Silly Sound Game – Listening and Speaking Activity for Kids

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Silly Sounds Game - Octavia and Vicky

Lately Pebble has been fascinated by sounds and making up silly words. She gives a great big belly laugh when she thinks of a new word or sound and repeats it over and over and over. So it’s now wonder that she really enjoyed a new book that we were sent. So Many Sounds is a fun book full of catchy sounds and colourful drawings. Written by Claire Chadwick and illustrated by Trevor Salter, this children’s picture book takes us on an exploration of the every day and makes it extraordinary. After reading the book many, many times (“again, again!” she said) we were inspired to play this game.

Silly Sounds Game

This game is very similar to “I Spy”. While you are at home, at the park, at the shops (or even on the toilet, if you’re my kid!) have a really good listen to the sounds around you, then take turns to say “I hear something that sounds like….. ” while the other players guess what you are describing. I will spare you the toilet humour here and give you some other examples (you’re welcome). While playing as we baked cakes together I said, “I hear something that sounds like “beep beep beep” (the microwave beeping after melting the butter). Pebble said, “I hear something that sounds like “crack, crack, crack” (the sound of eggs cracking). You get the idea?

You can get trickier and trickier with your sounds depending on your child’s ability to hear and distinguish different sounds.

What we learned

  • listening and speaking- being able to hear the difference between one sound and another, remember it and describe or repeat it are the first steps to literacy development
  • asking and answering questions – understanding social rules and communicating with purpose are important skills for getting along with others and finding out information
  • following rules – games are tricky for little ones to understand and follow. Playing simple games like this one is a great first start.

So Many Sounds by Claire Chadwick

Disclaimer: Claire Chadwick sent us a free copy of her book and invited us to join her blog tour. Get your own copy of So Many Sounds.

For more ways to play while building on children’s developing literacy skills try these ideas:

Improvisation Game for Kidspost office playDIY Letter Puzzle | Octavia and VickyCustom Alphabet Play Dough Mats

Making Medals – Craft for Kids

Making Medals - Craft for Kids

Pebble and I were playing with balloons last week and got into a good game of balloon football. “Now we need to give out the medals!”, Pebble announced. “Can we make medals?”. Sure we can! I grabbed some bits and bobs and this is what we came up with.

Making Medals – Craft for Kids

Making Medals - Craft for Kids

You will need:

  • cardboard (we used the side of a cereal box)
  • tin foil
  • ribbon or string
  • hole punch
  • scissors
  • small cup (or other round object to trace around)
  • pencil
  • optional:sticky letters

To make your medals

  • Make circle shapes on to the cardboard by tracing around the cup with the pencil.
  • Cut out the circles.
  • Tear off pieces of tin foil about twice the size of your circles.
  • Wrap each circle in tin foil, keeping one side flat and shiny.
  • Use the hole punch to make one hole in the top of each foil wrapped circle.
  • Thread the ribbon or string through the hole and tie it to make a necklace.
  • Decorate your medal with sticky letters if you wish. Sharpies are also great for drawing on foil.
  • Wear your medal proudly!

The stuff we learned:

  • tracing
  • cutting
  • shapes
  • initial letter sounds
  • threading
  • wrapping
  • hole punching

What have your kids been making? 

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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DIY Board Game

DIY Board Game

Way back when, before I had TWO kids, Pebble and I spent an afternoon making and playing with this board game, and came back to revisit it again and again. It was a lovely activity to do together and gave lots of opportunities for learning.DIY Board Game

How to make a board game:

We started by drawing a map of places that Pebble knows  – home, Grandma’s, the shops, the park. She told me what she wanted to draw and asked me to help her draw it. It was when she was going through a “you do it” phase, so lots of the drawings are mine. Pebble drew the ‘stop sign’ – she was very interested in road signs at the time. We used a small square of foam and some dot stickers to make a toddler friendly die representing 1, 2 and 3. You could use a regular six sided dice with older children. Once the map was made we took turns rolling the dice and moving our game pieces around the board. You can use anything for a game piece – we used these gorgeous crayons which have been lots of fun during play and art sessions.

Learning opportunities:

  • pre-writing
  • drawing
  • counting
  • turn taking
  • following rules
  • connecting real life experience to play

Try this:

  • make a board game based on a favourite book, movie or song
  • make a snakes and ladders style game
  • create directions along the path of the board game that encourage children to move and pretend, such as “jump like a kangaroo” or “wobble like a jelly”.

