Last week, I went on a spa break to Arundel with a Nanny friend. When we had gotten over the fact that Arundel sounds very much like Arrendelle off of Frozen, we were amazed by the most beautiful castle, only about an hour and a half from SW London!
I have always loved castles and have visited many as a child. We were English Heritage Members and we used to follow Odd Socks around to watch plays all over the country (we also used to wear odd socks!)
They are a travelling theatre company that put on plays on outside in historical grounds. They make Shakespeare fun.
The reason I love castles as a learning opportunity as well as the obvious history aspect is that it opens up counting and literary ones.
I have always loved climbing towers as well, which not only helps with counting (and fitness) but when you get to the top, you can use it to help with geography opportunities.
Why not take a pen and paper and draw a map from above?
Dressing up is not just for kids! And if you dress up with them, it will be an even more memorable experience for your child! This can lead to DT opportunities such as looking at fasteners (belts, buttons, zips)
Why not make a coin purse with your child to keep their pennies in? (And then you can do activities with money to help with adding, taking away)
Here is how to make a Donut Coin purse using magnets so no sewing!
Lego sets such as these are usually very intricate and have age guidelines…but there are Duplo sets or even Disney Lego sets that younger learners can build. It’s a great way to start talking about instructions with your child, just like the instruction activity in the Fruit and Veg blog from last week. https://moretobooks.blog/2019/05/15/fruit-and-veg/
You don’t have to buy a set…make it up. We make some really fancy palaces from Magnatiles.
We like to make castles for our small soft toys out of Jenga blocks too.
Postcards and Magnets
Check out my blog on Edinburgh (there is a castle there, dontcha know?)
Find out how I use Siri as a learning tool at the end of that blog, and what I do with postcards from everywhere I visit!
I also collect magnets from everywhere I go, I really like them to be 3D! I had one of Carcasonne in France but my ex got that magnet when we broke up! I’ll just have to go again to buy a new one!
More to books…
The Kiss That Missed by David Melling is my favourite story to retell. I learnt it off by heart when I was at Durham University during my PGCE. I have since retold it at NannyPalooza, the International Nanny Day and my very own Book Launch back in 2016. It’s a great one for adults and children alike as there are many opportunities to get everyone doing actions such as the drawbridge coming down or the snow falling as well as getting the whole room noisy by being owls and bears and wolves! I like to choose (willing) actors to play the parts of the knight and the dragon. It’s a lot of fun.
I absolutely love this next book; it has a little story in it but then it converts into a 3D castles and has pop out characters that mean you can bring stories to life with our younger learners.
This one has beautiful 3D artwork for our older learners.
I am a lover of fiction books but it’s really important to use non-fiction too. The Usborne books are great for this. I always show the children the contents page and the index page, we use them by following what we are most excited to learn about. I encourage them to read the page number and go to the correct page. I also make a point of going to the Glossary so we can all learn new words.
Something I always talk about too, is the spine. We run our finger along the spine of the book and say it holds the pages together and then I run my finger along their spine so it tickles and we say it holds our bones together. In class, I would let them run their finger over their friends spine…making an action helps them remember better.
Show me your coin purses!
Send a pic of you dressed up!
Which castle have you visited?
Love Kat x