Showing posts with label Dylan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dylan. Show all posts

Sunday, 17 September 2017

What Dylan Wore // Frugi

My biggest boy doesn't feature so often on the blog anymore, partly because he is now at school 5 days a week and partly because he often wants to be bribed to take part in any photos.  I have been wanting to talk about dressing him though, because as he is getting older I am aware that his style needs to grow with him.

Frugi, The Mummy Adventure, Frugi for older boys

Dylan is 6 and he is far from a toddler.  Some of the bright prints that I love for Finn no longer suit him, yet often I find clothes in his size are plain and grown up and don't reflect the colourful boy I know.  It took me 2 days to find a coat for school that I felt fit the middle ground for us.  Frugi is a brand I have bought for the children in their baby and toddler years and then forgotten about, but when they asked us to pick something for Dylan instead of one of the younger children it gave me a chance to really check out their older ranges.

Frugi, The Mummy Adventure, Frugi for older boys

As it turns out, this is where I should have been shopping for him all along! We chose a pair of jeans and a hoody as winter is fast approaching and as with all the Frugi clothing, these are designed in the UK and made of ethically sourced organic fabric.  The jeans have just the right amount of stretch, an adjustable waist and a lightening bolt print on the inside that makes them more than just your average jeans.  We are so impressed with the quality and the fit and I loved the playful touch.  Dylan finds them really comfy and will reach for them over his other jeans.

Frugi, The Mummy Adventure, Frugi for older boys
No amount of bribery could persuade him to wear shoes of course.

I chose the campervan hoody as I thought that the blue and grey colours would go with everything, but the rainbow stripes on the campervan make it stand out and instantly look more colourful.  The hoody looks really comfy and Dylan loves wearing it.  We went for both items in age 6-7 knowing that Frugi come up big an they fit perfectly even on my very tall 6 year old (he is roughly 128cm tall).

Frugi, The Mummy Adventure, Frugi for older boys

Frugi is a brand that we know and love for the little ones but it was great fun discovering their older children's range too.  They sell clothes for children up to 10 years old, you can find it all on the Frugi website
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Tuesday, 5 September 2017

Reading Eggs Review

Dylan is back at school tomorrow and Archie won't be long behind him, although their school waits another week and a half before the reception class begins.  We then have two weeks of part time hours and it will be October before I have two boys in full time school.  Archie is so ready for it, his brain and his body need something more and he can't wait to queue up outside the purple class door.

We discovered Reading Eggs at the beginning of the summer, but it is now as we prepare the boys to stimulate their minds in different ways again that we are really making the most of it.  The website is aimed at children from 2 to 13 years and consists of fun activities that help them learn.  The boys aren't allowed on the tablets or laptops often so they consider anything on there a treat and they have been really enjoying the reading eggs challenges.


Archie has started the 3-7 year old program on lesson 1 as we haven't really don't much phonics with him yet.  He is hurtling through these early levels though, picking up skills as he goes and it has been great to watch his concentration grow as sitting still is something he really struggles with.  The levels are just the right length that he can concentrate for one and then he needs a run around. The program is easy for him to follow without my help as everything is read aloud and it works really well on my touch screen laptop.


Dylan took a proficiency test at the beginning as he has just turned six and already has a good base of knowledge.  He started just a couple of lessons short of finishing the 3-7 year old section and is now ready to begin the next stage. The lessons are challenging him without being too difficult and are perfect for him to do independently.  Being that little bit older he can do two in a row with ease and he has been enjoying doing something academic before diving in to year two on Wednesday. 


As a parent, I like how Reading Eggs fits in perfectly with what they are learning at school, and it is used in many schools all over the country.  I can see their 'reading age' and offer them a fun way to learn alongside school and during the holidays.  I want the children to enjoy being at home and I like the fact their small school doesn't really give out homework, but this is a fun game for them and I don't think they really notice how much they are learning at the same time.


I think once Dylan and Archie are both at school, we will try out the toddler section with Finn as he hasn't really used technology much before and I think he will enjoy something different.  


 You can currently get a 5 week free trial (if you join before the end of September) and you don't have to put in any credit card details either.  If you want to test out the junior edition then click here instead
 .  We are really impresssed with it and I am hoping it keeps Archie occupied for the long two month ahead before he starts school full time.


