It’s only week two of the kids being out of school and I’m already running low on isolation activities. So, I’ve called upon Instagram’s army of mums to collect a collaborative list of home school activities for young kids.
We’ve been using these stamps to sound out letters and practice our spelling of words. Theon loves the bright colours. Plus I often find that being left handed the stress of trying to write well causes him to lose interest in actually learning his letters and their sounds.
Rose loves to use the Match and Spell game. She’s been coming on so well with her phonics at pre-school. I want to encourage it without just sitting her down with a book and learning sounds by rote. Heidi is only two and so playing the tails marching game. She greatly enjoys shouting
“piggy bum… cow bum… goat bum!”
-Fay, That’ll Do Mum
Other great games and activities for learning to read through phonics play are snap using picture cards and singing. Theon has learnt to spell his name through signing his name to the tune of BINGO. Much like Elmo did! As a bilingual family, these kinds of games have also helped us with our Greek learning.
Out Door Play
-Photo from our travel with kids
Gardening is a great way to burn energy whilst educating little ones about nature. We start the day by checking the pots (we planted last week) for green shoots. We talk about the sunshine feeding the plants, the different parts of the plants: flower, petal, stamen, pollen. Then we do bug hunts, by moving pots, stones, wood in the wood shed. Where we often find worms, spiders and woodlouse. It’s a great activity for all age groups. We normally about an hour a day outside, in the garden.
-Noels: Irish Book Mammy
Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths all seem like heavy subjects for kids. Yet they’re the basis of everything we do! Note: You need not be a scientist to set your kids STEM projects.
Grow plants indoors in window boxes, yogurt pots or egg shells and have them monitor their progress and report on what they did and the results from day 1, week 1, month 1 and so on.
Theon has started to really get into jigsaws-now he understands the point! He loves this numbers match and learn puzzle from the early learning centre. Which incorporates counting, reading, strategy, memory and shapes as well as helping to build their fine motor skills.
Get them to make and create by talking about dimensions and shapes. Discuss how even the simplest of projects are created or constructed. Write out instructions for what you want them to do. For example: 1) measure 40cm of string 2) cut and attach to…. Get them to read through with you and then ‘do’. After have them write and/or talk about what happened, what they thought of the task.
A favourite activity of ours is deconstructing cardboard boxes to use for constructing our own toys. From dinosaurs to pirate ships and PJ mask masks.
Baking is a great activity for all ages as it can be adjusted to suit the child. Take a basic recipe like fork biscuits and all of a sudden you’ve a task that incorporates reading, listening, measuring, calculating, assessing, building/creating and team work. It also has the added benefit of reward (eating) for a good job well done!
Use some twine or ribbon and weave it through the holes in a washing basket. This is perfectfor babies, use finger puppets, small cars, or any small toys that will balance for your little one to capture! Not just a one time activity either as they are bound to go back and forth when they fancy another challenge. Also a great excuse to not do the washing!
-Sophie, The Mighty Mums Club
Creative play using paints, craft or play dough (to name but a few) are not just time wasters to keep kids distracted. Kid’s minds develop in leaps and bounds through play. Allowing your child the freedom to be creative will only help to reenforce their desire to learn, study and try again when at first things don’t turn out perfectly. When it comes to home and school work frustrations rise when kids don’t feel connected or inspired by the work they’re given to do. Creative play is not just about finding the lesson in a play session, but also finding the fun in any learning activity.
Play dough is not just for babies. When brain storming thoughts and ideas give children a variety of ways to express their ideas and opinions. Dough is a great way for children to visualise their ideas and explain what they’re thinking.
Ultimately have fun, don’t stress it! This is a crazy time we’re going through. Keep on keeping on and just take things one day at a time. You got this!