Twinkl Posters

We have different posters scattered around the house.  Some are semi-permanent and some we just put up while we are looking at a topic but either way these visual learning aids are a big part of both the kids learning.  So I thought I would share some photos and links for the Twinkl posters that we use (or have used).  A couple are FREE to download but the most are part of their paid for classic membership.  All our posters are displayed on really simple cork boards (we bought these ones from amazon – 5 Star Indigo Noticeboard Cork with Pine Frame W 900 x H 600mm)

One of our semi-permanent set of poster are our British History Timeline Posters.  There are quite a few and each page is A4 size so we used 2 of our notice boards for this but it is proving to be a really useful reminder for both the kids and me (I totally admit that I sometimes have a quick look to check dates if we are discussing an event or person and I want to make sure which period it/ they belonged in).

British History Timeline Posters from Twinkl Resources

There is also a World History Timeline set.

Most of the posters that we have up tend to be Maths.  One of the first ones we ever out up was this 0 – 200 number poster (I loved the fact that it included numbers great than 100).  If you are busy looking at Number Bonds we used their Rainbow Number bond Posters, there are three different ones – Number Bonds to 10, Number Bonds to 20 and Number Bonds to 100.

And our multiples poster – you can get the poster with all the numbers on one page – Number number poster.

Multiples, skip counting poster from Twinkl Resources

Or the individual numbers – we love these and they are FREE to download.

Multiples inside the NUmber Poster. Free to download from Twinkl Resources

If you are working on times tables – we really liked the 9 Times Table Easy Way Poster

Twinkl Resources Learning the 9 times table the Easy Way

and the 2, 4 and 8 times table poster.

2, 4 and 8 times table poster from Twinkl Resources

For Fractions I think this Fraction wall is a very useful poster (FREE to download) we have had ours up for ages.

Free to download Fraction Wall from Twinkl Resources

We also like this Fractions, Decimals and Percentage poster.

Twinkl's Fractions, Decimals and Percentages poster

And for Geometry – we have found this Angles poster useful.

Angles and Measurement poster from Twinkl Resources

Maps are another one we like – since I am originally from South Africa we have a large Map of Africa up so I can continuously point out the different countries in Africa (I get very irritated when people talk about Africa as  country so I am determined that both the kids are going to have a good knowledge of the different countries in Africa).

Twinkl Resources Map of Africa showing the different countries in Africa

They have lots of different maps on the site including this one of  Europe

Oh and this FREE to download Water Cycle Poster.

There are so many posters that we have used and I know I am forgetting a bunch but these are the ones that are up at the moment / or the ones I can think of.

This post is NOT a review post.  It is just me sharing some of the learning posters that we have used with our kids

Educational Posters from Twinkl Resources

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Co-ordinate Grid Copy Pictures

The kids have looked at co-ordinates before and as we are working on Geometry at the moment it seemed like a good time to go back and revisit it.  But we have also been slowing down the learning activities this week while my daughter catches her breath a bit so I thought it might be good to link the co-ordinates with a drawing activity. (In our house any learning activity with a slightly arty angle seems to be popular.)

We had completed a few of the grid copy pages from Activity Village before and I remember thinking at the time that it reminded me of co-ordinates so I went back and had a look.  I started off by printing out the butterfly grid copy page and then “added in an x and y-axis”.  I purposely labelled the one axis with letters and the one with numbers so as it avoid confusing my youngest.

Using Grid copy pictures to practice co-ordinates

My youngest actually told me that labelling the picture helped him and stopped him getting so muddled up when he was trying to figure out where he needed to work.

Grid Copy Sunflower picture from Activity Village with the 2 axis labelled to help the kids

And I noticed the more pictures he did the more comfortable he became with telling me exactly where he was working – the co-ordinates just started rolling off his tongue without a second thought.

Grid Copy the Tropical Island page from Activity Village

He did amend my idea though – he wanted the letters at the top and bottom of his page so he could quickly see where he was.

My daughter actually struggled a bit with this.  But what helped her was if she first plotted a few intersecting points on her page and then tried to draw the lines.

Grid Copy with co-ordinates. First plotting some points before you draw the lines

This definitely seemed to help.

Grid Copy Snowdrops from Activity Village

I really like these grid copy pages and I think the more the kids practice the easier the get.

