If your little ones don't have the best concentration, or seem to tire quickly from monotonous work, then spice up their involvement by choosing fun locations where they can do their colouring, shapes, letter practice and so on. Some children are naturally challenged with arduous tasks such as practicing their letters or colouring in pictures, others get bored rather too quickly. If you have difficulty encouraging your little ones to settle down to do their work then try doing it outside at a garden table, or in the park at a picnic table. Maybe create a camp from a few old sheets draped around bushes, or if the weather forces you inside, drape a sheet or towels over a clothes airer. No space is too small for your little ones to cram in. They will enjoy it all the more if they are hidden from you.
Tasks such as colouring, writing, constructing jigsaws and the like take time and concentration. Many children don't persevere at these tasks for the time required but they are really important activities in order to encourage fine motor skills and problem solving, indeed, to help with concentration.
Build your little ones an 'office' space and tell them that they are 'going to work', something that they see parents doing. Young children love to mimic grown-ups and this will give them a sense that they are doing what you do. Relocate to a cafe, the local library or the park. Make an adventure of basic tasks and you will find that your children quickly lap up the excitement of doing otherwise very ordinary activities in a different setting.
The Queen's birthday is officially celebrated by the ceremony of the Trooping the Colour, where a Guard's regiment process their colours and march through London in a spectacular display.
This year the event falls on Saturday 11 June.
The tradition of marching through London in summer dates back to the early eighteenth century or earlier, when the flags of the battalion were carried (or as they officially call it, 'trooped').
The occasion marks the sovereign's birthday, although it is not the Queen's real birthday. The tradition celebrates the Sovereign's birthday publicly on a day in the summer, when good weather is more likely.
Trooping the Colour is carried out by operational troops from the Household Division (made up of Foot Guards and Household Cavalry). They parade down Horse Guards Parade in Whitehall. Members of the Royal Family will watch the parade, special guests and members of the public.
The Queen is normally greeted by a Royal salute and inspects the troops. The massed bands perform a musical 'troop', and then the escorted Regimental Colour is carried down the ranks. The soliders then march and the Queen rides in a carriage back to Buckingham Palace.
The Queen has been present at every Trooping the Colour since she ascended the throne, except in 1955 when a national rail strike cancelled the event.
Go to www.toucanlearn.com for a great soldier picture to colour. Join ToucanLearn for free, select Fun Stuff, and choose the Father's Day activities to download the picture.
Colouring has to be the number one activity, entertaining children around the world on a daily basis, but what does it teach? As with so many baby and toddler activities, colouring assists learning across a broad spectrum of skills:-
- Fine motor skills: this is all about coordination, young children will learn to hold crayons and to control their hand movements. Such control is essential before your children can start writing so colouring is a precursor to being able to write.
- Knowledge and understanding of the world: exposure to different pictures to colour in will help to teach children about the world around them; talk about the scenes that they are colouring, and make sure that they know what each object in the scene is, this will broaden vocabulary as well as nurture a wider contextual understanding.
- Colours: colouring helps your little ones learn their colours. Children will also begin to learn the effect of mixing different colours.
- Concentration: colouring will help your children to concentrate on a project and to see it through to its conclusion.
There are so many lessons that colouring a simple picture can teach. Make sure you always have a small pack of crayons in your handbag, and a sheet or two to colour in (you can quickly find pictures to colour on the Internet, we have lots at ToucanLearn!). The next time you find yourself having to wait somewhere with your little ones, or stuck in traffic, you'll be grateful that you can just whip out some colouring, and your little ones will be improving themselves along the way.
It's very easy as parents and carers to pass on, without being really aware of it, some of our fears or phobias; a fear of spiders might be one of the most obvious ones! However, in an attempt to counter this, and as a fun way to introduce children to one of the most common and varied insect in our gardens (and houses!), here are some fun activities to do with children, all about spiders! Don't be alarmed if you are nervous of spiders, they're made of chocolate, cardboard and lots of coloured paint!
Tasty Spider - take a chocolate cup cake or chocolate covered round biscuit and pop on 2 cheerios as eyes. Take 4 chocolate fingers and break them in half and stick them in the side to make a spider! Perhaps share between two children to eat or you may have a sugar rush situation! Yum!
Rainbow spider - draw a round body shape and 8 chubby legs to make a spider picture to decorate. Cover it with glue and stick on lots of coloured tissue paper in the colours of the rainbow. Stick on some eyes and a happy smile and stick on a window so the light shows up all the lovely colours.
Egg box spiders - cut out the mounds from egg boxes and paint some bright, spidery colours. Poke in 8 short lengths of pipe cleaners and bend half way down each to look like spider legs. Draw on some eyes and thread some wool through the top so you have a spider hanging from a web. Spooky!
Spider's Web - with a tube of glue draw a web shape on a piece of black paper. Sprinkle silver glitter or sand all over the page. Shake off any excess and you have a sparkly web covered in dew. Draw a little spider on black paper and stick this on ready for action.
Number Spider -Draw a big spider body and eight wide legs on the back of a cereal packet and paint it lovely sunny colours. Cut out 8 small circles or use stickers and number each leg. Practice counting 1 to 8 as you count the legs together. Try taking the stickers off and encouraging your little one to recognise each number and stick it on in order.
Happy plate spider - take a paper plate and cover with paint. Stick on some long thins strips of card as legs and paint these too. Add some googly eyes and a big smiley face!
Who's scared of the spider! Not Us!