Fun alternative advent calendar ideas with Scholastic

alternative advent calendar ideas - bubbablue and me

Advent is such an exciting time of year for children. The bubbling anticipation of Christmas, the countdown and wishes that are made.  And children love the tradition of a daily advent calendar. In our house we do our own version of a chocolate advent calendar.  We have a fabric calendar with pockets and drop in a chocolate coin and a Christmassy activity on a bit of paper.  You can check out my advent calendar activity suggestions and printable if you’re… Continue Reading “Fun alternative advent calendar ideas with Scholastic”

Reading levels and book bands in Key Stage 1

how to understand reading levels and book bands in primary school - Bubbablue and me

When children start school the one thing that is the most confusing (other than where do all those lost jumpers and water bottles go?) is reading. Not the learning to read because phonics system makes sense.  But reading schemes, book bands and reading levels. Back in the 70s and 80s when I was learning to read it was easy to understand. Everyone seemed to do Roger Red Hat, Billy Blue Hat etc, and then whizzed on to whatever books were… Continue Reading “Reading levels and book bands in Key Stage 1”

The very unique Book of Everyone review and giveaway

book-of-everyone

I saw the Book of Everyone featured on blogs last year and had it on my list of present ideas for people. Of course, then I forgot about it until the Book of Everyone asked me to choose a book to review. And with 40th birthdays coming up, it was the perfect time to check out the website and make a decision of which book to buy. The Book of Everyone is a book I’ve never seen before. You choose… Continue Reading “The very unique Book of Everyone review and giveaway”

I-Spy books – the activity book relaunch

i-spy books

When I was a child I had an i-spy book of horses. I loved that little book, having been bought it at Banbury Museum just after moving to the area. I didn’t really manage to tick off many of the horses, but I loved it all the same. So when I heard that I-Spy books were being relaunched this summer, it made me smile. I jumped at the chance to take a look and try the modern versions out ourselves.… Continue Reading “I-Spy books – the activity book relaunch”

A Gruffalo Experience in Milton Keynes

Gruffalo experience Easter 2016 Milton Keynes

We love Julia Donaldson books, with the Gruffalo being one of N’s favourite characters.  We’ve seen The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child on stage, so when I noticed there was a Gruffalo Experience running this spring at Milton Keynes I decided to take N along. I presumed it was going to be similar to The Lost Gift, an immersive experience where you met characters as the story was told, and it wasn’t far off. We arrived having totally mucked up… Continue Reading “A Gruffalo Experience in Milton Keynes”

Hello Nature, hello grow, make, colour and draw book

Hello Nature book review

I’ve always said I’m not that creative although as I’ve got older it’s brought a realisation that creativity isn’t always about art and drawing, as it always seems to mean when you’re a child.  I’ve never been comfortable drawing doing art, although I’ll happily doodle a few shapes and patterns when I’m in meetings and a little bored. N on the other hand is a little boy who loves to write, draw and colour.  This love’s only come in the… Continue Reading “Hello Nature, hello grow, make, colour and draw book”

Discovering spaces and planes with Shine-a-light books – giveaway

shine-a-light books

We’ve not done any book reviews for a while.  We’re still both reading – I completed my 2015 52 book challenge back in October, and N’s still loving his books.  Now phonics teaching has started, I’m expecting him to be reading simple words after, if not by Christmas.  Exciting times. Recently we were sent a couple of new books from the shine-a-light books range.  I’ve not come across these before, but they’re definitely a new and unique concept. In the… Continue Reading “Discovering spaces and planes with Shine-a-light books – giveaway”

Pumpkins Pumpkins Everywhere – getting ready for Halloween

Pumpkins pumpkins everywhere

Apart from books from school, we’ve not had many new books for N recently.  I think he’s generally really happy with repeating the rest of the books he has already.  But we were sent Pumpkins Pumpkins Everywhere as our next Parragon Book Buddies read. N does like a themed book at certain times of the year (he’s already had out the Christmas books!), so he’s been quite interested in this one as we’ve been able to talk about Halloween and… Continue Reading “Pumpkins Pumpkins Everywhere – getting ready for Halloween”

Spot a Lot Animals jigsaw and book from Parragon Books

spot a lot book reading

We’ve not done any book reviews for a while.  It’s mostly because N’s not being interested in new books – he just wants us to read Biff and Chip. Oh, how I wish I’d never bought the set for him. Fingers crossed it’s not the book system they use at school. I was surprised therefore, how quick he was to pick up the box that Parragon Books’ latest offering came in.  Spot a Lot Animals attracted him straight away.  I… Continue Reading “Spot a Lot Animals jigsaw and book from Parragon Books”

Book lover style with Roald Dahl cushions from House of Fraser – giveaway

Roald Dahl House of Fraser cushions

I have to admit our house is a tad on the unfinished side (and has been since before I moved in 13 years ago). I love looking at stylish houses, but just never have the impetous to do it in our own home. I had vague plans for N’s room but it’s still a hotch potch, and generally full of books spread all over the floor. N takes after me in loving books, so when I was shown the Roald… Continue Reading “Book lover style with Roald Dahl cushions from House of Fraser – giveaway”