June 22nd – Sports Week!!

It’s all sporting activities this week at The Children’s House! This time of year we always have sports day & we’re so sad to be missing it with your children, so we thought we’d send on some ideas for sports at home this week. Exercising is so good for your child’s mental health, & there are lots of fun ways to get them up & going.

Obstacle course: we often make these in school during the year, both indoors & outdoors – these are great for practising & refining gross motor movements like crawling, running, jumping, skipping, hopping, rolling, balancing, moving sideways/ backwards… if indoors (which can often be the most surprisingly fun as you can use everyday objects & furniture in a more exciting & unexpected way) rearrange furniture with your child’s help so you have to climb OVER & crawl UNDER tables & chairs rather than go AROUND them (using prepositions to describe actions to add to your child’s vocabulary & understanding), take turns throwing rolled up socks into a basin, do a sack race in a pillow, egg & spoon race, long jump – all can be done indoors or outdoors to much hilarity!! Draw chalk on the ground outside/ place a rope indoors to walk on a line, or set up a row of cushions/ pillows on the ground & get your child to walk from 1 end to the other, good for practising balance. Try walking while balancing books or cushions on your head…Set up a course with 6 stations & let us know how quickly you can complete the course – & please send us in the photos of your wonderful creations!!!

Healthy Kidz – Week 1 – Virtual Sports Day Long Jump

Colour run: use chalks, objects or even make pictures to mark out areas of different colour, call a colour & have your child run to that area. This can be made more difficult by using shapes or numbers instead of colours, & if it is still too easy try following a sequence & build on the number of instructions to suit your child. Set a timer and see how many you can get? Sounds like a good activity to tire little people out with! If you have outdoors space & chalk why not try hopscotch – such a fun game, & it reinforces the numbers for your child too.

Animal Walk: Inside or out, encourage your child to slither like a snake, hope like a frog, gallop like a horse, or walk like a bear on all fours. Who will find the most imaginative way to move?

Keep the Balloon Up: see how long you can keep the balloon in the air!  Use your hands, feet, head, elbows, knees or even a bat or racket to keep it from touching the ground. Have a competition with family and friends or time yourself and see can you beat your own record!

Puddle Jumping: Why not make the most of the rain! Get your wellies on and enjoy jumping in, out and over puddles.

Blanket Toss: Take a blanket or a towel and have 2 or more children hold the corners. Throw a ball on top, enjoy as the children work together to send the ball into the air and catch it again. Throw ping pong balls, a beach ball or a balloon onto it & try to keep throwing them back up in the air for as long as possible, such a fun activity!!

Kick Bowling: With some recycled materials like cardboard tubes or empty bottles set up some skittles and try to knock them down by kicking a ball. If this is too easy increase the challenge by using balls that decrease in size. We often do bowling at Halloween in school using little pumpkins to bowl toilet rolls stacked in a pyramid!

Treasure hunt: give instructions to your child to find something rough, smooth, soft, hard, different shapes, different colours, living/ non-living…

Play hide & seek indoors or outdoors – sometimes hiding really obviously on a child behind a curtain or door, or under a blanket is the funniest thing ever!!

Exercises on the spot: running, jumping, hopping, star jumps, anything at all – get your child to make up new exercises for you…then do some yoga & stretching to cool down.

Rob the Nest: Use whatever you have to hand at home, balls, socks or even tin cans. Place all of the items in a central space and ask the children to take 5 steps away. Set a timer and see who can run into the centre and collect the most items within the time set.

Rob the Nest (Running) – PhysEd Game/Activity

Tumble drop: Have your child lie down on their back with a pile of bean bags or rolled up socks or gloves beside their feet and a bucket on the floor just above their head. The aim of the game is to get as many items into the bucket within a set time using only their feet.

