St John's C of E Primary School

"Use your God-given gifts to serve others." 1 Peter 4: 10

Handa's surprise (Around the world)

Handa’s Surprise.

Still image for this video
Listen to the story all about Handa’s Surprise.
Where does Handa live?
How does it look different to where you live?
Have you tried any of the fruit in the story? Use your senses to describe the fruit.


Monday- Listen to stories from around the world - including: Handa's SurpriseThe Tiger’s Child and If The World Were a Village


Tuesday- Choose one of the above stories to share again. Ask your child to retell the story in their own words once they are familiar.


Wednesday- Follow the story All Are Welcome Here with your child. Discuss how your child’ school makes everybody feel welcome. 

Thursday- Play memory games, ‘I went to the market, I bought… The next person repeats the above sentence remembering the items bought already and adding a new one to the list each time. Use fruits like in Handa’s Surprise.   


Kims Game 

  • You can place the fruits on the table/floor. 

  • You might want to just start with 4 items first. 

  • Name the fruits a couple of times so your child can remember.  

  • Then use a blanket or tea towel to cover the fruits. 

  • Take one fruit to start with away without your child looking, see if they can remember the fruits and which fruit is missing. 

  • As they get better take more fruits away and also add to the amount you start with. 

Play a Kims game.

Friday- ​Choose a favourite Nursery Rhyme and sing / act it out. We really love the Makaton Nursery Rhymes in our Nursery Rhymes webpage. 


ADDITIONAL CHALLENGE: Practise reading the tricky words: into, he, she, me, we, be, you, are, they, my all, her. Look at newspapers, magazines or leaflets together and circle these words with a felt tip pen or highlighter.   

Hide the toy under the tricky word, then ask your child to find the right word to reveal the toy.

Tricky word, word search.


Monday- Watch this video to support counting back from 10. CHALLENGE: ​Ask your child to start at 10 and take away 1. Repeat this until they get to zero. Do they recognise the amount is getting smaller?  

Counting back from 10.

counting down from 10

Tuesday- Generate your own subtraction number stories. Use real life objects at home to show this e.g. ‘I have 4 bananas. I eat one. How many are left?  

Make your own number stories.

Wednesday- Use a teddy and count backwards making deliberate mistakes. Can your child spot the mistakes? Mistakes can include omitted numbers, repeated numbers or a number in the wrong place. CHALLENGE: Ask your child to spot the mistake when the numbers are written down

counting stones.

Can you put the numbers in the right order?

Thursday (theme)- Look at these pictures of flags from around the world with your child. Can they spot any shapes in the flags and can they name them?   

What shapes can you make?

Go on a shape hunt.

Improving your child's fine motor and gross motor skills

There are several fun ways you can work with your child on his or her fine motor skills and gross motor skills.

Friday- Use the tens frames (here) to subtract/take away numbers. CHALLENGE: Ask your child to write the accompanying number sentence e.g. 10-1= 9.   

MONDAY - Sprinkles Challenge - kids fine motor activity

You can create any type of shape or picture with the tape in the tray.
You can also use other ingredients or materials to sweep up.

TUESDAY - Straws, pasta and playdough activity - easy kids activity - fine motor preschool activity

Straws, pasta and playdough💡age 3-5 💡Great activity to improve fine motor skills, colors and counting. You need straws, playdough and rigatoni pasta.

WEDNESDAY - Fine Motor and creativity

Create different patterns on strips of coloured paper for your child to cut along.

Use the pieces of paper to create a beautiful picture. You could make a collage or use the different shapes to make a picture of a place or person. 



THURSDAY - Gross Motor Skills and Handwriting

Get physical to improve your child's writing development!

Gross motor


See if you can sweep up items on to an area on the floor.





Monday- Encourage your child to look at the food in your kitchen and find out what countries some of it comes from. Search on a map for those countries. Help your child to trace the letter with which the name of those countries start. 

Tuesday- After listening to the story Handa’s Surprise, ask your child to name anddraw different fruits that they know. Label them using describing words. 

Wednesday- Ask your child to play in role as Handa from Handa’s Surprise. Ask​  them questions and they must answer as Handa e.g. ‘Handa, what is your favourite fruit?’ They might answer by saying ‘My favourite fruit is tangerines. I was very excited to find lots of them’.  

Thursday- Your child can draw a picture of a suitcase and all the things they might take on holiday. CHALLENGE: Ask your child to label the items.


Friday- Ask your child to pretend they are on holiday. Get them to make a postcard to send to someone at home. Ask your child to draw a picture of what they are doing on holiday. Can they make a list of what they are doing? 



LETTER CHALLENGE: Ask your child if they can think of a fruit or vegetable for each letter of the alphabet i.e. a=apple, b=banana. 


