We chose activities that are suitable for parents and carers to play at home with children. We invite you to contribute to the page and produce your own versions. The page is designed to be read like a book: each activity leads to the next.

Last updated October 2021



Every day during lockdown we posted an activity which we hoped would inspire parents and children to talk together about something they might do in school. We found out that many children did not have access to laptops or the internet so our paper activities, usually prepared by teachers in advance, were very welcome.

This pairs lotto game does not necessarily require the book. It is hard to find the book for sale, but youtube has videos of it being read. Why not make your version of the book, share it with friends and colleagues and send it to us? Why not make a mini book? This activity inspired by 'Diary of a Wombat' contains information and templates for making your own mini books. You can also make your own track games.

This is our guide to mini books prepared for SATEAL 2020 conference. Very careful folding and cutting pays dividends. The same applies to our Maths chatterboxes.

Cops and Robbers has inspired a host of activities including a Track Game. We have produced a short guide to making Track Games. This short guide to track games has been used in many parent/carer workshops.

Dirty Bertie has a simple track and we used the pictures from Germ Warfare to support the track activity. We are now using these drawings to develop our new coronavirus activities. Many of the drawings were made by older children for younger children. We welcome your drawings if you want fame but not fortune!


Here is an activity that is very popular with parents and easily adaptable to other books...

(You will find a lot of lotto activities on the main website. Please send any you produce to share.)

...such as this one which has run and run. Colin West's other books are brilliant, zany, witty and very EAL friendly. We have developed activities around several more which we can put on line if you ask us nicely.You must visit his website.


This activity involving role play and maths has run and run and the book is still in print. Everyone can decorate their plates before they play the game.

We worked on developing activities around several of the Giggle Club books years ago. The series including Mrs Plug the Plumber was also popular. Sadly many of these books are no longer in print but we have kept them here to encourage you to adapt the activities to other books.You can still buy used copies online for a penny plus postage.


You may be interested in looking at the principles we followed in choosing books for developing games.We have not needed to update this for quite some time now, but our booklist needs suggestions for new additions. Naughty Bus and Squash and a Squeeze are going to be added.

Mantra Books, who produce Talking Pens and multilingual talking books have given us free access to their pictures and texts.They also publish some of our activities Their versions can talk via the pen and you can record your own versions in first languages. Do look at what they can offer since they have made many activities free at this time

Here is another book from Mantra for which we have produced games.

We have moved on from tracing characters for storyprops, cut and paste and hand colouring-in to producing activities using publisher software, but the basic principles behind our work have not changed since we started in the 1980s.We wished to empower children so that they felt that the stories they told belonged to them and that they could read and tell them again and


again and again in their own words to each other and to their parents.We wanted them to be confident story tellers and story sharers. And of course we wanted parents to realise how important they were in developing confident talkers and readers. Good oracy practice in the Early Years makes more than twice the difference than later intervention.


On to Maths!

Our Chatterbox Tables have proved very popular with parents and carers groups. Making the Chatterboxes is quite tricky and needs accurate cutting and folding even with our template but once practised our chatterboxes can go all over the curriculum.


We have Bingo Games galore on our Maths pages. Try out our examples and then produce your own versions to share with others.


This track game can be adapted to a whole variety of Questions. We've provided a blank template for children OR parents or rather AND parents to make their own.

Bank Four is what in Bradford they call what we in London call Connect Four. A powerful tool for encouraging work between children.


Here is a sporty Information Gap activity to encourage joint problem solving. Steve Cooke has contributed a collection of these and has now written a book for Maths which you can still obtain from the EAL Academy.


All the Maths activities that we have on line can be reached via the link on the left. We have just given you a taste here.



AreYou a Stinker? is our most popular activity and is downloaded all over the world. Before AYS, Another Nail in Your Coffin was the most popular. We have devised a virus activity along the same lines. We encourage children to produce their own versions with their own texts and their own pictures to try out on each other.



These Robert the Bruce information gaps have been downloaded by many teachers.We hope they have used them in the classroom, but we have not had much feedback. We would like to post more activities. Would any SATEAL members like to help us by sharing the activities with colleagues and helping us devise new ones? We would also be interested to hear about the other activity on the page about Mary Queen of Scots and all her relatives. These character card activities provide good scaffolding for building confident classroom talk. We have produce a summary of the principles behind this in our Transformations sheet.





Literacy Pages

All the activities on line can be found to the left and on the right is one of our activities in joint construction providing a template for children to devise their own instruction book.





Our Simile Bingo game is the most popular of the ones we have posted on the TES resources network. It works right the way across the age range.



We would be very pleased if folk who play this also devise a more attractive Track Board and send us a photo.



Not everyone thinks 'gnu' has a silent letter.We have received more comments on this than anything else!


This is a template for your own games choosing the frequent and very unphonic words you most find misspelt.


Geography Activities

We have chosen activities here which you can adapt to your own circumstances and surroundings. We'd be delighted if you can send us your examples. You will notice when you look at the CLP geography page that we have spend a lof of time recently with the rainforest. Some of the activities are lodged in the science section.


The activity on the left is designed to relate maps to different ways of viewing landscape. A simpler version could be made with a phone camera of objects e.g. saucepans or teddy bear from above and at an angle etc.

The activity on the right can be adapted to many other geographical features.



Most of our Connect Four games are better for juniors but this one works with younger children.


This activity has inspired a lot of postcard writing and mapwork.



Since we are based in Islington, we chose an Islington Ballad for our title page. Please make a Scottish title page for us and select more Scottish ballads for this sorting activity but maybe not:

The mountain sheep are sweeter And the valley sheep are fatter...


This activity politely requests that you think up more crimes and alibis, share them with your friends and then send them to us with your illustrations!




Science Activities

Our first virus linked activity, Germ Warfare, is on the right. We have adapted an old, but very popular activity and we are inviting your suggestions and comments. We have about five more in development, but we have to keep checking our facts with our resident epidemiologist who is very busy at the moment. We will keep this page open, continue to make it more friendly for those learning at home and post your contributions as the summer unfolds.



This domino game is "open" ended because you have to persuade the other participants to accept that your domino end fits onto their domino end by producing a convincing argument. I hope you feel inspired to produce similar games and maybe illustrate them.


Two texts and questions that require sharing knowledge .between the texts. A simple information gap activity that produces purposeful, exploratory talk.


This sorting activity is ideal for parent and child sharing knowledge and ideas. No experts needed! Both can start from a position of ignorance and without shame can build their knowledge.


Again another activity that leads to repetition repetition repitition of language forms. Make your own versions! Send them to us!

This activity has been in the project since 1985. How many useful uses of non friction can you think of.


Before you start the game you have lots of colouring and sticking and cutting out to do. Lots of skill growth for parents and children.
If you have any questions or suggestions or contributions please email. You might like to look at our Work in Progress pages where we show how the new activities are developing and invite you to participate. The links below will take you to back to the main pages of Collaborative Learning. Here is a quick route to our Early Years page.