Activities for World Calligraphy Day

It’s World Calligraphy Day on Wednesday 16th August. The aim of this day is to get more people interested in the ancient and beautiful art of calligraphy!

Calligraphy dates back thousands of years, and it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly where it started. In ancient Egypt, hieroglyphics were a form of early calligraphy, dating back to around 3000 BC. China and the Middle East also have evidence of skilled brushwork dating back centuries.

Here in the UK, calligraphy gained prominence in the Middle Ages when scribes and monks skillfully adorned manuscripts and religious texts.  It’s a form of artistic expression and communication that continues to be popular today.

So, why might your children want to learn calligraphy? Let’s talk about the skills calligraphy develops and how you can encourage your child to get started.

Why learn calligraphy?

There are lots of reasons to learn calligraphy. Here are just a few:

Artistic expression

Calligraphy is a way for children to express themselves creatively. With a wide range of styles and techniques, they can develop a unique writing style and create visually stunning pieces.

Mindfulness and relaxation

Practising calligraphy can be a meditative and calming activity. Focusing on precise strokes and letterforms can help children clear their minds, and it reduces stress and promotes relaxation.

Handwriting and fine motor skills

Careful attention to forming letters and making consistent brush strokes can improve handwriting and develop fine motor skills. Having good fine motor skills is fundamental for performing everyday tasks. Plus, it’s important for playing musical instruments, drawing, painting and more

Attention to detail

Calligraphy demands precision and attention to detail. These are life skills that people need to succeed in most careers, whether it’s manufacturing, engineering, healthcare or another profession. In many roles, even small errors can lead to significant consequences.

Patience and discipline

Achieving mastery in calligraphy takes time and patience, which develops discipline, persistence, and the ability to stay with a task even when it’s difficult.

Creative expression

In a digital age, hand-lettered calligraphy brings a unique touch and makes gifts, cards and invitations more meaningful. With calligraphy skills children can create personalised journals, beautiful, handcrafted gifts and bring an artistic touch to their projects.

Career opportunities

Calligraphy skills can open up opportunities in various fields such as graphic design, typography, wedding and event planning and freelance artistry.

Cultural and historical appreciation

Learning calligraphy makes children part of an ancient tradition. They can look into the history of different writing systems and gain insight into diverse cultures and artistic heritages.

What materials do you need to get started?

You don’t need any special calligraphy tools to celebrate World Calligraphy Day.

Your child can use pencils and ballpoint pens for faux calligraphy, brush pens and Crayola markers for modern calligraphy, pointed pens and broad-edge pens for traditional calligraphy, or even an Apple pencil for digital lettering.

There’s no need to buy special inks and nibs unless you want to!

Activities for World Calligraphy Day

Here are some easy activities for beginners:

  • Practise hand lettering

Technically hand lettering isn’t calligraphy, but it is about creating beautiful letters. All your child needs is paper and a pen or pencil. Watch this tutorial for instructions.

  • Try a free online class

Here’s a free one-week calligraphy course from Teachable with easy-to-follow instructions. If your child is more interested in Ipad calligraphy, this beginner’s course is perfect!

  • Create embossed lettering

This activity does require special tools, and it’s only suitable for older children with adult supervision. The effects children can create are stunning though. Here’s how to get started with basic embossing.

  • Have a go at ribbon lettering

Ribbon lettering is great fun and all you’ll need is a marker and a ballpoint pen. Check out this ribbon lettering tutorial.

  • Create stretchy letters

This is a fun activity involving stretching parts of letters to create artistic effects. All your child needs is a pen!

Here’s how they can create their own stretchy letters.

Take it further by experimenting with different types of calligraphy

If your child enjoys these activities, they may want to take their interest further.

There are three different types of calligraphy they can explore – Western, Eastern and Arabic or Islamic. Each one has distinct characteristics and uses different tools.

Western calligraphy is the mysterious, dark writing you see on treasure maps. Eastern calligraphy is the beautiful strokes that make up Chinese writing, and Arabic calligraphy brings to mind the Arabian Nights.

Every style of calligraphy conjures its own magic. Your child can experiment with calligraphy that captures their imagination to create their own unique artwork.

TutorMyKids – dedicated to inspiring your child

We hope these activities for World Calligraphy Day keep your child busy, especially on wet days during the long school holiday. For more ideas to keep your child occupied, see 10 equipment free outdoor games for summer family fun.

At TutorMyKids we are committed to teaching children knowledge and skills through immersive, enjoyable activities. We offer tutoring in English, maths, science and humanities to children in Cambridgeshire.

Would you like to find out more? Please contact

How to help if your child dreads sports day

Some children look forward to sports day, while others dread it for months. If your child doesn’t like sports day read on as we discuss how you can help them.

Why do some children dread sports day?

If your child doesn’t like sports day they’re not alone. There are many reasons why children worry about sports day, and it can be a combination of several reasons, including:

  • Lack of interest. Not all children enjoy sports or physical activities. Some children prefer reading, arts, or other activities.
  • Pressure to perform. Sports day often involves competitions and races which creates pressure to perform well. Many children fear failure or judgement from peers or teachers.
  • Physical limitations. Health conditions or physical limitations can make it challenging to engage in certain sports. A child might feel discouraged or left out if they cannot participate fully or perform at the same level as their peers.
  • Fatigue or discomfort. The physical exertion of sports day can be tiring for some children. If the event is held in extreme weather conditions or there aren’t adequate breaks and opportunities to drink it can contribute to a negative experience.
  • Negative past experiences. If a child has had negative experiences related to sports, such as being teased, bullied, or embarrassed during previous sports days, they may understandably develop a dislike towards it.
  • Lack of skill development. Children who struggle with sports or have not had opportunities to develop their skills may feel inadequate when compared to their peers. This can lead to feelings of frustration, embarrassment, or disinterest.

How can you help your child?

If you can find out from your child the reasons they dislike sports day you can start to find ways to support them. 

