We have survived another week of homeschooling *virtual high five*. How are we all feeling about School’s reopening on the 8th March? To me it feels like a light at the end of the tunnel, Bella is desperate to return to normality and see her friends again. Here’s another round of this week’s homeschooling activities, this week’s theme was based around The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff story, so it was a more creative week.

Day One

Handwriting Practice

Every week, Bella gets given three letters to practice writing in a cursive style and she also has to sound them out. Miss Deagle sends us a handwriting sheet, which you can download from Twinkl https://www.twinkl.co.uk I have been so impressed at how many useful resources there are on Twinkl and they are completely free. It’s so easy to sign up for a free account, if you haven’t already, I definitely recommend that you check out the website.

Whenever Bella learns a new letter, we also use other methods to practice, one of Bella’s favourite techniques is to practice moulding the letter out of play-doh. It’s a great way for your child to understand the shape of the letter. I have also found that writing in flour is also a really good way to practice and next week, Bella will practice writing in coloured rice.

Story Sequence

As I mentioned, Bella’s topic for this week was based around the story of The Three Billy Goats Gruff. After the girls had listened to the story, we watched a YouTube video of the story too. Bella was set the challenged to put scenes from The Three Billy Goats Gruff story into the correct sequence. This is a great activity to help with memory and learning sequences and problem solving and it can easily be done with any storybook.

Fairy Play Tray

I love setting up play tray’s for the girls, it allows me to unleash my creative side, plus they really enjoy sensory play. I brought this gorgeous Fairy Play Tray kit from Tray Play Toolkits on Etsy https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/TrayPlayToolkits for £18. It’s brilliant because you can reuse the rice and painted chickpeas, plus all the other accessories time and time again. You can pretty much do any theme and it’s great way to break up the day, I got the plastic Craft Trays from Baker Ross https://www/bakerross.co.uk, you get a pack of three for £6.95.

Story Map

Bella was set the challenge to draw, write and colour her own story map, based on The Three Billy Goats Gruff story. Each day she worked on the story map and she put so much effort into it, she is not the best drawer (just like her Daddy), but she tried really hard. Miss Deagle was really impressed by her efforts and she was awarded Star of the Week, which Bella was really chuffed about. You can create a story map from any story or even ask your child to create their own story.

Phonics

Bella learnt the letter Z, so she practiced writing it in cursive style, plus sounding it out. She was also set the challenge of drawing items that begun with the letter Z. If you are practicing phonics, you could also set your child the challenge of finding objects around the house that begins with that letter.

Shape Puzzles

I brought this brilliant wooden Stwie Shape Puzzle kit on Amazon for just £12.99 the girls made Trolls out of the shapes and they had a go at following the shape picture cards. This activity is great for practicing spacial awareness, hand-eye coordination, colour and shape recognition and imaginative play. This Shape Puzzle kit kept the girls entertained for ages.

Days of The Week

This week Bella had to recap on the days of the week, plus start learning the months of the year. I prepared a flash card for each day of the week and we sing a little song each day to help the girls remember the correct order. Using the flashcards, Bella had to put the days of the week in the correct order. I then asked her to close her eyes, whilst I either took a day away or swapped two around and she had to work out what was missing or correct the order.

Day Two

Geraldine The Giraffe’s Tricky Words: Months of the Year

Bella’s class often watch Geraldine The Giraffe on YouTube and as you can see by Bella & Flo’s massive smiles, they found it really funny. The popular YouTube channel is run by a UK School Teacher Mr Thomas and he makes lots of different videos that help teach phonics, tricky words or sounds, grammar and spelling and lots more. His side kick Geraldine is a cheeky, mischievous, Giraffe hand puppet. The girls watched Geraldine The Giraffe’s Tricky Words: Months of the Year and it was funny and rememberable, both girls can remember most months of the year after watching it over and over and over again.