Collaborative post
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Friday, 18 August 2017

Two in School with Pep and Co

There are only three weeks until I have two school boys.  Archie will be joining his big brother at our local infant school and he can't wait.  He had outgrown the nursery by the time he left and he is excited for the new challenges, although I think once he remembers that it is everyday he may change his mind.  Archie has the same teacher that Dylan had in his first terms and I think she is going to be in for a shock.

Two school boys means two sets of uniform, two little blue book bags, two pairs of smart black shoes and two to get out the door on time five mornings a week.  School uniform can get really expensive and we are very impressed with these bits from Pep and Co which are ridiculously cheap.

pep and co school uniform, poundland uniform

It took me £3.20 each child AND a kinder egg to bribe them into their school uniform in the middle of the holidays and they then refused to take it off for the rest of the day.  The polo shirts start at £1, the trousers from £3 and the jumpers from £2.  Archie could buy his trousers and polo with the money I paid him and still have change!

poundland school uniform, pep and co clothing

pep and co school uniform, cheap school uniform

Of course no amount of money would actually persuade them to stay still or pull a nice smile for the camera, so I have funny thumbs up and some zombie poses. The trousers look a little long on both boys so definitely don't size up unless you are happy to turn them up as well. I am hoping the boys finish their growth spurt by early September so that these fit a little better. 

pep and co school uniform, uniform from poundland

The trousers have an adjustable waist which is good news for those with slim kids like Archie and the polo shirts have a really great fit.  Pep and Co have expanded their range and many items are 100% cotton as well as having  Teflon® and Always Smart® technology in the fabrics to make them easy care.  As I know all too well what a white polo shirt looks like after a 4 year old has eaten a school lunch in it, this is excellent news!


With the Pep and Co uniform you can definitely get More for Less which is going to make the sting of four after school clubs a bit easier (we have been letting Dylan pick two each term so Archie will get to do the same).  It is available in 289 Pep and Co stores including selected Poundland stores.  You can find your nearest store here







 This post is in collaboration with Pep and Co
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Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Nun Night Five Year Old

My baby boy, I don't think I have much longer of you allowing me to call you that.  This year you have grown in so many ways and you are so ready to turn six tomorrow.  You are the last of your friends to have a birthday and it seems crazy that some of them will be turning seven in just a few short weeks.  This year you have really cemented your friendships and you have a great group.  

This year you have grown physically, you are so tall and your feet have finally gone up a size after not growing for 18 months.  Your first two teeth came out a few weeks ago and in their place there are already two big teeth.  The novelty of wobbling and waiting has worn off now, although you are a big fan of the tooth fairy and her ability to bring you money whilst you sleep.


I feel like I have been waiting forever for you to fall in love with reading and I think we are finally getting there.  You learned to read so early and you have always been great at it, but you stopped wanting to do it at home and I refused to push you.  This last week you have been enjoying reading chapters of your library books though and I hope this is the start of it.  I loved reading at your age and I still do now, so I hope you find that same passion.

Five has been the age of Star Wars, an obsession despite the fact you have never seen any of the films.  It has been the start of joke telling, the age you discovered slapstick comedy, the beginning of computer games and minecraft and the year you have begged for your own tab on a daily basis.  Five has been a year of independence as you started pouring your own cup of milk, making your own breakfast and crossing roads without holding my hand all the time.  Five was the age you started riding a bike, and hopefully you will love the shiny green one we have wrapped up for you in the morning.

I struggle to understand how it was nearly 6 years ago that you changed everything, yet I sit here writing this, exhausted from a day at the beach with you and you three younger siblings and I smile at what you started.  I wasn't a mother until you came along.


You don't feature as much on the blog as you once did, you are too busy with school in the week and you don't always want your photo taken as much when you are at home.  You are still the inspiration for why I started blogging though and I still want to document these changes as you grow older.  You don't stay still for long either and I was left with either slightly blurry photos or some very interesting expressions to choose from for this letter!

My baby boy, tonight I put you to bed as a five year old for the last time.  You have never been more excited for your birthday, never spent quite as long counting down, never had such expectations and I hope tomorrow is perfect for you.

