About Time – An activity set to help understand Time

My oldest is not a fan of telling time or working out how much time has elapsed but she loves fractions so when I spotted the About Time Set from Learning Resources which includes a number of time fractions I immediately thought it was worth investigating.

The set comes with 12 different “clock fractions” – a term my kids use to describe the time fraction circles, an activity card which has a clock face with moveable hands on it and an elapsed time number line.  (You can write on the elapsed time number line with white board marker pens and they rub off perfectly – the pens are not included in the set but it is definitely handy to have one when you use the set).

As soon as I showed the kids the set they immediately linked the time fraction pieces to their fraction tower set that they have. (The fraction tower set is this one –Learning Resources Fraction Tower Cubes Equivalency Set.)

Learning resources About Time Set includes time fraction pieces which break an hour down into fractions. Great for visual learners

My youngest loves the clock fractions.  He started off using them to create hour circles sticking with the same time pieces (eg combining all the 1/4 pieces together to get an hour)

Learning Resources About Time set. The kids love using the facrtion pieces to work out what makes up an hour

but he very quickly moved onto combining different time pieces to create an hour.

Learning Resources About Time. Combining different time factions to make an hour

Both kids have been drawn to this idea and I have noticed that they keep coming back to the clock pieces wanting to create different combinations for an hour.  I really like this.  They are naturally exploring what makes up an hour by combining the different fractions, no prompting from me, just them building up circles and noticing how the different pieces fit together and sometimes don’t fit together.

Once the kids had spent some time playing with the time fractions on their own we did sit together and go through a few things.  I showed my son how he could match the time fraction pieces to the minute hand on the activity clock.  He liked this and he has been playing around with this quite a bit.

Learning resources About Time set using the actvity card with the moving clock hands and the faction pieces to represent time

My daughter and I moved onto using the clock number line that is included in the set.  I started creating stories for her and then she would use the time fractions to see if she could answer me eg If it is now 3 o’clock and it is 3.5 hours before dad gets home what time would he get home ? Or if I drop you off at dance class at 1 and collect you at 3:15 how long is your dance class ?  Those type of scenarios.

Learning Resources About Time set contains a time number line and fraction pieces which help the children understand the concept of elapsed time

We did a lot and I must be honest for someone who has always struggles with time I can definitely see her understanding it better and getting more and more confident with her answers.  We are going to be using this set A LOT in the future as we work on more complicated time scenarios.

I really like this set.  I like the way they have represented time in fractions, I like that the kids can play with the fractions pieces and get comfortable with how different combinations can create an hour. And I really like the idea of the clock number line I do think it is helping my daughter understand time better.

Learning Resources About Time set helps the kids understand the concept of elapsed time

Learning Resources About Time set helps children understand how to tell time and what is elapsed time

You can get the About Time set directly from the Learning Resources website or from Amazon here – Learning Resources About Time – Telling the Time & Understanding Elapsed Time

Learning Resources did offer to send me a Maths set in exchange for a review.  I chose this particular set as I had been eyeing it out for sometime.








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Woodland Trust Free nature printouts

We love going for our nature walks and the kids naturally end up asking lots of questions about the plants and creatures that we spot while we are out.  They always want to know the names of the trees (I am really bad with trees) and the type of insects we spot (I honestly can not remember what the different type of beetles are).

So we have started taking little spotters and iDials with us on our walks.  Sometimes I leave them in my backpack until I get a question which I cannot answer and other times I give them to the kids and they go explore and see if they have find anything on their list.  Either way I am finding the Spotter sheets and iDials from the Woodland Trust website brilliant.  They are informative, written for the UK,  and I am able to pack a bunch of them into my backpack as they are small and lightweight (I do tend to laminate ours so they last longer).  They have a BIG selection and all of them are FREE to download

So I thought I would share the ones that we are using and loving.

My son really likes the Beetle ID and Ladybird ID sheets.

Beetle ID spotter sheet from the Woodland Trust. Free to download

And the poo spotter is also a firm favourite with him.

My daughter is currently trying to figure out what different plants are called so she likes the Beautiful Blossom sheet, the Spring Flower ID sheet and the Summer Flower ID sheet.

