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Learning at Home

All About Celebrations
(Nursery World/TES)
This useful book is part of the All About series reviewed below. It's aimed at nursery teachers and others working with young children and has a clear and colourful format with lots of photographs of children engaged in the various activities.
   Beginning with a look at how to introduce the idea of celebration through dressing up, making cards and so on, the chapters take us through a year of different feasts and festivals from many cultures. Each one includes ideas for simple projects and activities; splatter prints for the Indian festival of colour, looking at weather forecasting for St. Swithin's day, cooking potato latkes for Hannukah. The final chapter contains more detailed background information for the teacher and suggests additional resources.
    A key feature of the book is its focus on how each activity relates to the early years curriculum, showing opportunities for developing skills in, for example, mathematics, creativity, or understanding of time and place. Broadening a child's awareness of traditions and customs in other parts of the world is of course a central intention and is part of the curriculum for this age group, although it occurs to me that this might be confusing for young children who do not have their own background of strong cultural identity.

    I used this book in working with a group of children covering a wider age range than specifically intended, and found it still very good for inspiring ideas - some festivals, like the Turkish Children's Day, I had never heard of before. The step-by-step "what to do" format means that all the planning has already been done and most of the projects, particularly model-making and extension ideas like discussions and enactments adapt well for older children. It would also be fun for parents to use at home. The materials used are simple and the celebration theme is interesting, and relevant during holidays. The book costs 9.99 which I feel is reasonable given the amount of thought which has gone into the research.

  Maya
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The All About series
(Nursery World/TES)
Each book in this series offers a wide range of activities based around a common theme. These activities are designed for use in nursery schools but are equally suitable for use at home. They only require materials which are easy to find although a few are based around a specific story. An excellent source of ideas for things to do which help your children learn as well as providing inspiration to counter the dreaded cry of "I'm bored". Particularly useful if you are home educating.
Suitable for children up to about 6 and older children with special needs.

Buy from Amazon All about Me
  All about My Neighbourhood.
  All about Time
  All about Animals
  All about Seasons
  All about Celebration

 

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