Sleep tight my gorgeous five year old,  for tomorrow is a big day.
Love Mummy xxxxxxxx
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Monday, 1 August 2016

Nun Night Four Year Old

My baby boy, what a year this has been for you, life has changed for us all, but for you the most.  As a four year old you have started school and considering you are one of the youngest in your year, you have thrived and exceeded.  You walked in on your first day with such confidence and your love for learning has never wavered.  You have thrived  in the classroom, made friends in the playground and gone in with a smile on your face every day.  

As a four year old you have learned to ski - something I didn't do until I was in my twenties.  Considering you are naturally quite cautious, you ended up ahead in your class and on the green slopes by the end of the week.  We were so proud, not so much of how well you did, but of how well you tried, putting in so much effort every day.

It was as a four year old that you became a big brother for the third time - something not many your age can say! You have so much love for all your younger siblings and I think your little sister will soon have you wrapped around her finger.  You are protective and caring and the best biggest brother they could all ask for.  You and Archie are still so close, inseperable at times but you do fight like brothers - you both hit out but you make up in seconds.

Four was the age of superheroes, discovering real Lego, playing Christmas at least once a week, questioning everything, collecting football stickers, dropping your nap (apart from the odd occasion), learning to use Netflix, being introduced to computer games and your feet not growing (not even half a size all year). 

Tomorrow you will be 5 and you are pretty excited! You still don't really ask for anything, you are looking forward to getting presents, but you don't know what you want exactly.  You do know that you want to be bigger and you defintely want birthday cake.

It seems crazy to think it was five years ago that you made me a mama, 5 years since you came into our lives and changed everything. You started everything, your brothers and sister wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you.  You turned us from a couple into a family five whole years ago.  That baby I held in my arms with long legs and round cheeks has become a wonderful child.  No longer a baby, a toddler or a preschooler but well and truly a child.  You are polite, caring and loyal.  You make us laugh and you frustrate us too.  You can hear a packet of biscuits being opened from a different room but like most males I know you have pretty selective hearing! 

My baby boy, on the eve of your fifth birthday I need you to know how much I love you, how proud I am of the boy you have become and how much I enjoy being your mama.  You challenge me every day and I am the person I am because of you.



Sleep tight my gorgeous four year old,  for tomorrow is a big day.
Love Mummy xxxxxxxx
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Friday, 17 June 2016

Art with a 4 Year Old

I have a four year old who is suddenly obsessed with art.  Everything has the potential to be recycled, covered in gloopy glue and paint and repurposed.  He looked quite upset recently when he realised what happens to all the things in the recycling bin and since then our bins have been a lot less full as things seem to be squirrelled away to make 'art' with.  

Writing never appealed to him until he started school and I know how important art is for his fine motor skills so it is something we have encouraged.  The Works do some great art supplies and they are such great value too - something you need with a 4 year old that can use a whole tube of gloopy glue on one egg box.  

We have been stocking up on the kids craft supplies and have an over the door shoe organiser in the dining room which has different craft items in each pocket - I saw the idea on pinterest and it is perfect for children if you find one with clear pockets - everything is on display so they can feel inspired.  Pompoms end up everywhere but they are much softer on your feet than lego blocks - trust me!  


Here are our top tips for doing art with children:

1) Aprons are a must! children are messy and easily distracted and if like mine they want to get creative as soon as they get in from school, you will want to protect their shirts!

2) Have art supplies somewhere easy to reach, but not too easy.  We keep paint and glue higher up so they need to ask first but things like stickers and stampers lower down so that they can start without me.

3) Limit what you keep.  Dylan would happily fill the house with recycled rubbish but we don't have the space and I really don't need it all.  He has a special drawer for projects and art work as well as a wall in the playroom to display his best bits.  If they get full then something has to be thrown out to allow for something new

4) If you want to encourage them to be arty without the mess then look at water painting.  Aquadoodles are brilliant for inside and giving them a paintbrush and a pot of water is ideal in the summer - get them painting the side of the house and know that it will all dry the same day!

5) Make a list of birthdays and never have to buy a card again.  The boys love making birthday cards so we keep a list of whose is coming up so that they are never forgotten

6) For younger children, expensive supplies aren't always worth the money.  Cheap and lots of it are the way forward and the Works sells a range that starts at 49p.

