Colour Recognition 

Have you ever thought how confusing colours are to a child? 

We accept the many shades of red, of green, of blue but try to look at it through the eyes of a child and you will be surprised! 

We also generalise when describing colours. We say that the sky is blue. That grass is green. That roses are red. REALLY??? 

Then of course there are the very subtle differences between the colours.  For example when does green become yellow? 


When does yellow become orange? 


Yes, learning about colours is difficult. It takes time and experience.

It also requires good observational skills. 

Often a child’s experience of colour is largely confined to the toys they play with.  Toys are usually made from plastic or wood and display a solid colour but children also need to experience natural colours. Colours in nature  are hardly ever solid and so walks in the country and by the sea offer wonderful opportunities to learn about the subtle differences of colour. They also improve observational skills. 

In this story for young children, ‘Jumble Tuft’ learns that sometimes things are not always as they seem and that we often miss the obvious. 

In Search of Blue

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Shopping with young children 


Supermarket Shopping with young children is not easy but I found this activity  helped. In addition it improves observational skills and extends vocabulary and understanding. 

Make a card resource of all your usual supermarket items. 

Prior to going to the shops sit down with your child and make a visual card shopping list. It helps to put the cards in isle order..

As an appropriate isle is reached hand two of three of the cards to your child and challenge them to ‘spot’ the items before you do!   Keeping a score of who is winning also shows children that numbers have a practical side. That they are used in real life. 

Very important! 

It is important to establish ground  ‘rules’ before you go shopping.  The best way to do this is to roleplsy and have a few sessions of ‘going shopping’  games.  Try to include positive rather than negative statements. For example instead of saying ‘You mustn’t run’  say ‘please walk down the isles.’ 

For example:

  •  Please walk down the isles. 
  • Please stay near mummy/daddy
  • We must use out quiet voices.
  • Please wait to be told to take the item off the shelf.

Scratch Board Art

 

It’s fun and very compulsive. Just doodling with colour!  It also creates a lot of fine black dust so  cover the table with some newspaper. 

It’s something the youngest child will enjoy although you will probably find they have finished in five minutes whereas you have only just started! 

The general rule is, the younger the child the larger the surface and the sturdier  the tool so something like a spoon  works well as they can grip the bowl and scratch with the edge of the handle. They also need a large piece of board or thick paper and supervision although it’s much more fun and better for them if you do one yourself.

I’d recommend  trying  out different techniques and tools on small pieces of paper before launching on a masterpiece! 

Fun with Ice

Young children are fascinated with ice and will enjoy and learn from this simple activity. It’s a great opportunity to introduce some new vocabulary.   Older children will be fascinated in simply experimenting with a solid block of ice but for twos and threes there is more incentive if you freeze lots of little objects in the ice. Choose a variety. Ones that float and ones that sink. Even little chocolate eggs wrapped in foil work well. This extends the learning.

Freeze the water. Gather together some small containers and fill with salt, food colouring and water and tiny scoops and dropper or syringe. 

When you are ready turn out the ice onto a large tray. Have ready kitchen paper and cloths and protective clothing! 

Of course as soon as small children spot the objects they will want to get them out. Especially the chocolate eggs!  But it’s surprising how long ice takes to melt and young children get bored very quickly! 

That’s where the salt comes in. If salt is sprinkled on followed by food colouring then they will be able to watch while the salt carves out little rivulets in the ice.  It’s a good opportunity to talk about salt and how we sprinkle it on ice paths in the winter.  If you use liquid watercolours in place of food colouring then the variety of colours is extended and you also have a lesson in colour mixing. 

When the fascination wears off they can resort to dripping first cold water and then warm water over the ice. Again lots of opportunities for learning.  

The most important thing is that do everything themselves. Dripping on the colour, sprinkling on the salt. Don’t dictate what they should do,rather ask open ended questions. Questions that motivate. Questions that challenge. You can hide the water until they have experimented with the salt and colours! 

 It may look like a disorganised mess but they ARE learning by playing and observing. Try again in six months and you will see that they tackle the activity differently.  

Why is science important

Why? 


