• How’s your week been?

I guess your week has been a bit more normal as the kids are back to school? Is that good or bad? I know I always used to miss mine when they went back – at least for the first few days!

I posted a video on Monday where I talked about having some breathing space to plan the week ahead. I’m lucky that I’ve been able to take control of my time and I don’t have to be busy all of the time. It’s a challenge but vitally important. My daughter is extremely busy, but she takes the time to listen to Head Space on the train in the mornings. It helps to create a grounded calm space for her to have the energy for her long day.

Everybody is different. What works for one is different to the next. But be aware that we live in a culture where busy is valued. Years ago I used to compete with my husband as to who had had the busiest and most stressful day! Happily I’ve left that attitude behind. In fact today I have ordered the book “In Praise of Slow” by Carl Honore to see whether I can learn some more about being less busy.

  • From Caterpillars….

This week we have made spiders, as it’s Halloween. (Did I mention Caterpillar Learners is on a Wednesday afternoon now?)

I love this activity because it involves lots of fine motor skills which are so important for children of around preschool and reception age. Writing is mostly fine motor skills and some children are just not ready for letter formation but are better drawing patterns and shapes.

Letters are based on very few shapes: vertical and horizontal lines, circles, zigzags, dots and curves.

We’ve also worked on the number 8. It’s a very tricky one to write. I always say “It’s a Sammy snake and a backwards Sammy snake.” I’m not worried at all that pre-schoolers find it difficult. We’ve also counted 8 legs and 8 fingers and on our hands made different combinations of 8. This is the beginnings of addition and subtraction.

  • Something for the weekend

Are you doing something for Fireworks night? My youngest always hated displays as a child because of the loud bangs so we used to do some special things indoors.

Here’s a few simple ideas to get you started.

Curriculum based activity

A great way to get young children to think about number bonds is to make up stories around a given number. For example, you could make up a story about a spider family. Make sure you have buttons or counter for them to count.

Once upon a time there was a spider family; mum, dad and 3 babies. How many is that altogether? One day mum’s friend visited. 5 and 1 more spider makes ? altogether? At the end of the day mum’s friend went home again so that left ? You get the idea….

And finally……

Whatever you’re doing this weekend – stay safe x