Get ready to Blast Off because we are going crazy for Space books at the moment and so are publishers! This year (on 20th July!) mark...

Non-Fiction Books About Space

Thursday, June 27, 2019 BookBairn 6 Comments

Get ready to Blast Off because we are going crazy for Space books at the moment and so are publishers! This year (on 20th July!) marks fifty years since the Moon Landings so there have been lots and lots of great releases of books about our galaxy and the Moon. Because there are so many I've divided them up over three separate posts: this first one of non-fiction books about Space and our Solar System, and then there will be two further posts - one with books about The Moon and another with great fiction titles about Space travel and aspiring astronauts.

In this post I collated six of the best non-fiction books we have about Space and our Solar System - some new and some older ones that we have had for a while. Hope you find the all useful!

First Facts and Flaps: Super Space by Lon Lee

Fun Facts and Flaps: Super Space is pitched just perfectly for BookBairn, aged four, as it's the perfect blend between simple facts, lift-the-flaps, turn-and-learn wheels and colourful scenes! Perfect for preschoolers and older toddlers who will discover the wonders of the stars, planets, the Moon and space travel in a fun, interactive and engaging way. The colourful, bright illustrations are sweet and charming too. With a giant fold-out ending, this book is a spectacular blend between plan and learning!

First Explorers: Astronauts by Christiane Engel

This First Explorers series (from a variety of authors and illustrators) are truly fascinating first information books. The illustrations in this series are absolutely brilliant! So colourful! But the part that really gets little ones engaged is the interactive paper mechanisms that they have to push, pull, slide and turn to reveal more facts or make, for example, the astronauts move or the rocket blast into Space. BookBairn can't get enough of these mechanisms! She loved them in the First Stories books too. And similarly they are super sturdy and pretty indestructible (four years and two bookworms later and they are all still in one piece). This Astronauts book is done in collaboration with the Science Museum so they are perfect for budding astronauts and little scientists.

Hello World: Solar System by Jill McDonald

Babies and toddlers will love this bright and vibrant book all about the wonders of the world around them and this one from the Hello World series will have them gazing upon the sky with wonder. It shares the very basic concepts of our solar system: the moon, the planets, the sun and the stars in a simple way that very young readers can enjoy, understand and learn from. And Solar System is such a colourful and joyful book your little readers will be so mesmerised they probably won't even notice that they are learning as you read!

Scratch & Learn: Space by Lucy Brownridge & Victoria Fernandez

Definitely one of the coolest non-fiction series we’ve seen! Through Scratch and Learn: Space you can travel into Space, discover the constellations and explore the Planets as well as take apart a rocket by using the clever scratch and discover patches. Each page explorers a different element of Space from the life cycle of a Star, the make-up of our Solar System and see inside Spacecraft through the 10 different scratch on each page. This is a great book for all ages - BookBairn loves it as she likes to find things, older kids would be fascinated by the different facts, and grown ups will find scratching the pages immensely satisfying! The illustrations are wonderful too and the facts are so interesting that I think it will stand the test of time even after it’s all scratched. After you've scratched them it's got a list so that you can use the book as a seek and find. Definitely a fun interactive one!

Life on Earth: Space by Heather Alexander & Andres Lozano

Can we first just talk about how cute these illustrations are? From the two children who explore and investigate throughout the book to the style of boxes of information arranged in a geometric grid that is a visual delight. And if you want to look a little further into that telescope and learn more about Space then this book answers over 100 questions about the topic. But what makes this book so wonderful? It is lift-the-flap. Over 70 flaps. Want to know the answer to the questions, you have to lift the flap. Such a fun and interactive way to engage little ones in non-fiction. I would say the information and style of these books are still a little complex for BookBairn in places, though she does like to lift the flaps anyway and is beginning to understand a bit more of this one now that she is four. Definitely better for 4+ but they are absolutely superb! 

Little Explorers: Outer Space by Ruth Martin & Allan Sanders

There are lots of great books in this series and we've had a few for a while but I think BookBairn has now grown into them! This Outer Space book also has lift-the-flaps and cool illustrations so she can explore the facts as she reads. I love the mix of interesting and realistic illustrations alongside more cartoon-y representations of the planets which will make them more appealing to little ones to learn their names and facts about them. The whole series really are great 'little explorer' books with lots of facts, life-the-flaps and fun illustrations and with so many titles there's a perfect book for everyone.

