Thursday, 27 November 2014

Picstick Discount Code

I did a review on Picstick magnets recently on my Home Ed blog which you can read in full here. The upshot being that I was impressed with the service, speed of delivery and the quality of the magnets.

I can see them making cute little Christmas presents for friends and relatives that could easily slip inside a Christmas card.

This is also a project that  children could do themselves; choosing the photographs and uploading them was a fairly simple process.
And you don't have to be limited to photos, you could scan their artwork or write your own messages to have printed on to magnets too :)

There is plenty of potential to use these little photo-magnets educationally. Design your own set of alphabet magnets, or a set of chore chart symbols. For younger children, you could design a set of daily activity must-dos - cleaning teeth, brushing hair etc.
Or how about creating a set with story characters and places to use as prompts in developing imaginative story telling? :)

Picstick are offering an amazing discount on their magnets for #blackfriday which suddenly makes some of these ideas more likely to come to fruition :)
You can buy 1 set of magnets and get 3 sets FREE by using this code at the checkout


This equates to 36 magnets for £9.50/$14.99 with free international postage - which works out at just over 26p each :)

What educational activity would you use the magnets for? :)

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Choosing Picture Book Explorers for Winter

If you want to fit your explorations to fit with the seasons of the year, the following are based on books which have a particular connection with winter in the story.

Picture Book Explorers ~ The Mousehole Cat
features a winter storm and ends on Christmas Eve.
To complete this cross-curricular unit study you will need a copy of The Mousehole Cat
 and, among other things, some Coloured Felt and some glitter.

Picture Book Explorers ~ Greyfriars Bobby
features a snowy scene and an old man getting ill from being too long out in the cold.
The old man dies and this could be a sensitive subject for younger children.
To complete this cross-curricular unit study, You will need a copy of Greyfriars Bobby
and, among other things, some watercolour paints.


Either of these two Picture Book Explorers would fit in well with a project about winter and The Mousehole Cat even includes Christmas and traditions specific to the area in which the story is set.

Happy Exploring!

If you are shopping online at The Works during November2014, you can get 15% off all orders at the checkout with this discount code

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Christmas is Coming

I'm very busy preparing the next Picture Book Explorers study pack which will be out by the end of the month. It will have a Christmas theme and will be particularly significant to this year. More news to follow :)

I'm going to be running a Christmas Activity Advent calendar on this blog with links to crafts and activities relevant to the season, so please remember to come back each day from 1st December. You might want to start saving toilet roll tubes and digging out last year's Christmas cards now ;)

One of our family traditions is to make an "Advent Calendar of Books" which is essentially a pile of 24 books with a Christmas theme :) Many people use this idea and some even wrap the books individually, one parcel to be opened each day during advent. We don't go quite that far. My daughter decides on  the order, numbers them and puts them in a basket. If I have any activities to accompany the book, they go in the basket too.

Some of our favourites are How the Grinch Stole Christmas! , The Gift of the Magi and Twas the Night Before Christmas which we always read on Christmas Eve as well as revisiting the lapbook we made for it years ago. I like to add a few new books to the selection every year. This helps to ensure that they still have age appropriate as they get older, as well as being able to read old favourites that rekindle the sense of wonder from when they were younger. This Advent, we are also reading A Christmas Carol for our book group, so I'll ask my daughter to put that book at the beginning of the Advent pile :)

My children are starting to get pretty excited about Christmas, even though I think it is still a little early yet. Mind you, tomorrow is Stir Up Sunday, so I think I'd better start getting  my head round it quickly.

I'd love some new suggestions of titles to add to our book Advent Calendar. What are your family's favourite Christmas books?

Sunday, 16 November 2014

New Print-and-play Game

My daughter, aka The Girl, came up with a new way to play Bingo. She decide to use it as a maths lesson to help her and her younger brother build their mental arithmetic skills. During the process of fine-tuning and tweaking we came up with a few variations and ideas for extension activities. Consequently, in an attempt to let her see how her ideas can earn her money, I decided to create a print-and-play version, complete with full instructions. Like all Branch Out World materials, the game allows for flexibility and adaptation to make it suit the needs of different families.

This is  what some of the testers had to say said about games galore ~ Equation Bingo:

"We've been playing Equation Bingo and my girls really got into it! They are only aged 9, 7 and 5 and maths is not usually our go to activity, ...but they really enjoyed themselves!"

"It would I feel be well suited to use in small supported learning groups in school where anything flashy can be distracting as it is a good way to encourage mental maths and confidence."

You can buy the new Games Galore ~ Equation Bingo from Currclick for just £1.