23.3.2020- Big Ideas for small spaces- Learning in the house and garden.

Good morning!

As promised, I have collated a list of ideas for you to try in your gardens and homes. This list is not exhaustive and I will add more ideas as and when. These can be adapted to meet the environments that you now find yourself in. There are many websites to gain ideas from but these are some tried and tested activities that should entertain for a few hours, whilst providing ample opportunities to learn. Pinterest is a good website to look for ideas. Searching for words like ‘Forest School’ and ‘Activities for children outdoors’ will offer a wealth of free activities that you can draw from. Please note, the current (as of 23.3.2020) advice is to socially distance yourself and so I would encourage you to complete these activities in your gardens and houses. You do not need to travel to have fun!

Please take pictures of these activities and these can be shared when we all come back together.

Inside Activities:

  • Inside scavenger hunt- Give children a set time to find items such as ‘Something that has wheels’. This can be turned into a competitive game or kept as a fun activity. This is an open-ended activity that can be adapted for all year groups. Year Reception- Two children could be challenged with a Phonics element (“Find me something that ends with a ‘ff’ sound”). Examples of these can be found on many websites and social networking sites.
  • Invisible writing- Lemon juice works well for this. This activity needs adult supervision as heat is required. Instructions can be found here: https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/secret-lemon-juice-messages/
  • Make a lemon battery- This one does require more equipment but can be fun to try ways to make this work. A simple children’s Science kit would give you most of the items needed. Instructions can be found here: https://www.steampoweredfamily.com/activities/lemon-battery-science-experiment-for-kids/
  • Bubble painting- A fun activity for all ages that produces some individual and interesting art work. There’s a wealth of opportunities here to talk to about the Science of bubbles, how liquids act and cause and effect. Instructions can be found here: https://www.activityvillage.co.uk/bubble-painting
  • Card games- Cards can be used to enhance arithmetic skills such as shuffling a deck of cards and turning one number over at a time. If the number is red, add, if the number is black, subtract. If done correctly, you should finish on 0. You can play ‘Go Fish’ but asking for Number bonds to 10, Snap but with Number bonds, etc. The list is endless!
  • Junk Modelling- All the recycling boxes and packages can be used to create many exciting things- robots, rockets, zoos etc. You can challenge them to make a tower using only 30cm of sellotape. You can provide a little blutac and reuse the boxes. Add opportunities for writing by getting them to write stories about their creations, instructions for someone else to make or even getting them to write a script to present their construction.


Outside Activities:

  • Create Phonics pebbles/ leaves- Write phonics sounds on small pebbles and leaves and get children to create their own alien words. Use this to practise segmenting and blending.
  • Create your own artwork based on an artist inspired by the natural world- e.g. Andy Goldsworthy or Barbara Hepworth. Again, photograph it and share it with others when we return back to school.
  • Make your own stick man, or a shaped frame with natural materials. Use this to create your own scenes, characters etc. You can create homes, villages even, for your stick characters!
  • Explore in the garden for minibeasts- Without disturbing their habitat, investigate what they like and dislike (light/dark, damp/ dry, warm/cold). Research their diet and see how your garden supports their life. You could extend this even further and make a bug hotel. There are many examples of easy to make ones online.
  • Grow your own food or research where your food comes from- foodafactoflife.org.uk is a great, free website to use. Observe how your food grows, keep a diary and don’t forget plants need water to survive!
  • Make patterns from the things that you find on the ground. Can you find matching colours and weights?
  • Make story stones- Use paint or acrylic pens to draw pictures on. Can you make up a story using your pictures?
  • Further challenges could include making:
    • A magic wand,
    • A tall tower with sticks and string,
    • 2D shapes and calculate their perimeter,
    • Giant 3D shapes that you can name.

Please remember, I am contactable by using the class e-mail address that was made available to you in a letter last week. I will try to reply as soon as I can. I will continue to update this blog regularly but I want to give you options for activities that you can pick and choose to meet your time needs, as well as the needs of your child. Getting outside is important for our wellbeing but please adhere to social distancing guidance. All these activities can be completed in a small space, such as a garden.


Enjoy the sunshine and the Spring weather,

Miss Muncey