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.

Number spotting!

There are numbers everywhere, and just by pointing them out and chatting to your child about them, they will learn lots about maths and how it works

See how many you can spot – and around you don’t usually notice?

And the different forms – clocks, house signs, addresses, phone numbers, recipes, games …

You might be surprised how often you use counting just running a home – see if you can do some of this out loud with your child!

Hairy Maclary

A story today that will make us laugh, while stretching our memories and showing us how stories and sequences fit together

All poor Hairy Maclary and his friends want to do is explore the town

But they get a terrible fright …

You can listen to and read the story with your child using the link below – and then see how your own explorations go! A chance as well to talk about friends, the things that might scare us, and how we can all be safe together

Squishy bags

Sensory play is brain building work for children. It allows them to explore, problem solve and be creative. 

It doesn’t always have to be messy! Squishy bags are great way for children and families to enjoy mess-free messy play! 

Although glitter and shiny stars make eye catching squishy bags, the use of natural items such as flowers and leaves can spark children’s creativity even more – and they’re free! 

This is also a great activity for adults as it’s very calming and will chase worries and stresses away. 

Water wall

Something for outdoors today – or inside if you have a suitable space that can get a bit wet!

It is all-day fun, and great for developing concentration, movement skills, vocabulary, understanding of cause and effect, science …

Use empty bottles, cartons or anything else you have around the house to build a water wall. Attach them to something static like a fence using screws, cable ties or garden wire. A basin at the bottom means you can collect the water and refill the containers on the wall. If you keep the lids of the containers you can pop them on and collect rain water to use next time. 

Bouncing balls

Something active for the end of the week and hoping for some good weather at the weekend too

This is not “just” bouncing and passing balls. Your child will learn a lot of science and maths – counting, how things move, forces.

Lots of words as well for describing movements, as they also develop their coordination skills. Great for sports, but also for school – hand/eye coordination is really important for writing, and a sense of space is vital for maths

But that’s for the future – click below for some ideas how to have fun, involve the whole family and learn at the same time

Sing a rainbow

We’ve had all the weather the last week – snow, hail, sunshine. And if we are lucky, there are some rainbows about too

Rainbows are even more special right now as a sign of hope and the love and care we have for each other

The great thing is, even if there isn’t one in the sky – you can sing your own!

Today we have a lovely song that helps your child learn about colours and rhythms. But it is also a really comforting one to sing or dance to together

Lots of play ideas for drawing and for finding out too

Scottish Book Trust have done a nice version with Makaton on this link