She carries, she comforts, she cleans
She feeds and she feeds and she dreams
Just one minute alone for my thoughts,
Just one minute, just me, just a book
Just a warm cup of tea and a soak
Just a face mask, some bubbles, no noise
No wake up call before dawn,
No hands round my ankles.
She hears her name called once again.
I’m hungry, I’m thirsty, I’m scared.
She cooks and she cleans and she sighs
She does it with love, but she hides
in the toilet for an extra few breaths.
She breathes out. Back to the mess.
She bakes and she sings and they scream
I’m not eating, you’re ugly, he’s mean
and she fixes, she heals, she blows
kisses on sore heads and toes.
She tucks into bed and she reads.
She’s so tired but she turns off her needs.
She cleans as she worries and checks
into rashes and bruises and what’s best
for their future, that’s so far away.
She juggles but she gets through each day
She drops off, she picks up, she waits.
She does listen, she just sometimes forgets
appointments, rehearsals, sports teams,
school meetings, world book day themes.
They run and they break things,
She makes threats she will never mean
She looks in the mirror and sees
new lines she has no time to cream
Am I still Me
They play and they laugh and they moan
She feels more love than she’s known
They hug and they fight and they test
She knows of all years, these are best
She cleans and she feeds them. They grow.
And they grow
And they’re grown,
And they’re gone.
Now she cooks and she cleans just for two
She looks forward to those weekends,
So fewShe baths and she reads and drinks tea.She enjoys all her new luxuries.She remembers, she smiles, she longsfor those short years,that then felt so long
A great Easter holiday activity to do with children. Get creative and have fun!
- Choose some eggs. These can be chicken eggs, duck or even goose eggs! Regular eggs you have at home work perfectly well.
- Using a drawing pin carefully make a hole in both ends of the egg. You can make a small hole and gently pick away a little more shell – they holes don’t need to be very big. By making the hole at the bottom end of the egg first I’ve found the egg won’t start coming out whilst you make the hole at the narrow top end!
- Hold the egg with the narrow top end down, over a bowl. Gently place your mouth over the other end of the egg and blow! The content will come out of the other end and into your bowl!
- Continue above until you have as many egg shells as you want to paint. You can use the actual egg to make an omelette or cake.
- Wash out the egg shells and dry them. They are much sturdier than you think, but still take care.
- You can hold the shells to paint them or place the egg shells onto thin sticks or knitting needles. Balance or sellotape the knitting needle on two mugs to make it easier to paint.
- Paint with bright spring colours or some fun designs!
- Tie a piece of string tightly around half a match stick and drop it into the egg, it will lodge it there and then you can hang your egg to dry.
- Hang your beautifully decorated eggs on an Easter tree or in the garden!
Our Tiny Land paints would be perfect for painting these eggs!
Free, uninterrupted play time for children
It’s essential for healthy development. It develops imagination, coordination, balance skills, numeracy and literacy skills. Building free play into each day, where possible, is a wonderful rhythm to establish. Meaghan, at Whole Family Rhythms, offers a free five day email ‘challenge’ which offers you the opportunity to create your own day to day rhythm including free play.
Open ended toys, ones that can shapeshift in a child’s imagination, are very helpful for enabling free play. This may look like children finding sticks and pinecones when outside or using pots, pans and wooden spoons on the kitchen floor. Toys can be simple, they do not need to be ‘all singing and all dancing’! Simple toys made from wood and metal are most durable and environmentally friendly, and will last years.
The philosophy of RIE (pronounced ‘rye’) parenting (Resources for Infant Educarers), developed from of the work of paediatrician Emmi Pikler, encourages children to explore and play without interruption and constant guidance from adults. Adults nearby is reassuring and supportive for children, but they do not need our frequent input. This way they can develop and learn at their own pace and learn the joy of independence with the security of a safe and caring adult nearby. In this post, Janet Lansbury, an early years specialist, writes about the basic principles of RIE parenting. The key aspects include a deep respect for our children, allowing them the freedom of bodily autonomy and observation of our children.
It is often said by children’s psychologists that play is the work of children. They use play each and everyday to learn about and understand the world. They learn by imitation, watching adults in their daily work and living this out in their play. When children play, often we see scenes from what they have heard, seen or experienced being played out. This is therapeutic for children and allows them the medium through which to make sense of life. Never think that when a child is lost in their own world playing that it is ‘wasted time’! They are deep in learning.
A few ideas for allowing and encouraging uninterrupted play:
- Baby: Lying them on the floor, on a blanket, with a few simple toys or household objects (eg a light wicker basket, a colourful graspable fabric toy, kitchen whisk) within reach. Sit with them and observe, but avoid the temptation to hand them toys and show them various objects. Allow them to explore. Talk to them about what they are doing, recognising their wonderful strength and development.
