Also An Octopus {Book Review}

I seem to find myself a bit gushy over books every week at the moment. I can’t help that the books we’re being sent are so fantastic though! This week’s arrival was perfectly themed for us too, because we’ve been focusing on story telling and story writing this month, what with it being both National Story Telling Week a few weeks ago, and National Haiku month and all that. So Also an Octopus from Maggie Tokuda-Hall is a perfectly timed book for us – but it’s also both funny and really sweet, and an all round fantastic concept.

Also an Octopus

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DIY Story Cubes {And Free Story Elements Download}

We’re in the middle of National Storytelling week, so we’ve spent a fair bit of time this week doing just that. There are loads of different ways of bringing stories to life, and while something like painted pebbles might be beautiful, we’re not all quite so talented! There’s a list here of different ways to create story prompts, but one we’ve been doing this week – and you can download it or template for your own below – is story cubes.

Story cubes require a template, a printer and an on-the go imagination.

DIY Story Cubes

Read more: DIY Story Cubes {And Free Story Elements Download}

10 Storytelling Tools For Kids

It’s National Storytelling week soon, and I’ve been looking at ways to engage the children interactively in the art of storytelling.  We did story sticks last year, which was a big hit, but I want to try something else this year. Here are some exciting ideas to look at and try for National Story Telling Week:

National Storytelling WeekRead more: 10 Storytelling Tools For Kids

Ideas For Celebrating Winnie The Pooh Day (January 18th)

Winnie the Pooh Day in on the 18th of January. It’s actually A.A. Milne’s birthday, which is why the date was chosen.

In it’s Disney era, Winnie the Pooh has been cast as a character for baby-nurseries and babified for toddlers, but in truth, I think this has done them something of an injustice, with the stories being much more suited to early readers. They are clever, and funny and well worth dusting off for a quick evening read.Winnie the Pooh Theme

As such, we’re learning around the theme of Winnie the Pooh, which means we’re using the topic, however loosely to underpin our learning. Below are our ideas for celebrating Winnie the Pooh Day. The list will grow and link to other pages as the day gets closer, but I’m populating it as I go along.

To give you something to get stuck into in the meantime, however, here’s a FREE PRINTABLE BOOKLET for you to download and print. It has all sorts of puzzles, games and suggestions for your Winnie the Pooh celebrations.Winnie the Pooh Activity Book

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January Literary Days To Celebrate And Observe

January is a fairly quiet month anyway, and for those looking to celebrate the literary highs and lows of the month, there are few, but big days to celebrate. January Literary Days

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Four Printables For Alphabet Learning

It’s finally happened. My baby has decided she’d like to be able to read. Her big sister can spend hours lost in her latest favourite book, and she wants to be able to do the same, I guess. With Ameli it was easy – one round of Reading Eggs and she was on her way. Aviya needs a little more interaction in her learning though, so we’re working our way through the alphabet.

I found a few different alphabet-learning printables on educational resources website Twinkl, and here’s how we’re using them.alphabet-printables

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10+ Fun Resources For Big Friendly Giant Fans

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that it’s a big year for Roald Dahl this year. Not only is it the 100th Anniversary of the birth of the well-loved author (13th September 1916), but there’s also the new BFG movie that’s recently opened in cinemas. While the movie ends a little differently that the book, it’s still a lovely movie, and a great update on the old movie.

We love Roald Dahl and have done a lot of activities for Roald Dahl Day over the years, and I’m sure we’ll celebrate his birthday quite happily again this year – but to coincide with the new film, we’ll probably focus on The BFG this year!

Here’s a bit of a round up from around the world wide web – and from our own experience – of activities to do around The Big Friendly Giant.Big Friendly GiantRead more: 10+ Fun Resources For Big Friendly Giant Fans

Learning Games: Using Go Fish For Anagram Words

We’ve been working on a bit of a loose ‘ocean’ theme the last few weeks, so I decided to let the literacy activity for this week be ‘go fish’.

For this game, we used a magnet to pick up our magnetised fish – say, 5 fish, or pick a number – then make up as many words as we can from those five letters. Pretty simple, really, and great for word exploration, spelling and a general word-building exercise, without looking or feeling like learning.Go Fish Game

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Fairy Story Sticks

I am not much of an artist. I’m pretty much a stick figure kind of girl, but about a year ago I bought a book called How to Draw 101 Fairies* – which gives you a step by step picture guide for drawing 101 different fairies. Now, if you did a side by side comparison of their fairies and mine, there are vast differences, and all my fairies would be claiming disability because they have heinously deformed hands and feet, and faces in some cases, but never mind… the fairies haven’t noticed, and neither have the children.Story Sticks

Anyway, I bought this book about a year ago so that I could learn to draw fairies, and when I saw that it was National Tell A Fairytale Day on Friday, I thought it was a great opportunity to pull out the book and get practising. Having drawn a bunch of fairies, my girls saw them and loved them, so I thought story sticks would be a fun idea.Read more: Fairy Story Sticks