Tag Archives: kids strike

What to do on 3rd May Kids Strike – #THISislearning

I decided to join in with the 3rd May Kids Strike a month ago, set up our #THISislearning campaign two weeks ago and handed in the letter to school informing them of the above, last week. So we’re good to go, all set, know exactly what we’re doing on th… oh wait!

I still don’t know precisely what we’re doing on the day (tomorrow!!!). Not because I have no idea what to do, but because there are SO MANY possibilities and they’re all swimming frantically round my head not really able to find their way to the surface. So, in case any of you are similarly-minded, I thought I’d put together a post with some options. Hopefully by the time I’ve worked my way through it, I’ll have a clearer plan and it will help you too!

Learning ideas for #KidsStrike3rdMay

Arts and crafts:

paints and pencils

  • My boys and I all love creative activities and when I started an illustration course earlier this year I found inspiration on Twitter in the form of #ShapeChallenge. Author and Illustrator Sarah McIntyre posts a shape every day and you can interpret it in what ever way you want. People of all ages and abilities join in. It’s so much easier than staring at a blank sheet of paper and you can tweet the results to a lovely little community. You can read more about our experience of it in this post and also find out more on the Jabberworks Virtual Studio website.
  • We also like Kid Can Doodle who describe themselves as “a club that celebrates creativity through drawing. We believe everyone can draw, and we hope to inspire you to find your own voice.” What’s not to love? It has all sorts of ideas and challenges and masses of inspiration for young doodlers!
  • Red Ted Art is an awesome blog, packed full of creative ideas. Having been a fan of Andy Goldsworthy since seeing an exhibition of his as a child, I particularly love this post about using items from nature to create art.
  • This lovely activity from My Green and Rosie Life involves making rainbow pictures out of leaves, flowers and petals. It also has a story which you read to kids first which adds a little magic, I think!

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics)

      • We love science experiments in this house. I wrote a post the other day about some we’d done using water, oil, baking powder and Alkaseltzer to pretty (and pretty-dramatic) effect.volcano experiment
      • This Rosie Revere activity looks like a great little task where kids make their own very simple helicopter (only paper and paperclips necessary) and then experiment to see what changes they can make to the blades so that it flies more slowly. Simple and fun!
      • This one from Red Ted Art about making chromatography flowers looks so awesome I want to try it now (and the kids are in bed!). Where science meets art!
      • I love this post from Handimania about building a child-sized fort out of rolled up newspapers. All you do is roll the paper and tape it into large triangles and you can make lots of different structures depending on how you attach the triangles together. Fling a blanket over the top and it’s a fort (or you could also decorate pieces of paper and attach them instead of a blanket – more time-consuming but, for arty-types, even more fun!)
      • There are some great ideas for construction activities on My Nearest and Dearest. I particularly like the look of building with dyed ice and grapes with cocktail sticks, and the glow in the dark loo roll challenge looks awesome!

Outdoor activities:

      • This post by Sophie is… shows how much fun and learning can be had with mud – painting, landscaping, and creating in so many different ways. And little Arthur is clearly having such a whale of a time I want to join in myself!
      • Luisa at Teaching Tiny Minds is full of good ideas for fun learning activities. I loved this post about having fun with water and puddles – it never would have occurred to me to add washing up liquid or food colouring to them!

        puddle fun #THISislearning

        Luisa’s post inspired me to draw this cartoon.

      • Coombe Mill has loads of great ideas for activities for kids. I really like this idea for ‘fairy cakes and wizards potion‘ which involves making wands, fairy cakes and potions using all manner of natural items. The idea for making sailing boats out of milk bottles also looks fab! Fiona also runs a linky where you can find further inspiration.
      • I read this article (written by a teacher) in The Guardian about geocaching and it sounds great! It’s basically a treasure hunt in the countryside. You can go to various geocache websites and find coordinates for geocaches near you and then go off in search of them. I think my boys would love it!

History/literature:

      • There are wonderful museums and galleries all over the UK, many of which have free entry. Visit Britain details loads of them and Tyne and Wear Museums is great for those living in the North East. If you live anywhere Newcastle Upon Tyne I’d urge you to visit Seven Stories – the National Centre for Children’s Books. We went there a few weeks ago to see their Harry Potter Exhibit – it was fab!touching hedwig's wing
      • The National Trust and English Heritage have wonderful gardens and historic buildings across the country that are well worth visiting. I loved this post by Nikki from A Free-from Life about visiting a Nostell Priory – it really highlighted all the different types of learning that can take place on a day out.
      • A couple of months ago, a friend and I did a murder mystery treasure trail around our village. The trail and clues were all in a booklet on this website which has trails for towns and villages all over the country. Our treasure trail took us round the village we thought we knew well, spotting all sorts of old signs, decorations and carvings, none of which we would have normally noticed. We learned loads about where we lived and the kids all loved it!
      • Read to/with your kids. It’s always so lovely to share stories!

Games:

      • Playtivities has loads of great games which are good to do together as a family or in a group. things like threading dry spaghetti through penne without using your hands, balancing chocolate on your face (‘oh dear, mine seems to have slipped into my mouth!’) bouncing balloons and building towers with fruit. Simple but with lots of opportunities for learning.
      • There are 101 great ideas in this post by Paging Fun Mums. Whether it’s spotting shapes in clouds, blowing bubbles, decorating shells, baking or building a marble run, there’s bound to be something that inspires you!
      • Cricket, football, tennis, volleyball… whatever sport your kids are into, tomorrow is a chance to play it with them. We had great fun setting up our own crazy-golf course last year!

