We live down in South Africa and Christmas is in the middle of summer so very hot and yet Christmas still has most of its traditions based on what happens in the northern hemisphere so anyone dressing up as Santa must dress warmly despite our temperatures being around 30C (in the 90sF), we still use pine trees as Christmas trees and decorate them with snowflakes and Christmas lights even though it is light outside til very late and we still often have hot meals for Christmas lunch. Carols by candlelight still occurred this year though we sat around a pool at our church singing them.

This week L painted and made a reindeer and did the 12 days of Christmas Math printables from 1+1+1=1. We hid one side of the printables in a bedroom and she had to find them and then match them up with the ordinal number and then write the same number. I didn’t think we’d get to all 12 numbers and was actually surprised when she only got tired after doing 8 of them. We may finish the last 4 tomorrow.

reindeer painting

We also spoke about hot and cold which was an activity designed so that K and L could do it together. L had to read the words, decide if it was hot/cold (and she insisted that some were just warm) and then find the item and let K feel it while we told her if it was hot and cold and then we grouped the words and some of the items. Their favourite part was eating ice lollies though L also wanted to eat some cooked food.

L got very hot just having the jersey on for a short while – hence the facial expressions.


Yes, we did go and feel how warm the dog was and found his pulse too!

ice lollies

We also finished the 100 chart we have been making for a while and played a game where L had to place sweets on the numbers I called out and when we had finished she could eat the sweet if she said the number it was on.

100 chart

I made some story props for the nativity story and L enjoyed playing with these while I told her the story and then she also retold it to me using the props. We did the same with another story – Who sank the boat though my laminator died before I could laminate these cards so they are still half made – I should get another laminator for Christmas. You can find the story prop printables here.


who sank the boat

In phonics this week we started learning about the silent E. I stuck posters of the vowels on the wall and got L to introduce herself to the letters with them replying and introducing themselves by their names – she has known the sounds since she was 18 months old but has had to pick up the names from starfall and from singing the alphabet song so she could still do with some practice. We then practiced some words with the silent E – she painted a peg in green and used it to point to the vowel and insist that it “said its name.” She keeps asking why the silent E is so mean.

These letters come from First School


She finished book 6a of Ladybird Key Words this week and then wanted to read The Gingerbread Man so I let that be her reading for today. We will start Little Bear either tomorrow or next week when she is less tired.

Today has been particularly frustrating as L has been very tired and grumpy and has had a 4 year old attitude on her which, in this heat and with a grumpy, teething baby has not gone down too well. I find that moving to less structured activities – plenty of swimming and telling stories that are not in a book we get through these days alright however L probably does need a rest period during the day during this holiday season as she is going to bed a lot later than usual with the sun setting later.