Hands up if you’re feeling a tad overwhelmed by homeschooling? Don’t worry you are not alone. As promised, I said I would share my weekly homeschooling activities, I hope these ideas are helpful, you can take what you want, change or adapt to suit your children’s current school topic. Bella’s school topic is Mystical and Magical Beasts and Creatures, so I have been trying to keep in theme with that. Stay tuned for next week’s Homeschooling Activity Ideas blog.
Bella’s teacher Miss Deagle had said that one of the things the children were going to learn, this term were the months of the year. I already had a magnetic calendar at home, so I thought it would be a nice idea to kick start each morning, by Bella and Flo, picking the date, day, month, season and daily weather. This magnetic calendar is available from Amazon and it’s currently £11.99 https://www.amazon.co.uk/First-Calendar-Magnetic-Hanging-42x35cm/dp/B08125GKFC/ref=sr_1_9?dchild=1&keywords=magnetic+calendar+kids&qid=1610395103&sr=8-9
Learning Mats by Little Boo Learning
Little Boo Learning mats are brilliant https://www.littleboolearning.com we have been using them for years. There is a wide variety to choose from including; phonics, names, planets, colours, shapes, numbers and lots more. They are great for all ages and they are a brilliant way to teach your little ones how to spell their name. Bella had a go at spelling her name by matching the letters on the mat, she also sounded out each word.
I am a massive fan of Letterland https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=letterland&ref=nb_sb_noss_1 and you can buy a lot of their products on Amazon. We were lucky enough to collaborate with Letterland last spring and their books and flashcards, really helped Bella to get a head start with phonics before she started school. Bella has been using her Letterland writing practice books daily and it’s really giving her the confidence to attempt to write new letters.
I brought this brilliant Coogam Spelling Game from Amazon for just £14.99 https://www.amazon.co.uk/Coogam-Alphabets-Educational-Montessori-Preschool/dp/B08725XV15/ref=sr_1_5?crid=3G46TCMX8ZKI3&dchild=1&keywords=coogam+spelling+game&qid=1610310544&sprefix=coogam+spe%2Caps%2C143&sr=8-5 and it’s absolutely brilliant for teaching phonics and CVC words. Simply pick a card, find the letters on the dice and spell out the word on the card or you could roll the dice and think of a word that the letter begins with. We started with one dice and eventually Bella rolled all six and she had to think of a word for each letter. You could also use the dice to spell out CVC words, for example C.A.T or S.A.T.
The girls love arts and crafts and I think it’s a great way to break up the day. I have been planning crafts around Bella’s latest topic, so on this day the girls made Fairy Paper Plate houses and a cardboard fairy. I prepared everything the night before so the girls could get stuck in and it was an activity that they could both enjoy independently.
To make a Fairy Paper Plate & Cardboard fairy you need; Paper plate, cut out squares for windows and a door, cut out grass blades, cut out a square for the chimney, Little Brians Paintsticks https://www.smythstoys.com/uk/en-gb/toys/creativity-music-and-partyware/painting/little-brian-paint-sticks-assorted-paint-sticks-bucket/p/177972 to decorate, pom poms, tissue paper and other exciting bits to decorate. To make a cardboard fairy you need; Rolled up cardboard stuck together with Cellotape, cut out wings and a circle for the face, feathers for hair and Little Brian’s Paintsticks to decorate. It’s a real easy and fun craft thats perfect for all ages.
Bella had a go at drawing and naming different shapes using a learning mat (I can’t actually remember the name of the company, because I brought it a while ago, but Little Boo Learning offer very similar learning mats). This activity is also great for pre-schoolers, Flo really enjoyed having a go at tracing the shapes, it’s not only great for teaching little ones their shapes, it’s also a good activity for strengthening the pincer grip.
Bella finished the day by matching the coins correctly. This activity is a great way to teach children the value of money. If you have older children, you could also use this as a basic maths lesson and add the coins together. Little Boo Learning offer learning a variety of money themed learning mats https://www.littleboolearning.com/collections/the-money-collection
Bella had a go at modelling the “red words” that she has learnt so far, using play-doh. Red words include words such as; to, in, on, to, into, the, and, no and go. I simply wrote the words onto a plain flash card and Bella could either make the word beneath the card or model on top of each letter. She really enjoyed this activity and did really well.
Miss Deagle sent a link for a counting game on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tTBiBtY5du0 and Flo joined in too. Numbers 1 to 10 are called out and you have to show how many fingers you would need to make that number. When it had finished, we played a game and I called out a number and the girls had to quickly show the right amount of fingers.
We read Zog and then the girls made their own Dragon Masks using Baker Ross Dragon Masks Kit https://www.bakerross.co.uk/dragon-mask-kits I love Baker Ross, they have so many great craft kits, that are brilliant for all ages, its always my first point of call.
Miss Deagle set the children a number hunt challenge that could be done inside or outside the house. Grab a pad and pencil, wrap up warm and go on a hunt for numbers. Encourage your children to point out the numbers and call them out and they could even have a go at writing them down. I will definitely do this activity again but instead we will go on a letter hunt.
