Education and Learning

Every Picture Tells a Story

Every Picture Tells a Story

'Every picture tells a story' so the saying goes and 'A picture paints a thousand words', but can story telling really be fun and help childrenís learning?

Storytelling isnít just for camp fires and ghoulish nights.  Many historical events are kept alive by stories repeated over the centuries, but telling stories is a skill that can be learned and should be enjoyed. Telling stories helps to develop listening skills as well imagination, it develops and stretches vocabulary and children learn how to use adjectives and adverbs, linking words and phrases. 

All children use their imagination and make up stories from a young age especially when they role play with dolls, cuddly toys or action figures. When they start school this imagination is channeled more into writing.

Keeping this imagination fired up can be easy just by making storytelling into a family game at home. Find any smallish items from around the house, place them on a tray and cover with a cloth.  This can be played with one or more people. One item is pulled from under the cloth and is the start of a story. The other items on the tray add the next steps of the story. This process can work for a single child, or many, all making up one story. Older children 
working together will probably put the items together in the most bizarre way to make the weirdest story!

For a more portable, travel size version the new Story Cards packs from Green Board Games have large flash-card size cards which are categorised to help develop stories. Younger children can put 2 cards together to develop linking sentence whereas older children or families make up the complete story! 

Created On  4 Aug 2018 14:51 in Education and Learning  -  Permalink

Are we there yet?

Are we there yet?  

Are we there yet? How often do we hear that when travelling? Preparation
is key. Jumping in the car and setting
off as you did before the family came along will no longer work! Be realistic about what you can cover with
children in the party and plan for a slower pace of travel with more frequent

Make Ďgetting thereí part of the holiday.  By involving your children in the
preparations, they will feel the journey is worthwhile to get to the next stage
of the holiday.  If your child hasnít any
other concept of holiday except the destination, itís no surprise that the
journey is of less importance to them. Break down the
journey into bits so that the excitement and enjoyment will be extended.

Use stops in the journey be it by car or by plane to break the pace. Get out of the car and throw a ball about or
walk around the airport lounge looking at the people and place and discussing
what they see and hear. An airport has
an amazing number of things going on!

Many parents ensure their children have their own carry bag with a few
things they want with them such as a favourite toy, but leave room for a few
surprise treats, wrapped up to maintain the surprise. F
or younger children try card games like Go Fish or themed snap cards. Use them at intervals
throughout the journey and donít forget the return journey so hold some back for

Entertainment on the move doesnít have to be complicated. For babies something small and simple, even a
few building blocks to put together and take apart again will entertain and can
be reused later in the trip. Toddlers love picture books, pop-up books, and reusable
sticker books that are not expensive and can be reused.

Although we live in an age of electronic games which are great for
travelling, school age kids can still have fun with old-fashioned favourites
such as Dot to Dots, Noughts and Crosses, and simple word games. In cars games that involve everyone like I-Spy,
the I-Spot
game (decide before you go on a few things to spot such as a green lorry, white
building, blue writing) and Hangman where everyone in the party takes turns to
say a letter and guess the word. And car
registration plates
have always provided entertainment making up words and
silly sentences with the letters. 

To remember the holiday encourage children to take photographs, pick up
postcards, keep tickets and keep a diary with how they felt and the emotions of
the day. A scrapbook of the holiday
could also be used for show and tell at school.

So for calm holiday travel, do some thinking and
preparation before you go, get the kids involved on the way and have games
ready to use when needed.  Simple!

Created On  18 Jul 2017 11:06 in Education and Learning  -  Permalink

Science Week

Science Week
Science Week brings attention to the STEM subjects in schools and how science affects children's futures.

Science teaching in schools starts at an early age with a
few hours a week in primary schools. Science lessons should not only educate, but engage and
entertain, igniting childrenís imaginations and bringing learning to life. Outside school there are plenty of simple and
safe science kits to do at home.

This yearís Science week focuses on Change in Colours,
States, Environment, and Our World. have activity packs for preschool, primary and
secondary students.

Even very young children can join in during sensory play
mixing colours to make fluid patterns.Each year the lack of engineers in the UK is highlighted.
Engineers need a maths and science background, so take the wrong GCSEs and the
next step to qualifying is difficult. 
Choices are made early Ė probably too early as most children wonít know
what they want to do in later life.

This morning the BBC reported from Birmingham NEC where The
Big Bang Young Scientists and Engineers Fair in Birmingham is taking place.
This is the largest celebration of science, technology, engineering and maths
(STEM) for young people in the UK with hands on activities, shows and stands to
talk to engineers from leading UK companies.

The Fair also hosts the prestigious Big Bang Competition,
inviting young people from across the UK to compete for lots of amazing prizes,
including being crowned UK Young Scientist and UK Young Engineer of the Year.

Created On  16 Mar 2017 12:56 in Education and Learning  -  Permalink

World Book Day - Books are Good

World Book Day - Books are Good
Where would any story teller be without imagination?  How would JK Rowling have delighted so many
children with Harry Potter and friends without her mind conjuring up the weird
world of Potter?

Imaginative play is key and with the right stimulus kids
create the most amazing stories with new characters playing alongside

World Book Day is invaluable encouraging the love of books, early learning and reading,
turning the pages, firing up the imagination - and also dressing up to become
part of those stories for a while!

Most children also enjoy dressing up as their favourite
character, but World Book Day is the annual mumís nightmare to produce a

But donít panic! 

Created On  1 Mar 2017 11:27 in Education and Learning  -  Permalink

Fuzzy Felt Traditional Imaginative Play Toy

Fuzzy Felt Traditional Imaginative Play Toy

Why is it that the Ďbestí new toys are high tech?  High tech is often stimulating with lights and
sound, but it can be over stimulating leaving children excitable and fractious.
So, add traditional toys into the mix of playthings allowing kids to develop
their brain as well as hand eye coordination and imagination.

Where would JK Rowling be without imagination!

Imaginative play is key and with the right stimulus kids
create the most amazing stories with them playing alongside new made up characters. Totally
 absorbing and fun.

Fuzzy Felt is traditional, developed in post World War II Britain to use scraps
of felt, but has survived to this day. 
Itís easy to use, lightweight and no mess, takes up little room to play and is great as a travel

Created On  21 Feb 2017 12:46 in Education and Learning  -  Permalink

The Good Toy Guide

The Good Toy Guide
When you want to buy educational toys, where do you go to
find good quality information that helps you buy with

Try the website Fundamentally Children
Not only is Dr Amanda Gummer a leading child
psychologist who provides lots of very easy to read and sound advice for
parents, but the team have assessed a vast array of toys to come up with an independent
accreditation service, the Good Toy Guide and the Good App Guide.

At Activity Chest we believe learning should be fun and we bring
together a range of good quality toys for our customers who want to encourage
their little ones to learn and develop. Those toys that are in the Good Toy Guide
are marked with a logo.

To see the full list of accredited toys go to

Created On  11 Feb 2017 16:45 in Education and Learning  -  Permalink