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 →

We love The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister. If ever there was a great picture book for reminding children about the importance of sharing, this is it! Our favourite page shows the illustration of all the fish scattered throughout the ocean, wearing all the little shiny scales shared by the Rainbow Fish. Less proud, the Rainbow Fish now has many friends wanting him to come and play. We'd been waiting for a rainy day to make a tissue paper lantern and today it poured from the heavens! So we gathered up our materials and set to work, inspired by our... Read more →

Crumbs! Here we are, after almost one year of blogging! Time flies when you're having fun! By way of a big thank you to all our lovely visitors who regularly stop by, we are hosting our first (not a download) Learning Parade giveaway! Here is what is up for grabs: A hard backed copy of If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff, and the lovely little character from the story, as new with tags! This picture book has become a classic in the U.S. and if you search online there are literally dozens of fantastic teaching units... Read more →

Here is your free download for creating a story sequence chain based on what Eric Carle's very hungry caterpillar ate on Saturday. (You know, before the stomachache!) Simply print out the PDF on white card, colour the food and cut out around the dotted lines. We used wool for threading, and created holes with a pencil tip pushed through the food into a ball of plasticine. Great for fine motor skills! Learning to retell events in order is such a crucial skill to develop - but bear in mind that there are ten items here, so you may like to... Read more →

We really do have a soft spot for elephants. David McKee's book Elmer has given us lots of ideas for activities this week - and inspired us to crack open the clay we'd almost forgotten about! I always find that early years children create the most successful clay models; I think it's because they start off with a big blob and see the whole picture more easily. Older children usually scrutinize over tiny details and make body parts separately - which is alright if you remember to conceal all those joins with plenty of water! We tend to improvise when... Read more →