Social activities:

      • Check out the Let our Kids be Kids interactive map which shows you where there are meet-ups all over the country. If you want to share the day of the Kids Strike with others it’s a great place to start. The meet ups I looked at seemed to involve crafty and sporting activities amongst others.

There are also some wonderful activity ideas on our #THISislearning linky. Please feel free to add posts with activities you have there too!

Whatever you do on the day (whether you’re striking or not, and if you homeschool or have pre-schoolers too) I’d love you to share on social media using the #THISislearning hashtag. Together we can all show our government what real learning looks like!

I’m going to publish this post now although I may well add more ideas later on!

With thanks to my fabulous friend Sus for helping me compile this list.

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#THISislearning FAQ

#THISislearning badge finalJust over a week ago, my fellow-blogger Sophie and I launched our #THISislearning campaign which aims to spread positive images, messages and stories about learning across social media on May 3rd – the day of the national Kids Strike. So far, we’ve loved the response we’ve had: the messages of support, the shared posts and stories, and the conversations in our Facebook group have all been inspirational and reaffirming. Sophie has written a great post summarising the progress so far, which really emphasised to me that together we can make a difference.

Along the way, we’ve noticed a few questions arising about the campaign from potential supporters and I thought I’d answer them here as it might make our aims a little clearer:

  • #THISislearning runs in parallel to the Kids Strike… but what is the Kids Strike about?

The kids Strike has been organised by Let Our Kids Be Kids, a group of concerned parents who feel our kids are “over tested, overworked and in a school system that places more importance on test results and league tables than it does on children’s happiness and joy of learning”. The National Union of teachers has already called for the SATs to be cancelled in 2016 and the plan is to show that parents are behind teachers in this, by keeping kids off school on May 3rd (before the SATs begin) for a day of educational fun learning instead. They also have a petition here which has already been signed by over 24,000 people.

  • Is it just about Year 2 SATs? I’m concerned about Year 6 SATs too!

The campaign started in opposition to year 2 SATs but many parents are also concerned about year 6 SATs and the pressures facing our kids in education in general. The response overall has been so great it has been widened to include all primary school-aged children.

  • I’m worried about taking my kids out of school on May 3rd – I don’t want them to miss SATs (and potentially have to re-sit them at another time).

It’s ok – 3RD MAY is NOT a test day! Your child will not miss any tests. It was chosen as a strike day because it is shortly before the SATs begin and has the aim of putting pressure on government to scrap the SATs this year. The NUT has already called for this and the hope was that by striking, parents can show teachers and schools that we are behind them should they choose to boycott SATs.

  • My child has such a lovely teacher – I don’t want them to think that this is against them.

There are many wonderful teachers in this country (hooray!). The strike is absolutely not against our teachers but rather against governmental policy. We want to support teachers who are trying to give the government the message that current educational policy is wrong. When I wrote this post in March, speculating about using our parent power to strike, many teachers commented to say thank you and yes, please take action! Many teachers have joined our Facebook group and many more have joined the Let Our Kids be Kids FB group and signed the petition. If you are concerned please speak to your teacher to reassure them, or if you prefer, there are letters on the Let our Kids be Kids website specifically for class teachers to explain the action we are all taking.

  • What If I don’t want to take my kids out of school on May 3rd – can I still join in with #THISislearning?

YES absolutely! We want to spend ALL DAY covering social media with positive messages not just during school hours – so feel free to join in after school. You are also welcome to use the #THISislearning hashtag in the run up to May 3rd.

If you’re at all on the fence about joining in the strike (or supporting it in any other way, for that matter) then I urge you to read this post by Sophie of Sophie is… which highlights some of the reasons why it’s important to take a stand regardless of the age of your children, whether they are doing SATs this year and however they feel about school.

  • I love the idea of spreading positive learning ideas, but my kids are not yet at school – can I still get involved?

YES, we’d love you to! This is very relevant to preschool kids because changes that are made to educational policy now will have a direct impact on toddlers and preschoolers in a few short years. Younger kids also love learning so please, have fun making mud pies together, or baking, making sock puppets, or building with LEGO… or whatever you wish! Kids learn so much doing these sorts of activities and we’d love you to share what you get up to!

  • My kids are homeschooled – can we get involved too?

Please do! As homeschoolers you may well have all sorts of ideas for fun educational activities people could do with kids on May 3rd. If you have blog posts about these we’d love you to link them up with our #THISislearning linky. And please join in the general sharing of positive learning messages on May 3rd!

  • What is your linky for? I have a post about what’s wrong with education – can I link it up? Can I link up a post about crafting with kids?

Our linky is for any post about education or fun learning activities. If you’ve written about what you would like to see change about the current education system, by all means link it up. similarly, if you’ve published a post on something creative or fun or inspiring that you think captures a fun way that kids can learn, then that is very welcome too! The linky already has both types of posts on it and we’d love more!

  • I’m not on Twitter – can I still take part?

YES! We’re also on Instagram and Facebook!

If you have any more questions please send them my way and in the meantime, thanks for all the support!

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