- Toddler: Go for a walk in the woods, spend time exploring and looking amongst the leaves and in the trees. They will likely find some wonderful play things that nature has provided and may end up fighting dragons and meeting unicorns. No need to question them on what they are learning or doing, allow them to be in their dreamlike world.
- Young child: Give them some hankies to ‘polish’ pans, their toys or anything they wish. Cloths are a very versatile toy – they can be used to drape over furniture to create a house, made in blankets to tuck dolls into bed and wrapped around themselves in dress up.
Many of the toys we stock at FairKind Child are open ended and can be used in many different play scenarios. Some examples include:
- Our natural wood and painted wooden animals. Can be added to all play environments.
- The fountain bowls from Plan Toys. Perfect for in the bath or outside.
- Wooden blocks and click blocks. Great for building.
- Makedo cardboard construction kit and tool boxes. Ideal for construction and creation.
A final note to say: Enjoy walking alongside your child as they discover and play in the world. Childhood is short and there is time ahead for academic learning. Allow your child to lead in their early years, with you there to provide the safety, stability and boundaries.
Written by Eva Wrenwood, who is currently studying Holistic Baby and Child Care (drawing on Steiner Waldorf and Pikler theories of care and education) at Rudolf Steiner House and previously worked as a midwife. Eva works part time at FairKind Child and hopes to begin facilitating holistic parent and baby/toddler groups in 2019.
I’ve been thinking about writing this blog for some time, ever since I caught my son’s nursery teacher tearing up in adoration she watched my son and I carry out our usual goodbye ritual at the nursery gate. I hadn’t realised before then what a special bonding ritual it is, one which helps us reconnect just before we seperate for the day and helps us to feel reassured if we miss each other while we are apart.
So with this week bringing the start of the new school year, I thought now is a perfect time to share this special trick my 3 year old son and I have developed to help alleviate his anxiety about watching me leave him at the nursery gate. And it’s so fantastically simple, it can work for all ages! He sweetly calls it “charging up our hearts”
This is a week of firsts for so many children; whether they’re starting preschool or reception, leaving mum or dad for the first time, moving into secondary school, travelling to school without a parent for the first time, starting college or leaving home to go to university. With each new change comes a whole new level of independance from Mum & Dad, and most likely a whole new wave of nerves and temporary insecurity! Helping your child feel safe & secure as they get used to these changes is the priority; to give them confidence to embrace the new experiences with excitement, rather than feel anxious or aprehensive about all the unknowns.
Children feel safest when they are in the presence of their mother or primary caregiver. In their presence, children are more confident to go out and explore their surroundings, secure in the knowledge that their safe base is watching over them and will keep them out of danger. But with that can bring fear over any seperation from their safe base. Watching my own son’s anxiety about saying goodbye to me on nursery days got me thinking about how I could reassure him that he was still safe even when he wasn’t with me. I hated the thought of him not fully enjoying his days at nursery if he was missing me or feeling insecure.
So from the day he started nursery at the age of 2, I explained to him that even when he isn’t with me, I’m always in his heart and he is always in mine. I explained to him that because we were in each others hearts all the time, if he ever missed me during the day, he could simply rub his heart or hug himself and I would feel his love. And if he felt his heart getting warm, it’s because I was hugging him from wherever I was (It’s amazing how much a 2 year olds can comprehend!). I made it a habit to remind him of that every time I dropped him off at nursery.
Then one day after nursery he told me that he hadn’t had a good day because he missed me too much, and he didn’t think I was in his heart any more. I realised we needed to make a point of charging up our hearts at every single goodbye to make sure he could feel my love all day long.
So this is the special trick we came up with for “charging up our hearts”:
I kneel on the floor to face him and make eye contact with him.
I place my hand over his heart and he places his hand over mine
We both make a charging up noise (A sort of buzzing “zzzzzzzz” sound!)
We make a loud “DING” together, which marks the charging up cycle complete!
Quick kiss and cuddle and we almost always seperate peacefully and without tears!
Feel free to try it yourselves, it really does work! (the zzzzzzz sound is optional with teenagers!) Or even see if you can invent your own ways to charge up your love!
The key thing is about taking those few moments to really connect with your child, make eye contact and focus in on each other. It’s so easy for mornings to feel rushed and stressful and you can so easily just end up barking orders at your children to get out the house on time. So this simple goodbye ritual, which takes less than 30 seconds, helps to reset all that stress and allows you to say goodbye properly to best prepare your child for the new challanges ahead!
What is “Fairtrade”?
