How to Teach Your Child at Home During School Closures

Children's Life Skills Learning Activities

These are unprecedented times and with school closures happening today in the UK, following school closures in Ireland and other countries, parents are naturally asking how they will ensure learning at home whilst schools are closed due to Covid-19. It’s very easy to become quickly overwhelmed as there is a lot of information flying about and lots of posts about homeschooling on social media, but first and foremost cut yourself some slack. Nothing terrible is going to happen if you don’t have your child learning all day every day, in fact, they probably only need a few hours every day just to keep things ticking over. If you’re home working it will make learning even more difficult to implement. Go easy on yourself, these times are hard enough as it is and emotions are running high. Most schools will of course be providing work for children to complete at home…    read more 

World Book Day Costume Ideas for Children and Teachers

World Book Day Ideas

If you’re looking for World Book Day costumes for children and adults alike – you’ve come to the right place! While researching this blog post, I was actually quite surprised about how little there is in terms of inspiration on the internet. But to save you trawling round looking for ideas, we’ve done the hard work for you! Children’s World Book Day Costumes First let’s start with the kids. I’ve added a whole heap of  World  Book Day costume ideas to my Pinterest board (feel free to follow us on Pinterest whilst you’re at it!), but for ease, I also thought I’d make a list here. Harry Potter Sherlock Holmes Very Hungry Caterpillar Rainbow Fish Fantastic Mr Fox Snail from Snail and the whale Knight from the King Arthur books Pirate from The Pirates Next Door The Mad Hatter Peter Pan Willy Wonka Oompa Loompa from Charlie and the Chocolate…    read more 

Very Simple Chinese New Year Activity Ideas!

Chinese new year activity ideas

Chinese New Year is one of my favourite festivals for lots of different reasons. First of all it comes just after Christmas when everything seems a bit gloomy, with not much to look forward to. It’s a great excuse to get together with friends and family, cook something a bit different and celebrate (again!). It’s also something quite easy to introduce to children – even if they are unfamiliar with Chinese culture. There are so many interesting things you can do that involve fun learning opportunities. This one is easy and fun for all the family. Use our Chinese New Year Mindfulness Colouring sheets to really relax and chat whilst spending time together.  As it’s year of the dog this year, younger children will find this especially fun. Make a Chinese willow plate! For this you will need to buy some paper plates from your local supermarket and either use…    read more 

24 Days of No Mess Christmas Activity Ideas

24 days of no mess Christmas Crafts

Advent is almost here, and with it the chance to do lots of fun festive crafts to get ready for Christmas! With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of 24 days of no mess Christmas craft and activity ideas suitable for both home and school, that anyone can do! With the cold weather outside, spend some quality time together preparing your own Christmas crafts and decorations to make your home or Christmas display look absolutely splendid without getting glitter everywhere. Most of these ideas are low prep and low cost or free, with items you already have at home. Easy peasy and fun Christmas ideas for each day of Advent – or whenever you like! Day 1 Make your own Advent Calendar with our super easy template! Make a kindness calendar, or draw pictures behind each window. Day 2 Make an elf cupcake liner craft from The Gingerbread House….    read more 

Phonics Play Ideas

phonics games and activities

Coming up with Phonics play ideas is actually easier than it sounds! Since children who are learning phonics are usually in the 3-7 age range, it also makes total sense to make any phonics learning activities as fun and playful as possible. But how to do it – how can you make phonics fun and ensure that learning takes place too? We’ve come up with some great ideas that might help! Since the arrival of letters and sounds a few years ago, there have been various approaches to phonics, and we’re excited to announce that we will very shortly be launching our new fun phonics games, fun phonics activities and much more! Keep an eye on our Phonics resources to be the first in the know What is phonics? For the uninitiated – what is phonics? Put simply, it is a systematic approach to learning to read, write and spell words….    read more 

How to Make an Obb and Bob Phonics Sorting Game

Obb and Bob Phonics sorting game

Phonics games are fun! And here’s one that’s super easy to make both for teachers and parents at home with their own children. We’ve put together an Obb and Bob Phonics Sorting Game resource pack for you to try, either for preparation for the Phonics Screening Check or just for consolidation in your phonics sessions.  The pack contains “stickers” that can be cut out and stuck onto a suitable mini bin, as well as word cards to be used during the game. It’s worth noting that these particular words are taken from the previous two years year 1 Phonics Screening Checks. Instructions 1. Purchase two mini bins – you can either choose the same colour or two contrasting colours – it’s up to you! I chose two different colours as I thought they would look better in photos. These two came from B and Q (though perplexingly they are not…    read more 

