You know those days when you wake up in the morning and mentally go through your day, only to suddenly remember the birthday party you’re meant to be at in two hours, so you stumble bleary-eyed over to the gift cupboard and realise that you now only have gifts left for babies, blessingways and older kids, so you log in to your online banking really hoping your client has paid you, but alas, she hasn’t… so you have less than two hours to come up with a present. What do you do? I’ve mentioned before what I do – I go to Twinkl, so that’s precisely what I did today.
I have a whole drawer full of printed games and puzzles and activities that I can pull out whenever we need something to change the narrative on our day. One of the activities that I recently added to this collection was a faces & feelings matching game (download it free here). I printed it and laminated it and keep them for a quick, five minute activity from time to time.
You can do it either way – lay out the faces and match the words, or lay out the words and match the faces to them. There are more words than faces because some faces can match a variety of words – like terrified and yelling.
You can either pull out extra words so that you can focus on the words you’re interested in, or you can leave it as is.
I really enjoy game cubes – I’ve made a few of them over the course of parenting, like this activity cube for rainy days – and was going to make one for animals & emotions to go with our feelings and emotions theme, but then happened across this printable version on Twinkl. I decided to save my wooden blocks for another time, and printed this emotional animals game instead.
When we plan our themes, I always spend a bit of time making printable resources that can act as time fillers – something to keep the kids busy for 5 minutes while I do something else, which means they don’t get distracted and find it hard to come back to their activity. Often just having a colouring page or a word search available is all it takes for me to get their ‘main’ activity – like painting, or crafting, or building something else, ready.
Here are three free printables for the Matilda theme:
(I make printables simple, because I don’t want to use a ton of ink on a pretty border or background. I really don’t see the point in wastefulness for short activities.)
Ameli can write pretty well, but her letters are often all the same size, squashed onto one line. I was worried about it till I saw a schooled friend in the year she would be in doing the same, so now I don’t worry about it any more. We are just spending a few minutes every week copying words in their correct format.
This activity only takes a few minutes, but I think it’s a great exercise in logic, in planning ahead and in memory too, if you get them to trace it with a finger or use a light colour first, till they find the way, then use a dark colour.
I hope you find these Matilda Resources useful!
For more Matilda themed posts, click on the image below.
While I’m perfectly capable of creating my own worksheets and printable signs and labels for the girls, they are very time consuming, and I use printables from both free and paid sites a lot. For me it’s a matter of saving time, sometimes and spending time doing paid work, versus the amount of time the girls have to sit around doing not a lot because I am busy making worksheets.
It’s something I do like doing, when I have the time, but in a lot of cases it’s a matter of ‘why re-invent the wheel?’
One of the sites I use is TinyMe, who offer loads of seasonal and occasional printables. Here are a few we’ve used recently:
- We printed this booklet for father’s day. It would be lovely to do year after year and see how the responses change.
- There are activity sheets for keeping the kids busy over the summer.
- Free printable games for hosting your own sports day.
- Free ‘Get Up And Move’ Dice
- Free fancy dress printables – great for photo booth photos too!
- Free happy home printables, for organising family life – hahaha, I know
- We also adore this chore chart, though we don’t use it for chores, but for morning and evening routines. There’s a robot chore chart too.
- For summer time, there are also these beautiful scavenger hunt cards, (print them, laminate them, and use them again and again!)