Belle’s Bedtime Reads – Goat Goes to Playgroup

Belle’s Bedtime Reads – Goat Goes to Playgroup by Julia Donaldson.

Pah I must make a statement now that I’m not Julia Donaldson constantly plugging my books, but I have a four year old with a bit of a book obsession and Julia Donaldson does write great kids books. Also confession time, it wasn’t until I came to write this post that I actually realised this was a Julia Donaldson book.

So like many a child we had a pretty rough ride when it came to Isabelle starting pre-school. Unlike our son she takes a long time to get used to going to new places and meeting new people. Preschool was a bit of a nightmare time, and YES we were the parents who had their child peeled off them at the start of each session and I admit that I shed a few tears as I walked away knowing that she was sobbing her heart out.

This went on for a little while, but each playgroup session she got a bit braver and looked forward to going, it was only at the point when we had to leave that things got tricky.

Goat Goes to Playgroup was a book that we’ve read many a time, and even now as a confident nearly five year old Isabelle really enjoys the book.

So Goat Goes to Playgroup is about a Goat that starts playgroup, describing his day with a few mishaps along the way.

It’s a short colourful book with lots of inspiration for asking questions about your little one’s day at Preschool.

Age Range: 2 -3 years (definitely one to read on the run-up to starting playgroup/preschool) – Funky Baby Clothes 

*please note that this is an affiliate link but all the opinions and thoughts are 100% our own.

Fun Summer Activities to Do at Home from

Fun Summer Activities to Do at Home By Ty Schmidt

It’s something everyone always told me would happen, but I didn’t believe until it happened to me. My dear 18-month-old son has developed into something they all said he would. A sponge. From the ground up, that is what he is on a daily basis. He picks up everything, from words and actions to a general understanding of all things happening around him. And while this is super (just what any parent of a toddler longs for during those sleepless nights of newborn-hood), it comes with its fair share of considerations.

Among them is how best to keep this young mind occupied with all things learning while he’s awake. He still sleeps enough to make most adults envy him, but how do you engage him while he’s awake. If your answer is PBS Kids or Disney Junior, you’re not alone. But you shouldn’t have to live that way, and neither should your toddler. There isn’t anything particularly wrong with Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse, the Wild Kratts, or Curious George. Each show has its own empirical charm. Yet there is more you can be doing with these warm summer days than learning how George most efficiently packages a grocery bag.

Summer Activities for kids

Live a little this summer by keeping these fun summer activities in mind:

DIY season. With the exception of the dead of winter when literally nothing else is going on, summer is one of the best times to get those creative juices flowing. Siphon them into something meaningful with a do-it-yourself theme to at least one day a week this summer. It doesn’t even have to be the same day. Just choose one day a week when you indulge in all things creative (like a homemade water slide) and really bring it to life.

Summer loving. For most of us, summer is a time that involves making the most of water. As a Midwesterner, one comes to appreciate the water of summer, be it in pools, water balloons, water tables or basically any form. Find ways to embrace the simplicity of water this summer. You won’t regret it.

Camp comes home. Channel your inner child and embrace what he or she shares with you about fun things you did to stay occupied in the summer months. It doesn’t have to be complicated, but things like a family campout in the backyard or family game night outside can fill those hot summer nights with a purpose that breathes life into everything you do.

Get cooking. I didn’t cook much with my mother growing up, and I wish I had. While I refuse to live vicariously through my children, I have already decided to involve them more in the food preparation for our family as they grow old enough to understand the purpose behind what they’re doing. From chopping the ingredients to a fresh homemade salsa, to understanding what grows in our garden, it is never too young to start teaching little ones about where food comes from and the importance of eating well.

For more ideas and inspiration, head to Fun Summer Activities to Do at Home

Funky Stardust Kids T-shirts



Funky Stardust Kids T-shirts. 

Whatever your style there’s a Stardust Kids T-shirt for you. Available in sizes ranging from newborn to three years in a great range of bright colours.

All Stardust Kids T-shirts are ethically made from 100% cotton and printed here in their London Studio.

Also in the Stardust Kids range we have a range of Summer Skater Dresses, Summer Rompers and Playsuits.

The Stardust Kids range make excellent presents as well! – Funky Stardust Kids Clothes

Belle’s Bedtime Reads – Princess Mirror Belle and the Dragon Pox

It seems quite apt that Isabelle is all over this book at the moment as she is absolutely pickled in Chicken Pox but maybe that’s why she’s picked this book out.

