NurtureStore http://nurturestore.co.uk kids activities, art and craft, play dough recipes and more Fri, 22 Aug 2014 18:38:51 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.9.2 Blast off! space game http://nurturestore.co.uk/blast-off-space-game?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=blast-off-space-game http://nurturestore.co.uk/blast-off-space-game#comments Fri, 22 Aug 2014 18:19:12 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=12271 This space game is fun to play and gives you lots of scope to work on counting, subtracting, multiplication, number patterns, lively actions and space facts.

It’s versatile and can be adapted for children of different ages – and it’s really easy to make. Here’s how to make and play Blast Off! together with a great . . . → Read More: Blast off! space game

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This space game is fun to play and gives you lots of scope to work on counting, subtracting, multiplication, number patterns, lively actions and space facts.

It’s versatile and can be adapted for children of different ages – and it’s really easy to make. Here’s how to make and play Blast Off! together with a great selection of other space games and activities you can use to explore all about space.

Make a DIY Blast off! space game

Getting all the children to join in making the board game and drawing their own rocket counters encourages them to feel the game belongs to them – much more fun and less like a lesson!

Start by making your games board. We used four pieces of card fastened together with sticky tape but a roll of paper would work just as well. We drew Earth at the bottom of the board, another planet up at the top, and then made a zooming space pathway that connected the two.

We’re using our game to practise lots of number skills, so each space our pathway is numbered (we’re using 1 – 50 to begin with).

All the odd numbers are purple and all the even numbers are green. Numbers in the five times table have star stamps on them. This gives us some visual prompts to spot number patterns as we play.

We drew on a number of smaller planets and moons to zoom past, which are also where we place our Rocket Booster questions (see below).

Each player needs a rocket counter. You can make simple flat ones, or make two same-sized rockets, slit them top and bottom and cross them together to make a 3-D stand-up rocket. (see the pictures)

How to play the Blast off! space game

This board games gives lots of flexibility to practise the learning skills that are right for your individual children. You can make things more complex as your children develop their skills, and it’s possible for a group of children, at different ages and stages, to play together – so great for a family, home school or classroom.

The aim of the game is to blast off from Earth and fly all the way along the space pathway to reach the other planet.

All the rockets start on planet Earth. In turn, everyone rolls a die (or spins a spinner, or picks up a number card). These number cards let you move along the space path way to reach the outer planet.

Very young children can simply count along the number of spaces they get on their throw of the die. (The games board on it’s own works really well as a number line and you can jump your rocket along to count in two, fives, tens, all the way to 50, all the way back down again.)

Or you can work on addition – counting on (in your head or on your fingers) by the number you roll, and so adding it on to the number you started from. Then, moving your rocket along the space pathway lets you double check you got your sum right.

You can add in some Rocket Booster cards to the game too. Make a set of cards with instructions or questions on. If you land on a multiple of five you have to pick a Rocket Booster card from one the piles (which sit on the planets and moons) and follow the instruction or answer the question. If you get it right you can boost yourself two extra spaces along the pathway.

Ideas for Rocket Booster cards:

action ideas: pull an alien face, blast off like a rocket, dance like an alien…

number questions: If you share 20 spacerock cakes between four aliens, how many does each alien get?…

space facts: As part of a space theme the children can make their own space fact questions to add to the game. How many moons does Mars have? What is the biggest planet in our solar system? Who was the first man on the moon?…

The first person to the outer planet can be the winner – but you can also bring in lots of subtraction practise if you go backwards back to earth!50+ space theme activities for kids

Browse all the fun ideas for space games, activities and crafts.



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5 reasons speech bubbles are great for learning to read and write http://nurturestore.co.uk/learning-to-read-and-write?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=learning-to-read-and-write http://nurturestore.co.uk/learning-to-read-and-write#comments Wed, 20 Aug 2014 10:19:24 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=12643 We’ve hit on a winning combination this week and discovered a super fun way to encourage lots of reading and writing. Here’s how we’re using speech bubbles to bring giggles to learning to read and write.

