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Online resources providing support during school closures

School and curriculum online resources that are providing support during school closures

Twinkl

Instant access to inspirational lesson plans, schemes of work, assessment, interactive activities, resource packs, PowerPoints, teaching ideas at Twinkl!

Classroom Secrets

The new BETA site Classroom Secrets Kids is available completely free of charge to support home learning. Classroom Secrets already has a lot of activities online and ready to use right now, and they’re adding more games and activities all the time.

White Rose Maths

Free maths teaching resources during school closures.

Master The Curriculum

Master The Curriculum has ensured that their maths activities will be free until schools reopen. They can be found under the mixed objectives activities on the website.

Primary Stars

Download their free home learning packs & other resources during school closures.

Mrs Mactivity

Get a series of free home learning packs and hygiene resources. You need to share your email address to get the free resources.

How to get your kids into gardening

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According to recent research, only one in five children have a “connection” with nature. So, it’s never been more important to start early and ignite a love of the great outdoors. However, with the threat of coronavirus and many self-isolating indoors, many of us will miss out on some good old fresh air. From improving our mental well-being to making us more active, gardening is a great health booster. The Greenhouse People give the lowdown on how you can get your kids into gardening and enjoy the health benefits of being outdoors…

Think big, start small

Getting your kids into gardening

If you’re trying to get your child or children into gardening, it’s important to start small to make sure their first experience is a positive one. Don’t bewilder them with anything that takes a great deal of care or a lot of time to grow. Easy flowers which they can grow from seed include sunflowers, marigolds or dandelions. Naturally, make sure you keep an eye on them to avoid any disasters, but letting children take ownership of looking after their plant is a great way to teach personal responsibility and boost their confidence.

Don’t be afraid to make a mess

Getting your kids into gardening

There’s no getting around it, children are messy. Gardening can be a great way to channel their messy instincts in a constructive way, from pulling up weeds to digging holes, it allows them to get their hands dirty… and it doesn’t matter! Buying kids a set of child-friendly mini gardening tools can make them feel like a bona fide gardener, while also helping to develop their fine motor skills in the process.

Edible delights

Getting your kids into gardening

As we all know, what we eat can have a major impact on our wellbeing, both for better and for worse. With so many of us failing to consume the daily recommended amount of fruit and vegetables, it’s important to establish good habits early. Introducing your little one to gardening could help them to understand where their food comes from. Start with fruits and vegetables that are relatively easy to care for and require minimum upkeep like peas, radishes, carrots, lettuces and strawberries. If you lack square metres, don’t fret. Try growing plants in containers if you have a small patio or balcony, or even window boxes failing that.

Keep things interesting

Getting your kids into gardening

Children’s minds tend to wander, especially if they don’t find an activity interesting or stimulating. So, make sure to offer positive reinforcements when they’re doing a good job in the garden. You can even make up games and reward them for completing little tasks, like watering the plants, picking fruit and tidying up after themselves.

Fun things to do indoors

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Claire Russell, Founder of playHOORAY!, is a fully qualified Early Years specialist and children’s play coach, giving parents across the UK the tools they need to create a safe and engaging play environment. As an Early Years specialist, Claire knows first-hand the benefits consistency and engaging play can bring – it’s not only fun but educational, and boosts a child’s speech and language, encourages physical and social development and stimulates the imagination. Children are inspired to be messy and creative and stimulate all their senses through play.

Create a theme for your activities

Playing around a theme can be really effective for young children and can bring all your activities together. Themes such as foods, shapes, colours and space not only help children to get excited, but can also you to think outside of the box. That’s not only with toys etc. but also the things you talk about, read and watch.

Take inspiration from anywhere

“If you’re stuck, grab a book”

It’s amazing what can inspire small minds, from spotting a ladybird on the windowsill to a spilt milk puddle in the kitchen, use everyday items or situations to inspire your play and go with what they are interested in. If your young child is showing an interest by observing and asking questions, why not bring it into your play? If there’s nothing particularly sparking their attention, grab a book or watch an interesting programme that might just get them thinking. Bringing any of those well-known characters into the mix can be really inviting for children to want to play.

Extended activities

If you are investing your time (and energy!) to set up an activity, then use it wisely. For those play invitations that will only keep them for a short period of time, flick the kettle on, keep it simple and let them play. However there are other activities, like pretend role play, that are worth investing your energy in. Once they are set up, they are often those that children return to over period of time. For example, a shop, where children can develop lots of different lines of play, will often be played with over a couple of weeks so set it up and leave it out. If it’s not being played with, just tweak it slightly – change it from a food shop to a pet shop with soft toys!

Always have something up your sleeve

What is it they say in the scouts, ‘be prepared, ’ and that’s just the same for play. Always have in the back of your mind ‘Okay, after this what’s next?’ Have a little plan of activities you can do – something quick, simple, easy to grab and set up. And as always if you’re stuck, grab a book! It can save you and your little ones getting stressed when there is little to do.

Think novelty

Kids love novelty, something new can be super exciting, so let them play somewhere they’ve never played before. Under the dining table, behind the sofa, in the hallway, in the sink, in an empty bath, in your bed, anywhere! Let them take their usual toys and all of a sudden they will think it’s amazing!And the same goes for their toys. Bring outdoor toys inside, take indoor toys out. Add plastic toys to bath time. Move toys from downstairs upstairs, and visa versa. Trust me, it can add a lease of life to old or ignored toys!