your little one can munch on a portion of their 5 a day with no added nonsense. BEAR yoyos are available in six tasty recipes; Strawberry, Apple, Blackcurrant, Mango, Raspberry and Pineapple, and as you can see they go down very well!

BEAR Yo Yo Range

Toddler eating BEAR Yoyos

Playgroup are happy that it’s not chocolate, I’m happy because it’s so easy for me and healthy for Amy and most importantly Amy is happy because they taste nice and are fun to eat!

To find out more visit http://www.bearnibbles.co.uk/ or follow @Follow_the_bear

*Collaborative post*

Civil War Slide Blast Armour & Blaster Reveal Shield – Review

Ben (and Daddy) are big fans of super heroes in general so there was much excitement when the Civil War Iron Man Side Blast Armour and Civil War Captain America Blaster Reveal Shield arrived at our house!
Civil War Nerf toys
Neither of the toys take batteries which is a win and means they are pretty much ready to play straight from the box, there is a little assembly required but this was something Ben was able to do himself so it’s certainly not complicated.   Each toy comes with two Nerf darts which is the bare minimum for making the most of these toys so I would suggest you probably want to invest in some spares – I think we all know how quickly they’re going to get lost in a bush or behind the sofa don’t we?
 Civil War battle
Iron Man’s Slide Blast Armour
The Iron Man Slide Blast Armour features a handle grip and adjustable strap which means you can hold the armour steady while you press a button to slide the armour up your arm and a second button activates the blaster – shooting Nerf pellets up to about 5m.  Ben was impressed by how far he was able to get the Nerf pellets to travel.  You do need to be quite strong to get the blaster to activate as neither of the girls could do it – but then as the toy is aimed at age 6 plus I think that’s fair enough.  It’s worth mentioning that Ben thought the Slide Blast Armour would only work if you are right-handed however I’ve had a look and it just means that the pellets come from the bottom rather than the top – the design is such that the armour doesn’t look like it’s upside down.
Iron Man arm
Iron Man Arm Blaster
Iron Man handle
Iron Man arm extended
Captain America’s Blaster Reveal Shield
At first glance, this looks just like Captain America’s shield with its iconic star and stripes pattern – however, with one press of the central star button it pops open to reveal a trigger on the handle and two Nerf darts which will easily fire a good few metres.  The shield can be worn on your left or right arm without problems.
Captain America Shield
Captain America press button
back view of shield
Blasting Captain America shield
Both toys have been a big hit in our household and we think they’d be a great addition to any Christmas list (yes I really did just say that!) but bear in mind that you’re going to want to buy some spare Nerf darts to accommodate for some over zealous blasting!!
*We were sent these toys free of charge for the purposes of review however all thoughts and opinions remain our own*

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 38 – 2016)

It really feels like autumn is on the way this week – can you believe we are in the middle of September already?

Welcome to another week of #TriedTested! Of course we wouldn’t be able to say that without you lovely lot returning each and every week to link up your favourite reviews and taking time to read and comment on others. We have always been really proud of the fact that the bloggers joining in with #TriedTested are keen commenters; let’s face it there’s no point in linking up if you’re not going to get lots of lovely people reading your post is there – so gold stars all round. You’re ace, keep it up!

Please have a quick read through the points below to make sure you know how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you

* If you’d like Colette to tweet you a reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop her a tweet (@Lollinski) and she’ll add you to the list

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

So if this is your first time here then welcome along, where have you been? You can find out more about #TriedTested and how to join in here. If you’re a regular then welcome to you too, it’s lovely to have you back! Crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

This week we have loved:

#TriedTested featured blogger

The Reward Box review from Emma plus Three. A fun take on the traditional reward chart, I know this would be a huge hit in this house, and I love the fact you can personalise it too.

#TriedTested featured blogger

Hopscotch shoes review from Kitty & B. This is such a thorough review, showing exactly what happens when you take your baby for their first shoe fitting. The shoes are BEYOND cute too!

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important:
* Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up
* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!
* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)
* Please don’t link up a linky or comment on other people’s posts asking them to join your linky too as it’s really not good etiquette!

