New Episodes & A New Line For Project MC2

Project Mc² is back on Netflix UK with new episodes, and an accompanying new product line based on the Netflix series.

If you aren’t familiar with Project Mc², it’s a series about a team of six super-smart girls who use their love of science and spy skills to undertake missions for a top-secret, all female organization called NOV8 – or innovate – to us less acronym savvy.

The six main characters are McKeyla McAlister (Mc2), Adrienne Attoms (A2), Camryn Coyle (C2), Bryden Bandweth (B2), Ember Evergreen (E2) and Devon D’Marco (D2), and each girl has an area of speciality. McKeyla is a spy, Adrienne is a culinary chemist, Camryn is a whizz with electronics, Bryden is the online guru of the group, Ember can grow pretty much anything and Devon is an artist extraordinaire who opens up to the group in this latest series.  Each girl ticks at least one of the STEM/STEAM boxes, many tick more, and while their interests are varied, they make a great time when they work together.
Project MC2

In the new episodes and old character returns, and the girls have to use their smarts to not only save him and save the day, but there’s romantic progress for McKeyla and Kyle Lewis too.

While the show throws out big words from time to time (mostly chemicals) there’s not a huge amount of education that happens just from watching it, and a lot just ‘works out’ for the characters, but it’s a series aimed at young girls, so you have to watch it with that filter. While I still find the girls a bit vapid-with-smarts, they’re much more interesting and much better role models for girls than many other traditional girl stereotypes I can think of.

There are some general themes that make it worth watching, if you were doing it for entertainment only, like the introduction to the concept of girls-who-love-STEM/STEAM, the value of teamwork, standing by your friends and standing up for yourself. There’s also the ‘girls can do this’ idea, which isn’t bad to start reinforcing from a young age.Read more: New Episodes & A New Line For Project MC2

6 Creative Baby Photo Shoot Ideas

One of the joys of having a newborn in the family is that you get to see that little angel grow up right before your very eyes. But many parents secretly wish that their baby won’t grow up too fast. Well, that angelic, innocent-looking face, precious smile, and pink chubby cheeks won’t last forever, but you can capture your baby’s cutest moments and immortalize them through photos.

You don’t need to be a skilled photographer or hire a professional photographer to take adorable pictures of your little munchkin. With the help of your family, a few props, and right newborn photography gear, you can do it on your own!6 Creative Baby Photo Shoot IdeasRead more: 6 Creative Baby Photo Shoot Ideas

Make Your Own Gift Box #BostikBloggers

Whether you do Valentines for the love of your life, or you simply do it for the kids, these little gift boxes are easy to make, and the perfect size for jewellery, cufflinks, or gift vouchers. I make them from half an A4-page. You can also make them bigger, of course.

You can also make them from paper, but they’re obviously not too strong then, or from card. I made this one from corrugated card, which is nice and strong, but the colour doesn’t run all the way through the paper.

Make Your Own Gift Boxes
Read more: Make Your Own Gift Box #BostikBloggers

February Literary Days To Celebrate And Observe

February Literary Celebrations:

The whole month might be about Haiku Writing, but the first week is about Storytelling – get everyone involved in making up and telling stories. For inspiration, make sure you pop into the library on ‘Take Your Child To The Library Day’ and find out if there are any events occurring in your area for Children’s Authors and Illustrator week (the 2nd week of Feb).  Draw a hot bath and read in the bath tub on the 9th, and show your library some love on the 14th. And don’t forget to gift someone a book between all the chocolate and hearts too!

The end of the month sees World Read Aloud Day – grab a box and perform your favourite passages out loud. Great way to meet your neighbours!

Whether it’s winter’s nights in with Little House on the Prairie or a walk through old England with Charles Dickens, or a journey somewhere far away with Jules Verne, there’s so much amazing old literature to enjoy in February. Don’t forget to tweet John Grisham happy birthday on the 8th!

And celebrate the other Grimm brother’s birthday on the 24th with a fairy tale or two. Stretch it out to the 26th to Tell A Fairy Tale Day, and maybe even include the Tooth Fairy on the 28th. I’m sure the dentists won’t mind!

It’s a really exciting month in the world of literature, but do end it with a fortunate event, this time – Lemony Snicket’s birthday!