Lack of interest

If your child isn’t interested in sports day, it might be because they cannot see the point of it. You could discuss the benefits of staying active and the positive effects it can have on their physical and mental health.

Maybe your child hasn’t yet found a sport they enjoy because schools usually introduce children to just a few sports. There are so many different sports that there’s usually something a child will enjoy.  Perhaps your child could try a few taster sessions at local clubs? If they find a sport they like this will help them develop a positive attitude towards sports day, even if the sport they enjoy isn’t included.

Pressure to perform

Is your child worried about coming last in a race, or not living up to high expectations? These worries can manifest in many ways. Your child may be irritable, have difficulty sleeping or just seem restless in themselves.

It is important to focus on personal progress and effort rather than results. You could help your child to understand that feeling nervous is normal, and even sports stars feel anxious before an event. This post from Very Well Family has some excellent advice about how to manage performance anxiety.

Physical limitations

Talk to your child’s teacher if your child has physical limitations that are preventing them from enjoying sports day and getting the most from it.

The teacher could adapt activities and promote cooperative activities where teamwork and collaboration are emphasized over individual performance. They could empower your child by asking them to help plan sports day by giving their own ideas for activities. Planning sports day could be a whole class activity, so everybody is involved.

Fatigue or discomfort

Talk to your child’s teacher about how they find sports day uncomfortable. The teacher could ensure there are plenty of breaks and that children have enough time and opportunities to eat and drink. Activities that require less exertion could be sandwiched between activities of higher intensity.

It is advisable to consult your child’s doctor if fatigue and discomfort are stopping them from enjoying normal activities.

Negative past experiences

Competitive sports days have advantages. Some people argue competition helps children overcome a fear of failure and build resilience. In life, there are times when we win and times when we lose, so we all need to learn strategies to manage.

However, when a child continually comes last on sports day, or they are bullied and teased it has a damaging effect. Sports psychologist, Amanda Hills says, “Any sports day needs to be fun…Because children will remember any positive or negative feelings to do with sport…it could put them off doing sport until their 20s.”

Schools have different ideas about the value of competitive sports, but they have a duty of care to ensure your child is safe and feels valued.

Encourage your child to be open and honest about their feelings. Consider talking to your child’s teacher with your child. There are plenty of steps teachers can take to foster team spirit and empathy amongst the children in their class. If your child is being bullied, the school has a legal duty to take measures to stop it.

Lack of skill development

Fun, enjoyment, and plenty of practice are the keys to sports skill development. Ask your child’s teacher what your child particularly struggles with and practice at home. Have a look at these ideas of how to improve children’s hand eye coordination.

Everyday activities like garden games, taking a frisbee to the park, and playing on equipment in the park all help children to develop strength and hand eye coordination. Does your child enjoy playing or watching football? If so, have a look at our football activities for all the family.

You could find out if your child’s school runs intervention programs to support children with fine and gross motor skills, and enroll your child in an afterschool clubs that involves physical activity.

Build your child’s confidence with TutorMyKids

Confidence and self-belief are the foundation of achievement in sports and all subjects. Our tutors know that when a child believes they are capable of success this greatly increases their chances of success.

We offer one-to-one tuition in English, maths, science and humanities to children in and around Cambridgeshire. Let us help build your child’s self-esteem and foster a ‘can do’ attitude that permeates every aspect of their life.

Please email

How to prepare a child for transition

September is a time of change for children, whether they are transitioning to a new class or preparing to start a new school. For many children and parents, transitions cause worry and stress. Here we talk about how to prepare a child for transition. There is plenty you can do at home to help your child survive and thrive.

How is your child feeling?

Every child is different, and so is the way they react to change. Personality, age, and prior experience all affect how children feel about transitions.

Children may feel nervous particularly if they are starting a new school. They might worry about making new friends, finding their way around or meeting academic expectations.

Nervousness manifests itself in different ways. Your child might be more irritable or sensitive than usual. They might have difficulty sleeping, cling to you more or just seem restless and distracted.

It is important to reassure your child that being nervous about change is normal. Everybody worries about change to a greater or lesser extent. However, there’s a big difference between stress caused by normal life events and anxiety.

If you are concerned your child is suffering from anxiety, it is important to ask for support from your child’s GP or school.

Is your school mixing classes next year?

If your child has a solid friendship group and you have been told classes will be split and mixed next year, you may be feeling understandably apprehensive.  As a parent you want your child to be happy at school. Be reassured that your child’s headteacher also wants your child to be happy because they know happy children learn best!

These are some reasons why your child’s school may have decided to mix classes:

  • Rebalancing gender. By mixing classes schools can work towards creating a more balanced learning environment in terms of gender representation. This helps break down gender stereotypes and promotes gender equality.
  • Rebalancing ability. Mixing classes can provide opportunities for children with varying abilities to learn from each other and support each other. For example, a child who exceeds expectations in all academic subjects might benefit from collaborating with children who have advanced social, artistic or sports skills.
  • Rebalancing personalities. Changing the mix of personalities in a class can mean children can concentrate better and there is less disruption in class.
  • Broadening social interaction. Mixing classes provides an invaluable opportunity for children to make new friends which is beneficial for their personal growth and future interactions in a diverse society. It’s especially beneficial if they will soon move on to secondary school.
  • Increased choice of friends. Children can be reassured that they will still see their existing friends, even if they are in a different class. Classes usually mix during playtimes, and other times during the school day such as PE. As well as maintaining existing friendships, children will have the opportunity to explore friendships with other like-minded people they would not otherwise have met.

How can you prepare your child if their class is going to be mixed?

Although the rationale behind mixing classes is sound, it can lead to feelings of isolation and sadness for some children as they take time to adjust to new social dynamics.

To prepare your child over the summer, you could arrange playdates with old friends and perhaps one or two children who will be in their new class next year. Summer camps and extracurricular activities are also brilliant for giving children the confidence that they have the skills to make new friends.

You could reassure your child that they have made new friends before by asking them to recall a time they successfully met and played with someone new.