We do our best to visit each post to leave a comment but we can’t promise to get round everyone every week – especially over the summer holidays!! We would love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too so other people know where to find the linky.
We're going on an adventure



Siblings – September 2016

back to school siblings

As is often the case, I looked at the calendar earlier and had a sudden dawning realisation that it’s actually the middle of the month again already.  These Siblings posts just seem to roll around so flipping quickly!  This sort of last minute panic sees me scrolling through the photos I’ve taken over the last month and crossing my fingers tightly that I had the foresight to take some of them all together!

And actually it turns out that no, I don’t have loads of photos of the kids together this month.  I think in part this is because I’ve taken less photos in general with us filming our #SevenWeeksofSummer vlogs but more because we had the best part of a week with no children at all and then shortly after that the new school term hit.  So this month’s photos sums things up pretty well – bedtimes, back to school and a cheeky weekend adventure.

September has brought with it new routines, ones which means we all see a little less of each other at the moment.  Everyone has an extra day in childcare so I now only do the school runs twice a week.  Our weekends are more precious but have also been very packed of late.  We’re aiming to take a bit of a slower pace through the Autumn though I’ve come to the realisation that whilst Dave and I might like to do less, it just seems to lead to bored children and more bickering!  To a point they will have to suck it up as we’ve got things to get done around the house and actually I think it does kids good to be a little bored at times – it encourages them to use their imaginations!  We’ve also been trying to leave the TV switched off a little more which has led to some gorgeous scenes of all three children lying on the floor in the playroom building little worlds out of Duplo and acting out their narratives.  Those are the moments I want to drink in and bottle.  The moments were having three children is just perfect.

girls ready for bed

no-badge

back to school siblings

kids on a rhino

sisters

The Me and Mine Project

Tried & Tested Tuesday (Week 37 – 2016)

Hope you’re all back into the swing of things now that we’re hitting mid Autumn.  We seem to be getting to grips with the new school term though I’m looking forward to some of this bonus sunshine we’ve been promised this week!

Welcome to another week of #TriedTested! Of course we wouldn’t be able to say that without you lovely lot returning each and every week to link up your favourite reviews and taking time to read and comment on others. We have always been really proud of the fact that the bloggers joining in with #TriedTested are keen commenters; let’s face it there’s no point in linking up if you’re not going to get lots of lovely people reading your post is there – so gold stars all round. You’re ace, keep it up!

Please have a quick read through the points below to make sure you know how things are working:

* Tried & Tested is open on Tuesday – from 8am to midnight on the same day

* We’d love to share your post on Twitter – please tweet us your link (@Lollinski & @FamilyFever) along with the #TriedTested hashtag and we’ll retweet that for you

* If you’d like Colette to tweet you a reminder each week when the linky is open then please drop her a tweet (@Lollinski) and she’ll add you to the list

* Each week we feature our two favourite reviews from the past week and we have a super special “featured blogger” badge! If you are this week’s featured blogger we will send you over the code which we would love you to add to you blog post or sidebar!

So if this is your first time here then welcome along, where have you been? You can find out more about #TriedTested and how to join in here. If you’re a regular then welcome to you too, it’s lovely to have you back! Crack on, link up and share some commenty love – let’s face it, that’s what makes linkys work.

This week we have loved:

dear bear and beany

The Massage Company – Dear Bear and Beany.  Because let’s face it, who doesn’t love a good massage!  Self care isn’t selfish!

Featured Blogger

Monstersaurus Live – The Butterfly Mother.  You can’t beat a good theatre trip and it’s such a valuable experience for kids.

We don’t have lots of rules for #TriedTested however the ones we do have are really important:
* Please do make sure you visit your hosts Family Fever and We’re going on an adventure to leave a comment on the posts we have each linked up
* Try to comment on a couple of other posts as well if you can – we know that people really appreciate the feedback!
* We do ask that you link a maximum of 2 posts each week to keep things fair for everyone – if you choose to link up an extra post please make sure you visit extra posts in the linky to balance it out. (Additional or irrelevant posts will be deleted out of fairness.)
* Please don’t link up a linky or comment on other people’s posts asking them to join your linky too as it’s really not good etiquette!

