Pumpkin Play Dough

Why implement play dough activities with little learners?

Play dough activities provide so much benefit in the early years classroom beyond 'fine motor skills'. Here are the main reasons I love them so much after many years of using them in classrooms, preschool classes and groups and with my own 2 children:
  • routine - once you implement some basic structure around your 'play dough time' it becomes a wonderful little routine that you can set up and implement in a snap. Spend a bit of time in the beginning stages setting up expectations, rules, procedures and 'how it's done' and then just switch out equipment each week. Here at home with my own children I had a little basket in my kitchen cupboard that included a table covering, 3 tubs of play dough, mats and basic tools. Each time I set it up, I would talk my little ones through the steps of setting it up on our kitchen bench. Before long they could do it themselves. I would then add increasing challenge and variety to keep their interest. 
  • language - what a wonderful time for talking and discussion! Our little learners need meaningful opportunities to create, explore, describe and explain. Trust me, play dough will do all this. Once their little hands get moving they will start to chat - and the quiet ones will grow in confidence over time. Encourage them by asking questions or modelling your own self-chat as you work with some dough.
  • creativity - I have always found that the 'mats' I provide little learners are just a starting point, and that it absolutely fine. They will love having some 'free time' at the end of their session to create something of their own choice - encourage it through giving them time to talk to you about their creation. This little investment in time will help you build relationships with them, listen to their speech development and provide you opportunity to scaffold them to something more challenging. 
Your little learners will love our new pumpkin themed fun play dough mats. They will roll balls and sausage shapes to create the simple shape patterns/pictures on each pumpkin. They can say the simple rhyme as they make them.

Pumpkin, pumpkin,
I can make,
Twist and roll,
Add a shape!

Our little learners will naturally explore quantities, length, size and shape as they manipulate and test-out their play dough to fit each shape. Simply print, laminate and team them with some play dough.

Take a peek at just a few of the 24 mats:

I do hope your little ones love these mats as much as we do! Find them in our TpT store HERE

Little Owls Screen Wallpaper

I'd love to share a new screen wallpaper with you today, to brighten up your home and classroom electronic boards, iPads, computers and phones. This one is cute little owl design - sweet, happy and full of energy!

I do hope you love the design as much as we do and that it brings some fun to your week. Simply download the images from google drive from the links below. Store them on your camera roll and choose them for your screen saver and/or wallpaper!

Find the Computer Screensaver HERE
and the Phone Screensaver HERE

{These are for your personal use only and cannot be redistributed or shared in distribution folders}

We've also added an owl coloring page to the club so your little ones can get in on all the fun.

Coordinating Printables

We'll also add our wallpaper design, in print quality to the 'Banner and Paper' pack over the next day or so. This pack allows you to coordinate your home office or classroom elements with printable papers, folder covers and banner pennants.

Find more posts and goodies for your 'teacher space' HERE

Find more screen wallpapers HERE

Thank you so much for visiting us here on the blog. Have a happy week and stay tuned for the next newsletter!

Equal Groups for Division and Multiplication

Beginning to teach multiplication and division concepts to little learners can be challenging! Have you seen our new little rhyming text? It is a great springboard for a chat about fair shares and equal groups!

We loved our friends Cat and Bat so much we thought they would be perfect for a new set of worksheets to make your math learning fun and engaging!

There are 12 worksheets in this set that provide a sequence of learning for equal groups.

Cat and Bat are sharing candies and want to make equal groups so it is fair! The activities in this pack will help your students

  • identify and make equal groups
  • find the total of sets of equal groups (multiplication)
  • divide sets into equal groups (division)

The worksheets provided a gradual development of skills and can be collated into a booklet to provide a structured sequence of learning, or you can easily use them with stand-alone lessons.

Use all 12 pages and create a book for your students to work from. Take a peek at the cover page:

The first activities see students identifying and making equal groups:

Including some cut-and-paste fun!

We encourage you to use math equipment with these pages and have students create the groups they see on each page. This is so very important!

The final pages see a release from pictorial support to encourage your students to begin their development of mental strategies. 

If needed, let them use counters and equipment to model these.