If you are very concerned about your child, speak to their teacher who can take extra steps to support them. For example, your child may be able to spend one-to-one time with their new teacher or extra time visiting their new classroom.

How to prepare a child for transition – top tips

Here are some tried and tested tips for supporting your child through transition:

Start a conversation

Choose an appropriate time and setting to talk to your child. Find a quiet, comfortable space where you can have a focussed conversation. Pick a time when you are both relaxed, not rushed and won’t be interrupted.

Ask open-ended questions to start a conversation. Encourage your child to express their thoughts. For example, ‘How do you feel about starting a new school?’ or ‘What are some things you are excited about?’

Listen carefully to your child. Let them know that it’s normal to feel a mix of emotions about transition. Acknowledge any worries or anxieties they have and assure them their feelings are understood. Reassure them you are there to support them through any challenges they face.

Share information

Children (and adults) often fear change because they don’t know what to expect – it’s a fear of the unknown. So, address this fear through information.

If your child is starting a new school, you could look at the school website together to find out about the facilities, teachers, and activities. Answer your child’s questions honestly and provide positive reassurance about the transition.

Read books or watch films about transitions. This can help normalise the experience and provide your child with relatable stories or characters going through similar transitions.

For younger children we recommend, Topsy and Tim Start School. Children starting secondary school can benefit from reading No Worries: Your Guide to Starting Secondary School by Jenny Alexander. For more ideas, simply Google, ‘books about transition for x year olds’.

Share your own personal stories about coping with transitions to help your child feel understood and less alone. Talk about how you overcame challenges and adapted to new environments.

Involve your child in preparations

Engage your child in age-appropriate tasks related to the transition. This can include shopping for school supplies like a new backpack. By involving them in the process, they will feel a sense of control and ownership over the transition.

Be positive

Children often take cues from parents’ attitudes. Maintain a positive, optimistic outlook about the transition, highlighting the exciting opportunities and adventures that lie ahead. Talk about the potential for making new friends, exploring different subjects or activities, and experiencing new adventures.

Your positive attitude can help alleviate your child’s worries and set a supportive tone.

Let your child know they can always come to you with questions or concerns. Reassure them that the conversation is ongoing and that you are available to support them all the way through.

Back to school with TutorMyKids

Our tutors can give your child a confident, flying start to the new school year. If you start tutoring sessions now, they will become part of your child’s accepted, weekly routine.

All our tutors are qualified and experienced teachers who understand how to motivate individual children. We offer one-to-one tuition in English, maths, science and humanities in Cambridgeshire.

To discuss how we can support your child, please contact

Multiplication Tables Check – how to help your child

If your child is in Year 4, they will take a Multiplication Tables Check in June. The check is so teachers can identify any gaps in children’s learning and address them promptly.

But no matter what year your child is in at school, learning times tables is a very useful skill. Here we share why times tables are important, and how learning them can really be lots of fun!

Why is learning times tables useful?

The ability to recall times tables enables children to solve maths calculations faster and with greater ease.

Times tables lay the groundwork for understanding more advanced maths concepts because multiplication is interconnected with algebra, division, geometry, fractions, ratios and proportions.

Mastering times tables gives children a deeper understanding of mathematical patterns, so they understand the relationships between numbers. It means they can move on to solving more advanced mathematical problems without being slowed down by simple calculations.

Most importantly, times tables are relevant in everyday life. This includes calculating measurements, working out costs, discounts, and percentages. Whether we are cooking, doing DIY or working in science, engineering, finance or another field, being able to recall times tables at speed will always be helpful.

When helping your child to learn times tables, we suggest mixing things up with a variety of online games, offline games, songs and physical movement to keep them motivated.

Multiplication Tables Check online games

On the Maths Frame website, you will find a selection of online games to help your child prepare for the Multiplication Tables Check. It goes without saying that they’re great no matter what your child’s school year. is another fantastic website for online games. There are single-player games, multi-player games, and all the tables are covered. You could play against your child and try to beat them – good luck!

Topmarks has lots of free maths games to keep children aged 7-11 busy. This website has been around for a long time and it’s brilliant!

Learn times tables through songs

Singing times tables is a great way to learn them!  Here are some free resources your child could choose from, depending on their musical taste:

Kool Kidz Times Tables Songs

BBC Teach Times Table Collection

Times Table Pop Songs from Bosbury C of E Primary School

Print your own board games

These are some free, printable board games. All you need is a dice and a few counters (which you can make from pieces of card):


Maths Easily

First Tower School

Monks Abbey Primary School

Games to get children moving

Multiplication hopscotch

Draw a hopscotch grid on the ground with chalk or tape, with 12 squares in total. If you can’t remember what a hopscotch grid looks like do a quick search with Google Images.

Choose a times table to focus on and write the answers in random places in the squares. For instance, if you choose the five times table, the randomly dispersed numbers will be 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60.

To play, call out a times table question and ask your child to alternately hop and jump and then hop onto the correct answer. For example, if you call out 2 x 5, they must finish by standing on one leg on the number 10.  If they succeed, they get a point!

If you are playing with one child, they can aim to get as many points as they can in a set time, and perhaps try to beat their personal best. If there’s more than one child playing, they could compete against each other, if appropriate.

Multiplication relay

This game works well if you have an even number of players. You don’t need a large group – you can play with just two people running. To prepare the game, make times table flashcards with answers on the back.

The first person in each team runs to a marker and answers a question you show them on a flashcard. If they don’t give the correct answer, show them the right answer on the reverse of the card. Once they’ve given the correct answer they run back to their team and sit down. Then the next person is their team runs.

The first team with everybody sitting down wins.

Multiplication scavenger hunt

Choose a times table to focus on and write the answers on stickers which you affix to different objects. For example, if you’ve chosen the two times table you might stick 2 on a teddy bear, 4 on a toy car, 6 on a teaspoon and so on.

Hide the objects in different places around the house or garden.

