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Daily Routine

Suzie’s Christmas Time By Charlotte Olson & Nick Roberts

Suzie's Christmas TimeOur whole family is very excited about Christmas this year. Previously Ivy has been a little too young to grasp what was going on, but having just turned 3 she’s starting to understand the concept and is finding the whole thing really magical!

This lovely book is perfect for her right now as it introduces lots of different aspects of a modern Christmas and shows her what she can expect over the coming weeks.

In the story, little Suzie can’t wait for Christmas to arrive. We see her start opening the doors on her advent calendar and write a letter to Santa. She visits a garden centre with her parents to choose a tree and then they all decorate it together. On Christmas Eve she hangs up her stocking and leaves a mince pie for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph. The next morning she wakes up early and runs downstairs in excitement. Will Santa have been?

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Princess Polly: I’m Starting Nursery By Amanda Li & Melanie Williamson

Priness Polly: I'm Starting NurseryIvy loves Princess Polly so we have most of this series either on our shelf or stashed ready for her to read when the time is appropriate. This title is about starting nursery (which she will be doing early next year) so we’ve recently introduced it to our rotation.

The book starts with an apprehensive Princess Polly. She’s not sure about starting nursery because she doesn’t know what it will be like and she’s worried she’ll miss her parents. She visits with her Mummy and sees lots of children having fun which sets her mind at ease.

After some settling in sessions she has her first full day and the book shows all the things your child can expect to experience at nursery – from the activities they’ll do,  like painting, playing and singing to the format of the day, like snacks, naps and story time.

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Lunchtime By Rebecca Cobb

LunchtimeThis beautifully illustrated book by Rebecca Cobb is perfect for all of you parents out there who (like us!) struggle to get your child interested in sitting down and eating their meals.

The little girl in the story is very busy painting and playing with her toys, so when her mums calls her to tell her that lunch is ready she really doesn’t want to go and eat. She’s having far too much fun to stop for boring old food! Reluctantly she leaves what she’s doing and sits and stares at her lunch, looking grumpy, without eating a bite.

But then she spots a crocodile under the table. Then a bear. Then a wolf. The three fierce animals are VERY interested in her lunch, explaining that her soup, apple and sandwich are much more tasty than little children (who actually taste pretty disgusting). They gobble up her lunch and then thank her heartily for the lovely meal.

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We Are Family By Patricia Hegarty & Ryan Wheatcroft

We Are FamilyWe adore this gorgeous book about families and have spent many hours poring over the amazingly detailed illustrations.

The lovely rhyme explores the concept of family, showing how they are there for each other in good times and bad. You see daytime routines, hospital visits, holidays, little household disasters and most importantly, love.

The beauty of the book is that the illustrations show ten different families going through all of the above. Each family is different but the book helps children see that although their family may not look like the same as somebody else’s, the experiences they go through and the love that they feel are all essentially the same.

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Sharing Time By Elizabeth Verdick & Marieka Heinlen

Sharing TimeI have been a big fan of the Toddler Tools books by Elizabeth Verdick ever since Calm-Down Time helped us with controlling tantrums. This other title from the series – Sharing Time – is the one we’re currently reading a lot and i’m hoping we’ll have similar success!

It shows how it’s fun to share some things (like hugs and see-saws for example) but more difficult to share others. Children worry about sharing their toys because they aren’t sure if they will get them back or if they will be broken.

Using calming language the books teaches children the words they need in order to be able to share things with their friends. It helps them identify the feelings they experience when they don’t want to share and offers a little breathing exercise they can do in order to regulate their emotions and move forward without a major incident. Ultimately it shows that we all have more fun when we play together nicely and share – something which is true for both toddlers and grown-ups alike!

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With My Mummy By James Brown & Cally Johnson-Isaacs

With My MummyThis is a really cute book which captures the essence of the mother-child relationship really well. It takes you through a regular day from the point of view of the child and shows all the ways in which mummy makes their day special – whether it’s carrying them home from the shops because their legs are tired, fixing a favourite toy or splashing in the bath.

Each page features a different animal family and the beautiful illustrations really draw you in and help create a lovely warm setting for the story. Our favourites are the foxes in the park and the grumpy little elephant waiting for his dinner.

Lots of the activities are ones which many mums may not look forward to doing with their child in tow, for example doing the supermarket shop, but the child’s narrative is a nice way of reminding us of something important. No matter how badly we may sometimes think we’re doing at this difficult job called parenting, our children always think we’re the best! 

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Calm-Down Time By Elizabeth Verdick & Marieka Heinlen

Calm-Down TimeA few weeks ago one of our Instagram followers asked for my help with finding a book which could help her daughter learn to handle her emotions. Toddlers often have tantrums because they struggle to express their feelings in words so she was looking for a tool that would help mitigate this.

We’re only just getting in to the tantrum stage with Ivy so this wasn’t an area I had properly researched but I had heard good things about this book by Elizabeth Verdick. Wary of recommending something I hadn’t actually read, I ordered a copy and I am extremely glad that I did. This little board book has proven itself to be very effective!

It explains the emotions your toddler might be feeling in very simple terms and then gives a little mantra to help them calm down which is repeated throughout the book. It also offers up suggestions about how they can make themselves feel better, like asking for a cuddle, talking about how they feel, or simply finding a quiet place to play or sing by themselves.

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Zoo Poo by Richard Morgan

Zoo PooWe’re not quite ready to start toilet training yet but I’ve recently bought a selection of books which address the topic to ease Ivy in to the idea.

This is the first one that we’re reading together and it’s a fantastic (and frankly hilarious!) way of introducing poo in to conversation in a fun way.

Zoo Poo takes you on a little journey around the zoo and shows you how each animal poos. Kangaroos do it while they hop, birds poo from the sky and elephants do poos that are bigger than you!

The illustrations are really fun and we always giggle our way through the book as Ivy find the poo on the page and yells ‘poo poo’!

The book then shows how humans poo on the loo and even includes some useful tips for parents.

Buy it now: https://amzn.to/2pWcITs

Please And Thank You By Amanda Li

Please And Thank YouI’ve recently bought a number of Pirate Pete and Princess Polly books as I find them really effective. Each book in the series introduces your child to a change in their daily life which they may experience as a toddler – and may push back against because it’s unfamiliar and therefore potentially frightening.

The series covers many things including potty training, moving to a big girl/boy bed, going to nursery and becoming a big brother/sister.

This particular book is about manners and it has really encouraged Ivy to say please and thank you more often. 

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Mini Myths: Good Job, Athena! By Joan Holub & Leslie Patricelli

Good Job, Athena!We recently discovered the Mini Myths series and we’re busy collecting the whole set! Each book takes a well-known tale from Greek mythology and distils it in to a simple modern day story which is relevant relevant to toddlers.

This particular book takes the myth of Arachne and Athena (about hubris and boastfulness) and turns it in to a story which would be very familiar to most pre-schoolers.

In this re-telling Athena is very good at tying bows. Arachne is not as skilled at bow-tying but would very much like lovely bows on her shoes. Athena is a good friend and she ties some nice bows for her. Arachne boasts to the whole class that her bows are the best but she fails to credit poor Athena for having tied them. What will happen when another child in the class asks Arachne to pass on her skill? Will she be able to admit that Athena actually did all the hard work?

We love the simple but spellbinding illustrations (by Leslie Patricelli) and the easy to digest parable. Other myths in the series include Pandora, Hercules, Medusa, Midas, Icarus, Aphrodite and Odysseus.

Buy it now:  http://amzn.to/2FUotRg