Posted in Brands we love, Covid-19/ Coronavirus, Education, Family Life, Family Time, Parenting, preschool curriculum

Superbook – wholesome content to build character.

In November last year Hamish recieved a wonder gift from Superbook and the beginning of a lifelong love for Jesus.

The DVD’s told the story of Jesus’s birth and explained the true meaning of Christmas in a way that touched his little heart.

You can read my review here

But more than that he began to identify with the characters and we soon found ourselves downloading the Superbook App onto my phone.

This opened up a world of Bible stories and learning and we currently use the App in our morning Bible lessons.

But with so many resources out there why Superbook?

There are many reasons we use Superbook,

  • because Hamish identified with the relatable characters
  • The stories are engaging and interesting
  • They are told in a child centered way
  • I know that I’m contributing to his character training and faith presenting him with quality content suitable for children

As more and more parents find themselves homeschooling and unable to take their little ones to church or Sunday school, they are looking for activities and wholesome content for their children during this time.

At Superbook their heart is to see parents become intentional about their children’s spiritual formation.

Forming characters that emulate after the life of Jesus.

Superbook are passionate about offering parents content that forms a base for their children’s spiritual development. Knowing this, it is easy to place your trust in the wonderful resources this App and website offers.

Parents are encouraged to utilise the various Superbook resources and make them part of your child’s daily activity schedule during the coronavirus downtime.

Superbook has great curated content that help shape and form children spiritual development and character. This for me is especially important when bringing up little ones who are experiencing such a challenging time right now.

The best way to use the App

Parents, when using the app and website, are encouraged to not just view it as content that entertains children and keeps them busy but rather a time to explore the bible together with their children.

This is the perfect time to rekindle the wonder, joy and pleasure of knowing God together as a family.

Superbook encourage parents to:

• Explore the characters of the bible with Joy, Chris and Gizmo through the app and website
• Go through the downloadable discussion guides with children after every Superbook video
• Encourage children to play video games that help reinforce biblical messages and lessons.
•Go on a historical journey after every episode with the historical background video’s on the app.


Let the Bible come to life with Gizmo and his friends.

You can find more information at :

www.superbook.cbn.com

Posted in Alphabet activities, preschool, preschoolers

Alphabet jelly hunt

This is a fantastic activity to strengthen those fine hand muscles, practice pencil grip and revise the alphabet.

You will need:

  • Jelly
  • Small container
  • Alphabet beads
  • Tweezers

Method

Make up the jelly the night before you want to do the activity.

Just placing the jelly in the freezer, add alphabet beads and leave to set.

Place the items on a table with the invitation to play.

You can have your child randomly pick out the beads or search for a specific letter.

Once we had picked out all the beads, Hamish turned this into a sensory activity by squishing the jelly between his fingers,scooping it and cutting it with a plastic knife.

Posted in Education, Family Life, Health & Wellness, Parenting, preschool, preschool curriculum, preschoolers, Toddlers, Tweens & Teens

28 free resources to help your children understand Coronavirus

With the Covid-19 pandemic interrupting our children’s school year, normal life routine and ability to play with their friends they obviously have many questions.

So many of our children may have heard us talk about this deadly virus that is keeping us home and making us sanitise everything , and whilst we may have explained to them, they may still be anxious, worried, fearful or not fully understanding of the virus.

In light of this I compiled a list of 28 free resources to help your children understand Coronavirus and how to stay healthy during these times.

Education

  1. Hand washing printable from Parent24
  2. What is Coronavirusby National Geographic kids
  3. A wide range of resources on germs from Scholastic
  4. Printable posters in several African languages by SA organisation from The Good news guy

Books, stories and comics

  1. Free Covid-19 comic by Elise Gravel
  2. Coronavirus – a social story from Fragilex.org
  3. Kids reading and pdf colouring book about Coronavirusby Malia jones
  4. Hello ! I’m s virusby Manuela Cruz from Parent24
  5. Colouring in bookfrom St Jude together website
  6. Q is for quarantine- the ABC’s of Coronavirus a colouring in book by Brian & Gordon
  7. H is for handwashing by Sesame Street
  8. What is Coronavirus and how you can play your part to help the community activity book by Moments a day
  9. Shubert and Sophie stay home story by Concious Discipline
  10. Why I cant go to school story by Concious Discipline

Other

  1. Daily schedule from Just a mamma
  2. Toddler schedule from Busy toddler
  3. Positive posters by Squidoodle
  4. Colouring page from playing and learning
  5. Wordsearch
  6. Journal pages to remember this time by letgrow
  7. How to wash your hands videowith Beebee
  8. My healthy week printable to help your children chart their good habits by Sesame street
  9. Free Afrikaans Coronavirus colouring poster by Hero in my hood
  10. Free English Coronavirus colouring poster by Hero in my hood
  11. How to make a Tippy tap by Hero in my hood
  12. Covid-19 time capsule printablesby Long Creations
  13. How to teach young children about germs resource pack by Mother Goose Time

Do you have any other resources we could add to this list ? Let me know in the comments below.

