• How’s your week been?

It’s been a great Autumn so far hasn’t it? I’m not usually a big fan of Autumn because it usually feels damp and dark to me but so far it’s been bright and the leaves are very beautiful. I do make plans for winter though as I’m not good with the lack of light. I try to get out in the daylight every day and I also have a Lightbox. If you feel tired, grumpy or depressed in the winter months it could simply be that you’re not getting enough light.

Edit: As I review this for publishing it’s a very grey and drizzly morning. In all honesty I could go back to bed and watch Netflix but I have things I want to get done, so I’m going to have 10 minutes in front of my lightbox and then go out for a few hours.

  • From Caterpillars….

At Caterpillars this week I’ve been focusing on listening. I’ll not say too much here as I’m busy writing a whole article on listening and its importance in learning to read and spell. Look out for this coming soon!

  • Something for the weekend

Why not have some fun making different noises and sounds?

Collect some plastic bottles and put different things inside each one. How many different and interesting sound shakers can you make?

Take a photo of each one and play a guessing or matching game. It’s much harder to match when you can only listen.

  • Curriculum based activity

Focus on rhyming stories. There are some great ones out there. Visit the library so that you can get lots! Some of my favourites are:

Cat in the Hat

Green Eggs and Ham

Shark in the Park

This is the Bear

The Gruffalo

Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy

My Cat likes to Hide in Boxes

Rhyming is a very important component in learning to read and spell, as well as being fun. Children can predict the end of phrases as well as hearing the rhyme. At this stage you don’t need to worry about looking at the words with them, unless they particularly want to. The English language is extremely complex and each sound (phoneme) has multiple spellings. For example the words nut, love, son, flood, country, does and papa all rhyme but have a different spelling.

  • And finally…

Mums and Dads, it’s a busy time of the year. Christmas is just round the corner! Make sure you take some time for yourself. Consider, what is the worst thing that will happen if you forget or don’t get round to doing something? Prioritise those crucially important things. There’s probably not that many!