We are so sorry that we have had to reduce class sizes due to the national lockdown and understand that this will be a difficult time for everyone. First and foremost, we want everybody to be safe and stay well.
As the children will be spending more time at home, I will be uploading some ideas every Monday for you to do throughout the week with your child at home if you so wish. I would love for our class to still stay connected during this time so please feel free to send any photo’s of your child taking part in these activities to the class email address for us to upload onto our class website page.
Remember to stay safe and enjoy the time together and we hope to see you soon!
Research has shown the importance of play in developing children’s cognitive, emotional, social and physical development. As part of our early years approach, we highly value learning through play and believe that it is how our children learn best.
The Early Years Foundation Stage guidelines state that children learn best when they are playing and exploring, active and independent. With this in mind, we create practical and fun activities to engage the children and extend their learning and have created activities similar to what we would provide in the classroom for you to try at home during this time.
You may like to follow the daily timetable below whilst your child is learning from home. The timetable is very similar to our usual routine at school, however please feel free to move things around to suit you and your child. We understand that everybody is in a different situation and that you must do what is right for you and your family. I have provided a timetable with symbols and one with the same photos that we use at school to support your child whilst they are learning at home.
During play times on the timetable, you may like to focus on developing your child’s communication skills. You can do this by modelling language and playing with and alongside your child. You can try strategies such as pausing at the end of a sentence to encourage your child to fill in the word, e.g. “ready, steady….” “You are playing with the…”.
If your child is learning to communicate using photos of symbols, you may like to put their favourite toys and activities away or up high and provide a photo or symbol at their levels for them to give to you to communicate what they would like to play with. You could also do this at meal times so that your child can request what they would like to eat and drink. If you need any support with making symbols and photos, please let me know and I will happily create some for you to use at home.
18th January – This week’s theme is ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’
Here are some bear hunt activities for you to try at home this week -
Firstly, follow the link below to listen to the bear hunt story narrated by the author, Michael Rosen - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gyI6ykDwds
After listening to the story your child may love to go on walk in search of the different places in the book. Find some swishy swashy grass or muddy puddles to jump in! Model using the language from the story and encourage your child to copy sounds or words if they are able. You could also try hiding a bear outside or around your house for your child to find. Your child may like to play hide and seek or peek a boo with the bear or they may like to play peek a boo or hide themselves!
The children love listening to the following peekaboo song at school and may like to listen and sing along to it at home with you too.
Story Sensory Bottles
When out on your story walk, make sure to collect some natural resources to help make some story sensory bottles for your child to explore. Your child may like to post the different materials into the bottles themselves or may like to explore them after you have made them. Try adding some rice or dried lentils into some of the bottles for your child to shake and listen to. You can retell the story or listen along to the video again using the sensory bottles as props. When retelling the story, pause throughout to allow your child to fill in some missing words or sounds if they are able, for example “what a beautiful day, we’re not…”
Bear Hunt Sensory Activity
Fill a container or tray with a range of materials from the bear hunt story for your child to explore. Here are some ideas of resources to try for the different parts of the story.
Swishy Swashy Grass – real grass, spaghetti and green food colouring, shredded paper
Deep Cold River – water play and ice cubes
Thick Oozy Mud – Playdough, edible mud made from melted chocolate and crushed up cookies, slime made from cornflour and water
Big Dark Forest – natural resources such as leaves, sticks and pinecones
Swirling Whirling Snowstorm – flour, soapy foam and glitter
Place spoons and bowls in or next to the container for your child to enjoy filling and emptying and use the language from the story to support learning.
Bear Hunt Mark Making
Please find a range of bear hunt themed colouring sheets and tracing activities below to develop your child’s fine motor skills. Your child may also like to paint or create a collage focusing on one colour for each part of the story. You could do this as you listen to the story again or whilst you say the phrases together.
