As we’re now “back” at school, are you enjoying a bit of routine? Or have you had enough? Wondering what to do now? Our school have been fantastic and we feel very lucky to have such amazing support. We are supplementing the set school work with some fun topics which can be tailored for any age of child.
Our favourites so far have centred around Nature and Spring with our daily exercise including nature walks. Collecting flowers and leaves so we can make Spring pictures when we get home is fun for Eliza (5). Henry (7) is keen on the Picture This app (basic app is free) which helps us to identify what we find and tells us more about the plant. Ideal for when Mummy is feeling a bit of her depth!! We have also seen plenty of butterflies which need to be identified (5 different ones so far) and can be easily drawn! As part of Nature and Spring, we are having fun bird watching. We had one but you can also spend time making one. Link to RSPB website HERE. We have put a bird feeder outside our kitchen window where we can see it from the table. With the assistance of a book and perhaps Google, we are happily identifying them! Spring animals is a great topic – ideas here as to where to see the animals virtually HERE. A Springtime book can be created to pull all these pictures etc together.
Growing Plants – we have planted seeds, discussed the plant cycle and watched them grow! Here are a few ideas.
The World – I must come clean at this moment to say I did a Geography degree so I am loving this! We have downloaded a world map with all the flags from the National Geographic HERE We started with the flags, choose the one you like the best, colour it in, find it on the map, then find a few interesting facts about the country etc. It also gave us a great opportunity to talk about the different countries we have visited and the ones we would like to visit. This week – we are also going to do a themed evening for a country of their choice (there will be a shortlist for them to choose from!) as we will do some country themed decorations, set the menu, music, learn a phrase, discuss the currency, enjoy the meal and then “pay the bill” at the end.
Money – we have devised a list of jobs (kids both suggested the jobs on the list!) with associated pocket money. At the end of each week, we have an add up. Great for identifying coins, maths etc. Then we research what we could buy with the amounts and how much change we would have etc. Other Mumblers have talked about doing tuck shops with the same idea. It also works with specific shops tailored to your children’s interests.
Our friends at York Mumbler have also devised some weekly topics which sound amazing. The idea is that you do a topic for a whole week and explore loads of different aspects whilst having fun…
Have a go at making your own dinosaur fossils. You will need salt, flour, coffee grounds & water. Click HERE for the CBeebies website instructions.
Do the Dinosaur stomp with GoNoodle! – A catchy, energic warm up for the day! Click HERE. NB. This tune will get stuck in your head, apologies!
Nina & the Neurons – Cbeebies Radio (17 minutes) Nina asks, how do we know so much about dinosaurs when we’ve never even met one? Listen HERE.
Try a Cosmic Kids Yoga Adventure with Tiny the T-Rex HERE
Make a Dinosaurthemed Tuff Tray, or an underbed storage box or just use a table cloth if you don’t have a tray. Dig out those dinosaur toys and then get creative making them a dinosaur friendly environment to play in. See photo below for our attempt but utilise what you have in the house.
Make a Dinosaur skeleton using sticks (collected on your daily walk) or spaghetti. See the photo below for our attempt.
We can’t visit the Natural History Museum right now but we can search their Dino Directory and learn lots of facts about over 300 different types of dinosaurs.
Frozen Dinosaur Eggs – put a small dinosaur toy in a balloon and fill with some water and freeze. They will love chipping away and watching the ice melt to reveal the dinosaur. This activity could also be done in the tuff tray or in a washing up bowl to save a bit of mess afterwards!
Askham Bryan Conservation and Wildlife park have a Dinosaur hatching egg craft on their WEBSITE.
Maddie Moate from CBeebies has lots of fantastic videos on YouTube. She recently did “Dino Week” as part of her “Let’s go LIVE” series. Watch them HERE.
Put the little palaeontologists to the test with the Dinosaur Quiz from National Geographic Kids HERE.
Play the BBC Bitesize Dinosaurs discovery game. A simple game using your science skills to collect all the dinosaur stickers and become a dino-expert! Play it HERE.
Read: Harry and his bucketful of dinosaurs
Watch: The Good Dinosaur, Walking with Dinosaurs, Disney Dinosaur, The Land before Time, CBBC Deadly Dinosaurs or Netflix Dino Hunt.
Dinosaur themed tuff tray. We used cornflakes, soil, tinfoil for the river, leaves & grass.
Use sticks or spagetti for the skeleton
Dig out those plastic dinosaurs for tuff tray fun
Pizza & Pasta
Learn about the different food groups. From the pizza base, the tomato sauce, then the cheese and which ever toppings you choose, there’s a good learning opportunity to be had figuring out which foods are in which groups. Here’s the NHS Eatwell guide for more information about the different food groups and examples of foods for each one.
Food prep: Make a pizza or some pasta. Pizza could be made easily with a pitta bread base or even a ready made pizza base. The BBC website has lots of pizza and pasta recipes to choose from.
Arts & Craft with pasta! Lion faced Spaghetti (see our attempt below), pasta necklaces (just thread onto a piece of string – great for fine motor skills) or pasta flowers (paint/draw the stems and the centre of the flower and then use pasta for the petals).
Tuff Tray – coloured spaghetti! A great sensory activity for the younger ones. Put it in a tuff tray (or on a plastic tray / large waterproof tablecloth) for hours of fun. Add some plastic kitchen toys to add to the experience. To make the coloured spaghetti, cook it as normal. Then drain and rinse. Divide up and put into ideally ziplock bags (or food bags / bowls if not available) Use some food colouring and a bit of water and mix it well until all the pasta is coated. Rinse off the excess dye (or it will get everywhere!) before allowing children to play.
