Hey everyone! How are you all doing? We’ve got another week under our belts, only 20 more days until February Half Term, not that I am keeping count (she says sarcastically). Here is your weekly round up of homeschooling activities and ideas, I hope it helps!
I ordered theses brilliant Collins Easy Learning Flashcards from Amazon and they are fantastic. You get 52 cards in total and well as using them for number recognition, maths activities and counting, there are also numbers where your child can trace with their fingers or a white board pen and there are also a few maths activity cards to. Miss Deagle set the children the challenge of sorting numbers 0-20 and then they had to count backwards and sort numbers 20-0. Bella was surprisingly quick, I was so impressed!
Number Shape and Recognition
I downloaded these really great Number Play-Doh templates from Twinkl https://www.twinkl.co.uk it was completely free to download. Using play-doh, ask your child to make numbers 0-10, it’s a great way to help teach them the shape of the number and it will help with number recognition. Bella really enjoyed this activity.
Red Word Recap
We were sent some red words to recap and Bella had to write each word. She is doing really well with her writing and she is even writing without having to look at the word, I obviously have to help spell out the word, but she has improved massively. You can find these red words on Twinkl.
Fine Motor Skills
Using a cotton bud and paint, Bella had to write numbers 0-10. This is such a great activity for improving those all important fine motor skills, including pencil grip. The girls really enjoyed this activity and Flo could get involved to!
I brought this lovely Galt Fairy Dress Up Set for £9.99 from Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/Galt-Toys-Fairy-Dressing-Set/dp/B004NJ185U/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2M8UFQ0D4WLLI&dchild=1&keywords=galt+fairy+dressing+up+set&qid=1611483629&sprefix=galt+fairy+dress%2Caps%2C148&sr=8-1 and it kept the girls entertained for ages. You get two Fairy Dolls and lots of different magnetic outfits and accessories. This activity is a great way to break up homeschooling, plus it’s also great for hand eye coordination, pincer grip and imaginative play.
We are big fans of Reading Eggs, it’s an educational children’s app aimed at 2-12 year olds and it’s absolutely brilliant. It’s engaging, fun and full of phonics, songs, stories, English and Maths activities. I am really impressed with the phonics games, they have helped Bella massively and Flo is also learning. Your child can complete daily lessons, so it’s a great way to mix up homeschooling and your child is constantly learning whilst playing. Here is a link for a free, 30 day trial https://readingeggs.co.uk/do
Using Flour and a Baker Ross Craft Tray (you can buy a pack of 3 for £6.95) https://www.bakerross.co.uk, Bella practiced writing the letter a, in cursive style writing. This is a great activity for boosting your child’s confidence with writing and also helping them practice the shape of the letter, it’s also a fun sensory activity. Flo loved thrashing her hand around in the flour, they were both ghostly white by the time they had finished.
This week Bella learnt the letters Y and W, Miss Deagle talked about the sound of each letter and Bella had to decide whether the letters were loud or quiet sounding letters and if they were bouncy or stretchy. Bella had a go and writing each letter and then we went on a hunt around the house to find objects that begun with y & w.
The new Red Word for this week was he, Bella had to think of a couple of sentences where you would use the word he, she modelled the word out of Play-Doh and then she had a go at writing the word. Using Play-Doh is a great way to help your child recognise the shape a letter or number.
Grab a dice and encourage your child to shout the number they see on the dice, as quickly as they can. Roll the dice and ask your child to hold up the correct amount of fingers, to match the same number on the dice. If you want to challenge your child further, use two dice. Bella really enjoyed this activity and Flo joined in.
Experimenting with Ice: Part Two
Last week Bella learnt about the signs of winter and she was ask to experiment by filling up a container with water and putting it in the freezer to see what happens. The girls loved exploring the ice, Flo thought it was particularly tasty and she kept licking it like a lollipop. We made a note of the time that the container was taken out of the freezer, so we would find out how long it took to fully defrost, it took 3 hours and 45 minutes by the way.
Number Bonds to 5
I found this number bond activity on Pinterest and it was pretty easy to set up and simple to follow. I prepared the cards the night before so we were ready to use in the morning. Simply draw a circle for the number 5 and draw two smaller circles so that your child can work out what two numbers make the number 5. Bella used plastic fruit to work out the sums, but you can use all sorts of products including sweets, cubes and even toys. If you want to challenge your child further, ask them to write out the sum and answers.
Less or more
Using the number cards I made, Bella had a go at less or more. This is a simple maths activity, simply ask your child to pick a number and then you asked them to work out less and more For example what is two more than 5 or what is 4 less than 5.
Plan, Do and Review
For this week’s plan, do and review, Bella wanted to make Mermaid cupcakes. Both the girls had lots of fun, getting their bake on and they decorated and demolished their cakes in seconds. After they had stuffed their faces, Bella had to review the activity by drawing a picture and writing a sentence or word to describe what she had done.
These Dragon Blowers are so easy to make and the girls had great fun playing with them afterwards. To make these Dragon Blowers you need: empty loo roll, Little Brian’s Paint Sticks https://www.littlebrian.com, orange and yellow tissue paper to make the flames, cellotape to stick the flames on. You could use goggly eyes or pom poms for the eyes and black marker for the nostrils.
Who says homeschooling needs to be dull?! Check out Smiffys https://www.smiffys.com they have an amazing range of fancy dress outfits to keep your children engaged, motivated and most importantly having fun. The girls were sent these amazing fancy dress costumes and to say they are obsessed with their new costumes would be an understatement. If your school is working on a particular topic why not find a fancy dress costume to match the theme and plan some imaginative play or role play activities.
This week Bella learnt about tempo, rhythm and finding a beat. We kick started the morning with a couple of games of Musical Statues, it was a great way to start the day and it put the girls in a good mood.
