Here's an old friend :) Elmer the patchwork elephant. Created by David McKee, the popular Elmer picture book is always a firm favourite to share when discussing friendship, or learning about colour. Here's a previous post from a while back when we had fun making a clay Elmer. Have you a colour you like best? Use our free printable and your children can celebrate their favourite colours too, with Elmer! Begin by colouring Elmer using a chosen colour. Then below, write the colour name and record some special things that would make your readers really think of the colour. We... Read more →


In everyday life, when you see or hear something entertaining or interesting, you usually share your story with others by retelling what happened in your own words. Retelling is an important skill. When I listen to children retelling a familiar story, they communicate to me what meaning they made of the original text, a sense of structure and an ability to use appropriate language. Clearly, the best children's stories to use for straightforward retelling activities are those that are easily remembered. Billy's Bucket by Kes Gray and Garry Parsons is a great story for retelling as young readers really seem... Read more →


Iron Man Junk Model Craft For Kids

Art meets science in our creative response to reading The Iron Man by Ted Hughes! The children were really keen to build their own iron man while reading our class novel this month. Everyone contributed to the mixed media project by collecting metal objects from home: springs, old mobile phones, bottle caps, cogs, chains and screws. We worked in groups to build various parts of the robot, then pieced him together as one collaborative effort! (If you've read this book you'll know how in keeping with the story this process was!) We have also been experimenting with circuit building in... Read more →


This simple art activity was an opportunity to combine two painting techniques with bold, contrasting colours. But our fantastic children took it to a much higher level! After sharing Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear? the children gathered images and watched videos of polar bear families on the Arctic ice. As expected, this eventually led to a discussion about the decline of the species due to global warming and habitat loss. What I didn't expect was the children's decision to respond to the decline of polar bears directly in their art. One child suggested that everyone should keep... Read more →


Here is a great way to help young children retell a familiar story. It's really a retake on the story map, yet this becomes an interactive visual aid to assist with retelling. Use when sharing a children's picture book that has a clear plot defined in parts by characters (like The Gruffalo, The Enormous Turnip, Monkey Puzzle), or by objects (such as Dear Santa, Don't Forget the Bacon, Going on A Bear Hunt). Draw or copy images of the characters/objects onto a circle in the correct order, as they appear in the story. (For Don't Forget the Bacon, children could... Read more →