Fishing For Phonics

Keep Phonics Fun

Learning to read can be tricky. Phonics is recommended as the first strategy that children should be taught in helping them to read and write.
It helps children hear, identify and use different sounds that distinguish one word from another in the English language.

Once a child understands what sound is linked to a letter they can then begin to blend them together in order to read or spell a word.

With a little creativity teaching and learning phonics can be fun, by keeping the whole process fun it will help the child to become engaged more. Phonics can be educational and fun.

There are lots of ways to keep phonics fun and different including

  • Hunting for letters
  • Using magnetic letters to form words
  • Using bricks to make words
  • Bury letters or items in sand or rice
  • Use a paintbrush and water outside on the pavement to write down letters and words
  • Unlocking phonics sounds with a padlock and key
  • Matching the beginning sounds to items
  • Silly soup
  • Sorting baskets – each basket represents a sound. Place objects into the correct basket

What is Fishing for Phonics?

Fishing for phonics can be done in many ways:

You can hide items or letters in a water tray and children can use a net to fish them out.

Print out letters or pictures and place a paperclip on them. The child can use a piece of string with a magnet attached to the end.

Or you can use the Fishing Game

Fishing for Phonics

Place the sounds or words that the child is working on on the underneath of a fish.

Phonics on fish

And just as you would play the game normally, using a rod, catch the fish. When you catch a fish the child has to say the word or sound that they have caught. If they get it wrong, correct them and then place it back in the game to be caught again.

Catching fish to say the sound or word

If they are catching words, then ask the child to put the word into a sentence. This helps them to retain the information of what they have learnt.

This game also teaches children about turn taking and helps to develop their fine motor skills.

This game can be differentiated depending on what the learning objective is. It can also be used to teach number bonds or times tables.

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Top places to visit in Malta

We have visited the beautiful Island of Malta many times, and over the years visited many places. The following places in this list are places that we have visited with our young children and would recommend a visit.

Popeye Village

Popeye Village is a film set that is over 30 years old, it’s the set of the 1980 Musical Production of ‘Popeye’ and it is now one of Malta’s major tourist attraction. Popeye the sailor and his friends are around the village to greet the guests and entertain throughout the day.

Take a walk around Popeyes cabin, explore Olives house, play games in the sawmill, become a part of the film in the main square or relax by the splash pool whilst the children have some fun.

Anchor bay comes alive in the summer with an inflatable adventure course, so whilst you top up your tan the children can have fun in the sea.

PicMonkey Collage

Popeye Village is open all year round.

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St Peters Pool

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St Peters Pool is the most beautiful natural swimming pools in Malta, situated South of the Island near the Fishing Village Marsaxlokk (which is where you will find the market where they sell fresh fish, local delicacies and an abundance of souvenirs to take home)

The drive and parking to St Peters Pool isn’t smooth but it is definitely worth it. I would advise anyone who has young children who are not strong swimmers not to leave them alone swimming. There are ladders to help visitors to get down into the water but for those who are feeling a little more adventurous, you can always dive down into the deep pool below.

There are no shop nearby, so take along everything you will need to spend the day there.

st peters pool

The sea water is crystal clear, the flat rocks surrounding the pool are ideal for sunbathing on and perfect for place to get away from the business of the sandy beaches.

The walk down from the parking area is about 5 minutes away

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My boys loved it here and spent ages diving into the deep blue water, they even plucked up the courage to jump down from the highest point (not when Mummy was watching though!)

Mellieha beach

Malta doesn’t have many beaches to boast about the ones that it does have are beautiful. Mellieha beach being one of them. The beach is long and there are plenty of beds to relax on and kiosks to dine from along it. During the summer months it hosts an inflatable playground, costing £6 euros for the hour. The boys enjoyed an hour of fun whilst I managed to grab an hour of peace reading a book. We managed to barter the hire of the sunbeds down from £12 euros down to £8.

melleiha beach

Lots of free parking is available and is easily assessable via bus.

Mdina and Rabat

 Located in centre of the Island, Mdina is the old capital of Malta.

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Mdina is a fascinating place to visit, one of Europe’s finest examples of and ancient walled city, it traces back more than 4000 years. Tradition says that The Apostle St Paul lived here after being shipwrecked on the Island. Just outside the city walls, in Rabat, you can visit St Paul’s Grotto.

Mdina was built high up on top of a plateau. Standing on the edge of Mdinas walls you have some spectacular views of the surrounding fields and villages.

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Mdina and Rabat is full to the brim of cultural heritage and history. Lamp lit by night,the Mdina is also referred to as ‘The Silent City’.

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Take a walk around the cobbled, narrow shady streets and take in all of the historical beauty within.  It is home now to some of Malta’s noble families living in the impressive palaces that line the streets.

There are plenty of restaurants and cafes within the walls for refreshments and Souvenir shops to visit.

It is free the enter the Mdina but it costs to enter into some of the attractions, like the Malta experience and the Dungeons.

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Mdina is a favourite place of my boys, they adore the Norman and baroque architecture in the buildings.

Just outside of the Mdina walls there are beautiful gardens to walk around and also a little play area for the children to enjoy.

Church in Rabat
Church in Rabat

The Splash and Fun park

Malta’s only water park, that’s not in the sea, ideal for all the family.  The Splash & Fun Park has several swimming pools, water slides, Children’s Dinosaur Park & Splash Land, a large wave pool, diving pools, lazy river and deck chairs to relax on. Throughout the day there is entertainment put on in and around the wave pool area. We sat and watched a spanish dance routine, took part in the aqua aerobics and the boys entered a football competition.

PicMonkey Collage PicMonkey Collage water park

My middle boys favourite thing to do was Dive from the high board into the diving pool.

