Thursday, 10 October 2013

Autumn booklist | Words for Life

Autumn booklist | Words for Life

Check out the latest Autumn book list from the National Literacy Trust. Great selection to share with babies and for children up to 11 years. Pop on over and take a look : )

One of my favourites to share is leaf man, another great one too is stick man.

What's your favourite Autumn book to share?

Friday, 27 September 2013

Storytelling path...

Cute idea!  Storytelling path - students can walk down the "path" as they retell a story - beginning, middle, end, etc.  There are picture clues drawn on the sides of the path.
Storytelling path:
This is definitely being tried out with the fun with words programme.  What a fabulous idea!  Parents and children can make these together or the children might like to make their own.  Love the way that pictures have been drawn along the way as reminders of the story along the path. 
This would also make a beautiful personal story with family members / pets along the path etc or a story path from birth to the age the child is now.  So many possibilities as well as using traditional tales and much more!
Language skills, memory skills, sequencing, developing imagination and creativity, fine motor skills when drawing or sticking pictures on....can also include number if using traditional tales as well as how many footsteps it takes to go along the path.  So many directions for this activity.  Love it!
Found this via pinterest on
Pop on over to this
Fabulous site!
Sarah x

Guided reading beach balls

Another fabulous idea i'm adding to the resource pile for the fun with words programme for parents and children.  Loving the idea of using them in the sessions.  What a great ice breaker for parents too....the questions could be different?  Found these over at:

Language skills, thinking skills, physical activity and if your low on storage space they fold up too.

Sarah x

Story rolls from imagination soup

Make and #Write a Story Roll with your #kids
This is another fabulous resource I have started making with the families I work with from

It fits in brilliantly with the fun with words programme early reading / writing section.  So simple to put together too.  Pop on over to the site to find other fabulous ideas too.  You wont be disappointed!

Sarah x

We're going on a Bear Hunt....

Sensory play - Going on a bear hunt
We're going on a Bear Hunt
This is one of my favourite books I use with the children as it has lots of great repetitive language.  The pages inside are and and white.  I love this element as it enables the children to use their imagination and creativity to bring the pages alive.  After all the sky isn't always just blue, the grass can sometimes be get my drift.
I always get the parents and children I work with to act out the story with actions.  We love it and add various pieces of material to act as mud and the river and hang cd's up from trees to use as the snowstorm that we go through.
But I am definitely going to add this extra element that I came across the other day on pinterest from
Especially as we haven't always got the room to be physical.  Imagine using chocolate powder for the sensory mud - the smell, the taste, the feel of it.

Language development, sensory play, developing imagination and creativity.
Sarah x

Story wands

story wands. the kids love to get a chance to explain each story element.
I have recently been developing a programme based on fun with words with parents and children with some of my lovely deliverers.  The programme also focuses on supporting parents with strategies to support their children with reading. 
I have just come across these amazing story wands from Lindsay Collins on Pinterest.  Fabulous! I ma in the process of making some of these as the children are going to love them, especially with a little twist of Harry Potter.

Sunday, 15 September 2013

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Lately I have been making story boxes with the parents and children I work with.  One of our favourites has been the Very Hungry Caterpillar.  I love making these as so many recycled materials can be used.  A simple shoe box then houses it all.

Some parents worry that they aren't creative enough to make don't have to be ale to sew or draw to make these with your children.  Your child will already be full of ideas of what they want to do and include in it, its about having fun with your child.

Here are some links to great sites that I use to produce resources to support the children and parents.

Pop on over to these great sites to see more...

Sarah x

1.These pintables are fab to use as props for the story as well as to develop early number skills through counting, shape and colour....

2.These rocks from Sam @ Thrive 360 are amazing.  Great for developing sequencing skills for older children too. 
3. Mommie Nation has made a stunning button snake caterpillar with felt food pieces which I am in the process of making to have a go at with the children I work with.  I know this is going to go down really well.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Farmyard craft ideas...

Well as I have recently made the sensory farm play mat, I thought I would share some farmyard craft ideas which I use with the children I work with.

Paper plates - one of the best resources ever.  So many things you can do and make with them.  So here are some of the great ideas I have come across to use......

handprint chicken craft
Piggy Bank Craft
Or what about these really cute farm animal finger puppets?  I made some similar to sing Old MacDonald and I went to visit a farm one day.  The children also made some so they had their own set to use to sing with too.

Pop over to these fab wont be sorry!

