BSL/sign with Fiona – Manners

Hi everyone,

Some of today’s signs I have touched on before but its always good to recap and see if you can remember them. 🙂

Today’s signs are focus on manners.


Thank You



Well Done


Adding some facial expressions when you are signing can help to convey your message.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post.




BSL/Sign with Fiona – Playtime

Hi Everyone,

As we get closer to more children returning to Cart Mill, let’s practice some signs focused around playtime:







Take turns



I hope you guys are having some fun with these signs.



BSL/Sign with Fiona – Zoo Animals

Hi everyone,

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all go to the zoo! Hopefully, we can soon but here are some zoo animal signs to practice before seeing the animals again.













A good way to remember and practise your signing is to incorporate them into songs and stories. Can you think of any songs with these animals or have any favourite storybooks where these animals pop up?




Week 6 – We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

It is hard to believe that we are now at Week 6 of our transition topic and we hope you have enjoyed the activities.

Can you believe it’s nearly the end of June? Where did the time go?

We have enjoyed seeing you all and we have one more preschool group tomorrow. It has been lovely to be able to say hello and goodbye to you all and we hope you have a lovely Summer before starting school in August.

Week 6 Transition Topic

Goodbye and Good Luck

This is normally a busy and very exciting time at Cart Mill as our pre school children prepare to take the next part of their education journey. All the staff love seeing the children excited at the prospect of getting their school uniform, visiting their new school, meeting their teachers and making new friends.
This year, we have been unable to celebrate this exciting time in the way we normally would and staff have missed out on tie ceremonies and school visits with the children too but we wanted to let you know we are all thinking about you and all wish you all the luck in the world. Our class of 2020 are an amazing group of children and we are so proud of them and the resilience they have shown during these strange times. To mark your next steps, all the staff at Cart Mill have prepared this little video for you to say goodbye and good luck.

Have a wonderful summer and enjoy Primary 1, continue to follow your dreams.
Lots of Love
The Cart Mill team 💜🌈⭐️

Sign/BSL with Fiona – Pets

Hi everyone,

This week I would like to share more signs with you, so for all of this week, there will be a sign language blog everyday 🙂

Some of my favourite times as a child was spending time with my pet rabbit and my gran’s dog.

My son loves spotting animals when he is outside and is now making the sign for dogs, which is very exciting for us. With this in mind, I have made some videos with the different signs used for pets.

I hope you are enjoying these. The blogs for the rest of the week will cover zoo animals, manners and playtime, however if you have any requests for signs you wish to learn please just let me know in the comments 🙂














Five senses- taste


Taste buds are sensory organs that are found on your tongue and allow you to experience tastes that are sweet, salty, sour, bitter and savoury. How exactly do your taste buds work? Well, stick out your tongue and look in the mirror. See all those bumps? Those are called papillae and most of them contain taste buds. Taste buds have very sensitive microscopic hairs called microvilli. Those tiny hairs send messages to the brain about how something tastes, so you know if it’s sweet, sour, bitter, savoury or salty. 

It’s not only our tongues that we use to taste though, we need to give our noses some credit too! Olfactory receptors inside the uppermost part of the nose contain special cells that help you smell and send messages to the brain. Here’s how it works: While you’re chewing, the food releases chemicals that immediately travel up into your nose. These chemicals trigger the olfactory receptors inside the nose. They work together with your taste buds to create the true flavour of that yummy slice of pizza by telling the brain all about it!

Fun fact- 

The average person has about 10,000 taste buds and they are replaced every 2 weeks or so. But as a person ages, some of those taste cells don’t get replaced. An older person may only have 5,000 working taste buds. That’s why certain foods may taste stronger to children than they do to adults.