Give your child a grid with times table questions written on it and a space next to the equals signs where they can draw the correct object. If you’ve chosen the two times table, the grid will say 1×2=, 2×2=, 3×2= etc.

Your child then finds each object and draws it next to the right question. So, if they find a teddy bear with 4 on it, they draw the teddy bear next to 2×2=

Multiplication target practice

Draw a target board on the ground with chalk (if you’re not sure, type ‘chalk target board’ into Google Images). You could either write answers to times tables in each section on the target board or questions.

Give your child a beanbag or a small stone which they can throw onto the correct target. For example, if you call out ‘4’ they throw the stone onto ‘2×2’ (or you might call out ‘2×2’ and they throw the stone on to the number 4).

You could award points for each correct answer and make the game competitive.

Would your child benefit from extra maths support?

Whether your child will be taking part in the Multiplication Tables Check this year or not, we hope they enjoy these times table games.

If your child lacks confidence in maths, our experienced, skilled maths tutors can help. Our tutors adjust their teaching strategies to suit each child’s interests and abilities to accelerate their progress.  

To discuss how we can help, please email

Dinosaur Day activities for all the family

The 1st of June is Dinosaur Day, which is a great opportunity for everyone to build their knowledge of the prehistoric creatures that capture all our imaginations.

We’re excited to share this list of fantastic (and local) dino days out, plus the best dinosaur-themed books, films, and activities to keep children busy not just on Dinosaur Day but all summer, whatever the weather brings!

Local days out with dinosaurs

Ely Museum

Discover prehistoric creatures that lived in Ely during the Jurassic period when the entire region was under the sea. You’ll find plesiosaurs, ammonites and much, much more.

During the school holidays, the museum sometimes runs themed activity days.

Fossils Galore!

This museum is a treasure trove of local fossils and ancient secrets. Here you will find an iguanodon, a giant Jurassic fish, and a woolly rhino skull – to name but a few!

Ipswich Museum

If you haven’t been to Ipswich Museum, it’s worth a trip. You will find the complete fossil of an Ichthyosaur – a species of marine dinosaur that’s been extinct for over 112 million years.

Natural History Museum

A relatively short train journey away, the Natural History Museum in London is the place that comes to mind when we think of dinosaurs. If you want to see Dippy, the famous diplodocus, he’s currently on tour around the country, so you’ll need to do a quick Google search.

Dippy or no Dippy, you’ll still find one of the most extensive collections of dinosaur fossils in the world here.


This is a dinosaur theme park just outside Norwich which is set in acres of stunning, natural woodland. There are more than 25 dinosaur themed attractions for children of all ages including a dinosaur walk, splash park, and indoor and outdoor play areas.

Sedgewick Museum of Earth Sciences

There’s an exciting collection of dinosaurs and other ancient fossils to discover here, including a Tyrannosaurus rex who is nicknamed ‘Stan’.

Although this isn’t dinosaur-related, it’s worth knowing that you can see Charles Darwin’s original species collections here too!

Dinosaur events this summer

Camping with Dinosaurs

14-20th August, Jimmy’s Farm, Norfolk

Would you like to be woken up in the morning by a dinosaur? Camp at Jimmy’s Farm and be greeted by a dinosaur every morning before exploring the farm.

Summer Saturday – Dinosaur Day

12th August, Newmarket Racecourse

Immerse yourself in the world of dinosaurs. Come face to face with some dinosaurs and join in with dinosaur-themed activities.

Books for Dinosaur Day and beyond

Under 8s

Dinosaur Roar!

Paul Stickland

This delightful picture book introduces young readers to different types of dinosaurs through fun, engaging rhymes. From the gentle Brontosaurus to the fearsome Tyrannosaurus rex, each dinosaur is brought to life with colourful illustrations that capture their distinct characteristics.

The Plesiosaur’s Neck

Dr Adam Smith and Jonathan Emmett

Why do Plesiosaurs have long necks? Perhaps you’ll find out in this wonderful picture book that encourages critical thinking. The underwater scenes are beautiful and capture children’s imaginations as they learn about this unique marine reptile.


Dinosaur Cove series

Rex Stone

The Dinosaur Cove series is an exciting collection of adventure books that transport readers back to a time where dinosaurs roamed.

The series follows the adventures of two young boys, Jamie and Tom, who discover a hidden portal that takes them to a prehistoric world. Each book explores a different dinosaur species and the challenges the boys face as they navigate their way through a dangerous and thrilling world.

The Secret Dinosaur series

N.S. Blackman

Marlin Maxton is a boy who discovers a secret, forgotten room in a museum that’s filled with metallic dinosaur models.

The dinosaur models, called Dinoteks, come to life, taking Marlin on a series of incredible adventures. The Dinoteks are being hunted down by their enemies – can Marlin save them?


Dinosaur Questions and Answers

Katie Daynes and Marie-Eve Tremblay

This colourful, lift-the-flap, questions and answers book is perfect for children of all ages. Most adults will also learn lots of facts about dinosaurs as they share this book!

The engaging style of presentation makes it easy for children to find the answers to their burning dinosaur-related questions. Information covers dinosaurs’ physical characteristics, behaviour, habitat, diet and other key information.

Answers are concise and clear, keeping children engaged so they want to find out more.

Teenagers and adults

If you’re looking for dinosaur-related fiction and non-fiction for teenagers and adults have a look at these reviews on BBC Science Focus.

Dinosaur Day films


Jurassic Park

A wealthy entrepreneur called John Hammond has genetically recreated dinosaurs and built a theme park on a remote island. To make sure the park is safe and profitable a group of visitors including a paleontologist, a paleobotanist, a mathematician and an accountant, are invited to inspect. John Hammond’s two grandchildren have also been invited to see the theme park for the first time.

When the park’s security systems fail and the dinosaurs break free, a thrilling and dangerous battle for survival begins. John Williams’ iconic and powerful musical score together with the awe-inspiring visuals transport us into this incredible world.

One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing!

