Our Awesome August Highlights from a Perfect Summer at the POD!
Hands up who’s had a super summer? We can honestly say we’ve enjoyed it to the MAX! Summer might just be our absolute FAVE! The sun has been (mostly) shining and like always we’ve had a sensational schedule of fun at the POD.
We’ve been just beachy thanks to our brilliant book of the month, and we’ve enjoyed some roarsome celebrations for World Lion Day! We’ve even gone positively potty about prepositions and pronouns – YES grammar is great fun! Our POD has been brimming with action, activities and of course lots of awesome learning! Awe-inspiring, and absolutely ace, here’s a roundup of some of our sizzling summer best bits!

Pete the cat

1. August’s Awesome Book of the Month – Pete at The Beach

We joined Pete the Cat (our favourite feline friend) as he braved the beach with his brother! We love Pete’s can-do cat-itude even though he is a bit of a scaredy-cat! Not only is this book beautifully illustrated, but it’s also a fab story about resilience and bravery. We love books with mega messages about feelings but Pete’s trip to the beach also gave us oodles of opportunities to do some creative summer themed crafting.

Like Pete, we made some superb sandcastles in our sand boat and thought about the different shapes, sizes and structures of what we made. We created sandy beach pictures and flexed our fine motor skills with brightly coloured kinetic sand. We designed our own surfboards and dived into some sea creature learning too by making fish art and some rather awesome jelly fish salt paintings. We even enjoyed making our own ice-creams too – super slurpy fun!

counting pearls

2. Summer Number Fun – Shell Yeah!

Keeping in with our beach/sea related summer activities we got busy with some clam shell counting. Our clam shell had lost its pearls, so we had to use our emerging counting skills to find our numbered pearls and correctly place them with the matching clam shell.

Whilst there’s a tendency for grown-ups to think of counting as simple (we all have heard the phrase “It’s as easy as 1,2,3”), counting is, in fact, a complex skill for little ones to master. Not only do kiddos have to match number names and numerals to the correct quantity but they also must remember the fixed number order to count in! Giving children real and meaningful reasons to practice their counting helps to build their confidence and enthusiasm – plus it’s much more fun! Wrapping counting into problem-solving (like our clam shell conundrum) allows children to develop not only their mathematical skills but to also feel a sense of achievement once the task is complete.

We shell-ebrated the fact that everyone confidently counted to 12 (whoop) - with most even getting to the number 20 - not necessarily in the right order (but they gave it a go!) We give them all 10 out of 10 for some clam-tastic counting!

prepositions and pronouns

3. WellComm – Prepositions, Pronouns and More Oh My!

At the start of the year, we introduced our WellComm speech and language toolkit to the POD. We can’t say enough positive things about it! Learning linguistic skills through immersive games and play means this summer our kids have been learning grammatical concepts like prepositions and pronouns (gasp) without breaking a sweat.

Prepositions help to show the relationship between an object, a person or a place (e.g., in front of, on top of, behind etc) and are sometimes referred to as positional language. They are a critical part of language development and help children to grasp concepts needed to describe their world. We took characters in our small world setting and asked children to place them in various places (like under or behind) our toy ambulance.

We explored gender pronouns (he/she) by using two of our characters and asked our PODer’s to give HIM a drink or brush HER hair. We also nurtured the use of negative forms in sentences using visual aids and encouraged children to point out “Who isn’t drinking” or “Who isn’t swimming”. When we combined these questions with gestures like shaking our head to indicate a negative and keeping the sentences nice and simple, children who were initially focussing on the activity part of the sentence (i.e., picking the image of the person swimming), eventually grasped the idea. We’ve loved seeing our kids get their heads around these lovely language skills and grow in communication confidence!

lion fun

4. Lion-hearted Fun with Eco Education at its Core

What could be more roarsome that celebrating World Lion Day on the 10th of August? We went wild as we got behind this fab initiative. We’re nature lovers at the best of times so getting involved in supporting animal conservation is right up our street. Protecting our environment and the animals that live within it is all part of our eco commitment and promise to make a positive difference to the planet. So, in true Practically Family fashion we wrapped up our love of lions into some roarsome craft and activities.

We made paper plate lions (grrrreat fun) and some (purrfect) pasta lion pictures. We talked about how we need to look after the lions whilst we went on safari and we thought about what a lion looked (and sounded) like, as we attempted some textured fork painting of a lion’s mane. The result? A Practically Family pride of lions we’re super proud of!

August has been amazing - even if we say so ourselves! Our kid-approved curriculum has been filled with curiosity and care and a bit of conservation too! Hang tight though peeps, September is soon to be with us and as you can probably imagine we’ve already got some spectacular stuff up our sleeves.
If you’d like to find out more about the practical magic we can bring to your family please get in touch.
Call 07581 156684 or email sophie@practicallyfamily.co.uk