Treasure Hunt!

Today’s idea is to turn your home into an island full of treasure that children can hunt for

You can send them off to look for items, and while they burn off excess energy they will be learning all about attention and searching, and developing their memories.

You can make the searches as easy or as tricky as suits your child. How many blue things can they find? Can they bring you two things at a time?

Or you can play online with family, friends or anyone your child might be missing seeing or playing with

Make a walk a treasure hunt – can you spot a traffic light? A bird? A cloud?

Rainbow Snow!

Today we have a way to unleash the creativity of the whole family, and for young children it is a chance to try out mark-making, creating works of art and experimenting with shapes

Snow can be lovely at first, but it can quickly get a bit patchy and tired.

By using coloured water to draw on the snow, children are also playing with ideas about “how much”, “how far” and also practising making plans

It will probably also be quite a laugh – try not to mind if it gets rather silly too.

Or if you’ve still got lots of fresh snow, why not make a snowman, a snow dog, a nice snow-anything!

Snowman fun!

Snow is forecast for today and tomorrow, so hopefully you will get some (but not too much!)

We don’t often get enough for a full size snowman, but that does not matter. There are smaller things to make – how about a mini snowman, snow cat, snow dog, snow mouse, snow “not sure what it is”?

A chance to explore and see what you can find to decorate – sticks, pebbles, leaves …

It is fun, and there is lots of learning about different feels and textures and how we describe them. Also about estimating, and talking about concepts like more, enough or less. And lots of maths too as we explore the shapes we make and chat about them.

And a final part can be watching your creation melt in the next few hours or days, saying goodbye – it may not seem much, but this can helps build resilience to change and loss too.

But mainly it is about having fun in the snow. Just make sure you find somewhere clean and safe to play.

Patterns everywhere

Have you ever thought about the huge variety of patterns that are part of our everyday lives? If not, today could be the day!

When children become aware of patterns, they are fascinated by them and will begin to see them in everything …

Understanding what makes a pattern helps children to learn things like rhythm and time, how to make predictions and many other skills they will use in daily life.  It even underlies learning about number and how to write a story.

Enjoy playing and talking together with your child today as you find patterns everywhere!

And remember, nature outside is full of patterns. Snowy or frosty days are great for pattern spotting but you need to be quick or they will disappear!

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Sink or swim?

Children love playing with water, whether it’s splashing in puddles or in the bath.  Not only is it great fun but they can learn so much through ‘skiddling’!

Todays ‘daily tip’ helps children learn about floating, sinking and so much more using everyday items. 

Have fun! 

Click here for a great song to start you off

Flashy fun!

The dark can be scary, and it can also be exciting! If we can give children fun experiences with darkness, where they feel in control, the easier they will feel about it and their fears will gradually fade

Judge this activity according to your child – it does not need total darkness. They may be happy just spending the time experimenting with drawing the curtains during the day to see the changes in a room. Or they may want the full pitch dark experience!

It is a fun version of a treasure hunt, where children try to find shiny things in a darkened room by using a torch or the light on your phone. This can lead to explorations about shiny and dull things, reflections and brightness – or just to gradually more and more difficult searches as your child challenges you to find things.

You can do this indoors or out, but make sure you are in a safe place like your own garden if going outdoors in the dark

Ice, Ice!

There’s still quite a bit of ice around, and it is great stuff to explore and play with

Take care out and about – it can be slippery! But children can get so much from exploring the texture, the feel, the slidey surfaces

If you don’t want to venture out, or don’t have any ice nearby you can safely get to, then there is lots you can do indoors with a freezer or freezer compartment – try making some ice with your child, or taking some out and seeing how it slides across the table. What does it feel like to hold?

All the time, your child will be learning a lot of science, as well as about their senses and how to describe temperature and other experiences. They will be exploring water and how it can change – be warned, they may want to know how the freezer works!

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My own space

Some mornings we just want to hide under the bedclothes, and it is no different for children

Building a den, or a fort, or a spaceship to be in can be a great help if children are worried or stressed.

And anyway, it is a fun way to develop planning and action skills, and end up with a place where it is nice to be cosy and have stories or play

It can be inside or outside, big or small. Your child might want to make it themselves, or for you to help (or do most of the work …). You might help them find materials like boxes, sheets, branches, etc

And think how to decorate it and make it a good place to be. Older children can help too to make it a family space, or everyone might want their own.


This kind of space can be very helpful for children who have sensory issues or who get over-stressed quite easily. Click here for some more ideas that might help them

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Winter Wonderland!

It may be a bit grey and cold outside, but there is a whole world of learning and fun out there for young children (even if the weather is so bad you can only look at it through the window!)

Learning about seasons and the changes that happen is not just about science (important as that is). It also gives children a sense of stability in how the world works and makes life more predictable.

We could all do with a little of that right now, maybe.

So today’s idea is very simple. You may be going out anyway for a walk, to go to the shops, or just to get rid of cabin fever and away from the chores

It is a way to help your child learn to notice things, to see and feel what winter is like – and chat about it for as long as they are interested

Foam fun

Making a mess and getting all messy can be great fun. Clearing it up, less so! Sometimes parents worry about messy play – is it really worthwhile, what about the carpet or the dog?

But there is so much learning that happens through mess and exploring different textures and effects. Foam is also great for developing mark making and understanding shapes – all of which is part of getting ready to write

Today’s idea is very clean messy play as it involve soapy foam. Make sure you use a source for the foam that is OK for your child’s skin – if they have a favourite bubble bath, that is ideal

Store cupboard searches

Children love being nosy and taking things out and putting them back, so today’s idea is all about exploring cupboards to learn about different kinds of foods

Depending on your kitchen you may prefer to fill up a box for them to explore safely on the floor or table top – or you may have a ground level cupboard they can access more independently

As they find things, or take them out of the box, chat about what kind of food they are, where it comes from and what we can do with it

You never know, they may end up making the dinner “with” you!

Musical statues

Another game today that can be played outside at a safe distance of 2 metres with family or friends – or at home just with your child

It is an old favourite that is usually a lot of laughs, but there is a lot of learning too

Your child will be developing the key skill of “not doing” something – stopping ourselves doing or saying something is really hard and games like this help build your child’s control over their actions

Plus, dancing around and laughing at people (safely) falling over is really good for our wellbeing …

The cow who fell to Earth

Today a lovely story by Nadia Shireen about a little cow who goes travelling in space!

It is a great story just to enjoy, and it also has learning about what makes groups of people different and how we can all get along (Moon cows are a bit like us, but also not … Woo Woo!)

And to make your child curious about different languages and how they sound. Or if today is a more active day, you can show your child how to slow down by playing counting down games

Or dig out some photos of places you have been and chat about how the people were different there

When everyone is tired, there is always the chance to hear the story again, or do some drawing and mark making all about it.

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

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.