Jack Cherry and the Juicer- a review on this resource designed  to boost self-esteem, confidence and resilience.

‘Jack Cherry’ is a company offering resources and workshops all about a character called Jack. It aims to boost self-esteem, confidence and resilience in children, by helping put them in control of their thoughts. The idea of a juicer is used to help children reframe thinking.

As a family, we were thrilled to see that the main character in the comic wears glasses- my middle kiddiewink was horrified to see him being ridiculed about them and he felt very angry for Jack. Both myself and the children could see the impact on Jack of several negative things happening, and we talked about when they had had a bad day and how it made them feel.

 The comic itself is well illustrated and clear, with the message being about how bad thoughts and feelings, making you feel bad. In essence you have to keep out the bad things, just like you would keep the bad fruits out of a smoothie. We had great fun thinking up alliteration for happy fruits; fitting in perfectly with what my eldest has been doing in literacy this week. Personally, it thought that Jack coming up with the fruit and juicer analogy was powerful, as oppose to an adult sharing it with children. It was also great that he triumphed in the end!

The comic book is currently available free to download.

We were also sent a link to an audio book; I struggle with audiobooks, as I am an excellent storyteller (blowing my own trumpet here, but I really am). Although, I am sure it is very good, but the voice instantly annoyed me, as I know I could have made it sound just as good  (if not better).

The activity book that went with it looks fun, and the kids are keen to complete different aspects; a maze, making posters, games and word searches. Just got to get some ink for my printer first…

The resource as a whole, would be great to use at home and in the classroom as part of PHSCE or as part of an anti-bullying week (although a bit late for this years National anti-bullying week 16th -20th November). I can imagine many school councils would enjoy sharing this resource with their peers and some great activities (music, drama, paper activities and discussion) could be generated from reading the comic as a stimulus.

For more information on using the resource at home or in the classroom click here. There are videos and more information on the excellent resources on offer to boost children’s self-esteem and confidence, including resources to help with the stress of sats.

The creator (Simon Benn) also does workshops to schools which amazingly, are either free or funded and I certainly intend to book him in for next years Anti-Bullying Week.


House of Twits app -review

Being huge Roald Dahl fans, we were excited to be invited to try the new app, all based on ‘The Twits’ (Hubby’s all time favourite). We jumped at the chance, and over the last twenty four hours, we have all had a go at playing tricks on Mrs Twit.

The illustrations are awesome, and the sound effects and background music add to the whole feel of the app.

How it works

Work your way around the different rooms playing tricks on Mrs Twit, to generate points and eventually unlock more rooms and Mr Twit. We haven’t got that far yet, but the kids have loved feeding Mrs Twit maggots and mouldy cornflakes, hiding buckets of water and wasps nests in cupboards, and spotting upside down monkeys.

image.pngIt took my 7 year old a little while and little help from me to figure out what to do, but her eleven year old cousin mastered it easily (he felt it was a bit young for him).

The recommended age 6-11 but any app savvy fun loving primary school child could have a good go.

We can’t wait to work our way through more of the app and it is a perfect addition for any Roald Dahl lover. Excellent value at £2.99 too!

In case I haven’t convinced you, you can watch the trailer below.

It can be purchased fm the App Store http://m.onelink.me/d7038c19


Patching Traumas


Little man finished patching about 18 months ago, but we were told at his last appointment to try it again for Just an hour a day, but not to worry if he becomes distressed. Although,last time, he disliked having it on,our not giving in attitude worked and we wore it every single day, for a spell he even managed 8 hours a day. Now he is five, he is somewhat more wilful and we are having a real battle! Fortunately, his school are amazing and have offered to help, so he now has the choice, if he doesn’t wear it after school, he has to wear it at school the next day. Initially, wearing at school was not an option, he inside it had to be at home, but after several evenings of resistance, he has chosen to wear it a school today, hmmmm we will see at pick up how it went….

A kind lady on the kids in specs Facebook page has sent us a selection of patches with different designs so I am hoping when he sees them this evening it might increase his motivation as he was totally bored of the designs.IMG_2215

How the children cope when designs are not available, I have no idea, I am just grateful that our hospital provides patterned ones.

For all those parents with  children currently patching, my thoughts are with you!

Although as a rule I prefer photographs of the children playing and just being themselves. I do admit, I like to get a ‘posed photograph’ of our brood together every so often and it is always a challenge to get them looking the same  way, never mind all looking beautiful and pristine. 

One gets distracted; one has their eyes closed, one get distracted; one is grimacing; one can’t be seen; one runs away; one moves and is blurry,