Frankensnakes – an engineering-inspired Halloween trick

This post is sponsored by The Year of Engineering You may remember Talitha tried one of the activities developed by the Year of Engineering’s Holiday Makers in the summer. They’re back again with more engineering-inspired activities for children aged 7-16 over the October half term. My kids always light up when they hear anything about engineering because one of their aunts is an engineer but the reality in this country is that only 12% of those working in engineering are women and only 8% come from ethnic minority backgrounds. The Holiday Makers are aiming to help families get making and…

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Storytime Magazine

About a year ago I reviewed beautiful Storytime magazine and gushed about it because we genuinely loved it. In fact, our whole family has wound up recommending it to loads of friends. We’ve even bought copies as gifts. I was getting ready to buy a subscription before the one I was given for last year’s review ended when the magazine got in touch again and asked if I’d be interested in running a catch up. Since we’ve kept every single copy we received this year? Well, yes, I would. Stories are at the heart of the way we’ve chosen to…

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Home education review: Reading Chest

Talitha’s been trying out and thoroughly enjoying a levelled book subscription service called Reading Chest. The idea is that your child receives books in the post and when they finished reading them, they put them in supplied envelopes and pop them in a post box to receive more. She’s actually a proficient reader now so she doesn’t need levelled readers. She’s just finished reading The Railway Children, borrowed from the library, for instance. However, she’s enjoying the Reading Chest’s “Extended Readers Book Band”. They’re fun, quick reads and I like that they often raise interesting points for conversation, especially if…

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“We need to save the rhinos!” – National Geographic Kids iPad edition

A few days ago, while Talitha and I were making supper, she suddenly said: “Mummy, we need to save the rhinos! People are trying to kill them because they want their horns and that is very bad.” I was surprised, to say the least. “Where did you hear about that?” I asked. She sighed with all the exasperation an almost four-year-old can muster. “It was in the iPad game we were playing the other day.” The “game” she was talking about was the iPad edition of National Geographic Kids UK magazine. It’s interactive enough that I could see why she…

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Alphablocks Reading Programme – review

Three-year-old Talitha has been loving making her way through the Alphablocks Reading Programme we’ve been sent to review. She loves a magazine and practically begs to do workbooks so this is the perfect activity for her. I haven’t pushed the reading thing with her. We plan to home educate her partly because we want her to progress at her own pace. She’s been so interested in learning to read, though (I hear “What’s this word, Mummy?” many, many times every day), that it would be strange not to help her explore this fascinating world of learning to read. Complimented by…

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Five Autumn Printables for Preschoolers

I think every year I stay in the UK, I love Autumn all the more. Now that my three-year-old notices the little changes that herald in a new season, we’re really celebrating it. Here are a few of the Autumn printables we’ve enjoyed recently, courtesy Twinkl. Numbers 0-20 on Autumn leaves (pictured above) Autumn playdough mats Autumn display photos EYFS Messy Play Recipe Card Autumn Leaves in Mud Bread recipe sheets Autumn leaf sequencing worksheet It amused me that when my mum (who lives in Trinidad) suggested I have a look at Twinkl for preschool ideas I could surprise her…

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Mathseeds Review – Learning Maths with a 2.5-year-old

I first heard about Reading Eggs when I was stalking home education blogs for reading resources, more out of curiosity than anything else. Talitha was two-and-a-bit at the time and I felt a little weird about teaching her to read but she was clearly interested and it seemed counter intuitive to ignore and redirect that desire. I wasn’t sure about using a computer game series, though, which Reading Eggs is. We’ve always agreed that we’d like her to have a low-media life in the majority so she could spend these crucial years learning through doing real things rather than attached…

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