I hope you have found some great new Space books to add to your collection! And don't forget to keep an eye out for my two other Space blog posts coming soon!
Happy exploring!
Kim and the bairns x

Disclaimer: We were sent all these books free for review purposes by the publishers. Words and opinions are my own. If you click on the title or image of the book you will be sent to using an affiliate link. This means that if you choose to purchase on, I will receive a small sum (around 20-70p per book) from amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our 'For Our Readers' section.


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I get approached by lots of authors and publishers for reviews on a regular basis and I have recently had some messages that are... wel...

How to Approach a Book Blogger for a Review: Do's and Don'ts

Monday, June 24, 2019 BookBairn 6 Comments

I get approached by lots of authors and publishers for reviews on a regular basis and I have recently had some messages that are... well politely put, sub-par. I am not often keen to criticise but quite frankly, they are down-right rude.

To put in context, I like many other book bloggers, do this as a hobby (in fact I don't know anyone who professionally blogs for a living by reviewing books) and it takes up a lot of time. An awful lot of time. And we do it for free because we are passionate about picture books and children's books and grown-up reads too. Basically we are bookworms with an outlet. But I spend over an hour a week just answering messages and emails. And I answer every single one.

So when you get a message from a writer which simply says "book review?" - literally that's all it said - it's quite frankly guaranteeing a straight-out "no". In fact it's the only message that I didn't reply to. For one - it doesn't say much about their writing skills that they managed a punctuation-stunted two-word sentence and nor does it say that they appreciate my time or anything that I do. So I asked a few other book bloggers to share what they like/and don't like to put together a guide for writers, illustrators, publishers for some Do's and Don'ts for how to approach a book blogger.

My current book review stack. You'll see why we have to be selective about what we review.

1. Check their review policy. Most bloggers will have one on their website and whilst they vary in content they will often say what their submission process is.

2. Personally I prefer an email rather than a social media message. And from my research this is generally the case - direct messages on social media are ok but I find that I get so many in a day that yours could easily slip down the list and off my radar. This doesn't happen with email. If a blogger shares their email on their website or on their social media profile it's a good indication that they would prefer email.

3. Don't send a generic email if you can avoid it. Bare in mind that you are asking a blogger to spend time reading your book (which for novels is a considerable length of time) and then spend time writing a review and sharing on social media, which takes a lot longer than you might think. So take the time to find out the name of the blogger - it's usually right there on their profile.

4. Tell us why you think your book is a good fit for our blog. Link to something we've said in our review policy. Discuss something we've shared in a recent post. Show that you follow our blog. This always makes me smile and therefore way more likely to accept your book for review.

5. It's essential to me, as I review picture books, that you send an image (or a link to an image) of the cover of the book. I know they say don't judge a book by it's cover but when illustrations are as important to storytelling as the words, which they are in picture books then it's essential I see a sample of the illustrations before deciding whether to review or not.

6. Do not send a follow-up email. I know that not everyone replies - I'm not one of those people, I will always reply to emails that land in my inbox- but if you don't receive a reply from me, it's just because I haven't replied to anyone's emails. I try to respond to my inbox once a week but sometimes life gets in the way. I do always reply though so don't flood my inbox - that doesn't help your case.

7. Don't tag a blogger in photos, or Tweets on social media unless you have shared a conversation. I find myself de-tagging my name from lots of Instagram photos - if you've never taken the time to speak to me, then yes tagging me in your photo will get me too look at your view but it will also make me more likely to say "no thank you". 

8. But do build up a relationship with bloggers on social media by engaging in conversation about books - you can drop your book in that way too! We are a very friendly bunch!

A special note to self-published authors and illustrators: whilst I personally accept books by published writers and illustrators, not all bloggers do. Check their review policy and if they say they don't accept self-published, don't waste your time or theirs. Also for people like myself who don't want to miss out on a gem of a book by excluding all self-published titles, do be aware that, in my experience the acceptance rate is far lower for self-published books.

