Have a look at some of our favourite resources to inspire learning, creativity and play! Glean from our tips and tricks on a variety of topics – learn a new skill, find out something new, and have some fun with your little ones!
Science activities can be very engaging for kids but may feel daunting if you are trying on your own for the first time. With STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) being incorporated into curriculum, it is important to bring this learning into a child’s home too.
We have created six fun and EASY science activities using common or easy to find household items. You can download the activities by clicking through the links on the images below.
This activity teaches children about sound. The vibrations of the string, caused by movement, travel along the string and are amplified by the hollow cup, which acts as a sounding board. If you cover the open end of the cup, the vibrations from the string are almost silent = no sound).
This activity teaches kids about reaction. The baking soda is a compound called sodium bicarbonate. The vinegar is an acid. When they get mixed together, they react to produce carbon dioxide gas (hence all the bubbly). The detergent helps to trap the bubbles created by the carbon dioxide, so you get much better ‘lava’ from your volcano.
Recycled crayons teaches children about the phases of matter. By heating the crayons, you can change their state from one form to another. Once cooled, the forces are strong enough to hold the particles together again to make a solid. The crayons start out as a solid, the heat melts them into a liquid, then they return to their original state as they cool.
Stringed instruments make a sound when their strings vibrate, that’s why you need to pluck the strings of a harp to hear the notes. The strings make different notes depending on their thickness, the amount of tension they’re under and their length. The sound hole helps to make the sound louder by amplifying the vibrations and allowing the top of the shoebox to vibrate slightly. The pencil raises the strings off the lid so they can vibrate more freely.
This activity educates children on energy transfer. When you pull back the rubber band, you transfer energy to it. The rubber band stores the energy until you let go of it. Once you let go, the rubber band transfers energy to the marshmallow to make it fly through the air.
Here, we learn about oxidation. When you draw your map or message, the lemon juice is absorbed into the paper. By heating the paper, you create a chemical reaction that releases a chemical element called carbon in the juice. When the lemon juice comes into contact with air, and is heated, it turns brown as carbon is released – a process called oxidation.
We hope you enjoy trying these out! What are your favourite science experiments to do?
Is science not for you? How about trying out some of these awesomely engaging edible activities!
Learning sight words is an important skill for early readers to master. These are the most common words that a child will come across, and learning these simple words provides the basic building blocks for reading comprehension.
We’ve created 5 sets of flashcards with the Dolch Sight Words for you to download and print for free! If you want them to last longer, you could also laminate them for extra durability. There are plenty of fun activities to do with these flashcards, and we’ve started you off with four ideas for using your falshcards in creative learning.
The Dolch words are a list of 220 of the most frequently used words in children’s books. The list was developed by Edward William Dolch, PhD, who believed that learning these words was instrumental in the development of reading fluency in children.
The Dolch word list is usually sorted into by age or year level. As a general guide, the first list is for Pre-Prep, then Prep, Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3 learners. We’ve chosen to label ours from Level 1 to Level 5, with the Level 1 word list being the starting point. You can add in the other lists as your child’s confidence and ability grows.
Download your free Dolch Sight Word Flashcards below, print them out, and use them to teach your child their sight words!
SIGHT WORD FLASHCARD ACTIVITIES
There are so many activities that you can do with these flashcards, from simple recognition to more complex card games. We’ve compiled a few of our favourites for you to try out to get your little one learning their sight words in no time.
Find the word
First up is this simple game that helps kids begin to recognize their sight words. You’ll need one set of the flashcards, and some kind of toy or marker – this game is easily customizable, so pick something that you think will keep your child engaged. For this example, I picked a toy dinosaur. Lay all the flashcards face up on the table. Depending on your child’s reading level, you can begin by reviewing the words. Then ask them to find a random word – if you’re using the dinosaur method like we did, ask them to place the toy on the word.
Go Fish Card Game
This one is a fun twist on the classic Go Fish card game. You’ll need to print out two sets of the flashcards for this one. If you’re not familiar with the rules, they are very simple to learn. Shuffle all the flashcards together, then deal a set amount of cards to each player (3-5 cards is ideal to start with). Place the remaining cards face down in a pile in the middle of the table. Each player reviews their cards, and sets aside any pairs they have. Then the first player asks another player of their choice if they have one the card they need to make a pair. If the other player has the card, they must hand it over. If the other player does not have the card, they answer “go fish”and the first player draws a card from the pile. Once all the cards have run out, the game is over, and the player with the most pairs wins.