Make a plasticine or playdoh pizza.
Design & decorate a pizza box. What will your pizza shop be called? What will the logo be like?
Pizza Fractions! Oh yes, there’s no escaping maths. You could do some graphs/bar charts with a vote of people favourite pizza toppings. Or draw some pizza circles and colour in different fractions of the pizza circles. Twinkl has some fraction worksheets, but you could easily make these yourself by drawing & diving circles.
Cutting & Sticking skills. Draw a pizza base and colour it in (or just a paper plate). Then draw a sheet of toppings and cut them out, arrange them onto the pizza and stick them on. We used a paper plate, yellow tissue paper and crayons on plain paper. See our attempt below.
My Little Kitchen – A free BBC online game for younger ones allowing them to practice basic kitchen skills such as hopping, grating and even pizza decorating. Get cooking HERE.
Watch: Ratatoulie – a Disney film to inspire budding little chefs or Cloudy with a chance of meatballs.
Paper plate pizza
Save an empty milk bottle cartoon and have a go at making an Elephant milk bottle craft. Use either tissue paper, or coloured paper and get sticking! Stick on or draw some eyes once its all dried out.
The San Diago zoo have instructions for a Handy Elephant craft to create on their WEBSITE.
Hide the animals (we used pre agreed figures talking about the different habitats where they may live whilst we choose the “team” to be hidden) around the home/garden and they have to hunt them down and either tick them on the answer sheet or older ones can write the letter and number down. Tip: Don’t make it too easy if you want to enjoy that whole cup of tea in peace…
Elephant Maths!! Elephant addition and subtraction colouring in sheets can be accessed on Twinkl.
Elephants never forget – play a memory game such as Kim’s game. Get a tray and put on it about 20 small, random objects. Let the players examine the items for a minute, then cover them up and have everyone write down as many items as they can remember. For younger children, maybe just remove an item and have them look at the tray again and see if they can recall the missing item.
Write an acrostic poem all about Elephants. Get those adjectives out! Write it out neatly and decorate the page with elephants pictures.
Junk modelling – Raid the recycling box and make a spaceship, rocket or telescope. Toilet rolls and juice bottles make great rockets!
Design your own planet – Draw a picture and write about your new planet. What will it look like? How will it be different from Earth? Who will live there? What will the weather be like? Let imaginations run wild! Chocolate waterfalls and candyfloss clouds, anything is possible!
Play Space bingo! Design your own bingo playing cards or use some ready made ones from Twinkl HERE
Make a space suit for Barbie / Action Man / Dolly / Teddy (basically who ever is willing!) You could use tinfoil or any spare loo roll (Ha, I know…). Read some NASA facts about spacesuits and spacewalking whilst you make.
Maddie Moate from CBeebies has made some great videos in her recent Space week. Activities include making astronaut food and a fruit salad solar system. Click HERE to watch.
Learn about the phases of the moon whilst eating Oreos (win win!). Separate the Oreos and remove the appropriate amount of filling to re create the different phases of the moon. Learn more about the phases on the moon with National Geographic Kids.
Learn the order of the planets from the sun. My Very Easy Method Just Speeds Up Naming Planets (or come up with another little saying to help you remember the order of the planets). Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto (arguably a dwarf planet now).
Make a planet, or keep the kids really busy and make the solar system! Planets can be made out of plasticine/play doh, paper mache balloons, Christmas baubles, small balloons, foil balls covered in paper, polystyrene balls or a mobile using cardboard circles.
There’s lots of space themed Cosmic Yoga videos to try if you need some wind down time. Click HERE These includes Star Wars themed, Mike & the Muttnik and Space stories.
Hubble Space Telescope. Find out what view the telescope had on your last birthday, why not check for the whole family. Click HERE.
The National Railway Museum have some great STEM learning resources on their website, including Rugged Rovers A game from the Science Museum that allows you to design and test your own all-terrain space rover(designed for KS 2 & 3).
Make and launch straw rockets! See our attempt below. Make a rocket on a piece of card, then stick a piece of paper to the back that a straw can fit underneath. Blow to launch!
Visit the NASA website for LIVE views on earth from the International Space Station ISS camera.
Read: Whatever Next!
Watch: Wall.E, Space Chimps, Space Buddies or Star Wars.
Straw powered Space Rocket
Junk model space rocket
Use the internet to find out more about Mexico: – Where is it on a map? – What language do people speak in Mexico? (Learn some simple Mexican words) – What is the capital city? – What currency do they use? (You could do some currency conversion maths)
Draw the Mexican Flag (or print off a version to colour in HERE)
Mexican Foodworksearch – You could then talk about the different meals and ingredients you would need to make them and then maybe make one for tea? There’s some yummy BBC Mexican Food recipes to choose from.
Make and decorate a day of the dead mask. You till find lots of examples online or Twinkl have a template to colour in.
Write a postcard from a trip to Mexico.
Make a cactus picture with the mini mumblers handprint, a nice isolation memory to keep! See our attempt below.
Design and make a Sombrero hat. This could be done with a paper plate and a plastic cup/bowl although you can be creative with what you have. Make them as colourful as possible. See our attempt below.
Learn some simple Spanish with Duolingo (a free language learning tool / app)
Listen to some traditional Mexican Music on YouTube turn it into your daily exercise with a bit of dancing!!
Watch: Disney’s Coco for a great insight into Mexican music and the history of the day of the dead.
Day of the Dead Mask
Hand / finger print catcus
Sombrero! We made ours with a paper plate & little bowl