Marvellous day-flying moths and beautiful blossom spotter ID sheets from the Woodland Trust

And there are lots of pages on moths and butterflies – we like the fact that they split the moth spotting pages into day and night flying moths

She also is using the Leaf iDial together with the Twig iDial when we are out as a way of trying to identify different trees.  She is finding the two work really well together.  She normally starts with the leaf iDial and then checks with the twig iDial to see if the two results match (it ends up being a built in check as sometimes she is not 100% sure if she selected the correct leaf).

Leaf and Twig iDials free to download from the Woodland Trust website

We also have downloaded the Fruit and Seed iDial which I am sure we will get around to using.  (The iDials print out as 2 separate pages.  We then cut out the circles, laminated them and attached the two circles together with split pins)

The Fruit and Seed iDial free to download from the Woodland Trust website

Fruit and Seed iDial once it has cut out and put together. Free to download from Nature detectives

Another useful iDial is the garden bird one and they also have a wild bird iDial

Garden Birds iDial free to download from Nature detectives

It really is worth spending some time on their website as they do have LOTS of stunning Free to download nature pages.

Free to download natture pages from the Woodland Trust. Perfect for nature walks with children





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Learning Posters

I was recently asked about some of the posters that we have hanging up in the house (someone asked after spotting a few of them in some of my photos).  I do change the posters from time to time but I will share what we have up now and what we recently had up.

The cork board above the kids desks is in the room with large sliding doors that open onto our garden so it tends to be the home of our British Garden Bird Poster – British Birds – Educational Poster (40x60cm).  The kids love this poster and will often check back if they are not 100% sure about the bird they have spotted (although I am noticing that as they get better at identifying the birds they are using it less and less).

One of the kids learning boards that has a British Bird Poster and some maths goodies on it

We also tend to have Maths goodies up here.  At one stage we had the 2, 4, 8 times table poster up (Twinkl platinum), but these days we have the 9 times table poster up (also Twinkl platinum) and we have some skip counting numbers for my youngest – Individual skip counting posters (free to download from Twinkl).

We also have a board up in our kitchen.  At the moment this board has a Measurement Poster that I bought – Metric Units and Measurement Educational Poster 40x60cm (this is great for lots of ongoing discussions about everyday life),

A Metric Unit and Measurement Poster

a fraction, decimal and percentage poster, (Twinkl Platinum)

Fractions, decimals and percentages poster from Twinkl Resources

the Days of the Week and a mini number words poster.  In the past we have also had the 0-200 number poster and the Clock up here (The clock is currently stuck onto the side of a bookshelf).

Analogue Flower Petal Clock from Twinkl Resources

The cork board in the kid’s bedroom use to be full of Afrikaans items (our 2nd language) but recently we changed this to the Common Word Posters.  We did this for my youngest as he likes practicing reading his words in the evening before he goes to sleep.  These common word posters have really increased his reading confidence and word recognition speed. (We do a mix of phonics and sight words, I believe understanding the phonic sounds helps the kids with their spelling but I also think being able to recognise high frequency words quickly helps them with their reading. It is a combination that has worked really well with my daughter).

Maybe you are wondering why we have the posters scattered around the house ?  Both our children are visual learners and they activity look at the posters, read them and talk about them on a regular basis.  Having said that we are very aware about cluttering the boards as too much is very overwhelming especially for my daughter. My daughter also does not like being rushed when she is learning something.  So I have found that after we introduce something it is often best to leave it and give her time to process.  While she is processing, she will read up about whatever the topic is, write, draw, figure out stuff herself around the topic (we have lots of maths manipulative scattered around the house which the kids have free access it) and then she will come back to me with a bunch of related questions and we will revisit the topic.  This works really well for her and we have found that having posters up around the topic helps with this.  So we recently talked about decimals (hence the fractions, decimal, percentage poster is up), also she only has two more times tables left to practice –  the 9 times and 12 times  – so  the 9 times table poster is up.

