We’re one week away from February Half Term people, can anyone else hear Kool & The Gang’s celebration song? No, just me? This week was a lot more academic, but I tried to mix it up as much as possible and bring in some creative and fun ideas. Here is this week’s round up of homeschooling ideas, I hope it helps.

Day One

Vowel Owls Literacy Sorting Set

We have been working with Learning Resources https://www.learningresources.co.uk and they have recently sent the girls this brilliant Vowel Owls Literacy Sorting Set. It’s great for children aged 5-10 years old and it’s the perfect game to help teach literacy at home. There are five, colourful owls, each displaying a different vowel. Your Child pick’s a picture card and they sound or spell out the word in order to decide what vowel is in the word, once they have figured it out they put the picture in the correct owl.

Bella really enjoyed the challenge of sounding each word out and working out what vowel she could hear. Flo even worked out a couple of the easier ones, but she mostly enjoyed “feeding the owls” the cards. This game is perfect for homeschooling and it’s an activity that can be enjoyed time and time again.

Handwriting Practice

The letter d was this weeks letter to learn, using the handwriting practice sheet from Twinkl https://www.twinkl.co.uk Bella practiced writing it in cursive style and then she had a go at writing the letter in coloured rice. You can buy ready made, coloured rice on Etsy and the craft tray is from Baker Ross https://www.bakerross.co.uk Bella finds it really helpful to write a word in flour or rice and it definitely helps her to write the letter on paper.

Rhyming Words

One of the topics for this week was rhyming words. We discussed what a rhyming word was and we thought of examples together. Using the rhyming sheets sent by Miss Deagle, Bella had to look at the three objects on a piece of paper and then she had to circle the object that didn’t rhyme and was the odd one out.

100 Square

Bella was set the challenge of writing her own 100 square. We looked at examples and she played a game, where she could colour the number squares in on my MacBook. This was definitely a challenge for Bella as she has only really started to write, but everyday she wrote 20-30 numbers and she worked really hard. Although it may seem a little daunting, it’s actually a great way to practice writing numbers.

Dinosaur Stamps

I ordered these Dinosaur Stamps from The Works https://www.theworks.co.uk they only cost £2 and you get 10 in a pack. The girls had great fun stamping and Bella told her own story around each stamp. Themed stamps are a great way to break up homeschooling, plus you can use them in all sorts of activities including maths, phonics and storytelling.

Day Two

Unicorn Play-Dough Kit

The girls were sent this amazing Unicorn Play-Dough Kit by Meopham Mini Artists https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/meophamminiartists and the girls loved it. I am a big fan of Meopham Mini Artists and I’ve brought a couple of their kits and they are always brilliant. This Unicorn Kit includes; pink, purple and blue glittery play-dough, two unicorns, beads, gems, stamps, cotton wool pads, paper, playfoam, mini pom poms, wooden butterflies and ribbon.

The girls wasted no time and they got stuck in, the girls decided that it was the wooden butterfly’s Birthday so the Unicorns were going to make a cake and set up a party for her. Flo’s cake was very extravagant, she is definitely not a believer of less is more and she had every topping going. Bella made play-dough party food and she decorated using the stamps, gems and pom poms. Unfortunately it didn’t end well, the “naughty Unicorn” decided to do a runner with the Birthday cake and the party was ruined, always a drama!

Invitation to play is a great way to break up homeschooling and encourage your child to use their imaginations. It’s also a great activity that they can enjoy independently, giving you a time to have a cuppa in peace or get on with your own work. Meopham Mini Artists offer a great, variety of kits and they will most definitely keep your children entertained during lockdown.

Teen Numbers

This weeks Maths was based around teen numbers. Bella and I discussed teen numbers and she had a go at writing 10-20. I prepared some flashcards the night before ready for our activity and on the flash card I circled 10, then 11, 12, 13 etc and then I left a blank circle for Bella to work out the missing number. We looked at the terminology less and more last week, so using the same method, we looked at flashcards 11-20 and Bella had to use beads or her fingers to figure out how many more beads she would need to make a teen number.

Rhyming Pairs

Following on from this weeks Rhyming words, we were sent picture cards to print and cut out and Bella had to find the rhyming pairs. Flo was there to offer a helping hand (she mostly snatched the pictures she liked the look of) and by the end of the activity she also had an understanding of rhyming words. If you don’t have a printer, you could always use objects around the house.

New Red Word

This weeks new red word was the word she, Miss Deagle sent some examples of sentences using the word she for Bella to look at and then Bella had to think of her own sentence. Bella drew a picture and wrote a sentence down and she also modelled the word she using play-dough. Bella also practiced writing the word she in cursive style.

Phonics

This week, Bella had to practice sounding out the letters q & x and also writing them in cursive style. Bella drew a couple of objects that begun or included the letters q & x and she also had a go at writing the words too. We also watched Geraldine The Giraffe on YouTube who helps to teach children the correct sound and she also gives examples of words that include the letter.

Day Three

Rhyming Words

Bella was set the challenge to find words that rhyme with the following words; hat, dig, man, dog, hen and bug. I divided a sheet of paper into six different squares and put the challenge words on the top line and Bella had to write her answers on the bottom line. Bella managed to think of rhyming words and then she sounded each word out and wrote her answers down.

