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

NEW! Andy’s Amazing Adventures Magazine Review

If your little one is a fan of Andy’s Wild Adventure on CBeebies, Immediate Media have a treat in store for them: The new Andy’s Amazing Adventures Magazine which launches today.

What they tell us about Andy’s Amazing Adventures Magazine:

Andy's Amazing AdventuresThis magazine is aimed at 3 – 6 year olds, and the magazine is based on the extremely popular CBeebies shows Andy’s Wild Adventures, Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures and the forthcoming Andy’s Prehistoric Adventures and will cover all of Andy’s adventures.

In each issue, Andy will be their trustworthy guide as they explore the world and even travel through time, meeting creatures, facing dangers and solving problems along the way. It is packed with puzzles, stickers, colouring, stories and comes with a great free gift with every issue.

The magazine is based on the 7 key areas of learning that support early years development so it’s full of fun things while also supporting the readers’ learning.

What did we think of Andy’s Amazing Adventures Magazine?

We’ve received the first edition in advance of today’s launch, and the first thing I noted about the contents were that they are spot on for their target. My 6 year old finds all the puzzles and activities easy, but not boring and my 3 year old finds them challenging enough to do together, so I think it’s perfectly targeted.Read more: NEW! Andy’s Amazing Adventures Magazine Review

The Incredible Journey Free Printable Resources

Over the last few weeks we’ve been working on The Incredible Journey – by working on, I mean ‘reading’! We’ve also done a few other activities – a board game and an animal categorising ‘game’. I’ve also made some of our usual printable activities to share with you.

I remember reading The Incredible Journey as a child, and finding it disappointing compared to the movie, and reading it now as an adult I can see why – it’s not as Americanised as the movie – the characters have names you have to think about and they don’t talk as their movie-counterparts do. It’s not a long book, but it’s not always easy reading either. It’s a beautiful story of love, courage, friendship and perseverance and purpose though, and well worth reading together.

Below you will find letter writing practice sheet, a crossword that asks questions about the story (you won’t be able to answer this from watching the movie) and an easy and a difficult maze and finally, a word search. This is a harder word search, because some of the words go backwards.

To download a worksheet, just click on the image. It’ll open a PDF in a new window for you to print.

The Incredible Journey Writing Practice

Children can trace the letters to help them learn the sizing of letters compared to each other, or simply just to practice.

The Incredible Journey Handwriting Practice

The Incredible Journey Crossword Puzzle

An 11 clue crossword puzzle – the answers are at the bottom of the page. I thought rather than use a second page, just pop them on the bottom and fold the footer area over so little eyes can’t see the answers.

The Incredible Journey Crossword

The Incredible Journey Mazes

There are two mazes here to choose from – a simple one here and a tougher one. Pictured is the harder one.

The Incredible Journey difficult maze

The Incredible Journey Word Search

This word search is a little harder than the ones I normally do, I think, because the words run back to front and from the bottom up. I don’t normally like doing them this was as I think it’s confusing for younger participants, but it’s how it worked out this time.

The Incredible Journey Word Search

If you’ve enjoyed these activities, remember to check the rest of the tag for The Incredible Journey resources

Incredible Journey.

Roald Dahl’s Matilda Activities – Sailing Books

One of the lines I really loved from Roald Dahl’s Matilda movie was

So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.

I didn’t realise this at first, but that’s not actually in the book. The book actually says,

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village

The very soul of me relates to this quote. I may not have read Ernest Hemingway and Rudyard Kipling as a 3 year old, but in junior school I read Famous Five, Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, Secret Seven, and a bunch of others you would only know if you were Afrikaans, like Trompie en die Boksom Bende. At one stage I was reading them at a rate of a book a day, in school time. Really, I thought school just got in the way of my reading time!

Matilda's Books Like Ships

Well I am on the way to instilling the same love of reading in my girls. Their dad has a big part to play in that – he has read to Ameli almost every night he’s spent with her. On her sixth birthday, they finished reading the entire Chronicles of Narnia.

Anyway,  while preparing our current Matilda theme, I couldn’t get “ like ships on the sea” out of my head.

Matilda is also full of metaphors, it’s a fabulous book for introducing the concept too, with metaphors like:

Even when their own child is the most disgusting little blister you could ever imagine, they still think that he or she is wonderful

Matilda's Books Like ShipsIs the child actually a disgusting little blister? No. But what does it tell you about the appearance of the child?

It’s quite fun actually, talking through some of the metaphors in Matilda.

But, the one we were focused on today was that of ships on the sea.

For this craft you’ll need:

This craft couldn’t really be simpler. We printed some of our favourite book covers – Roald Dahl, Dr Seuss and so on – and cut them into squares or sail-shape (if you know the word for that, let me know!)

For the square – pirate – sails (clearly not a sailor, am I!) thread the large, then small sails through the toothpick. For the others, glue the sail to the skewer.

Apply a healthy helping of glue to the shell or driftwood, and place the skewer, holding it for a few seconds so that it can dry in place.

Matilda's Books Like Ships

It’s quite a quick craft, in the end, and before you know it you’ll have a literary armada.