Drama: Act out your child’s favourite story or song with them, use puppets made from socks or teddies to play different parts too. Cut out a bit of a cereal box to make a little puppet theatre/ television to use. Colour faces on wooden spoons to make puppets. Sing songs using different pitched voices, do dramatic games like ‘What time is it Mr Wolf?’ – this is a great one again for reinforcing numbers, while being the best fun! (In case you’re not familiar with this game, stand a good distance from your child with your back to them; they have to ask ‘what time is it Mr Wolf?’ & you say e.g. ‘1 o’clock’/ ‘4 o’clock’), then your child has to take that many steps towards you; when you judge they are close enough & they ask the question, you shout ‘dinner time’ & turn around to chase them, obviously lots of tickles when they’re caught!!

Why not design & make medals or trophies for the end of your sports week with your children?



Poem: I’m a Big Bad Wolf (to be read in as OTT manner as possible!)

I’m a big bad wolf and I look for things to eat –
I don’t like leaves and berries; I only like meat!
I see those little piggies – am I dreaming, or awake?
Those chubby little creatures…
What a dinner they will make!!

June 15th – Worry dolls, Father’s Day & a lot more!!

Hi everyone, hope you’re all keeping safe & well! This week we’ve got activities that your child can do using another wonderful pack from Sue which you’ll get delivered later in the week; we will be making worry dolls, a traditional Guatemalan peg doll that the children can confide their worries in and the dolls are meant to take the worries away. According to folklore, if your child places the doll under their pillow before going to sleep, the doll is thought to worry in the child’s place, thereby letting them sleep peacefully & waking without their worries as the doll has taken them away during the night! We always reiterate to the children that they should always tell their parents/guardians/teachers about their worries, but if for instance they are awake in the middle of the night and need a bit of comfort, the worry dolls are a lovely support. We make these towards the end of every school year; there was one child who was in our Montessori for 3 years, & his mother told me he put all 3 of his worry dolls under his pillow the night before starting primary school…

All you need is traditional wooden pegs, markers to draw a face, & scraps of wool/material to glue on! Of course you can bring geography into this activity by looking to see where Guatemala is on a map/ globe, & talking about the continent of North America (Guatemala is in Central America which is the southernmost part of North America!!), then pointing out the other 6 continents, talking about family you might have living in other continents, where do the child’s favourite animals come from etc.

Something we do in school from the beginning of the year, which can really help if your child is visibly worried or anxious about something, is to practice deep breathing – this is the first step of doing yoga with them, & listening to your body. We just simply ask the children to put their hands on their tummies & take some long deep breaths, & model this for them, exaggerating as much as possible how slowly you can breathe in & out. This in itself is a great exercise for when you might need to try & calm a child down about something – it focuses them by giving them something to do with their hands – & it is also a lovely relaxation activity; you can add to it by getting them to do it lying down, & putting a teddy on their tummy & they can see it rising & falling with their breathing. Any techniques for self soothing are just wonderful to encourage in children from the early years, which is 1 of the reasons we incorporate yoga & mindfulness into our classes. I’ve attached some exercise cards with more breathing exercise ideas.

Back to our pack!! – this Father’s day page of facts can be done for dads or granddads; it’s great to ask your child these questions & see what their answers are – usually more hilarious than accurate! The pack will also contain materials to make a hot air balloon sun catcher, using hot air balloon cut outs & bits of coloured cellophane paper. Also the children will be getting bubble wrap, to use for painting & printing – definitely not for bursting!!!!

The song this week about colours can be done using Lámh signing – it’s the colours song!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mr-VFbrnGs4

The Colours Song

Are you wearing red today, red today, red today? Are you wearing red today, yes or no? Yes I’m wearing red today, red today, red today! Yes I’m wearing red today, yes, yes, yes!

Are you wearing blue today, blue today, blue today? Are you wearing blue today, yes or no? No I’m not wearing blue today, blue today, blue today! No I’m not wearing blue today, no, no, no!

