Winnie The Pooh’s Real 100 Acre Woods

Did you know Winnie the Pooh is based on a real boy and his bear?

100 acre wood

The 100 Akre Woods – which are actually 500 acre woods – are located in Ashdown Forest, in Kent, South England. There’s a little town called Hartfield where you’ll find a teashop and giftshop – The House at Pooh Corner.

Read more: Winnie The Pooh’s Real 100 Acre Woods

Learning About the Hindu Festival Of Diwali

I can’t claim to have grown up with much awareness of religious diversity, and I can’t claim to be one way better or worse off for it, but I do know that my children are growing up in a much different way and in a very different place to the close, conservative, and supportive  community that I did, so I think it’s important for them to learn two things: 1) Tolerance for other religions, 2) an understanding of other religions in relation to what I believe, and what I hope they will believe. Religious observances are also different now, and sometimes more commercial – for example the Colour Run, based on the Holli celebration, or locally, we have Electric Woods, where Robin Hill lights up the autumn nights inspired by Diwali, the Hindu Festival of Lights. While we could just go and enjoy the prettiness, I think there’s value in explaining what it is that we’re exposing ourselves to, so that the children can learn something about ‘other people’. As it was, the Electric Woods event saw us walking through the woods at Robin Hill enjoying the cold evening air, listening to music and looking at light displays. It was a lovely evening out, fuelled by hot chocolate. dewali-robin-hillRead more: Learning About the Hindu Festival Of Diwali

Halloween and Day of the Dead Mosaic Crafts

It’s almost Halloween, which is kind of amusing because we don’t really ‘celebrate’ Halloween. Or Samhain. Or Day of the Dead. We have two birthdays in October which is pretty much enough for us, but you know… everyone’s doing it. Our Bostik Bloggers Box this month contained lots of Halloween-themed goodies, with a giant foam skeleton, pumpkin and bat. There are all sorts of little scrapbook odds and ends and paper, including Halloween confetti.

For these decorations we used: 

  • Halloween themed scrap book paper
  • Webbed material
  • Halloween foams
  • Glu Dots
  • Bostik PVA Craft Glue

BostikBloggers Halloween CraftRead more: Halloween and Day of the Dead Mosaic Crafts

Little Passports Early Explorers {Review}

I wrote a post recently about Little Passports – the World Explorer subscription – and how much we loved it. We have also been receiving the subscription for Early Explorers and if it’s possible, I love it even more.

The Early Explorer Little Passports set is aimed at pre-schoolers, roughly aged 3 – 5, but I would say that activity books aside, it’s also perfect for anyone with little or no previous knowledge of geography. little passports early explorersRead more: Little Passports Early Explorers {Review}

Create Little Explorers With Little Passports Subscription Boxes

Ameli never stood a chance, really. She was born to a mother with itchy feet, and by her second birthday she had been to 20 countries. That’s more than many people see in a life time! Unfortunately our circumstances changed and our travelling slowed down somewhat, but I like to think the impact of all those travels have landed and she will always be a little world traveller.

When we were offered a 3-month subscription to Little Passports I was really excited, because I knew she’d love it.

Our first parcel arrived, and we set off on our Little Passports adventure. Little Passports Subscription Boxes

Being six, Ameli receives the World Edition for 6 – 10 year olds. The first parcel contains the blue and green cardboard suitcase, a ‘passport’ and a wall-sized world map. It also includes a welcome letter from Sam & Sofia (which I’ve managed to convince Ameli are real people!) and stickers to decorate the case, (later boxes include stickers for ‘passport stamps’ for the passport) a photo of the two friends and an activity sheet. There’s also a boarding pass with an access code for online games in the Boarding Zone.Read more: Create Little Explorers With Little Passports Subscription Boxes

How Big Is The Earth?

My dad sent me these pictures in an email, and I have no idea where they originally hail from, since they seem to have various sources on the web – if you do, let me know and I’ll credit appropriately. I showed them to Ameli(6) however, and they sparked such interest, I thought I’d share them with you here too. It’s wonderful to put the size of the Earth into perspective. How Big Is the Earth

It’s sometimes hard to know what level to pitch topics at, and using pictures is great because it allows children to ask questions, setting the level themselves. I love how these pictures have been set up. The first set of planets are Earth, Venus, Mars, Mercury and Pluto. It makes Earth look big, important, powerful, and so different from it’s closest neighbours.Read more: How Big Is The Earth?

King Tut & Ancient Egypt Educents Freebie (Limited Time Offer)

King Tut Mini Unit - EducentsFor some reason, kids seem to LOVE learning about Ancient Egypt.

At the moment you can download a FREE lesson about Ancient Egypt and jump into King Tut’s history at Educents. The freebie has several activities included in this pack, including reading comprehension, math review, map skills, and timeline practice, so there are a multiple ways to use them.

Hieroglyphics Math

King Tut Mini Unit - Educents Use these fun pages to practice place value and/or addition and subtraction skills! Page 12 of the King Tut Mini-Unit Freebie asks learners to use the symbols to determine the number. The following page goes a step further and asks students add or subtract numbers.

