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Christmas at Cotswold Education (2022!)

If you follow us on social media, you'll know that we've been doing a Christmas Countdown of mini 11plus inspired challenges and other ideas for keeping the kids entertained over the Christmas period. We've put them all together below in case you wanted to look back over them!

1. Use a recipe for a batch of Christmas cookies, but change the servings number. What ingredient quantities will you need? You can use any Christmas cookie recipe you want! Looking for inspiration? Have a look at the BBC Good Food website.

2. Make Christmas decorations with nets of 3D shapes Try making Christmas decorations using nets of 3D shapes. Print out (or make!) a net of a 3D shape and decorate it to make it Christmas themed. You could try:

  • A cube = Christmas present or a tree decoration

  • A pyramid = Christmas tree

  • Use multiple nets! Can you make a Christmassy house or a snowman?

Nets are a great way of practicing non-verbal reasoning skills. We'd love to see how creative you can be - let us know what you make!

3. Play a game of Christmas hangman Word games are a great way of building up vocabulary without using flashcards or memory tests. You could make up the words as you go or find some more unusual words, write them down, fold them up and put them in the middle of the table. Take it in turns to pick a word!

4. Make paper chains with patterns 5. Add up how many gifts are given in the ’Twelve Days of Christmas’. Is there a pattern? If you’re feeling ambitious find how many legs are mentioned in the song If you don't know the song, the lyrics to the final verse are:

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love sent to me

Twelve drummers drumming

Eleven pipers piping

Ten lords a-leaping

Nine ladies dancing

Eight maids a-milking

Seven swans a-swimming

Six geese a-laying

Five golden rings

Four calling birds

Three french hens

Two turtle doves, and

A partridge in a pear tree

6. Read about Christmas in another country Do they have the same traditions? Why do we have Christmas trees in this country?

7. How many letters have reflectional symmetry in the message below:

8. Make a Christmas shopping list with a budget If you had £30 and 4 people to buy for, how much would you have for each person?

9. Plan a Christmas walk There's some beautiful light displays in Gloucestershire this year as well as free National Park walks if you're looking to go further afield. What's in your local area?

10. Make decorative stars with reflectional symmetry 11. Try this:

12. Learn the number of weeks and days in a year Is there a song or rhyme that you use to help you remember?

13. Play scrabble or a similar word game If you want to give yourself a challenge, decide that you can ONLY use Christmas related words.

14. Try this Christmas letter/word code Three of the words match the number codes below. Match the letters to numbers to work out the new word.

15. Can you work out the Christmas words for these analogies?

16. Read a passage from a classical Christmas story such as ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens or The Railway Children by E Nesbit. Free kindle editions are available online. If you like curling up with a good book, try reading a passage from a Christmas Classic! What's your favourite book at Christmas? Reading is one of the best ways of building up vocabulary, which is great for the 11plus test.

17. Play a game involving dice What are your family games nights like?

18. Crack this Christmas code using the alphabet below.

19. Make paper cut-out snowflakes

Before you open it up, guess what the unfolded snow flake will look like based on where you've cut the paper. Are you right? Do it the other way round and sketch out what you want your snowflake to look like. Can you work out where to cut the paper?

This is another great way of practicing some of the net based questions from the 11plus! 20. Write a Christmas shopping list (or a new year's resolution) in code to keep it secret

Either make up your own code or try splitting the alphabet in half and using the opposite matching letters for each word. e.g. C is the third letter in the alphabet, X is the third to last letter in the alphabet. A is the first letter in the alphabet and Z is the last letter in the alphabet.

Can anyone in your home crack the code?

21. Find out the difference between the temperature today at home and that in Brisbane, Australia Why is the temperature so different?

22. How many days are there between Christmas Eve and the day you return to school? You probably won't want to be thinking about this yet!

23. Play a game with a regular pack of playing cards 24. Follow Santa on the Santa tracker. How much sooner will Santa arrive in Auckland, New Zealand than California, USA?

You can find a Santa Tracker here:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all of us at Cotswold Education (not all featured in the picture above!) We look forward to seeing you soon.



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