Are you wearing green today…

Are you wearing yellow today…

Are you wearing white today…

Hope you all have a great week, love from us all at The Children’s House xx

Elliot becomes a nation-wide renowned naturalist!!

We’re SO proud of Elliot, who came first in his age group in the Heritage in Schools Backyard Bioblitz competition – & no wonder, as you can see how beautiful his illustrations are!! Amazing art work Elliot (now 1 of Kildare’s leading naturalists!)


June 8th – Kids in the Kitchen!!

We’re doing Kids in the Kitchen this week at The Children’s House!! All activities based around the fact that your children are probably very enthusiastic to help you out in the kitchen, so why not put that energy to good use?! We’ve got some straight forward recipes to try, art activities to do, science experiments…

To start, you can try the simplest of recipes to great success with children, using (mostly!) healthy recipes – cut water melon into triangles, deseed, & freeze for water melon pops; make ham & cheese wraps by simply cutting or grating the cheese onto the ham & wrapping the ham around the cheese; fill muffin holders with yogurt & berries, then freeze – add mashed banana, cinnamon, pistachios for variation!

Make fruit & spinach smoothies using any fruit you like with a little natural yoghurt; create delicious pizzas using just 1 cup each of Greek yoghurt & self-raising flour for a delicious dough base with any toppings you like; cut carrots, courgettes, celery, cucumber, peppers into healthy sticks & dip into cream cheese or hummus for a tasty snack; cook onions, veg & stock to make vegetable soup – all perfect to get little helpers involved in!

Why not try some art using kitchen utensils – set out paint on paper plates/ trays & let your child use spatulas, mashers, whisks etc to make amazing abstract designs! Then to make sure your child looks the part, why not make a chef’s hat with them? https://www.redtedart.com/paper-chefs-hat-diy-instructions/ Wrap a hair tie around a kitchen sponge & use it to sponge paint & make beautiful patterns… Make pasta bracelets or necklaces – just paint & decorate pasta shapes, thread onto string & voila! Another great art activity is to do fruit or vegetable stamping – cut apples, peppers, broccoli florets, celery sticks or potatoes in half, then paint & stamp to create geometric patterns – decorate old plain t shirts or pillow cases!! Alternatively, if like me you have a certain amount of used wine corks floating around your kitchen, you can carve little designs into the tops & let your child use them as stamps. Or save up your egg boxes, cut out the individual egg cups, paint them & lace onto string to make a beautiful flower garland.

Many of the activities we suggested for science week were based on what you find in your kitchen, & you might find a few more good ideas for science experiments here https://modernparentsmessykids.com/stem-20-kitchen-science-experiments-kids-will-love/

Don’t forget the importance of food hygiene, & to emphasise that hand washing is essential before any cooking activities!

Our song this week is Apples & Bananas https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5WLXZspD1M

I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas, I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas, I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas, I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.

Now let’s make a long “a” sound – ay-ples and ba-nay-nays; I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays, I like to ate, ate, ate ay-ples and ba-nay-nays.

Let’s try a long “e” sound… ee-ples and ba-nee-nees: I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and ba-nee-nees, I like to eat, eat, eat ee-ples and ba-nee-nees.

How about a long “i” sound… i-ples and ba-nigh-nighs: I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and ba-nigh-nighs, I like to ite, ite, ite i-ples and ba-nigh-nighs.

Great, let’s sing it with a long “o” sound…oh-ples and ba-no-nos: I like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and ba-no-nos, I like to ote, ote, ote oh-ples and ba-no-nos.

I know let’s make an “oo” sound…oo-ples and ba-noo-noos: I like to oot, oot, oot, oopples and ba-noo-noos, I like to oot, oot, oot, oopples and ba-noo-noos.

Last one…apples and bananas! I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas, I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas, I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas, I like to eat, eat, eat apples and bananas.

June 1st – Music Week!

