Learning during a Pandemic with Reading Fairy York

AD/GIFTED Classes* If you’d have said to me at the start of 2020 ” You’re going to be in lockdown due to a Pandemic at the end of March and have to survive WFH full time and parenting as well as being pregnant!”, I would have definitely thought you were having me on.

When things got bad and the reality of parenting and WFH started to become a reality, I found my days were becoming more of a struggle in terms of having structure with Freya. We started well with an activity every day but quickly she lost interest and just wanted to be lazy and watch TV.

When I was offered the chance to join a term of Reading Fairy York classes with the lovely Gemma, to say I bit the hand off of Kate at Avocado Events would be an understatement. Freya and I had done no classes together other than swimming every other week since I went back to work in October 2018 so I was intrigued to see what she would be like.

If you’ve not heard about Reading Fairy before the here’s a snippet from their website:

Reading Fairy classes are designed to develop the crucial building blocks for reading and language development from 1-5 years. We believe in learning through play and nurturing a love of reading. Activities will be introduced by Reading Fairy and her four lovable friends; Phonic Fox, Music Mouse, Chat Cat and Book Bear. Each session includes: sensory and performance story telling, songs and rhymes, first words and fun phonics games and picture book time.

Our classes are progressive and are split into age groups:

Book Babies (Age 1+) -encourages early language and literacy

Toddler Tales (Age 18 months +) -active early language and literacy

Story Stars (Age 2+) -introduces letters and sounds for early reading fun

Reading Recruits (Ages 3 and 4) -develops skills for reading to prepare your child for reading at school.

Having never used Zoom before, I was a little nervous when I agreed to do the classes however Gemma provides a full information sheet ahead of each weeks class including meeting/pass codes and what the theme of the week ahead is. Alongside each theme is a list of items your child may want to have for the class as well as some amazing printouts to enjoy.

At the start of each class, Gemma lets you into the meeting and greets your child. Freya was definitely a little apprehensive at first but most recently, she has come out of her shell and enjoyed the classes more. Throughout the class there are stories, singing and lots of phonics something that Freya has started to pick up on after each class. She has enjoyed singing the songs, especially the ones she recognises from nursery and the different characters we are introduced to each week.

The brilliant thing about Gemma is she is completely understanding of children that are not feeling the camera one day or disappear out of sight during the call. I’ve regularly had Freya run off to find more toys, run to the potty or even just ask for our camera to be switched off and just enjoyed watching and listening instead. Gemma is great at engaging with the children due to her background in education and Early Years, it’s really easy to see why all the kids love her during the class.

If you’re looking for some classes in York that focus on reading and phonics then I would highly recommend Gemma.

Laura x

*Gifted Classes for a term*

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What’s in Freya’s Christmas Eve Box

2019 – the year I succumbed to the American tradition that is the “Christmas Eve Box!”

Prior to this I thought Freya was far too young for one and now at 2.25 years of age, I think she will love it, albeit not really get it still. Today we put up our Christmas tree (yes it’s November but it’s 1 month away so shush!). She loved helping to unravel the beads, and then get them all knotted up again.

So back to the box. Rather than buy a wooden box, I decided to go for one of the absolute steal Home Bargain boxes for £2.99. You can write your child’s name on the lid of the box and personalise it so it’s perfect. For your money, you get a cookie inside and as well as a letter from Santa, a book and …..

I haven’t gone crazy when deciding to fill the box and have merely chosen a few little things to add to it including a set of Frozen PJ’s from Tu which I got in the 25% event and they include some lovely wam Olaf socks to match. I also picked up the Orchard Toys Pigs in Blankets game from Aldi in their recent toy event for less than £4 so we can all play a game as a family on Christmas Eve.

On top of that, I will be giving Freya a Peppa Pig bamboo tumbler and plate to put out for Santa so he can have his Whisky and Mince Pie (yes that’s what Santa will be feasting on in our house ladies and gentleman) which was kindly gifted to us for the big event from GiftGivingAllWrappedUp.

Lastly we will be sending Santa the Peppa Pig Christmas Sack in advance so it makes it easier for him to leave presents at our house. Got to make his job as easy as possible of course! This was also kindly gifted to us and I can’t wait to see her face when she wakes up that morning.

We were also kindly gifted a cute Peppa Pig bauble which has pride of place on our tree now and has completely ruined my colour scheme of whites, silvers and irridescent baubles, but Freya loves it and that’s all that matters.

I can’t wait to see others Christmas Eve boxes if you’ve done one this year so feel free to leave me any blog links in the comments.

Laura x

*Post contains Press Samples*

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How to Reduce Plastic Waste in The Bathroom

Looking to reduce your amount of plastic waste? The bathroom is a great place to start. Read my blog for some tips on how to reduce plastic waste in the bathroom.

*Ad – Collaborative Post*

Plastic is becoming more and more of a problem to our planet. Luckily, people around the world are becoming more aware of these issues and doing what they can to help reduce the amount of plastic waste we create. Plastic takes a long time to decompose and can create toxic chemicals that seep into our soil and water. We are overrun with the amount of plastic currently on our planet, and it is more important than ever to start making small changes.

Somewhere I’ve started making changes is in the bathroom. The bathroom is one of the places in our homes where we create the most plastic waste, so it should be one of the places you start. Also, a lot of the switches are pretty easy, so you won’t find it difficult to make these changes. Keep reading for four plastic free alternatives for your bathroom.

4 Plastic Free Alternatives

Bars Over Bottles

When it comes to shampoo and soap, opt for the bar options. Shower gel and hand wash dispensers will always come in a plastic bottle, so switching to a bar will help you reduce your plastic waste greatly. There are many different brands of bars of soap that come in a cardboard packaging, so definitely go for something that can be recycled. 

More brands are not bringing out shampoo bars, a fantastic plastic free alternative to shampoo that typically will come in a plastic bottle. They also tend to last a lot longer than liquid shampoo as you don’t use more than necessary, so it’s a win win!

Plastic Free Shaving

Safety razors are a fantastic plastic free shaving alternative. Although you might not be familiar with this style of razor, it’s an old-school style razor that your grandfather would probably know a bit more about! They’ve made a huge comeback in recent years, one of their perks being that they are completely plastic free. Not only do they help you cut back on plastic, they will also save you a lot of money.


If you are looking to make the switch, The English Shaving Company have a fantastic range of safety razors for you to try. For women who want to use the razor for leg shaving, opt for one with a longer handle. Using a safety razor is a little different from a cartridge, but it doesn’t take long to get used to.

Menstrual Cup

Menstrual cups offer an eco-friendly alternative to pads and tampons. They are made out of plastic, however they will last you a long time and still greatly reduce the amount of plastic waste you will create from alternative products. 

Not only do sanitary pads and tampons come in plastic packaging, they also have plastic within them. These are necessary products so it’s not easy to find an alternative, but luckily we now have menstrual cups as an option. Typically made from silicone, they are inserted similarly to a tampon and collect blood over the course of 10-12 hours. They are they removed and the blood is poured away. These can be tricky to get used to and don’t work for everyone, but it is definitely worth a try.

Makeup Remover

Face wipes and plastic contained makeup remover can create a lot of plastic waste, especially considering how much you go through. Instead of using single use wipes or cotton wool pads, opt for a face cloth and a solid bar makeup remover. This reduces your plastic waste and also will help save you money! The face cloth will last you a long time, just make sure you pop it in the washing machine every so often to keep it hygienic.  

So there are just a few ways you can switch things up in the bathroom to help reduce your plastic waste! What changes will you be making? Let me know in the comments below!

Laura 🙂

*Collaborative Post*

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