As well as the worksheet pack, we've created a fun math game to pair with our Cat and Bat animation and develop the idea of equal groups in math!

Students will divide pictures of up to 30 into equal groups to model division.

This print and play game includes:
  • detailed instructions
  • 47 task cards
  • candy cards
  • a worksheet (either a recording worksheet)
  • a cover page to help you organize your resources for future reference
It can be used in a structured game rotation program, as math centers or in guided math. Students make equal groups if candies to model division. The game cards can be used with a dry erase marker where students circle the equal groups shown on each card.

We love making math more visual, engaging and hands-on for your little learners. Please remember that it may take a learner many repeated experiences with a concept for strong connections to be made. Allow them plenty of opportunities to play and replay the game and add new and alternative versions of games to help make essential repetition fun! 

A Division Math Story - Cat and Bat

Shared reading is an opportunity to teach your little ones to read but also provide a platform for a range of other learning experiences! We are so excited to be bringing you another Reading Pack!

You can read this text with your learners, in a range of formats:
  • printable pages (print and staple to make a book)
  • printable student book (print and staple the blackline version)
  • digital (open the MS Powerpoint file on a device or board)
  • animated reading (see below) (play the video on a device or board and listen and track the words)

This short text about sharing is perfect for teaming up with a math focus on 'equal groups'. After reading it, talk with your learners about rules for sharing at your school and strategies we use to share when counting in math.

In the printable pack, we've included a list of questions that you can use to encourage discussion, comprehension and connection to the text. These are ideal of a second or third read of the text. During the first read, just allow students to listen and join in to the reading.

Don't forget - you can also watch, listen and read with our animated version on Youtube!

Comprehension activities after shared reading

Six comprehension activities are also provided. You can do these activities as a whole class, particularly if you project them onto the whiteboard, in guided reading groups or independently when more capable.

An activity is provided to help students develop the strategies of:

  • making connections
  • monitoring
  • predicting
  • questioning
  • summarizing
  • visualizing


Do this before your read. Students can write or draw what they think will happen after the candy is shared.


Have students order the story by cutting and pasting the story boards. With each piece they will return to their memory of the story and monitor the progress of the developing plot and story. 

A 'one page read' is perfect for little learners to practice independent reading and start to work with the language and features of the text. Ask them to read along with you a few times, read to a partner, and then look for the nouns and verbs. 

Making Connections

Talk about things that your students have shared. Talk about why they share and how it feels. Students can record a time when they shared something - if they cannot think of one, provide opportunity in class!


Students can explore inference asking themselves questions through the text. This may need to be done collaboratively with little learners. Ask your learners to think about possible reasons bat was so willing to share in this text.


Use a summary scaffold to unpack the story. Students can write and draw to record the main steps in the plot. 


Students can draw a picture to visualize  how the cansy was shared, linking here with math (not pictured).

Bat Story Writing

Students can write their own bat themed story using a planning page and publishing pages provided. 

ee Word Family

We added some activities for phonics ('ee' word family) and fine motor (pinning and tracing) to integrate with the cat and bat theme. 

One Page Craft

We know you love one page crafts so have provided one to accompany the story. What a great addition to your classroom displays to help bring back the memories and new connections the students will make after they read the text. Visuals are powerful and something that students have made themselves provide a powerful bridge for accessing past experiences. 

Although the text is short, to allow emergent readers to feel successful, plenty of rich learning can follow. Include a discussion on sharing and a natural link to early division in math.
We hope your little learners love these 10 activities and our original rhyming text. Use some or all, there is enough for a whole week of literacy engagement!

Addition Math Craft

Addition Craft

Exhibit all your clever work on learning addition with a delicious display of cupcakes!

Your little learners will just love to make a yummy Counting Cupcake!

How to make
  1. print and copy templates for your class
  2. students will color candies to add to the top of their cupcake in 2 colors
  3. students reveal a simple addition to record their candy colors and record this on their cupcake
  4. students can then add a matching number candle to the top of their cake

 For a counting cake, rather than addition, color in just one shade and do not add the number sentence label!

Addition Craft

Find this craft template over in our TpT store: Cupcake Count Addition Craft