Months of The Year

I made separate flash cards for each month of the year and I later decorated each one, to help Bella remember which month belong to what season. At first we sorted the months in the correct order and then Bella sorted the months into their correct season. Bella was given the challenge to draw a picture in each month to mark a special holiday, Birthday or special occasion.

Crafts

Continuing with the Three Billy Goats Gruff theme, the girls made their own paper plate Trolls. I had to prepare the night before and Flo informed me that she wanted to make a “Poppy Troll”, so using felt I cut out the hair, using coloured paper and card, I cut out the eyes, noses and mouths ready for the girls to create the next day. They used their brilliant Little Brian’s Painsticks https://littlebrians.com to paint the Trolls faces. Paper plates are great for all sorts of crafts ideas.

Construction

Following on from The Three Billy Goats Gruff story, the girls constructed a bridge out of lego and then bricks. They then use their toys to re-enact their own version of the story. Constructing out of lego or blocks is a great way to improve hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, pincer grip, problem solving and it’s also brilliant for imaginative play.

Day Three

Stick Puppets

The girls and I really enjoyed this week of homeschooling, it was full of creative activities and it kept the girls engaged and interested for the whole week. Following on with the theme, Miss Deagle sent these The Three Billy Goats Gruff characters (from Twinkl) to cut out and we had to make stick puppets. I then used my Craft Tray from Baker Ross, the green rice from the Tray Play Toolkits Fairy Play Tray Kit and I rolled up a piece of card, stuck it together with Cellotape to make a bridge. You can make all sorts of themed stick puppets and its a great method of learning through play.

Addition Activities

I downloaded this brilliant The Very Hungry Caterpillar Addition activity for free on Twinkl https://www.twinkl.co.uk there are three sheets in total and the addition gets a bit tricker as you go along. Bella worked out the sums and she wrote her answers independently, she also used her Bigjigs Toys https://www.bigjigstoys.co.uk Magnetic Numbers to write out the sum and answer. Magnetic numbers are a great way to encourage your child to understand the sequence of writing a sum, it will also help them recognise the shape of the numbers, which will help when practicing writing numbers.

Pass The Smile

Bella was set the challenge to decorate a stone with paint and a smile, to help spread happiness to others. The girls really enjoyed this activity and our Little Brian’s Paint Sticks worked perfectly! Painting stones is a great way to tie in a theme, it’s also good for helping to develop fine motor skills. The Works has a Stone Painting kit on their website which comes with four stones, two paintbrushes and paint, just be warned that the paint doesn’t wash off very easily, which is why we stuck to our trustee Little Brian’s Paint Sticks.

Plan, Do, Review

For this week’s Plan, Do and Review Bella wanted to make a Fairy Jar, I had brought a Fairy Jar Kit from Amazon ages ago but we never got around to making them. I had to help a bit as it was a bit tricky but they loved getting their hands covered in glue and glitter. The kit included three plastic jars, tissue paper, battery operated tea lights, cut out fairy figures and flowers and branches to decorate. Bella then had to draw a picture and label it to review what she had made.

Day Four

PlayFoam Shape & Learn Counting Cards

We got sent this amazing PlayFoam Shape & Learn Counting Cards by Learning Resources https://www.learningresources.co.uk and it’s great for all forms of learning. The best thing about PlayFoam is that it’s mess free and it doesn’t dry out, it’s also perfect for moulding into letters, numbers and shapes. This kit comes with eight different coloured PlayFoam and 13 double-sided activity cards. Bella had fun counting and moulding the PlayFoam into different shapes and sizes using the activity cards as a template.

Worry Spoon

As part of this weeks PSED activity, Bella and I discussed the word worry and what it meant and felt like. We talked about the things that made her feel worried and ways to tackle that feeling. Miss Deagle suggested that the children make a Worry Spoon, Worry Doll or Worry Monster and the idea is, that when your child is feeling worried, they can tell their worries to their Worry Doll, Spoon or Monster and then their worries will go away. Our children have had to deal with a lot, so this is great activity to encourage them to talk about their feelings and their concerns about what is happening in the world.

