Thursday, 28 June 2012

Buzz Off

This is a fun outdoor game that requires little equipment. It is also called Sharks and Islands.

It is a variation of Tiggy (or Chasey or Tag, depending where you are from)

One person is 'it' and the rest need to run away from him/her. 

The trick is they are only safe when on a marker and only one child can be on a marker at a time. There is always one or two less markers then people playing, which means there are always kids being chased. 

If one child is on a marker and sees another child approaching they yell "Buzz Off Sam!", which means that Sam cannot go onto that marker so Sam continues running. Sam then spots Julie, who isn't paying attention and yells "Buzz Off Julie!". This means that Julie must leave the marker and find somebody else. The game then continues on this. There is no real end point usually when they get tired.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Country Toad

This is another game from the Arcademic Skill Builders' website. This game focuses on geography knowledge, specifically countries and capitals. It is a single player multiple choice game. Click here to play!  

How this toad got a passport I'll never know.

Your toad is sitting on a Lilly-Pad with a capital city label, four countries descend from the top of the screen and you decide where to jump. You do have plenty of time to decide but if you take too long the action can become frantic. The variety of countries is good and the game does get harder as you play.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Grand Prix Multiplication

Introducing a new section in this blog, educational website reviews. Every now and then I will bring you a good site, in my opinion, that can help your child excel in his or her learning.

Today we are having a look at Grand Prix Multiplication

This game is found on the Arcademic Skill Builders website. The have many good games for kids which I am sure I will be telling you about in the future.

What I like about this game is that it is simple and it is multi-player, as in you are racing against three real people. There is no need to worry about safety as there is no communication between players. Just knowing that you are versing real people can bring out the competitive edge in your kids.

Players are able to customise the colour of their car and their username, if they choose. The questions are of varying difficulty for youngsters so they do  not become discouraged. There is also a statistics page at the end to let you know how you went. 

No matter  your answer the car keep on racing. Every correct answer gives you a puff of speed.

You can either select the right answer with your mouse or use the number keys.

End result with placement, accuracy and correct answers.

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Sand Art

We did a theme week on deserts and one fun and successful activity was sand art. It's a great way to add some texture to kid's work. It can get a bit messy but nothing a vacuum cleaner can't handle. We did desert landscape pictures


  • Sand
  • Glue sticks
  • Coloured paper
  • Scissors


  1. Using colours like yellow, orange and red create a desert scene.
  2. Apply glue to where you want your sand to stick. I think it is better to limit the area where you stick sand as it creates a better effect, but if they want to do more that's all good too.
  3. Quickly sprinkle sand on the glued areas and rub it in to make sure you get enough sand to stick.
  4. Shake off the excess into your sand tub, or if you are a child the table or floor.
  5. Stick on some detail such as cacti, camels, clouds or birds. Make it geographically specific to your area, if you live in a country with desert that is.

This one reminds me of the edge of Sahara, a massive dune looms in the distance.

Some of the kids decided that they didn't want to do deserts and wanted to do beaches instead. 

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Paper Chain Snake

This activity is a simple and old one. While some children might find it fun chances are that many will find it boring. To change it up a bit we did some research. We discovered that the record for the longest snake in captivity was about 7.3 meters (24 Feet), you can read about it here. While there were many sites claiming all sort of different sizes we decided to go with what Guinness World Records said.

So we decided to recreate this snake in paper chain form. It created a great team atmosphere as well problem solving, the kids had to work out a way to measure it. The snake is now hanging in our room watching over us, the kids love it!


  • Coloured Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue

Friday, 15 June 2012

Egyptian Cartouche (Name Tag)

The Ancient Egyptian alphabet is an amazing invention. I constantly see kids enthralled with it year after year. When carving a wall with hieroglyphs, to separate people from normal language, Egyptians used circle the word with a symbol known now as a cartouche. These cartouches were reserved primarily for men and women of influence.


You can either go for a monochrome look or try and make the letters colouful, which I think they were like. Make sure you tell the kids to sketch out the letters first as many can be difficult. 

Thursday, 14 June 2012


Mosaics are a fun and creative craft that allows kids to do what ever they want be that a picture or a pattern.

Getting the right materials can be tricky. You can make your own which would be time consuming or you can buy little crafts squares from your local art and craft shop. 


  • Coloured Squares
  • Glue
  • Coloured Paper
Here are some examples of what we did:




Creature from Minecraft

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Trojan Horse

We have been exploring the ancient world for the past couple of weeks at work and I just wanted to share this activity with you. It is not mine but I think i is an excellent activity. 

For the template and instructions click here

Here is a picture of some we did:

When we did it we just glued coloured card on the back, it might be  good idea to use thick cardboard for the wheels or it just continually falls over.

Friday, 8 June 2012


Getting ready for the Olympics while still exploring Ancient Greece got us onto making discuses. This was actually a child's idea which caught on and nearly everybody at the program ended up making one. Lots of fun except when they hit you in the head! It is a very simple yet effective idea.


  • Paper Plates
  • Sticky Tape
  • Markers

  1. On the underside of the plate (the side that would be resting on the table if you were eating from it) draw your design. this could be anything really. Most of the kids at my program wanted to do something that would look good while spinning in the air. This meant lots of colour wheels.
  2. Stick the two plates together to make a UFO shape. 
  3. You are finished. Go outside and throw it around. You can have different challenges such as the furthest throw, the highest throw you can have a relay race with them or a continuous circle where everybody throws to the left on the count of three.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Ornamental Plates

We have been exploring the ancient world at the moment and we did ornamental plates in a Greek theme. It also enhances the idea if you couple this with some Greek myth story telling or some of Aesop's fables.


  • Paper Plates
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Colour Pencils
  • Greek Printouts

  1.  For the pictures in the ornamental plates I found a site that has nice cartoon pictures of Ancient Greece
  2. Making sure that you size them appropriately print them out.
  3. You can either print them in colour or in black and white. We printed in black and white and coloured over them.
  4. Decorate the border of the plate.
Theseus and the Minotaur


Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Egg Parachute

Like the bridge building activity from earlier this activity is a good team activity that promotes design and critical thinking. It is a lot of fun too regardless of whether the egg survives.

  • Eggs
  • Plastic Bags
  • Toilet Rolls
  • Tissue Paper
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Paper Plates
  • Cardboard
  • String/Wool
  • Cello-tape/Sticky Tape

  1. It is a good idea to have the different groups sketch out their ideas before making it. This gives you time to go over it with them and maybe suggest little tweaks here and there. You can also ask them to think of a team name if it is to be a competition.
  2. Make sure that there is enough equipment for everybody as one team missing out on a vital piece can often lead to them becoming demoralised or just giving up.
  3. Make sure you put a time limit on how long construction time is to promote team work and prevent stragglers.
  4. Try and test them somewhere out of the wind and high enough so you don't need to throw them up first as this can ruin the competition with eggs falling out of perfectly good designs. 
Below are some examples:

Sketch #1

Sketch #2

Colourful Sketch 

This one worked.
This one didn't, but looked quite nice.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Bird Faces/Masks

Sticking with the face/mask theme here is another paper plate activity.


  • Paper plates
  • coloured card
  • Googly eyes
  • Crayons/markers
  • Glue

I think this one is fairly self explanatory. :)