We do our best to visit each post to leave a comment but we can’t promise to get round everyone every week – especially over the summer holidays!! We would love it if you grabbed our badge and popped it on your post too so other people know where to find the linky.
We're going on an adventure



Playmobil Fire Chief’s Car #5364 – Review

Despite a real love of construction and small world in our house, we’ve never actually had any PLAYMOBIL toys until now.  I guess we’ve stuck to the HappyLand which is obviously a bit younger, or LEGO which is a different ball (or brick) game entirely.  I’m thrilled that we’ve been asked to be PLAYMOBIL Playologists this year as it means we’re going to be introducing plenty of PLAYMOBIL to our house and I know it’s going to be loved by all three of them!  As a top manufacturer of preschool toys, it feels a little like PLAYMOBIL has a foot in both camps so to speak suiting Ben’s love of making things and the girls’ love of small world.  Amy in particular loves small world at the moment and the more grown up feel to PLAYMOBIL means the big two are far more likely to want to play along.  (And let’s face it, anything which has all three kids playing happily together is onto a winner!)

PLAYMOBIL Fire Car

PLAYMOBIL Fire car kit

As Ben is pretty experienced when it comes to building various constructions sets I decided to leave him to it.  The PLAYMOBIL Fire Chief’s Car comes part built with a booklet of clear pictorial instructions on how to complete it.  Unfortunately we didn’t realise there are two parts to the book – if you start at one end it tells you how to complete the basic car, if you start at the other end it tells you how to fit the remote control unit.  We started at the wrong end.  This meant the instructions felt unnecessarily complicated as we kept finding bits that were irrelevant . . . more fool us!  We only realised once Ben had put the whole set together that there was a more basic version of the instructions at the other end of the booklet!
Building PLAYMOBIL

The Fire Chief’s Car with Lights and Sound can be upgraded with a RC module – I must admit neither Ben nor I could understand why it wasn’t just included in the set.  It was a bit “Look what you could have won” – particularly as we found the back wheels on the car didn’t seem to move very freely and Ben felt this was probably because it was designed to be remote control.

Aside from this niggle the set was really quite simple to fit together.  Ben found the wheels a little frustrating as they didn’t fit together in quite the way he had expected – and then as I have mentioned didn’t seem to move very freely once on the vehicle.  He really enjoyed adding the stickers for the sat nav and the vehicle registration plate.

The Fire Chief’s Car with Lights and Sound does not include batteries so do make sure you’ve got that single AAA battery to hand if you want to enjoy the full siren effect!  (Or don’t . . . . )  Along with the vehicle itself, the set includes a PLAYMOBIL figure with megaphone, traffic cones, fire extinguisher and other associated paraphernalia.

PLAYMOBIL Fire Chief

This particular set is a limited-edition to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the London Fire Brigade with 10% of the proceeds going to the Brigade’s charity of choice.  I think this is a lovely idea but Ben couldn’t quite work out what the stickers were for as there wasn’t a space for them on the car as it was already printed.

PLAYMOBIL Fire Chief playset

The set is a great size for little hands to be able to manipulate – chunky yet with small pieces for those children who have more developed fine motor skills.

Playing with PLAYMOBIL

* We were sent the PLAYMOBIL Fire Chief’s Car with Lights and Sound free of charge for the purposes of review.  All thoughts and opinions remain our own*

Our Bedtime Routine with Sky Kids

girls ready for bed

*Collaborative post*


I must admit that bedtime is one of my favourite times of the day – not just because it means that the day is done but also because, when everything goes smoothly, bedtime is all clean kids, cuddles and bedtime stories.

girls ready for bed

I’ve written before about how we introduced a bedtime routine into our house when Ben was just five weeks old.  Over the last seven years that routine has grown and adapted to suit the needs of our family – be it adding a new baby into the mix, realising that perhaps they were ready for slightly later nights or Ben doing extra curricular activities of an evening.  I’ve been asked in the past how we manage a bedtime routine with three kids of different ages but for the most part we just get on with it and the expectation is there that they all get ready for bed together and then the older two may get a little “extension” where they can read in bed.