All of the grid copy pages that we used are from Activity Village (you need a membership for their site which is currently around £15 for 12 months).

The Grid Copy Section is here – Activity Village Grid copy pages

And the individual ones that we used in the photographs are these ones – butterfly, sunflower, tropical island, snowdrops.

Grid Copy Sunflower page from Activity Village with the x and y axis labelled for the kids

This is a totally independent post. It is just a learning activity that we have been doing lately and I thought someone else might like the idea.

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A Short History of the World review

We enjoy learing about History and although I try to study individual time periods with the kids we often end up discovering other bits of history during our  learning activities and our trips into the museums. For me it is one of the benefits of living where we do, within such easy reach of the  London museums and attractions like Hampton Court Palace so we embrace and explore all the old wonders whenever we come across them.  But every now and then I do wonder if it becomes a bit mixed up for the kids so I like to try to use resources to discuss the general timeline of events so they are able to slot everything in a rough sequence of events.  We have used and still love our Story of London Book (real little gem this one, it has been read cover to cover and individual sections have been re-read after we have spotted certain landmarks in London).

But I really wanted a world history summary for the kids.  I wanted something that sorted the events into order but something that was kid friendly and not too detailed so they could read it and focus on the order of events.  I spotted the A Short History of the World and I was very intrigued.

Usborne a Short History of the World. A brilliant children's history resource

The book is NOT a detailed encyclopedia of History.  It is a well written, easy to read account of events throughout the history of the World.  They introduce key events that happened and also talk about general shifts in the way that people lived (eg the when towns starting forming in Europe or how cities grew because of new inventions and machines).

A Short History of the World by Usborne. Towns and Guilds start developing

The book itself is not massive (21cm by 15cm ) and it is 160 pages long yet somehow they manage to cover every major historical period.  (I actually really like the fact that they have not made this book big and thick as I think the size means lots of kids will not be intimidated by it).

It is divided into 4 general categories – The Ancient World (includes Ice Age), The Medieval World, The Early Modern World and the Modern World.  Each category covers all continents.

A Short History of the World by Usborne. An excallent summary of the key historical events

We really like the way they have written this book.  The pages are not crammed fill of fact after fact.  They have written it in a style which is just easy to read.  Short paragraphs explaining what happened, how it possibly linked to other areas of the world and any impact it may have had.  They mention key dates and figures but it is so naturally included in the paragraphs that you don’t feel you are getting name after name or date after date.

Usborne's A Short History of the World. The fall of Constantinople

They have also included interesting diagrams throughout the book which help explain key elements.

Usborne A Short History of the World. Ancient Greece

Usborne's A Short History of the World. Building an enpire. Ancient Rome

We really liked these visual summaries that are scattered through the book.

A Short History of the World. European Society

I have been very impressed with this book.  It is a great summary of the key events and written in a way that I think is just right for my ten-year old to read.

This book retails just under £10.

I searched for a world history book that I thought would be appropriate for us to use in our home education and this is the one that I choose.  After I choose it I approached the publishers and asked for a review copy which they kindly sent us. 

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Kindness that means everything

I mentioned that over the weekend my daughter danced in 2 shows.  She loves dancing but it comes with a number of challenges for her.  Part of her sensory processing makeup is that she battles to filter out background noise and focus in on the key stuff.  So she has to actively work on filtering out all the background information that most of us filter out naturally.  It takes quite a bit of work.  So as the day progresses, as she gets tired, it gets harder and harder for her to do this.

So what happens when she dances in two shows, she starts off focused and able to concentrate on the instructions.  For the first show she managed the costume, hair styling (it helped that she knew and adored the teacher doing her hair and make-up) and the dress rehearsal well.  Then it was straight on to the first show and immediately after that backstage to change and gear up for the second show.  I was backstage so I could help with the costume change and I could see she was getting tired and when I talked she was not focusing on my words.  Second dress rehearsal, lots of noise and when she went on stage to dance she did well but afterwards the teacher had a few last-minute points for the girls and at that point I could tell the background noise was overwhelming and she did not manage to get the teachers instructions (by now she was tired and she was not able to filter out all the noise and focus on the important stuff).  I gave her a quick drink and a snack and tried to explain what the teacher had said but even then I could tell she was not sure.  But she still had the 2nd show to do.

