Car park spelling

I’ve seen this car park spelling activity used as a name learning tool on Mummies and Daddies Facebook page. It’s really simple and perfect for car enthusiasts.

As Zeph has been interested in letters and word-making recently, I decided it was a good time to try it out. I wanted to do his name – it’s always interesting to know the letters for your own name, right? Plus it’s probably a useful bit of information for him to squirrel away before starting school. Though if he doesn’t then he doesn’t. However, we learn letters phonetically and ‘Zeph’ isn’t exactly the easiest phonetic word to start with. Plus, he’s just beginning to get how sound-blending works so I also wanted to reiterate that idea to him with a simple word or two. Now, a long time ago Zeph and I made a set of alphabet letters to stick on our wall and some sound pictures to go with them. So I decided on ‘cat’ and ‘ant’ as simple starting words that I had self-made images to represent.


Zeph and I made the car park together while Elly was napping. We cut down a cardboard box as you see, used a ruler and marker pen to draw on car parking spaces and wrote in the words.

I had pre-prepared the letters to stick on the cars on squared paper. I liked using the grid instead of plain paper as it can be used like writing practice lines to show where the letter should be formed. My 4 year old is doubtless oblivious to this yet, but getting used to seeing letters properly placed definitely can’t do any harm and will hopefully help to subconsciously ingrain it.

Zeph counted the letters we had written on the car park and then went to find enough cars to match them. We stuck paper letters to cars using bluetack, and he was off.

He was only really interested in doing the parking activity fully once. I think if the car park had been bigger, with more words, he would have continued with them. But that would have been too much in terms of letter and reading practice. I intended to keep the car park piece to bring out and stick new letters/words on occasionally but sadly it proved not to be long lasting enough for my house!

Books and pancakes


Elly was conquered by the library and lunch


Went to the library today. Got shushed before we’d even got on the bus.

Daddy (carrying toddler down the steps and bouncing him gently)
Nearly 4 year old: Daddy, remember to walk carefully on the steps.
Daddy: Sorry, what did you say Zeph?
Me: Yes, Daddy. Please remember to be careful on the steps. We don’t want you to get hurt.
Nearly 4 year old: Please be quiet, Mummy!
Me: Oh, sorry!
Nearly 4 year old: Mummy, you are too noisy! Daddy, you have to walk carefully on the steps so you don’t fall down!

On the way home it was the other way round…

Zeph (sitting at the very front of the bus): Mummy, how did God make the earth?
Me (sitting at the very back of the bus): Why don’t we talk about this when we get home.
Zeph: What Mummy?

Repeat. Several times. Until he realised he couldn’t hear what I was saying and gave up. Or got bored and tried to think of another way to annoy everyone else on the bus.


Zeph loves reading, but just recently during our bedtime books he’s been quite distracted: he wants to jump around and play, though if I happen to stop reading I’m quickly instructed to continue. I realised its been quite a while since we’d been to the library for one reason and another, so we’d been reading and re-reading the same books. After reading at the library today it was, ‘Can we read a book in the park?’, ‘Can we read a book on the bus on the way home?’, ‘Can we read a book at home?’, followed by absolute attention tonight at bedtime.

Today amongst our mix came a few from favourite series that I would definitely recommend for fun, exploring science and problem resolution: Curious George, The Magic School Bus, and Arthur.

Then, some strange fit seized me this evening, and instead of taking the easy option that I was planning on (sandwiches, having eaten out at lunch time), I offered to make pancakes. This, to my un-surprise, was quickly seized upon by Zeph. And my husband.

Ok. Pancakes.

And then a little voice said, ‘Mummy, can I help you? Please?’

Now, I love to let my boys help with all kinds of things. I love cooking and baking with them. Or at least, I think I do until we get half way through and there is something, no there is half my kitchen, smeared across my children and the floor. So I always have a small internal battle when I get asked this question, especially when I’m tired and I just want to get dinner ready so I can get to bedtime. ‘You really want to? … *arghhhh* … oh ok!’