 

5 reasons speech bubbles are great for learning to read and write

. . . → Read More: 5 reasons speech bubbles are great for learning to read and write

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We’ve hit on a winning combination this week and discovered a super fun way to encourage lots of reading and writing. Here’s how we’re using speech bubbles to bring giggles to learning to read and write.

 

5 reasons speech bubbles are great for learning to read and write

Using a free package like picmonkey, it’s really easy to add speech bubbles to some of your favourite family photos. Having your children feature in the photos puts them right at the centre of the writing activity. I added some bubbles to a dozen of our photos, saved them in a Word document and then printed off a copy for each of the kids.

For beginners, reluctant writers or kids who just prefer to be on the go, speech bubbles are great. They only need a quick sentence to tell a whole story, encouraging some writing practise without overwhelming or switching off your child.

They might be super quick to complete but a single sentence still lets you incorporate so many reading and writing skills. Capital letters, finger spaces, spellings, handwriting, punctuation, sentence structure -they’re all there in one little speech bubble.

They’re creative too. There’s no limit to what that fairy queen might be wishing! Speech bubbles invite children to put themselves in someone else’s shoes and put words right in their mouth.

Learning to read and write should be fun! My girls loved this speech bubble idea and were in fits of giggles, sharing their quotes with each other.

More ideas for learning to read and write

Add some more playful fun to learning to read and write…

:: make some word birds

:: set up a pretend play post office

:: make a zig zag book

:: write your own comic

Download your free Rainbow Journal

Head over to our shop and you can download a free Rainbow Journal, which has fun, colourful prompts for even more writing and drawing.

rainbow journal printable 1

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New look NurtureStore :: Play Planner http://nurturestore.co.uk/new-look-nurturestore-play-planner?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=new-look-nurturestore-play-planner http://nurturestore.co.uk/new-look-nurturestore-play-planner#comments Sat, 16 Aug 2014 07:35:15 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=20966

NurtureStore has a new look!

If you’re reading this by email click though and take a look at the new-look site. Hope you like it!

Michelle from Mollymoo Crafts has helped make it look all new and fancy. And I’ve been busy behind the scenes, organising the archive . . . → Read More: New look NurtureStore :: Play Planner

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A free weekly play planner delivered straight to your email in box each week, with seven play-based learning ideas for the week ahead.

NurtureStore has a new look!

If you’re reading this by email click though and take a look at the new-look site. Hope you like it!

Michelle from Mollymoo Crafts has helped make it look all new and fancy. And I’ve been busy behind the scenes, organising the archive of over 1000 activity ideas to make it easier for you to find what you’re looking for.

Did you know you can…?

1. Use the menu bar across the top to search by topic or theme

2. Use the buttons at the bottom of the screen to find ideas for each age group

3. Use our about page to see our key activities for math, literacy and language, art, sensory play and our simple play series.

4. You can also find our ebooks and freebies in the shop.

Here’s this week’s Play Planner

Monday’s child is

enjoying sensory play

100 sensory play activities for babies, toddlers, preschool and school

Tuesday’s child is

making newspaper art

Great, simple, kids art project using newspaper

Wednesday’s child is

playing muffin tin math games

math games

Thursday’s child is

spelling with playdough (see the idea at No Time for Flash Cards)

c1bad114ec39d2a451545af258d1e1f1 (1)

Friday’s child is

making a fairy

A lovely way to make a beautiful fairy. So simple, kids can make their own designs.

Saturday’s child is

planning a back-to-school lunch feast! (see all the ideas at BabyCentre)

kids school lunch ideas snacks bento

Sunday’s child is

learning about the weather

weather activities science for kids

The Half Price Sale is still on for all our art ebooks.

Visit the shop to grab a bargain! 

shop image

 

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Muffin tin maths http://nurturestore.co.uk/muffin-tin-maths?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=muffin-tin-maths http://nurturestore.co.uk/muffin-tin-maths#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 12:50:32 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=1218 Here’s an idea from our archive that’s all about making math fun. With a little help from chocolate chips this muffin math game is a great way for young children to practise counting.

