Why Writing Matters & National Stationary Week 2016

NSW 2013 with date and website and partners (no website)This week, it is National Stationary Week #NatStatWeek  and with Thomas starting school in September, this year it is more important to us than ever. Thomas loves going to preschool and nursery and they have provided him with a great foundation for him to build on when he starts reception later on in the year. However, an issue that preschool, nursery and I struggle with is actually getting Thomas to sit down and write anything.  He would rather be playing with friends, watching the TV or playing outside. The preschool and nursery are not that worried about it as when he is in the mood, he can write beautifully. I just worry as my writing is awful and I prefer to use a computer/tablet myself for taking notes. Technology is increasingly taking over our life’s and I want to do everything that I can to ensure that Thomas and Daniel can write and write well.

Thomas' handwriting

Here are some reasons as to why writing matters and why we should be encouraging our children to keep on writing!

  1. It is fail-safe. You do not need to worry about batteries dying or hard drives breaking. Your writing is simple there!
  2. Knowledge is power. Your brain takes in more information when you are writing it down
  3. Hand writing enhances brain activity and memory keeping young (and older!) minds sharp!
  4. Hand writing encourages imagination and simulates the brain. As Thomas and Daniel gets older I would like them writing stories and making their imaginations come alive!
  5. There is nothing more personal than a handwritten letter saying thank you or congratulations. The handwritten cards are always opened first.

National Stationary Week Goodies

We were sent some items to help us celebrate National Stationary week. Thomas loves the pencils and the pencil sharpener while I love the notebooks, the coloured pens and the gorgeous handbag pen. National Stationary week is carrying on all week until Sunday 1st May so make sure you follow all the action on Twitter.

Follow @NatStatWeek on Twitter and make sure you are using the following hashtags:






Happy writing everyone!

We were sent some items from National Stationary Week sponsors in exchange for this post. All opinions are own.

A Visit To Santa’s Gone Digital At The Bullring, Birmingham

Our photo with Santa at the Bullring - Jo's Nursery

Christmas will soon be here and if you are looking for a place to go and see the main man himself, then why not give Santa’s Gone Digital at the Bullring, Birmingham a try! The Grotto is located in St. Martin’s Square next to the church. It’s appearance resembles a modern igloo which may surprise some people and does not look very festive from the outside, bar from a couple of reindeer, a polar and a few small Christmas trees. You must book in advance to attend either at the stall in the Bullring or online.

Santa's Gone Digital at the Bullring - Jo's Nursery

When we arrived at our allotted time, we were greeted by two elves called  Jingle and Snowdrop and they escorted us into the igloo when the people in the slot before us had left. Jingle and Snowdrop told Thomas that Santa was very tired and had gone to sleep and that he needed to wake him up. It was dark when we entered the igloo which might be a bit scary for younger children. Thomas and the elves then shouted ‘Boo’ and Santa woke up and greeted us. He spoke to Thomas and Daniel, my nearly 2 year old about what they wanted for Christmas. We then travelled to Santa’s workshop in the North Pole via an immersive 360° video experience. Thomas and Daniel were fascinated by the video and listening to Santa talking about the workshop and his elves. They enjoyed seeing the toys being made and liked being asked to do a robot dance when Santa’s robots appeared. We were then shown the reindeer outside the workshop and then it was time to travel back to the grotto and receive a present from Santa each. Daniel gave Santa a high five and then we all posed for two photos with Santa that are included in the entrance price (£7.50 per child) before leaving the grotto.

Elves at Bullring Grotto - Jo's Nursery

Bullring Christmas Tree - Jo's Nursery

I did think the experience was slightly expensive for what you get due to the low value of gifts received. Thomas got a boys travel activity pack and Daniel got some small bath toys. It is better than just giving out selection boxes though, which I have seen in some places before and the two digital photos included do make the cost slightly more worthwhile.

Overall, I was very impressed with the grotto. The elves could do not enough to help Thomas, Daniel and I enjoyed the experience. The Santa looked genuine and was very patient with the children. Thomas was grumpy and tired at the end so he did not smile for the photos unfortunately. Santa and the elves were very understanding and did their best to cheer him up!

You can also read my review in the Birmingham Mail here

We were invited as guests of the Bullring to visit Santa’s Gone Digital. All opinions are my own. We were not required to write a positive review

My 1st Years Review

Thomas The Pirate My 1st Years - Jo's Nursery

It’s nearly Christmas and if you are still looking for a perfect present for someone, than look no further than My 1st Years. The name might suggest that they only sell products for babies and toddlers, however they sell much more than that. They sell beautiful gifts for women and me, many of which can be personalised as well as items for the bedroom, bathroom and playroom. Thomas and Daniel were sent a toy each from their range and we were very impressed.

Pirate Wooden Toy Box My 1st Years - Jo's Nursery

Pirate Wooden Toy Box My 1st Years - Jo's Nursery

Pirate Wooden Toy Box My 1st Years - Jo's Nursery

Thomas was sent the Personalised Pirate Wooden Toy Box which he loved as soon it was delivered. It is a personalised metal tin with pirate decoration on filled with everything a pirate needs to set sail. The set includes a carved pistol and cutlass, metal hook, shield, sack of doubloons, eye patch, compass pirate cap, and a  treasure map. It is all made of wood or high quality material and I have a feeling it will last for years. We have had to watch Daniel with the doubloons as they are a bit small so just be aware of them if younger children may try and play with this. Thomas loves being a pirate with this set as you can see from the top picture.

Donkey Soft Toy My 1sy Years - Jo's Nursery

Daniel was sent a Personalised Donkey Soft Toy which is very soft and cuddly. It would make the perfect gift for any child and they will embroider any name that you would like on the jumper for free. Daniel loves giving his donkey cuddles and I am sure that they will be friends for life. Both the donkey and the pirate toy box were delivered in gift boxes well wrapped in paper making them an ideal Christmas present for that special person in your life. All My 1st Years products are sent gift wrapped so even if you are buying something for yourself, it will still feel like a treat!

We were sent the Pirate Toy Box and the Donkey Soft Toy for the purposes of this review. All opinions are our own. We were not required to write a positive review. There are affiliate links in this post 

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