Related activities-

  • Blind tasting- give your child a variety of foods to taste and ask. How would you describe the taste? Is it sweet? Salty? Bitter? Sour? Savoury? You can put a blindfold on them but a lot of children are uncomfortable with that so they could put their hand over their eyes or simply just close them.  If your child is not keen on trying new foods, try varying a food they are familiar with such as popcorn. Different flavours/toppings could be salty, sweet, cinnamon, paprika, parmesan. 
  • Categorise flavours- write the words sweet, sour, bitter, salty and savoury on five pieces of paper. Ask your child to taste a variety of foods and sort each food into the relevant taste category. Some examples of the various flavour groups are:

Sweet food – sugar, maple syrup, honey, cookies, berries, candy

Salty food – salt, pretzel sticks, crisps, crackers

Sour food – lemon, plain greek yogurt, vinegar, pickles

Bitter food – dark chocolate, olive, kale, broccoli

Savoury food – cheddar cheese, soy sauce, tomato, mushrooms

  • Discover how much our nose affects our sense of taste? Ask your child to taste a variety of foods, first while pinching their nose then without and describe the difference in the flavours. 

And finally, to bring the learning about all the senses together-

Create a chart using the five senses as headings to describe different foods e.g.

Taste- how does it taste? Touch- how does it feel? Sight- how does it look? Sound- how does it sound? Smell- how does it smell?
Crunchy Lumpy White Pop Buttery 
Salty Bumpy Fluffy Crunch Salty
Buttery Funny Round
Yummy! Soft

Remember to share your experiences on our twitter page @cartmillcentre.

Have a nice weekend,

Eilidh x

Five senses- touch


Your sense of touch allows you to discover how the world around you feels. Your skin is packed with millions of sensory nerve receptors of various kinds and each type responds to different sensations. They can tell you if something is hot or cold, dull or sharp, rough or smooth, wet or dry. These receptors transmit what is felt on the skin up to the brain which is then able to interpret what to do with what we feel. For example, when you touch a hot object, the signal will be sent to your brain, and the brain will quickly send a message back to your hand to stop touching the hot object. Although your brain receives messages all the time, it filters out the less important ones. That’s why you are not constantly aware of the clothes against your skin. The most sensitive parts of your skin have the most touch receptors in them. Your fingertips, lips and toes are all very sensitive. 

Fun fact- nerves carry thousands of signals every second from the touch receptors to the sensory area of the brain.

Related activities-

  • Feely bags- choose a variety of items from around the house and put them, one at a time, inside a bag or a box ensuring your child cannot see the object. Ask them to use as many words to describe the object as possible before guessing what it is. Is it soft, hard, rough, smooth, sticky, thin, thick, wet, slimy, dry, big, small, cold, hot, heavy, light etc? For example, a polished rock could be described as: hard, smooth, heavy, cold, and small. 
  • Touch receptors- which parts of your body have the most receptors and are most sensitive? Blind fold your child or ask them to close their eyes then, using a very light touch, tap your child in the following places: forehead, nose, lips, cheek, ear, neck, collarbone, arm, finger tip, palm, back of hand, inside of wrist, stomach, back, leg, top of foot, sole of foot, toes. Ask them to identify the body part as you touch it then at the end ask them to identify where they felt the sensation the strongest and the weakest.
  • Textured playdough- try adding rock salt, rice, lentils, split peas, sawdust or sand to your usual playdough recipe and discuss how it feels while playing.
  • Sensory footpath- create a circle of different sensory items for your child to walk through. I have done this previously by putting large trays on the ground and filling them with sand, soil, water, jelly, rice, spaghetti, grass, beans, gloop etc. Each time the child went round the circuit they had to think of a different word to describe what their feet were feeling. If you don’t have trays you could use large Tupperware tubs, shape some kitchen foil into a tray shape or (to be slightly more environmentally friendly) if you use natural materials just put it straight onto the garden path and hose it off later.
  • Touch and feel book- glue various items such as cotton wool, a nail file, sand etc on to paper then write down as many words as you can think of to describe these objects. You could link this to the feely bag game and ask your child to draw the objects they felt or stick in photos of the objects and write down all the words that were used to describe them. 
  • Drawing on your back- to emphasise that we feel using all of our skin and not just our hands, tape a piece of paper to your child’s back then draw a picture on the paper and ask them to draw the same picture on a piece of paper in front of them just by feeling and copying your movements. Start simple by just drawing a circle, a triangle etc then you can get as creative as like. Swap around and have your child draw on your back. Comparing the two pictures should provide some interesting results and a few laughs!

Remember to share any activities you enjoyed on our twitter page @cartmillcentre

Have fun,

Eilidh x