Tag Archives: writing

The Craziest Costume

The title of today’s post is because of this:Dressing up

So, who is your winner of the craziest costume? Personally, I think Jasmine is the clear winner, Halloween bat costume, reindeer hat and googly eye glasses.. yep, definitely crazy!

Once they’d done a spot of dressing up, Thomas got one of the Wipe Clean activity books out and asked for the pen. The other two soon joined in and we all spent some time sitting together writing and drawing.Wipe Clean BooksI love these books as they have loads of fun activities for the kids to do and can be used time and time again. The most used books are the Usborne dot-to-dot and mazes books, but we also have a few Priddy books and they all got used today. Ben particularly liked the Priddy Books “Things that go” with all its diggers and cars! He did some really great counting and pattern recognition.

After lunch we needed to go into town to do some shopping. I wanted to nip into WHSmiths quickly to get a magazine and while I did get it, we also got these because of course we need more Lego!Lego activity booksAfter dinner this evening the kids built their figures and we read the story from Thomas’ book – Big City Life.Lego FiguresThe two other important things for me to remember about today are the silkworms shed skin (they are huge now so I’m hoping it won’t be too long until they pupate) and Thomas went in the rabbit run and was really sensible amd stroked both rabbits.

All in all, a rather good day!


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Easy Friday

Today has been a nice day šŸ™‚

Jasmine and Thomas started back at Forest School this afternoon so I planned on a relaxing morning, doing nothing much.

We had a lazy start to the day (nothing new there!) and after breakfast Thomas got one of his Star Wars books again and wanted to read it with me. It was a level 1 book, “Ready, Set, Podrace!”, and he did really well with it. I am still amazed how much he is reading now, and very proud of him!

After we had read the book I remembered we had a birthday card to write so asked Jasmine to come and help me. I am a bad mummy.. Jasmine writes much neater than Thomas so I always get her to write any cards that need doing! I wrote the words on a piece of paper and she copied them into the card. She then got a piece of paper and said she needed to do more writing. I remembered that I had printed off some letter formation sheets ages ago but we’ve not used them yet, so I asked if she would like to do some of these. She did the letters a,b and c and then did some writing of her own. She really likes writing and is getting so good at it.. another proud mummy moment!

After lunch we headed off for Forest School. The one the twins go to is in Ham Common Woods and so after dropping them off Ben and I headed to Richmond Park for a drink and cake followed by a walk in the sunshine.

At Forest School today Jasmine and Thomas did some litter picking and planted Sunflower seeds. Thomas came out with 2 pots and when he saw how sad Ben was that he didn’t have one, Thomas gave Ben one of his!

My kids really are lovely šŸ™‚

Sunflower seed pots

All I have to hope now is that they all grow and we can start our annual Sunflower race šŸ˜‰

(For those interested, Thomas won last year. His mega Sunflower grew to about 9 feet tall!)

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Oats, Water and Water Beads.

This morning was another morning of reading Star Wars books for Thomas followed by watching our newest DVD – Lego Star Wars The Empire Strikes Out. I have to admit, its a good DVD!

Jasmine was busy writing. She added more items to her Christmas list. I probably shouldn’t encourage her to keep thinking about more and more things she wants for Christmas , but it does get her writing and I like that!


This afternoon we went to visit our friends, Caterpillar Tales, again. InĀ preparationĀ for an afternoon of messy play they had set up their Tuff Spot with oats, Shreddies and farm animals. My kids loved it (both playing with it and eating it!) It started off indoors, but as it was so lovely outside (and my boys were getting quite, um, enthusiastic shall we say!), we moved outdoors.

Of course, as soon as we moved outdoors the boys lost interest in the farm play. But they found water to play with instead!

After another lovely afternoon playing outdoors, we came home and had a quick play with some water beads before dinner.