Phonics Screening Check 2019

Phonics screening check resources

Do you want a fresh approach to the Phonics Screening Check 2019? Need some phonics screening resources that are a bit different to what you used last year? Then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve been working really hard to make phonics screening resources  that give you the information and content you need, and that children love! All hand drawn by us. Here we go! Start with our super cool Phonics Screening Check PowerPoint! Show to your children either in class at home and go through the nonsense words so children are familiar with the concept.   Or how about using some of our Alien Words Flashcards? Useful in small groups or 1:1, or with your own child at home.   It’s also worth practising both handwriting and reading with our Year 1 Common Exception Words Handwriting Activity and Year 2 Common Exception Words Handwriting Activity.   It’s also…    read more 

Half Term Activity Ideas for Kids

Half Term Activity Ideas

It’s half term – and that means the kids are off school, and you might be looking for ways to entertain the kids that don’t cost the earth, and preferably have some educational value too. Don’t worry, we’ve already thought of that! We’ve got some ideas that will keep the kids entertained for hours, and even provide an opportunity to spend some quality time together – should you so wish. Half Term Activity Ideas Craft craft CRAFT! Kids love it, it’s fun, cheap, doesn’t involve getting muddy (though getting muddy is fun sometimes!) and adults can join in too! Spend quality time together, make memories! Or think about saving the world, colour in, dot to dot – so many options! We made this 20 Ways for Kids to Save the World checklist with our friends at Frugal Family blog, and it’s gone down a treat! Encourage your kids to think…    read more 

Easy Snow Day Ideas For Kids

Snow day activity ideas

It’s here – SNOW! Your school or setting might be closed today, or maybe it’s open and you’re looking for snow ideas to do with the children. Or maybe you’re at home with your own children, and running out of ways to keep them entertained. So we’ve rounded up some quick and fun ideas to help take the chill (get it) out of days like this. Snow Day Activity Ideas Build a snow sculpture – something different to your typical snowman. A dog, a cat, a house! Let your children’s imagination run wild. Discuss techniques for impacting the snow, the different types of snow and what works and what doesn’t. Ami Elizabeth says, “create an indoor snow tuff spot for when it’s time to come in and get warm.” Going sledging is obvious – but join in yourself. Have races down the slope, experiment with different angles and various levels…    read more 

Discover new ways to get crafty at Childcare Expo London

Mrs Mactivity childcare expo london

This is a guest post from the fabulous team at Childcare Expo – sign up for your free tickets for Childcare Expo London today!  Childcare Expo London returns on the 1st & 2nd March with a series of free interactive workshops throughout the two days to inspire early years and primary education professionals. Taking place at Olympia London, the event will host a number of hands-on workshops designed to provide visitors with practical new ideas to try out in their settings and schools, covering everything from sensory play to mindfulness and yoga. Returning to the show for the second time with sessions on both days, educational resources provider, Mrs Mactivity will provide two fun workshops looking at creative ways to bring science into your setting or classroom (such as how to use a paper plate to demonstrate the lifecycle of a butterfly), as well as easy Easter crafts and activities. Special…    read more 

Valentine’s Day Treasure Basket and Sensory Bottle

Valentine's Day Treasure Basket

Many parents notice that when they give their child a present, they’re more interested in playing with the wrapping, rather than the present itself.  It’s easy to get carried away with lots of expensive presents for young children, but actually children can be very imaginative and are pretty good at playing with FREE things you already have in the house – in ways you never even thought about! Treasure baskets are great ways of gathering fun and interesting items together in themes – perhaps for you to help show an upcoming event, or just for fun! Valentine’s Day Treasure Basket So with Valentine’s Day coming up, I thought it might be nice to have a themed treasure basket with some things I already had in the house, plus some very cheap things from our local Home Bargains and Poundland. Here’s what I came up with:- My treasure basket includes:- pink…    read more 

4 VERY Easy Valentine’s Day Crafts and Card Ideas

Valentine's Cards and crafts for kids

As a parent it can be difficult to come up with easy ideas for crafting – even though your kids really enjoy it and get a lot out of it. For me, I’m wary of setting up complex crafting activities when I know that setting up and clearing away often takes longer than completing the craft itself! So I’ve come up with some very easy no fuss Valentine’s crafts and card ideas that can easily and quickly be done in any home or setting. Pipe Cleaner Hearts An absolutely zero fuss craft that is also great for fine motor skills. I bought these pipe cleaners in pound land and intend to use them for lots of different crafts. We practised bending them round into the desired heart shape until we got it spot on. Once you’ve got the shape right, you can attach string or twine to create hanging ornaments,…    read more 

