Category Archives: English

Colours of the Rainbow: English, French, Spanish and Italian

I’ve only got time for a very quick post tonight, but I wanted to share another lovely twinkl resource we’ve been using – a set of four rainbow pictures with the stripes labelled in English, French, Spanish and Italian.  The English one was just right for Rabbit, and she enjoyed colouring in the rainbow and copying the colour words.  Monkey chose to do the French one – he and Owl have both been learning French at home for some time, and have recently started lessons at one of the local home education groups, so this was good practice for him.  Owl did both the Spanish and Italian ones, and he found it interesting to compare the words in the two languages which are similar.

rainbow words

I think we might print off some more copies of the French one to decorate the boys’ French folders, and also this word mat which includes some more colours.

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Compound Word Game

We have a bit of a thing about compound words in our family.  It started with Monkey, who decided he liked them a couple of years ago, and got in the habit of noticing them and commenting on them in everything he read.  At that time we made a compound word card game and played it quite a lot for a while.  Rabbit is now showing an interest in compound words too, so when I saw this version on twinkl I was very keen to try it.

compound word game

I asked Owl and Monkey if they would like to make the game for Rabbit and Tiddler, and they cut out the cards with only a very little help from me.  Then we laminated them all and I cut them out again.  After that Monkey matched up all the pairs to check that they were all there before giving them to the little ones.

compound word cards

We have devised our own rules for playing the game.  We mix all the cards up and share them out between the players.  Then the first person chooses one of the cards with a plus sign on and places it in the middle (for example sun + flower.)  The next player looks for the matching card (sunflower) and if they have it they can keep that pair, and if not they add another card to the middle.  We take turns until all the cards have been paired up, and then see who has the most pairs.  Or sometimes we don’t get as far as counting.  When we were playing today, Tiddler said to Rabbit “I won last time, so you can win today, then Mummy can win next time!”  However, when we finished he declared “I won” without counting and then mixed all the cards up.  Luckliy Rabbit wasn’t too bothered!

compound word game 2

We have really enjoyed making and playing our compound word game.  It’s a lovely indoor activity for rainy days, and perfect for just before bedtime as you can see from the photos above.  We have also managed to get out of the house for an Autumn leaf hunt yesterday (using a twinkl checklist) and for a little bit of Leaf Art today – it’s late now and I’m tired so that will have to be another blog post for another day!

We were given a free subscription to twinkl premium for the purpose of reviewing this and other resources.

CVC Word Activity Sheets

Rabbit is making very rapid progress with her reading and writing at the moment, as she is suddenly much more interested.  I’m glad I held my nerve and didn’t put any pressure on, even though she is grasping it about a year later than the boys did.  It is lovely to watch her getting excited about it – learning at your own pace is so much more fun!

cvc word activity 1

I printed off some CVC word activity sheets from twinkl, knowing that they would be very easy for her.  I wanted to try out this type of activity with her, without it being too challenging, and it was perfect.  She did all the sheets in one day and really enjoyed them, so we’ll be back to look for more tricky ones soon.

cvc word activity

cvc word activity 2

We’ve also been making and playing a compound word game using more lovely twinkl resources – blog post to follow when I manage to take some pictures of the children playing it!

We were given a free subscription to twinkl premium for the purpose of reviewing this and other resources.

Gruffalo Story Sack

We have made story sacks before, but not for a long time and I’ve been meaning to do some more, so I was really pleased when I found this excellent resource pack while browsing on twinkl.  We love the Gruffalo, and have read it hundreds of times over the years.  It has stood the test of time, as it still appeals to all the children now, so I knew it would be a good one to get them all involved in.  Since Monkey has decided that Friday should be book day, we have set aside time on the last couple of Friday afternoons to make and play with our Gruffalo story sack.

Gruffalo 5

One day I might get round to making a beautiful drawstring bag for our story sack, but for now we are using a pillowcase!  I do, however, have a nice little bag for some of the smaller pieces – I can’t claim the credit as it was made by a friend and given to us years ago when Owl was very small.

Gruffalo 1

In our story sack, we have two copies of The Gruffalo, a board book and a much-loved, dog-eared paperback.  We also have a copy of The Gruffalo’s Child.  I have added some non-fiction books about owls and mice.  I thought we had one about snakes but I can’t find it, so maybe I was too ruthless in my clear-out in the summer holidays – on the other hand, it might turn up.  We have a lot of books in this house which is wonderful, but it can make it hard to find the one you want sometimes!

We also have some conkers in the picture, which is a bit random but they were on the table at the time and we thought they were quite appropriate for a woodland story and fun to play with.  We might keep a few in our story sack, and maybe add some acorns and nuts.

We have cut out and laminated the word mat and describing words, story scenes and characters, and also the animal masks, though we haven’t added elastic yet.  Owl made and laminated the names of the characters, and gave them to Rabbit and Monkey to match with the animals.

Gruffalo 2

Owl and Monkey played with the story scenes, and Monkey made a tree to add to one of them.  It’s a really lovely way of retelling and talking about the story, and I need to do it with Tiddler as well when he is in the mood, as he loves telling stories!

Gruffalo 3

The big three children then drew pictures and labelled them using the word mat.  This was obviously easy for the boys, but Rabbit really made use of it, working out how to write “owl ice-cream” and “mouse on bread” without any help, so it was perfect for her.

Gruffalo 4

We had also printed out the colouring pages, and the big three did one each.  Tiddler coloured in two (the mouse and the snake) and I was really pleased with his concentration and effort – he took it very seriously, especially the mouse’s tail for some reason!

We have really enjoyed making our story sack, and it has sparked off lots of creative ideas so I’m sure we’ll be adding to it.  Monkey made a brilliant model of a tree which somehow didn’t make it to the photos, so we might continue that and make some 3D story scenes.  It has also reminded Monkey that he really really wants a Gruffalo cuddly toy for Christmas.  He’s asked for one several times before, and now that we have made our story sack I think we might be getting one!

We were given a free subscription to twinkl premium for the purpose of reviewing this and other resources.

Lovely educational stuff!

Today we have rediscovered these lovely Usborne activity cards.  I think Monkey has done some of the word puzzles on his own recently, but it is the first time in a while that we have done them together.  Owl and I did three of the Maths puzzles together (learning about co-ordinates, identifying even numbers up to 3 digits, and understanding probability.)  Then Monkey and I did two word puzzles ( a castle word search, and matching pairs of words with opposite meanings) and one space-themed Maths puzzle which involved addition and subtraction.

There is a great variety of themes and topics, and they range from fairly easy to very challenging.  Sometimes we have used them to reinforce particular topics, but it’s also fun to choose some at random as we did today.  Usborne has lots of similar sets, including Grammar and Punctuation cards which we didn’t get to today, but the boys were both keen to do some of them as well, so maybe we’ll fit that in tomorrow.  Anything that makes them excited about Grammar and Punctuation is good for me!