Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 439

Beyond the Classroom


Hello Everyone




Miss Pringle made an announcement in her classroom this week.


She told her class that she was not going to be setting any homework this summer.


A great cheer went up!


But wait – she had another plan.


They were going to set their own homework.


The children looked really puzzled.


Miss Pringle said that she was going to trust them to do anything and everything they could to educate themselves by themselves.


They would take responsibility for their own learning.


She said that grade ‘A’ students were the kind of children that engaged in learning above and beyond what their teachers gave them to do in their classroom and she really wanted all her pupils to do well with their education.


‘A’ grade students were the kind of children who took it upon themselves to do extra work.  This was very necessary in a modern, competitive world.


ln case the children didn’t really know what she meant, she would give some examples on the board and then the whole class would work together as a group to do some brainstorming.


She wanted them to keep a journal of what they did and she was going to have a look at the journals when they came back to school in September.  lt did not have to be kept in a special notebook; a piece of paper would be enough.


She would be giving merit stars as prizes to any child who was really inventive in their choices and also those who had made a big effort.  She would like to see some proof of what they had been up to as well!


That meant that all the children could be winners if they tried hard enough!


Emily though she would be really good at writing a journal because she already had a bullet journal at home that she wrote in. Bill and Bob thought that they would do something really way out and awesome together and Henry thought he would do some kind of big project about space.


But Miss Pringle said that they had all worked really hard during the school year and they absolutely must have plenty of play time too in their holidays because working all the time makes you unhealthy and if you become unhealthy, you won’t be able to work very well at all.



Then the class all worked together to share lots of ideas.


And this is the list that Miss Pringle and her class put up on the board…


  1. Learn a new sport; learn the rules of play and how to keep score
  2. Learn a new craft or hobby like knitting or carpentry; learn some of the history of it and different techniques that can be used
  3. Read a book of your choice and write a synopsis of the story
  4. Listen to an audio book and see if you like listening to stories better than reading them
  5. Write a book – a short novel or a collection of short stories
  6. Visit a museum to look at the exhibits – if it is an interactive museum, play with the exhibits
  7. Visit a historical house or living museum and see how people used to live in another time period
  8. Choose a country, learn some facts about it and collect some pictures – put everything in a scrapbook
  9. Learn how to create beautiful scrapbooks and how to decorate them on You Tube
  10. Make a scrapbook about your holiday
  11. Make a souvenir jar of small objects collected on your holiday
  12. Learn to cook a new recipe and measure out all the ingredients yourself
  13. Learn how to decorate cup cakes
  14. Play an educational board game that will test your general knowledge
  15. lnvent your own board game
  16. Learn a new card game to play
  17. Put a number of items on a tray; put a cloth over them and see how many you can remember and list them down – test your friends
  18. Plant some seeds in pots and watch how they develop
  19. Learn how to read a map and take an adult on an adventure – take a compass and relate it to the map
  20. Draw a map of an area you know
  21. Draw the plan of a town of your imagination on a very large piece of cardboard and make the roads big enough to play on with your toy cars
  22. Design a fairytale island or a perfect children’s playground
  23. Go on a night-time nature ramble with an adult and some friends – don’t forget to take more than one torch
  24. Start to learn how to play a musical instrument or improve on one you have already
  25. Learn to read music
  26. Learn the words to a song off by heart – or a poem
  27. Write a song
  28. Write a poem
  29. Learn about different breeds of dogs or horses or cats
  30. Learn a times table
  31. Learn about a charity and all the work they do; then maybe think of a way you can help them
  32. Build a toy theatre and write plays for it
  33. Keep a diary of an imaginary perfect life
  34. Do some sketching and water colour painting
  35. Visit a farm that is open to the public
  36. Go fruit picking
  37. Visit a zoo and see how many animals you can name – learn some new names
  38. Learn the names of some flowers in the garden and draw pictures of them
  39. Make decorative labels and tidy your things into boxes and files to get yourself organised
  40. Press some flowers and make them into pictures or greetings cards
  41. Learn how to meditate to make your brain less reactive to stress
  42. Learn how to count to ten – or even twenty, in another language
  43. Learn all the names in a collection of things like planets in the Solar System or capital cities of Europe
  44. Learn to identify ten butterflies or birds or flags or car logos
  45. Play Scrabble
  46. Learn a magic trick to amaze your friends – and teacher
  47. Learn to type using all your fingers – and a thumb
  48. Learn origami
  49. Make a den out of blankets
  50. Design a scavenger hunt and invite your friends around to your garden to follow it
  51. Learn to swim or dive in your local swimming pool
  52. Make some puppets
  53. Join a library and join in their summer activities
  54. Join a coding/rock-climbing/sailing/canoeing/stargazing summer camp
  55. Plant some fruit pips to grow a tree
  56. Eat a fruit and or vegetable that you have never eaten before
  57. Make a necklace or bracelet
  58. Design a dream house
  59. Learn yoga
  60. Build a car or a plane from a kit
  61. Watch a film and write the story of it with illustrations
  62. Visit an art gallery and borrow an audio guide to understand the pictures more
  63. Visit a local art exhibition and talk to the artists there about their work
  64. Make a collage with things nobody wants anymore
  65. Make some play food or fridge magnets out of salt dough
  66. Learn what road signs mean
  67. Learn how a piece of machinery works
  68. Create a super hero draw his/her picture and list his/her superpowers
  69. Make a garment to wear
  70. Make up a crossword about your favourite pop star or football player
  71. Read a children’s encyclopaedia
  72. Learn 50 new words – meaning and spelling – or even 100
  73. Arrange some flowers in a vase
  74. Do some doodle embroidery
  75. Design a new invention
  76. Learn to dance
  77. Make up a dance that you can do with your friends in a group
  78. Create a family photograph album and draw a family tree in the front
  79. Paint a portrait of someone you love
  80. lmprove a sports skill like cricket bowling or tennis backhand strokes
  81. Design a maze
  82. ldentify all the trees in your local park or all the trees you can see from your bedroom window
  83. Learn what everything on a car dashboard does
  84. Weave a small mat using different coloured yarns
  85. Learn to roller-skate or ride a horse or a bike
  86. Start a journal/achievement diary/dream board
  87. Build a toy boat and see if it floats
  88. Make some ice lollies
  89. Collect shells and dye them pretty colours
  90. Make a magic wand and cast good luck spells on people
  91. Help an adult do a household chore like wash the car
  92. Make a kite and see if it flies
  93. Learn how to put up a tent
  94. Make a fruit salad
  95. Play mini golf with opponents and keep score
  96. Build a bug hotel
  97. Make a bird feeder
  98. Create a weather prediction chart
  99. Write a letter to an alien explaining life on Earth
  100. Read the Salty Sam Fun Blog!


