Sunday, 22 April 2012

Themed Activities for Targeted Language Learning

As I am now on maternity leave with Little Man, Poppette will be spending far less time at her nursery and far more time with me.

This change in circumstances has had me thinking long and hard about how to fill our time together to maximise the fun and to ensure that Poppette doesn't get bored. Her days at nursery are so full of fun and frolics and focused activities that I am in danger of coming up short.

Alison over at Oopsey Daisy Blog may, however, have just provided me with a great answer. Alison prepares what she calls "Mommy School Packets" for her almost three year old son. Each pack focuses on a different theme (e.g. the Zoo, Halloween, the Colour Green.....) and contains myriad activities around that theme to help her son learn through play and direct experience.

I am really excited about this as a concept as I think it can translate to a great way for Poppette to learn and play at the same time as giving us both a platform for targeted language practice and learning. As a non-native, I am acutely aware that there will be language learning opportunities here for me too.

Our first theme will be 'Les Animaux de la Ferme' (farm animals). My mind is already jumping ahead to think of other themes too, such as the 'Le Temps' (the weather), 'En Ville" (In Town), à la Maison (at home), 'Les Animaux de la Jungle' (Jungle Animals)......

I have started to collect together a bundle of resources for our farm animals theme, such as:-

Animal Sounds
Comptines (nursery rhymes)
Recipes (perhaps animal shaped biscuits would be a good start)
Colouring Pages
Pictures/ Photographs

We will also take a trip to the local petting farm to look at real live animals.

I do need to brainstorm a little more. The trick will be to ensure that these activities are age appropriate as Poppette is only 18 months old. At this age, numbers and letters and perhaps even colours will be a little too advanced..... but adding these in for older children would widen the scope of learning. The beauty of it is that these activity bundles can be added to little by little over time to respond to Poppette's age, interests and understanding.

If anyone has any ideas for activity themes or suggested resources for the themes I have already suggested, I would love to hear from you.

I will update you on my progress in a future post.

Wednesday, 18 April 2012

The Stork Has Been to Visit

I have been terribly lax at keeping up to date with my blog and emails lately......BUT, I do have a good excuse - I have just had a fabulous, healthy, bouncing baby boy and, I will freely admit, I have been happily floating around inside my baby bubble spending time with Poppette (who is  now 18 months old) and her newborn younger brother "Little Man".

This time around there was no question as to whether or not I intended to speak French with our new baby. The answer was a resounding 'Yes!!!'. I will admit that I am not up to 100% French with Little Man yet....he is only two weeks old so I feel that I have time on my side. But I do make a real effort to only speak French with him within ear shot of Poppette. It's quite suprising how cool it feels to have another budding francophone in the house.... I get real a buzz out of Poppette listening to me chatting French to her brother as I feel that it brings an extra dimension to the language for her.