Mark Making

Miss Deagle asked the children to have a go at Mark Making, using objects they have found around the house. Bella made marks in the play-doh using Numicon and she really enjoyed collected each mark that she had made. She then found objects around the house including a water bottle, Mermaid, Troll and she used a crayon to make different textured marks.

Plan, Do, Review

Every week, Bella has to do her own plan, do, review and this week she decided that she wanted to make Banana Bread. The girls washed their hands, and they worked as a team to make Banana Bread, even though my kitchen looked like a scene out of Narnia, they actually did a great job. Whilst it was baking, Bella had to draw a picture and write a sentence to explain what she had made and send it back to Miss Deagle, along with a picture of the finished product.

Estimating

Using objects around the house, Bella had to have a go at estimating. I grabbed a load of her Dinosaurs and stuffed them into a bag and asked her to guess how many she thought there was. After she had guessed, she had to count the Dinosaurs and then write the correct answer down. I had to mix it up and change the amount Dinosaurs in the bag and Bella kept estimating.

Fairy House

The girls really enjoyed this activity, Bella was asked to make a Fairy House, the weather was absolutely dreadful and it was chucking it down, so we decided to make a cardboard Fairy House. With some help, Bella cut the windows and door and the girls used their Little Brian Paint Sticks https://www.littlebrian.com to paint the house and they decorated it with different shaped foam stickers from Baker Ross https://www.bakerross.co.uk. I also had a couple of pegs in the craft cupboard, so I helped the girls to make their own Fairy pegs too.

Day Four

Arts

This week, Bella learnt about Russian Artist Wassily Kandinksy and we looked at his work and discussed the fact that he used colours to portray emotions. Bella spoke about how the art made her feel and what colours made her happy or sad. Bella was then set the challenge of creating her own piece of work, using Kandinksy’s art as inspiration. She was so impressed with her pieces of art that she asked me if they could be sold!

Invitation to Play

I ordered this Mermaid Tinker Tray Kit from Martha Moon Creations on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/marthamooncreations and it kept Bella entertained for ages. It has so many loose parts and lots of opportunities to help develop the pincer grip and hand-eye coordination. I am a big fan of Invitation to Play, it’s such a great way to encourage independent play, plus imaginative play.

PE

Bella had lots of fun with this weeks PE activity, using balloons, Bella had to practice catching and throwing. She was also set the challenge of keeping the balloon up in the air without using her hands. I grabbed these balloons in Asda, but you can easily order on Amazon if you don’t want to go to the supermarket.

Sorting

Bella was set the challenge of ordering her hefty collection of Dinosaurs into size order. She loves all things Dinosaur, so she was really excited to do the challenge. You can do this activity with any household items or even number flashcards. Ask your child to put numbers 0-20 in the correct order starting with the lowest number first and then mix it up and ask them to start with the highest number.

Day Five

RE

This week’s RE topic was about Churches and how they are important to Christians and why. We talked about what events happen in a Church and we looked at pictures of objects that you might find in a church. Bella talked about her experiences of Church and then she had to draw a picture of a church.

Story Stones

I ordered these beautiful, hand painted Story Stones from My Story Stones Rock https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/mystorystonesrock, Story Stones are perfect for imaginative play and story telling. I made some flashcards of all the red words and some cvc words that Bella has learnt so far and Bella told her own story. This is a great activity to practice blending, reading and spelling. Bella also played with the Story Stones and she made up her own game using the characters.

Mammoth Maths

I brought this brilliant Orchard Toys https://www.orchardtoys.com game called Mammoth Maths on Amazon and it’s perfect for teaching addition and subtraction. Each player picks a Mammoth and a cave person to match that colour, they also need to pick four stone wheels and line them up in front of them. Once you have built the board, place the number line, magic feather, torch and dice, where all players can see them.

Youngest player starts and you each take it in turns to roll the dice and move your cave man or woman around the board. If you land on a plus sign you have to complete the addition sum on one of your stone wheel’s and if you land on a minus sign, you have to complete the minus sum. Each player uses the number line to work out the answer and when you think you know it, you call out the answer and then use the torch to check if you’re right or not. When you hoover the torch over the stone wheel, the answer magically appears, this blew Bella’s mind!

When you get a sum right, you put the stone wheel on your Mammoth’s trunk, the first person to collect all stone wheels is the winner! If you land on a feather, you get to tickle the trunk of a Mammoth of your choice and that player looses a stone wheel. I highly recommend this game, it’s fantastic and a great way to practice addition and subtraction, if you have older kids, there are also harder sums.

Maths Worksheet

Orchard Toys https://www.orchardtoys.com are offering free, downloadable activities to help parents during homeschooling and lockdown. There are so many different activities to choose from and there is something for all ages. Bella had a go at working out how many bugs were in each square and she also had a go at writing down her answers.

Crafts

To finish off our week, Bella made these fun Monster Bunch Mix & Match Magnets by Baker Ross https://www.bakerross.co.uk I love their craft kits, they are perfect for young children and really easy to make. You can either follow the picture guide and copy or create your own design. Monster Bunch Mix & Match Magnets Kit is currently offer and costs £2.95 and you get 6 different monsters to make.