Another month – whoa, how did that happen? March is a funny time of year for me. When I lived in the UK, I used to love March arriving as it meant better weather was on the way. But now it means the exact opposite in Dubai, as we only have a month or so until it will be getting too hot to enjoy outside life until the end of October. That’s depressing to say the least, but we will be making the most of it over the coming month with lots of beach trips and park days. I also have family arriving to look forward to over the next month and then a few weeks in the UK in April for Easter, so it’s definitely not all bad.
And without further ado, here are the things we are currently enjoying, ordering, and trying in the Mum of Boys house.
1. The Day The Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. This beautiful book was a gift to Stanley from his friend Francesca – and we have been reading it non-stop for the last few weeks. A Number One New York Times Bestseller, no less, the book features letters written by different colour crayons to their owner Duncan. The story is so funny and the illustrations make it such a joy to read. I think children from three upwards would all love it added to their book shelves. The paperback is £3.49 from Amazon.co.uk (click here to buy )
2. Magnotabs. If your children are the age of learning to write, these magnetic tabs are genius. Stanley is a bit geeky when it comes to letters and numbers, so when I saw these in a local shop (Read n Enjoy in JBR, for those in Dubai), I immediately picked up the tab with 0-9 and took it home. He loves it so much he is taking it to bed with him every night. The idea is that you draw the little magnetic pen over the numbers / letters – and as you do, little magnet balls are pulled up to complete the outline. It teaches children how to write in a fun way – and whilst they aren’t cheap, I’d much prefer he practiced this way than spend hours tracing letters on the iPad. The Magnotab A-Z is £37 and the 1-9 is £27.55. You can also get lower case, cursive and free form tabs for drawing. Buy online from Amazon.co.uk (click here to buy )
3. Etsy. I’ve gone a bit Etsy crazy this month, treating Wilfred to printed leggings and both the boys to some new T-Shirts and Marquee initial lights for their bedroom. I love Etsy for kids and can’t wait for my haul to arrive (via Shop & Ship, Dubai people!) The leggings are from Fred & Noah here (£12 each), the T-Shirts are from fEeLiNgPrInTy here (£7.99 each) and the lights are from Zoe’s Little Wonder Emporium here (currently out of stock, but will be back soon at £30 each).
4. Afterschool.ae (Dubai). I’m always on the hunt for family-friendly companies in Dubai, both for this blog and for the day job – and Afterschool.ae has stood out from the crowd. This very clever website allows you to log on to find after-school activities for your children in Dubai (and further afield), with an easy search function to find activities as varied as surfing, acting theatre, ballet, football, and gymnastics (to name just a few). Timings, address details, and company contact details are all clearly listed – and you can even book and pay online. Dubai was crying out for something as useful as this for parents and I will definitely be using it. Visit www.afterschool.ae
5. Eats Amazing Bento Boxes. Inspired by My Two Mums on Instagram, I have just bought a set of Bento Box accessories to make the boys’ lunches a lot more fun. We have been doing ‘fun tray’ lunches for a while in our house – with different sections containing different foods to make it nice and varied – and this takes it one step further with bright silicon containers, shaped sandwich cutters, vegetable cutters, and fun, novelty food picks to brighten things up. The possibilities are endless, but the average bento box lunch will feature cheese, fruit, sandwiches, wraps, vegetable shapes, and crackers. I bought all of our accessories from Eats Amazing and there are lots of ideas on the site to inspire creativity. Visit www.eatsamazing.co.uk