RE

For this week’s RE topic we discussed safe places and how a Church was a safe place for Christians and a Mosque a safe place for Muslims. Miss Deagle asked the children to create their own safe place, whether it be out of blankets, cushions, their own toys or cuddly teddies. Bella wasted no time and she created her own cosy corner, using her Squishmallows, blankets and favourite teddies and she had a great time relaxing.

Phonics Activity Workbook

To practice her phonics and writing, Bella completed a couple of pages in her Letterland Phonics activity book. It’s really simple and easy to follow and it’s an activity that she can do independently whilst I’m making a cuppa. Activities include initial matching, writing practice and also drawing a picture that begins with a certain letter. You can buy a whole variety of Letterland products on Amazon.

Dragon Play-Dough Kit

I am a big fan of invitation to play, especially when it’s an activity that the girls can enjoy independently. I ordered this fantastic Dragon Play-Dough Kit from Joyful Busy Kits from Etsy https://www.etsy.co.uk/joyfulbusykits and it was only £10, which is an absolute bargain. Bella made a dragon using the play-dough and he guarded the jewels from “the cheeky knight” who was trying to steal them. The girls are being sent a Unicorn Themed Play-Dough kit next week and I know they are going to love it!

Day Four

Initial Matching

I brought this brilliant Initial Matching kit from Breen Educational Resources on Etsy https://breen.shop and it’s a great way to recap phonics plus it encourages your child to blend and sound out the word. There are four sheets and six letters on each sheet with velcro and your child has to match the picture to the correct initial it starts with. Bella whizzed through and she was very pleased with herself, it’s a quick and fun activity to kick start the day.

Pattern Sequences

Using our Bigjigs Toys Maxi Pegs https://www.bigjigstoys.co.uk Bella practiced having a go at creating a pattern. She started with two colours and then moved onto three colours. This is a great activity to help your child understand the concept of a pattern which will help them with maths activities.

Toucans to Ten Sorting Set

I am so impressed with this Toucans To Ten Sorting Set by Learning Resources https://www.learningresources.co.uk, it’s a brilliant game and it really does help children to get their heads around addition, subtraction plus using the terms “less or more”. Firstly, your child needs to order the Toucans from 1-10, they then pick a card which displays a sum, and then your child taps the Toucans head as they add or subtract. You could challenge your child further and ask them to write out the sum and answer.

Craft

I brought this cute Unicorn Fairy Door Kit from Baker Ross https://www.bakerross.co.uk I love how easy it is to make, the foam stickers are sturdy and easy to peel and your child can either follow the designs on the picture guide provided or they can improvise and make up their own design. There is also a little sign where your child can write their own names. This Unicorn Fairy Door kit comes with four different coloured doors to decorate and it cost £4.95.

Journey into Space

When it comes to homeschooling, I always try and mix it up and bring in lots of elements of learning through play as it works well with keeping Bella engaged. We are Tactic Games Brand Ambassadors, which means we get sent games to review and I get to give you guys the down-low on their latest games. We were recently sent Journey into Space, it’s a board game based around a storybook which is included in the game. There are two dice, one with numbers and the other with colours and the columns on your Astro Board are numbered.

The coloured dice will determined whether you get to put a token on a Spaceship trail that matches the colour on the dice. The youngest player rolls first and they need to find the number they rolled on the dice and start in that column . The aim of the game is to be the first player to place their Planet Tokens on each Spaceship Trail, when they win they have to shout blast off! Journey into Space is a fun, simple, fast paced game that can be enjoyed by all the family.

PE

This weeks focus in PE, was to practice throwing the ball under arm and also aiming and throwing. I grabbed one of the girls storage baskets and Bella practiced aiming and throwing it into the the basket. I also drew a large circle on a piece of card and she had a go at aiming the ball at the circle.