Thursday, 31 May 2012

My Diabetes Check-up

This time last year I had a very big shock. Whilst pregnant with my 4th child I developed Gestational Diabetes. I'd always passed the Glucose Tolerance Test with the other 3, including DD1 who was 10lb 14oz at birth, and with no history of diabetes in my family I assumed I would pass again. I didn't, I had developed GD and spent the rest of my pregnancy on insulin injections.

After her birth in January 2010 the GD disappeared, but unfortunately I didn't take the warning serious and carried on eating whatever I liked. 

Then, in May 2011, after a routine check-up because the optician told me he had found signs of high blood pressure behind my eyes at my eye appointment, my doctor confirmed my GD had returned in the form of Type-2 diabetes (this means that my body does create insulin, but not enough or it doesn't work properly. Type 1 diabetes is when the pancreas doesn't create any insulin for any reason and has nothing to do with your weight, lifestyle or eating habits!)

It did came as a shock to me as there is no family history of diabetes in my family. In fact I don't know anyone in my family who has had either type-1 or type-2 diabetes. Yet the signs were there... My BMI is too high, I'm overweight, I've had GD and I have high blood pressure (as well as a family history of heart attacks and heart disease).

The full risks of developing diabetes are;

  • A close member of your family has type-2 diabetes (parent, brother or sister)
  • You're overweight or if your waist is 31.5in or over over for women, 35in or over for Asian men and 37in or over for white and black men.
  • You have high blood pressure or you've had a heart attack or a stroke
  • You're a women with polycystic ovary syndrome and you're overweight
  • You've been told you have impaired glucose tolerance or impaired fasting glycaemia
  • You're a woman and you've had gestational diabetes
  • You have severe mental health problems
When I first saw my doctor she told me straight, if I didn't deal with my diabetes NOW I wouldn't live to reach my 50th birthday, and being told that at 34 is quite a shock! I WANT to live and see my children grow up, get married and have children of their own. I don't want to leave them motherless at a young age!

The biggest shock of all was that it wasn't just sugar that affects my blood sugar levels. I remember thinking I don't eat that much sugar, I don't add it to my tea or cereal and I drink diet coke... but it's not that kind of sugar that makes dealing with diabetes so hard... it's the hidden sugar in food as well as carbohydrates such as in bread, potatoes and pasta, because all carbohydrates break down into glucose or sugar.

At first I did really well and started bringing my blood sugar levels down and losing weight, but then Christmas hit and I struggled. My biggest problem is I am a comfort eater and if I feel sad, depressed, lonely, hurt, bored etc I will reach for something to eat, something like chocolate. Slowly my blood glucose levels crept up and so did my weight and it was hard to get back into a routine, especially as I love food so much.

I realised I was going the wrong way to deal with diabetes, so I decided to join Slimming World to help me lose weight and I also bought myself a bike and a brilliant bike seat for the baby (more on that to come) as we're lucky to live somewhere which has fantastic cycling routes, even if its just a mile bike ride to the end of the prom!

When I went to see my doctor yesterday for my routine diabetes check-up, she was about to tell me off because my blood glucose levels have climbed a lot higher than they were last time I saw her, but when she heard that I'd lose half a stone through Slimming World and also bought a bike and started exercising more she was willing to let me off as I was trying to make an improvement. She did however raise me from 1 500mg Metformin tablet a day to 2, but she explained that most people are on 3 Metformin so I was still doing well. 

So now I have to work hard and make sure that next time I see her, my glucose and my weight are lower than they are now!!!

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Diamond Jubilee Street Party Pack from Party Packs Review

This weekend it's a very special occasion in Britain, and something that won't be seen again for a long time, at least not in our children's lifetime.

This year we celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee! The 60th Anniversary of the Queen of Great Britain's Coronation, where Princess Elizabeth became Queen Elizabeth II at the tender age of  27, on the 2nd June 1953. Queen Victoria and King George III are the only other monarchs to have ever celebrated a Diamond Jubilee.