Because young children are naturally curious and science investigations stimulate this natural curiosity. 

Because science answers all those tricky questions about the world around them. 

Because it encourages children to problem solve. To be creative thinkers. To develop a love of learning. 

Because it motivates children to be active not passive. 

Because by engaging in science investigations children learn to challenge what they see and hear rather just acceptngl,

Because they learn that making mistakes is the way to learn. 

Because children learn best through doing. Through play. 

Because it’s FUN! 

You don’t need to be a teacher or have a science degree to engage in science investigations. ‘ Jumble Fun’ has made Science easy and fun for parents and careers too. Resources have been kept to a minimum and can usually be found in your kitchen or bathroom. We suggest watching a programme yourself prior to viewing with your child then you can easily gather th resources together in a bag

The short programmes not only show fun science investigations but suggest ways to adapt the investigation plus extension activities plus it’s all free. 

        Click here to go to the FUN SCIENCE playlist

Why is it important to develop a child’s creativity? 


Why is it important to develop a child’s creative thinking skills? 

Because creative thinking is probably the most important skill they will ever learn!
Developing creative thinking is about developing self esteem and self confidence. It is about developing a love of learning. Of having the means to deal with the confusion, risks and failures that are part of everyday life. The confidence to lead and to be different from the crowd.

I believe that all children are creative by nature but, unfortunately, many lose their creativity before reaching adulthood. In our education and social system where examination success and conformity reigns supreme, creativity seems to have been forgotten.

Creative thinking is vital in all areas of life. It is a skill which will give your children the edge over others in their chosen career enabling them to be the person who initiates new procedures rather than one of the majority who follow already established routines. It opens the door to new opportunities and new inventions.

It also makes a person interesting! Ensures they are never bored ! Someone who is popular socially and is capable of meaningful and long lasting relationships. 

So how do we recognise a creative thinker
A creative thinker is able to think out of the box. They are curious and questioning and not afraid of making crazy suggestions knowing that there may be many possible answers. They make mistakes and learn from these mistakes being happy to try and try again. Creative thinkers don’t feel guilty about daydreaming knowing that often this is when the best ideas are born and when they realise these new ideas they will push them to their limits. They are optimistic, have boundless energy and, despite accomplishing a great deal, still have free time to enjoy their family and hobbies. Last, but not least. They are never bored!

My  Free ‘ Jumble Fun’ learning programme aims at developing creative thinking by: 

Asking Open ended questions

The stories include open ended questions. You are encouraged to ask questions which require more than a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer. “What do you think we should use to make …?” “what would happen if …?” “What couid we change…..?

Making choices

The programme encourages children to make their own choices. To make decisions and try them out. If their choices fail to achieve the desired result they are encouraged to try again.  From this they learn to view making mistakes as a new beginning and not as a failure or the end of a 

Story telling and dramatic play

There are opportunities for children to make their own ‘Jumbles’ and to weave stories around them. 

Inventing

The ‘Jumble’ characters enjoy inventing things from well, …… jumble! In other words, from ordinary, everyday household items and objects they can collect in their local environment. Using the characters as inspiration and role models, children will become collectors and inventors, viewing ordinary objects as blank canvasses on which to stamp their own individuality

Fun ! 

The JUMBLES are fun and they encourage your child to have fun being creative and being active rather than passive.  

Enjoy

Letter recognition and pre-reading skills


​​Young  children are so ‘open’ to learning. They are creative, inquisitive and just love learning new things.  In the preschool days their learning is at a level they will never experience again as is their enthusiasm to learn. They are learning new concepts with every turn of their heads, to them learning  is play and learning through play is fun not just for them but for parents too.  

There’s no need to buy expensive equipment. No need to enlist them in special playgroups. 

Just a small amount of time spent making a few resources and playing together is sufficient. They will learn so much and will be content to play on their own afterwards. 

Letter recognition is an important pre-reading skill and one that can be acquired through play. There are so many fun activities to help with this. The old traditional game ‘I Spy with my Little Eye’  remains one of the best and requires no preparation or resources. It is great on shopping trips and journeys and children love it!  With very young children beginning to learn sounds it is best to say ‘ ……something beginning with the sound ‘a’ or ‘d’ rather than the letter name. 