It’s Music Week this week at The Children’s House!! We’ve got lots of suggestions for musical instruments you can make at home (we’re all about the recycling!!) & fun music games you can play together. Music can create such big emotions in us, & young children have the best imaginations, so it’s a great activity to listen to different genres & talk about why they are different; what do they like or dislike about each one. Play a mixture of music you like & your child likes – mix up nursery rhymes with rock/ jazz/ pop/ heavy metal/ hip hop – & expose them to all sorts to expand their musical horizons (just make sure the lyrics are appropriate!!)

Listen to some classical pieces – how does it make them feel? Is it happy, scary, sad, exciting? Does it make them want to move? Do they want to move lightly like a ballerina or stomp heavily like an elephant? You could try listening to Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saens or Peter & the Wolf by Prokofiev (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfM7Y9Pcdzw) , both of which use instruments to represent different animals & characters, so the children can learn about specific instruments while also hearing a story.

To get the full benefits of music, children need to sing, clap & dance along with the tunes. Singing & moving to music tells the brain to make meaning of it, while interacting using musical instruments will help train your child’s musical ear – so get going on some of our homemade instruments like shakers, which can be made from toilet roll cardboard & filled with anything from pasta to flour to stones, explore what sounds they make & which is louder or softer. (You could use empty plastic ice cream tubs either.) Paper plate tambourines are another fun & easy instrument to make – all you need is paper plates, crayons/paint to decorate with, a handful dried beans/rice/pebbles to fill with, & a stapler to close with! To make a homemade guitar, simply stretch several large elastic bands around a cardboard box with an open top or a tissue box with a hole in the centre. Choose elastic bands that vary in width to ensure that all of your “guitar strings” will produce different tones and sounds when they’re plucked by little fingers.

Look at this Pringles drum, made by duct taping 7 empty Pringles cans together – a lot of Pringles to be gotten through for this, but if you love your children enough you’ll make that sacrifice….For simpler drums, all you need is a saucepan & wooden spoon – & some understanding neighbours!!! Get into the kitchen with jars, pots, pans & spoons & discover the effect that different materials, sizes & shapes have on the sounds you can make!

Check out making music with a glass of water with this amazing version of the Sugar Plum Fairy! See if you can do it home and find out what happens when different amounts of water are used… https://youtu.be/QdoTdG_VNV4

Music helps self esteem, listening skills, stress relief & creativity – celebrate all of these benefits with a dance party!! https://youtu.be/gCzgc_RelBA

Learn about rhythm with a copy cat game, which is also great for improving memory & concentration skills https://youtu.be/58p6QtMYN1M

And for the brave, the bored, & those with older children – challenge yourself to this… https://youtu.be/Y5kYLOb6i5I

The song this week is a classic, with fun actions too – I am the Music Man!


I am the music man. I come from far away and I can play. (What can you play?) I play the piano. Pia pia piano piano piano – Pia pia piano pia piano

I am the music man. I come from far away and I can play. (What can you play?) I play the violin. Vio vio violin violin violin – Vio vio violin vio violin Pia pia piano piano piano – Pia pia piano pia piano

I am the music man. I come from far away and I can play. (What can you play?) I play the saxophone. Saxo saxo saxophone saxophone saxophone Saxo saxo saxophone saxo saxophone Vio vio violin violin violin – Vio vio violin vio violin Pia pia piano piano piano – Pia pia piano pia piano

I am the music man. I come from far away and I can play. (What can you play?) I play the big bass drum. Big bass big bass big bass drum big bass drum big bass drum Big bass big bass big bass drum big bass big bass drum Saxo saxo saxophone saxophone saxophone – Saxo saxo saxophone saxo saxophone Vio vio violin violin violin – Vio vio violin vio violin Pia pia piano piano piano – Pia pia piano pia piano

I am the music man. I come from far away and I can play. (What can you play?) Well, I can play everything and here we go! Hit it! Play that piano. Play that violin. Play that saxophone. Play that big bass drum.