20 May 2010

New Product: Nursery Rhyme Puppets

We have just taken delivery of this fabulous nursery rhyme finger puppet set at Littlesheep Learning and all three of our children think it looks great - the youngest eagerly pointed out the animals and immediately said "Tinkle Tinkle idle tar", the middle one was pleased he knew all the word and the eldest can manipulate the puppets. We are inclined to agree that it is a great addition to our collection of puppets to support first songs and rhymes.

This six puppet contains finger puppets representing the main characters from each of these popular nursery rhymes: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Humpty Dumpty, 1,2,3,4,5 Once I Caught a Fish Alive, Hickory Dickory Dock and Incy Wincy Spider and comes with a detailed song card to help you if you do not know the words!

13 May 2010

Today's Target: Mark Making to Writing

Children learn to write by starting "mark making" these simple marks then develop into something more recognisable as writing, from a very young age they will imitate adults, grasping writing tools and making marks on paper or any other available surface! It is important during this development that they are encouraged, as young writers as it is from this that handwriting grows.

Mark-making can be done with a pencil and paper but the wider the range of textures and media that are used the more fun it is and the more children will practice it.

Some suggestions:
  • Paint using an easel and brushes
  • Chalk on boards
  • Draw in sand (wet or dry) with either a stick or a finger
  • Paint the playground / wall with water and large brushes
  • Draw shapes in the air with a wand
  • Finger paint
  • Dance with a ribbon in your writing hand
  • Draw in cornflour "gloop"
  • Draw in salt
  • Write with pens on a whiteboard
  • Use chunky triangular crayons
  • Use felt tip pens or colouring pencils
  • Draw in mud with sticks
Learning to hold a pencil and make marks that ultimately lead to writing is a complex development. Young children’s scribblings and drawings are their way of communicating and showing observation of their world and as parents and teachers we should encourage, praise and celebrate their achievements.

Examples of development - writing a weather report by my nearly four year old and my nearly six year old boys.

The scribbled circle is the sun, the sideways wavy line is the "s" (followed by another attempt - that looks like a c), then a recogniseable (but formed incorrectly) "u" and a "n".

There is a whole sentence that is recognisable (one reversed letter and the x to cross out a s which was placed without a finger space) plus a recogniseable picture!

08 May 2010

The Best Books?

A list of 70 children's books said to be the best of all-time has been compiled by publisher Puffin to celebrate Puffin's 70th birthday. The Puffin Handbook is available in bookshops and libraries or can be downloaded here.

The guide is packed full of everything you could ever want to know about children's books and reading, including expert advice, exclusive articles, brilliant books for children of all ages and MUCH more.

The classic counting book The Very Hungry Caterpillar tops the list of best bedtime books, with other favourites featured including Meg and Mog, Spot, Charlie and Lola and The Gruffalo.

Do you agree with Puffin? What books would feature in your top 70?

07 May 2010

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

A little while back I answered a tweet on Twitter from @babysigningmum who was looking for some puppets - specifically Goldilocks and the Three Bears and I showed her these ones and promised to order them in as a special for her.

They arrived this week in a lovely big fabric drawstring bag (ideal for a story sack) and I have to say they are FABULOUS and look even better in real life. I am going to be ordering some more - so watch the website's new products page or contact me directly if you want a set!

05 May 2010

Happy Birthday Littlesheep Learning

Today is FIVE years since Littlesheep Learning opened it's virtual doors and started trading. We would like to thank all of our customers over the last five years and everyone who has offered us help and advice on the journey from the days when we had a few product lines and an order a week to the product range and number orders we receive today. I can't beleive how fast the last five years have gone but here's to the next five and beyond!

To celebrate if you visit Littlesheep Learning during May and use the discount code "birthday" you will save 10% - please tell your friends!

Look out for some other special give aways and offers over the course of the month.