Posted in Education, Fine motor activities, preschool, preschool curriculum, preschoolers, Toddlers

5 ways to teach your child using jellybeans

Each morning Hamish and I do an hours school work at the table where we concentrate on :

  • Colours
  • Shapes
  • Numbers and counting
  • Letters
  • Pre writing skills

I’m not a fan of worksheets at this age (3 years) so a lot of our work is play related.

Yesterday we were inspired by a packet of jelly beans in our morning lessons.

Here are 5 ways to teach your child using jelly beans

For each of these activities you will need:

  • White paper
  • Black marker
  • Jelly beans

1. Jelly bean Rainbow

There’s much talk about rainbows with #covid-19 and Hamish has become obsessed with them so this was a great way to have him sort the jelly beans into colours.

He had to, after sorting the colours make each colour by placing the right colour jelly bean onto the correct colour arch.

2. Jelly bean colour sort

For this I drew a coloured circle, gave him a few jelly beans and had him match them to the correct colour.

3.Count the jelly beans

I drew a jar with 10 jelly beans. Labled them 1 to 10 and had him count them out and place a jelly bean on each as a marker.

4. Counting jelly beans

We are doing number work and sums up to 5 this week so I stuck to only working up to number 5 but you can go as high as you like with this counting activity.

He had to place the correct amount of beans under each number.

5.J is for jellybeans

For this he first identified the letter J and then trace it with his finger.

Lastly he made a J with jelly beans ( We have already learnt all phonetic lower case sounds first and have now started to introduce upper case, so you may see a lot of upper case work on my page right now – please if introducing the alphabet to your child start with the phonetic sounds.)

These activities were a lot of fun and of course we both loved packing it all away.

Posted in easy science experiments, preschool, preschool curriculum, STEM

Fun science – changing a flowers colour

One of my favourite activities as a child was to pick my mothers flowers and try change their colour by leaving them in food colouring water.Tonight as I glanced over at the flowers I bought before lockdown I decided it was the perfect time to show Hamish this ” magic” trick.And so we grabbed some glasses, water, food colouring and 2 flowers and set our experiment up.Eager little hands were ready to help me and are still learning to do things slowly.As he poured the blue food colouring he managed to splosh it all over the counter. ( thank goodness for jick)So, when pouring the red, he was so much more gentle and deliberate.After we had coloured the water, he placed one flower in each glass and we have left them overnight.I cant wait to see his reaction in the morning.It takes 24 hours for the flowers to completely change colour and you normally use a plain white flower, so I’m not too certain how vibrant the shades will appear on our slightly greenish flowers.This morning our flowers had absorbed enough food colouring to change colour already.The longer we leave them the more vibrant the colour will appear.

How this works

Plants absorb water from the roots. This water travels up the stems into the flower petals.Although the cut flowers we use no longer have roots, they still absorb water up their stems through a process called capillary action.As the water is coloured with the food colouring, the dye enters the flowers petals and stains them to change colour.What is most interesting is that you need to leave each flower in dyed water to keep the colour as plain water would make the vibrant shades of the petals fade.

Posted in Alphabet activities, Education, preschool, preschoolers, Toddlers

Using toy cars for name recognition

Hamish absolutely loves his cars and when I first saw this idea on @homeschoolingideas I knew it would be an activity that he would enjoy.

We recycled our Beacon easter egg box to make the parking garage and it took only a few minutes to set up.

I started the activity with him building his wooden name puzzle and revising the letters that make up his name.

He then identified each letter taped onto the cars and drove each car into the parking space that corresponded with the letter taped onto the top of the car.

To make your own you will need:

  • Cardboard box
  • A toy car for each letter of your child’s name
  • Stickers or paper to tape on
  • Marker
  • Ruler

To make

Inside the box write your child’s name and divide each letter with a line to resemble a parking space.

Stick letters onto each car. One car per letter of your child’s name. I used paper to write letters with a marker and then taped them on with tape.

To play

Have your child tell you the letters on top of the car and drive them in to the correct parking spaces.

If your child does not know how to read their name yet or how to spell it, build confidence by letting them match the letters in any order.

Once your child can read and spell their name have them drive the cars in from left to right in sequence.