PicMonkey Collage dive

On the way out of the water park we noticed that there was a trampoline enclosure, everyone had a good jump around before leaving

juming around

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Pretty bay Birzebbuga

If you are visiting St Peters Pool then just a little further around the coast you will find Pretty Bay in Birzebbuga. It’s in the southern region of Malta.

The sight looking out from Pretty Bay isn’t spectacular, unless you like looking boats and dock yards, but the beach is pretty and there is a lovely play area and football pitches that runs along the beach. Also its the only beach that we visited where you can sit on the grass, and sit under a tree shielded from the sun.

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Blue lagoon Comino

The only way to get over to see the beautiful blue water at blue lagoon, Comino is by boat or ferry. Situated in between Malta and Gozo, the island of Comino is only 3.5  square kilometers, it is car free and only has one hotel. The Blue lagoon is the popular attraction here, with the white sand and clear water, the sea becomes a gorgeous aquamarine. The water is clean and transparent, ideal for snorkelling and swimming, the water is shallow so it is perfect for young children to enjoy.

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I would advice to attempt to get there early as in the peak times it can get very busy, and the beach is only small. Many people lay down there towels up on the rocks and walk down the steps to get down to the water.

There are refreshment vans parked up where the boats are, selling fruit, drinks and hot food.

Rinella Bay

This little bay situated just passed Kalkara is not normally a busy attraction to holiday makers, it used more by the locals. It is the beach that I myself attended regularly as a child when we holidayed in Malta as we had family living in Kalkara. Looking out from the beach you can see the Capital of Malta, Valletta. There are refreshment vans parked up and portable toilets to use.

Not only is this beach a little quieter than others it has a slide that goes down into the sea from the walkway.  Beware that the sea is deep here, there are some steps coming out of the water very close to the slide.

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Smart City is just around the corner, a new build to Malta, where you can watch the water fountain and have a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants and bars.

Kalkara marina is a pretty little place to stop after a swim, it’s quiet and peaceful. There is also a little park for the children to play in whilst the adults can sit on a bench and look out to the boats

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Kalkara

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Luzzu (maltese boat) and fishing boats

I hope you like reading our top places to visit in Malta. There are many more places to visit like the peaceful island of Gozo, the stunning infrastructure of Mosta, the hustle and bustle of the capital city Valetta, the aqua marine park in Bugibba ( which also has a pretty impressive play area for the children to play in outside) and Marsaxlokk fishing village. I could on, but I think that I may have shared enough already 🙂

Thank you for reading

Looking for flights to Malta check out www.airmalta.com

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No Bake Mocha Energy Balls – Recipe

Mocha Energy Balls

Keep energised with these mocha flavoured energy balls.

We’re big fans of no bake and energy balls in our house and are constantly thinking of new recipes. I personally think that homemade ones taste far better than any shop commercialised. They are much more fulfilling and with each batch you can make up to 25 balls at a fraction of shop bought prices.

Mocha energy balls in a bowl

These balls only have 1 tbsp of coffee in them plus I used decaffeinated, so they shouldn’t give you too much of a buzz (unless you eat them all – which is possible as they are very moreish)

No Bake Mocha Energy Balls

No baking needed for this simple recipe

Course Snack
Keyword quick, no bake, energy balls,

Ingredients

  • 150 grams Rolled Organic Oats
  • 2 tbsp Maple Syrup
  • 2 tbsp Cacao Powder Heaped tablespoon
  • 3 tbsp Ground Flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp Raw Organic Coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp Ground Decaff Coffee
  • 1 tbsp Maca Powder
  • 1 tbsp Chia Seeds
  • Shredded Coconut

Instructions

  1. Place all of the ingredients, apart from the shredded coconut in a bowl

  2. Mix together until the mixture is fully combined and resembles a dough like consistency

    Mocha mixture in the bowl
  3. Take a tbsp of the mixture, mould and roll into a ball in your hand

  4. Roll the balls in the shredded coconut (preference)

  5. Place in the fridge to set. keep them stored in the fridge for when needed

The first energy balls we made were no bake protein balls and using the same process of adding in the ingredients we have also made other energy balls

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A hand that holds my heart – A mothers love

16 years and 7 months ago, I held a tiny little helpless hand in mine and vowed to myself that I would be the best Mum that I could be for him.

That first touch taught me what love really was. In an instant I knew I had an unconditional love, a love that was so pure and strong.

A sudden overwhelming urge of protectiveness.

He was so fragile and innocent. I wanted to hold his hand forever. As his little fingers curled around my finger, me heart swelled. His grip was not only on my finger but onto my heart too.

For the first few months he relied on me – to feed, change and move him around but he soon began to do things for himself. Like other babies, he learned to roll, crawl, walk, talk and play.

As he has grown up he has become such a wonderful young man; a joy to be around. Always there for me and his siblings when needed, always by my side. As his siblings were born, he just moved aside for them always knowing that Mummy still loved him. That Mummies love was just growing and expanding but never getting less. He filled my days with joy and delight and has given me the strength to get through bad days.

His hand may have grown considerably over the years but one thing is for sure and that is the unconditional love is still there. He has become wiser and stronger, more than I could have ever imagined him to be.

A man now stands where a boy used to be. I may no longer carry him in my arms and his little fingers may not cling to my hand but I still carry him in my heart. He has given me so many reasons to be proud of him.

Three years ago, he held my hand and told me to be strong.

The tables changed and I was the one that relied on him – he looked after me; feeding and caring for me.

I remember waking up in hospital after having an operation to remove a tumour and feeling the warmth of his hand in mine. I felt so calm and overwhelmed with how much love this boy had for me.

I felt safe.

I’m strong again now but he still holds my hand. I now have not only a son but a friend too!

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