wp_20170125_11_05_29_proI wanted to share this book as it was the key to one of those unplanned journeys of discovery.

We are currently exploring books from Barrington Stokes as they are Dyslexia friendly, the text is a good size, well spaced and printed on cream paper whilst the titles are age friendly themes.

Superhero was attracted by the front cover being a football fan.  He is a fluent reader but just not a big reading fan.  This book really grabbed him as it is the true story of Walter Tull, an orphan who went on to play for Tottenham, and then played a heroic part in World War 1 becoming the first black man to be appointed Officer.  Sadly he was killed in action.  

Superhero was really gripped by his story, despite being an Arsenal fan!  We went on to discover more about World War 1 and the conditions the men, women and animals endured, we learnt about the Battle Of Somme, racism, the symbolism of poppies, Flanders Fields.  YouTube as ever was a gem for video footage.  Well worth a read for any football fans or those interested in reading about the war.

Toddler Play, 2-3 years, 27 months

A selection of Beans activities from the last month.  As usual from top to bottom, left to right.

1, 2 & 4). Despite the chilly weather we endeavour to get outside every day to experience nature in winter and the different weathers.

3) Simple paint activity using a chalkboard, water and a paintbrush.

5) Pound a ball returned with a little more emphasis on colour sorting the balls.

6) A red themed basket, I was lazy and paid for the colour booklets from the Montessori Print shop, although they would be easy to create.  I keep thinking I should take photographs of a few coloured objects then it would double up as a object to picture matching exercise but all the best laid plans…..

7) An ELC colour matching puzzle.

8) Sorting the coloured fruit into the pie.  Bean loved this although finds the tweezers tricky so need to swap them for something easier.

9) We have a new pirate fascination so I dug out his pirate puzzle and filled a treasure chest with a mini treasure box with three gems, an eyepatch and two pirates.  Lovely for some vocabulary work and creative play.

10) A bus puzzle with Beans name on found here.

11) Two of our favourite books from this month, Things that go, My first search and find book and Out and About, a first book of poems by Shirley Hughes.

12) Finally Bean loves a hot chocolate so we have been playing this game counting the marshmallows on the hot chocolate.

Happy New Year!

A belated Happy New Year from us all here.  We had a wonderful Christmas break albeit rather plagued with coughs, colds and ear infections.  Thankfully everyone is now back to full health.

Fairy has returned to College and has exam week this week, she remains completely unfazed despite never having taken any formal exams before.  She has decided to do another year of Animal Care and then switch and do her level 3 in Performing Arts.  It seems sensible to try out both her passions.  

At home we are excited to be exploring the Tudors and will continue our investigations into rivers.  Superhero and Mermaid are really keen to try out some climbing too and are booked onto a six week course starting soon.  

Bean will begin the Montessori 3-6 curriculum at the end of the year, so I want to start working up to that and look over some of the albums as a refresher.  

As for me I am currently on the second part of my Dyslexia training and hope to get that under my belt this year.  Looks set to be a busy year…..

Its beginning to look a lot like Christmas….


Not long to go now….We have been enjoying Christmas movies with the woodburner going and mugs of hot chocolate, lots of Christmas songs, sharing Christmas stories – try Rudey’s Windy Christmas for a giggly read!  Our tree is up, letters sent and our elf ‘Elvis Evergreen’ is in residence.  Bean has been enjoying some Christmas activities that he had last year, in particular a stocking full of bells, a sensory box filled with pompoms, stars and spiky balls, a knitted snowman and Santa, posting cards in a postbox.  We have also baked gingerbread men, created Christmas cards, printed our own wrapping paper and created some little pinecone elves.

Wishing you all a peaceful, happy and healthy Christmas from our family to yours.  Back in the New Year! xx

Home Educators Block

During the last half term holiday I was pondering on Geography and History and where to go with it.  We often end up following a path because we have been on a trip and seen something which has triggered an interest to find out more, or we are heading somewhere and want to find out more about that place.  We were at a bit of a dead end, the children couldn’t offer any suggestions of what they wanted to discover so I needed some ideas to tempt them with.  

I decided to head back to my roots and look at what QCA topics they would have been doing had they been in School and discovered the topics of Water and Victorians.  We went with it and it took us on such an interesting journey of discovery.  We used the questions as prompts for our investigations and watched many youtube clips.  (Totally love Youtube for short, visual clips about pretty much everything).  We found this workbook on water which we dipped in and out of.  We were led to the book ‘A Long Walk To Water’ by Linda Sue Park which describes the experiences of two children in Sudan.  One is a boy trying to escape war and a girl whose job it is to collect water for her family.  Victorians was not a new topic for us but we chose to watch series 1 of Hetty Feathers – my middle two really enjoy watching CBBC’s program The Dumping Ground so I thought Hetty Feathers would appeal.  Mermaid especially loved it and has learnt much about Victorian costume and the lives of children during those times.