So this is another one of Julia Donaldson books ticked off the list as we are such big fans.

Belle’s Bedtime Reads – Princess Mirror Belle and the Dragon Pox is perfect at the moment as we’re counting down the days for our Princess Belle’s pox to disappear.

So there’s a girl (Ellen) who meet’s Princess Mirror Belle in her bathroom mirror when she goes to scratch her chicken pox. Princess Mirror Belle is identical to Ellen except she has Dragon Pox rather than Chicken Pox.

They get up to lots of mischief with Princess Mirror Belle telling Ellen about fairies that brush teeth and birds living in her father’s beard. All is going well until Ellen’s mum come into the bathroom and Princess Mirror Belle is nowhere to be seen. She did leave something behind though.

With fantastic illustrations and glitter this makes a fantastic bed time read. – Funky Baby Clothes 

Baby Sensory Play – Baby Sensory Bottles

Entertaining your little ones can be tricky sometimes and the abundance of colourful plastic can be overwhelming for your baby or toddler.

Hands up if you’ve bought a present and the box gets more attention than the actual gift. Babies and children have the most amazing imaginations and the simplest of things such as emptying the pots and pans and a wooden spoon can give hours of fun.

Not all play things have to be conventional ‘toys’ so we’re going to bring a series of ideas for sensory play and crafts to keep your baby, toddler or pre-school child/ren entertained.

Baby Sensory Bottles

What you will need:

Clear plastic bottles
Oil (can be whatever edible oil you have in the cupboard)
Food colouring in colours of your choice
Sparkly Craft Items
A funnel

Baby Sensory Play
Shaky Sensory Bottle

Before you start you will need to colour the rice. All you have to do is measure out how much rice you will need to filling the bottle you will be using so that it’s about three quarters full and then separate it into bowls and add a few drops of food colouring. You may need to leave this for a little while so that the colour doesn’t transfer onto the bottle.

In the meantime you can choose what you would like to add to your bottle. We added a selection of coloured glitters, pom poms, coloured plastic beads and a selection of craft sequins and shapes.

Once the rice is dry, using a funnel (I used a jug as I don’t have one) add the rice to the bottle and with a bit of superglue screw the lid on. We finished this off with some coloured tape to make it extra nice.

And Shake………..


Baby Sensory Play
Water Sensory Bottle

For this bottle you need to fill up your bottle to about a third of the way up and add a few drops of food colouring of your choice. We added some coloured glitter to make it extra pretty. Then fill the bottle with the cooking oil of your choice leaving about an inch gap at the top. Again add a bit of superglue before screwing on the lid, and we added some coloured tape for prettiness.

AND Shake…… the water and oil will separate giving a lava lamp effect.

We’d love to see your Sensory Baby Bottles so either leave a comment with a pic or pop over to our Facebook Page and upload one.



Superhero Inch Blue Shoes

Superhero Inch Blue Shoes


Just in – Superhero Inch Blue Shoes……

Inch Blue Shoes are the perfect choice for pre-walking and toddling babies. Made from soft leather with soft non-slip suede soles. Elasticated ankles for a snug fit and recommended by Christina Redfearn, Chiropodist and Reflexologist.

 AND how cool are they! 

My Fave are the Superhero Lilac & White and my special super power would be glitterizing dazzle bombs. Not sure what I’d do with them but they could come in handy for a party emergency. 

All of our Inch Blue Range come in sizes 0 – 6 months, 6 – 12 months and 12 – 18 months. 

For the full range of Inch Blue Shoes Click Here

Drop us a comment and tell us what your Super Power would be x 

Belle’s Bedtime Reads – The Three Billy Goats Fluff

Belle’s Bedtime Reads – The Three Billy Goats Fluff.

Being at pre-school attached to a primary school, Isabelle gets the chance to bring home a different book each day that she is there and they have a great selection. Thank god that times have moved on and the reading books for children are far more exciting and appealing to children to encourage them to read.

So The Three Billy Goats Fluff is a modern adaptation of The Three Billy Goats Gruff with great illustrations and humour injected making these a great bedtime read.

So we have three Billy Goats, a small Billy Goat, a medium Billy Goat and a Big Billy Goat who like to cross the Troll’s bridge to get to the lush green grass on the other side.

How do they overcome the problematic Troll and avoid being turned into Billy Goat Stew? Well let’s just say that Mother Goats ace knitting skills have something to do with it……..

A huge thumbs up from both Belle, Mummy and Daddy.