Some of these activities are more expensive to do than others.  Some of them shouldn’t cost too much at all.


They can open up new horizons for you and develop new skill sets.


Miss Pringle knew that if she added an element of competition into the proceedings, the children may respond better so she told her class that she wanted them to come back and impress everyone else with stories of all the things they had achieved. 


And of course, she would also love to see all the projects they had done that could be carried into school.


Talking about what they had done in the holidays would be their first lesson back when they all met again in September.


The children thought that maybe the holidays might be more fun than they had first thought.



lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam





Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bill:  Bob!


Bob:  What’s Up?


Bill:  Have you ever noticed how when Miss Pringle takes the register, she becomes very absent-minded?



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery










Bill and Bob’s mum and dad leave early every morning to go off to their work in their car. 

They drop Bill and Bob at school or a neighbour’s house and drive off to a town far away to do their jobs.

It is dark when they start out on winter mornings. It isn’t easy negotiating winding roads if it is icy or foggy or if there is snow blasting onto the windscreen. 



If the snow is really heavy, they might not get there at all!



Bill and Bob’s dad has not been happy at work for some time now and Bill and Bob have noticed how grumpy he has become.

But their mum had some ideas about how they could reorganize their lives.

As she said to their dad, money is money wherever you get it from, it can be earned from more than one kind of job.

After Bill and Bob had gone to bed a couple of weeks ago, their parents talked long into the early hours of the morning and searched around on the Internet for some information.

They had some plans and wanted to then mull everything over in their heads for a few days.

Big changes were afoot!


The following weekend, we had a family conference around Auntie Alice’s dining room table after Sunday lunch.

This is what they told us about their plans.

Bill and Bob’s dad was going to retrain to become an accountant.