The Queen in her Coronation Robes, with the Coronation
Regalia, 1953. © Camera Press
So once again Britain will be celebrating, as Britain does best, with street parties all over the country as we again celebrate the Jubilee, just like we did for the Queen's coronation in 1953 and again in 1977 for the Queen's Silver Jubilee (one of which I attended aged 3mths) and again her Golden Jubilee in 2002 (again I remember attending a street party).

But where to get bunting and banners and other street party material to help celebrate?

Party Packs is a website that specialises in everything you need for a party, and even things you didn't even realise you need. They have been one of Britain's leading party supply company for over 25 years and they have everything you could need from theme decorations, costumes, fancy dress, party and Christmas goods and an extensive range of party balloons, tableware and novelties for children's parties. 

I was sent a Diamond Jubilee Street Party Pack to review and I was thrilled to see what was in the pack as it was everything you would need for a small street party and I also loved it had the official Diamond Jubilee logo on all the products.

The pack costs £29 and contained;
 1 x Official Logo Jubilee Banner - 120cm x 29.7cm
 1 x Official Logo Jubilee Themed Poster - A3 size
 1 x Official Logo Jubilee Event Poster - A3 size
 3 x Official Logo Jubilee Small flag interior bunting - 2.4m
 2 x Union Jack PVC Flag Bunting - 10m
 2 x Red, White and Blue Plastic Bunting 10m
 1 x Official Logo Jubilee Cloth Flag - 5 x 3
20 x Budget Union Jack PVC Hand Waving Flag - 11 x 7 each
 1 x Official Logo Jubilee Red and Blue Balloons - Pack of 10
 1 x Red, White and Blue Balloons - Pack of 10
 1 x Blue Crepe Streamer - 85ft
 1 x Red Crepe Streamer - 85ft
 1 x White Crepe Streamer - 85ft
10 x Union Jack Hats

The pack arrived quickly and was well packaged and I was very impressed with the products and the range for the value. The organisers of our Jubilee Street Party (of which I am one of the organisers) were also pleased and impressed with the pack, which will be used on Sunday as part of our Jubilee Celebrations.

I will definately use Party Packs again whenever I organise another party, be at a Wedding, Anniversary, Birthday (Adult or Child), Christmas, Valentine's, New Year, St Patricks, Christening, Easter, Engagement, Prom, Baby shower etc as I know I will find everything I will need at a reasonable price.

Party Packs can be found online, on Facebook and on Twitter

I was sent the Jubilee Street Party Pack from Party Packs for free on the understanding I would write an honest review of what I thought about the party pack. I received no payment and the review is written in my own words and is my own honest and unbiased opinion of the party pack

Design Your Own Jigsaw Puzzle Review

We were sent Design your own Jigsaw Puzzle from Great Gizmo in their 4M range as my daughters love anything crafty and are forever drawing pictures (unfortunately their favourite canvas when they can't find any paper is the walls!)
Design your own Jigsaw Puzzle does exactly what it says on the tin, or in this case, the box. In the box you find 4 colour felt pens and 3 blank 12cm x 16cm pieces of card pre-cut into jigsaw puzzles but attached so that you can design your personalised jigsaw before carefully separating the pieces and putting them in an envelope ready for you or someone else to put together again.

They make a wonderful gift either unopened in the box, or having opened it and designed your personalised picture or secret message for the recipient to solve. 

Having three blank jigsaws was perfect for me as I gave each of the older three one each and told them to use their imagination and do a personalised design that we will then put in the Daddy's Father's Day card ready for him to solve. The children all had such fun personalising and designing their own jigsaws to give to daddy and I would definitely buy it again. 

Design Your Own Jigsaw Puzzle is available from Amazon for £5.99

I was sent Design Your Own Jigsaw Puzzle for free on the understanding I would write an honest review of what I thought it it. I received no payment and the review is written in my own words and is my own honest and unbiased opinion of the product

Watching the Olympic Flame

On Monday, a once-in-a-lifetime occasion occurred several miles away from our home. The Olympic Torch passed through hubby's hometown of Dolgellau on its tour of the UK ahead of the London 2012 Olympics.