For us a bedtime routine has always been a really positive experience – it allows the kids to know when it’s time to relax and certain repeated triggers for examples tidying up, bath time or a bedtime story all help them to prepare for sleeping.  I’m sure if we suddenly announced in the middle of a rowdy game – “Right it’s bedtime, go sort yourselves out and get into bed” that we’d have a mutiny on our hands!

kids ready for bed

Generally we have quite a strict rule that tablets go off before tea time (though often they aren’t used at all during the week as we’re too busy with other things) and then after tea it’s tidying up, a bit of TV or reading school books.  There are two main reasons we’ve always said “no tablets after tea” – the first being that we didn’t want their brains buzzing from playing games and stopping them from sleeping (anyone else played Candy Crush in bed and then struggled to drop off?  I’m sure it’s not just me!) and the second being that having a strict “no tablets after tea” rule means there’s no room for arguing – no, “can I just finish this game?” or “I’ll come upstairs after this programme has finished” etc.  We’ve recently softened a little on this rule with the introduction of the new “sleep mode” on the Sky Kids app – particularly if we are away from home eg in a hotel or at my parents where we haven’t got such free access to kids’ tv.  The Sky Kids app allows you to set a timer for the app to stop working for the day (a little like a more grown up version of when Cbeebies puts the bedtime screen up!)  The app allows us to download their favourite programmes to watch offline (perhaps at swimming or in the car) but, once you’ve activtated sleep mode it gives gentle five minute warning before Sky Buddy goes to sleep giving them another subtle reminder that it’s bedtime.

kids using tablet

Sky kids app

Sky buddy sleeps

I particularly love that Sky Buddy remains asleep until it’s waking up time – this is especially useful for us at Granny & Grandad’s where Ben tends to wake up earlier and is allowed his tablet in bed until it’s a more acceptable waking up time!  Being able to set a time on the Sky Kids app means he knows that if Sky Buddy isn’t awake, then he shouldn’t be either!

So what does bedtime look like in our house?

For the most part Dave and I do bedtime as a bit of team effort, in the early days this was mainly becuase it was just nice family time to do Ben’s bath and bed together each night.  Now I think it feels like more a case of divide and conquer – those bedtimes where Dave is working away are definitely a little more stresseful!

Once we’ve tidied up and turned off the TV, its upstairs for a bath or shower depending on how grubby they are, then PJs, teeth and into Amy’s room for a story before tucking everyone in and saying good night.  More often than not Dave reads the bedtime story as he’s had less chance to spend time with the kids during the day and it means I can get back downstairs to get on with some work. (The joys of working from home)

Although we have quite a fixed bedtime routine and all three kids are generally pretty good at going to bed, this doesn’t mean that they don’t push their luck.  Amy always wants the one extra cuddle, Chloe will always need another wee (or more recently has started to ask really random quesions like “Daddy, why was the world made?”) and Ben can usualyl think of something he has left downstairs that he can’t poassibly sleep wihtout.  We are quite firm about this – you don’t go downstairs once you’re ready for bed so either you do without or we bring it up next time we come upstairs.  When it comes to getting three kids to bed you take no prisoners!

Up until about 18 months ago, Ben and Chloe shared a room which was hard work at bedtimes as they kept each other awake.  We thought that once they were in their own rooms this would be magically solved but unfortunately, they now just sneak into each other’s rooms and chat there instead!  Amy’s bedroom door has one of those old fashioned high up door handles so she couldn’t get out even if she wanted to – and I do sometimes wish that Ben and Chlo’s doors were the same!  There’s definitely been some stern words said of a evening when we hear them up after we’ve put them to bed.  One of the things which we’ve found helps is allowing Ben his extra half hour of reading time downstairs instead so that Chloe can go to sleep without feeling tempted to go and talk to him.

Ben sleeping

It might well be time to push Ben and Chloe’s bedtimes on slightly but I’m loathe to give up my evenings – is that wrong?!  I must admit that I actually put off teaching Ben to tell the time so that he wouldn’t know when it was really bedtime or that I was sneaking him upstairs 20 minutes earlier than usual as I’d lost the will to live!

I’d love to know what tricks your children use to try and extend their bedtimes?  Have you got any white lies up your sleeve that you use to get them into bed earlier?

Sleeping Amy

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