So there you have it! A few tips. Each blogger is individual and will want and accept different things but having asked around for tips and ideas from my colleagues these were common factors in the process of accepting a book for review.

If you are interested in organising a blog tour, my lovely friend Emma has written an Author's Guide to Blog Tours which is very insightful on that topic.

And most of all good luck with your book(s)! We all love books and want to see them do well and get into the hands of readers who love them. Hope yours find their way into those hands!

Best of book luck,


This week is Refugee Week, a week celebrating the contribution of refugees and promoting understanding of why people seek sanctuar y. A...

Quick Reviews: Books About Refugees and Being Welcoming

Saturday, June 22, 2019 BookBairn 6 Comments

This week is Refugee Week, a week celebrating the contribution of refugees and promoting understanding of why people seek sanctuary. And one of the simple acts that they are encouraging you to do is to share a story.

“The experiences of refugees can feel very far away. But they are all around us, if we know where to look.” And for children a great place to look is a book!

So I wanted to share some wonderful stories about the experiences of refugees and about creating a welcoming nature in your children. 

Welcome by Barroux

I have mentioned this one several times before as it's such a perfect way to introduce what can be a difficult topic for young children to understand. This one is so good for very small children as it revolves around a trio of polar bears whose ice cap has broken off and floated out to sea. They are in search of a new home, a refuge to make them safe. They are greeted by unwelcoming shouts of "you are too furry, too tall, too bear-ish", they are told there is no room, they are ignored until they find an empty island to make their own. And when some lost monkeys turn up looking for refuge - the bears welcome them with open arms and friendly generosity. A very simple way to share the plight of migrants. And with bright illustrations it really is wonderful for little kids.

The Suitcase by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

The Suitcase is a story about what it’s like to fit all your belongings into one suitcase and then travel to a place unknown. Looking different and having a mysterious past, the stranger tries to explain what is inside his suitcase - a teacup, a chair, a whole home and hillside with trees. Of course, the animals believe he must be fibbing. And become so suspicious they break into your precious suitcase but what they find their floods them with empathy and compassion and an understanding of what the weary stranger has been through and they realise the importance of making them feel at home. The illustrations are heart-warming and vital to the storytelling of the stranger. Overall this books is about overcoming our fears and distrust, reaching out a hand to a stranger in need and realising that that stranger might just enlighten and enrich our own world. Beautiful and powerful.

The Day the War Came by Nicola Davies & Rebecca Cobb

War can be a difficult concept for our children to understand as so often our teaching of it is confined to the past. But for many children it is a day to day reality. When the little girl starts her normal day, and goes to school to learn about tadpoles turning into frogs, no one was expecting that war would come. As the little girl grapples in confusion with what has happened, what is happening, and separated from her family, she finds a safe place. But whilst she is safe, she is alone. Until the children make her welcome by finding her a chair in their classroom. The Day the War Came  is a magnificent work of art, full of story and symbolism showing readers that war is not only in the events of a country far away which cause destruction and devastation but war is also doors shut, people turning away, not having enough chairs. This is such a poignant story I cannot express its importance and beauty.

All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold & Suzanne Kaufman

This is certainly a book to experience as well as read. It's a celebration as much as it is a story! Following a group of children in their school and throughout their day in school, this book shows a school where diversity it's at it's heart. Everyone is welcome no matter their race, religion or background. this story shares an uplifting celebration of cultural diversity and belonging where all children are welcome in the classroom. With children wearing hijabs, patkas, baseball caps and yarmulkes playing and learning side-by-side the illustrations in the book create a world where all the children belong. With scenes of the children pointing to their family's countries of origin, and the children gathered on the floor in a circle drawing illustrations of families of all sizes and colours and a playground full of happy children having fun together this is a really welcoming book! You will want to jump into the illustrations. The accompanying poem (it's definitely more a poem than a story) lets readers know that what they see in the illustrations is reinforced by the language of the school and community: everyone is welcome, they all have a place, they all have a space, no matter what. The school also has children of a variety of abilities including a blind child who carries a whitestick and a child in a wheelchair, reinforcing the lovely message of inclusion. That, for me, sums up what I want a school, and a wider community, to be and to cherish. This book is so wonderfully executed and really lives up to it's important message!