Fairtrade ensures that the production of goods is fair and kind to those throughout the manufacturing process. By working with farmers and crafts people Fairtrade ensures that they get paid properly for their time, energy and skills. This in turn allows them to afford to live a decent life and provide for their family. Empowerment of producers is at the core of Fairtrade’s work as they make sure that they have an equal voice.
This video explains the chain of production and why Fairtrade makes a difference.
How does something get Fairtrade mark?
This Fairtrade mark appears on products when any ingredient within it that can be Fairtrade is. If only one ingredient, such as the cocoa, is Fairtrade then you may see a slightly different mark – like the one below. Fairtrade standards are independently checked by the Fairtrade Foundation to ensure that all within the chain, from farmer to shelf, are following the correct policies.
Why is it more expensive?
Fairtrade products may have a higher price tag than corporate company products. This is because Fairtrade program’s put policies and standards in place to support farmers to earn a decent wage as well as communities benefitting from Fairtrade premiums. This money enables individual families to live in better conditions and funds safe water supplies, education and healthcare. By buying a Fairtrade product, not only will you have a wonderful gift for yourself but you will also have helped others around the world to experience fairness and kindness.
Fairtrade products at FairKind Child
Everything stocked at FairKind Child is either Fairtrade, ethically made and sourced or handmade locally in Sussex. Many of our wooden toys and games are Fairtrade, supplied by Lanka Kade. Some of the most popular include our alphabet dragons and alphabet dinosaur puzzles, wooden farm animals and wooden wild animals.
To learn more about Fairtrade you can visit the Fairtrade Foundations website.
We have put together a list of free things to do with children in Horsham. Spaces that are great to go for a day out or a visit where children can play, learn and have fun without breaking the bank! The title of each place links to their information website where you can find opening times and addresses.
Great green space in the centre of Horsham, a short walk from most parts of town including the Carfax and the train station. The park has a pond, where you can visit and feed the ducks and swans, lots of open grassy space, flowers and a play park. Most the paths are perfect for pushchairs and bikes. There is a cafe on site.
Horsham museum and gallery has a wide selection to offer. They have activities specifically for children, including items for dressing up and playing games. Upstairs is a section of old children’s toys and costumes, which children may enjoy. As well as many facts about dinosaurs and dinosaur fossils found in Horsham!
Southwater Country Park is a wonderful resource for local families, whilst there is a small charge for parking (£3 for the day), entry is free. The park boasts a beach, a dinosaur trail and fantastic play park. The park is accessible for pushchairs, wheelchairs and children are allowed to cycle. There is a cafe on site and watersports activities centre where you can hire boats.
A fantastic woods for exploring and a rambling walk. Spot wildlife and become familiar with the trees. There is a winding river running through the woods. A number of the paths are pushchair and bike friendly, a popular dog walking spot.
This document lists all 50+ parks in Horsham district! Encouraging free, creative and energetic play.
Are you going to visit a new baby and their parents?
When a baby arrives in a family, visitors are always keen to meet them and shower them with love! Whilst this is always appreciated by the new parents, there are other things too that they may be incredibly grateful for. Here is a list of suggestions for what new parents REALLY need when you visit them and their new bundle of joy!
Parents with a new baby are often so busy caring for them and trying to fit in sleep that looking after themselves goes down the list. Rather than being the visitor who sits on the sofa cuddling the baby whilst mum is making tea, why not make the tea and do the washing up whilst the kettle boils? Or, ask if there is anything you can pick up from the shops on your way? Perhaps that pack of nappies or a loaf of bread will save the day.
Other ideas: Put the laundry on to wash or dry, or fold it up. Cook up a bolognese for their dinner or even bring along a ready prepared meal, plus an extra portion for the freezer. Sweep the kitchen. Take the rubbish out as you leave.
Sleep is so often in short supply when you’re a new parent! Don’t be surprised if a mum is still in pyjamas when you visit and dad doesn’t know what time of day it is! Something you could offer to do is sit with the baby, giving them a cuddle, so parents can have a nap. This way the parents can be guaranteed an hour or two of uninterrupted sleep – they may even wake to find a meal prepared and the floor mopped!
A listening ear
Bringing a baby into the world can take a lot of hard work and may have been a stressful experience for the parents. Talking about this experience may be something that the parents want to do. However, some birth experiences can be difficult to talk about so approach this with sensitivity and without judgement.
It’s not just about the baby!
A new baby is a wonderful thing and parents will often tell anyone who will listen all about them, down to the latest nappy contents! However, don’t forget that parents are still themselves too. Maybe offer to talk about something other than the baby! We stock expectant mum and new mum hamper’s in FairKind Child. These hampers are perfect for pampering – we have various to offer and products include a handmade cotton scarf, magnesium flakes or magnesium spray, Pukka Motherkind Pregnancy tea and Pukka Motherkind Baby tea, and Rio Rosa Mosqueta skincare Rosehip Discovery set!
