Scroll down to win £50 to spend in Smyths Toys Superstores
Ah September. That beautiful time of year when the weather turns colder (okay that happened several weeks ago but still), the leaves start to fall and the world becomes filled with mustard, burgundy and brown. The summer is over and the thought of a fresh start is on everyone’s mind. Parents everywhere feel that bittersweet emotion we so often feel, and social media is filled with toothy grinning children in new school uniform that’s always slightly too big. I remember those back to school feelings so well – the mix of excitement and trepidation about going back, as well as that satisfying feeling of using a brand new pen on the first page of a brand new notebook. September often feels like a clean slate in the same way that January does; fresh beginnings, good intentions and new starts for everyone. As well as the new work books and school jumpers September often brings around new friendships for children heading back to school, and these friendships may shape their whole educational experience as well as help form who they are and who they will go on to become.
Good strong friendships are so important, and my hope for Dilan will always be that he is surrounded by people who care about him deeply. When he first started attending forest school my only wish was that he felt happy and secure there, and I never would’ve imagined the brilliant friendships he would go on to make. Now that September has rolled around and he is ‘compulsory school age’ we have opted to keep him at his forest school setting because we believe that that is what’s best for him. One of the many reasons for this is all of the brilliant bonds and relationships he has made there. A few of his closest friends are moving on to a mainstream school which I think may be hard, but I hope that the new school year brings new friends and more fun for him and for everyone.
Buzz and Woody
One strong friendship that we are all familiar with is the story of Buzz and Woody, from one of the most iconic films of my childhood – Toy Story. A movie that’s now over 20 years old but who’s lovable characters, colourful animation and heart warming messages are still loved by kids (and adults) today. Toy Story and the subsequent films are favourites of ours, and the bond between Woody and Buzz is second to none. Recently Smyths sent us the Thinkway Toys Buzz Lightyear and Woody two pack, in anticipation of the next movie release in June 2019, and we’ve had great fun imagining all the things that these true best friends would get up to together.
The action figures are the perfect size (12 inches each) making them perfect for imaginative play, and they both say a wide variety of the well known movie quotes that we all recognise, much to Dil’s delight. The pair, who were once at odds with each other as they competed for Andy’s affection, are now one of the most loved duos that Disney has produced, and their bond teaches children about working together, caring for each other and what true friendship really means. In each movie the characters face difficult tasks or treacherous journeys, and the only way to reach their end goal is to work as a team and look after each other in a way that true friends know they should.
The importance of being kind to each other is something we all hope to pass on to our children, and I hope that Dil will grow up to understand the importance of building long lasting friendships as well. I think that as adults friends become a little underrated – we place more emphasis on our partners and our little ones, but children still know the true value of finding real friends. Children look at each other without prejudice or judgement, seeing only a play partner or someone who might like to share a sweet or push them on the swing. The sweet innocence of childhood friendships is something we could all learn from, and relationships like the one Woody and Buzz have are so few and fair between that when found we should hold on to them with both hands.
Both Dil and I are lucky enough to be surrounded by good people who care for us immensely, and these friendships truly mean the world to us both. I hope that he always looks for the good in everyone, and always looks to build strong bonds with people who bring out the best in him. I hope that he finds friends who make him laugh; friends who bring him joy and share a love for all the things he enjoys too. Friends who prop him up when he needs support, and call him out on it when he’s being a bit of a wally. Friends who will stand by him when things get tough, and friends he can talk to if he ever feels like he can’t come to me. I hope he finds friends as good as the ones I am surrounded by, friends that become just like Woody and Buzz.
As school starts again and our children head off into the big wide world, we all cross our fingers that they will treat everyone that they come across with kindness and respect. That when they are new they are welcomed by everyone, and that one day they are the ones who are warm and welcoming. That they look for the good in everyone, and that everyone sees all of the goodness inside of them. And we hope that one day they start to consider these people as friends, that they form unbreakable bonds by spending afternoons giggling over the silliest of things. Then before we know it they will be grown ups, setting off on new adventures and discovering new things together, all the way to infinity and beyond as the very best of friends.
Win £50 to Spend in Smyths
To celebrate back to school, forming new friendships and the new film being released in Summer next year we’ve teamed up with Smyths Toys Superstores to give you the change to win a £50 voucher to spend in any of their stores. Use it to buy your own Woody and Buzz, or on anything else your little one’s heart desires. Simply click the button below to enter!
*This is a collaborative post*