Make a Cave
Your child may like to make a cave out of blankets, fabric and fairy lights to snuggle up in and share a story or nursery rhymes with you. Create a teddy bears picnic in the cave. Your child may enjoy helping to prepare the sandwiches and snacks. Develop maths skills by encouraging your child to count how many soft toys there are and how many plates/cups/spoons etc. If you have different sized resources, you could also focus on the language of big and small.
Hot Chocolate Recipe
Finally, your child may like to make a hot chocolate to drink in their cosy cave or at their teddy bears picnic. Your child may like to follow along with the recipe below to make a hot chocolate for themselves or somebody else at home.
We hope you have lots of fun going on a bear hunt this week! We would love to see photos of your activities so please email them into the class email address for us to share. Thank you and have a lovely week!
11th January – This week’s theme is ‘Winter’
Here are some winter themed activities to try at home this week -
Wrap up warm and go for a winter walk. Your child might like to listen to the following song to help them to get ready to go outside on a winter walk.
Put on your shoes song -https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jBfb33_KHU
On your winter walk your child may like to collect pinecones and sticks to practise their counting or to watch as you model counting them yourself. You could also practise counting steps or jumps on your walk too.
You may like to wait for a rainy day and go outside to splash in the puddles or your child may like to listen to the rain under an umbrella.
Alternatively, your child may like to listen to the “I hear thunder song” below and find different objects around the house to play as instruments such as pots and pans. They may like to practise playing loudly and quietly.
I hear thunder song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-j_ICBgLvR0
Winter sensory play
Make a winter sensory activity for your child to explore. You may like to freeze toys or natural objects found from your winter walk for your child to feel. You could also freeze some squash if your child likes to explore using their sense of taste. Create some fake snow using cotton wool, flour or soapy foam. Your child may love sprinkling and feeling the different textures. Add some animals or transport toys to make tracks in the snow with. If your child does not like touching different materials, offer them a spoon or utensil to use instead, they may enjoy filling and emptying a range of different sized containers with the messy materials.
Winter painting and mark making
Set up some winter mark making activities using a range of resources you may have at home. Encourage your child to make marks using a paintbrush or other mark making mediums such as chalk, pens, crayons or pencils. Your child may also enjoy printing using paint and cotton wool balls or their hands. Your child may enjoy mixing coloured paint together using a tool or their hands or may like to squirt the coloured paint into different containers. To encourage curiosity and anticipation, use phrases such as “ready, steady, go!” or count to 3 before squirting the paint.
Please find a range of winter themed colouring sheets and tracing activities below to develop your child’s fine motor skills.
Homemade bird feeder
Create a bird feeder to help the wildlife during the winter months by following the instructions below.
You may like to create a milkshake or smoothie with your child. Encourage your child to chop up the fruit and blend it as independently as possible. If your child is not keen on smoothies or you do not have a blender, you could also try making ice cream sundaes. Encourage your child to communicate the toppings they want in their own way.
Your child may like to complete the winter puzzles found in the links below - https://www.bbc.co.uk/games/embed/jigsaw-jojograngranwinter?exitGameUrl=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbc.co.uk%2Fcbeebies%2Fpuzzles%2Fjojo-and-grangran-winter-jigsaw%3Fcollection%3Dcbeebies-jigsaw-puzzles
Finally, here are some winter themed songs that your child may like to listen and dance along to -
I’m a little snowman song - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FczqntFwb6k
Winter signing with Mr Tumble - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=84VgbjbyhPw
Snowman dance - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5JMofSKeR0
This is the way we sled dance - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TOYmXqu9hsc
5 little snow men - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrfCD9wjLUE
Please keep in touch, we would love to hear about all of the activities you get up to at home. Please send photos to the class email address to share your child’s learning with us :)
It has been a great term celebrating all of the celebrations and festivals from Halloween, Diwali, lots of birthday parties to of course Christmas!
We hope you enjoy watching our early years Christmas celebration video. The children absolutely loved creating the video and had so much fun dressing up and dancing along to lots of Christmas songs!
We hope you have a lovely Christmas break and wish you a happy and healthy 2021! We look forward to seeing you all again in January!