Thursday, 13 August 2015

New term excitement and exciting new stationery

 
 As Autumn approaches I always get the familiar back to school excitement, which I have come to realise largely revolves around this time of year being a great excuse to invest in new stationery. 
Many of my friends are nervously preparing for their baby's first day at school, or are starting to refresh equipment for older kids, and we find that our home educating friends also tend to head towards this time of year with firm 'not back to school' traditions such as stocking up on pens too.
At the end of term I wrote out report cards for the boys, noting some of their achievements and experiences of the past year, accompanied by a gift of a set of mathematical drawing tools. With the new term coming I wanted to mark the occasion with a special new pencil case as part of our own new term tradition. I wasn't impressed with the offerings at the local supermarkets - cheap-feeling plastic with characters from films that the boys have never seen because they're too young. Gofindagift.com had the perfect solution in it's great range of personalised stationery.

 For the same price as the non-personalised pencil cases in the supermarket I found that the back to school range had designs and colours that the boys would love, plus the added excitement that they were embellished with their own names.  Personalised or non-personalised contents were also available, including colouring pencils.  I'm sure many people remember the pencil envy at school for classmates who had the personalised pencil sets and didn't therefor end up in a row with another child over exactly whose pink pencil that was.

 The  company ethos is to produce high quality personalised gifts for any
occasion, with fast delivery and friendly customer support and they certainly lived up to this, with the product arriving well before I expected it.  The boys were amazed to see their names on the cases
and wasted no time in filling them up with pencils and crayons.

Ollie decided I needed a diagram to remind me what the photic zones in the ocean are which he made me label (he's a big Octonauts fan), while Toby drew a sea urchin and seaweed to make a background to add Octonauts stickers on to.
 The boys spent the whole morning engrossed in using their new pencil cases, even volunteering to do extra pages in their books so they could use them for longer (although we celebrate the terms, we don't completely stop for the holidays as I find little and often to be the best way to engage kids in maths and literacy activities). 

They decided to join forces on the projects they have chosen as they are both enjoying the material we're covering - Toby picked dinosaurs and Ollie Vikings.  This makes it a lot easier for me as I'm not trying to be in two places, millions of years apart, in my head at once - dinosaurs and then Vikings in a morning is far less taxing than trying to help with both at once.


 The new pencil cases were such a success that even when Toby moved on to playing with a construction toy he still wanted his case with him - made easier by it's useful carry strap.  It feels well made so it should survive his love for a good time to come, even if he does take it everywhere with him.

Other new term traditions are likely to include a set of 'back to school' photos and the choice of new topics to cover.  Since the little scamps keep growing like weeds new shoes are looking to be part of the tradition too.  Other families we've talked to have lovely ideas such as back to school picnics or family outings.  I'd love to hear what your favourite back to school memories or family traditions are.  Personally I'm hoping some of you say that a start of term stationery set for mummy is a complete necessity so I can indulge too.



Note: We were sent the pencil cases as a gift to review, but opinions and budding artists are all my own.