The water beads only arrived with us this morning and I had only prepared one small bag as a test, but we’ve never used them before so the kids were all enthralled with them. We had been looking at them throughout the day and watching them grow and grow from tiny little beads to marble sized balls.

I gave the kids a small bowl each, and the first thing Thomas said was that they looked like molecules! He demonstrated molecules in a solid, by filling the bowl so full that the water beads couldn’t move, then he took some out so the remaining beads could move a little and told me he’d made it a liquid! Honestly, my kids never fail to amaze me!

They got some Octonauts toys out and played with them in their bowls for a bit, they asked for containers so they could pour the beads and Thomas spent a lot of time counting his. Whilst they were playing I spent a bit of time on google looking for other ideas on water bead play and foundĀ this post, which includes an excellent fine motor practice game using water beads and a duplo base board. Ā I showed the kids and they were keen to have a go themselves. Thomas lined all his beads up, Ben scattered his around and Jasmine drew a picture with hers!

I know we are going to have fun with our water beads and I have lots of ideas of things we can do with them. Tomorrow however I am hoping to use an idea that Jasmine had and make a beach scene using some of the moon sand we have left and some water beads as the sea. I’m fairly certain I’ll have to set this scene up twice though; one scene for Jasmine to play with and one for the boys. Its a good job I have plenty of large trays!

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Inquisitive Minds

I seem to have 3 healthy children again šŸ™‚ Well, that is not entirely true because Ben has a cough, but still, one with a slight cough is a huge improvement from the last 2 weeks!

As if making up for the time spent in rest and recuperation recently, today has been non-stop! From the minute the kids woke up they have been busy. We have done numbers, adding, place value, colour mixing, painting, messy play, Reading Eggs, reading books, drawing, writing and more.

This morning the kids were very excited to see that I had (finally) made a start on our Spring/Easter display. I put the Easter Egg pictures up that they did yesterday with a couple of posters I printed from Activity Village. Jasmine immediately went to work drawing more pictures for the display! I was actually amazed when I saw her first piece of work; I think she must have got the idea from the posters but she has never done anything like this before so I was very proud!

She also drew an Easter Basket compete with chicks inside and an egg on the front for me to stick up as well! This picture was taken before she finished colouring it in, but I was worried that if I left it too long to take a photo she would have coloured in the writing!

Easter Basket picture

While Jasmine was busy with this, Thomas had the calculator and was doing some addition. As is the way, he was trying to add large numbers! He came to me at one point and showed me the number 11,011 and told me it was the answer to 101 plus 110. Hmmmm.

I asked him to show me what he had typed into the calculator. He knows one hundred is written 100, so using the mind of a 5 year old, he had typed one hundred and one as 100 and then a 1 at the end (100 1), and the same for one hundred and ten (100 10), so the sum he had actually done was 1001 + 10010! Time for a place value discussion!

I did a quick Google search because I was certain I had seen a lesson on Conquermaths about place value but couldn’t find it. My Google search came up with this, which the kids loved! And this, which they also loved! We played the penguin game until I was pretty confident Thomas knew what he was doing, then I got our chunky number jigsaw pieces out and we spent a long time making 3 digit numbers and identifying the hundreds, tens and units.

Other maths we did today was about adding to a single “unit” to a “tens” number. I can’t remember how it started but we were eating dinner at the time! I explained that it was really easy to work out a sum like this because the answer is in the question (if you see what I mean! – I explained it better to the kids!). We spent most of dinner with me asking them questions like 20+5, 30+8, 60+4, 80+9 and they would shout then answer back to me! They loved it!!! They found it very funny to work out a 10+ sum because I used the word “tenty” as a way of explaining the answer to the first one (eg. 10+5 would be tenty five) and then discussing what “tenty-five” is actually called! They especially loved that!!!

Other than maths, we spent a large portion of the morning with paint. I have been wanting to get the paint out for days because I want to make some hand print flowers for our display, so we finally got round to it today. We had sponges, paint brushes and a potato for them to use and they created some wonderful masterpieces! I also got the handprints I wanted!

