Home Learning – Primary Computing resources

Hello parents, carers, teachers and kids,

We have gathered together some of our fun activities for you to do at home. We have lots more, but here is a selection.  Our resources are always creative and active and along the way, you will learn about computing. Click on an image to find out more (including what you’ll need) then follow the links for more instructions.

Lots of these projects don’t need a printer (though a printer might help). Those that don’t need a printer are marked in yellow. Where a project needs a printer we’ve tried to link to online alternatives where possible.

For additional help please contact cs4fn@eecs.qmul.ac.uk and also see the hashtags on Twitter of #ComputingAtHome and  #HomeLearning.

1. The Romans 2. The Egyptians 3. Easter Rabbit
4. Free magazines 5. Algorithmic
Doodle Art
6. Pattern matching
7. Magic Tricks
Invisible Palming
8. Make a
cyborg hat
9. Be a Tour
10. Emotional robot 11. Mini computer zine

Project details

1. The Romans

The Romans project gets you using and creating colourful mosaic patterns. You will find out about Roman numerals and how pixels work in representing digital images.

Requirements: you can do this on a computer, or you’ll need a printer and coloured pens /pencils.

Roman mosaics – printer or online (but read the printer page first to see what the pattern is)
Roman numeral pixel puzzleprinter or colour in on a computer (look for the .xlsx file) – may need an adult’s help in using Excel (if you don’t have Excel you can use the Open Office version free). There’s also an Egyptian puzzle version below.

2. The Egyptians

The Egyptians project gets you spotting patterns as you work out where words fit into a Kriss-Kross grid. The 11- and 13- letter words can only fit in one place each, you will need to use logic and pattern-matching to figure out the puzzle. Other words might fit in more than one place but you need to match to the letters already in place. This activity combines logical thinking with literacy, history and art. Solve the Kriss-Kross, colour the pictures, find out who or what all the words refer to.

Requirements: you will need a printer for this (coloured pens / pencils optional). You can create your own kriss-kross pattern online. To find out more about the words used you’ll need a search engine or history/ reference books.

Egyptian kriss-kross puzzle download the PDF, print or do on computer and fill in the squares, (if printed colour in) and find out more about the words
Egyptian hieroglyph pixel puzzledownload the PDF, print and colour in. This uses Egyptian numeral hieroglyphs (find out more) to represent colours in a mosaic.
• For older children our page on Egyptians and computing contains the Vector Collage Puzzle and the Run Length Encoding Pixel Puzzle (both puzzles require access to a printer).

3. Easter Rabbit Origami

The Easter Rabbit Origami project needs precision! Follow the origami instructions to make a rabbit. Instructions are like algorithms – a series of instructions that must be followed precisely and in the right sequence. By making this rabbit you’re following a program of instructions, just like a computer. The ‘output’ is a folded paper bunny.

Requirements: a piece of paper (ideally coloured) and something to make eyes, nose and mouth. The instructions are in a PDF but you don’t need to print this to use it, just keep it open on your phone or computer.

Origami algorithms (Easter Bunny) – view the PDF instructions online
• If you’re feeling crafty we have lots of other suggestions for things to make and do in Computer Science and Craft and lots more Easter activities.


4. Free magazines

We have three issues of A bit of CS4FN magazine. Our magazine is free and can be downloaded as a PDF to use online, or can be printed.  Aimed at ages 9-11, children can either read the magazine and do the activities independently or you can read and do the activities as a family. These magazines are fun, creative and action-packed.

We also have a separate section of our website, A bit of CS4FNfull of reading material for our younger computer scientists.

Issue One Issue Two Issue Three

5. Algorithmic Doodle Art

The Algorithmic Doodle Art project gets you to be creative. Follow the instructions with a touch of randomness to create simple and very beautiful patterns. A similar process is used to generate images in movies. Draw plants, Christmas trees or beasts!

Requirements: pen or pencil and paper (no printer needed). If you have a computer you can run a version in your programming software too.

Algorithmic doodle art use pen and paper, view the PDFs on-screen.

6. Pattern matching puzzles

For our youngest learners, we have some picture puzzles. Ideal for KS1 (5 to 7 years old) there are numeracy and literacy puzzles.

Requirements: pen and paper. A printer will help but an adult or older learner would be able to draw/ copy the patterns onto paper from the on-screen PDFs before giving to a child to complete. Coloured pens / pencils optional.

Pattern matching puzzlesplay Odd Cat Out, Caterpillar patterns and Lighthouse patterns.
• We have lots more puzzles here

7. Magic Tricks – Invisible Palming

Learn about computer science and become a magician! “Magically” move a card from one pile to another by palming it invisibly.

Requirements: 15 cards of the same size (any kind of cards will do)

Find out how to do the trick, then read on for the explanation.
• For older children we have some more detailed information about this magic trick
• Even more magic and computer science

8. Make a cyborg hat

Find out about brains and computers by making a cyborg hat. Print, colour in, cut-out, fit and wear (with robot style) a paper-based brain hat which highlights some similarities between computers/ robots and our brains.

Requirements: printer, A4 paper, colouring pens/pencils, scissors, tape or glue. Aimed at 7 – 8 years old but may need adult help when using scissors or taping together.

Print your own cyborg brain hat here.

9. Be a Tour Guide

Find out about a classic computer science puzzle. The Tour Guide activity lets you devise a tour that gets a tourist from their hotel to all the city sights and back to their hotel. It involves representing information (data) in the form of a simple diagram (graph) and using sequences and instructions to get from A to B and back again. But here is the catch – each tourist attraction can be visited just once on this tour.

Requirements: the instructions are in PDF form and the graph and sequence of steps can be drawn separately onto a piece of paper if no printer is available.

Tour Guide Activitycopy/draw the map and sequence list on pages 5 and 6 (suggested solution on pages 7 and 8) on the linked 8 page PDF. The first four pages are instructions and background information and can be read on-screen.
• This activity goes well with the Knight’s Tour Activity in which a chess knight has to move across all squares on a grid.


10. The emotional robot

Make a programmable card emotional robot face (one of our most popular downloads). Cut out, slot the strips through and pull back and forth to change the expression. Write out letter combination programs that match different expressions. Or draw your own.

Activity: The emotion machine


11. Mini computer zine

Print an A4 sheet, follow the instructions in the linked video for how to fold it, colour it in and make a tiny book about computing. Each page is available individually if you want to copy / adapt and make your own (eg if you don’t have a printer).

Activity: Make a computing zine


More resources

Computing At Home
Primary resources (this page) | More primary resources | Secondary resources

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Picture credits
In the table: the Egyptian hieroglyphs, pack of cards, cartoon man and woman holding a map.

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