23 Apr, 2020

3rd Keep calm, keep moving newsletter !

We hope you enjoyed the activities with a sheet – and Florence’s fruit pudding. You could use up any spare frozen fruit by mixing it with plain yoghourt – putting spoonfuls on a baking tray and leaving in the freezer – a really healthy after-activity snack!

This week we will be using a roll of masking tape to get everyone moving in a small space.

You just need a roll of tape – and a clear floor space.

Shoes and socks off if possible.

Music is optional.

What to do

  • Invite children to put the roll on one wrist – lift their arm and see how high up their arm the roll can go
  • Now drop the roll on the floor and try the other arm – older children can put their hands together and try to get the roll from shoulder to shoulder as fast as possible!
  • Ask the children to place the roll on their heads – now squat down and stand up keeping it in place – older children can try to sit cross-legged and stand up
  • Now walk on tiptoes with the roll balanced carefully on their heads – try going backwards and turning round and round
  • Ask children to place one foot on the roll – now lift up the other foot and balance……
  • Invite children to tear off small pieces of tape and stick them on the floor – in whatever pattern they like
  • Suggest they step from one piece to another –you can add music
  • Now jump with feet together from one piece to another – add music
  • Place both hands and both feet on different sticky pieces – now move hands and feet onto different pieces – doing a ‘bear walk’ – you can try the same activity but with tummies facing upwards – a real challenge!

Whats in it for children

Lots of simple ideas included here to support children’s overall strength, coordination, balance and agility. You don’t need much space and not much organisation is needed. All activities can be adapted for different age groups – and siblings can enjoy doing these activities together.

Taking it forwards

You can tear off a strip of tape and stick it horizontally and quite high up on a clear wall space – invite the children to jump up and touch the tape – if they can do it easily – put another one a bit higher……….and so on.

If you stick another piece on top with the sticky side outwards – you have a perfect opportunity to do something creative – source some simple resources – eg. cotton- wool balls, bottle tops – sugar cubes – invite the children to stretch up and cover the strip completely with materials. Leave it in place if possible so it can be added to over time.

From Jeannie our gardening expert

Because so many of us are confined at home – any experience of nature – however small is so important.
You may have noticed that its getting lighter much earlier now and as there’s not so much traffic you may be hearing birdsong more clearly.
Why don’t you look out of a window or door at the same time every day – what do you notice?

  • What does the sky look like – is is clear blue – or cloudy – can you see the moon?
  • Are there any trees – or plants around – can you name them?
  • Can you see any water – like a canal or pond – or the sea?
  • Are there any animals around – cats coming home – dogs being walked?
  • Do you notice any plants in pots anywhere – or allotments?

Have you noticed any changes over a few days?

Try growing a tomato plant

What you need:

  • A cardboard egg box
  • 6 eggs
  • 3 medium tomatoes
  • a small bag potting compost

What to do

  • Take each egg in turn and slice off the top third (like you do with boiled eggs)
  • Empty the shell – put yolks and whites aside to use elsewhere eg. meringues
  • Make a small hole at the base of each eggshell – and do the same with each section of the egg box
  • Fill the eggshells nearly full with compost and press down very lightly – place them in the egg box
  • Now – slice the tomatoes and capture all the seeds – keep the flesh to use elsewhere
  • Carefully spread the tomato seeds evenly on top of the compost
  • Spray the seeds with water – don’t drown them!
  • Leave the egg box somewhere nice and light – but not in direct sunlight

You will soon see little green shoots emerge – keep just the two strongest ones in each section.

Finally, lift each eggshell out of the box, gently squash the shell and put all six eggshells into a bigger pot with the rest of the compost.

You will have lots of tomatoes to eat all Summer!

Jeannie may be contacted through

Other news

Our friend Rae Pica has written an interesting piece about children and boredom – as she says – ‘Boredom is something today’s children have rarely experienced – because they’ve never had the chance to get bored – they have had their lives filled with activities and schooling just in case they don’t ‘excel’

Read more at: www.medium.com – search ‘Rae Pica Bored children’

Penny Wilson has contributed a ‘must-read’ piece in the Alliance for Childhood April newsletter on children’s engagement with loose parts – a really inspirational and poetic plea for adults to respect children’s unique ideas and interactions.


Finally – check out on You Tube – ‘Do the Bear Walk – by Rocking Dan the Teaching Man’ – for some reason – children love this!

Take best care – next time we will be using socks for activities – and Jo Wilson who is a wonderful EY swimming educator will be exploring water play at home and how to be more mindful every day.

From the ‘activematters’ team