Reading with Flashcards
Another entry-level activity that you can do with beginner readers is reading with flashcards. Pick out a few flashcards before you begin reading – try and choose some of the most common words to start off with. It’s a good idea to skim the book and see what words feature regularly and choose your cards accordingly. Place the cards next to the book and read so your child can easily see the flashcards and the story. Ask them to point out the words in the book that they see on the flashcards – you can prompt them to find the words if they miss any.
Memory Card Game
The memory card game is a little bit more difficult, as children will need to recognize and remember their words. You will also need two sets of flashcards for this game. Shuffle the cards well and place them face down on the table, spaced out. The first player begins by turning over two cards, one at a time. If the cards match, the player sets them aside and has another turn. If not, turn them back over and the next player begins their turn. Keep playing until all cards have been matched. The player with the most pairs at the end of the game wins.
We hope you love playing these flashcard games with your kids as much as we do! If you have any feedback, or any other games that you want to share, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here at the Pyjama Foundation, we’re big fans of arts and crafts! Creative activities have so many benefits for kids of all ages, whether it’s developing fine motor skills in pre-schoolers or sparking an interest in STEM fields for teenagers. Craft can be a fun way to encourage play-based learning, but it can also serve as an outlet for stress and encouragement for commutation and connection between child and adult.
So, get ready to pull out the popsicle sticks and paintbrushes – here are our 4 favourite craft ideas for the week!
This colourful little unicorn friend is not only super fun to make, but also provides a source of creative play. This tutorial could be easily adapted to create a family of different fantasy creatures – we’re thinking dragons, fairies, and monsters! Why not encourage your child to invent a simple story with the creatures they create?
Click on this link to view the tutorial, or visit @kidscraftroom on Instagram for more.
When we saw this sweet craft idea on Instagram, we knew we had to share it with our Pyjama Angels! This is a great way to re-use some materials from your recycling bin, as all you really need is a small piece of cardboard – and your imagination! Simply cut out a circle in the middle of your ”camera” (adult supervision definitely required for this tricky shape) and decorate your camera however you like. Create a list of things to find on your scavenger hunt, then head off with your camera to spy items through the viewfinder!
We also have some scavenger hunt ideas ready to go if you need some extra inspiration – click here to check them out.
Visit @thechildhoodglen on Instagram for more.
This one is a messy but super fun activity to do with your child! All you need to make the puffy paint is shaving cream and PVA glue in equal parts, and a few drops of food colouring. You can also use some other craft supplies or household items to make these ice-cream cones really fun to play with – like cardboard cut-out cones, old paper straws, and sprinkles.
Visit @craftandboogie on Instagram for more.
Making this marshmallow catapult is a fun activity to do together with an older child. You’ll need a quite a few paddlepop sticks, a wooden or plastic spoon, some rubber bands and some mini marshmallows. Our favourite part about this craft activity is that you can eat your projectiles after you’ve launched them!
Click on this link to view the tutorial, or visit @hellowonderful_co on Instagram for more.
National Pyjama Day is fast approaching! We’ve put together some free printable resources for your fundraising efforts, whether you’re baking cupcakes at home or asking for donations at the office. Make sure to tag us in your pictures for a chance to feature on our social media or website!
Donation Jar Label
We have 2 options for your donation jar available for download. Simply print this out, write down your goal and stick it on a jar of your choice – we like to put ours around a recycled coffee jar. This is a great way to collect gold coin donations on an office reception desk or a teachers desk.
If you’re planning on baking some cupcakes for your pyjama party, make sure to use our super cute cupcake toppers! There are 12 cupcake toppers per sheet featuring 9 different Pyjama Day themed designs. Simply print them out and wrap them around a toothpick for an easy way to increase the cute factor of your cupcakes!
Holding a raffle is another great way to raise some extra money for your National Pyjama Day fundraising effort. This tactic is especially useful for businesses – you could donate a voucher for your service or create a hamper of goodies, and tickets could be sold to clients and customers or offered internally to your team. There are so many ways to fundraise! Make sure you pop the extra details of your raffle on the tickets, including the prize you are offering and your personal campaign page.
Note: You will need to print these double sided, flip on long edge. We used fit to paper as the scale – double check your scale to ensure none of the ticket is outside the printable margins. There are 5 tickets per page.
When distributing tickets, cut off the pink stubs with the ticket holder’s details and keep. Give the white part of the ticket to the ticker holder for their reference.
Photo Booth Props
This is such an easy way to add an element of silly fun to your National Pyjama Day event! Print out these photo booth props and tape them onto skewers or paddlepop sticks, and share some silly snaps with your friends!
If you or someone you know would be a fun and positive influence on a child in care, please consider volunteering for The Pyjama Foundation’s Love of Learning Program.
Together with their mentor, a child in foster care can learn valuable life-skills, confidence and self belief.