Sarah x

Cornflour Clay which can be air dried and painted

Cornflour clay (cooked on the hob)
What you need:
2 cups of salt                     Cup
1 1/2 cups of water           Measuring jug
1 cup of cornflour              Large saucepan
                                          Small bowl
                                         Wooden spoon
How to make:
  1. Put 2 cups of salt and two thirds of a cup of water into a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Meanwhile, put the cornflour into a bowl and gradually stir in two thirds of a cup of water.
  3. When the water and salt mixture has boiled, remove from the heat and stir into this, the cornflour and water mixture.
  4. Return to the hob and heat slowly, stirring all the time.
  5. When this has begun to thicken, remove from the heat and stir until the mixture is very stiff.
  6. Turn out onto a lightly cornfloured surface and knead well.
  7. When cool, store in an airtight container.
This clay can be air dried in approximately 72 hours - depending on the size of the finished item, and then it can be painted,
WARNING: The cornflour clay looks very tempting to young children at this stage and can be very hot when removed from the pan.  Not suitable for children to make!
You finished clay should be strong enough to make something similar to the picture above.
Have fun x

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Special dolls house

This is my version of a ring binder dolls house victorian living room and bedroom.  I was amazed at this idea if your limited for space with a dolls house, as these can be folded and put back onto the bookshelf...brillaint or what!!!!!

The inspiration came from the wonderfull southern dispotition blogsite....

Kendra's files are made into rooms more from the 21st Century and she shows you how to make some amazing furniture too!

Pop on over you wont be disappointed....I wasn't with my effort.

P.s I made the bed from a chocolate biscuit box, recycled material and a christmas decoration.

Sarah x

Sensory farm play mat

Sensory farm play mat

I made this play mat from some recycled materials.  The various texures make it great for variations in fields for the animals and crops.

The play mat enables opportunities for:
Sorting animals into groups
Developing imagination and creativity
Developing language
Singing - Old MacDonald.....I went to visit a farm one day.......5 little ducks
Matching opportunities
...and much more!

The best thing is it folds and rolls up small so that it can be stored away easily.

Sarah x

Sensory rolls

Sensory rolls:

Brilliant home made resource for both babies and older children.  I use these with the babies as a sensory tickling game.  They are made from kitchen roles and various pieces of fabric wrapped around them with different textures.

Older children love them to....roll them across their hands or feet.

They fit perfect into a shoe box too.

Brilliant for language development: rough, smooth, furry, fluffy, soft, .....

Great resource to make from recycling too!

Sarah x

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Incy Wincy Spider

Incy Wincy spider song prop:

Making this song prop provides a great sensory experience when using the black paint with your hands.  The children love squelching the paint and making marks with various items they choose as well as their hands of course.  One of the best tools we have.

To make the prop you will need:
  • Kitchen roll tube
  • Long piece of wool
  • White card
  • Black paint
  • Small piece of white / black card
You can see in the pictures that the spider is a child's handprints back to back to produce the spiders body and legs.

Make a small hole in the top of the kitchen roll tube and another on the opposite side of the bottom of the tube.  Thread the wool through the top hole, down the tube and then thread through the bottom hole.

Attach a small piece of card to the wool threaded through the bottom hole (see picture).

Attach your Incy Wincy to the other end (see picture).

By threading the wool in this way and attaching to the piece of card, a mechanism is formed to pull Incy up and down the tube.

The children love making hi and have so much fun using this prop to sing the song.

Have fun!

Sarah : )

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

FREE Talk Together booklet for parents

Talk together is one of the booklets I use when working with my parents and children.  It gives great ideas for parents to develop language skills with their children.  The best thing about this booklet is that parents can either order it free or download it from the I Can website....

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Feeling blog is now featured on the Afasic Cymru website

Afasic Cymru

Today I am feeling very honoured that my blog is now featured on the Afasic Cymru website. Afasic is an amazing charity that supports parents and represents children and young people with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN).

Afasic Cymru supporting parents

Afasic is the UK charity established in 1968 as a parent led organisation representing children and young people with specific language impairment (SLI) and speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) by raising awareness of this often hidden disability thus working for their inclusion in society and supporting their parents and carers.

Afasic Cymru is not a service provider; therefore we can offer balanced impartial information. We provide information and training for parents – and professionals – and produce a range of publications. We work in partnership with local and national government, professional and statutory bodies and other voluntary organisations Members meet in local groups in both North and South Wales.