He had spoken to Adam Upp the Rocky Bay accountant and he said he would be happy to hand over his business as soon as Bill and Bob’s dad was able to pass all his exams.

He was going to train to be an accountant using a correspondence course.

That meant he had to do a lot of studying at home and if he got stuck and couldn’t understand something he could ask a tutor that had been allocated to him for help after he had paid for the course.

Bill and Bob’s mum didn’t want to drive off to work every morning on her own if their dad started working locally and had her own plans.

She was going to take over a shop in Rocky Bay and sell things to tourists.

These things would not be beach balls and buckets and spades and sun hats.



She would have an outlet for quality produce like Mrs Jenkins’ cheese and also paintings and pottery produced by local artists.

Her best friend Janet was a beautician and really wanted some premises where she could set up a beauty salon and give treatments like facials, manicures and pedicures.

The artwork would be displayed at the front of the shop.  People would walk past it to the room at the back for beauty treatments and the food would be in a little side room displayed in baskets and wooden boxes.  It was all going to look very posh!

Upstairs there was a large storeroom but Bill’s dad could turn part of it into a tiny meeting room to meet his clients if it was not possible for him to go to them.

Accountants don’t just add up figures, they give business advice as well sometimes.

Bill’s dad would have a lot to learn.



It was all very scary to make big changes in their lives but it was rather exciting too.

Auntie Alice and I said that we would help in any way we could and that we supported their decision – because life was too short to be unhappy.








Crafty Tip


This is a pattern for a square-based pencil case.


lt is just enough to carry a few pens in your bag, but it is big enough to put a short ruler inside as well.


lf you want to have crisp edge around the base, sew wrong sides together when you put the base of the sides to the base.



Using 4mm knitting needles and dk yarn cast on 12 stitches

Knit 14 rows of stocking stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and dk yarn cast on 12 stitches

Knit 60 rows of stocking stitch

Knit 4 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using over-sew stitching and with right sides together sew the bottom of the sides to the base and then the sides together

Cut a length of yarn 40cm and thread it around the bottom channel of the garter stitching






lt’s the Weekend!




The patterns for the dolls are on Blog Post 427 along with their school uniforms.



Using 4mm knitting needles and yellow dk yarn cast on 11 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Knit 8 rows of stocking stitch

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using over-sew stitching and with right sides together sew shoulder seams, under arm seams and side seams



Using 4mm knitting needles and red dk yarn cast on 24 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Knit 6 rows of stocking stitch

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and red dk yarn cast on 6 stitches

Knit 1 row

Knit 1, purl 4, knit 1

Repeat last 2 rows once

Knit 2 rows garter stitch

Cast off



  1. Using over-sew stitching and with right sides together sew up back seam
  2. Sew the bib to the centre top of the skirt
  3. Crochet 15 chains into a length of red yarn (twice) and attach the ends to the top corners of the bib and back of the skirt crossing them over at the back




Using 4mm knitting needles and blue dk yarn cast on 14 stitches

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Knit 10 rows of stocking stitch

Decrease 1 stitch at the beginning of the next 2 rows of stocking stitch

Knit 4 rows of stocking stitch

Knit 2 rows of garter stitch

Cast off



Using 4mm knitting needles and blue dk yarn cast on 6 stitches

Knit 1 row

Knit 1, purl 4, knit 1

Repeat last 2 rows once

Knit 2 rows garter stitch

Cast off



  1. Using over-sew stitching and with right sides together sew up top of trousers and inside leg seams
  2. Sew the bib to the centre top of the trousers
  3. Crochet 15 chains into a length of blue yarn (twice) and attach the ends to the top corners of the bib and back of the trousers crossing them over at the back



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand


  • Delia P says:

    This blog is outstanding quality. It teaches children skills that will be really useful for their life: cooking, knitting and how to learn well at school. This blog should be more famous than it is.

    Thank you for putting together such a wonderful piece of work.

    I wish you every success!

    • Salty Sam says:

      That is a lovely comment!.

      Thank you very much for your best wishes and thank you so much for writing in Delia.

  • Aimie says:

    Hello Salty Sam! Please keep on doing what you are doing here.

    So many things to see – articles, projects, quizzes and weekly updates on your life with your family and friends in Rocky Bay.

    Love it all!

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