* Please note this is an affiliate link, but all our thoughts and recommendations are our own. – Funky Baby Clothes 


Belle’s Bedtime Reads – What the Ladybird Heard – Julia Donaldson

What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson.

61OqawxQUsL._SL250_This is one of Isabelle’s absolute favourite books. We bought it for her when she was two and we took it to France with us and by the end of the two weeks she could recite the whole rhyming chorus word for word and never tired of it.

So What did the Ladybird Hear?

Well I won’t spoil the story, but it involves two Robbers, a Fine Prize Cow and friends and a Ladybird… a singsongy way with fantastic illustrations.

We have the book in hardback and as well as the story which can be read in a singsongy way, each page features the ladybird with glittery bits on it. We like the repetativeness in the books as these are well remembered and Isabelle joins in with reading the sort.

We saw  What the Ladybird Heard at the Northcott Theatre, Exeter not so long ago and thoroughly enjoyed it, with many of the children in the audience reciting the chorus part of the story.

We have a fair few of Julia Donaldson books and whilst all of the stories are well written with fab illustrations, Isabelle loves finding the characters of the other books within the pages which overlap.

Reading Age – Toddler – Hmmm, Isabelle is 4 and I would say we have plenty of reads left in this book.

A Megawatt Huge Thumbs up for this book x

* Please note this is an affiliate link, but all opinions belong to Isabelle and I.

Top Tips for Finding the Best Bed for your Child – Bedstar

Top Tips for finding the Best Bed for your Child.

How to find the best bed for your child
We spend a third of our lives in bed. Sleep is incredibly important in terms of bodily repair and regeneration, and in terms of the lives of young children, getting a bed, mattress, duvet and pillows that are perfectly suited can provide boosts to the body, mood and brain. However, whether your child is getting their own grown-up bed, or is simply in need of a replacement, finding which is best up to the task can be a difficult thing to ascertain. To help out, we came up with a few useful tips to point you in the correct direction!


This is perhaps the most important tip in this article, as if your child’s bed is of the wrong dimensions, issues may arise, potentially making bedtime a chore. If the bed is too small, your child will be uncomfortable and constrained when they are in bed, whilst if it is too large, valuable playing space will have been encroached upon! A good idea is to get a bed frame that is lower to the ground than a full-sized adult bed – futons, for instance – that will make it easier for them to climb in to bed and will minimise any risks associated with falling out of the bed.


Again, the style of bed that you choose is very much dependent on your child and the space requirements in their room. Go through the children’s bed section on websites such as Bedstar with your child and show them all of the different styles of frames that they could potentially have. Bunk beds are particularly useful if more than one child is occupying a room, but can also maximise the space for activities below, if the bed only has a single, higher, tier.


You should ideally try and find mattresses, duvets and pillows that will ensure your child gets the best benefits from their time sleeping. This means finding a mattress that is supportive of the body during sleep, but that isn’t too firm or spring-ridden, things that will only have a negative impact on your child’s quality of sleep. Duvets need to be thick enough to provide warmth during the winter months, but breathable enough to stop summertime stuffiness. Finally, pillows should be found that combine the qualities of both duvets and mattresses. If in doubt, S.L.E.E.P: Select a mattress, Lie down in a sleeping position, Evaluate its levels of comfort and support, Educate yourself about the options, Partners should try each mattress together (that last one isn’t particularly pertinent, but a useful tip nonetheless!)

Do you know of any excellent beds that are befitting of children? Tell us what they are below!

Belle’s Bedtime Reads – Trixie Ten by Sarah Massini

We are huge book fans in our house and between us we could probably start our own library. Thank goodness for the invention of the kindle or we would seriously be over-run and possibly be featured on that hoarding programme.

As we are such fans, I thought that we would share some of our favourite books that we’re currently reading to Isabelle (AKA Belle).

So just a little bit of background. Isabelle is now four and thankfully loves being read to. She’s got a very inventive imagination and always has lots of questions on anything and everything. Therefore we have to keep this little mind busy, hence the ever-growing library.

As a fellow mum (or dad) there are a few books on the shelf that you could probably read without even looking at the words and Trixie Ten is one of them.

All the little characters in the book are made from fingerprints. I won’t spoil the plot for you, but know that the book has a really catchy sing-songy bit that you and your child will be repeating after a few reads.

Trixie Ten definitely gets the thumbs up from us, even if we do have to accidentally lose it every couple of weeks so that we can mix the night-time routine up a little bit!

Happy reading x

*Please note this is an affiliate link, but the content of the blog and opinions are our own.