To find out more visit

You will find my blog under news categories as well as in the parents section

Sarah : )

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Home made play dough with no pan or microwave.....

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This is the best home made play dough recipe I have ever come across and have been using it constantly for the last eight years plus.  Why?  Because you don't need to stand over a hob with a pan or watch the microwave!

Trust will never look back!


  • 1 cup of salt
  • 2 cups of plain flour
  • 4 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
  • Food colouring (optional)
  • Food essence (optional)
  • 2 cups of boiling water from the kettle
Method: (Dry ingredients first)

Put the flour, salt, cream of tartar, cooking oil, food colouring and essence in a large bowl.

Add the boiling water from the kettle and stir with a wooden spoon.  Keep stirring until the dough comes together and away from the sides of the bowl.

Turn out onto a table and knead (careful as it will be hot!)  You may need a little flour on the surface if it feels a little sticky.

There you go....the best ever play dough!  Keep the dough in an air tight container and it will stay fresh for at least a month depending how often you use it.

Please note that this quantity makes enough for a small group of children - you can make smaller quantities or you could just make up a batch and split it into tubs ready to use.

You can add glitter, chocolate powder, lavender....the possibilities are endless....

Sarah x

Dinosaur play dough mats from sparklebox

These play dough mats from Sparkle box are a great addition for any dinosaur topic.  The children love these.

They can also cover counting skills, length, shape, sensory as well as language development.  Pop over to the sparkle box site to see the complete range and to print them off.

Home made play dough is the best dough ever to use and my following post will show you just how easy it is to make without using a pan or a microwave!
Sarah x

I want to be a Dinosaur.......brilliant lyrics in this song to go along any Dinosaur themed project.

I love this song and the children love this can hear the way its sung on the below : )
Music and lyrics: John Rickey    

I want to be a dinosaur
thump, thump, thump, thump, thump.
I want to be a dinosaur
crash, boom, bang, bang, crash, smash!
I want to be a T-rex King
bite, bite, crunch, crunch, roar!
I just want to be a dinosaur
thump, thump, thump!


I want to be a dinosaur
blump, blump, blump, blump, blump.
I want to be a dinosaur
zing, zang, zoggle, doggle, doo, boo!
I want to be a Long Neck too.
chomp, chomp, clomp clomp, roar!
I want to be a dinosaur
thump, thump, thump.

I want to be a dinosaur
ching, ching, chong, chong, chang
I want to be a dinosaur
bing, bang, boom, bash, crash, smash!
I want to be a dinosaur
scratch, bite, crunch, crash, roar!
I want to be a dinosaur
thump, thump, thump.
(Make your own dinosaur noise!)

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I love Dinosaurs!!!!!  It probably comes from having to boys and not being very girly, but I just love all the art and craft activities you can fun with when it comes to them.

Here you will find links to some of my favourites.....

Dinosaur Sock Puppet 1

Dinosaur sock puppets.  Great for developing language, creativity, imagination.  You can find a great link for this and some of the following activities on

Handprint Dinosaur Craft

Handprint Dinosaur.  Great for sensory play and language development.  I love the handprint spikes.

kids dinosaur craft

This tissue paper Dinosaur is better than any stained glass you will see.  brilliant for when the light shines through.

They also have a great salt dough fossil craft activity that will have you wanting more.

I love making paper plate Dinosaurs with the children too.  There are so many different kinds you can make.  Great for making patterns too.  I really love this one which I have copied often from

I adapt this idea by writing numbers on the dinosaurs and asking the children to give the dinosaur the correct amount of spikes to develop number recognition.
This is just a small selection of my favourites.  I will post more soon.
Sarah x

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Number fun in everyday routines

Children learn the names of numbers through repetition and experience of using them, counting stairs, cups or plates, dressing - buttons, socks etc.

Routines such as bath time, dressing and washing the dishes are times when young children learn about the concepts of emopty and full, heavy and light, big and small etc.