Everybody's Welcome by Patricia Hegarty & Greg Abbott

This story promotes the ideals of refuge, inclusivity and friendship at a level even the littlest readers will understand. Mouse is building a house in the middle of the wood. When Frog's pond dries up and he has no where to live, Mouse suggests that they build a home together:

"Everybody's welcome,
no matter who they are, 
Wherever they may come from,
whether near or far."

Accompanied by beautiful illustrations that BookBairn loves to pore over, spotting all her favourite creatures, this magical book really teaches little ones about acceptance, generosity and to empathise with others. 

And lastly I want to mention two books which I no longer have as I gave them to the school I worked in and the other to a friend's school, wanting as many children to read it as possible.


The Journey by Francesca Sanna is a beautiful and powerful depiction of a family’s flight to safety. In some places quite dark, this picture book is aimed at older children showing them the fear and terror of fleeing one's country in search of safety.

Me and My Fear also by Francesca Sanna is the story a young girl who has traveled to a new country and started a new school and her Fear tells her to be alone and afraid. She doesn't understand the language of the other children in her class, she feels isolated. And her Fear grows bigger and bigger. But one day she realises that she isn't alone in carrying around her Fear - the other children have them too! And when the children all play together the Fears become less intimidating and shrink to a manageable size. 

And finally a book that I want to read is My Name is Not Refugee by Kate Milner which having read about over on Acorn Books blog I am really interested to read and add to our bookshelves.

Some mighty powerful picture books on a subject that is so important to share with or children so they can empathise and see beyond themselves and their own experiences to teach them to reach out their hands and open their hearts to others.

Kim and the bairns x

Disclaimer: We were sent all these books free for review purposes by the publishers (except Welcome by Barroux which I bought myself). Words and opinions are my own. If you click on the title or image of the book you will be sent to using an affiliate link. This means that if you choose to purchase on, I will receive a small sum (around 20-70p per book) from amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our 'For Our Readers' section.


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I have a bookshelf in my house that I'm a little ashamed to have. It's a shelf full of picture books that I adore so much that ...

Picture Books for Grown Ups

Thursday, June 20, 2019 BookBairn 8 Comments

I have a bookshelf in my house that I'm a little ashamed to have. It's a shelf full of picture books that I adore so much that I have hidden them away from sticky fingers. So I thought it was time to share some more of these special picture books that tell stories which are not only wonderful for children but also have an added appeal for adults. 

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

Have you ever seen the award-winning short movie based on this book? It's beautiful! 

I think most bookworms will appreciate the beauty of this story. It's about a man called Morris Lessmore who loves words, stories and books. His life story is very neat and orderly until one day a storm blows in and scatters his life and words all over. He doesn't know what to do, so lost, he wanders on and on until he happens to look up. In the sky he spots a lady being transported by a squadron of flying books and he follows her to an extraordinary building full of wonderful books. And there Morris finds his home. A magical story that will touch your heart and with illustrations that will enchant you further it's a lovely gift for all book-lovers big and small!

Because by Mo Willems & Amber Ren

This is such a powerful book about how we end up choosing the lives we choose. It's the story of a little girl who becomes a conductor of an orchestra but why does she take this path? Because an experience she had as a child changed her. Because an orchestra of people played a concert that she watched. Because they were passionate about music. Because people loved to here the music or composers. Because a man named Ludwig wrote beautiful music. In simplifying the story to explain it to you I have taken away much of the poetry of the book but let me assure you that it is poetic, and moving and inspiring. The illustrations also do a spectacular job at bringing colour and life to the magic of music! And it is a gentle reminder about inspiration, about choices, about destiny to us older readers.

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev & Taeeun Yoo

Sometimes one of the wonderful things about reading picture books as a grown up is that they remind us about the joyous, and difficult, parts of childhood. This story is a beautiful reminder about friendship and about feeling left out. The little boy in the story has a pet elephant. And today is Pet Club Day - but the Pet Club insists on Strictly No Elephants! So the boy decides to show his tiny pet elephant that friends come in all shapes and sizes and what it means to be a true friend! This is a very simple story but the imaginative and lyrical text, with the accompanying sweet illustrations, is a wonderful reminder to grown ups to make sure that are all welcome and to help us remember that our children want to include and be included so we should follow in their (and their elephants') footsteps.