Easy Halloween Party Ideas for Kids

Halloween party food ideas

Everyone loves Halloween in our house, it’s a great opportunity to get friends together and for the kids to have fun too. We’ve put together some Halloween recipe ideas, Halloween games and Halloween crafts that are super easy to do and best of all, kids and adults love! Halloween Party Food Ideas Try our toffee apple recipe to make a perfect Halloween treat. Make a pumpkin face crudite bowl using carrots, cucumber, grapes and rice cake! Remember to chop those grapes in half length ways for little ones. Make your very own spooky Halloween mummy fingers – this is definitely a big hit with adults too – they are simply delicious! Halloween Party Games and Activities for Kids pin the nose on the pumpkin. a “chocolate eye” and spoon race. hide then find the “chocolate eyes”. apple bobbing pumpkin stomp (literally bursting orange balloons). pumpkin carving competition (try our pumpkin…    read more 

How to Carve a Pumpkin with our Pumpkin Stencil Printable

Pumpkin Carving Stencils

The clue’s in the title, but today we are going to show you how to carve a pumpkin with our pumpkin stencil printable! I’ve always been keen to improve my pumpkin carving skills, but never really managed to get the hang of it. Not being a hugely arty person, or maybe it’s just my hand control, my pumpkins always end up looking pretty mangled and not at all how my children expect them to look! So this year I decided we should make some pumpkin stencil printables for Mrs Mactivity, in the hope that this will a) help other people and b) help me! If you want to download our Pumpkin carving stencils, they are available here. What you need:- a large pumpkin pins – drawing pins are fine washable pen some sort of cutting tool – you can use pumpkin carving tools something to scoop the seeds out with –…    read more 

How to Make a Playdough Currant Bun!

five currant buns playdough recipe

Here at Mrs Mactivity, we’re delighted to be a huge part of the World Nursery Rhyme Week 2018 celebrations along with event sponsor and our friends Music Bugs! In this blog post, we show you how to make some really cool playdough currant buns to help you take part in the rhyme “Five Currant Buns” – this is a really wonderful sensory activity that we know children love, and that develops language skills, fine motor skills, maths skills and more! Just to say that these buns are NOT for eating – so it might be worth reinforcing that with your children 🙂 What you need 300g plain flour 2 tablespoon cream of tartar 100g salt 1 spoonful of a spice such as cinnamon. 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (and optional glycerine for extra shine) 2 teabags + boiling water a cup of currants/raisins red gel food colouring (take care not to…    read more 

10 Ideas for Unicorn Paper Crafts!

Today Mrs Mactivity has been super busy, as word is spreading about our unique unicorn paper craft idea, everyone seems to want in on the act! But what do you do with your unicorn craft once it’s made? We’ve got some ideas, but first here’s how you make it! Download from our new unicorn resources category! Print out, then cut around the lines as directed. Fold where shown, glue, then colour in – we prefer baby pink and baby blue colours, but it’s up to you! If you’re not sure, we’ve done some instructions via video as well – great to show to kids! When you’re done – here’s how to use it! Use as a cute gift idea, write a message inside to use instead of buying a card! Role play! There are two designs, print off a few copies to personalise, ask your children to use the unicorn…    read more 

5 Super Easy Easter Craft Ideas!

Easy Easter craft ideas

We know hard difficult it is to come up with fun creative ideas that either a whole class can do, or that you can do at home with your own kids. Being quite an uncreative person myself, I decided to look for some mega easy ideas for Easter craft that absolutely anyone can do! No expertise required whatsoever. Ready to get started?  Just click on the link on each craft to see more detailed instructions. Make an Easter bunny face plate craft. This one is so much fun and is great for sticking on the fridge at home – so much fun! Easter bunny craft stick No experience required – this is so much fun and also works really well as a book mark. Easter bunny cardboard tube craft Cut a kitchen roll in half for this fun craft – children REALLY love this one! You can play with the…    read more 

Easter Cardboard Tube Print Card

Easter cardboard tube print card

Everyone loves a bit of printing – it’s easy, fun and anyone can do it! Preschoolers are especially fond of printing, and if you can do it with things lying round the house, so much the better. Today we’re sharing with you an idea for an Easter craft, that you can do easily with a cardboard tube. We cut a kitchen roll in half for the purposes of today’s craft, and you can make either egg outlines or a bunny shape – the choice is yours! Remember, we’ve also got a beautiful range of ready made Easter resources that you can download and print today! So back to today’s craft, an Easter Cardboard Tube Print Card – here’s what you need:- half a cardboard tube some paint in a ramekin – any colour, but bright, springlike colours work best coloured pencils or felt tips – we used Stib Pencils. cotton…    read more 

