Learning Something New – Week 2

So for our week two learning we travelled around the world finding out about different countries and we ate dinner from around the world too. Monday we had Mexican, Tuesday we travelled to Spain, Wednesday we had pizza from Italy, Thursday was Indian and on Friday we had good old British ‘Fish and Chips’! Whilst looking at the different countries we looked at the flags, maps, currencies and languages plus the cuisine (which included looking at lots of different ingredients).


Learning Something New – Week 1

So what have we learnt on week one of the summer holidays?

The first thing I have learnt is that posting what we’ve done each day each evening isn’t going to happen so what I’ll do is post a round up post at the end of the week and then more details of anything that warrants it over the next week.

So week one…

Monday – We went to the library and joined in with the library summer reading challenge (more details to follow). Did you know – nearly 800,000 children took part last summer?

Tuesday – We learnt how to make lemonade. Did you know – if you heat water and sugar the sugar dissolves?

Wednesday – The Littlesheeps planned what they wanted to do in the holidays and I learnt that we can just about get to the seaside for the day from our house by train. Did you know – you can get from Coventry to Bournmouth without changing train?

Thursday – Middle Littlesheep learnt how to make shortbread (and nearly managed it on his own). Did you know – you only need flour, sugar and butter to make shortbread?

Friday – We went for a walk in a wood and identified some trees and these pretty ‘tiger caterpillars’. Did you know – that the difference between a wood and a forest is to do with the historical hunting rights of the crown?

What have you done and learnt this week?

10 things to do in the snow (inside)

And if you are bored of playing outside in the snow here are ten snow related activities for inside!

  1. Make marshmallow snowmen
  2. Make paper snowflakes
  3. Bring snow indoors and play with it in a washing up bowl to make a mini-snowman
  4. Make snowman using toilet rolls covered with cotton wool
  5. Get a tray of snow and drop different coloured food colouring on it and watch the colours spread and mix
  6. Have an indoor snowball fight using scrunched up paper or balled pairs of socks
  7. Make cakes or biscuits and cover them with sifted icing sugar like a sprinkling of snow
  8. Make a snow globe
  9. Bring snow inside and see how long it takes to defrost
  10. Make ice lollies!


Underground Learning

This week saw the 150th Anniversary of the London Underground and it reminded me of the fun the Littlesheeps have had on the underground and the learning that it can promote:

So here are some of the things we discussed on our trip:

  • colours – all the lines are coloured and even the smallest children can look at the underground map and discuss the colours
  • counting – when entering the train we told them how many stops until we got off and then they counted
  • fine motor tracing – pick up or print out a tube map and get them to trace the different lines with their index finger – this is a great pre-writing activity
  • reading – lots of unfamiliar words are great for practicing phonics and chunking to develop reading skills
  • route planning – problem solving how to get from the starting station to the finishing station (and whether the quickest way is changing more often or going through more stations)

Market Day

Tuesday is Market Day and school holidays are no exception to the need to get fresh produce so that is our first activity of the day but how can this activity be extended. In our blog post on Super Maths for the Supermarket and Super Literacy for the Supermarket we looked at some of the maths and literacy related activities that supermarket shopping could involve and many of these are the same when shopping at the market.

Other activities that could be incorporated into market shopping are:

  • writing a shopping list (or drawing one)
  • reading a shopping list
  • labelling the different fruits and vegetables
  • labelling the colours seen on the stall
  • thinking of recipes to use the ingredients
  • classifying foods into food groups – fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, fish
  • counting in 6’s (eggs!)
As the rest of the day seems quite likely to be raining other ideas to extend the market theme of the day include:
  • playing market traders (shop but with fruit and vegetables and a set of scales!)
  • playing the Shopping List Game (have you seen the Fruit and Veg Extension Pack?)
  • weighing different fruits and vegetables
  • potato / apple printing
  • playing with Mr Potato Head (if you haven’t got one use playdough to make features and attach to a real potato with cocktail sticks)
  • have a blind taste test
  • make a fruit salad

Messy Monday: Mud Pies and Leaf Stew

Do you have fond memories of making mud pies or leaf stews or petal perfumes in the garden as a child?

Today’s Messy Monday activity involves playing in the mud and collecting leaves!

Mud pies

You will need:

  • bucket / baking tray
  • spoon / trowel / stick
  • soil
  • water

What to do:

  • mix soil with water until it forms thick mud
  • fill the bucket / tray with mud
  • push the mud into the container until it is packed solid
  • turn out
  • serve with leaf stew

Leaf Stew

You will need:

  • bucket / container
  • spoon / trowel / stick
  • leaves
  • water

What to do:

  • collect leaves into your container (the more different types the better!)
  • cover with water
  • stir
  • serve with mud pies

The learning bit

Digging in dirt and stirring up mud and leaves helps develop gross and fine motor skills, experimenting with mud and water to create the correct consistency to make good mud pies develops an understanding of materials and getting muddy is a great sensory experience.

The safety bit

Make sure that children do not play with dirt that may have been contaminated by animals. Wash hands afterwards and obviously do not eat the mud pies / leaf stew!

Colour Matching Ideas

Our Silent Sunday picture showed the Littlest Littlesheep with his painting – having been set up a painting station with the paint dabbers and a pile of coloured paper he called me in saying he had finished and proudly showed be his artwork. As you can see from the picture he had matched the paint colours to the paper.

Other colour matching activity ideas:

Draw a rainbow and give your child coloured stickers to match to the stripes.

Go on a colour hunt – either work as a team or give each child a different colour flashcard and see who can collect the most items.

Play colour matching games – some of our favourites are doodlebugs, red dog, blue dog and dotty dinosaurs.

Sort coloured counters into an egg box or ice cube tray