Muffin tin math fun

‘I’ll do it all by myself’ is being said many times . . . → Read More: Muffin tin maths

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Here’s an idea from our archive that’s all about making math fun. With a little help from chocolate chips this muffin math game is a great way for young children to practise counting.

math games

Muffin tin math fun

‘I’ll do it all by myself’ is being said many times a day by L at the moment. She’s also really enjoying counting, so we combined her two passions, with a dash of chocolate chips, in this fun counting game.

math

 

We started off by writing numbers on small pieces of paper. No chance of me writing any though, as ‘I’ll do it all by myself’ said L. She wrote numbers from 1 – 5 and also a couple of zeros (which she regretted later!) It’s great to see how she’s absorbed these numbers from ideas such as our number line so she can now write them by herself.

math games

Then we put one piece of paper in each hole of a muffin tin and I gave her a pot of raisins and some chocolate chips.

counting games

Then I asked her if she’d like to play a counting game. ‘You tell me what to do mummy and then I’ll do it by myself’. I asked her to count out the right number of raisins/choc chips to match the number in each muffin hole. (So she has to recognise the written number and match the right number of real objects to the written digit).

math

And the prize at the end of the game for getting all the counting right – eating the raisins and chocolate chips of course. Which she did all by herself too!

math games counting

More ideas for math fun

We have a whole archive of math ideas that are packed with learning and full of fun.

Take a look at how we:

learn times tables with stamping math games

or graph with pancakes

or eat fractions 

or browse the full math games archive.

activities for babies and toddlers 500

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Newspaper art from yesterday’s news http://nurturestore.co.uk/newspaper-art?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=newspaper-art http://nurturestore.co.uk/newspaper-art#comments Tue, 12 Aug 2014 12:59:51 +0000 http://nurturestore.co.uk/?p=10630 Sometimes the best art comes from very simple materials – especially when you go big and bold!

Newspaper art

We are trying out different places to create art. Instead of so often starting out with a small piece of white paper we’re trying out different surfaces. Last week we used a big, flat cardboard box . . . → Read More: Newspaper art from yesterday’s news

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Sometimes the best art comes from very simple materials – especially when you go big and bold!Great, simple, kids art project using newspaper


Newspaper art

We are trying out different places to create art. Instead of so often starting out with a small piece of white paper we’re trying out different surfaces. Last week we used a big, flat cardboard box to make an imaginary land. This time we’re using newspaper and turning yesterday’s news into today’s art.kids art project with newspaper

We always like a bit of recycling and up-cycling and old newspapers are a good material for this. A broadsheet size gives a generous space to create some art but we decided to go even bigger and cover the whole kitchen table in a layer of newspaper. Our after school routine always begins around the kitchen table, with a drink and a snack and a chat. Today we didn’t need to move from there but instead started some art doodles right on the tablecloth.

kids art with oil pastels
You could use pretty much anything you like to make make your design on the newspaper but the girls’ favourite right now is oil pastels, so that’s what we used. They give a good bold design over the newsprint and let you try out contrasts as you draw and blend colours together.
big art project for kids
And look at all the patterns you can create. Having a great big canvass made from an inexpensive material such as old newspaper invites expansive, bold drawing. No need to hold back and take care with resources – you can go for it and cover the whole surface any way you like.

recycled art project for kids

We also like to play Follow the Leader, where one person starts a design and another has to try and copy over the top in a different colour. It’s a good exercise in hand-eye co-ordination and you can use it to model letter shapes with very young children and, even better, it’s lots of fun. My 5-year-old likes to make her pattern as intricate and super fast as she possible can!
table cloth art project
I think this newspaper art would make a great party activity, with all the guests contributing some designs while they wait for their party tea. You could cover over the top with a clear plastic table cloth and have a feast for the eyes as well as the stomach.

Complete art lesson plans, exploring great artists

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