Tag Archives: twinkl

Autumn with Twinkl

We’ve been making good use of our subscription to the fabulous Twinkl website recently, and I’ve been meaning to write about it for a while.  Our display board in the hall is covered at the moment with (mostly) Autumn themed pieces of work and pictures, as the children have been so busy.  We are getting through quite a lot of printer ink as the little ones in particular keep asking for more.

twinkl autumn

It started when I decided to look for some resources for Rabbit and Tiddler to practise their number bonds to ten.  Twinkl was the first place we looked, and we found this lovely Rainbow to Ten Display Poster.  I printed a colour poster for their bedroom, and then two blank ones for them to colour and complete, which they both enjoyed.  They also had fun matching these Number Bonds to 10 on Pumpkins, and Rabbit now points out “pumpkin pairs” whenever she comes across them so it seems to have worked!  There are lots of other matching activities on different themes – we might try the snowmen ones next.

All four children enjoyed colouring the Rangoli patterns for Diwali, and Tiddler in particular kept asking for more, so we printed out lots of Autumn colouring pictures as well.  I’m now starting to browse the Twinkl website for some ideas for Winter and Christmas activities and there are so many to choose from that it’s hard to know where with start, but these Winter Maths Challenge Cards might have to be first.

Lego Maths with Twinkl

Maths that involves Lego is always popular in our house, so I was very pleased to see these Lego Addition worksheets available on Twinkl.  I printed out a selection of them, and though I was mainly aiming the activity at the younger children I guessed that the big boys would want a go too.

lego maths 1

Rabbit worked through two sheets very quickly and easily, so even for her I will need to devise a harder version.  The big boys did a sheet each for fun, and I have suggested they might like to make some more up, so perhaps they can do some for Rabbit.  I wasn’t sure if Tiddler would want to do it, but in fact he was very keen and it was perfect for him.  He was very happy sitting on my knee, matching real Lego bricks with the ones on the sheets and carefully counting the bumps.  I was very impressed by his counting, as he did them all with only one or two mistakes.  I had to help him with the writing – he is very confident writing one and zero, so he loved it when the answer was 10!  I wrote the other numbers for him and he traced over them.

lego maths 2

I had also printed off some multiplication worksheets for the big boys, as we have been working on times tables recently, and they did those as well.

lego maths 3

It was a very successful afternoon, with all four children working happily alongside each other.  Even though I was feeling really unwell at the time, I had one of those moments when I felt like I was looking from outside and realising how lucky I am.  People often ask me how I manage with so little time for myself, and it can certainly be hard to get anything (other than education) done.  But really I know it’s the best way for us.  I wouldn’t miss this for the world.

Number Playdough Mats

We used these lovely number playdough mats from twinkl ages ago, and I have been meaning to write about them ever since.  Playdough is always popular with our children, and using mats is a very simple way to give the activity a different focus from time to time.

number playdough mats 1

We took our playdough with us when we went to stay at my mum’s house, and Rabbit and Tiddler had a lovely afternoon playing with it.  They both enjoyed making the numbers and copying the pictures on the mats.

number playdough mats 2

Rabbit made a couple of her own creations at the end too!

I’ve just been browsing on twinkl and there are lots more playdough mats to choose from.  I think we’ll be trying out these Christmas ones next.

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

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.

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



Autumn Leaf Hunt

We have been staying at my mum’s house for a few days, and I was looking forward to the opportunity to go out for a walk or two, so on Sunday afternoon we went up to the village green, ignoring the prospect of rain.  We took our Autumn Leaf Hunt Checklists with us.  The printed list was perfect for Tiddler, but a bit easy for the others so they made their own additional lists before we set off.

Leaf Hunt 1

When we got up to the green, the children spent some time playing on the roundabout before starting their leaf hunt.

leaf hunt 2

When we started looking, we found plenty of acorns very quickly, and then some conkers, and lots and lots of leaves of all different colours – beautiful but rather wet.

leaf hunt 3

Rabbit was very pleased to find a feather as well.  Tiddler just enjoyed showing me the leaves one after another which kept him busy for quite a long time.

leaf hunt 4

All the children completed their checklists.  As you can see, Monkey was particularly proud!  By this time, it was raining but we didn’t want to turn back just yet, as we really hadn’t been very far.  So we continued for a little way, in the direction of the woods.

haw berries

We found some haw berries by the roadside which Owl helped me to pick.  (Daddy later made some delicious haw sauce, which we ate with roast chicken that evening.  it was gone so quickly I didn’t get a photograph!)  Then we walked up to the edge of the woods, but had to turn back as the children were in their trainers and it was too muddy (we had left the house in rather a hurry to try and beat the rain!)

leaf hunt 5

On the way back across the green, we saw lots of mushrooms, which Rabbit and I decided must be a fairy garden or a fairy village.  And as we walked back along the road, we stopped to look at the cows in the field half way along.leaf hunt 6

Just before we arrived back at the house, we stopped one last time to pick some elderberries.  Despite the rain, it was a very enjoyable walk, though rather a short one.

elderberry syrup

On Monday afternoon, after a morning in the house the children were needing to get outside for some fresh air again.  This time we didn’t get any further than the garden, but we managed a bit of leaf art (Rabbit did the face, and Owl the rocket), Tiddler rode his bike and all the children played with a frisbee which kept them outside in the rain for quite a while!  In the meantime, I made elderberry syrup with the berries we had collected the day before.  I had enough to make one jar, which Owl and I are working our way through, and I don’t think it will last very long.  We are just getting into our stride with collecting and producing it – I hope next year we will start earlier, and be able to make enough to give some away too.

