It’s fairy week on NurtureStore! We celebrated my daughter’s seventh birthday last weekend with a fairy party, with lots of fairy-themed food, crafts and play. I have some lovely, simple-to-do, full-of-play ideas to share with you this week, starting with today’s idea: how to make a fairy!
Fairy land fairy houses :: Waldorf Steiner play [Read more…]
Remember the indoor meadow we grew as one of our Earth Day activities? This week it has become the indoor / outdoor stage for a theatre production using shadow puppets.
Home made puppets are some of the most played with toys in our house, lending themselves time and time again to all sorts of adventures. The children play with puppets so often I think because it lets them be the master of a small universe and really stretch their imaginations as they tell their tales. Puppets are also a wonderful way for children to work out real-life relationships and develop their language – and so much fun to make! Here’s how the girls made their shadow puppets this week, with links to some of the other puppet ideas in our archives.
How to make shadow puppets [Read more…]
Are you going to celebrate World Book Day with your children on 1st March? It’s a worldwide celebration of children’s books and reading and marked in over 100 countries around the globe.
Books are such a fun springboard in to all sorts of activities, crafts and play. Here are our favourite World Book Day ideas for you to try.
21 World Book Day Ideas for fun with your kids [Read more…]
Welcome to the carnival of Reading and Book Play
L’s been taking literacy outside this week and reading stories to our sunflower (which had decided to grow along and up)
How do you share books and reading with your children? Swap an idea with us. All playful activities related to books, reading and story telling – old posts or new ones – are welcome!
1. Link up a post to share an idea with us.
2. Add a text link back to the Play Academy from your post.
3. Spread the word about the carnival and invite others to come and join in.
Following on from yesterday’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar craft ideas for caterpillars, today we have a selection of butterfly crafts. The designs are all very simple again, making them easy for very young children to try.
Working with the idea of butterflies gives the opportunity to talk about symmetry and with older children you might want to encourage them to focus on creating matching patterns, as part of a more mathematical activity. With young children though I think the main purpose behind these crafts is to invite them to enjoy the colours and see what patterns they can make – so I would never give strict directions about making sure both sides match. [Read more…]
These are the best children’s books ever – well according to the NurtureStore panel of book critics. Today is World Book Day and to honour the occasion I thought I’d share with you our very favourite books – and see if you agree with our picks. It’s so hard to put together a definitive list of course but these are the books which hold a very special place in our heart.
Dogger by Shirley Hughes is a tale of love, loss and how to be a fabulous big sister. It tells us what happened when Dave lost his favourite toy dog and how big sister Bella saved the day. This book made me cry when I first read it to B, when I was pregnant with L and B was just about to turn into a big sister herself! We haven’t come across a Shirley Hughes book we don’t love and this features her amazing illustrations, depicting a family and school life which is so familiar.
I’m sure you all know Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and it’s in our top picks because it’s the book we especially love to read out loud as it gives plenty of opportunity for great character voices as well as dramatic resonance.
Can You Catch a Mermaid by Jane Ray is a moving tale of a lonely little girl and a very hard decision she has to make. It’s all about friendship and features Jane Ray’s beautiful illustrations. B has a real love of mermaids so this is her top pick and I like it because it can be read on different levels: it has a happy ending and also leaves you thinking about unanswered questions long after you’ve finished reading.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is the first book I ever read to both B and L and so has a very special status in our family. It’s a real classic and a fabulous springboard into learning about caterpillars and butterflies, numbers, days of the week and so much more. I’ve used this book in so many different ways with the children I work with and it just had to be in this selection.
I loved the My Naughty Little Sister series by Dorothy Edwards when I was little and I think it’s a real joy to share a childhood favourite with your own children. Some of the things my naughty little sister gets up to make B gasp, andw e also love the book because some of the stories remind us quite a lot of a little sister we know.
B is now at the stage where she can read chapter books independently and she’s delighting in discovering lots of new-to-her authors. Roald Dahl is a master story teller but I’d forgotten just how well crafted his books are. Fantastic Mr.Fox is the first of his books which B came across and I often find her fast asleep at night, clutching this book in her hand.
So this is our pick of the best children’s books ever. What’s would be on your list?
More World Book Day ideas.