Everyday routines offer lots of opportunities for early number language, ideas include:

  • Dressing - lots of number language here, colours and size, order - first, next, ten fingers, ten toes, who's got the biggest feet etc.
Blue high top tennis shoe

  • Bath time - containers which encourage filling and pouring, talking about things that are empty and full, heavy and light, play with bubbles in the bath - big and small.
Close-up of bubbles in a bottle of water

  • Bed time - share a story such as Goldilocks and the three bears, the Hungry caterpillar.  Read the story 'Ten in the bed'.  If you haven't got this story visit the library, it's free to join! Ten in the bed includes counting, ordering, counting back, how many are left in the bed?  You could role play the story with a selection of your child's cuddly toys and a blanket.
Fairy tale scene of Goldilocks in the bed that’s just right

  • Try a teddy bear's picnic - use teddies, different sized cups, plates and bowls for a picnic on the floor with a blanket.  You can talk about the colours, size and shape and use them for a matching game too as well as talking about the picnic food which will have lots of opportunities for number language.#

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  • Make sandwiches and talk about the shape of them.  Are they sqauare or trianle shaoed?  You might even have round bread.  Use a biscuit cutter to make shapes in the sandwiches.
Close-up of a peanut butter sandwich sitting on a plate

  • When you have finished with old clothes pull the buttons off and make a button box for soring and counting.  So much learning can take place just with a button box - big, small, colour, counting, sequencing, making patterns.

Early number language


Talking with our children is something that happens naturally every day, but do we ever stop to think about what we may be teaching our children about early number language as we go along?

  • Colour
  • Size
  • Shape
  • Counting
  • Pattern
  • Counting
  • Pattern
  • Number recognition
  • Weight
  • Length
  • Time
  • Volume
  • Money
The list goes on.  It makes you think doesn't it, but we do this everyday!

Here are some examples of how you can include number language in a child's daily routine:

  • Weight - cooking (weighing the ingrediants), heavy and light shopping items and bags...

Young girl cooking

  • Pattern - wallpaper, curtains, bedding, carpets, clothes, buildings...
Autumn leaves
  • Shape - food packets, dishes, food items, buildings
House with red roof

  • Colour - food, toys, clothes, out and about...
Portrait of fruits
  • Time - routine of the day: breakfast, lunch, tea, bath time, bedtime, school drop off and pick ups....
Kindergarten teacher showing children how to read a clock

Everyday opportunities can offer new number learning experiences for children, so it is really important that we make the most of them.  Ideas include:

  • Visits to the library (you can find lots of different number language books here to loan, e.g. shape, pattern and size)
  • Going to the supermarket (point out colours, shape and size of fruit and other items, money handling)
  • A walk in the countryside or in the town (shapes of buildings and on buildings - windows, doors etc)
  • Helping with the housework (sorting socks provides opportunities to learn about colour, size, pattern, counting..)
The opportunities are endless : )

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Editable Top Trumps

Top trumps....Brilliant resource to keep the children entertained this summer and editable too!

Mini beasts, favourite charaters, family members...the possibilities are endless : )

Editable Top Trumps Templates (Blue) - editable top trumps templates, top trumps, game, fun, activity, play, blue, templates, template, top, trumps, editable,

3 in a Row Activity (Dinosaur)

Thre in a row dinosaurs too, loving this!

3 in a Row Activity (Dinosaur) - 3 in a row activity dinosaur, dinosaur, 3 in a row, row, game, activity, fun, wet play, numbers, counting

3 in a Row Activity (Pirate)

Loving the resources on the Twinkl site.  This three in a row game is fab:
 - Language skills
 - Number development: Counting
 - Social skills: Turn taking
and more.......

3 in a Row Activity (Pirate) - 3 in a row activity pirate, pirate, 3 in a row, row, game, activity, fun, wet play, numbers, counting

Primary Teaching Chest...

Brilliant resources on this site.  Love it all, especially the role play resources.  Take a look!  You wont be disappointed : )

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Words for Life - A parent’s guide to television

Words for Life - A parent’s guide to television

Remote control pointing at TV
Information from the National Literacy Trust

Sock monkeys

Sock Monkeys.....

I love singing the song 5 little monkeys jumpoing on the bed and 5 little monkeys swinging in the trees, shouting hey Mr Crocodile you cant catch me.......

The trouble is I never have enough monkeys for all the children.  So I decided to make some....out of socks.  The great things about these monkeys is that they dont just act as a prop to sing the song, they also act to develop colour recognition, pattern recognition, sensory play and can help to develop awareness of size as you can make them in various sizes.

All you need to complete:
One pair of socks or use two different socks that the washing machine didn't manage to swallow up.  Toy stuffing, felt pieces or buttons and cotton.  You can find many great patterns on the net to follow to cut up your pieces and hey presto... you have the best sock monkeys money can buy as they are cheap to make and can be used to aid many development areas : )