VOICE SOUND CHALLENGE: Sound Lotto - Record your child using their voices to make suitable sounds for simple pictures / objects (e.g. of animals, a steam train, a doorbell, a clock). Ask them to listen to the recording later and match each sound to a picture.

Tuesday- VOICE SOUND CHALLENGE: Give me a sound After making a sound with your voice, talk about the ‘features’ of the sound with your child – was it a long sound, a loud sound, did it change from high to low, etc.? Introduce vocabulary gradually with examples and visual cues (e.g. symbols and pictures).Then introduce new vocabulary to help them describe the sound (e.g. to talk about high and low pitch).

Wednesday- VOICE SOUND CHALLENGE: Sound story time Discuss how we can use our voices to add sounds to stories such as Bear Hunt, Chicken Licken or The Three Billy Goats Gruff. Repeat favourite rhymes and poems in different voices together (e.g. whispering, growling, shouting, squeaking) and discuss the differences.

Thursday- VOICE SOUND CHALLENGE: Watch my sounds Provide small mirrors for your child to observe their faces, lips, teeth and tongue as they make different speech sounds and experiment with their voices. Make a home-made megaphone (for example by using card to make a cone shape) outside so the children can experiment with different speech sounds and their volume.


LETTER CHALLENGE: Splat the Letter- Write out the letters for the sounds your child has been practising on pieces of paper and spread out on the floor (e.g the letters in their name or S, A, T, P, I, N). Take it in turns to shout out a sound and both players have to try and splat the sound with their hand.

Friday-  VOICE SOUNDS CHALLENGE: Animal noises Provide simple animal masks, and tails if possible, to encourage the children to dramatise animal movements and sounds.


LETTER CHALLENGE: List countries from around the world e.g. Spain, Peru. Ask your child to identify the initial sound each country begins with e.g P for Peru. Can they identify other sounds e.g. S-p-ai-n?


We also recommend doing Read Write Inc Set 1 sounds

sessions (if your child is ready). Please take a look at our Read Write Inc Phonics page if you’d like to find our more.


We think Mr Thorne’s alphabet series is a fun way to introduce letter sounds (phonemes) too.


LEARNING PROJECT - to be done over the week

The project this week aims to provide opportunities for your child to learn more about countries and cities around the world. Learning may focus on different cultures and traditions, famous landmarks, food and clothing. 



  • Look at flags from around the world. Discuss which are your child’s favourites and why? Ask your child to design and make their own flag using​            2d shapes.   


Food Tasting

  • Find some different foods/fruits from around the world and taste each one. These might include: pizza (Italy), curry (India) and taco (Mexican) or the fruits from the story Handa's Surprise. Your child can create a chart putting a tick next to each food they like and a cross next to the foods they dislike over the course of the week. 


Pleasing Puppets

  • Make your own Handa’s Surprise character puppet. Click here for more ideas. 


Toys from Around the World

  • Look at this photography project of children with their toys from around the world. Discuss how life is the same and how life is different in other​       countries. Can your child draw their favourite toy and write a sentence explaining why this is their favourite? 


Where in the World? 

  • Discuss with your child where your family comes from in the world. If you have them available, show your child photographs of where you, or their grandparents, grew up. This might be similar to where they live now or completely different. Encourage your child to think about the differences between the places.          


The change that Covid-19 has caused to our lives has been difficult and has provided countless challenges. For many children, the uncertainty and disruption to everyday life has caused worry and anxiety. These tasks are designed to help children process the current situation, begin to make sense of it and plan for returning to a different normal. 



  • We are experiencing an unusual time and your child probably has lots of questions about the changes to their life. The book ‘Staying Home  is a great starting point in answering many of the questions your child might have. ‘Good Days in Unusual Times offers child-friendly tips for coping with change.​     


  • Talk to your child about a skill they would like to develop or an activity they would like to complete during this extra time at home. Together, create a plan of when and how this could be achieved. This could be illustrated on a weekly timetable or added to your family calendar. 


  • Go on a Rainbow Walk together. Ask your child to identify things that are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, pink, brown and black.  


  • This document from Emerging Minds offers evidence based advice for anyone supporting children and young people with their worries.


Engineering Around the World – Bridges

  • A bridge helps people move over obstacles like a river, a valley or a busy road.  The world’s longest bridge is in China and is 164.8km long. It would take more than two days to walk the length of this bridge. Do you have any bridges near your home?  What do they look like?
  • Try building a bridge out of paper, Lego or any other building materials you might have at home.  Your bridge needs to be big enough for a toy car or small toy to travel over.

Additional learning resources parents may wish to engage with

White Rose Maths online maths lessons. Watch a lesson video and complete the worksheet (can be downloaded and completed digitally).

Numbots. Your child can access this programme with their school login. 

Talk for Writing Home-school Booklets are an excellent resource to support your child’s speaking and listening, reading and writing skills.​