And then a friends gentle kindness came into play.  The friend was probably not even aware of how much it meant.  But this friend heard me talking to my daughter and came forward put her arm around her gave her a gentle squeeze and just said “look for me on the stage, make sure you position your chair next to mine”.  Then the friend sat quietly with her, away from the crowd, for a few minutes of calm before they had to queue up.

Now this particular friend is an amazing kid (she has lots of great qualities) but what I want to highlight right now is that she is a kind, considerate, gentle kid who saw someone else was needing some encouragement and was more than happy to be there.  Just a few words, a gently squeeze and a smile meant the world to my daughter and to me.

My daughter wants to dance in the shows, she loves it but it is a tough one for her. Having someone else in her group, someone who understand a little bit about how certain aspects may be harder for her, someone who was willing to reach out and help her just a little when it all got a bit much meant everything to us.

To this girls mom – You have a truly amazing daughter, one of the kindness most considerate young ladies I have had the pleasure of meeting.  She is a true blessing in this sometimes crazy world.

Dance show ofamily learning together

I want to mention that my daughter has been dancing with this particular dance school for a number of years now and they are incredibly supportive of her.  We would never have dreamt of her doing 2 shows if she had not had the amazing teachers supporting her the way they do.

Also the mom of the kind friend gave me permission to share this picture of the girls together.

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Schofield & Sims Geometry workbook

Those of you who follow our facebook page know we have been doing a number of Geometry activities lately.  We have been exploring Geometry doing some more laid back activities, but my daughter was keen to get a workbook so she could work through all the steps.  I had a look around and ended up sticking with my favourite educational workbook publisher – Schofield & Sims – they have a Geometry and Measurement workbook for Key Stage 2.  I wanted something that had the detail that my daughter needed but something that would also be suitable for my 7-year-old to join in (he has loved doing all the other Geometry activities so far so I knew he would want his own workbook).  We have been using it  for a few weeks now and so far it has ticked all the boxes for us.

Schofield & Sims Key Stage 2 Geometry and Measurement workbook

They have stuck to the tried and tested Schofield & Sims format – no overbearing colours (we really like this), not too much crammed onto one page (huge points for this ) and each page has a short explanation at the top followed by examples (this allows my daughter to work though the book without needing my constant input).

This workbook does not have as much practice as the Written Calculation range so I did have to add extra examples for the kids (I would either create something myself or download some extra worksheets).  If you are using it as a revision activity it would be fine but I did feel for new concepts as a home educating family we did need to add extra practice.

Also I was looking for a Geometry workbook and this one does include Measurement as well but I actually liked that as they kids seemed to naturally transition from the geometry to the measuring and the two did seem to fit really well together.

And the workbook does contain 5 “tests”.  We use these as revision exercises. Also the workbook has answers for all the questions at the back.

So what exactly is included

  • 2D shapes
  • Angles
  • Triangles
  • Quadrilaterals
  • reflective Symmetry
  • Co-ordinates
  • TRanslations
  • Angles again
  • 3D shapes
  • Drawing and making shapes
  • More co-ordinates
  • Reflecting patterns and shapes
  • Calculating angles
  • Circles
  • Length
  • Mass
  • Capacity
  • Converting units of measurement
  • Problems with length, mass and capacity
  • Reading scales
  • Perimeter
  • Time
  • Area
  • Imperial Units
  • Volume
  • Time problems
  • Area and Perimeter

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As you can see there is a lot that is covered by this workbook.  We have not completed the workbook yet – although that is our aim.  We are working through step by step, doing our extra activities as we deem fit.

I mentioned above that this workbook is aimed at Key Stage 2 children and my son would still be in Key Stage 1 if he were in school – so you may be wondering how did he manage?  He loved it, he loved that he had he same workbook as his sister and that he could work through the activities with her.  He did find that his handwriting is still a bit large but it was not a big issue – we easily adjusted that (sometimes he would extend the line or write under the line provided).

working through his Schofield & Sims Geometry and Measurement workbook

Disclosure – I searched online for a Geometry workbook.  I selected Schofield & Sims and then contacted them and asked if they would be interested in sending us 2 workbooks for my review.  The opinions expressed are mine and that of my two little testers (ie my kids using the books for their home learning).