The story is set in the Natural History Museum in the 1920s. A microfilm containing top-secret information is hidden inside a dinosaur skeleton which goes missing from the museum. A group of intrepid nannies, led by Miss Witherspoon, must retrieve the dinosaur and recover the microfilm before the evil Dr Hu gets hold of it.

This is a delightful, charming family film that combines comedy, adventure and fantasy.


Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures

Andy’s Dinosaur Adventures is a children’s television series that combines nonfiction with storytelling. The series follows Andy as he travels back in time to learn about different dinosaurs. Each episode focuses on a different dinosaur species.

Children are immersed in the world of dinosaurs by Andy’s lively presenting style and the element of danger. As Andy encounters obstacles, he must find creative solutions which encourages children to think critically and solve problems.

This is an excellent series to develop children’s interest in paleontology and the wonders of prehistoric life.

Dinosaurs: The Final Day

Presented by David Attenborough, this is about the day the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs hit Earth. There’s an astonishing amount of detail which is based on recent research.

Prehistoric Planet

Released in 2022, this documentary series from David Attenborough challenges many things we thought we knew about dinosaurs. Drawing on the very latest research, this is a must-watch for anyone who wants to know all they can about dinosaurs.

Walking with Dinosaurs/Planet Dinosaur

An older documentary series, Walking with Dinosaurs uses 3D animation to bring the world of dinosaurs to life. Take a look at some clips on the BBC website.

Planet Dinosaurs, which was broadcast in 2011, is another BBC documentary series which combines high-tech graphics with factual research to bring dinosaurs to life. Here are some fantastic clips.

Both documentary series are no longer available on IPlayer, but you can access them through other channels, or buy original DVDs.

Rainy day dinosaur activities

If you’re looking for dinosaur-themed arts and crafts to keep children of all ages entertained, these websites are packed with ideas:

Dinosaur Activites for Families (Natural History Museum)

23 Dinosaur Activities for Kids

45 Amazing Dinosaur Activities for Kids

Would your child benefit from one-to-one science tuition?

We hope you have enjoyed our Dinosaur Day suggestions. At TutorMyKids we are dedicated to supporting children and families in any way we can.

Whether your child is already fascinated by science, or they need help with tricky concepts, our friendly and highly qualified tutors can help them to reach their full potential.

To find out more, please contact our friendly team:

Can garden football games improve academic achievement?

It’s the Women’s FA Cup Final! Did you know there’s a strong link between physical activity, fresh air, having fun and academic achievement? Here we share some interesting evidence, plus some garden football games you can play with family and friends.

How can garden football games improve academic achievement?

There are many factors that impact academic achievement including getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet and having the right support at home. But here we focus on the positive effects of playing games outside in the fresh air with family and friends.

Taking exercise

Numerous studies link regular physical activity to academic achievement. A paper compiled by the Youth Sport Trust found that children who are physically active concentrate for longer and show higher levels of attainment.

Research published by the National Academy of Sciences shows the same findings. They also discovered that mathematics and literacy are the subjects most improved when children take more physical exercise.

Physical activity has a positive effect on mental health. Regular exercise reduces stress and anxiety, improves mood and increases self-esteem, all of which have a positive impact on academic achievement.

So, how much physical exercise is enough?

It’s recommended that children aged 6-17 get at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day!

Getting plenty of fresh air

There is a growing body of evidence that shows getting fresh air, especially when combined with physical activity, has numerous benefits for the body and brain.

A study published by Sue Waite at Plymouth University found that four out of five parents believed camping positively effected their child’s school education.

Spending time outside increases children’s intake of vitamin D which is neuroprotective. Plus, being outside means they breathe more oxygen, and 20% of the oxygen we breathe is used for brain function. Spending time outside means they can focus better and think more clearly.

Also, did you know the more oxygen we breathe the more serotonin the brain releases?

Seratonin is a neurotransmitter that makes us feel happy, relaxed and refreshed – all of which affects academic achievement.

Having lots of fun

Having fun is really good for us! It reduces the stress hormone cortisol, boosts the immune system, improves cardiovascular health and releases feel-good endorphins. All these factors have a significant, positive impact on mental and physical health.

We all believe that happier, healthier children learn better and a wealth of studies confirm this is true.

Garden football games

You can play these games with two people, four people or more. All that’s important is getting outside, having exercise and lots of fun.

Touch football

Divide your group into two teams and decide how long the game will be (20 or 30 minutes perhaps?). Make a goal at each end of the garden – use anything you can find as goal markers.

Just like football, the aim is for each team to score goals with a football and to stop the other team from doing so.  But, unlike football, there are no goal keepers.

To stop a player scoring a goal a member of the other team must touch them (instead of tackling them). Once a player has been touched, they drop the ball and stop running.

The team that scores the most goals in the time wins!

Flag football

This is exactly the same as touch football except each player wears a belt with two flags attached to it. To stop play, the defender must remove one of the flags from the ball carrier’s belt.

Handkerchiefs, dishcloths or scraps of fabric can be used for flags.

Family scrimmage

Divide your group into two teams and decide how long the game will be. The aim of the game is for each team to score goals with a ball (and stop each other from scoring goals) just like football.

Unlike football, you don’t need goalkeepers. Also, the ball can be passed between players by handing or throwing the ball to each other as well as kicking it.

One team can stop the other from passing the ball and scoring goals by tackling, just like football.

When a team scores a goal, they earn 6 points. The team with the most points by the end of the game wins.

Obstacle course

Make a football obstacle course using anything you have in the garden, shed or house (flowerpots, skipping ropes, plastic trucks, buckets etc).

Have fun passing, dribbling and shooting a football to complete the course.

You could use a timer to see who can complete the course in the fastest time.


How many times can you keep a football in the air without letting in touch the ground? Take turns to keep score!

Accuracy challenge

Set up a target like a hula hoop, target board or a bucket a reasonable distance away. Divide the group into two teams.

One person from team A tries to kick the ball to the target. Someone from team B stands between the person and the target and tries to stop the ball from reaching the target by using their foot. It’s a bit like piggy in the middle.

