Great learning activities at home and away
On the beach
Beaches are full of interesting things and shells are probably the best of them. Try finding different shapes and colours for a spot of seashell bingo or find different ones in a scavenger-style hunt. Take the time to discuss colours, shapes, textures and beach life.
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Tell children that glass is made from sand and you’ll be met with disbelieving stares. However, this is an ideal time to discuss manufacturing and how everyday products are made from unexpected things. What things can they think of that are made out of glass? How do they think sand turns into glass?
Where do we get power from? The answer will probably be "electricity", but do your children know that wave power (otherwise known as hydropower) is a natural way to generate electricity? There are even wave farms doing just that. Splashing in the waves can prompt a discussion about renewable energy as well as talking about the sea’s currents and the hidden dangers therein.
Encourage a feel for letters by drawing in the sand with hands or sticks. Can they write their name or a message, or maybe draw a picture? Can they form letters and numbers correctly and use both upper and lower cases?
Celebrate the time honoured tradition of storytelling around the campfire. Take turns to make up part of a story before passing it on to the next person to take up where you left off. Can your children create dialogue, actions and give ‘life’ to a story by using their imaginations and the props around them?
Encourage environmental curiosity by going on a nature hunt through your campsite. Can they name tree species, do they know what the flowers are and can they find any herbs that can be made into natural remedies? Do your children know what sorts of animals live in which trees and what they might eat?
City and town children may struggle to spot stars, but out in the countryside the sky is much clearer. You might want to discuss the effects of pollution (including light pollution) on towns along with the causes and effects. Or, you might want to identify and spot the constellations, such as The Big Dipper or The Great Bear.
Ask anyone to draw a house and you will probably get square windows as a feature. Yet, if you look around town you may find a lot of different shapes. Can your children recognise squares, rectangles, circles, half-moons or even triangular windows?
The Green Cross Code
Learning to use roads safely is an important life skill. Talk about road safety rules and show children how to judge where the safest place is to cross and teach them about looking and listening before and during crossing.
Encourage your child’s curiosity by looking at all the different buildings in town. What makes a good house and why do so many shops look different? Why is an office different from a shop and how do you recognise a place of worship? Can they identify what buildings might be used for?