Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Very Busy Spider

I adore this multi-sensory book, children can feel the pictures as well as see them, while they hear or read the easy, rhythmic text. Added to the visual excitement of Eric Carle's vibrant collages of familiar animals is the tactile experience of feeling the spider's web as it grows from a simple line into a complex and beautiful creation. Your kids will rejoice to discover that even the tiny, humble spider has an important role to play in nature's scheme of things. This is an absolute favourite in our house at any time of the year, but even more so in the lead up to Halloween.

This is a very simple yet effective craft activity to make a spooky spider's web with a spider to hang at your front door to greet your Halloween Guests!

Start by painting a paper plate. We used orange to go with the colours for Halloween.

Make sure the whole plate is covered. Then let the plate sit and dry.

While you let your plate dry, get busy making your spider. Pull out any books, pictures, or even look up a picture on google images of a spider. Be sure to point out that a spider has 8 legs. It's a great opportunity to talk about different animals and how many legs they have.

We used an old foil baking tray for the body of the spider.

Then the boys added some eyes and coloured craft match sticks for the legs. Use PVA glue as it sticks much better. You can use paper/cardboard you have to make your spider.

When the paper plate has dried, use scissors to cut slits, approx 5cm in around the plate.

To spin your web you will need some wool. Attach the start of your web to the back of the plate and attach it with some tape so it stays secured.

Then start to spin your web. Weave the wool in and out, over and under as you please.

Keep spinning until your plate resembles a web!

Then leave the end of the wool hanging from the web and attach the spider. Now you have a very cute home made Halloween Door decoration.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Organising Your Child's Week

I'm a big believer that developing good organisational skills is a key ingredient for success in school and in life. Some kids, like adults, seem naturally organised, but for the rest, organisation is a skill learned over time. With help and some practice, kids can develop an effective approach to getting things organised and done. You're the perfect person to teach your child, and if you're not an overly organised person yourself, now is the time to start. Starting school brings a whole new meaning to the term "Organisational skills and Multi-tasking" for parents. The more organised and in routine you and your family are for school, the easier the transition will be and it will reduce the level of stress that can sometimes come with this new phase in a young child's life. Help your child get organised by first getting organised yourself.

Not only do you need to be organised for school lunches, library bag day, sports uniform day, school banking day, excursion forms that need signing and returning, just to name a few, there is the organisation of the after school activities as well. There is nothing worse than fighting the school car park traffic to get to swimming on time, only to realise you walked out of the house without grabbing the kids swimmers from the pile of washing mounted in the spare room! Below I have shown you a simple and visual way of helping your child become organised for his/her week. Not only will they know in advance what is happening, but with support and over time they can become responsible for making sure they have the correct things for school on that day and after school activities.

I purchased this fun, interactive, magnetic calender, with over 100 attachable picture and matching word magnets representing special events, everyday activities, school activities and people in a child's life. I attached it to our fridge at a suitable height for my kids to be able to see. Rainbow Week gives young children a visual understanding of their own lives - at a time when most find a horizontal calender confusing. This understanding helps to promote confidence, as even very young children can predict what is about to occur in their everyday lives. Follow the link below to find out where you can purhase a Rainbow Week Wheel. 

Every Sunday night before the boys go to bed we go through our week and place the suitable magnets on the corresponding days.

From here I needed to get the "after-school" activity clothes organised. I came up with this idea which seems to work well for us. I went to the sports shop and bought these cheap drawstring sports bags. I labelled each of them with my sons name and the activity on it. Once his uniform/swimmers etc have been washed I put them straight back in the correct bag. Before we leave the house each morning it is the responsibility of Master 5 to look at the Rainbow Week Wheel and see what Sports bag he needs. He then grabs it off the hook and puts it in the car. For me this kind of routine and organisation will allow school activities (library bag day/sports uniform day) to just be added to what we have been using this year.  

I'm hoping that by instilling these routines and organisational skills into my boys that it may just save me being the mother of "the child who loses everything at school!" lol