Bring on the autumn! There’s not much better to lift your spirits than jumping through a big pile of crunchy leaves with your kids. While you’re out and about enjoying the new season, collect up some leaves and bring them home to play these seasonal letter and maths games.
At the first sign of a worksheet my 6-year-old starts yawning so I’m always looking for math games to make our learning fun. This monster math game turned out to be a big hit, and is adaptable so you can use it to play with lots of different math concepts. Here’s how to make Math Monsters who love to eat numbers!
Monster math games [Read more…]
When you’re working on math with younger children it’s really important to start with real things – objects they can hold in their hands and use as they play and work with mathematical ideas. They need to have a solid understanding of the concept that a written down ‘1’ actually means one car, or one block, or one bottle top. Using toys and other items as manipulatives is great to help them understand this, and adding in new manipulatives every so often keeps the math games fun and interesting. So today, here’s an idea for a really quick-to-make set of DIY manipulatives, and lots of ideas for how you might use them.
Math games with circles [Read more…]
A thrifty tip for free toys: collect the lids off your milk bottles and jars. Wash them, dry them and give them to your children and see the creative ways they use them. (Make sure you don’t give very small children lids so small they could be a choking hazard.) My girls love them and come up with all sorts of ways to play with them.
1. Be artistic: what pictures can you make?
2. Try some maths: sort the tops into different sizes, working from smallest to largest in a long line.
3. Get classifying & talk about colours: sort the bottle tops into piles of each colour. L is always on the look out for any golden ones!
4. Add in some letters or shapes: Use a permanent marker pen to write letters or shapes onto the lids. Can you spot all the curved letters? Or find all the triangles?
5. Add numbers: and see if you can order the lids in numerical order, or use them to do sums.
6. Role play: Use the lids as money to play shop or as treasure for pirates to find.
Hand them over to you kids and see what they come up with – they always have the best ideas for play.
Growing sunflowers with children? Download our free sunflower activities ebook.
Come and join our Sunflower Club for lots more sunflower fun.
The music on the slideshow is from the Album Frogs Legs by Various Artists Kazoomzoom
QUICK RESOURCE >> Download your ready-made Nativity Unit here
We have updated our Autumn number line today with 10 beautiful Christmas trees. T
he number line hangs in the kitchen window and is proving really useful as it’s always on hand when any of the children have a question about numbers.
We refer to it a lot and I have particularly noticed my 3 year old is now very interested in counting and also on the look out for numbers when we’re out and about.
I’m sure having the number line in a prominent position is helping her.
We made our trees using a great idea from Notimeforflashcards which used a fork dipped in paint to create the needles on the tree. (If you don’t already know this blog you should take a look as it’s full of great ideas.)
We then went sticker crazy to add some decorations. I did think about having 1 bauble on tree number one, 2 on tree number two and so on – but the kids were so enthusiastic with the stickers I just let them go for it.
They were singing carols while they merrily decorated their trees!
We sorted them in size order to give a visual link to the fact that the numbers are increasing – and then pegged them up.
Download your ready-made Nativity Unit
Download the Play Academy’s ready-made Nativity Unit and you’ll have everything you need to lead a set of activities to introduce your children to the Nativity story.
This Unit includes artist-drawn puppets/colour-in nativity scene characters and printable Bible verse cards, that your children can use year after year.
In this Nativity teaching unit your children can:
:: learn about the Nativity and create their own Nativity book or small world scene using colour-in puppet / nativity scene characters
:: learn about Mary and Joseph’s journey, and explore junk modelling
:: learn about the shepherds role, and explore loose parts
:: learn about Jesus’ birth
:: learn about the three wise men, and complete their book / re-tell the story in their small world
Bonus Nativity thematic unit printables
The Play Academy’s thematic units come with practical printables that make the lessons more engaging for your children and easier for you to teach.
No need to go searching for printables to accompany your lessons, they’re all included when you download your chosen unit.
In this Nativity Unit you’ll receive these bonus printables:
:: My Nativity Story book to write, colour and complete to tell the Nativity story
:: a set of artist-drawn My Nativity Puppets to colour, cut out and use to re-cap and act out the Nativity story
:: Nativity Vocabulary Cards to recap and consolidate learning
:: Nativity Bible Verse Cards to read, narrate your own acting out of the story, and perhaps to memorise
How to download this Nativity thematic unit
You can download this unit along with over 50 more from NurtureStore’s Play Academy.
If you are already of the Play Academy, you can download this unit straight away from our Library here.
If you are not yet a member, find out more and choose your first unit here. Your teaching is about to get a whole lot easier!