If the person from team A scores, they get a point for their team. They have three attempts to score.

Switch players until everyone has had a turn at scoring and stopping.

The team with the most points wins the game.

Our tutors believe learning should be active and enjoyable

We hope you’ve enjoyed our garden game ideas. At Tutormykids we strongly believe that learning should be active and fun. All our tutors are qualified teachers who are dedicated to motivating children and igniting a love of learning that lasts a lifetime.

We offer home tuition in English, maths, sciences, humanities and languages to children in Cambridge, Ely, Huntingdon, Newmarket and the surrounding areas. Please get in touch for a chat:

Let’s celebrate World Bee Day!

Did you know Saturday 20th May is World Bee Day? The aim is to raise awareness about the essential role bees play in our ecosystems, agriculture and food production. It’s about promoting the conservation and protection of bees and thinking about what we can all do to help.

Here we share some fascinating and little-known facts about bees, plus the practical ways we can all help these important pollinators.

Are bees in trouble and why does it matter?

Bee numbers around the world are plummeting. This is due to a combination of factors including habitat loss, climate change, pesticide use, disease, pests and intensive agricultural practices.

The sharp decline in bee populations has far-reaching consequences for the environment, animals and people. They are one of the most effective pollinators in nature and they are responsible for pollinating a significant portion of the world’s crops. Without bees many fruits, nuts, vegetables and seeds we rely on for food cannot grow.

Bees also play an essential role in maintaining the diversity and health of ecosystems. They help pollinate wildflowers which provides food for animals. They contribute to soil health by transferring nutrients from flowers to the soil through their excrement.

To help your child understand the importance of bees, you could watch this short film from BBC Newsround.

Amazing bee facts for World Bee Day

Here are 10 fascinating, little-known facts about bees. Can your child find more facts on the internet and from library books? Perhaps they could make their own little book about bees to share at school?

Do bees die when they sting you?

It depends on the type of bee. Honeybees have barbed stingers, which can become embedded in our skin when they sting. If the honeybee can’t remove its stinger and tears its own abdomen, it will die.

Other types of bees like bumblebees and most species of solitary bees have smooth stingers which can be used repeatedly without causing the bee’s death.

Remember, bees only sting when they feel threatened. If you encounter a bee, it’s best to stay calm and move away slowly rather than swatting at it. Swatting at it can make it feel threatened and more likely to sting.

Can bees fly in the rain?

Yes, bees can fly in the rain, but they prefer not to because it stops them flying so well. They are incredibly resilient creatures.

Do bees fly fast?

Yes! Bumblebees and Yellow Jackets can fly up to 30mph – that’s as fast as most people cycle downhill. Other types of bees reach speeds of up to 25mph.

Do bees recognize individual human faces?

Incredibly, the answer is yes. Bees have the ability to recognize individual human faces, which is a remarkable feat for a tiny insect. Anyone tempted to swat a bee would do well to remember that!

Can bees dance?

They can! Bees dance as a way of communicating with each other. When a bee discovers a new source of food it will return to the hive and perform a ‘waggle dance’ to tell the other bees where food is located.

Can bees do maths?

Studies have shown that bees are brilliant mathematicians. They can solve maths problems relating to arithmetic and they understand symmetry, patterns, shapes and distances. They need this ability to navigate and communicate the location of food sources to each other.

Can bees get drunk?

Bees have been known to get drunk on fermented nectar, which can affect their ability to fly and navigate.

Do bees have a favourite colour?

Bees are attracted to blue and violet flowers more than any other colour. That’s because blue and violet flowers contain the most nectar.

Do bees have knees?

We’ve all heard the expression, “You’re the bee’s knees”. But do bees really have knees?

Bees don’t have knees like humans, but their legs are divided into segments that allow them to move and bend in a way that is similar to a knee.

Do bees have two eyes?

Bees actually have five eyes. Their visual system enables them to find food, communicate with each other and navigate with absolute precision.

How can you help bees?

There are a few things you can do at home to help bees:

  1. Plant bee-friendly flowers. Whether you have a garden or window boxes you can help the bees. Bee-friendly flowers include lavender, sunflowers, wildflowers, and herbs like thyme and rosemary.
  2. Provide a water source. Bees need water to keep themselves hydrated. Providing a shallow dish of water with some rocks or twigs for them to land on can help.
  3. Make a bee house. Making a bee house provides bees with a safe, sheltered place to lay their eggs and raise their young. There are lots of instructions available on the internet, but here’s a very easy guide.
  4. Avoid using pesticides that are harmful to bees and look for natural alternatives.
  5. Support your local beekeepers. Buying local honey is a great way to support bee populations. Farmers markets, farm shops and delicatessens often sell local honey. You can also buy it online.
  6. Support bee conservation societies. Bee conservation societies are actively engaged in research, education and outreach efforts to protect bees and other pollinators. Use the internet to find societies based on your area or consider supporting the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.

Did your child enjoy World Bee Day?

Does your child love science and nature? Whether they want to extend their interest or they need extra support, our experienced science tutors can help.

To find out more about one-to-one science tuition please email

How to revise for your GCSEs

Would you like to know how to revise for your GCSEs? You may think you have a mountain to climb, but with the right strategies, revising can be manageable and even enjoyable.

How to revise for your GCSEs – top tips

  1. Eat a balanced diet

Eating a balanced diet improves your concentration and memory. Healthy eating can also reduce stress and anxiety and boost your energy levels and immune system.

Foods like blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, eggs, oily fish, nuts and wholegrains are particularly beneficial to brain function and mental health.

Although it’s tempting, avoid sugary, processed foods when you’re revising. These foods give you a short-term lift, but your energy levels will crash quickly lowering your mood and motivation.

2. Keep hydrated

Aim to drink 6-8 cups of fluid a day.

Drinking enough can help improve concentration and focus, making your revision more productive. Staying hydrated reduces fatigue and headaches and keeps your energy levels up.

