I think as parents, it is our job to ensure our children are prepared for their school day and there are a few simple ways we can do this.
5 ways to help your children stay happy at school
We all worry about whether our children are happy at school and it is usually the first question I ask their teacher at parent's evening! Here are a few ideas that will help to keep a smile on their face:-
1 - Give them a giggle with a daily joke. I usually write a silly joke on their water bottle before popping it in their lunch box and they always look forward to reading it (If anyone has any good jokes please let me know).
2 - Walk to and from school (and leave your phone at home). Our walk to school takes between 20-30 minutes and it's a time of day I love. My children have 100% of my attention 100% and it's when we have some of our best chats which leave us all feeling happy. Today we ended up talking about the difference between mist and fog, yesterday it was 'where do snails live'.
3 - Talk to your children about their worries and concerns. Walking to and from school is a good chance to ask your children about their feelings, worries and fears and helps to make talking about feelings a 'normal' thing to do.
4 - Work on having a good relationship with your children's school. Your children's teachers are with them for 6 hours every day and responsible for their care and well-being at school. I think it's vital you have a good relationship with your school and are able to feel comfortable approaching them and making a plan if there are any issues. Parent's evenings, school socials, open afternoons, school assemblies, school fayres, school pick up........they're all a good chance to get to know the adults who probably know your child very well.
5 - Encourage after-school activities. My children love pursuing their various hobbies and in the past have thoroughly enjoyed a wealth of after-school activities and clubs including coding club, skipping club, steel pan club, football and rugby practice to name but a few. They get to spend some social time with their friends and learn new skills and I think after-school clubs like this do wonders for their confidence.
5 ways to help your children stay healthy at school
I was super shocked to read this report from Sugary Drink Facts that found 33g of sugar in one of the juice drinks my children used to drink regularly! That is more that 8 teaspoons :-( and further research has proven that plenty of fruit and veg helps to improve nutrition in children, reduces obesity, helps their digestive help and helps them to perform better at school. Here are my top tips for helping your children to stay healthy at school:-
1 - Make packed lunches fun. This is Harry and Heidi's first year of switching to packed lunches. Recent research revealed that most kids' packed lunch boxes are still unhealthy and I'm determined not the be one of those statistics. There are some fantastic ideas around for creating healthy but fun ideas. My all time favourite is Eats Amazing but you should also check out Feeding Boys and my very own packed lunch Pinterest board.
2 - Provide your children with water in their lunch box rather than juice. Water is the best way to hydrate your children and contains nothing artificial. I was super shocked to read this report from Sugary Drink Facts that found 33g of sugar in one of the juice drinks my children used to drink regularly! Yikes!!
3 - Get the kids involved in baking healthy treats for the week ahead. Everyone knows that kids are more likely to eat food that they prepare themselves. The weekend is the perfect time to get baking those healthy snacks for the week ahead. We love this Sugar-free banana cake recipe.
4 - Establish a good routine. My children are honestly at their happiest when we stick to our routine and I believe that a good routine followed by a good night's sleep is vital to keeping them healthy. Our basic routine is after school snack/chill time until 4pm followed by 30 minutes homework/reading and then TV time/play with toys/computers until 6:30pm (with dinner squeezed in). This is followed by 1 hour worth of TV in their bedrooms followed by a further 30 minutes reading before lights out at 8pm. It's a routine that works for us and I would highly recommend you find your own routine with your children.
5 - Ensure your children have time to relax. As someone who suffers from stress, I think I worry about my children's mental health a lot more than their physical health. We are a very busy family and for me it's very important to build some time into our day for everyone to relax. Daily reading certainly helps with this but you can also try warm baths, family yoga or teaching your children about mindfulness.
|A fun Minion-themed packed lunch with edible eyes from Five Adventurers|
5 ways to help your children stay hydrated at school
1 - Provide children with an extra bottle of water on their PE days. Our school asks that children are provided with a bottle of water on PE days to sip during and after sport. I have my children's PE days written in my diary so I remember when they need extra.
2 - Get the kids involved with recycling. My three children love learning about the planet and how to take care of it. They keep their empty bottles to put in our recycle bin at home. Every single part of a Highland Spring bottle can be recycled and the kids take pride in knowing they aren't adding to landfill.
3 - Bring a cold bottle of water with you when you collect your children from school. We have established a nice little habit where I greet the kids with a nice, chilled bottle of water to drink as we walk home from school. I think they feel quite grown up drinking from the bottle and this has especially been well-received during the unseasonal warm weather of late.
4 - Children will follow your lead - ensure they see you drinking water at home too. You may remember my post 'You are what you drink' back in January and this REALLY shocked me into seriously cutting back on fizzy drinks myself. I am pleased to say that we have kicked the habit and we never drink fizzy drinks at home - it's always either water (which we keep in the fridge) or coffee now. The kids see us drinking water and just accept it as normal so they follow our lead without question.
5 - Visit websites such as Readymag - Highland Spring’s first e-magazine a head-to-toe guide to happy hydration, where you'll find fun water-based games such as 'bottle skittles' and instructions on how to make a your own 'bottle band'. This encourages children to drink water so they can have fun with their empty bottles.
Let me know if you have any tips that help your children at school.
Disclosure: I’m working with Highland Spring and BritMums in a paid relationship promoting the #TermTimeEssentials campaign about the importance of hydration to kids. Visit http://
highlandspringmagazine.com for more advice and tips.