Moving mayhem

The weather forecast for the weekend is good so a play idea today that can be done safely when meeting up with family or friends and following public health guidance

But it is also fun at home too

It is all about helping your child do the same actions in different ways. This will help build coordination and self-control. It is as simple as starting off jumping quickly, and then jumping slowly … Or pretending to brush your teeth as though you are happy, and then as though you are grumpy.

Along the way, they will learn lots of words to describe actions and they may also have fun challenging you or others

Hey diddle diddle!

Sometimes life just does not make sense, and today’s rhyme certainly doesn’t!

Children enjoy nonsense, and it is a great way to play with language and let off steam at the same time

Hearing different sounds and how they fit together is an important foundation for reading and spelling.

And there is lots of play you can try after. Maybe not over the moon, but can you jump over a stick (how high?) or a puddle?

You can even do jumping contests out and about with loved ones while keeping a 2m distance

Can I play?

Today we have a story all about joining in, what it is like to be left out, how to share things and attention, and how to cope with bossy people!

It is a great story for if everyone is getting a bit fed up with lockdown and being on top of each other

And a chance to chat with your child about the future – making friends, how to play together and what to do if it goes wrong

You can watch the story together on the Book Trust youtube channel. It is by Caryl Hart and illustrated by Tony Neal.

Out of the box!

Some homes have more cardboard boxes around than usual at the moment as we have to get more things delivered

This may be a nuisance, but cardboard boxes are also one of the most useful resources for play and learning. They can be anything your child wants to imagine them to be – a castle, a boat, a hat, or even just a box to put things in!

Today the idea is simply to give your child some boxes and some decorating materials and see what they do with them. If they are stuck you can help with ideas, but the best learning will come from them taking the lead and you following

Remember to chat about what they are doing – say what you see (try not to ask too many questions!) and wait for a response.

Shapes and sizes

Remember trying to learn the difference between a rectangle and a square, or the different kinds of triangles?

Shapes can be much more interesting and fun than this, and they come in many different sizes too!

We have two games to try today. The first is a matching game where you draw round a few things and see if your child can match object to shape

Or you can help your child draw round lots of different items and compare them – if you get onto drawing round everyone’s hands and feet this could last all day …

Sleeping bunnies

Ever just feel like you could lie down and have a snooze?

Today’s song is all about the difference between being quiet and still and bouncing around. This is great fun, and also helps children develop skills to manage their levels of activity and feelings

And a chance to chat and learn about different animals and how they move about. A great one to do out and about with family or friends at a 2 metre distance too

Words, tune and two versions to watch (including one with signing) are on the downloadable sheet

The Ugly Duckling

A story and a song today that can take you almost anywhere!

It is about finding out who we are and how we fit in. And about how we can cope when things go wrong, or people are unkind – about not giving up

Or it is about how we change as we grow and learn new things

Or about birds, wildlife and nature

Mainly it is a fun way to enjoy a story or singing a song together, and along the way your child will learn lots about words and sequences too

Signposters

We often think of reading and writing as learning how to read words and spell them

But there is also a whole lot of learning about how texts work and what they are for. An email is something totally different to a recipe, for example – we use different words and structures

This body of learning is called “concepts of print” and it is just as important for school and for life as learning to turn letters into sounds.

And it is easy to learn about – our whole world is FULL of text and signs, from laundry labels to TV remotes to street signs and shop opening times

Today’s idea is all about spotting those signs in the home and outdoors and chatting with your child about them. You might even make some of your own too

Hot air balloons

Today’s idea is to make a hot air balloon! Or a small one, at any rate

You can either use a black bin bag, or there is a version for ordinary small balloons. Instructions are on the downloadable sheet – please take care with safety and supervise children at all points.

This can be lots of fun – you can involve older children and family and even have balloon races

Meanwhile your child will learn lots of science, coordination skills and language – and we have some stories to look at too, or make your own

Heads, shoulders, knees, and toes

A song today to get us all moving, and a great one to share if social distancing with family or friends outdoors

It is the kind that gets stuck in your head – great for learning body parts and about rhyme and rhythm.

As you get good at the song, you can start to miss out the words – ” …, shoulders, knees and toes”. This develops coordination and attention.

And how fast can you go?

Words, music and a video to watch are on the downloadable sheet

2 metre play togethers

Now we are in Phase 1 of lockdown in Scotland, there is more scope for being with friends and family outdoors – as long as we all follow the advice carefully

There is lots of fun and learning we can share even when 2 metres apart. Today’s idea develops listening and attention, language and self-control.

We offered it a few weeks ago for playing during video chats – still good for this, but can also be played outdoors from a distance. Or just at home with your child can be fun too.

Make an action – can your child copy you? Gradually make it more complicated. Label what you are doing with words.

If that goes well, then “Simon says” is a great way to take it further

I am a Tiger!

Today we have a story to share about a small mouse who thinks he is a tiger!

And why not? We learn in the story that even small people still have courage and dreams

It is a lot of fun to act out and pretend to be all the animals. And at the same time we learn about categories and comparing

Food stall fun

Even now the lockdown is easing, days at home may still seem long – and it is still tempting to snack away the time!

Today’s play idea is a way to have chats with your child about different kinds of food, and how we need to balance the different types

As you set up a shop together, your child can have a real experience of buying and selling – learning as well about money, shops and even some economics and politics (who says you can make sweets more expensive than fruit – is it fair?!)

You can download the Eatwell Plate here

What a nose!

Never mind the Tiger who came to tea, how about an elephant?

We have a couple of elephant songs today that will get your child moving about, learning about words, coordination – but hopefully not knocking things over

Words and music videos are on the sheet and some play ideas to take the learning further – dress up as an elephant, look for big and small things, or see how much you can find out about animals!

Handy hands!

Today’s idea uses something we all have – our hands!

We use our hands to do lots of things but how often do we stop to think about how handy our hands really are? 

Young children are fascinated by their hands and through play they learn to use them in so many different ways. 

You can have fun with your child exploring different ways of using hands and they will begin to understand just how important their hands are.

Have a happy handy hands day! And remember to wash them often.