This book is a very simple but powerful narrative about how your words (and others' words) can affect your heart. The book then tells you all the wonderful things that words can do such as: describing things, explaining stuff, make you happy, make you cry (even pierce someone's heart). Because your words have power!

"Your words can actually change the way someone's heart feels."

The illustrations are very simple with only a black and red colour palette against a white page. Again this plays to the fact that this book is about the words being important. This book is perfect for helping us all see how their words affect others.

This is a wordless picture book, which solely through the illustrations tells the story of a little girl who goes out for a walk with her daddy and picks up flowers she sees growing along the footpath as they walk by. It starts predominantly in black and white with only the little girl's red coat being a vibrant red and as they pass collect flowers they stand out agains the monochrome backdrop with their vibrant colours. But the little girl doesn't just collect the flowers - she gives them to people along the way: placing them on the body of a dead bird, leaving them by a man asleep on a bench, giving them to her mummy as she returns home, placing them in her siblings hair - and as she does so more and more colour appears across the page. It's about find the joy in the little things. It's about spreading joy. It's about kindness. And it made me stop and give pause. After all sometimes a bunch of dandelions is far more beautiful than a dozen red roses because of the little hands that picked them and gave them with love.

If you like picture books as much as me, and not just for reading with your children but enjoying reading them for their own sake then check out my collection of awesome picture books for grown ups blog posts. And I have just added a Picture Books for Grown Ups section to my Amazon Shop.

Happy reading,
Kim - self-confessed picture book fanatic and proud of it. 
After all picture books are for grown ups too! x

Disclaimer: these are all my choices. None of these were sent by the publishers (they are all books I bought except for Footpath Flowers which was borrowed from or library) but I have worked with them before. Please read our review policy if you want to know more. If you click on the title or image of the book you will be sent to using an affiliate link. This means that if you choose to purchase on, I will receive a small sum (around 20-90p per book) from amazon at no extra cost to you. I understand that you may not want to use an affiliate link, but if you like reading our blog please just think of it as a small tip for a tip-off to an awesome book. And know that your support means I can buy more books! For more information check out our 'For Our Readers' section.

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I feel like I have been a very quiet blogger recently - sorry for that! I am going through a blogging, reading and energy slump at the ...

Kids Love to Read #43 & Giveaway

Monday, June 17, 2019 BookBairn 4 Comments

I feel like I have been a very quiet blogger recently - sorry for that! I am going through a blogging, reading and energy slump at the moment! But I'm hoping this week I will have two free mornings to get on with things and get back into the swing of it.

But I wouldn't miss reading and sharing the Kids Love to Read link-up! Because I love seeing what everyone else recommends - it's so funny as sometimes we overlap on recommendations and other times it's books I have never even heard of! I love discovering new picture books that you recommend in your posts and also reading what you think of books we love too!

If you share or review children's books or are raising a reader whilst writing a blog then our co-hosted monthly linky with  Laura's Lovely Blog and Acorn Books is perfect for you! Kids Love to Read is a link-up to share blog posts written by other bloggers that star wonderful children's books. It's a great way to find new blogs to read and new book recommendations too, as well as invite people to come and read your own blog.

So if you write about your favourite children's books I would love it if you link-up your post! And I'm looking forward to reading them all!

Last Month's Favourites

Last month my favourite post came from Jenni over at The Bear and the Fox - a wonderful blog and YouTube channel which share great book reviews as well as fun days out (which are local to us so we can actually go on them so I love that!). She wrote a great post of 15 Tips on How to Raise a Reader which is something everyone should read!

Laura's favourite were two books that we also love, Discovering Architecture and My First Book of Relativity, reviewed by Raisie Bay.

And Acorn Books chose a review by The Next Best Thing to Mummy who shared a lovely nonfiction book about pregnancy and new babies for little ones - Let's Talk to Mummy's Tummy.