7) Once you start with glitter, you can't go back so be aware when you introduce it for the first time!

8) Try and enjoy it.  It is great for their motor skills, encourages creativity and imagination and takes the stress out of rainy days.  
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Tuesday, 26 April 2016

My Boys


With only ten weeks to go (ish) until we add a sixth member to our team, that feeling of the end that is so familiar now has arrived.  I remember during my first pregnancy trying to get my head around the fact that things would change beyond anything I could possibly imagine and I spent those final weeks with my friends, going out in the evenings (and treating myself to an orange juice), going for long walks, going out for dinner and enjoying my social life.

When I was pregnant with baby number two, I couldn't possibly comprehend how I could fit a second little baby in my life and those 10 weeks were spent enjoying everything about my first born, living life at his pace, letting my newly mobile toddler walk, as we had nowhere to be, there was no rush and nobody but us.

During my third pregnancy, I wanted to make the most of me-time, and I went to the cinema at least once a week as I remembered all to well how little personal space you get with a baby around.  I went for walks on my own along the sea front in the evenings, sat in the hairdressers and just enjoyed peace whenever I could find it, as three was set to be loud, chaotic and always busy.

This time I have realised that the weeks with 'my boys' are soon to be over, there will be a little girl on our team, and everything will change all over again.  These boys have been a three for 14 months, they have such beautiful bonds, they are learning and growing together and they are just wonderful to watch.  My focus will shift, I will be more outnumbered than ever, and I will have to stop saying 'my boys' and start saying 'my children' or 'my family' when I refer to them all.

It seemed to hit as I turned 30 weeks, it is a milestone week and these photos make me a bit emotional.  I feel so incredibly blessed to have three amazing little boys in my life.  To be the one that gets to wake up to their smiles each morning, and tuck them up in bed with a story and a song each night.  I get to watch them grow into the men they will become, nurture friendships with each other, learn alongside one another and be a little team.

These next ten weeks are about them, about making memories, about getting out together, exploring and observing, because I love to just watch them.  I want to have adventures that are easier without a new baby in tow,  I want to capture them as they are now, whilst it is just the three of them, I want to prepare them for a sister without making them wish away the present, because the present is pretty awesome right now.  











These photos are from the weekend and they may be my favourite ever, they capture so much of who they all are, they capture them together, they were in their element, outdoors, exploring, having adventures and you can see that in their smiles, in the way they are so relaxed.  I took my camera out only a couple of times, I wanted some special photos of  'my boys' as they are now, but the rest of the time I got stuck in with them all, I searched for the Gruffalo and got excited when we found the snake's log pile house.  I squelched in the mud, marveled at sticks, and came home with muddy feet.






It feels so strange that my time with just these boys is numbered, that things are going to change all over again, the dynamic, the pace of life, the size of my heart, and whilst I am confident we will adapt and find space and it will soon become our new normal, I am excited for the final 10 weeks, our final adventures just as we are and that I get to watch them just as a three for a little longer.





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Monday, 25 April 2016

What the Boys Wore - Dapperbaby

I love dressing my boys, picking clothes that suit their personalities, their colourings and their lifestyle.  Finn needs comfort, the right fit for crawling and the right shape for his growing pot belly.  Archie needs freedom to run and jump, he doesn't want to be restricted, his clothes need stretch.  Dylan needs to look 'cool', or whatever a 4 year old considers cool, because he is starting to want an input in what he wears, but he also like soft and bright.

We have found brands that fill every criteria and the places we buy them from and whilst I love discovering new brands, there are some old favourites that I go back to every season.  Dapperbaby is one of my go-to online retailers as the lovely Emma stocks a mix of our favourites alongside new brands that I can't resist trying (and always love).  Her service is amazing, my orders tend to arrive the next day and a little bag of Haribo always makes me smile!

albababy, dapperbaby, alba playsuit, 13 month old

Emma sent us a few pieces and this playsuit from Albababy was the thing I was desperate to open.  The colours look so perfect together, it is practical for Finn to crawl and move in, the shape and cuffs mean it will last for a long time and I love how he still looks like a baby in it.