I’m linking this post up with a new linky I have just discovered, Entertaining and Educational, which asks “What have you and your kids been learning about?”  I like the emphasis on learning together.  I may have been a little over-excited about foraging recently, but I hope the children will see that learning is not something that happens at certain hours, during term-time, or only while you are a child.  I hope they will grow up knowing that learning is just something you do all the time, and it’s a lot of fun.


Highhill Homeschool

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.

Maths with Lego Education and Twinkl

For this month’s education carnival, Jax has asked for posts about favourite educational resources.   That is such a huge topic that it’s hard to narrow it down.  There are so many resources that I love and use regularly.  Online, there is Twinkl for printable activities, Reading Eggs and other interactive learning programmes, and some great free sites such as Maths is Fun, BBC Bitesize and NASA kids to name but a random few.  Then there are books – fiction and non-fiction.  We have thousands of them, and I wouldn’t know where to start in picking our favourites.  Even if I could, that would definitely be a blog post of its own – or several.  We also have some good text books (Galore Park) that we use as a focal point for certain subjects, and a variety of workbooks which can be useful, though I wouldn’t recommend getting too hung up on them.  There is also a whole world of resources outside the home – museums, parks, National Trust properties, castles, beaches, woods, farms, libraries, sports clubs, home education groups and in our local area an ecology centre and lavender fields.

So I thought about all that for a while, then I started thinking about the subject-specific learning resources we have at home.  Our house is overflowing with art and craft materials and kits.  We have Mr Maker-style doodle drawers for paint, brushes, pots, collage materials, recyclable materials for models and so on.  Then we have several large boxes of Hama beads (Maxi and Midi) – we get ours from Craft Merrily.  We have Science kits, magnifying glasses, a microscope, bulbs, wires and buzzers, torches and magnets.  Then there are magnetic letters, letter tiles, flash cards, and games like Banangrams and Scrabble.  Maths is the subject for which we probably have the most specific resources.  We have magnetic numbers, number tiles, number templates, Maths card games and board games, Multilink cubes, base 10 materials, Cuisenaire rods, number fans, fraction magnets, counters, dominoes and dice.  It was really hard to choose what to write about, so I used the random selection method of picking the most recent photographs of educational resources in use – and here they are.

Lego Education

This is a Lego Education set (which we found on eBay) of number tiles, operation tiles and blank tiles and two white base boards.  They are also compatible with our two large Duplo base boards as well, which is very useful with four children.  We have used coloured stickers on the blank tiles so they can be used for matching and sorting activities.

Last week we got the set out for the first time in a while, and I gave it to the children without any instructions just to see what they would come up with.  I really enjoyed seeing the variety of ideas they had.  Owl and Monkey made lots of sums, using the four operations and the less than and more than symbols, then combined some of them to make a number crossword.  Owl then ordered the tiles from 0-9, started at 0 again and repeated the sequence over several times, and then observed the patterns of numbers reading down the columns.  Meanwhile Rabbit made a few sums but spent most of her time using the tiles with the coloured stickers on.  She sorted them by colour and then by number, and then matched the number tiles 1-6 to the corresponding sets.  She also used them to make pictures (a robot made out of a box, and an aeroplane!)

All of that was without any input from me, apart from explaining the less than and more than symbols to Monkey.  The next time we use them, I might add in a few suggestions of my own but I wanted to see what they came up with first.  These are some of my ideas:

  • Print off some Number Digit Cards from twinkl and use them as target numbers for the children to make sums using the letter tiles.
  • Use Duplo bricks and build towers, then place the number tile on top, or next to it, corresponding to how many bricks have been used.
  • Also with Duplo bricks, make towers of two colours (e.g. three red and seven green) and then use the tiles to write the sum (3+7=10) to practise number bonds.
  • Give the children a selection of number tiles to order, then follow up with a Number Ordering activity from twinkl.
  • Sort small objects (Hama beads, Lego bricks, Multilink Cubes, counters) into sets to match each number.
  • Use the tiles (and possibly bricks as well) to make bar charts.
  • Leave the boards lying around with some sums on and see who chooses to answer them!

Any more ideas welcome 🙂

Settling in to a new term – with a little help from twinkl

It’s taking us a while to get back into term-time mode this September.  We spent the first week on holiday in Wales, and this week we have been staying at my mum’s house.  The children have been gently getting back into a bit of a routine and doing a little more written work than they have over the summer.   I have been starting to think and plan a bit about what we might do this term.  I don’t do written plans, because it makes me too focussed on ticking things off when I should be going with the flow and following the children’s ideas.  (That is basically my problem with the National Curriculum in a nutshell!)  However, I do like to look ahead and come up with a few ideas for the term which I can fit round whatever else my very creative children come up with.

I have been browsing on the lovely twinkl website again, and getting excited about their excellent range of resources, so I thought I would share some of my favourites here.

  1. Gruffalo Story Sack Resource Pack
  2. CVC Word Activity Sheet Pack
  3. Compound Word Matching Game
  4. Toy Shop Bingo
  5. Number Playdough Mats
  6. Colours of the Rainbow English French Spanish and Italian
  7. Leaf Hunt Checklist
  8. Book Review Worksheet
  9. Invention design sheets
  10. World War Two Letter Writing Challenge Cards

We have been given a free twinkl premium subscription in order to review the resources, so I’ll let you know how we get on!