The 5 Ps of Reading

The 5 Ps of reading, I know normally you hear about the 3 Rs but to teach your child to read at home what you really need is

  • Phonics
  • Perserverance
  • Patience
  • Practice
  • Participation

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Pook will not learn to read in English at school, in Luxembourg they do not learn to read until they are nearly 7 and then it is German. So I have made the decision to teach her to read in English myself. It is vital that she has fluency in her home language, as well as all the new languages she will experience over the next coming years being in the local school system. I do not want her or Meemoo to become ‘jack of all and a master of none’ in terms of language acquisition. It was my job , teaching the young to read before we moved so, experience is, fingers crossed, on my side.

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Teaching a child to read is a complicated process which, requires lots of skills to come together at the same time. Ideally all teachers would wait until a child has a real yearning to understand what the print on the page, road signs and advertisements means. The first of these skills is also the first P.

Phonics 

I am planning to follow the same Letters and Sounds order that children in England use. I have chosen this because I know it well and it will quickly give Pook the ability to build and segment words. An important concrete skill required for learning.

Perseverance

It takes time and dedication to learn, a child needs to not only learn their phonics but to learn a 100 key words that do not follow any simple phonic rules. This takes perseverance to keep learning them.

Patience

Patience is for the adult, not to jump in and help your child each time they are stumbling over a word, encourage them to use their phonics, try to recall their key words. We as adults need patience to listen to them everyday because at times it is painstakingly slow and feels like it is never going to stick. Just keep going.

Practice 

Kinda obvious really but this is something that needs to be practised everyday. A little everyday helps it stick, helps children recall any new learning in phonics from school that day.

Participate 

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Just because your child is learning to read does not mean that you would stop sharing stories and nursery rhymes. It is important that children continue to listen to language, how it flows and how we use it. Also children need to see adults actively reading and enjoying it, even if  it is a glossy magazine.

So there you have it my 5 Ps of reading.

Firework Small World Play

As Bonfire night approaches I made a Firework Small World play scene for Pook to enjoy.

To begin I made some firework shapes out of foam so she could create the fireworks in the sky. The idea is that the shapes can be stuck to the window with a little bit of water.

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It is fantastic fine motor control. Fine motor control is so important for so many tasks from putting on socks to holding a pencil and using scissors. It is these skills children need to have developed so that the can be fine tuned in the early years at school as your child begins to learn to write, type and create in more detail. It is also an  a good strengthening activity to paint upright as it improves muscle control. Meemoo joined in too having ago at holding the paintbrush. The foam shapes looked really effective against the night sky.

Next we added our dolls house and some people to watch the fireworks in the night sky. Pook then decided that all the people needed a ticket to watch the ‘Firework display.’

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Halloween Fun for Little ‘uns

It is hard not to get swept with a little Halloween fun for your little ‘uns.  I always thought when I became a Mum that Halloween would not be celebrated in our house but is has been a really fun way to explore some simple creative ideas. We have had lots of fun at home with these fun spooky play activities.

You cannot walk into a supermarket without seeing masses of Pumpkins at the moment. Pook loves them but carving out a pumpkin is a tad beyond her 3 year old skills. Personally I cannot think of anything more boring for kids to sit and watch while an adult carves the pumpkin. Instead we painted our pumpkins. I mixed a good dollop of pva glue in with the paint to get it too stick. Once it was dried we added  jewels to make a beautiful pumpkin.

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Meg and Mog stories by Jan Pienkowski are a firm favourite in this house. They are so fun to read and not at all scary.  I made the characters for the felt board. Pook has enjoyed playing with this especially the characters and making up stories. I also made a felt pumpkin for Pook to decorate.

Finally we have been making monsters with playdough. I made two lots of playdough, one purple and one green. Then I presented it for play along with some wiggly eyes, buttons, tools to make various marks and some small pasta shapes. It was fun.

Hope you find some inspiration here so you too can have some spooky fun with your little ones.

Sensory Play with Conkers!

Its not Autumn unless you have played with some conkers. After a lovely morning at the park collecting them I decided to use them to create a sensory invitation to play. An invitation to play is just a selection of toys/various items set up , ready to play with.

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I put the conkers also with some green rice  that I dyed a pair of large tweezers and some paper bags for collecting the conkers. I dyed the rice by simply shaking it up in a container of some kind a with the food colouring and then spreading out on a tin to dry over night. I then introduced the play to both Meemoo and Pook. P1020709

Pook immediately began looking at the conkers, talking about them and using the tweezers to try and pick them up. Meemoo instantly tried to eat the conkers and rice! When she was shown the bag she had a great time filling it with the conkers and then emptying it again.

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It was a lovely afternoon in the late Autumn sunshine.

Fuzzy Felt Autumn Woods

Since putting up the large fuzzy felt board in our Rainbow Play room I have yet to do anything productive with it, so I decided now was the time feeling inspired by all the other amazing Autumn crafts people have been blogging and pinning. I have made a Fuzzy Felt Autumn Woods complete with trees and animals.

I began by making two large Autumn trees complete with set of colourful leaves to fall off the tree. For the leaves I found a template, Google search brings up lots. that I used to cut round.

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I too added a family of hedgehogs and a some owls. She has requested more animals so watch this space.

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I introduced this to Pook after having read Ferdie and the Falling Leaves. It is just such a sweet book explaining Autumn. Little Ferdie gets worried that his tree is sick as it keeps losing its leaves.

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She has enjoyed making nests for the Hedgehogs and taking them off to find food. A fab way to encourage your child to add a narrative to their play.