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Sheffield Children's Hospital

We are so sorry that we can’t be with you at the moment so here are some ideas for . . .





For Springtime!!

Look at the parts of a flowering plant

Using any flower - a daffodil or a tulip are good choices – gently pull apart the flower head and identify as many parts as you can. Draw a labelled diagram of the parts, or stick the flower parts on a piece of paper or card and label them.

Write a Sunflower poem or story


Here’s some ideas to start you off . . .

  • Tell an alien what a sunflower is
  • Describe the sunflower in detail, including the roots, stem, petals, centre and seeds
  • Tell the story of what sunflowers do at night, when the sun goes down

Make a fingerprint dandelion picture


  • Use a black felt tip pen or sharpie pen to draw the centre, stem and stamens. Dip your fingertips in paint (you can use any type of paint) and make fingerprints on the end of each stamen.
  • You could make one large dandelion or a group.
  • Experiment with colours – use multicolours / a single colour / two colour choices / black and white


  Plant a bean seed and watch it grow


For Anytime!

Build a chair strong enough to sit on using only paper and tape

That’s it! All you are allowed is paper and tape!

It can be any type of old paper – newspaper is good. The chair has to be strong enough to hold your weight. It doesn’t need to be a big chair. Think about what shapes and structures you could make and which would be strongest. Test them out and have fun!


Share a book – simple!

This could be any book – fiction or non-fiction. It can be your favourite book or a new book you haven’t read before.

You could:

  • Take it in turns to read alternate pages, or alternate paragraphs
  • Listen to someone reading to you
  • Describe what you see in the pictures
  • Make a list of new words you have learned to read
  • Make a list of new facts you have learned
  • Make a list of new words that you have learnt the meaning of
  • Draw a picture from the book
  • Write a book review


Play the Shape Game

The rules of the shape game are very simple. The first player (this could be your mum or dad, or anybody!) quickly draws any abstract shape at random. Then the second player (you!) looks at it and transforms it into something recognisable. It could be anything – a face, a dinosaur or a fried egg! It could be a doodle or a piece of fine art. The wonderful thing about the shape game is that anyone with a little bit of imagination can join in. You don’t have to be good at drawing to play and transform a shape. Just use your imagination, be creative and have fun!

Write a story from an extract from a novel

A good idea to start off a story is to choose an opening paragraph or an extract from a book. It could be from one you know or from an unfamiliar book. Write your own story using the opener or extract you have chosen. Remember to tell your own story, not the story you know.

Here are some examples of openers for you to try from well-known books.

Do you know which books these openers come from? Google them and find out! They all make great openers for a story.

1.While leading the way upstairs, the woman recommended that I should hide the candle, and not make a noise; for her master had an odd notion about the chamber she would put me in, and never let anybody lodge there willingly.

I asked the reason.

She did not know, she answered: she had only lived there a year or two: and there had been so many curious goings on, she could not begin to be curious.

2.It was already one in the morning: the rain pattered dismally against the panes and my candle was nearly burned out when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open: it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.

3.Have you ever wondered what it would be like to have a million pounds?

Or a billion?

How about a trillion?

Or even a gazillion?

Meet Joe Spud.

4.It was seven minutes after midnight. The dog was lying on the grass in the middle of the lawn in front of Mrs Shear’s house. Its eyes were closed. It looked as if it was running on its side, the way dogs run when they think they are chasing a cat in a dream. But the dog was not running or asleep. The dog was dead.

Write a list poem

List poems are a great way to organise your thoughts and ideas into a poem. Poems don’t need to be difficult to write – poems can be great fun! Have a go and see for yourself.

Here’s an example of a list poem: -

In a naughty kid's Pocket
Alan Gibbons

In a naughty kid's pocket
you might find:
chewing gum
(at least three days old),
a burnt match,
a chewed bus ticket,
a felt tip pen,
a toenail,
a blood stain,
the teacher's patience,
a lock of blond hair,
a mouse
- dead obviously,
my pocket money.
That's what you'd
find in my brother's pocket.

You could write your own version of this title or come up with variations on it – for example, things you might find in my hospital room, things that make me angry, things that make me happy etc.

Write an acrostic poem

Acrostic poems are another clever way to write a super poem. You can write an acrostic poem about anything! Just choose a word and use each letter in the word as the first letter of a word, phrase or sentence related to your subject word. If that sounds a bit complicated, have a look at these examples and you will be able to see what to do: -

Identify the features of a newspaper

All you need for this activity is any newspaper and a pen!

Go through the newspaper and mark as many of the following features as you can: -

  • Name of the newspaper
  • Headline The title of the story- designed to summarise the story and grab the reader's attention.
  • Subtitle Gives a bit more information about what the report is about
  • Reporter’s name – called the byline This is the journalist who has written the report
  • An introductory paragraph This should contain the 5 Ws (what where when who why)
  • Pictures with captions Captions explain more about the picture
  • Direct and reported speech This means what someone said and will be found with quotation marks or speech marks

You could draw an arrow to each feature you find or draw a circle around them. Write next to each feature what you think it is. If you have felt tip pens you could use a different colour for each feature – so for example, underline all the headlines in red, all the subtitles in blue etc.

Science Ideas!

Investigate which materials and shapes float best

You could do this in a hand washing bowl on your over bed table. Collect some objects from around your room – you could ask someone else to choose them for you or select them yourself. Make a prediction before you test each object – do you think it will float or sink? Then test each object out separately, observing each for some time.