I have seen this workbook at our local WHSmith store and you can also purchase them online from Amazon – Understanding Maths: Geometry & Measurement

Schofield & Sims key Stage 2 Geometry and Measurement workbook

I do include Affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and go on to purchase that product, I will be paid a very small commission, however your cost will remain the same. I only include affiliate links for products that we use and love.

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Free book activities from the Oxford University Press website

I have mentioned a few times that we have two little bookworms in our house – they love their books and I love encouraging their reading and finding fun activities based on books that they have enjoyed.  We were recently reading the Magical Kingdom of Birds: Sleepy Hummingbirds which has a colouring-in picture on the inside cover page (part of the story is that the girl has a magical colouring-in book) but there is one picture and I have two kids so I emailed Oxford University Press to ask if there was a printout of the picture available.  There is.  And their PR person kindly pointed me in the direction of their library of FREE to download book resources. – OUP library of FREE Book resources.

Free to download the Magical Kingdom of Birds colouring page

We immediately spotted the Bee Boy fact sheet and the How to draw Bee Boy page (My son loves Bee Boy it was one of the first chapter books that he read).

Free to download interesting fact page from the Bee Boy book

We also spotted a crossword based on the New Adventures of Mr Toad.

Free to download crossword for Mr Toad's new Adventures

And this stunning pack – 27 pages – of Dahl Dictionary activities.  Now I must admit straight away the Roald Dahl Dictionary activity set does make reference back to the Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary.  We don’t have the dictionary but after looking through the pages I realized that we could still do a lot of the activities so we printed out a bunch.  I love this set, there are some super English activities in here.

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If your kids enjoy some of the OUP story books I highly recommend you have a quick look on their site and see if there are any activities that might interest you.  They are all FREE to download and range from colouring, crafting to crosswords and activities that support their English Language learning.

I do include Affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and go on to purchase that product, I will be paid a very small commission, however your cost will remain the same.

 

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Decoupage Crafty Cats

We love doing arty projects but I must admit I have a few favourites and they tend to be mostly paint based.  I have never been big into decoupage – I don’t like the glue (yip exactly where my kids get their sensitivity from).  But I know that practicing dealing with sensory challenges is really important.  Whether it is noise or touch, practice has helped both my kids.  I remember years ago how my daughter struggled every time we used the underground – total sensory overload and these days, after lots of gentle practice she manages amazingly well.  So with that in mind there are certain crafts that we keep coming back so the kids can practice that feeling of the materials on their hands and using liquid glue, like in decoupage is one of them.  It is not something my two took to straight away but we have been practicing it, small doses, gently, at home starting with simpler projects and then working up.

To begin with I found using glass jars perfect.  The reason is simple, it is easier to stick the paper onto the glass jars with the paint brushes (Decopatch Silk Brushes, Pack of 5) and they could keep the glue on their hands to a minimal amount.  So it was gentle practice. (photo below is an old one from a few years ago)

Begining Decoupage with sensory children it helps to use simple shapes like a recycled glass jar

As the kids got happier we have starter using animals that you can buy at craft stores.  My main reason is the animals have a more complex shape, there are smaller bits jotting out and gaps that need to get covered so they are naturally forced to use their fingers more and the end up with more glue on their hands and that sticky feeling is more intense.

Decoupage is a great sensory activity for children with sensory processing disorder

But it has been okay because we have built up, slowly with lots of practice.

Decoupage for sensory kids. Great activity for them

Now they are a lot happier creating fun, multi-coloured animals.

Decoupage Cats. Easy and fun crafting activity for children to do at home. Great all year round activity

The items that we used in the photos were purchased by me from Crafty Crocodiles

For their full range of Decoupage /  Decopatch items look here – Decopatch Range

The cats are these ones – paper mache cat base.

The glue that we use is – Mod Podge 8 oz Waterbase Sealer, Glue and Finish, Gloss

If you have never used Mod Podge glue it looks white when you apply it but once it dries it is transparent.

Decoupage cat using Mod Podge the glue dries transparent

Please note – when I say gentle practice I do mean gentle.  We never do sensory challenging activities with the kids when they are already in an overwhelmed state and when the kids indicate they have had enough we never force them to sit and complete the project, we have a break and come back to it later.

I do include Affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and go on to purchase that product, I will be paid a very small commission, however your cost will remain the same. I only include affiliate links for products that we use and love.

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