Posted in bookish play, Education, preschool, preschool curriculum

Bookish play : Disney Frozen stuck on stories

With Frozen fever all over our house I thought I’d start our new year with some bookish play using this fun book: Disney Frozen Stuck on Stories

This is currently one of Hamish’s favourites and I love to take it with me if we are travelling as it keeps him busy with several activities that don’t require my attention for him to play.

You can read my review here

Dusney Frozen book
Disney frozen stuck on stories

How to start

We always start our bookish play in the same way each week, by reading through the book and opening discussion on the characaters, story and talking about the illustrations.

Then we move onto the activity that accompanies the book’s theme.

To compliment this book, I wanted to use the little characters for some small world play and so I decided to set up an Iceland for Hamish to act out the story on his own.

Ice theme small world play
Frozen Iceland

Make your own Frozen land

To set up you will need:

  • Container for “ice”
  • Disposible nappy ( remove the inner and wet with water to get the desired texture)
  • Frozen characters
Supplies needed
Items you need

To play

I try not to direct Hamish’s play but to rather set out an invitation for him to play.

This allows him to interpret the story as he understood it, develops his imagination and creativity and leaves him free to play with no restrictions.

He often makes up stories very far from the one we read, an that is ok. His imagination is developing.

The ” snow ” texture is a good sensory activity and you could freeze this prior to have it cold or even replace the disposibld nappy snow with shaving cream or real ice.

An invitation to play
An invitation to play and interpret the story as he understood it
Posted in Education, preschool, preschool curriculum

How to use flashcards with your child

Flashcards can be a playful means to introduce children to new words, images or concepts, using the importance of repetition to children’s memorization skills.

As children grow so the way they learn evolves.

Younger children are inclined to want to involve more play in their learning and one of the benefits of flashcards is the ability to introduce them and use them in several games.

How to introduce flashcards

Repeating words to children so that they can learn them is a natural process of learning. Adding a pictorial clue offers great visual stimulation in addition to the auditory learning.

When you first start using flashcards with your child, you may start with basic images representing words.

As your child grows you can start to add written words to help develop reading and writing comprehension.

ABC flashcards
Make your own alphabet flashcards

How to create flash cards

In the blog Make your own alphabet flashcards I show you a simple set of 4 types of flashcards that i’ve made to use with Hamish.

You can make flashcards on any subject and older children can be encouraged to make their own flash cards to assist when learning for tests.

You can also get as some or as creative as your child’s personality.

I once made an entire set of Pokemon Alphabet flashcards to teach one of my sons the alphabet.

Using the flashcards

There are many ways to use flashcards, here are our 5 favourite

  • Flash each card one at a time and have your child repeate what is on the card.
  • Play hide and flash – hide your flash cards in various locations in the house and let your child find them, they need to shout out the letter, word or image when finding the flashcard.
  • Print or make 2 sets of the same flashcard and play snap.
  • Tape flashcards to the wall and have your child throw a bean bag at a card and read the card
  • Use beads to place over the letter on a card and form the letter.

The important thing for parents is to serve as a guide when using flashcards. By using flashards to teach a child to deliberately learn, you will instill good learning habits.

Posted in Alphabet activities, Education, preschool, preschool curriculum

Make your own Alphabet flash cards

As your child gets a little older, you may want to introduce a set of flash cards to help them learn the letters of the alphabet.

ABC flashcards
Alphabet flashcards

You will need

  • Cardboard A4, 1 per letter
  • Scissors
  • Markers

Directions

  • Fold each piece of card into quarters and cut into 4 pieces.

You should have one quarter for each :
Upper case letter

Lower case letter

Upper & lower case letter next to each other

Image with word and upper and lower case letter

  • Using the marker draw each letter of the alphabet on one piece of card.

You might find this blog interesting when using your flash cards

How to use flash cards with your child

Posted in Alphabet activities, Education, preschool, preschool curriculum

Make your own Alphabet scrapbook

An alphabet scrapbook is an easy, engaging way to introduce early words and letters to preschoolers.

ABC scrapbook
Alphabet scrapbook

You will need:

  • An exercise book or 26 white pages to make a book
  • Magazines or stickers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Alphabet foam letter shapes
  • Cellotape
  • Plain coloured book wrap
  • Markers

Directions

  • Cover your exercise book with the plain covered book wrap and decorate with Alphabet letters using the markers. Or create a front cover with your paper.
  • Inside each double page glue on a foam letter.
  • Use magazines or stickers to find several pictures that start with that letter.

For example : Aa

Apple, ant, aeroplane, aubergine,ect

  • Glue them onto the right pages.
  • Let your child read the pictures often and tell you the letters names