How to create a summer holiday blog

14 Aug 2009
Child on computer

Looking for something to keep a 5-7 year old occupied? Barry Collins guides you through creating a summer holiday blog with our step-by-step tutorial

With even the Government admitting parts of the school ICT curriculum are failing to stretch pupils far enough, there's never been a greater need for parents to give their children a helping hand. That's why we've teamed up with teachers and IT education experts to create a series of fun but challenging computing tasks for school children.

Our tailor-made tutorials are designed to stretch your children's IT talents and teach them skills they won't necessarily learn at school - and maybe even teach parents a thing or two. In the first of these tutorials, we show you how to create a fun summer holiday blog for 5-7 year olds.

Choose your blog service

Choose your blog service

The new primary curriculum focuses on creating digital content, so give your child a head start by helping them create a blog of their summer holidays. We're using the WordPress-based Edublogs, which is used by many British schools and provides plenty of friendly tutorials. It does have a 20MB upload cap on free accounts. If you don't want to pay, Wordpress (www.wordpress.com) or Blogger (www.blogger.com) are more generous

Decide on your blog's theme

Decide on your blog's theme

Go to http://edublogs.org and register for a free blog. Give it a suitable name, such as "Suzie's Summer Holidays". Next, change the blog's theme to something a little more child-friendly. Click Design and pick from the available themes, such as Anubis or Pink-Kupy. On certain themes you can change the image that appears at the top of the blog's homepage by selecting Custom Image Header.

Write your first blog post

Write your first blog post

Help your child to write brief reports about days out or holidays you take over the summer. Click Write New Post, give the post a title (for instance, Visit to Colchester Zoo) and enter text into the box below. You may want to boost the font size to make it more readable for small eyes - click the Show/Hide Kitchen Sink button (far right) and choose Heading 1 or Heading 2 from the font dropdown menu

Add a picture to the blog

Add a picture to the blog

Encourage your child to take photos on days out - or ask them to draw pictures of their days out and scan them in. Pictures can be added to blog posts by clicking the little square next to Add Media and following the on-screen instructions. Resize large photos first, or you'll quickly surpass the 20MB upload limit. Click Publish in the right-hand panel to make your blog post live.

Embed a video in the blog

Embed a video in the blog

Most mobile phones and compact digital cameras allow you to shoot videos of your days out. Upload these videos to YouTube (www.youtube.com), play the video, and then copy the "embed" HTML code that appears alongside the clip. Go back to your Edublog post, select the HTML tab and paste the HTML code into the post. Click Publish when finished

Decide restrictions on comments

Decide restrictions on comments

Finally, it's important to protect your child's blog from offensive spam comments. Click Settings | Discussion, and then tick the box that says an Administrator Must Always Approve the Comment. This will allow you as a parent to moderate comments before they appear on your child's site. You'll be sent an email every time a new comment is added, with options to approve or block the comment

Child on computer

Child on computer

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