Linky Rules:

– Write about reading with children, share your love and your children’s love of books, what do you love to read together, how do you encouraging reading and books with your little or not so little ones? Books you love or book reviews.
– This Linky is open every 3rd Monday of the month for one week.
– Grab the Kids Love to Read badge and pop it in your post. It's linked at the end of the post for you.
– Use the #KLTR hashtag on Twitter and Instagram.
– Share the love – try and read & comment the host’s posts and on 2 other blogs listed on the Linky.
We look forward to reading your posts! And don't forget to enter the competition below!
Kim and the #KLTR team x

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Each month, to encourage reading with kids and to go along with our #KLTR Linky, we host a Book Giveaway.
We have a fabulous giveaway this month of The Wonky Donkey by Craig Smith & Katz Cowley which is a book we have recently borrowed from our library and are loving reading the silly rhyming sentences and shouting "hee haw!!"

*Terms and conditions: Entries are open to UK and Ireland residents. The competition closes on the the 10th July 2019. Winners will be announced on social media and contacted via email. If the winner does not respond to the email in two weeks, a new winner will be randomly chosen.
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One of the things that I wanted to achieve this year is to reduce our family's plastic use. Having read Turning the Tide on Plastic...

Reducing our Family's Plastic Consumption

Friday, June 14, 2019 BookBairn 4 Comments

One of the things that I wanted to achieve this year is to reduce our family's plastic use. Having read Turning the Tide on Plastic by Lucy Siegle at the beginning of this year I realised that simply recycling some of the plastic that we bring into the house isn't enough anymore. We need to try to stop it crossing the threshold. Before I say what we have done so far I wanted to say that there is no one-size fits all and I strongly believe the adage that

"We don't need a handful of people doing zero waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing it imperfectly." (Anne Marie Bonneau).

I am trying my best. I have made many plastic fails along the way.

Very unscientifically I estimated that we have reduced our family's use of plastic by about 1/3 to one half since the start of the year. By unscientifically I mean that every month when we put our packaging recycling bin (which includes tins and cans as well as plastics) it was full. But now it's about 2/3 full on a bad month (i.e. the kids birthdays) and by half in the last month and our general refuse bin isn't as full each week either, which was a concern for me as I didn't want the plastic to end up in the landfill as I got better at knowing what I could and couldn't recycle. Our overall refuse is down by approximately one quarter.

Basically for me to make a change it has to be both sustainable for the environment but equally important it has to be sustainable for my lifestyle. There are so many good ideas and advice out there for things that you can do to move towards a zero waste lifestyle but there are also lots that personally I won't adopt because it's not how I want to spend my time. For example, I won't be making my own cheese from scratch or switching to a bidet rather than toilet paper. It just doesn't fit my current lifestyle. But here are some of the switches we have fit into our life*:

One of the first, quickest and easiest swaps that I made was getting a stainless steel water bottle to use for drinking water. Easy peasy and I've used almost no plastic water bottles since.

One of the more costly changes we have made is switching to a glass bottle milk delivery. This does cost us more, but then it does also get delivered to the door and the taste and quality of the milk is far nicer. Plastic milk cartons were one of our households most common types of plastic refuse so it was a must. If you are based in the UK and interested in switching to milk delivery I have a friend's referral code for the service we use (click here).

One of the other big changes we have made is switching to buying meat from the butcher. We have an excellent local butcher who does great value variety packs of meat which we buy once a month and then top-up with our favourites. This has been such an easy switch as it is very close to The Wee Page Turner's nursery so I can easily stop in after dropping him off at nursery. And we have discovered some new favourites. This has not only reduced our plastic consumption but also means that all our meat is local so we aren't contributing to the massive carbon footprint for meat as much as when buying at the supermarket. Again it's more costly for some things but this also means we have changed our diet to be more healthy having less red meat and eating more fish and vegetarian meals.

I have switched to a shampoo bar instead of a bottle. I tried a conditioner bar and didn't like it so have gone back to a spray in conditioner which I don't use as much of. You can't switch everything at once and it takes time to find something that works. I also switched to bars of hand soap.

