learning


Measuring and Estimating with Ribbons 12

This fab measuring and estimating with ribbons activity is brought to you by Sara-Jayne from Keep Up with the Jones family.  Sara-Jayne is a fellow mum to boys, she has three under six and is a Junior School Teacher.  This post is part of our learning with manipulatives series.


5 Ways to Keep Your Children’s Minds Active Over the Summer 16

There’s no denying that over the long summer holidays children lose the momentum they’ve had for learning over the previous year at school. Key concepts might be forgotten and they could simply get out of the habit of applying their brain on a regular basis. It is beneficial to your children to keep their brains active over the summer holidays, especially if they are returning to exams, a particularly challenging year or even starting a new school.


MWorld, A new way of learning 39

Our children are growing up and learning in an environment so different to when I was at school.  Online technology is a given.  Video content is available at the click of a button.  I remember the school only having one TV on wheels and often my class would come to my parents house to watch a TV program! For the last month or so we have been reviewing the MWorld app and I can safely say that the boys have loved it and both MadDad and me think it is a fantastic way of reinforcing learning without kids even thinking they are learning.   What is MWorld?


Encouraging learning at home for older children 28

Both of my boys are at an age where they have a real thirst for knowledge and there are times when they want to continue that learning at home.  We were recently sent some Letts “Wild About” learning books. This got me thinking about when it is appropriate to use workbooks at home and how best to integrate them in to our home.  I am big on learning through play and this is something that we have always concentrated on, however with my boys getting older (they are currently nine and eight) they are also reaching the point that they want to start working on some other ways. Encouraging learning at more »


Encouraging learning at home 17

I have blogged previously that we are not big fans of homework here in the mad house, however, I am aware that it is going to become a necessary evil for my boys in the years to come and we have made the decision that from this year (year 5, aged 9/10) we are going to encourage Maxi to learn at home and do any allocated homework.


FIFA World Cup Crafts and Activities for Kids 34

I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper amplification for Collective Bias and its advertiser. I have two football mad little boys and also a football mad husband, so with the spirit of a family night in, I decided that I better join in the fun and get involved with the FIFA World Cup family fun.  We have a family game night once a week and decided to use the #BigMatchPlanner as an opportunity do lots of FIFA World Cup Crafts and Activities with the boys.


Number games for Children

Both my boys love numbers and math. We have been working with Maxi and the school to show his workings out, as he has always said that he just sees the answers to math questions in his head. As he gets older points are often given for using the correct method and for showing the workings in exams.

One of the ways we do this is by playing games. I recently picked up a great little bingo set at the charity shop, which both the boys love top play. They use it for making up their own number games. They add the numbers, add up the lines when they score to work out who is the winner and just generally have fun with the numbers and the counters. When I was growing up I loved bingo too, I used to tag along with my cousins when they visited and go to the arcades to play bingo. Nowadays they play online at sites such as GoldenBingo.co.uk.

There are lots of other number games you can play with children including:

Domino’s – great for number recognition, counting and strategy
Cards – you can play lots of card games with children, from basic snap, which is great for number recognition to something more difficult such as two’s and eights. Cards are so portable and are great to have in your handbag.
Dice – a pair of dice is great to carry in your bag. You can use them for very basic sums by getting your child to throw the dice and add, subtract, divide or times the two numbers.
Monoploly is great for introducing children to the concept of money and they often do not realise they are using maths skills whilst playing.
Battleships is a fantastic game for introducing children to co-ordinates. Perfect for playing before they have to use graphs.
Skittles or ten pin bowling. You can make your own skittles from bottles and give them numbers. This can help number recognition and addition skills for scoring.
What are your favorite games to play that reinforce maths skills?


The joy of learning something new 17

2013, the year of “Choosing Joy”, but also the year of learning.  This is the year that I start to take time out for me and put these grey cells in my brain in to some use.  Where I try to see if an old dog can learn new tricks! I am doing this in a couple of ways, firstly I am trying to improve my photography by taking a Capturing Childhood course.  I have started on the Collect the Moments e-course.  It is challenging me to think differently and I am learning lots of new things about my six year old camera.  I have even ordered a remote control so I can “be in the picture” more often.  The Kats’ are helpful, insightful and more »


Learning through play 10

Learning through play, is there any other way when children are small?  For me the answer would be a resounding no.  My boys love to play and whats more I love to play with them. Throughout their lives I have been keen to encourage independent play.  Here they are counting their pennies in their jar.  I didn’t ask them to do this, but they both love money and they love counting.  So we talked about how many pence in a pound, the different shapes and sizes on money and also the fact that the queen was on all coins.  We then used the coins like tiddliwinks.  For me this was a more »


Encouraging boy’s to write 16

My boys are like chalk and cheese, as I have said before.  Maxi was writing by age three, whereas, Mini really doesn’t enjoy mark making or writing.  He is a perfectionist and gets upset that it doesn’t look like he thinks it is supposed to, this isn’t helping in mu opinion with the school teaching cursive handwriting from Reception. Up to now this hasn’t been an issue for him, but it is really starting to get him down and also to hold him back.  Why you ask?  Well he knows all his letters and sounds and is a great phonic reader, but he is so reticent about writing that the school more »