This doesn’t mean you need to stick to drinking water. Herbal teas, diluted fruit juices and other non-alcoholic drinks also count. Try to steer away from sugary drinks, however (see above).

3. Aim to get plenty of sleep

Getting plenty of sleep (around 8 hours a night) is important for academic success. When you’re well rested you are better able to concentrate and focus on your revision.

Sleep is vital for memory consolidation and reducing stress so you keep a positive mindset. It’s also vital for your physical health – you don’t want to become ill during exam season if you can help it!

Having said all this, don’t obsess about sleep. Worrying about getting enough sleep is counterproductive. Just do what you can to help your body wind down at bedtime.

Try to go to bed and get up around the same time each day, avoid caffeine and screen time before bed and create a relaxing bedtime routine.

4. Start revising early

It’s best to start revising a few months before your exams. Last minute cramming can be stressful and less effective. It’s better to have a consistent, sustained approach to revision over time.

Starting early means you can manage your time better. When you identify areas you find challenging, you have time to seek help and practice. You also have time to reinforce your knowledge and understanding so you can approach exams with confidence.

5. Draw up a revision timetable

Be realistic with your revision timetable. Make sure it’s flexible so that if you need more time to revise a particular topic, you can.

It’s very important to leave time for breaks and relaxation. Most people can only concentrate for 20 minutes, so aim to take a 5–10-minute break every 20 minutes.

Regularly review your progress and change your revision timetable as needed. This will help you stay on track and ensure you cover everything in time for your exams.

6. Set mini goals

Setting mini goals in your revision timetable helps you stay motivated.

Mini goals should be specific. For example, ‘revise pages 5-10 of the history textbook’ is more specific than ‘revise history’.

Be realistic with your goals. Setting huge, unrealistic goals can be demotivating and make you feel like you’re falling behind.

Most importantly, celebrate your achievements so you stay motivated and build momentum!

7. Use different revision techniques

There are four different learning styles: auditory, kinesthetic, read-write and visual. Most people use a mixture of learning styles to help them retain knowledge.

Employing different learning techniques can reinforce your understanding and keep you motivated. Here are some examples of techniques you can use:

  • Auditory. Record yourself reading your notes and textbook. Listen to the recording while you’re doing other activities like walking or exercising. You can also listen to podcasts of revision material.
  • Kinesthetic. You might use manipulatives like blocks or models to revise concepts. You might cut out notes and glue them into a different order, act out scenarios related to topics, or draw or make models.
  • Reading and writing:
    • Read notes or textbooks and summarize the material in your own words.
    • Write yourself questions about your revision material and then answer them without looking. Try to answer questions in a different order each time.
  • Visual. Use diagrams, mind maps or flashcards to help you visualize material. You can also watch videos or use infographics to help you understand complex topics.

Experiment with different learning techniques to find what works best for you!

8. Read notes at bedtime

Reading your notes just before you go to sleep (or listening to a recording of revision material) is very effective.

When you review your notes before bed your brain has time to process and consolidate the information while you sleep. This means you’re more likely to retain the information.

Taking a few minutes to review your notes before bed can also help you feel more confident about your exams, which means a better night’s sleep.

9. Practice past papers

Although questions in past exam papers are unlikely to come up again, it’s still worth taking some time to practice past papers.

Practising past papers helps you become familiar with the format and the types of questions you will be asked. Plus, it can help you with time management.

When practising past papers it’s a good idea to simulate exam conditions. Set aside a block of time, use a timer, and try to answer as many questions as possible.

Once you’ve completed the paper, review your answers and identify areas where you need to improve.

Would you like support with your revision?

We hope you’ve found our tips on how to revise for your GCSEs helpful.

If you need further guidance, our experienced tutors are here to help. We can support you with topics you find challenging and help you to stay on track.

For more information, please email

How to be happy at school

Your child may not jump for joy at the thought of going to school, but it’s important they are happy when they get there. When a child is happy at school, they are more likely to thrive academically, emotionally and socially.

When school is a negative experience for a child, it can lead to stress, anxiety and in some cases long-term mental health conditions.

Your child’s school should be a place where they develop a love of learning and build strong friendships. Here’s our guide to how to be happy at school and what to do if you’re worried.

What are the signs of unhappiness at school?

Every child is different, and you will know if something isn’t quite right with your child, but here are some common signs to look out for:

  1. Your child is reluctant to go to school, they regularly complain about school or they express a dislike for certain aspects of school.
  2. They complain of physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, or nausea.
  3. Their behaviour has changed in some way. For example, their behaviour has declined or seem withdrawn, anxious or irritable.
  4. The standard of their schoolwork has dropped.
  5. They are not interested in extra-curricular activities they usually enjoy.

Why might your child be unhappy?

These are some common reasons for unhappiness at school:

  1. Bullying. If your child is being bullied at school, it can have a significant impact on them. They may feel afraid, isolated and powerless.
  2. Academic challenges. If your child is struggling academically they may feel anxious, frustrated and overwhelmed.
  3. Relationships with other children. If your child feels they don’t fit in with their peers they may feel excluded and rejected. This can lead to low self-esteem and loneliness.
  4. Relationships with teachers. If your child is having a difficult time with a particular teacher or they don’t feel supported or valued by their teachers this will impact their experience at school.
  5. Personal difficulties. Challenges in the home environment, a recent move, illness and other concerns can impact a child’s feelings about school.

What can you do if you’re concerned?

If you are worried about your child, here’s what you can do:

Listen to your child

Your child is the only person who truly knows the reason for their unhappiness.

Choose the right time to talk to your child. Don’t start a conversation when they’re tired or irritable. Find a time when you won’t be interrupted and a place where your child feels comfortable.

Listen to their concerns without judgement and show you understand and care about their feelings.

If your child doesn’t feel like talking, let them know you are there for them when they are ready.

Talk to your child’s school

Talking to your child’s teacher may help you to piece together why your child is unhappy. Together you can put strategies in place to support your child.

