Review: Baby's First Calendar- ideal gift!

When Mr Postie brought me this package I was chuffed. Then I opened it, and went from chuffed to thrilled. It is gorgeous!

None of the sappy pale colours you get with some newborn gifts, this bright modern and quite frankly gorgeous design will fit in any nursery.

And it has owls! I have a thing about owls!

This calendar is A1 (59cm x 84cm), which is a good size but doesnt take over the nursery. I love this calendar because it is a permanent and visual record of all the many milestones and key events that take place during your baby’s first year.

For me the biggest plus point is that is easy! So easy that my four year old can use it….. and does! Kieran has been my baby for such a long time and when Taylor arrived I was a little worried about how he would feel, despite all the preparation. I needn’t have worried, as he has taken to being a big brother like a duck to water. It is Kieran’s “job” to help me record Taylor’s milestones and he loves the bright stickers, and oh so carefully placing them in the right places. When a friend visited recently he thoroughly enjoyed showing off “Taylor’s calendar that I look after”. How lovely for him to have this Big Boy/ Big Brother responsibility!

There are plenty of stickers for the usual events, first jab, first word etc but each day is a blank square that can be written on, personalising this calendar further. In addition to this there are spaces for you to put your own two photos and I think I will eventually have a newborn picture and a picture of Taylor at the end of his first year.

Such a unique and fun way to preserve these first precious months (which go so fast!) and at just £15 it is an absolutely perfect gift for new parents.

You can tell this product was designed and produced by parents as there is everything there that a parent with a new baby could want/need.

Importantly, the calendar incorporates a room thermometer and the Baby’s First Calendar website has some fantastic information from the FSID (The Foundation for the Study or Infant Deaths) on safe sleeping.

I really do love this product and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to others, or buy it myself as a gift for others.

For more information and to purchase visit the Baby’s First Calendar website.

Whatever next.. A Virtual Learning Platform

I’ve just come back from my son’s school having attended a meeting about Fronter, which is the school’s Virtual Learning Platform (VLP). Already rolled out in thousands of schools across the UK our school goes live properly on Monday.

Every child will have their own password and username, and their own “section” ie Reception, Year 1 etc and the information within each section so far looks great. Obviously there isn’t a huge amount of content yet but so far it ranges from website links to approved pages for work the class are currently tackling, to homework, maths and literacy help, news and more. There is also a social element to it where children can use stickies to leave messages. In additional to this work will be uploaded ie a particularly good poem or picture so a kind of portfolio will be there for us as parents to see and for the children to have as a record.

Everything is strictly monitored by the teachers/staff and children have already been made aware of the consequences of abusing the system.

I am ridiculously excited, sad mare that I am! Kieran is in Reception, so he will “grow” with the platform as it grows. He will be able to navigate a growing network of information, network with other children safely, show ME and Daddy what he is working on and what he is doing next…. the possibilities are endless.

There is also a parent section in which key information is available, forms will be downloadable (ie holiday requests etc), and a parent forum where we can discuss/organise etc anything we as parents wish to discuss with others.

Don’t get me wrong – I strongly believe that young children should be playing outside in mud, scraping their knees, tearing clothes, getting into “mild” mischief and overall just being children, not stuck in front of a computer. That said, IT is not going away – it has affected the way everything is run, from services to schools and the influence IT has on our children’s lives will be immense, regardless of what they choose to do workwise. I think it’s great that our children are being taught e-safety now, responsibility for their own actions (ie when posting messages), and great IT skills so early.

There was a lot of grumbling about lost passwords, swapped passwords, this and that but by and large the parents were very supportive and I look forward to seeing how the VLP pans out.

Does your school have a virtual learning platform, and if so , what do your kids think of it, how do you find it?