I bought my first Albababy item quite recently and have been slowly stocking up ever since, the quality is outstanding and I love the cuts of the classic pieces.  These are definitely clothes that you can keep for future children and Britney bump will have plenty to grow into. 


Albababy isn't just for Finn and Archie was sent this classic brown and white striped top.  His wardrobe contains a lot of patterned trousers and I know that stripes are guaranteed to go!  The cuffs on this are currently folded over and I think this will last him a very long time too.


These dog leggings are from Maxomorra, a company I have written about several times and who make up quite a chunk of all three boys' wardrobes.  Archie loves leggings and with potty training they are ideal for him.  He loved the design and they are perfect for this in between weather where it isn't always warm enough for shorts but he doesn't need anything heavy.


Archie really likes to put clothes to the test, and these definitely passed!

albababy stripes, maxomorra leggings, maxomorra dogs, dapperbaby, scandinavian kids clothes

Archie is wearing the leggings in 98/104 and the top in size 104, he is a pretty average sized just turned 3 year old.


One of my favourite things about Maxomorra is how they make a print work for all children.  Many of their designs come in baby vests, leggings, dresses, hoodies and t-shirts alongside other items making it great for matching siblings of different ages.  Emma stocks a great selection at Dapperbaby and she sent Dylan the hoody to match Archie's trousers.  Made from organic cotton like every Maxomorra item, the hoody is soft, lined, stretchy and considered 'cool' by my boy - everything we want!  I love the contrasting yellow that keeps it bright and fun.


And finally, Maxomorra make the most amazing summer suits, I just love how light, practical and bright they are.  Finn was sent the racing cars, and I fell immediately in love.  During the spring months he can wear it with a vest underneath and the dungaree look and by summer it will be a romper on its own.  The sizing is so generous that this will definitely last him until Autumn and it is super soft and stretchy making it perfect for a baby that sits, crawls and cruises.


These playsuits go up to a size 92 which would probably fit your average 3 year old still and they look so incredibly comfortable for days at the beach, exploring the garden and enjoying the sun. 

maxomorra racing cars, summer soft dungarees, dapperbaby, kids fashion blogger

And I may have taken quite a few photos of this one, because it is just too cute!  I think it is definitely going to be one of those items that Finn lives in this summer.  Maxomorra do several prints each season which include some 'girlier' colours and more neutral ones so there is something for every baby.


I really recommend Dapperbaby for fantastic kids clothes.  Many of the brands she stocks are organic, all are beautifully made and they are a great alternative to the highstreet.  It helps that first class delivery is free and Emma is happy to measure items and chat about sizing if you aren't sure what to order as well - Find her over on the Dapperbaby facebook page

learning to walk, maxomorra, dapperbaby, racing car dungarees, bib shorts







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Monday, 11 April 2016

School gets the best of him, I get the rest

School gets the best of him, I get the rest.

I don't know whether this is something all parents of reception children experience, I don't know if it is because my August born baby started school almost as soon as he turned four with trousers a little too long and sleeves that reached over his hands or maybe because he has always needed a little more sleep than your average child but I miss the 'him' that I have been reminded of these past two weeks.

Every morning I wake him, his eyes still sleepy and his body slow. I make breakfast and he dresses with little conversation. The walk to school sees him perk up, the fresh air hits and we chat about what the day holds. His eyes gain their sparkle, he holds my hand all the way and he is my boy. Almost as soon as we set out we are at the gates and he excitedly runs into the classroom with a kiss and a smile over his shoulder. 

His teacher gets the pleasure of his company between 9am and 3:15, she watches him learn and explore, build friendships, learn independence, laugh and smile. The child she sees is a delight, sociable, inquisitive and full of energy.


I meet him at the school gates and nothing beats the look on his face as he spots me, a smile that lights up his whole face.  He runs out and gives me the biggest hug. I ask a question about his day but I already see him shutting down and by the time we walk through the front door he is done, he slumps into the sofa requesting food immediately and needs some quiet time.

The rest of the afternoon is both long and short at the same time. The hours until bedtime seem to drag but nothing really happens.  I don't push too much as I can see already that I won't get anywhere, he can manage to watch tv, listen to a story or two but not much else. His energy is spent, he is still my boy but not completely.