Toddler Play,2-3 years,26 months

It seems to have been a month of unplanned fine motor activities.  As usual from top to bottom, left to right.

1) Making a bed from a box and some packing material, it was also a car and a tractor.

2) Difficult to make out from the picture but here we were sending letters to Santa via our woodburner with a sprinkle of ‘fairy dust.’  Bean was nominated ‘chief sprinkler’ much to his delight!  Bean has also helped to decorate the Christmas tree.

3,4 & 5). We created some homemade bird feeders.  Threading Cheerios onto a pipe cleaner and using a cookie cutter to cut a shape from bread and spreading peanut butter.

6) First go with scissors, we use these first scissors and tried some simple fringing.  Bean was so excited to do this!

7) Balance on the moon game – Beans way = stacking!

8) More stacking with wooden bricks and of course the counting that goes with it.  Beans record so far is 13.

Learning all the time….

A couple of weeks have passed since I have been on here.  All is well and there is much excitement about the oncoming festive period.  

Fairy has one more college day left and has thoroughly enjoyed her first term, so much so that she has her next four years mapped out, two years studying Animals and then two years Performing Arts as she just loves both!  

Toddler Bean is growing and developing fast, I shall try to do another post on him shortly.  

Superhero and Mermaid are great – post to come on our learning adventures soon…  

As for me I am currently studying again, inspired by my beautiful Mermaid and her fantastic and unique brain I am learning much from the British Dyslexia Association.  There have been many ‘A-ha’ moments so far and I am looking forward to being better equipped to facilitate her unique style and perhaps others in the future….

Toddler Play -2-3 years 25 months


A roundup of Beans activities, from top to bottom, left to right. I have added links (affiliate) where possible if you would like to purchase the item

1) This is how Beans shelves look.  We are currently using an old tv unit which works pretty well, the shelves in the middle are for CD storage but Bean likes to keep his shoes in there!

2) Halloween scoop and funnel activity, just used seasonal buckets, lentils and black beans.  Obviously this activity is strictly monitored due to choking/eating hazards! A few weeks on and I am still sweeping up lentils…

3) Things that go cards and a basket of things that go.  I would usually shy away from flashcards but Bean loves these, they are real photographs and touchy feely too.  My little guy just loves to line things up at the moment.  Fab Mama moment came when he found the yellow bus in his ‘toob’ and brought it to me with the card featuring the yellow bus.  We haven’t done much matching work yet but it looks as though he is ready for it!

4) Melissa and Doug Dressing bears, he just loves this and will sit for ages dressing the bears and talking about “Mama” and “Dada”.

 5) Balance on the moon game.  This is a lovely fine motor game, I offered it to Bean minus the die but he is not too impressed just yet with it.  He is more taken with stacking the cylinders next to the moon which is fine too.

6) Melissa & Doug sequence puzzle.  Bean finds this one quite tricky at the moment but does bring it to me to do fairly regularly.

7) Fraction puzzle   There is a squares fraction puzzle which may be a simpler alternative.  Bean struggles here with the triangle and circles.

8) Maze counting activity.  A lovely fine motor offering from Melissa and Doug and it has drawn in a few adults too!

9) Fruit threading.  Bean has completed this independently several times, the wooden ‘needle’ makes it simple to thread.

10) Pumpkin counting.  We are counting everything at the moment!

11)  Feely pot with webs and bugs.  

12) Skeleton and bones.

 13) 100 square and cubes.  Inspired by his siblings he wanted to work with this and seperated the cubes and placed them on the square.

14) Peeling a clementine. A lovely practical life activity.  Little Bean loves all the ‘grownup’ tasks.  He requests to scrape his plate now too and load it into the dishwasher just like his big brother and sisters.

Language Resource – Spanish

I want to share a new language resource we recently discovered.  

So far we have watched all the Salsa videos which we loved, we are currently over halfway through Speekee which is good but we preferred Salsa.  

Last week a friend mentioned Duolingo.  I have had a chance to check it out and really like it.  We are learning Spanish together at home but there are other language options to choose from.  I am working through Duolingo myself and will move my middle two onto it once we finish Speekee.

“Infant Attention Span…”

…”suffers when parents eyes wander during playtime.  This study was brought to my attention as a certified Hand in Hand instructor which supports the use of Special Time – one of the crucial tools of Hand in Hand.  

From an education point of view it is interesting to note that the

“caregivers most successful at sustaining children’s attention were those who ‘let the child lead’.”

Certainly worth a read.