The Torch on its way through Dolgellau.
We were on the right behind the yellow car
Picture taken from the BBC News website
Determined to make the most of it, I took the kids out of school that morning and we went over to watch the flame. I wasn't the only parent to do this and I think the school realised that a few parents would, so they said that provided the child was present at both morning and afternoon registration they wouldn't be marked as absent. This pleased DS because he enjoys getting certificates for 100% attendance, unfortunately the girls don't get them as they miss afternoons every so often as they attend speech therapy. 

As soon as morning registration was over we headed straight over, and I recognised the two cars in front of me as being parents from school as well! In fact I had been surprised to see how many parents had been waiting outside the school that morning to collect their children to take them to see the torch! Not to mention the ones who didn't bother with registration first!

Thankfully I was able to find somewhere to park on the outskirts of town and as we were an hour early it wasn't too busy or crowded yet. The kids were also thrilled to see one of their grown up cousins they hadn't seen for a while and their auntie also popped over to say hello. We ended up with a lot of other children from their school which was really good and it made it look like we were organised as they all had matching school uniforms!!!

It was a beautiful and hot day, and the heat and the waiting did get to DD2 who found it hard but it was worth the wait. 

First the Coca Cola truck went past and they gave DS a Coca Cola drum beater and I bought them all some Union Jack flags to wave. The motorbike police started going past and you could tell they were loving the atmosphere and attention as they all had huge grins on their faces as they were waving and high-fiving the kids. Next went some coaches and support vehicles with their sponsorship on them. Finally the Torchcam went past with the runner behind. Luckily I noticed the runner behind the Torchcam as there was no notice or anything to tell you that this was the Torchcam and the runner was behind the coach, in fact if you had blinked you would have missed it!

The kids had a lovely morning and what made it even more special is that when they went back to school, their teacher told them that everyone had watched the Torchfeed and had seen them waving in the square!!!

Here's a video I made of the Olympic Torch going past as I filmed it rather than took pictures.

Friday, 25 May 2012

Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse SP50 Review

Now that the beautiful hot weather has made an appearance it gives me the perfect opportunity to test the Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse I was sent to review. 

Sudocrem is a name that I've trusted and used ever since I became a mum 9 years ago. Whenever one of my babies have had a nappy rash, which is quite often with the baby, after just one nappy change using Sudocrem the rash has cleared up. In fact, whenever my 2yr old feels sore in her nappy area, she will ask for "cream" knowing it will quickly make her feel better!

So when I was offered the chance to try out Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse I was pleased because it was from a name I knew and trusted. With my 2yr old she suffers from excsema so I always have to be careful what I use on her skin as it is so sensative, but the Sudocrem hasn't irritated her skin at all.

The mousse made it so easy to put on, usually I hate applying sunscreen as I find it time consuming and tedious, especially with 4 who need it applying, but because I care about my children and want to protect them and their skin from the sun's harmful rays, I do it and I explain the importance of wearing sunscreen to their skin. However with the mousse it just puffed up in my hand, unlike the usual squeezing of a bottle, and just glided easily onto their skin. It also meant it was easy for the older two to apply it themselves and encouraging their independence.

Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse is SPF 50, hypo-allergenic and specially formulated to protect delicate young skin. It's missing many of the `nasties' found in some conventional sun protection products such as colourants, perfumes and preservatives. Four-star UVA protection offers a superior level of defence against the rats that contribute to longer-term damage. Most skin and sun care experts recommend four or five star UVA protection as the minimum to look out for in a sunscreen. For paddling, swimming and splashing mad kids, the mousse comes with the highest level of water resistance achievable in a sun care product.  
*The information above and below is taken from the Sudocrem website*

