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Fun and educational activity ideas

In these difficult times, the days are much longer and keeping the children entertained can be tricky. This blog post will look at some fun and educational activity ideas you can use at home to keep children engaged and occupied. All of these activities are based around The Ladybird Readers range, but they can be adapted according to individual needs.

Ladybird Readers Home Activity Ideas

Spot the dog

Thank you, Spot!  How are you, Spot? My name is Spot?

Spot is an iconic character that children love. Painting is always fun and this a trick to help you reduce the amount of paper you use at home.

Print out the Spot the Dog colouring sheet.

Spot Colouring Sheet

Once you have printed it out, place it on to a piece of a cardboard box to make it stronger. Now, cover it in Sellotape or alternatively laminate it. Then children can use the colouring page over and over again by wiping it down with a sponge or wipe.

Freeze Frame Activity

BBC Earth Deserts

Reading is such an important skill, but often we need to use a range of activities to help engage children and keep interest. The Ladybird Readers BBC Earth titles have excellent video resources that can help consolidate the text and take the focus away from reading for more reluctant readers.

Go to the resource page for BBC Earth Deserts and play the video. Turn off the sound on the video and use the visuals to allow the child to tell their own story based on their understanding of the visual content. This works well because there is no right or wrong answer, it is about interpreting the content of the video. This activity can be used before reading the book and it will focus more on predictions or after reading to consolidate the overall content and key words.

More on audio, listen and pick up.

BBC Earth Little Survivors

Listen to the video on the Little Survivors page. Once you have watched the video, then recreate the content using key word prompts.

Make these key word prompts from the video and story on scraps of paper:

North America / clever / cheeks / save / Winter / food / survive / leaves / acorns / forest / burrow / Chipmunk / underground / hibernate / small body

How can you use these words in an activity?

Scatter the words on a table, then try to retell the video using the key words. Or ask learners to choose a number of words and make a sentence related to the video.

Or

Scramble up all of the words and see if they can be put in chronological order according to the video content. This is an effective way to consolidate key vocabulary in a more kin-aesthetic way.

Too Much Porridge! Activity ideas

Too Much Porridge!

Make a tray of objects from the book, this is a fun way to create interest before the reading process starts.

Oats / jam / pot / bowl

Put the objects above onto a tray, use them to make predictions about the story and encourage a lot of talking about each object. Think of questions such as: What is it? What do we use it for? Do you like it? What do you think all of the objects can make?

Let’s cook

After reading the book, it is fun to recreate the recipe that Masha makes, pink porridge! Use the instructions from Masha to recreate the dish. This must be done under adult supervision because it involves hot water.

  • First, put some hot water in a very big pot.
  • Put lots of oats in the pot.
  • Add some jam.
  • Add lots of milk.

Cinderella Activity Ideas

Print out the Cinderella finger puppet page.

Use the finger puppets whilst reading, each time a character is mentioned, put the correct finger puppet on your fingers and hold it up. This can help keep learners focused and engaged.

You can also use the finger puppets after reading the book to create a mini role play between all the characters.

Role play and dress up are always fun. On the resource page, there is a super activity where you can make Cinderella’s crown.  The instructions are on the sheet, encourage learners to read the instructions and cut out the crown. Adult supervision or help may be needed because learners will need to use scissors for this activity.

Learn the song – use the song resource and sing it together, you can listen to the song online here:

Design task – a fun activity to do after reading is to design a ball gown for Cinderella and colour it in or design a beautiful pair of shoes for Cinderella. The shoes can be painted and craft materials can be used to make them more interesting such as sequins, crate paper and glitter.

Pasta Art

After you have finished reading the book, choose one of your favourite sea creatures. Draw the outline and then use dry pasta to finish the picture. You will need to use some glue to stick the pasta down. This is a simple and effective way to recreate something from the book. Have a look at the example of a pasta squid in the picture below, this is something I did last week with my two youngest children and they really enjoyed it.

Animal pancakes

Adult participation needed.

Choose an animal or sea creature or even just a character from one of the books. Make a basic pancake mix and follow the instructions below:

Find a squeezy bottle and fill it with pancake mix.

Draw an outline of the animal or character in your pan.

Leave it for a minute until it cooks and this will give you the outline.

Now fill in the outline with more pancake mix and cook.

Have a look at the squirrel pancake below:

Pick up sticks

Find some lollipop sticks and write key words from a book on them. Scatter them in front of you whilst reading aloud. Children need to listen carefully and grab a lollipop stick with the correct word each time they hear it. This is a kin-aesthetic and tactile activity to do whilst reading and keeps youngsters focused and engaged.

This activity can be used with any book, you just need to read through the book first and write down the key words on the sticks.

We hope you enjoy these fun and educational activity ideas with your children at home.