Spring is time to sow the seeds of new beginnings. Begin any family traditions you have had in mind.
Give the garden an overhaul. Feed it well, mulch and prepare for planting. You may be interested in finding a guide for planting by the moon. There are special calendars designed to show the most appropriate times for particular kinds of garden tasks. Old gardeners simply advise – when the moon’s going up (waxing) it’s time to plant above-ground crops. After the full moon, when it’s waning, it’s time to plant your root crops (like carrots and potatoes). If you planted some bulbs earlier in the year, you may be lucky enough to have flowers blooming already! Enjoy the warm afternoons and get dirty in the garden with your little ones. If your garden is a potted one - transplant, feed and try some...
I loved themed learning at any age! From reading Teddy Bear's Picnic and eating outdoors with babies, right through to teens writing essays inspired by concepts in a sci-fi movie they watched or novel they read...
Last week I read The Rainbow Fish to Zeah and the little ones I babysit, then we did some simple related activities.
The Rainbow Fish, with his shimmering scales, is the most beautiful fish in the ocean but he is proud and vain and none of the other fish want to be his friend—until he learns to give away some of his most prized possessions.
Sometimes the activity is so simple it's completed by the end of the story, and other times, we can spend a week or more immersed in the theme of a much-loved book.
When I looked online for activities related to The Rainbow Fish, there were hundreds of free ideas including arts & crafts, colouring pages, worksheets, games, loose parts play, snack ideas, and more! Learning like this is a little like a...
Recently, I shared a review of a printable resource to learn about Money from Teachers Pay Teachers (which also has heaps of cool freebies too, if you want to sample what's available). Then I reviewed the Barefoot Investor for Families. To continue with the money theme check out this collection of over 60 resources. From this Australian government site families can learn about budgeting, charity, advertising, enterprise, sustainability, consumerism, investing, savings goals and more.
If you do unit studies, or project-based homeschooling, Consider including practical topics like money in your home learning journey... it's relatively easy to gather resources and children love to learn about real life. Some other subjects we've covered in other 'real life' units include:
Rather than a rigid curriculum, the projects have been a conscious choice to include the...
Did you know that there are FREE worksheet generators online? I don't have a preferred one, I just search and use whatever appeals. I just tested this one though, to make a handwriting sheet for Zeah, and it worked fine. I printed a page, and also saved it as a pdf.
I used to use worksheet generators when my older kids were young too, to make wordsearches and other activities they enjoyed related to their current unit study or topic of interest. For little learners, I'd often make pages using our names and address words, because they liked things related to our family, and it was useful for them to know these words. You can make worksheets and other games for learning at any stage. Flashcards are awesome for adults learning a language, for example.
Worksheets aren't necessarily the boring, futile teaching tool they're often made out to be. Personalised worksheets, in particular, can be lots of fun! Happy printing!
Are you creating things with little people? I often am! I have a few craft books to inspire, but I don't regularly use them... I normally search online for a specific theme, eg: "rainbow craft preschool". Or sometimes I search for activities to use up specific materials, eg: "seedpod crafts". I have the beginnings of a folder of ideas in Pinterest, but I forget to add to it!
We like to use materials from nature, mixed with materials that can be composted. We try to avoid plastic, foam, synthetic fibres, over-packaged kits, single-use everything! I remember about 20 years ago taking my tribe of small children to playgroup and coming home with at least four creations made from plastic and styrofoam, glitter and googly eyes. And another four the next week. And over and over until our home was filled with non-recyclable art that inevitably ended up in the bin. We still have way too many precious creations floating...
There are a few flowers and vegetables you can plant in winter. Do you have some produce to harvest from your Autumn planting, or seeds to save from the last surviving plants? Keeping the food garden growing during Winter gives us a good reason to venture outdoors each day. If your garden isn’t producing it’s a great time to mulch well to deter weeds and feed the soil for Spring.
If the opportunity to play outside is limited, gather natural toys. Have a box of seedpods, dried leaves and pebbles for your little ones to sort. Some of these items may become puppets, some may become money in a store, some may build a scene and others will just be held and treasured. A natural modelling material is beeswax. It can be used to create small figurines and sheets can be rolled into candles.
Winter allows us time to be creative together. To make a snowy scene - draw or colour a page with crayon (press hard) and paint over with white acrylic paint....
Harvest your bounty and dry some seeds to plant in the Spring. Children can draw on the labels and sort seeds into tiny containers or packets. Their small fingers crunch dry pods as they discover nature’s treasures.
The colourful autumn leaves hold the last rays of summer sunshine. Use these leaves for making prints with paint in hues of yellow, orange, red and brown. You can also try fabric paint on calico for bags, cushion covers or wall-hangings.
Collect a basket of nuts, seeds and twigs to create mobiles, critters, puppets, collages on boxes and other items. Playing with nature’s gifts will inspire you to their varied uses.
Interesting effects can be created using these items and autumn leaves to create imprints or patterns in clay. Roll clay into a 5-10mm sheet. Create imprints and cut them out using a plastic knife. Pierce holes if required. Dry slowly by covering creations...