A revolutionary factor 50 sun protection mousse for babies & children

  • Using Proderm Technology®, designed for young children and babies
  • Hypoallergenic, paraben/preservative/perfume/additive free
  • Four-star UVA protection
  • Easy and quick to apply, even to impatient little ones
  • Leaves skin feeling soft and smooth
  • More effective than many existing cosmetic sunscreens
  • Absorbed into the skin to give long-lasting protection from UVA and UVB radiation
  • Broad spectrum UVA and UVB protection
  • Also protects against irritation from salt, chlorine, sand and wind burn
  • Rapidly absorbed and does not leave a greasy residue on the skin
  • More resistant to water and towel-drying than conventional sunscreens
  • Does not block the pores of the skin, allowing it to breath naturally

I would definitely use the Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse again and recommend it to my friends. 

Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse is available online and instore at Boots

I was sent a bottle of Sudocrem Sunscreen Mousse on the understanding I would write an honest review of what I thought of the mousse. I received no payment and the review is written in my own words (apart from where stated) and is my own honest and unbiased opinion of the mousse

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Schleich Dinosaurs Review

Ever since movies have started being made or re-released in 3D, fans have been clammering for the movie Jurassic Park to be re-released in 3D and recently it was confirmed that it would be re-released in July 2013!

This means that dinosaurs are set to be popular again and thanks to Schleich's new dinosaur collection, children and dinosaur fans can now own their own dinosaurs, from the fiercest carnivorous dinosaur to the gentlest herbivore. 

Dinosaurs last roamed the Earth, almost 225 million years ago, but now they're back thanks to Schleich who have recreated the most iconic prehistoric predators and released them into the wild ready to delight dinosaur-fans. No matter their age or gender, they will LOVE these anatomically correct models, with their intricate details which ensure that these beasts remain ferocious whilst they are small enough for children's hands but sturdy enough to withstand all the roughness of a child's playtime.

Children and adults alike, can now create their own prehistoric worlds using Schleich's hand painted dinosaurs which includes the Allosaurus, the towering Giganotosaurus the infamous Tyrannosaurus Rex and the star of the movie Jurassic Park, the Velociraptor! Each fearsome predator features a powerful moveable jaw, making them even more fierce and lifelike!

But if the fierce preditors aren't to your liking, then Schleich have also released some of the nicer herbivore's such as the Brachiosaurus or the Triceratops

My son aged 9 was sent 3 of these Schleich Dinosaurs and he fell in love with them immediately. When he's not playing with them, they are on pride of place on his mantelpiece, calmly sleeping until his lego figures have to escape from them in order to avoid being the dinosaur's dinner!

He really enjoyed these dinosaurs and having had no interest in dinosaurs before, he is now asking questions and we ended up lending Jurassic Park off a friend for him to watch. His favourite feature has to be the moving mouth as it now looks even more realistic, especially when he has a lego figure hanging out of it's mouth!

Schleich Dinosaurs are available to buy from Amazon

I was sent 3 dinosaurs from Schleich on the understanding I would write an honest review of what I thought about the dinosaurs. I received no payment and the review is written in my own words and is my own honest and unbiased opinion of the dinosaurs

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

National Walk to School Week (21st-26th May)

Did you know that research has discovered that shockingly only 50% of Primary and 38% of Secondary school pupils walk to school, compared to a massive 92% of pensioners who said that they walked to school when they were children!

For some Secondary school children this does make sense because of the distance between home and school. I personally used to travel to my secondary school by train, however a few times during a train strike (which was thankfully in the summer) I had to walk 2 miles to catch the bus to school! This was because I lived outside the school catchment area and was the only student from my town in my year who went to the school, with only 3 of us in the whole school and my parents had to pay my travelling costs (a lot more travel to the school now). However primary schools on the whole tend to be closer to home, especially as there are more primary schools than there are secondary schools. 

We walk to school every day, even before daddy started using the car to go to work, whatever the weather. On lovely sunny days like today the walk can be very rewarding and the view beautiful, we even had dolphins swimming nearby this morning as we walked to school!

However, according to the research, we are in the minority of parents who walk their children to school!