Easter Chick Plate Craft

Easter Chick plate craft

Who doesn’t like Easter chicks? They’re cute, yellow and mean that warmer weather is on the way – yay! Today we’re going to show you how to make a really cute and very very easy Easter Chick Plate Craft, this is a really good one for preschoolers as it involves scrunching up crepe paper, which younger ones love! (don’t forget we’ve got loads of ready made Easter resources as well!) Here’s what you need:- crepe paper of various colours a white paper plate yellow card 2 googly eyes something for the nose – we used an orange pipe cleaner, but you could use orange card a feather glue Here’s what you do:- cut a paper plate in half. scrunch up small pieces of crepe paper and anything else you’ve got lying around, e.g. craft jewels, and stick onto the half plate. cut out a circle from yellow card – this…    read more 

Easter Bunny Cardboard Tube Craft

Easter bunny cardboard tube craft

Easter fun for everyone! We’re bringing you a series of blog posts showing you just how EASY crafting can be, and how literally anyone can do it, you just need to have a go! Today we’re showing you how to make this really cute and very easy Easter Bunny Cardboard Tube Craft. Don’t forget we also have a range of ready made Easter resources that you can just download and print as well.) What you need:- A cardboard tube – we used a kitchen roll cut in half. yellow card. glue 2 googly eyes felt tip pen or coloured pencils strips of coloured paper – you can choose what you prefer something for the nose, e.g. a pom pom or something you can stick on like a jewel 1 pipe cleaner of any colour Here’s what you do:- First of all you need to wrap your cardboard tube in card. Cut…    read more 

Easter Bunny Stick Craft

Easter bunny from craft sticks

It’s been a crafty sort of day today! And we’re full of ideas of how to make really cute and very easy Easter crafts for everyone. This one really couldn’t be simpler, and it’s also good for those fine motor skills, picking up the bits and bobs and getting them in the right position. (don’t forget we’ve also got some ready make Easter resources right here!) Here’s what you need:- 2 craft sticks of the same colour, something spring like e.g. pink or yellow. 2 googly eyes 1 orange pipe cleaner for the carrot. 1 pipe cleaner of any colour for the ears and nose. glue. felt tip pen. 1 green pipe cleaner. Here’s what you do:- Assemble the two craft sticks and carefully apply glue down the side, then push them together and hold them firmly until they stick. A glue gun may work best for this. Stick on…    read more 

Easter Bunny Face Plate Craft

Easter bunny paper plate craft idea

Easter is one of my favourite time of years, not least because it gives me an opportunity to get really crafty, and at the same time eat a LOT of chocolate. I used to think that crafts were for only really creative people, or people with lots of time on their hands, but as long as you’ve got some basic materials, it’s actually really easy, and it’s also a good opportunity to spend quality time with your kids, either at home or at school, making memories and actually creating something tangible. Today I’m going to show you how to make a REALLY easy Easter bunny face plate craft. Don’t forget we’ve also got some Easter resources, including crafts, all ready made for you to do with no fuss at all. First of all, get all your materials ready. You will need:- 3 pipe cleaners, whatever colour you prefer but preferably…    read more 

Top Tips to Help Your Child Make Friends

Lonely boy

It’s every parents worst nightmare – when you ask your child how their day went at school, to get the response, “I’m always on my own at play times, no-one will play with me. I’ve got no friends. No-one likes me.” I’ve had a very similar experience with my own son and it’s utterly heartbreaking. You really want to help, but it’s difficult to know what to do, after all, you can’t force other children to be friends with your child. But if you’re like me, and want to be proactive and do what you can do help, here are our top tips to help your child make friends; Have a birthday party for your child. Not only will this help raise your child’s status, but it will give you an opportunity to make friends with the other parents – which is all part and parcel of helping your child to socialise….    read more 

8 Easy Ways To Help Your Child Read

how to help your child read

Life is so busy these days, there are times when it’s a huge struggle to even listen to one of my children read after school – let alone all of them! So I’ve decided to try and work reading more into every day life so it becomes a natural thing to do – rather than a “right, it’s time to read now!” sort of thing – which never goes down well when children are in mid flow play. If like me, you’re short on time, here are some ideas to build reading into your everyday life… Replace devices with books – this might sound quite difficult, but it’s all about the right circumstances. Last summer I saw a mum on a ferry reading aloud to her children whilst my kids were on an iPad – I thought it was a brilliant idea. Read aloud in cafes, restaurants, trains or whatever…    read more