Feeding your newborn baby is a frequent task. If the baby is having a feed whilst you are there a great way to help is to offer to get a drink and snacks for whoever is doing the feed, as they may be sat for a while. Some Pukka MotherKind tea and vegan nougat pralines from FairKind Child might hit the spot perfectly!
So there you have some tips… After you have bought a beautiful Organic cotton baby vest and crocheted octopus at Fair Kind Child, go grab your pan of soup and take that along to meet the new baby and exhausted parents!
Here are some perfect gifts for a newborn baby and their parents you will find online and in-store at FairKind Child
- Comforters and rattles
- Baby gift set and many more in our shop
- New mum hampers, only in our shop at the moment
- Locally handmade baby vests, only in our shop at the moment
- Greeting cards
Easter is a time to celebrate spring arriving and the joy of eating chocolate!
FairKind Child is going to be taking part in the Great Horsham Easter Bunny Hunt. Hosted by The Rotary Club of Horsham and local businesses throughout Horsham town, the fun will run from Friday March 30th to Sunday April 15th. We’re excited to be involved in this event as a part of the Horsham community and we look forward to welcoming children and parents on the hunt for Easter treasure.
In our shop you will find our range of vegan and allergy friendly chocolates including So Free chocolate bunnies (vegan, gluten free), Plamil mini half eggs (vegan, gluten free, sugar free, nut free), Ponchito chocolate eggs (gluten free, Fairtrade) with a surprise inside and Playin Choc boxes (contains two tablets of organic chocolate with a three piece toy animal and information card – vegan, no refined sugar, gluten free, soy free). And for the grown ups there are Vego Fine nougat pralines and the irresistably morish Sweet Freedom Choc Shot & Choc Pot – suitable for kids and adults.
Newly stocked in store are our felt sheets and felt balls, alongside our stationary range they are perfect for craft projects over the half term.
We look forward to your visits, whether you are on a bunny hunt or looking for a chocolate treat!
I set up FairKind Child soon after having my son and finding it so hard to buy ethical, unique toys that are good for the environment. When I mention that I don’t supply plastics I am sometimes asked why – “What’s so wrong with plastic toys?” There are some good toys out there, such as construction toys, that are made from plastic. It can sometimes be hard to resist them. Thankfully more and more alternatives are being produced. I select my stock based on it’s impact to the people and communities that produce them, as well as the world and the child that plays with them.
Here are a few reasons why I choose not to supply Plastic to children.
The most obvious one..so many broken toys are sent to landfull each day because they cannot be recycled. The only way is to dismantle them into their material parts e.g. remove the metal bits, fabric bits etc. If they are still working you can offer them to a charity.
Phthalates: What are phthalates?
Have you seen the sign “BPA Free” on baby’s bottles and other plastic items? BPA is a Phthalate. Phthalates are added to plastic to strengthen it. They have been identified as responsible for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, breast cancer, obesity and type II diabetes, low IQ, neurodevelopmental issues, behavioral issues, autism spectrum disorders, altered reproductive development..and if that wasn’t enough – male fertility issues!!
As more and more is known about these groups of chemicals, each Phthalate is identified to cause health problems. Pregnant women and young children are more at risk.
Initally it was DEHP, which was replaced with DiNP only to find that DiNP is linked to male genital birth defects and impaired reproductive function in adult males.
Once BPA was identified as a health risk it was replaced with bisphenol S (BPS). Unfortunately now BPS has been around long enough for health effects to emerge. As these new chemicals are produced, there is insufficient information to identify their hazards over long periods.
HOWEVER, Cotton, Wood, Wool and other natural materials that have been around for centuries, are natural materials that have been tested for generations, so we know these materials are safe and long lasting for children’s products.
The images below show data relating to content of Phthalates in toys intended for children 3 or under.
Unfortunately a number of companies do not comply with the necessary Regulations when exporting to the EU. This means that some high street toys are also subject to health risks. (Data taken from Prosafe website)
70% of the world’s toys are manufactured in China. There is nothing wrong with buying from China. Some tribes are fair trade and produce excellent toys. However when buying mass-produced plastic toys from China, you can never be sure of the production quality.
More so, China has produced their own verion of the CE mark and named it the China Export mark!! Try to become familiar with the differences between this and the real mark which has larger spacing in between – it’s tough to spot!
Here are some more statistics from Prosafe – a Non-Profit organisation that seeks to strengthen safety in products sold throuought the EEA.
Sadly toys that were least compliant with the legal CE toy Regulations were Rattles and Push along toys (‘O’ is Other).
You can see these statistics in more detail at