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20 October 2014
Schools  >> All subjects for ages 4 - 11 years The Little Animals Activity Centre
The Little Animals Activity Centre

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Activity Overview | Curriculum | Lesson Plans | Worksheets

Activity Overview
The Little Animals Activity Centre website is designed to reinforce what young children learn in school. The activities have been designed to teach and reinforce learning from Key Stage 1 of the National Curriculum in English, Maths, Music, Art and Technology and ICT.

Digby Mole's Activities

Digby Mole hosts a selection of word games that encourage children to look at individual letters, letter blends and their sounds. If your computer has speakers, children will benefit from listening to the instructions and hearing the words being said. If you don't have speakers, it may help if you prompt younger children to sound out the letters and say the words aloud. All the words featured in these games are taken from the National Literacy Strategy Key Stage 1 and many of them feature in the High Frequency Words list. Throughout the First Sound game and End Sounds game, the sounds are said phonetically to be consistent with how the children are taught in class.

For each of the three games the child has 2 tries, before the answer is given. The default is set at 2, but it is possible to change it to anything from 1 to 5. To change the default setting press 'Shift' and 'P' after the game is loaded. This will bring up a speech bubble with a box in which you can alter the settings from 1 to 5.

You will require the plug-in Macromedia Flash Player 4 to view this game.

First Sounds game
Children find it easier to identify sounds at the beginning of words than at the end. This game helps children identify the sound or blends at the beginning of a word (e.g. Which word starts with the sound 'c'?).

  • Level 1 is aimed at Reception or Year 1
  • Level 2 is suitable for early Year 1
  • Level 3, for end of Year 1 and Year 2

End Sounds game
The End Sounds game helps children identify the sounds or blends at the end of a word (e.g. Which word ends with the sound 'g'?).

  • Level 1 is aimed at end of Reception and early Year 1
  • Level 2 for late Year 1 and Year 2
  • Level 3 for Year 2 and Year 3

This game encourages children to identify words that rhyme. The words range in difficulty from words such as 'tap' and 'map' in level 1 through to more challenging words in level 3, such as 'taught' and 'ought', which are pronounced the same but not spelt the same way.

Count Hoot's Activities

Count Hoot hosts the number games. These increase in difficulty, starting with counting spots to single digit sums, and then to sums involving bigger numbers. The games are timed to encourage quick thinking, and practise of the basic skills of mental maths.

These games allow a child to practise adding up and taking away. At first they'll need to count the spots on the back of the ladybirds; later on they will need to choose the right number to complete the sum. To catch a bug for Count Hoot's supper they have to click on the correct answer first time but don't worry, if they do choose the wrong answer he'll let them have another go - they just won't catch a tasty bug that time! If a child manages to fill a jar with bugs before the spider drops out of the tree, they'll get the chance to go onto the next challenge.

Micky Maker’s Practical Activities

These activities need adult supervision as some of them involve either heating ingredients or cutting with scissors. Print out the activity that you want to complete and prepare the ingredients, materials and workspace beforehand.

Woodland Game
The game board and playing pieces will last longer if you stick them to a piece of card after they have been coloured in. If you are using liquid glue, a good tip is to weigh down the sheet with a large book while it is drying onto the card - but don't forget to insert a clean sheet of paper between the book and the board game to protect the book. Once it has dried, cover the board with self-adhesive plastic film to give greater protection.

Micky's rules are not the only ones possible to use on the board. The activity is all the more fun and challenging if you spend time making up your own rules.

Micky’s Recipes
From our trials in the BBC kitchen, both the Toffee Apples and the Peppermint Creams took approximately 30 minutes to make.

We found the papier-mâché ladybirds needed to be made in stages, allowing time for the layers to dry out in between. Drying times will depend on how much paste and how many layers you use, but can be reduced if you put the papier-mâché covered balloon in a warm, dry place such as an airing cupboard.

Finger Puppets
Be very careful when applying the glue, as you don’t want to stick more than the edges of the puppets together. You may want to get your child to put his or her finger in the puppet to make sure it fits properly before the glue dries fully.

Foxy Dancer’s Activity

Foxy Dancer hosts a music game and an 'Animal Muddle' rhyme.

Dance game
The Dance game shows a sequence of dance moves with notes to a child which they then have to copy. The game exercises memory and recall using a musical theme, but because it is animated it can also be played without putting great emphasis on the notes (especially with younger children).

Animal Muddle Animal Muddle rhyme has been written to help young children become familiar with rhyming words. When you read the rhyme, encourage them to listen and tell you which words rhyme. As they become more familiar with the rhyme ask them to think of other words that they know that rhyme with some of the words in Animal Muddle, to extend the learning. Children need to listen to a variety of poems and rhymes to increase their knowledge and understanding of rhyming words as part of the development of their reading and writing skills.

You will require the plug-in Macromedia Flash Player 4 to view this game.

Story Bear's Stories

There are three stories to read, each one has a sound and a no sound version. The sound version is appropriate for younger children who want to hear the story read to them. Each story actively engages the child by including items to click on and instructions to follow.

Alternatively, moving through the story without the voice-over will give a child an opportunity to practise their reading skills. The vocabulary is quite varied, and although younger children may need help with some of the words, the illustrations and animations will keep them engaged with the flow of the story.

Puzzlesnuff’s Pinboard Gallery

Puzzlesnuff's e-mail
Puzzlesnuff, the Hedgehog, hosts this part of the Little Animals Activity Centre where your children have a chance to contribute via e-mail. Learning to communicate in many different ways is vitally important in the growth of a child’s confidence and self-expression, and the immediacy of e-mail is attractive to children.

Jokes and Riddles
The main aim of the jokes and riddle collections is to stimulate children into remembering and recounting the jokes, stories and rhymes that they find funny. Children see the world differently from adults, and have their own particular brand of humour. Encourage children to write and send in e-mails to their favourite characters. The best of the bunch will be put up on the site, for everyone to see.

Treasure Trail
The Treasure Trail has been designed for an autumn walk, with common items to be collected along the way - so don't forget to take a bag with you. Point out different surface textures and structures, by discussing any rubbings taken from trees and leaves.

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