Leo Bamford and Nanny Anita’s Back-to-School Guide

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    Leo Bamford and Nanny Anita share the shopping essentials, arts and crafts and menus parents need to know this back-to-school season.

    I know I say this every year but where on earth did the summer go? Can it really be back to school time already? Although, I do love this time of year because I see it as a reset for us all, a new beginning and boy, do we all need one!

    For those of you like me with little ones just starting school, don’t panic. I feel the dreaded drop off is often worse for the parents. I used to leave my older ones clinging on to my legs, crying to come home and would spend the rest of the day worrying. One day the teacher sent me a picture of my son, who 10 minutes beforehand had been screaming blue murder, looking very settled and playing happily in the mud kitchen. Kids definitely know what buttons to push!

    Make a Difference with Stationery

    It’s an exciting time, with new friends and new subjects to learn.  I always love taking my children to WH Smith to buy a pencil case and maybe a few stickers.

    We always try to make up a really nice one to send to charities supporting children who need pens, pencils and stationery. Heart Felt Tips and School Aid’s Project Pencil are two great initiatives, but there are so many wonderful charities to support at this time of year.

    Back-to-School Arts and Crafts

    We’ve had lots of time for arts and crafts this summer and I’m crazy about Anita’s homemade play dough.  This one is so soft and soothing and really does calm little ones down.

    Nanny Anita’s Calming Lavender Back-to-School Play Dough

    nanny anita calming play dough

    You will need:

    • A saucepan
    • 1 cup of flour
    • 1 cup of water
    • ¼ cup of salt
    • 1 tbsp of oil
    • 2 tbsp of cream of tartar, lavender oil, purple food colouring, lavender flowers (optional).

    Method:

    1. Mix the food colouring in with the water.
    2. Add all the ingredients into the saucepan and mix on a low heat until it forms a dough.
    3. Take it out and knead it.  Be careful it will be very hot.

    Sight Word Flip Book

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    We’ve been looking out for some good old first word books and decided to make our own. These sight word flip books are brilliant and really do help with the learning journey.

    You will need:

    • A pen
    • flip book
    • first 100 sight words and phonics.

    Method:

    1. Write out the sight words and phonics into the flip book.
    2. Use it with your little one to help improve their sight word and phonic recognition.

    Leo’s Back-to-School Meal Planning

    Before school goes back, I always dig out a few favourite cookery books and let the children help with the meal plans.  They love doing it and it’s funny what they go for, we have been using Jamie Oliver’s 5 Ingredients book a lot this month and I sometimes leave the whole meal to my eldest to cook.  My little one loves helping with the chopping and stirring and makes quite a good flap jack.

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    With that in mind, I’m always on the hunt for healthy after school snacks so if you have any life hacks please do get in touch.  My Fussy Eater by Ciara Atwell has some great ideas and uses her freezer to batch cook, so there’s always something like a little muffin to grab on the go.

    Send a Little Love

    Last but not least, if you’re back-to-school baba does find it a bit tough, I find that drawing a little heart on their palm, really helps with anxiety and tell them if they push it, it sends you and them a little hug.

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