February Literary DaysRead more: February Literary Days To Celebrate And Observe

Goodbye To Breastfeeding – 8 Years A Breastfeeder

Ameli was born in October 2009 and aside from a single prenatal class on breastfeeding, the sum total of my thought and planning on the subject of breastfeeding was “we’d best get in some formula, just in case”. I hadn’t considered “in case of what?” I certainly didn’t plan on becoming an active breastfeeding advocate.

Breastfeeding at one hour old

As it turned out I fell in love with breastfeeding Ameli. It was so easy with her. We ended up doing a lot of things we’d never considered. The nursery remained unused as we coslept, the pram was sold in favour of a variety of slings. We travelled to 20 different countries in her first two years, and breastfeeding was just the simplest solution to everything from hunger to pink eye, comfort to ear infections. Breastfeeding worked for us. So well in fact that I had huge oversupply and ended up donating breastmilk to AIDS babies for the six months we lived in South Africa.

Breastfeeding did more for me than feed my baby. It led me to an entire tribe of mothers who were in many ways just like me. I stopped going to groups where people looked at you weirdly because you were still feeding a two year old and the first time I sat in a group of other mothers breastfeeding their toddlers, I cried, because I felt like I’d finally arrived home. Perth Nurse In 2013Read more: Goodbye To Breastfeeding – 8 Years A Breastfeeder

10 Storytelling Tools For Kids

It’s National Storytelling week soon, and I’ve been looking at ways to engage the children interactively in the art of storytelling.  We did story sticks last year, which was a big hit, but I want to try something else this year. Here are some exciting ideas to look at and try for National Story Telling Week:

National Storytelling WeekRead more: 10 Storytelling Tools For Kids

Learn More About The World Behind Winnie The Pooh

You might know the ‘true story’ behind Winnie the Pooh and his friend Christopher Robin, but do you know the full story?
Have you visited the House at Pooh Corner, or played Pooh Sticks at the original Pooh Sticks Bridge?  Here are 8 books to help you delve deeper into the history behind one of the most loved stories ever.

Winnie the Pooh Day

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Ideas For Celebrating Winnie The Pooh Day (January 18th)

Winnie the Pooh Day in on the 18th of January. It’s actually A.A. Milne’s birthday, which is why the date was chosen.

In it’s Disney era, Winnie the Pooh has been cast as a character for baby-nurseries and babified for toddlers, but in truth, I think this has done them something of an injustice, with the stories being much more suited to early readers. They are clever, and funny and well worth dusting off for a quick evening read.Winnie the Pooh Theme

As such, we’re learning around the theme of Winnie the Pooh, which means we’re using the topic, however loosely to underpin our learning. Below are our ideas for celebrating Winnie the Pooh Day. The list will grow and link to other pages as the day gets closer, but I’m populating it as I go along.

To give you something to get stuck into in the meantime, however, here’s a FREE PRINTABLE BOOKLET for you to download and print. It has all sorts of puzzles, games and suggestions for your Winnie the Pooh celebrations.Winnie the Pooh Activity Book

Read more: Ideas For Celebrating Winnie The Pooh Day (January 18th)

Dear Girls, Choose What’s Right For You

Dear Girls*

I want to tell you something about this world I brought you into and I want you to remember that it’s love that brought you here. Love, and destiny, maybe, or purpose. For some reason, it was you that made it earthside. Here’s the thing I want you to know about this world:

No matter what you do, it will be wrong to someone. So whatever you do, do it because it’s right for you.

I know that I am doing the best I can in raising you. I know that I’m trying to teach you to have manners at the table, and to run barefoot through the woods. I am trying to teach you to play nicely with others, and to hold your hand up and say “stop” when others aren’t playing nicely with you. I am trying to teach you to sit like a lady and to run screaming through the woods howling like a banshee. I’m trying to teach you to clean your ears and brush your teeth and I’m also trying to teach you to camp with no ablutions for a long weekend and come out from the trees looking like a feral wolf.in-the-eyeRead more: Dear Girls, Choose What’s Right For You

January Literary Days To Celebrate And Observe

January is a fairly quiet month anyway, and for those looking to celebrate the literary highs and lows of the month, there are few, but big days to celebrate. January Literary Days

Read more: January Literary Days To Celebrate And Observe