Scientific Literacy

As a keen birdwatcher, Miss 5 knows the scientific names of a few of her favourite species.  The first one she learned was Trichoglossus haematodus – the scientific name for a Rainbow Lorikeet.  The second was the closely related Trichoglossus chlorolepidotus, or Scaly-breasted Lorikeet.  From this early introduction to scientific names, my daughter discovered that: Continue reading

Bug Hunt

My kids are energetic.  Very energetic.  I think most happy, healthy kids are – but it’s good to slow them down sometimes and help them to notice life’s little things.  One way we like to do this outside is to go on a bug hunt.  There are interesting insects and other small creatures all around, but often we don’t notice them because we are too busy.  Open your child’s eyes to the wonder of bugs! Continue reading

Backyard Letterbox

I have long had the idea of putting an actual letterbox in the backyard for the kids to use.  FINALLY I got around to it.

Letter writing is such a great, purposeful literacy activity.  It provides a reason to write, and an incentive to write well because you want the recipient to be able to read their letter when they receive it!

I picked up this letterbox from our local (big green) hardware store for around $12.  It’s nothing fancy, but it does the job perfectly and we don’t need to worry about it being able to withstand the conditions outside.  We simply screwed it to a low, existing sleeper wall beside the dirt kitchen.

It has already been more than worth the money!  The kids have written so many letters to each other, to Mummy and Daddy, and to friends who have come over to play.  Writing them is fun, reading them is fun, checking the mailbox is fun, and delivering the mail is fun. Of course, everyone participates at their own level.  Miss 5 has been doing some great early writing, using her sound-letter knowledge to have-a-go at writing independently.  She has also worked hard to decode the simple letters I have posted to her.  Mr 2 has enjoyed being the mailman, and posted some excellent scribbles to his sister!

If you are looking for an inexpensive, non-permanent, interactive addition for your backyard or playspace… try a letterbox!  It provides a lovely way for siblings or parent-child to communicate, promotes early reading and writing, and gets kids outside. Ticks all my boxes :-)

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