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About Tidy Books

  • Christmas is coming – and this year it’s personal!

    Are you getting stressed about Christmas gift buying? Well I think we’ve all been there. You start thinking about what presents to buy for friends and relatives but as soon as an idea pops into your head the anxiety sets in. What if it’s the wrong colour? What if it’s not really their thing? What if they hate it?   

    People can be so worried about getting it wrong they end up buying a ‘safe’ present like chocolates or giving vouchers or a gift card. The trouble with presents like that, though, is they’re not very exciting. For the person receiving the gift, it can be a real letdown when they tear off the wrapping paper and see what they’ve got. And it’s not great for the gift-giver either as they lose out on that lovely warm, satisfied glow of knowing they’ve bought something special with that person in mind.

    It actually makes giving and receiving presents rather joyless – and certainly doesn’t make a memorable gift to cherish. That’s why I think a personalised present is such a wonderful idea. For the recipient, it shows that your friend or family member has taken the time to pick something meaningful to you. And for the giver, it’s an opportunity to buy a unique gift that shows your thoughtfulness.

    That was certainly the idea behind my Tidy Books personalised bookcases and bunk bed shelves. I wanted to put a smile on children’s faces when they saw their name in colourful wooden letters. And I wanted parents and grandparents to be able to buy a long-lasting gift that they could be proud of. It’s the sort of gift that really brings the giver and receiver together, I think.

    The personalised bookcases and bunk bed shelves make a great present for children aged 1-5. It’s like giving them their own little library that they can fill with their favourite books. And with their name on it, it will feel even more special. Of course, you can enjoy their present, too, watching the kids have fun tracing their fingers around the letters and getting to know the alphabet.

    I like to think that my personalised products will bring families lots of wonderful bonding moments and memories that will last for years. And that’s got to be better than a box of sweets and a voucher, hasn’t it?

  • Why my designs have the Montessori philosophy in mind

    When my two children were growing up, I was quite a hands-off parent. My attitude was to let them do their own thing and learn about their environment and I’d be there if they needed me.

    My daughter, Adele, was an early crawler – she was crawling at around six months – and I remember watching her crawl across the living room floor towards the kitchen. Between the two rooms there was a small step down and at first Adele would stop at the step. Then she would crawl to the step and attempt to go down it before crawling back again. Eventually, as Adele’s curiosity and confidence grew, she finally crawled down the step into the kitchen.

    It was just a small step and I knew it wasn’t dangerous, but of course I stood watching to make sure she was OK. And she was. It was so fascinating to watch Adele on her journey from the living room to the unchartered territory of the kitchen. I could literally see her mind working out how to get down that step. Interestingly, when other parents brought their children round to the house they all intervened to stop their kids crawling down the step.

    geraldineadele-et-emile-eping-forest-l

    As long as my children were safe, I felt it was important to let them explore and find out about the world in their own way. In that respect, I’m aligned to the Montessori way of teaching – allowing children the freedom to develop and to learn by ‘doing’ rather than being instructed how to do something.

    I didn’t send my children to Montessori schools, but I like many of the values that are set out in their teaching approach – so much so that elements of the Montessori philosophy run through my designs. Take, for example, the Tidy Books bookcase. Its front-facing shelves mean children can easily see their books and so can independently choose the one they want to read. And with the bookcase’s 3D alphabet, kids can play and learn in their own time. All my Tidy Books designs work in a similar way to give children their own personal environment to work things out for themselves.

    Tidybooks Belle Vue Road

    While I design everything with children in mind, I don’t make nursery-style furniture that looks out of place in the home. The beauty of Tidy Books products is that they are also created to blend seamlessly into your living space. That’s great news for parents who, like me, hate too much clutter. And for your kids, it means opening up their world of independence way beyond their bedroom.

    Tidybooks Belle Vue Road

    * I’d love to know what you do to help your child foster their independence. Do drop me a line and share your experiences.

  • Bonding over bed time

    I was recently chatting to a friend about our childhoods, and she said she loved growing up sharing a room with her sister. They had bunk beds and at night she’d hang her arm down from the top bunk so they could touch fingers while they talked to each other. It was such a sweet story, and they’d obviously formed a real closeness during those early years – a closeness she says they still share today.  Continue reading

  • Do you get school-run stress?

    Ready.... steady... let’s get the kids to school! Hmmm – if only it was that simple! Getting the kids up and ready for school can feel like a race that you’re never going to win. And when the clock is ticking and every minute counts, the stress can really start to mount.

    As a parent, I know this scenario only too well. You get a grumpy child who isn’t happy having to get out of bed. They can’t find their gym kit. The letter from school they were supposed to give you has gone AWOL. And of course when you’re in a hurry to get things sorted, everything takes even longer. The result? A pretty stressed-out, bad-tempered family!

    According to a 2014 survey, parents experience a 30% increase in their stress levels when they wake up with the school run looming in front of them. That stress level spikes at 8.15am and doesn’t return to normal until around 2.30pm. So those manic mornings are bad news for parents – and obviously not a great way for the kids to start their day either.

    4-FMN Continue reading

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