This is why Schleich has decided to support the National Walk to School Week campaign by getting children to "earn their stripes" all week with the chance to win a lovely Schleich Zebra.

Zebra's make the perfect mascots for this campaign, not only from the safety aspect such as Zebra crossing to keep children safe on their walk to school, but because the animals are also keen walkers as well and their foals learn to walk just an hour after being born!

To help kids celebrate Walk to School Week, Schleich is offering children the chance for them to earn their walking stripes. There are two ways to do this:

  1. Send in a picture of your child/ren walking to school.
  2. Click here to download and print off a Schleich Zebra colouring sheet and send it back to them. 
All children will receive a certificate and the first 100 entrants will receive a Schleich Zebra figure. A selection of their favourite images will also be displayed on their Walk to School Week wall. 

To enter is simple. Email the photos of your children walking to school (along with your name, their name and age/s) to with the subject header "Walk to School Week Entry" before the 1st June 2012

Colouring entries should be sent to the following address before the 8th June 2012:
Schleich Walk to School Week
The Abbey Centre
Market Square
NN11 4XG

For more information visit

Monday, 21 May 2012

Dealing with Bedwetting

When my daughter was 2 1/2, she suddenly decided she didn't want to wear nappies anymore. She was a big girl and big girls wear panties, just like her big brother. She wasn't a baby anymore like her baby sister and therefore she didn't want nappies. From that moment on, she was dry during the day and dry at night and never wore nappies again.

Then, about 2 years ago, aged 5, she started wetting the bed at night. 

At first we didn't make a fuss, bed wetting is normal and she'd soon stop it we hoped, but as the months passed, her bed wetting increased and she would wake up soaking wet.  We asked her if anything was bothering her, was she worried? Happy at school? Nope, everything was fine there. We spoke to her teachers, did she seem any different at school, was she happy? Her usual self? Teachers all said she was her her normal happy helpful self and she hadn't changed at all and didn't seem upset or sad. We asked her if anyone was bullying her? Were they calling her names because of her speech difficulties? Again she said no. We tried asking her why she wet the bed but she didn't know, "I'm just too deeply asleep!" she answered. 

We tried everything we could think of. No drinks after 5pm, toilet before bed, waking her up to go to the toilet when we went to bed, but still she was wetting the bed. Sometimes she would come downstairs only an hour after falling asleep to say she had wet the bed! I even tried taking her to the Doctors, did she have a urine infection? Was she diabetic? But no both tests came back negative and the Doctors advice was "Don't make a fuss about it, she will outgrow it!" So we didn't make a fuss, but we did start using Huggies Dry Nites as we were washing on average two loads of bedding a day and we didn't feel it was helping her to either sleep in a wet bed or to have a disturbed night's sleep, plus there was the added embarrassment she would feel at having a wet bed. 

Earlier this year, I was chatting to our school nurse and I mentioned DD's bed wetting and how long it had been going on and how we had tried everything but nothing seemed to help and she told me she could help. She asked me to get DD to wee in a jug and to measure and write down how much she'd wee'd over 2 days. DD wasn't too keen on this idea and refused to do it, but I did notice that she didn't seem to go to the toilet that often and I wondered if maybe she didn't drink enough. 

When I told the school nurse, she agreed and said that was why she had wanted to measure how much she wee'd on average during the day. Basically because DD wasn't drinking very much during the day, her bladder had shrunk and couldn't hold much, so whilst she was sleeping her kidneys would keep producing urine to be stored by her bladder but because her bladder was so small it couldn't hold a full night's worth of urine and she would wet the bed. To help her deal with her bed wetting we had to encourage her to drink more during the day and help grow her bladder so that it could store more urine during the night.

Armed with this new knowledge, and having had the school nurse explain to DD all about her bladder (which she named Naughty Bladder) and her kidneys and why she had to drink more during the day, we started a reward chart and encouraged her to drink more during the day.