The way the sound is said is very important. We tend to add an ‘rrr’ to our letter sounds which makes for confused soekking later. You know what I mean? We should say b.b.b.bor. baby but it sort of comes out like bur.bur.for baby! Cur.cur.cur for cat! Etc.. it’s a good idea to visit a good phonic site where you can practice the correct sounds. Here is one I recommend: 

Sound pronunciation

When my eldest was two I decorated the walls of her bedroom in lower case letters in pastel colours of paint.  I don’t remember how this started but I do remember that her bedtime routine, in addition to a story, was to recite the letters painted on the walls.  She refused to go to sleep till this had been done!  We started with just three letters and when she knew these a new one was added. I guess it’s not everyone’s idea of good decor although it did look pretty and was cheap.and easy too! 
Other less permanent ways of learning letter sounds and names are explained on my video which you can find by following the link below: 

        Letter Recognition Activities
I really hope you find the video useful. 
Please take a look at the others in the same playlist.  They are all for parents of young  children.

Your children may enjoy the art and craft and science programmes. Everything is free. 

Thanks for taking the time for reading this. 

Judi Brereton. 

It’s FUN learning at JUMBLE HOUSE

It IS fun learning at JUMBLE HOUSE! There are new learning  activities every week for children from two to seven plus lots of Art and Craft and Science projects for all ages.

The resources are all free and I am very happy for them to be used in nurseries and schools (a nice comment and a ‘follow’ on FaceBook being appreciated in return!)

My Channel has over 150 short videos aimed at motivating children to be proactive rather than passive.  To develop a child’s natural creativity and to encourage a love of learning.

            The Jumble Fun YouTube Channel
The videos are free to watch and  to share but again, if you are using them please subscribe to my channel or comment or drop me an email. 

I love Italy and now spend most of the year there so for Italian children I have set up a separate website and channel containing fun interactive English lessons. 

               Lezioni D’Inglese per Bambini e Ragazzi

Delicious Milk Loaf 


I love really rough, dark, whole grain bread oozing seeds and nuts but nowadays either because of age or IBS, or probably both, my system does NOT like it and objects strongly. 

Unfortunately, most of the foods IT likes, I do NOT! 

So,  I’ve come up with a white Loaf which both of us can enjoy.  ( family and friends with ‘normal uncomplaining guts’ like it as well! ) 


It’s light, moist, tasty and keeps really well. It actually brings to mind the bread Heidi used to take to her Granma who found the  rough brown bread difficult to chew!   But, if you haven’t read HEIDI then you won’t know what I’m talking about! If you have, then you are probably as old as me! 

I use strong white flour and I like to crumble a Vitamin C (ascorbico acid) tablet into the flour as it speeds up the process but not absolutely necessary. I also always use fresh yeast. I just love to watch it frothing and the smell is divine. 

The olive oil should be Extra Virgin and allow three nice big tablespoons. 

The grated carrot seems odd I know but it adds moisture and colour and taste (but it definitely does NOT taste of carrot. Trust me! )

We don’t have an oven at Jumble House so I do have to bake the bread in the Breadmaker but that’s all I use it for as I like to knead the dough myself. If I had an oven I would definitely use that to bake the bread because the crust is infinitely better plus you can make interestingly shaped loaves and cobs and bread rolls.  

Anything else ….. only to say that kids love bread making and it is so good for their coordination and strengthens those little hand muscles in preparation for years of writing!  Real dough is better than playdough cause you can eat the results! White dough is also easier to manipulate than brown.  Get them making little plaited rolls and cobs and all kinds of animal shapes. 

Since I buy fresh yeast in twin packs I sometimes use the second cube mixed with sugar and warm water to blow up a balloon!  (The mixture poured into a plastic water bottle with the balloon over the neck).   It’s a good way of demonstrating just how and why the bread is rising and what makes those little air pockets.  There’s a fun video for kids on my channel showing this. Just click on the link below: 

Link to video for children. All about yeast. Shows how to blow up a balloon with yeast.

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