The painting led to lots of discussion about mixing colours. I had red, yellow and orange out today so I think tomorrow I will get some blue out as well and let them discover more.

We have also done Reading Eggs today. Both Jasmine and Thomas are doing really well on there. Thomas is now at the stage where he will pick up a book and have a very good go at reading it. It is lovely to hear him read and makes me really proud! Today he read 3 books to me and was very pleased with himself! I do have video of him reading one of the books but can’t get it to upload to Youtube at the moment. I obviously need my techie help (husband!) to work that one out for me!

One thing I have realised as today has gone on, is how much of the kids learning is “practical” learning. They “do” a lot of what they learn, rather than write it down or record it. The place value learning they did today is a perfect example of this. Instead of using pencil and paper, we used a video clip, a game and some wooden numbers! It was all learnt with talking and doing.

But then I guess this is what my blog is for; to record all the learning that we “do” every day but I am sure I would otherwise forget!

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Sledging, Reading and Writing

We had another snow day today and spent another couple of hours in the park sledging! We also finally built the snowman the kids have been asking about for days, as daddy was with us today and he is much better at building snowmen than I am!

Our SnowmanThis afternoon Thomas and Jasmine both did some Reading Eggs on the computer. As I mentioned recently, in this post, Ā they have started asking to do “learning” on the computer again and I have to admit I am encouraging this! It amazes me how they just seem to know when they are ready to start again, ready to move on to the next step of their learning. I thought that with the 3/4 month gap they have had, Ā I would need to take them back a few lessons so they could remember where they were and what to do but it seems I was wrong. They have picked up where they left off and come back with more confidence. Thomas is picking up sight words instantly that 4 months ago he just couldn’t get and Jasmine is finally recognising words andĀ sentencesĀ as a whole unit and contextualising words she doesn’t know. It is amazing what a break can do for them it seems!

After they had finished their reading, played some games and bought various new things for their egg houses, they both went on “Magic Desktop”, which I think is a child-friendly browser (it came free on my laptop!) They both love it anyway and it has games, puzzles, a weird talking parrot (!) and a variety of other things including a writing programme called Easy Write. Today this is what Thomas chose to do and he wrote this

Thomas' typingThe only bits he had help with were the “w” at the end of “snow” and the “dg” in the middle of “sledging.” I am very proud!

Finally, the other thing I need to note about today is this

This was entirely the kids own idea, but did take some help from mummy and daddy to make!

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writing with a purpose

Thomas and Jasmine don’t write much. They don’t need to, they are only 5. I don’t push them either because I know they will do it when they are ready. I know this because already, when they do want to write, they will go and get a pencil and paper and just get on with it!

Today they both wanted to write.

Our Elf hid from us last night and wrote a note telling us where to find him! Thomas loves this sort of thing so, once we’d found Pepper hiding in a Duplo house, he went and got his pencil and paper and wrote another note.

(look for me) low(look for me) highLook in the house

(look for me) low
(look for me) high
Look in the house

Elf Pepper's note to us this morning










Jasmine had her turn this afternoon. She was cutting some patterned paper up and making a collage on the floor. It was “mountain everest” she said. (I frequently wonder where these things come from!!!?!?!)

"mountain everest"

“mountain everest”

Collage making









Then she wrote “Mount Everest” on a piece of paper and stuck it up on the wall! I did take a photo, but she wrote it on patterned paper and you really can’t see the writing šŸ˜¦

Jasmine's writing

And there is my proof that I have nothing to worry about. Today they both found a “need” to write and they just got on with it. Every time they write theyĀ surpriseĀ me with how much better they have got since the last time. As long as they have a need to write, a purpose, they will write and they will improve, all by themselves, because they want to.

Just so I don’t leave Ben out, today he did some drawing and made a reindeer bead bracelet!

Reindeer Bracelet

Ben drawing

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