The benefits of imaginative play are endless so I always encourage the girls to get lost in their own little worlds. We finished the day with a game of Dragons and Princesses. Bella built a tower around Princess Flo, using our Tumble Tower Blocks from Jaques of London https://www.jaqueslondon.co.uk/products/giant-tumble-tower-over-3ft-tall-during-play-including-cloth-drawstring-bag?variant=17232680157273¤cy=GBP&utm_medium=product_sync&utm_source=google&utm_content=sag_organic&utm_campaign=sag_organic&gclid=Cj0KCQiA6Or_BRC_ARIsAPzuer9_diWZS6_ZTUaNRp42BDUf-4HWAODZWlbGYJNyEIELSEWwDS4dTdkaAgV8EALw_wcB and Bella played the Dragon and she was guarding the tower to stop Flo from escaping. They were both entertained for ages! If you’re a fan of wooden, educational toys, I highly recommend that you check out Jaques of London’s website.
Counting With Cubes
I wrote the numbers 1-10 and Bella had to sort the numbers and put them in the right order, once she had finished, she counted the correct number of cubes and beads and placed them under each number. She then sorted numbers 11-20 and repeated the same process. Cubes make a great maths tool and you can buy them from Amazon. I already had a Little Scribblers Beach Blocks Busy Bag https://www.littlescribblers.world/product/beach-blocks/ which includes the cubes.
Bella practiced writing numbers 0-20 using the Little Scribblers Beach Blocks Busy Bag https://www.littlescribblers.world/product/beach-blocks/ This kit is brilliant, it not only includes cubes, it comes with numbered Flash Cards that allow your little ones to write the number, learn the shape of the number and also the value of the number. It’s also great for pre-schoolers too.
We wrapped up warm and had a walk to our local forest and Bella continued her Maths outside. She sorted numbers 0-10, she lined them up and then she had to find items in the forest to place above each number. She then collected different coloured and shaped leaves and she made a wild eye mask. We finished Forest School with a hot chocolate and marshmallows and a story. If you don’t want to venture too far, you could easily do the activity in your garden.
Sight Word Games
I brought this brilliant Sight Word Bingo by Learning Resources https://www.learningresources.co.uk and it’s a great way to support your child’s reading journey and it helps them recognise words. Simply spin the arrow and if it lands on a word that is shown on your board, you pop a star on top of the word, the first person to win three stars on their board wins. When Bella landed on the word, I encouraged her to sound out the word.
PSED (Personal, social, emotional development)
Miss Deagle set the class a challenge and they had to express how they feel by making a face out of objects they had in the house. Thankfully Bella was feeling happy so she decided to make a smiley face, using her Bigjigs Toys Lacing Beads in a Jar https://www.bigjigstoys.co.uk/jar-of-lacing-beads This is a nice activity to encourage your little ones, to express how they are feeling.
Miss Deagle sent a CVC Word practice activity that she had found on Twinkl https://www.twinkl.co.uk it’s a great website and has lots of useful resources that are perfect for homeschooling. Bella had to match the picture, with three possible words and she had to point out the correct one. I also encouraged her to sound each word out.
After Bella put the numbers 1-10 in the correct order, she used her Himiku Blocks https://himiku.net/products/himikublocks?gclid=CjwKCAiAi_D_BRApEiwASslbJ-Ut4xwMrtZwm7-3DMLFGIZoajTpSx-Y4dMwfgoche6PcUZI2aXKXBoCpAwQAvD_BwE to count and build a tower to match the number on the card. Himiku Blocks are brilliant because they are varied in size and shape and you really need to concentrate and think carefully as you stack, because they can easily fall. Bella kept getting the giggles, so it took her a rather long time to build a tower with 10 blocks, but she did do it in the end and she was so proud of herself.
After reading How to Capture a Dragon, Bella decorated and built a Baker Ross Dragon Glider https://www.bakerross.co.uk/dragon-colour-in-gliders?&gclid=CjwKCAiAi_D_BRApEiwASslbJ1511GvO2qSnHKYxY_ks3MHbSLWtIriik4pbSxSmxAYlasdQ_3_POBoCj9AQAvD_BwE I love how sturdy the gliders are so they don’t break easily as your trying to slide in the wings and tail. Bella really enjoyed this craft and she played with them for ages afterwards.
Using her Giant Tumble Tower blocks from Jaques of London https://www.jaqueslondon.co.uk/products/giant-tumble-tower-over-3ft-tall-during-play-including-cloth-drawstring-bag?variant=17232680157273¤cy=GBP&utm_medium=product_sync&utm_source=google&utm_content=sag_organic&utm_campaign=sag_organic&gclid=Cj0KCQiA6Or_BRC_ARIsAPzuer9_diWZS6_ZTUaNRp42BDUf-4HWAODZWlbGYJNyEIELSEWwDS4dTdkaAgV8EALw_wcB, Bella built a castle and she trapped two Owl Princesses. The tower was being guarded by the Dragon Gliders and they were each taking it in turns to knock down the castle. I highly recommend these Giant Tower Blocks, they are really chunky and great quality and the girls build all sorts of things with them. There are also quite a lot of blocks so you could build over a 3ft tower.
At school Bella does Cosmic Yoga on a Friday, so to finish off the week, she did 15 minutes of Dinosaur themed yoga. If you haven’t heard of Cosmic Yoga I highly recommend that you check out their channel on YouTube, it’s brilliant for getting kids active and it’s also quite calming.
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