Using wooden spoons and a saucepan the girls tapped along to music and we listen to all different types of tempos. I made flash cards that said quiet, loud, fast and slow, the girls sung Old MacDonald Had A Farm and they had to react the flashcards and change the way they sung. The girls loved this activity and they also took it in turns to have a go at flashing the flashcards and controlling the tempo.
I downloaded and printed out this Match The Letter To The Pictures activity from Jaques of London Mini Hub Club https://www.jaquesoflondon.co.uk, it’s a great activity that your child can do independently. As you can see by Bella’s slumped position, she was feeling tired this day, so this Match The Letter To The Pictures was a perfect, down time activity. Simply match the letter to the correct image, it’s a great way to practice blending and phonics.
If you visit Orchard Toys website https://www.orchardtoys.com and sign up, you get emailed daily activities that are free to download and print. The activities are brilliant and they have different categories to suit all ages. I downloaded this Food Subtraction activity and Bella really enjoyed working out each sum, you can challenge your child to write the answers.
First we dropped Flo off at Nursery and then we popped to Costa to get a cheeky Hot Chocolate. When we got home, we wrapped up warm and went for a walk around the village to look for ingredients for Bella’s magic potion. Bella decided that her magic potion was going to be called Pollen Potion and when you sprinkle it onto flowers, the pollen sprouts legs and it makes it way to the bees, to help them gather pollen.
She also wanted to make a Wild Potion that turned wild animals into humans. We picked different coloured leaves, berries, flowers and we picked up some stones. I didn’t have any empty jam jars, so I ordered some on Amazon. Firstly Bella used a measuring jug to fill her two jars up with water and then she added her ingredients one by one, she also added glitter for some extra sparkle.
After she had made her potion, she had to write the labels, she did really well but because she has only started to write, her writing is all over the place, its small and then really big and she tends to write the letters diagonally, so she worked really hard to keep her writing small on the labels. Using a Magic Potion template from Twinkl, she then drew the ingredients and wrote what each one was. Potion making is a great way to encourage imaginative play and it’s good for writing practice.
Learning to Spell
I ordered this Let’s Learn To Spell game from Jaques of London https://www.jaquesoflondon.co.uk it’s a brilliant game, to practice blending CVC words. The words are three letters and there are two ways you can play, if you have pre-school aged children you can play with the side where the word has been written. Your child simply has to find the matching letters to complete the word, this is great activity to introduce your little ones to letters and it’s great for word recognition. If you have children that are in Reception or Year One, you can turn the card over and play where the card is empty, apart from a picture of the word that they need to spell.
Using the letters in the Let’s Learn To Spell game, Bella firstly had a go at spelling out the red words that she has learnt so far and then she had a go at forming sentences. We worked together to spell out the words she wanted to spell and she really enjoyed creating different sentences. I highly recommend this game, it only cost £5.99 and it’s a brilliant learning game.
Using our Maxi Pegs from Bigjigs Toys https://www.bigjigstoys.co.uk Bella practiced her adding and subtracting skills by playing a game of less or more. I placed 10 pegs on the board and I asked Bella various less or more questions. These Maxi Pegs are a great way to practice adding and subtracting and they are the perfect size for little hands. You could also use these Maxi Pegs to teach patterns and sequences.
This week Bella learnt about the story of Noah’s Ark. Firstly she watched a short YouTube video that told the story of Noah’s Ark. She was then asked to draw a picture from a scene of the story, Bella decided to draw Noah’s Ark with animals on board and she also had to write either a short sentence or words describing her picture, so she wrote Noah’s Ark, Crocodile and Giraffe.
Following on from the Noah’s Ark theme, Bella was set the challenge of making her own animal mask, so she chose a Crocodile. Mummy drew her best Crocodile face and Bella took care of the rest. Making masks is a great way to encourage your child to get in touch with their creative sides, it’s also a great way to break up the day.
Using our whiteboard and marker pens, Bella practiced writing the red words that she had learnt so far. When practising writing, I also try and mix it up for Bella to stop her getting bored. A whiteboard is great resource as you can practice time and time again.
Maths Activities with Dice
Ask your child to roll a dice and write the number they see, this is a great way to practice writing numbers. You can also use the dice and cubes to practice number bonds. On this day, we practiced number bonds for the number 6. Use the cubes to work out the sum and then use the cubes to help your child with addition. For an extra challenge, you can ask them to write down the sum including the plus and equals sign.
Fine Motor Skills
This Lacing Dress Up Girl from Bigjigs Toys costs £17.99 and it is a brilliant activity for practicing fine motor skills and the pincer grip. Using string, you thread and attached an outfit to the doll. Bella was completely engrossed in this activity and enjoyed the challenge of threading each item of clothing. The doll also has velcro on her hands, so you can stick on accessories too.
Sight Swat Word
I brought this Sight, Swat Word game for just £15.50 from Learning Resources http://https//www.learningresources.co.uk and its great! Its fast paced and you can play with up to four players. The aim of the game is to swat the word, that is read out first, the player to win the most amount of flies, wins the game. If you’re playing with one child, it’s still a fantastic learning tool, it will help with reading, spelling, blending and word recognition.
Star of The Week
If you are looking at new ways on keeping your children motivated, check out Star of the Week certificates on Amazon. Bella was over the moon when I surprised her with her certificate, she also chose a star sticker to. She has been desperate to get a Star of The Week certificate from school, so this put a big smile on her face and a spring in her step.
Meet the Mama
Hi, I’m Mandy! I’m a full time Mum, parent and lifestyle blogger based in Tunbridge Wells. My muse is my two little divas; Bella who is 4 years old & Flo who is 2 years old.Learn more