Stone cairns :: building towers with natural materials

Have you ever tried building stone cairns? If you have children who love building towers they’re a fab activity to try – combining natural materials, loose parts, construction play and just a little added dash of wow-factor!

A fun idea to try: building towers using natural materials. Fun balancing challenge.

Stone cairns :: building towers with natural materials [Read more…]

How to spell: top 10 tricks

how to spell

When I think back to the ways I learnt how to spell as a child, there was no fun or creative play involved. We got  list of ten words every week, we copied them, we copied them, we copied them again, and then we had a test on a Friday to see how well we could remember them. We also had to put our hands up to show the whole class our scores, so if you hadn’t remembered that many it was pretty miserable.

But learning how to spell doesn’t have to be like that. Here are ten ways we learn spellings in our house – with lots of creativity and fun and jumping around involved.

There are lots of different ways that children learn and these  spelling activities cover a range of preferred learning styles: visual/spacial, auditory, kinesthetic… If your child has a very strong learning preference trying out these ideas might help you discover a way that’s just right for them (it’s helped enormously in our house). In any case, all children can benefit from learning through a variety of ways, using all their senses, mixing things up a little so it doesn’t get boring, and maybe even enjoying learning how to spell.

The activities may take a few minutes longer to set up then just grabbing a pencil and paper but we’ve found they are a whole lot more fun – and effective – than just copying out the words.

How to spell: top 10 tricks [Read more…]

Maps and literacy

Great ideas for using maps for reading and writing skills

If you’re out and about this summer grab a map and add some literacy lessons.

1. Giving a map to the children and following your route as you go is a great lesson in geography. Look out for landmarks, talk about left and right and the points of the compass. What words can they spot on the map to match up with what they see on their journey? [Read more…]