Fun facts about Ancient Egypt:

  • The Egyptian alphabet contained more than 700 hieroglyphs!

  • Egyptians believed cats were a sacred animal and having a pet cat would bring a household good luck.

  • Ancient Egyptians invented pens, toothpaste, and a game very similar to bowling.

More Ancient Egypt resources:

Mini Bio: King Tut – Here’s a mini bio about King Tut to go with your mini unit!

Ancient Egypt Lapbook ($5)* – Study interesting facts about the discovery of hieroglyphic writing, the Rosetta Stone, the great King Tutankhamun, the lovely Cleopatra and more.
Recipes From Egypt ($2.99)* – Delight your little cooks with two authentic and easy-to-make recipes from Egypt: Tameya (the original veggie burger), and Basboosa (Semolina cake with honey and lemon).
My Book About Egypt($1.99)* – My Book About Egypt takes elementary students to the cities of Cairo, Alexandria, Damietta, and Giza.   King Tut Mini Unit - Educents

Want free lessons for kids about Ancient Egypt? Download the King Tut Mini-Unit Freebie on Educents*!

Simple Resources For The Solar Eclipse

I am so excited to hear that we’re expecting a solar eclipse in the UK. We’ve missed things like meteor showers and lunar eclipses over the years usually due to cloud cover, but with the sun – well, dark is dark, so we’ll experience something no matter the weather. In my corner of the world we’re only expecting a 40% darkness, but as you head further up into the UK, there’ll be more to about 94% darkness in Scotland. The last time the UK saw an eclipse like this was in 1999, so this is pretty epic.

You can learn more about what to expect in your zone here:

Solar Eclipse Zones

I intend to take  full advantage of this eclipse and make it as engaging a learning experience as possible. I remember seeing a full solar eclipse with my mother as a child, and I intend to make the same memory for my girls. 

Here are a few of the Solar Eclipse resources I’ve pulled together so far:

I’ll add some more here if I find more resources to use – and if you have any you’re planning on using pop the link in the comments and we’ll add it here!

Harvesting Oats – Learning About Farming

My brother getting married in Australia has introduced us to a whole new level of family, recently, and in this case, farmers! Apart from the fact that they are all lovely and seem a perfect family to be ‘in-lawed’ to, they are also incredibly generous with their time, and invited us to spend the last day of a six week harvest with them this year.

The farm is out in the middle of nowhere – or Williams – about two hours from Perth.

Their home is beautiful, their farm is spectacular, and the time we’ve spent with them has been quite different to anything else we’ve experienced. We arrived on the last day of harvest, and the girls absolutely loved it. It was a fabulous learning experience for them too!

This particular field was full of oats, so once the oats were ready for harvest, the harvester is sent in. This no mess no fuss machine costs a fortune, but it’s brought farming into the technological age. Complete with airconditioned cabin and radio, it also has an impressive on board computer that tells the farmers at a click of a button how much harvest was gleaned from each individual field, the quality of the crop and loads of other information about the field and the crops. All this is kept and in the ‘down months’ when they’re not actually working the fields, but prepping the machines, and selling the harvest, they also spend time analyzing the data so that they know where to e.g. add more fertiliser or send the cattle in or whatever.

harvester

The oats are cut by these might rotating blades, and the whole blade contraption is controlled from within the cabin, lowered and raised based on the landscape of the field. From here it’s sucked up into the back of the machine, where the ‘wheat & chaff’ are separated, so that the oats fall through into the bin, but the stalks and everything else it picks up is chucked back out the back of the machine where it is left to become grazing or mulch.

harvesting

Once the bin reaches an almost full state, an orange light atop the cab lights up so that the Chaser Bin driver knows to head in. Either the harvester stops and empties out into the Chaser Bin, or the tractor pulling it will just drive alongside and be filled up as it goes. I guess it depends on whether they feel like stopping for a chat and a snack or not! In this image they had stopped, so you can just see the blades in the back behind the blue tractor raised off the ground. 
chaserFrom here the harvester carries on again, and the Chaser Bin goes off to the silos which are then filled in a similar way before they are again emptied into a truck that will take them to the warehouse for sorting and preparing for market.

It was a really fascinating way to spend an afternoon, and Ameli was engrossed in it all.

I love that we had the opportunity to see first hand where the oats for our bliss balls (since we don’t really eat porridge!) comes from. 

mesmerised

 

Need books for kids on farming?
The Book Depository has loads of farming stories with free world wide delivery.

Whipsnade Zoo, Luton, Bedfordshire

Whipsnade Zoo in Bedfordshire is really part zoo, part wildlife reserve. If you say ‘zoo’ you tend to think of a bunch of animals in cages. While this is partly true, there’s also part wildlife reserve like the ones you’ll find in Africa – where you get to drive or walk around with nothing between you and the animals. In a sentence, the Whipsnade Zoo is fantastic. We spent a bank holiday Monday there and we loved every minute of it. 
Whipsnade Zoo

 

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