  • Do some objects float first and then sink? Why?
  • Why do the floaters float? Could they be made to sink? How?
  • Do all woods float?
  • Do all metals sink?
  • What makes an object float? Weight? Shape? What it is made from? Does it have to contain some air?
  • If you have plasticine try making a shape from it that will float

Explore coat hanger sounds

For this you will need a metal coat hanger and some cotton.

Put the metal coat hanger to your ear – can you hear anything? Do you think a metal coat hanger could make a noise??

  • Can you make a sound with the coat hanger? Try hitting it against objects. Does it make a sound now?
  • Attach a piece of cotton to the coat hanger. Wrap the other end of the cotton around your finger and place your finger loosely in your outer ear. Let the coat hanger swing into objects such as table legs and chairs.
  • What can you hear?
  • Why do you think that coat hangers are quiet until they are attached to the string?
  • What does the string do?
  • Why does the coat hanger make such weird sounds?

Make a telephone

For this you will need two cartons, two matchsticks and some string.

  • Why do you use a telephone? How do you think they work?
  • Try making a telephone. Put a small hole in the bottom of each carton. Feed each end of a piece of string through the holes in the two cartons and tie it to a matchstick to prevent if falling out again.
  • Use the telephone to communicate with someone. One of you speak into a carton and the other one listen into the other carton. Can you hear what is being said?
  • You could try a three-way phone by tying another carton to the middle of the line.
  • How do you think the sound is travelling from one end of the telephone to the other?
  • What happens to the string?
  • Does the sound travel better when the string is tight or slack?
  • Does the thickness of the string make a difference?
  • Does the length of the string make a difference?

Explore shadows

For this you will need a lamp / torch / light and three objects that are the same but in small, medium and big size – three beakers or cups should be easy to find and work great.

  • Have you ever seen your shadow? What does it look like? What sort of days can you see your shadow best?
  • Looking at your objects, do you think they will make the same shadow? Why?
  • Can you make the three objects have a shadow?
  • Can you make the three objects’ shadows the same length?

Explore materials to see how stretchy they are

For this you will need three different pairs of socks / tights and something to use as a weight. This could be a rock, an orange, an apple, a can of beans, anything weighty!

  • Why do tights or socks need to stretch? Look at the ones you have – does any part of the tights / socks stretch most? Why do you think this is?
  • Which pair of tights / socks do you think will stretch the most? Why do you think this is?
  • Using the weight, how can you test your prediction?
  • What will you do to make your test fair?
  • How could you record your investigation?
  • If you were to do this investigation again, is there anything you would do differently?

Explore materials in your room

Which material do you think has been used most to make things in your room?

Look around your room for objects made from different materials. Try to include objects made from metal, fabric, rock, wood, plastic and glass.

  • Look at and feel all the objects
  • Put the materials into groups. Why have you grouped those together?
  • Which objects are made from wood, plastic, metal etc.?
  • Are all the wooden objects the same?
  • Are all the plastic objects the same shape?
  • Can you name the different fabrics? Which material has been used most to make things in this room?
  • Can you explain why this material has been used the most?
  • Would you have a different result in another room? Why?
  • How could you record your results?

Fun Games to test your brain!

Try some Alien Counting!

Use an alien form of counting for the day. Every time you say or use a number you must communicate using alien counting. For this you must use only signals.

  • Each time you pat your shoulders is one unit
  • Each time you click your fingers is one ten
  • Each time you pat your head is one hundred
  • Each time you clap is one thousand
  • So . . . 345 would be three pats on your head, four clicks of your fingers and five claps . . .
  • You can use this technique to create a number – can someone tell you what it is?
  • Ask someone to sign numbers for you to have a go at.
  • Try using your crossed arms to create a multiplication sign and sign calculations for someone to try. They have to answer using the alien technique! Ask them to sign out calculations for you to try.
  • Make up your own alien action for add and subtract signs and try signing out some addition and subtraction calculations.

Play ‘What’s the Question’

All you need for this is a partner to play with!

It’s very simple. Take it in turns to give your partner the answer to a question in your head. They have to guess what the question is!

Play the ‘Noun / Adjective Game’

Again, all you need is a partner. You can also play it with more than one person if you like.

  • The first person to go must think of a noun e.g. chair
  • The other / next person must think of an adjective that describes it e.g. brown
  • The other / next person must think of a noun that could be described by that adjective e.g. bear
  • And so on
  • You aren’t allowed to repeat a word
  • You can make it harder by banning all colours

Play ‘Mystery Numbers’

Play with a partner

  • With your partner decide the range
  • The first player must pick a number in their head. Decide with your partner before you start the range of numbers you are picking from e.g. numbers between 0 and 300
  • The other player must work out what the number in their partner’s head is by asking questions about it.
  • You get seven questions to try and work it out
  • Be careful not to ‘waste’ a question! You will need to think about your questions and try to remember the answers!
  • Then swap and let the ‘guesser’ choose a number

First Letter – Last Letter

Play with a partner or with a few people

  • First player thinks of a word
  • The next player must think of a word that starts with the last letter of the previous word e.g. helpful – lovely – yoghurt
  • You could decide that dictionaries are allowed
  • To make it harder you could choose a subject area that all the words have to fit into e.g. farmyard animals or a word type e.g. adjectives (don’t choose adverbs because these all end in y!)

We are looking forward to hearing how you got on and we can’t wait to see you all again soon!!

Most importantly of all, have fun!!