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A few of our favourite things…

As families face another school break at home, we wanted to share a few ideas to keep everyone happily occupied. From our very own Figtree student’s book review channel on YouTube, to the very best banana bread recipe, we hope our suggestions will help with half term planning.

Ria the reader’s book reviews

Nine-year-old Ria reads her favourite books for young children. Enjoy some enchanting tales, complete with Ria’s lovely commentary and interesting facts about the books she reads.

Watch now

Our recommended reading and watching

Books to keep primary school children happy, binge-worthy series and films for everyone to enjoy.

Books

Year 1
Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman
I Can Only Draw Worms by Will Mabbitt
Cops and Robbers by Allan Ahlberg
The Emperor of Absurdia by Chris Riddell
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen

Year 2
I Was a Rat! Or, The Scarlet Slippers by Philip Pullman
Triangle by Mac Barnett
Gobbolino the Witch’s Cat by Ursula Moray Williams
Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr
The Tear Thief by Carol Ann Duffy

Year 3
The Accidental Prime Minister by Tom McLaughlin
Varjak Paw by SF Said
The Orchard Book of First Greek Myths by Saviour Pirotta
Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig

Year 4
The Iron Man, The Iron Woman by Ted Hughes
Leon and the Place Between by Angela McAllister
Aesop’s Forgotten Fables by Fiona Waters
Fortunately the Milk… by Neil Gaiman
Myths and Legends by Anthony Horowitz

Year 5

The Kick Off by Dan Freedman
The Invisible Detective series by Justin Richards
The Great Pyramid Robbery by Katherine Roberts
Clockwork by Philip Pullman
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

Year 6
The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper
Boy in the Tower by Polly Ho-Yen
Sinbad the Sailor by Marcia Williams
Inkheart Trilogy by Cornelia Funke
Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Films

Spirited Away
E.T.
Up
Wonder
Little Miss Sunshine The Breakfast Club
Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark
Napoleon Dynamite
Little Women
Precious
The Peanut Butter Falcon
Ladybird
Attack The Block
10 Things I Hate About You
Boyhood
Knives Out
Christopher Robin
A Wrinkle In Time
Crazy Rich Asians

TV shows

Gilmore Girls
Glee
Outnumbered
Anne with an ‘E’
Never Have I Ever
Pick of the Litter
The Worst Witch

Family-friendly recipes

Cook up a storm with our super simple, yet utterly delicious, recipe recommendations.

Easy Swedish chocolate cake with only 6 ingredients.

Courgette, mint and halloumi fritters.

Misa’s banana bread.

No-knead super easy bread.

Best apps and games

Online or offline, independently or all together, our pick of the best games and apps will keep the whole family entertained.

Games

Linkee – A trivia party game that can be played by individual players or teams. Questions on a card are read out but answers are kept secret. Once you have the correct letters to spell Linkee you win the game.

Ticket to Ride – An award-winning, cross-country train adventure game. Players collect train cards that enable them to claim railway routes connecting cities throughout North America. The longer the routes, the more points they earn.

Articulate – A word game where players describe words from six different categories (Object, Nature, Random, Person, Action and World) to their team as quickly as possible. The teams move round the board based on the number of words correctly guessed, the first team round the board wins!

Bananagrams – The classic family anagram game. Players and their opponents aim to use all of their letters to build a word grid in a race to finish. The first player to use all of their tiles is crowned “Top Banana”!

Horrible Histories – A family fun, educational board game based on the award-winning Horrible Histories series. Race through the ages by answering multiple-choice questions and acting out charades as you go!

Would I Lie To You? – The hit comedy TV panel show from the BBC featuring celebrity guests and now you too can play at home with this brilliantly adapted board game. With content written by the TV show’s producer and featuring rounds from the show such as ‘Quick Fire Lies’ and ‘Ring of Truth’, can your opponents guess if you are telling the truth or a pack of lies? Perfect for those who enjoy bending the truth!

 

Apps

Colour & Draw For Kids, iPhone/Android – £0.69. Part-drawing app and part-digital colouring book

Maily, iPad – free. Maily lets children create digital drawings and messages, then send them to the inboxes of parents,  family and friends.

A Day At The Circus, iPhone/iPad/Android – £1.99. Bringing all the fun of the circus to iOS and Android, this app offers 20 mini-games based around life at the circus.

The Jungle Book: Disney Classics, iPhone/iPad – £2.49. Disney has turned some of its most famous classic films into storybook apps; The Jungle Book is a good place to start!

Toca Lab, iPhone/iPad – £3.99. Explore the colourful and electrifying world of science and meet all 118 of the elements from the periodic table.

Memrise, Google Play/iPhone/iPad – Free. Learn languages quickly and easily on the go.

Lego Tower, Google Play/iPhone/iPad – Free. Build and operate your own LEGO® Tower! Construct a wide range of apartments and businesses for your Minifigure residents to live, work and play in. Visit your friends’ towers and trade items to help them build.

Khan Academy, iPhone/iPad – Free. Spend an afternoon brushing up on statistics. Discover how the Krebs cycle works. Learn about the fundamentals of music notation. Get a head start on next semester’s geometry fundamentals. Or, if you’re feeling particularly adventurous, learn how fire-stick farming changes the landscape of Australia. Learn anything you like, for free.

Hopscotch, iPhone/iPad – Free. Designed for 8-14 year olds, Hopscotch is a drag and drop, bite-sized introduction to coding for children. This app empowers students to experiment and create their own coding and then play, remix, and comment on other people’s creations.

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