Looking for a book to explore a range of topics in early years and KS1? Then look no further than Otters Vs Badgers. This is a book that you could explore for a week or even across a term. There really is so much opportunity to learn through play and get children engaged with this text.
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Otters Vs Badgers Synopsis
We thought this book was sheer brilliance. Otters and Badgers don’t get along. They keep to their own sides of the river. That is until flavour seeking Francie goes in search of a new ingredient to make her cookies even more scrumptious. Inadvertently, Francie crosses into Badger turf and the truce the two animals have had is threatened. Can Francie’s magical bakes be just the thing that’s needed to bring Badgers and Otters back together in harmony?
Ideas for Early Years and Key Stage 1 Learners
Exploring Feelings and Emotions
Developing skills for conflict resolution. You could get children to ‘hot seat’ as a badger or an otter and talk about how they are feeling.
There’s a recipe at the back of the book to get you started. Great opportunity to read a recipe (depending upon where your children are at with their reading, I’ve been known to re-write recipes and use pictures to aid comprehension). Lots of measuring opportunities using different equipment such as scales and measuring jugs.
Set up a Bakery
Shop role play (you could make items to sell from salt dough, draw or junk model items). Obviously, there can be money with plenty of one more/ one fewer – addition/ subtraction – multiplication/ division etc. You might need to weigh produce to sell. It’s also such a good way to support language develop and turn taking in conversation.
Go one step further with your baking and bakery roleplay – get children to bake and sell their cakes to caregivers at the end of the day or friends and family.
Foraging for Kids
Francie in the book goes foraging for berries. You could introduce children to the idea of foraging and talk about the fun and the risks. Go for a local walk to understand the local area better. September would be a good time to think about blackberries.
Make a sign/ posters to keep out either the badgers or the otters. Pretend you are one of the characters and write your own speech bubble of what you would say. Labels for products in the bakery.
Have a class party as the otter and badgers where they all come together to share cake. You could have a picnic outside if the weather is fine. Invite the head teacher or a neighbour to enjoy your baking. You can shared write an invite together or compose individual invites.
These are just a few ideas that sprung to mind – certainly a book to bring alive your classroom or home with lots of ways to learn through stories and play.
Recommended Further Reading Opportunities
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World of Food from Templar as you can look at breads and sweets from around the world.
More recipe books for children to explore; we love Kids Can Bake and others in the series from GMC Publishing. The latest release is Kids Can Cook Vegetarian.
The Bread Pet from Barefoot Books- rooted in community spirit, diversity and sour dough!
101 Dishes for the Emperor – traditional tale exquisitely illustrated and centred around community coming together. One you need to see!
A Gift for Amma – Market Day in India another brilliant one from Barefoot Books – great if you’re looking at comparisons and contrasts with other places around the world.
Monster Maths Money from BookLife Publishing is a fab little book to introduce the concept of money. I like that it is generic on the type of currency.
If you’re UK based then Ed and Bunny books from Money Heroes are superb – you can get these free on request here. We signed up to the site, requested the items – books and a game – they arrived within a week. There are digital resources and printables too. Highly recommended.
Even if you’re a city school/ home there’s still the possibility of foraging and Urban Forest School from GMC Publications has a spread on foraging and recipes.
I hope this post has been helpful please do drop a comment or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got any suggestions. Thanks for reading. Lisa x