Seek professional guidance

Please read our article, Children’s Mental Health Week – where can I turn for help? to find a list of organizations that offer practical support.

How can your child’s school help?

The strategies your school puts in place to support your child depend on the cause of their unhappiness.

Your child’s school might:

  • Offer counselling services.
  • Make accommodations. For example, if your child suffers from anxiety, they may be offered extra time for tests, additional breaks or preferential seating.
  • Provide additional academic support.
  • Provide social and emotional learning programs. Some schools offer programs that support children with emotional regulation and problem solving.
  • Offer peer support. Your child’s school may have a buddy system where older students are paired with younger students to provide support and encouragement.
  • Make referrals to outside agencies. If your child needs specialized support the school may refer them to other professionals or community organizations.

What if your child is being bullied?

The Education Act 2002 places a legal duty on schools to promote children’s welfare. This includes addressing bullying. Bullying is also a child protection issue under the Children Act 1989.

If your child is experiencing bullying let them know they are not alone and that it isn’t their fault. Your child’s school will have an anti-bullying policy to follow, and they must address the issue promptly.

The National Bullying Helpline has published a guide called, Is your child being bullied? which contains clear, practical advice for parents.

How to be happy at school – confidence is key

Here are some activities that can boost your child’s confidence and help them to make friends:

  • Sports and social activities. Participating in sports builds a child’s confidence in their physical abilities as well as developing teamwork and leadership skills.
  • Creative activities. Engaging in creative activities like drawing, painting, music or writing helps a child to express themselves and builds confidence in their talents.
  • Volunteer work. Participating in volunteer work, like helping at cubs or brownies, gives a child a sense of purpose as they help others.
  • Performance. Joining a drama or music group can be a fantastic self-esteem boost.
  • Problem-solving activities. Encouraging a child to engage in problem-solving activities involving construction, puzzles or brain teasers helps them to discover that they can find solutions.

Is your child struggling academically?

When a child finds schoolwork difficult, they may feel embarrassed and attempt to hide their struggles. However, it is important for a child’s self-esteem and academic achievement to identify and address issues quickly.

If you feel your child would benefit from tailored, one-to-one tuition, please contact our experienced and supportive tutors today:

Is learning the secret of happiness?

Do you feel a buzz when you learn something new? Is learning the secret of happiness?

A study by Oxford University and the Workers Educational Association found that those who join adult education classes feel more satisfied with their lives. San Francisco State University reported the same results in a similar study.

So, why does learning increase our happiness? Let’s find out.

Satisfies our natural curiosity

As human beings we are naturally curious.

Psychologists think curiosity is innate because we couldn’t survive without it. If children weren’t naturally curious they wouldn’t learn about the world around them. From birth to six years old children’s brains are like sponges absorbing language, shapes, patterns and movements.

As a species we simply would not have survived if we weren’t curious. How would we have found new foods and ways to keep warm and safe in different environments?

Our natural curiosity means encountering new experiences makes us feel alive. As the author Tahir Shah said, “Life without steep learning curves is no life at all.”

Gives our lives meaning

We all need to feel that there is a purpose to our lives. According to psychologists, if we don’t find meaning in our lives it causes emotional difficulties because we don’t have a sense of self-worth.

One of the ways we find meaning in our lives is through achieving a series of goals. There is nothing like the sense of accomplishment we feel when we’ve overcome obstacles and achieved mini-goals to learn a new skill.

Gives us control over our lives

If we have more control over our own lives we are more likely to be happy. Choosing to learn something we are interested in gives us that control.

When we are free to learn what we want, to study in a way that suits us (online, in-person, individually or in a group) and at our own pace, we have the autonomy we crave.

A recent study found that autonomy may be the single most important factor that contributes to our happiness.

Drives motivation

We need to feel motivated to want to learn something new, but motivation breeds motivation.

When we achieve a small goal on the path to learning a new skill, this powers our motivation further! One small success builds on another giving us the self-confidence and passion to develop our skills and push our capabilities as far as we like.

Scientists think motivation is strongly linked to happiness. It fosters creativity and leads us to make healthier lifestyle choices, which has untold benefits for our physical and mental wellbeing.

Builds resilience

Research has found that people who are resilient are more satisfied with their lives. Learning something new helps us build resilience.

Making mistakes is part of the learning process. When we stick with something we find challenging, this builds our confidence and resilience.

There’s a great sense of fulfillment that comes with achieving a goal when we have overcome challenges to get there.

Expands our horizons

When we try something new it can be scary at first, but it can also make us feel more energetic, full of life and happier. That’s because when we step out of our comfort zone to try something new and explore different possibilities, our brain produces the feel-good chemical, dopamine.

Have you ever felt excited to learn something new? Now you know why!

Prevents boredom

Boredom can be very useful because it can motivate us to seek new interests, socialise with others or change our life choices for the better. If boredom isn’t addressed, however, it can lead to depression and become a vicious cycle.

Being absorbed in learning a new skill stimulates the brain, keeps our minds active, brings a sense of achievement and keeps destructive thoughts at bay.

Leads to new friendships

Learning a new skill can lead to friendships.

Oxford University found that people who joined evening classes felt a greater sense of belonging and had improved mental wellbeing.

Even if we learn online from the comfort of our own home, we may still make new friends. We might, for example, join a Facebook community or a Slack study group. Our new interest might lead to a new job, or joining a group, so we build relationships that way.

Having friends who share a common interest with us can enrich our lives. Friendships prevent loneliness, boost happiness and decrease stress levels.

Learners thrive with TutorMyKids

The secret of happiness is a complicated topic, but evidence shows that continuing to learn throughout life is a vital ingredient.

At TutorMyKids we know that the foundations for lifelong learning can be built from an early age.

One of the keys to engaging students in lifelong learning is to focus on metacognitive skills. That means encouraging them to set their own learning goals, solve problems, reflect on their learning, develop communication skills, and take risks within a safe learning environment.

All our tutors are experienced teachers who are dedicated to helping children succeed and get the most from life.

To find out how we can support your child, please email