Getting the kids on board! The kids have also been helping us reduce their plastic where we can and we no longer buy kinder eggs with plastic tat toys that just get put in the bin, as well as magazines and happy meal toys. Instead we give them pocket money so they can save up for a more worthwhile toy, and though this is often plastic, it is at least a toy that will get played with over and over rather than being destined straight for the bin.

Making smarter choices. When I'm shopping in the supermarket, which I have gone back to over online food delivery services as it gives me more control, I have been making smarter choices. I stick more rigidly to meal planning than I did before and rarely pick up any extras when I'm shopping which helps save on wast foods as well as saving money. But also I look for alternative options like buying fruit and vegetables which aren't wrapped in plastic, choosing tinned over froze vegetables for the store cupboard, choosing glass bottles of olive oil or glass jars of passata, chocolate bars wrapped in card and foil all over plastic alternatives. Where possible I have also been buying larger packs of things like rice, pasta and couscous which locally I haven't found in plastic-free option.

I cook more. I have started cooking more from scratch. Not just meals, which we pretty much always cooked ourselves (not owning a microwave for a long time we have never done ready-meals). But now I alos make things like chocolate mousse instead of buying tubs of it, or baking our own cookies, or bread. Things I would have said I didn't have time to do in the past but now I make time, and I enjoy it!

I discovered the Ellacycle scheme where I found out I could recycle the fruit pouches that the kids adore, and wouldn't give up, and found out the nearest location - a local soft play - where we can drop them off to be recycled.
We still have a long way to go! And I have some ideas for our next steps in reducing our waste, and in particular plastic waste:

Nappies - I regret not using reusable nappies with my kids and hate that we will have a legacy of them in landfill. But The Wee Page Turner is two and should soon (I hope) be potty trained so this won't be for much longer. But I will be investing in some reusable wipes in the meantime as I'm sure we will still use these long after potty training has finished.

Cleaning products - I have switched our previous products to more eco-friendly products but I would like to make my own, or buy in bulk where possible. I also need to invest in a guppy bag to catch those loathsome microplastics shed by synthetic fibres on gym gear and swimming stuff.

Yoghurt pots - I'm really not sure what to do about this one. The kids love their little fromage frais pots and eat several on a daily basis. And I'm not sure they would happily switch to a larger pot decanted. Something to try out. (I'm not going to start making my own yoghurt as as I mentioned at the start it has got to fit in with our lifestyle to be sustainable and work for us.)

Tea - tea bags contain plastic! What?! So I'm going to get a new teapot with a diffuser and buy loose leaf. And have a stash of teapigs tea bags for when I'm in need of a quick cuppa (their entire production line has now been declared plastic free!).

Crisp packets - the next worst offending culprit, after yoghurt pits which can at least be recycled, is crisp packets and some sweet wrappers. Any tips on this would be welcome!

Big changes!

Not strictly plastic but... this weekend we have been test driving an electric car - a Nissan Leaf - to replace our too small for our family Volkswagen Polo. And I loved it! Loved driving it! Loved the zero fumes driving experience. So we are buying one. There is quite a long wait time for them as there is a backlog in manufacturing vs demand but by this winter we should be fully electric with no more combustion engine fumes and petrol. An expensive choice but one we are happy to make as we are putting out money where our principles are by choosing electric. 

If you have any tips to share on reducing our plastic or becoming a more eco-friendly household I would love to hear them! As I say I'm trying to make small changes a little at a time to ensure that what we do is sustainable and not just something we will do for a couple of weeks and then revert to our original habits. So far all the changes we have made have stuck! And it's great.

Thanks for helping us with your ideas and hope you picked up some tips for reducing your plastic waste. I have been collecting picture books on the subject and I have two more to gather before sharing them in a blog post about great books for kids on the dangers of plastic so keep an eye out for that!

Kim and the bairns x

*We also use reusable shopping bags and straws but have been doing so for a while so I haven't mentioned it as a change for our family. I also didn't mention reusable coffee cups as I don't get takeaway coffee, being a stay at home mum I tend to make my own and drink at home, or buy when out at places like soft-play where they serve it in a proper cup. But this would be a great change to make if you do like a takeaway coffee.