The weekends are spent recovering, catching up on sleep, getting things done, time with his brothers who he misses in the week and Sunday night seems to follow straight on from Saturday morning without us really having time to catch our breath.

The past two weeks I have had him at home with me, and I have realised how much I love his company, how sweet and caring and intelligent he is, how much I miss having him around, how much fun we have together.  He has been at school since September, this isn't the first break but a mixture of the beautiful weather and all the possibilities it brings and the fact that by the next week off I will be so heavily pregnant that things won't be as easy, I won't have as much energy and he won't have as much of my focus.


This fortnight has been amazing, I have been privileged to see the side of my boy that only his teacher really gets at the moment, we have made memories, spent time just holding hands and making sense of the world, we have curled up together to watch films, done puzzles on the floor, built sandcastles on the beach and relaxed into our days with no set times to be up and out.  It has been the first time since he started school when I have seriously considered home schooling, just so that I could spend more time with this wonderful boy of mine.

Dylan doesn't feature so heavily on the blog any more and this is a big reason why, there just isn't enough time in the week with him.  I love this boy of mine, I love watching him grow, learn about the world and about himself.  I love his sweet smile, how he is so protective over his brothers, so loyal to his friends and how he can still be my baby when he gets tired.

School will be claiming his energy again but I am holding out for the next week off and some time to really appreciate him again.




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Thursday, 17 September 2015

The First Day

I feel lucky in a way that we are one of the last to start - I have watched all Dylan's friends pop up on facebook looking smart in a new school uniform and heard off for their first days.  Some have run in and not looked back, some have had to be peeled off of parents, and nearly all of them have come home exhausted after their half days.  I have managed to fit in a couple of last minute family trips - the last we can really take during term time and I have spent every day with this boy who is on the cusp of change.

I have had to watch them all though, knowing we are on a countdown until I help him put his smart black shoes on the right feet, and pack his water bottle into his new book bag.  I knew our day would come, and now it has.  My baby boy, who I am sure was a newborn just last week is now four and it is time for his next adventure.

I know things may not change all of a sudden, but I am under no illusion that they won't.  His friends that I carefully chose for him have gone to other schools, and he will be able to pick his own.  I won't know what he is doing for the most part of every day. He will be exposed to words and stories and actions that I can't control, he will learn things that I don't teach him, he will run to someone else for a cuddle when he gets hurt instead of me.

My baby boy has just turned four, he is still so young, so full of innocence and trust.  I have tried to explain the foreverness of his life, that infant school will be followed by Juniors, then secondary then either more education or work.  It will be seventy years before he can contemplate spending every day as he does now - carefree and with no concept of time.  

I think most of my apprehension around him starting is selfish.  He has been by my side for four years, my little buddy.  I love that we can do what we want, stay out late when the weather is nice, jump in every puddle and then run home to put on a onesie and have hot chocolate.  I am not known for punctuality and I am dreading the 9am and 3pm school run every day.  I will miss him and I know that his little brothers will too.

I hope he enjoys school.  I hope his teacher recognises what a wonderful little person he is.  I hope he makes friends easily, that he likes the lunches, that he can get changed into his p.e kit on his own, that he comes out telling me all about it.  I am so proud of him, my biggest baby boy.





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Sunday, 23 August 2015

Top picks for Starting School

Somehow the time has come to start getting everything ready for school.  There are only a few weeks left until we have to get out the navy sweatshirt and smart black shoes and send Dylan off to school and I am not feeling ready in the slightest emotionally.  I am trying to make sure that I am physically prepared though, so that all I have to worry about as it gets even closer is the supply of tissues I will need as I leave him in his classroom.

Lunchtime

Whilst Dylan will be enjoying school dinners, many children will be taking packed lunches, and Archie will be carrying his lunchbox into nursery.   Here are some of our top picks for lunchtime buys

We know Little Life for their toddler backpacks, but they also make brilliant lunchboxes and bottles. Their animal characters work across the ranges and the lunchbags are easy to carry and insulated.  Archie will be taking his new crocodile lunchbag (£9.99) to nursery packed with all his favourite snacks, and his crocodile bottle (£6.99) will be on hand all day to keep him hydrated.  The straw flips out and it is easy for a toddler to open and close the lid independantly.

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