What type of board game would your children like to make?

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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Alphabet Play Dough Mats – and the Weekly Kids Co-Op

Custom Alphabet Play Dough Mats | Octavia and Vicky

Pebble has been very keen on learning about letters and what they ‘say’, and often asks about sounds in words. To build on her interest in letters and sounds we made these alphabet play dough mats. They are a printable from Sparklebox…. with a twist. I customised our play dough mats so that they included pictures of people familiar to Pebble, as names seem to be one of her biggest interests.

I didn’t print the whole alphabet, only those letters that were most relevant for Pebble. She was not yet three when I first made these, and a whole alphabet is a bit overwhelming all at once.

Pebble helped me to find the right alphabet mat to stick the photos on to. I told her what sound each letter made and then held up a photo of the person. Then she would say their name and find the correct mat to put them on. The making of the mats was a game all on it’s own! These mats could even be used to make a matching game – read on for instructions.

After the mats were laminated Pebble used play dough to make the shapes of the letters on each mat, and we talked about the pictures and sounds that we could see and hear. Of course Pebble puts her own spin on it too – making play dough shapes of the pictures as well as the letters :)

This was a really simple way to build on Pebble’s current interest in letters and sounds and also enjoy some sensory play.

Custom Alphabet Play Dough Mats | Octavia and VickyCustom Alphabet Play Dough Mats | Octavia and VickyCustom Alphabet Play Dough Mats | Octavia and Vicky
Make your own customised alphabet play dough mats:

  1. Print the alphabet mats from Sparklebox (pdf).
  2. Print photos of family, friends or objects that most interest your child.
  3. Cut out and stick the photos onto the correct alphabet mats.
  4. Laminate the mats using laminating sheets or cover the mats in clear sticky paper (we call it ‘contact’ here in Australia).
  5. Play and learn by creating the letter shapes with play dough and naming all the people and objects on the mat.

Make your own customised alphabet matching game:

  1. Print the alphabet mats from Sparklebox (pdf).
  2. Print photos of family, friends or objects that most interest your child and cut them out.
  3. Laminate the alphabet mats and photos separately, either using laminating sheets or clear sticky paper.
  4. Play and learn by matching the photos of the people and objects to the correct mat.



Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and Vicky

Being a teacher and a mama I just can’t help but collect rubbish. I have little collections of recycling in the pantry, the entry, the children’s rooms. It’s free craft – I’d be mad not to! I’ve been collecting bottle tops for ages. I have a zip lock bag in the pantry where I throw them as soon as they’re washed and dried and when the bag gets full I add them to the large collection amongst our craft supplies. Recently the collection was bulging and Pebble was looking for some fun, so we took them outside for some play in the water tray and our old baby bath tub.

I didn’t give any instructions or directions for this play, I just stood back and watched her explore and play and do her own thing, chatting with her about it as she went. Pebble is a particular little girl, she likes to line things up and put things in order. The first thing she did was pick out all the white bottle tops and line the bottom of the water tray with them.

The bottle tops had different purposes as she played. At first they were objects to be arranged and counted. Then they became a snake. After a long time focussing on this careful arrangement she was ready to get stuck in with the water and coloured bottle tops. There was lots of active swishing, some singing, some floating and talk about boats.

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and Vicky

This play gave lots of opportunities for sorting, counting, arrangingimagining, singing and experimenting – all with a few bottle tops and some water.

Bottle tops can be used for play and creating in SO many ways. Here are twelve more fun ideas for playing and learning with bottle tops and bottle caps. Have fun!

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyHeart Sponge Painting – Boy Mama Teacher Mama

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyMaking Lid Soup – Teach Preschool
13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyBottle Top Painting – Preschool Playbook
13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickySticky Window Art – A Little Learning for Two13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyBottle Top Stamps – A Little Learning for Two
13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyRainbow Rice and Bottle Tops – Learning 4 Kids13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyThe Very Hungry Caterpillar Sensory Tub – The Imagination Tree

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickySpelling with Bottle Tops – Crayon Freckles
13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyThe Very Hungry Caterpillar – Learn with Play at Home 13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyBottle Cap Math – Boy Mama Teacher Mama
13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickyBottle Cap Letters – Brick by Brick

13 Ways to Play and Learn with Bottle Tops | Octavia and VickySorting Colours – Learning 4 Kids

Do you collect ‘rubbish’ for play? Have you played with bottle tops lately? 

Kylie @ Octavia and Vicky

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