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Sunday, 23 June 2019

Outdoor Activities For Rainy Days


It seems ironic that I am writing an article about getting outdoors in bad weather in the middle of June. We are on the brink of summer but the weather is far from summery. In fact, it has rained everyday for over a week now where I am. Not only is it wet, it is also cold and I occasionally have to put the heating on! This is something I never do in June, but I guess we never can predict the great British weather!

As a family, we spend as much time as possible outdoors. I am a great believer of the benefits of outdoor play and learning and try to encourage this as much as possible, both in my own family and with others too. Everyone can benefit from the great outdoors but in this weather it is not always easy to see those benefits when you are inside a warm, cosy house watching raindrops run down the windows.



It is unfortunate that this bout of bad weather coincides with the annual 30 Days Wild challenge which encourages families to spend time outdoors each day for 30 consecutive days. Suddenly this exciting challenge does not seem so appealing anymore. It can be so difficult to force ourselves outside when its dark, grey and wet every single day. This is why I thought it would be good to talk about some fun activities that can be done in the bad weather. Just remember, there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing. Therefore, get the right gear together and then it won't be nearly as bad as you think!


Puddles

  • Jump in the puddles and see how big a splash you can make.
  • Jump over the puddles.
  • Use a stick to mark a line a certain distance from the puddle. Stand behind the line and practise throwing some pebbles or balls into the puddle.
  • Get or make some little boats and sail them in the puddles.
  • Get some bricks or construction blocks and build a bridge over the puddles.
  • Use buckets or cups for filling up and pouring out fun.
  • Make some footprints using your wellies or make tracks by riding your bike or scooter through the puddle.
  • Add some bubble bath or washing up liquid and whisk up some bubbles!
  • Use an outdoor broom to sweep away the puddle. 


Rain

  • Put a mirror on the ground and watch the raindrops fall onto it.
  • Make a waterway using guttering, drainpipes, waterproof tape and any containers you like. Watch the water run along it, fill up containers etc.
  • Rain painting - Drop liquid watercolours or food colouring onto a piece of paper using a pipette. Leave the artwork upright in the rain and see how the raindrops wash the paint down and create patterns.
  • Give children some sponges and/or squeegees to wash the windows or doors.
  • Fill up a container with rain water and add some sponges. Young children will have great fun playing with the sponges and squeezing them strengthens their hand muscles.
  • Throw wet sponges into numbered buckets. The numbers correspond to the number of points you get for throwing it in.
  • Have a water fight!
  • When it just starts to rain, place some paper outside and place some objects on top. Leave in the rain for a few minutes then remove the paper to reveal their silhouettes.
  • Make a rain shelter using a large sheet of plastic.
  • Put foil over an umbrella and listen to the sound of the rain drops.
  • Make a natural umbrella. Take the biggest leaf you can find and place it on your head. Alternatively find smaller leaves and weave them together to create a rain hat.
  • Make an umbrella den. Get a really big umbrella, place it on the floor outside and huddle under it. See if you can place a few umbrellas together to create a larger den!
  • Go on a snail hunt. Snails love to go out in the rain!
  • After the rain has stopped, go on a water droplet hunt! 

Learning activities

  • Make a rain gauge to see how much rainfall you get over the space of a few days or a week.
  • Keep a weather diary and record the rainfall, clouds, sunshine, wind and temperature.
  • Collect rain water in a bowl or tub and see which objects float or sink.
  • How clean is the rain? Place a paper towel over a bowl and leave it out of the rain. Is the paper towel clean or dirty?
  • What does the rain sound like? How does it sound inside your home, the car, the greenhouse? How does it sound outside in the open or under a tree or picnic table? Record the sounds using a mobile phone and listen back to the recordings later to see the difference.






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Wednesday, 29 May 2019

The Impact of Speech Sound Disorders on Literacy


In order to speak clearly and make themselves understood, a child must be able to say each speech sound accurately and be able to string these sounds together to make words and phrases. If a child cannot do this, it may be hard to understand them. Children may not acquire the full repertoire of speech sounds until they are 5-8 years old. There are developmental milestones for speech sound acquisition, therefore, different sounds are acquired at different ages. The sounds p, b, t, d, m and w are among the first sounds to be learnt and r and th may be among the last. 

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Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Clear Speech: How to do Speech Therapy at Home - Online Course



Children learn to say sounds by listening to people talking to them and around them. Some children have difficulties acquiring one or more speech sounds and this makes their speech unclear to other people. It is important to remember that young children are not able to produce every sound. This is because speech is a complicated process and over 100 sets of muscles are used in the production of the vowels and consonants of English. It takes a lot of practise at coordinating these muscles before a child is able to produce intelligible speech. Furthermore, there is a process of speech sound acquisition which all children go through and each sound is acquired at a specific stage of development. Therefore, it is normal for children of certain ages to make errors in their speech.

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Monday, 13 May 2019

Ramadan For Preschoolers


Ramadan is the month of fasting in the Islamic calendar. It is the time when Muslims around the world abstain from food and drink during daylight hours. Ramadan can be a difficult concept for children to grasp. That is why I put together some printables to help your child understand the reasons for fasting. 

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Saturday, 6 April 2019

Raising Talkers: How to Help Your Child to Talk - Online Course


Did you know that a child's vocabulary at age five is the strongest predictor of future academic success? Or that late talkers never really catch up completely with their peers? Early language skills are so important. They affect a child's ability to think, learn and be. Early language skills affect literacy ability and later academic achievements as well as a child's future prospects. The quality and quantity of language a child hears in their environment is the strongest predictor of their communication skills. Parents and carers have a huge impact on their child's ability to acquire language so it is important that they know the best way to achieve this.

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Sunday, 31 March 2019

The Importance of Early Language Skills


Communication is one of the most important skills that human beings acquire. It is important for interacting with others and making friends, as well as for survival. The ability to communicate so sophisticatedly sets us apart from other animals; it makes us unique. Language is one of the most important skills we will learn. Without language we would not be able to order a coffee, tell someone we love them or call for help. 

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Sunday, 17 March 2019

50 Outdoor Activites For Kids


If you have been following me for some time, you will know how much I love outdoor play and learning. In fact, I love it so much that we follow a nature curriculum in our homeschool. This curriculum has really changed our lives. It pushes us to get outdoors, whatever the weather, and encourages us to notice the seasons. You can find out more about that HERE. 

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