We started her sticker chart about two months ago. She was given a target amount of drinks to drink and every drink she had she was given a sticker. This made both of us aware of how much she was drinking, and slowly helped her bladder expand and grow as it learnt to hold more urine.

About 3wks ago we decided to try, at her request, a night with no bedtime nappy on. "No pressure" we told her, "it doesn't matter whether you wet the bed or not, we're not going to be cross and at least you've tried!". 

The following morning she came running into our bedroom and started bouncing on our bed. "I did it!" She cried. "My bed's dry, I didn't wet it!"

That was 3 weeks ago, and apart from just 3 accidents, DD has been completely dry! She is so proud of herself and we're getting her a present to celebrate this fact!

Happy Birthday Lamby!

35 years ago, aged 2mths old, my parents had me christened. One of the gifts I was given was a teddy shaped like a lamb from my great-uncle.

6 days ago, that teddy turned 35 years old!

Me aged about 10mths with Lamby
What amazes me the most is that Lamby, as I named him as a child, is in excellent condition. Looking at him you would think he was about a year old. Not brand new, but not that old either. On discovering he was in fact 35 years old, you would assume he wasn't a toy to be played with but a toy stored on a shelf, admired but never touched, but you would be wrong. Lamby was one of my favourite toys as a child, I would take him everywhere with me and he has been in too many nativities to remember, even my children have used him in nativities.

Lamby looks better than some of the teddies I have bought for my children. He has both his eyes, although one is a little scratched, but there is no thinning or rips or tears in his fur. 

I think my great uncle certainly got his money's worth when he bought Lamby!  I only wish he was still alive so that I could tell him Lamby is still going strong! Judging from Lamby's label, which is still readable after all this time, Lamby was bought from Marks & Spencer

So what about you? Do you have any of your childhood teddies that your children now play with? How old is your older teddy?

Schleich Smurfs Review

This summer London has the privilege of hosting the 2012 Olympic Games as well as being the only city to have ever hosted THREE Summer Olympics! In fact the Olympic Torch will be passing within 10 miles of our home on the 28th May and I've already promised my children I will take them to see the torch. 

The last time London hosted the Summer Olympics was in 1948, 64 years ago and who knows if or even when London will host it again, probably not in my lifetime and maybe not in my children's lifetime. Who knows if they will have the opportunity to watch the torch go past again. 

Which is why I want to make this years Olympics special and create memories that they can pass on to the their children in years to come and why I was thrilled when I was offered the chance to review 4 Schleich Smurf figures as a keepsake of the Olympics. 

Schleich have released 10 special Olympic smurf figures, each one in an Olympic pose ready for their chosen games, including one who was lucky enough to win a gold medal and gazes at it proudly. The attention to detail is wonderful, from the sweat on the brow of the weightlifter to the look of concentration and tongue sticking out of the mouth of the javelin thrower, which is the same look of concentration my daughter gets!

My daughter fell in love with these figures as soon as she saw them and was thrilled to be given her favourite Smurf, Smurfette! In fact now she wants me to buy the whole set!

We were sent Swimmer Smurf, Gymnast Smurfette, Relay Runner Smurfette and Shotputter Smurf and she had lots of fun playing with them, as well as keeping them to remember the London 2012 Olympics when it's all over

Each Olympic Smurf can be bought from Amazon costing £3.39 each.

I was sent 4 free Smurfs on the understanding I would write an honest review of what I thought about the Smurfs. I received no payment from Schleich and the review is written in my own words and is my own honest and unbiased opinion of the figures

Friday, 18 May 2012

Helping Children With Maths - A Guest Post

Over the next few weeks I've hopefully organised a few good friends of mine who are going to be doing guest blog posts on my blog. 

Today I'm thrilled to to introduce my first guest blogger Being Mum to you. 

Being Mum is a friend of mine in real life and a newbie blogger as her blog is only a couple of months old. Being Mum is an ex-teacher and now SAHM to her 4 children and has kindly agreed to share some tips that she has learnt as a teacher to help us make maths more fun and educational for our children and how we can help encourage them in a subject that few people enjoy!

