#ShareAStory is an hour long creative writing workshop where children aged 7+ learn how to write their own stories

PizzaExpress have teamed up with Scribblers HQ to launch a series of wonderful creative writing workshops across the country aimed at children aged 7-12. We were invited along for Polly (8½) to give it a taste test and see what she thought. 

The workshop starts with explaining that all stories have the same key elements. Take a leading character, give them some basic information and a mission, and away you go. Once you have these things nailed you can’t really go wrong. The delicious pizza also went down a treat with the children after a hard hours’ writing! 

Polly was a little bit nervous when we were on our way to the workshop. “I’m no good at coming up with ideas for stories,” she told me with a worried look in her big blue eyes. I assured her that there would be experts on hand to help her throughout the workshop, which there were. The experience panned out to be a lot less intimidating in reality than it had been in her mind beforehand. 


Polly’s story 

The lovely ladies from Scribblers HQ did a marvellous job of putting the children at ease from the moment they arrived. They were taken on a whistlestop tour of book writing, and taught how to structure their own stories. By being given two examples of best selling books, the kids were shown how similar they both were once they were broken down to their key components. 

After about five minutes Polly wasn’t nervous at all, and went on to write a little story about a giant ice cream called Olaf. Poor Olaf is in a real state because all his friends keep getting eaten by the humans (and some monsters) so he needs a plan to stay alive. It’s a fun and quirky story, which Polly was super proud of writing and I was incredibly proud to watch her write. 

The best part is that since this workshop a fortnight ago, Polly has written two more stories. Not because I’ve been on her case about doing so, but because she’s wanted to. I’m fortunate enough to be able to say that writing is my job these days, and it’s bringing me such pleasure to see her enjoying the process of putting a story together.   

Book your free #ShareAStory workshop

#ShareAStoryPizzaExpress are running their free #ShareAStory workshops around the country this month, and I thoroughly recommend you booking your place. For full details check out the PizzaExpress website, or click on the links below. 

Birmingham – Sunday 4th March 

Manchester – Saturday 24th March

Leeds – Sunday 25th March

Cardiff – to be confirmed

World Book Day 2018 

PizzaExpress are also supporting World Book Day with a special edition of their Dough Ball Times activity pack. Children are invited to design a bookmark to be in with the chance of winning a years supply of books. Packs will be available in restaurants until the 25th March. 

The Dough Ball Times will also include a World Book Day token which you can exchange for an exclusive book in your local bookshop. For a home educating family like us, this was really useful.  

There are ten fabulous books to choose from this year, my three have ear marked these. 

Nadiya Hussain’s Bake Me A Story (Polly)
Paddington Turns Detective (Clara)
The Avengers Greatest Heroes (Freddy)

What will your kids choose? Tweet me @MummyTries

**Disclaimer: this is a collaborative piece, for my full disclosure policy click here.** 

World Book Day: Last Minute Ideas for Non-Crafty Mums“How many more sleeps until World Book Day dress up mama?”

5yo Clara has been super excited about the prospect of going to school in fancy dress since the start of the new term. In fact it’s the only thing she has spoken about for the last two weeks.

The trouble is, I’m the most non-crafty mum you’re likely to meet. I can’t even iron, let alone sew. My attempts at making arts and crafts put me to shame, and my three year old usually does a better job than I do. The mere thought of making a World Book Day costume brings me out in a cold sweat.

Although I’d secretly love to be one of those mums who knock up creative costumes out of household recycling, it’s just not to be. There’s little point in stressing myself out only to do a botch job that my daughter would be embarrassed of. 

I’m a huge believer in knowing when to outsource, so turned to my trusty friend Amazon in my hour of need

I’m not quite sure how we managed in the days before Amazon Prime, and Prime Now. They often come to my rescue, and this was no exception! Dress up day is on Friday for us, so I sat down at the laptop with Clara on Monday after school and we looked at all the different costumes to choose from.

In the end she went for the witch from Room on the Broom, which is one of our all time favourite books. The dress we ordered came with a hat, and set us back £7.99, which I thought was very reasonable. I also (panic) ordered a broomstick and we have a toy black cat, which I intend to stick to the end of the broom. Clara’s already decided that she’s wearing her bright green tights, and sparkly silver clip clop shoes with her outfit. All in all I think she’s going to make a great witch.

If your little one is still in need of a World Book Day costume, hope is not lost! Here are ten outfits that are available to buy with super fast delivery from Amazon  

Willie Wonker

Fantastic Mr. Fox

Little Mouse from The Gruffalo

Tiger from The Tiger Who Came to Tea  

Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland

Scarecrow from Wizard of Oz

Thing One or Thing Two from Cat in the Hat

Lion from The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

Harry Potter  

Snow White 

**this is a collaborative post. Click here for my full disclosure policy**

Prime Now is Amazon’s ultra-fast delivery service that offers Prime customers same day, one or two-hour delivery windows. Prime Now launched in London in June 2015 and is now available to more than 30% of the UK population in selected postcodes in Birmingham, Hertfordshire, Surrey, Newcastle, Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Portsmouth, South Yorkshire and Glasgow. Customers in selected postcodes have access to more than 15,000 products on the mobile app such as Toys & Games, Amazon Devices such as Echo, Fire TV Sticks and Kindle e-readers plus a wide range of store cupboard and grocery essentials including milk, bread and frozen food.