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How Plants Work – a stunning children’s book

Earlier this year I spotted this  children’s book at Costco and grabbed it – How Plants Work.  We already had one of the books in the series – How the Weather Works –  so I was fairly confident it would be another good book to add it our bookshelf.  And I was not wrong.  It is a stunning children’s book, filled with gorgeous pictures, lots of flaps and popping up trees ad flowers.  The kids enjoy it and it is very informative.  I bought ours from Costco UK for £6.99, I have not seen it in our local bookstore but I have spotted it on Amazon UK here – How Plants Work.

How Plants Work, a stunning children's book which deals with plants, how they grow and what we use them for

The book starts with Why do plants have flowers (and has a stunning pop up flower in the middle which my daughter loves).

How Plants Work. A stunning children's book all about plants

Then it moves onto How do plants grow from tiny seeds.

And What do plants feed on. This includes an explanation about how roots and leaves work aswell as a section about carnivorous plants (I was not expecting this but my kids love the fact these plants were included).

Next is How do plants defend themselves  and then Where do Plants Live.  My son really likes this page as he likes knowing where animals and plants live, so this helped him put some of it into context.

How Plant Work, a children's plant book by Templar which includes a section on Where do Plants Live

Why are trees so important – this stunning page has a massive popping out tree and the tree has flaps.  This page amazes me, the way the tree pops up and then the kids turn the flaps back to see what creatures are making a home in the tree, really well thought-out and designed.

Why are Trees so important - a double page in the How Plants Work Book

Then it is on to What are the World’s Weirdest plants, What plants end up on your plate and How do we use plants.

I Love this book.  It is really well designed with lots of pop ups and flaps that keep my kids engaged while they are learning all about plants.  The text is not detailed but together with the pictures it is very informative.

The kids and I recommend this book and think it is a great addition to a plant project/topic.

How Plants Work.  A stunning children's book all about plants.  A brilliant book for kids who want to learn about flowers, trees and other plants

I have included 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 own, use and love.







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Year 1 Grammar book we are using

In February I mentioned that we had received a set of Schofield & Sims Grammar books so I thought it was time to give a more detailed review of one of the books we have been using, the Grammar 1 book.    My daughter has been doing some of the exercises in the older books (combination of Grammar 3 and Grammar 4) and whenever she is busy her younger brother likes to join in with his own activity.  This set has been perfect for that, as all the books in the set have the same style to them so he feels like he is doing “real big work” when he completes a page in his Grammar 1 book.

Working through his Grammar 1 pupil book by Schofield & Sims

What is included in the Grammar 1 book (47 Pages in total) –

Sentences – using Capital letters and Full stops (they cover this over a number of pages).

Joining basic sentences with “and”.

Adding s and ed to make plurals.


Grammar 1 Pupil book by Schofield & Sims introduces questions

Verb endings (ing / ed / er).

Grammar 1 pupil book by Schofield& Sims includes verb endings

Describing words.

Adding “un” to a word.

As with all the Grammar books they have 3 double revision pages in the book as well as 3 different writing tasks.

Grammar 1 is the first in this series so there is not as much writing as in the older books, sometimes the kids just tick a box, circle a word, underline a word or just need to write one word down.

Grammar 1 pupil book by Schofield & Sims introduces describing words

But there are some instances where they need to rewrite a sentence (nothing too complicated), however my son still writes his letters rather large and he did battled to fit everything on the space provided.

Grammar 1 pupil book by Schofield & Sims

This was not a big issue as I just gave him a separate piece of paper and instead of writing in the book on the line provided he used his piece of paper.  For us this meant he could still complete the assigned task but he did not have to stress over trying to reduce the size of his letters but could rather focus on getting his letter formation correct.  He was happy with this work around as he knew the answers and wanted the satisfaction of finishing the pages.

I do like the content in the book, I like the way it is broken down and the simple explanations at the top of each page are concise.  My youngest is enjoying the fact that he has his own workbook and I must admit I am enjoying that fact that I do not need to spend as much time in the evenings looking for English activities for him.

We still have a number of pages left in the book and we are not rushing him through the book, we are go slowly at this pace but I am confident that when we have finished this book we will continue with the series and move onto the Grammar 2 pupil book.



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