If you enjoyed her post, then don't forget to pop over to her blog Being Mum and check out some of her other wonderfully educational posts and read all about her journey through motherhood and all the highs and lows it brings! 

When I was at school I hated maths, I couldn't understand it and I hated my maths teachers. If I got things wrong they would put big red lines through my work and if my Dad helped me with my homework they would write comments hinting that I hadn't done it myself! It wasn't until I became a teacher and taught maths that I regained a healthy respect for it and began to enjoy maths. 

 I felt that I could relate to the children in my class who were terrified of maths. If I asked them a question they would give me the 'rabbit in the headlights' face and I knew they needed gently support and encouragement. The most important thing they needed to learn was that it was ok to get it wrong, and actually it was good if they got things wrong because you learn better from your mistakes.

When I worked as a Numeracy Consultant I trained governors, headteachers, teachers and parents and I always knew who hated maths - they sat at the back! The good mathematicians were hard to train because they were naturally so quick with numbers that they didn't understand why some children needed things broken down in to small manageable steps.

I ramble.... 

Supporting your child or children with maths should be fun and should not be scary for either of you. I hope that some of the ideas I can share with you, that I have gleaned in my career and being a mum, will help you to support your child with their maths.

  • Times Tables practice - make up a dance using different movements for each of the tables so that your child can get up and dance their timetables. I used this idea with children in my classes and they would actually get up and dance and sit down again to complete their calculation! So for example  1x2 (move the left shoulder up), 2x2 (move the right shoulder up), 3x2 (move both shoulders up), 4x2 (left arm on left hip) etc... 
  • Number of the week - choose a number and have a chart - how many times can your child find that number when you are out and about or in the house that week - the person who spots it the most times wins a prize.
  • Number games - use a pair of your child's socks rolled up into a ball - get old  cereal boxes etc and write numbers on them. You then have to throw the socks to get them in the boxes. Children can either just identify the number, add 10 to the number, multiply the number by 2,5,10 etc, double the number, add 100 to it. The possibilities are endless!

  • I'm Thinking of a Number - think of a number and everyone has to guess what your number is by asking questions (answers can only be yes or no) - can they guess your number in less than 20 questions, 10 questions etc. So they could ask is your number between 0 and 100?, is your number a multiple of 10 (does it end in a 0), is your number an odd number? etc 

  • Number Relay - using a large piece of paper or a dry wipe board write a number at the top - in 2 minutes how many different sums can you write up that have that number as their answer - if you have more than one child put them in teams or this works well with just 2 of you. The person/team with the most sums wins. 
  • Cooking - you can cover loads of mathematical concepts when cooking: Weight, g, oz, lb, kg. Time, how long will it take to cook, set a timer, read the clock to tell me when it will be cooked. Shapes from the cake tins or biscuit cutters. Counting out the cup cake wrappers. 
  • Stairs- how many times do we go up and down them everyday! (too many), try counting in 2's, 5's,10's. Go up 2 and then say lets go up 1 more -how many have we gone up?. Do the same with takeaway. Count backwards as well as forwards. 
  • Feely bags - make some cardboard numbers or use magnetic ones or any you may have. You have to feel in the bag to guess what the number is by feeling its shape. This works well with 2D and 3D shapes as well. You can also hold a little bit of a shape above the bag and they have to try and guess what it is, if they can't guess or get it wrong, hold a little more of the shape up. 

  • What am I drawing - with a board between you and your child each have a piece of paper and a pen. Explain what shape you are drawing, for example; I am drawing a shape with four sides that are all the same length. See if they can draw a shape using your description and name it. You can also using blocks and make a model then you have to describe to them where to put their blocks to see if they can recreate your model. This is good for language development, for example; I have put a red cube on top of a blue cube. To the left of the blue cube I have put a yellow cube etc. 

Ultimately remember that maths should be fun. Try to get things wrong yourself so that your child can see that we all make mistakes and that it is ok and can be quite funny!