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

Making tracks

Something today that you can do indoors or outside and can be done big or small depending on how much space you have to play with

Making and then following tracks is a great way to build spatial awareness, and to learn the words and language connected with it.

There are lots of ways to do this – painting with cars on paper, making stepping stones outside – or just watching as a bike swooshes through a puddle

Bath time fun

Bath time is part of the routine, so why not make the most of it?

It is surprising how much your child can learn by having fun with any different bottles and containers you have (make sure these are safe to play with!)

There is learning about quantities and number, how to pour and concentrate – and it is a great way to enjoy what might otherwise be a chore

Make a pinwheel!

Making a pinwheel is easier than it looks and the fun is in watching them spin once they are finished.

It can also be really therapeutic for you and your children. Pinwheels can be used in mindfulness activities, to help you to concentrate on your breathing. Or just watching the spin and feeling how it changes as you blow helps with focus and calm

The patterns can be as simple or creative as you like. There are a couple of templates on the attachment below, but if you prefer you can start with a plain piece of paper and get arty! 

Pinwheels make a super rainy day activity, but if you are lucky enough get a dry day why not take them outside and see if you can get them spinning in a breeze?

Story sticks

Today you’re going to find out what a good imagination your child has – and you too! 

As you know, children love listening to and making up stories and they can do both in today’s activity, using only a few interesting everyday items they choose from around the house or garden.

Attaching their items to the sticks will certainly help to develop your child’s fine motor skills as it’s quite tricky! 

Talking with you about the different items and describing them together is a great way to grow their vocabulary and ideas too. Then they can start to create their own stories with your help. This will help with ideas of sequence and develop memory too!

It’s also great fun to make up silly nonsense stories! 😊

Ten pin bowling

You don’t need special kit for this – you can make a bowling game out of old bottles and a ball

Be warned this is a game that could last all day – you can do it indoors or out, and involve the whole family in a tournament (but make sure your young child has a chance!)

A great way for your child to learn without even realising – about coordination, concentration, weights, movement, counting and turn taking

If you want, you can make the “pins” more special – your child might want to decorate them.

And there are chances to talk to your child about useful maths words like near and far, quick and slow, in front and behind, left and right, forwards and backwards

But it is mainly about having a happy time and forgetting any worries for a while

Sock Puppet Friends!

When you’re sorting laundry there’s a good chance you’ll find some socks!

It’s easy to turn these into simple puppets that can delight your child and get their imagination going.

Puppets are a great way to develop communication skills – some children find it easier to express feelings and needs through a puppet too.

You can make them as fancy as you like, and your child might like to help you (or let you help them)

Making the puppet is only the start. The real fun begins when your child starts to play with their new puppet friend! You can join in too …

Any why not do a puppet show during a video call with a grandparent or anyone else your child loves and misses seeing!

Let’s “write” a letter!

We all have folk we miss at the moment, and young children are no different

Today’s idea is about how to help your child send a letter to someone they love and miss

Of course, you may have to do most of the writing. But you can use your child’s ideas for what to say, and they can make marks and add a picture, or even do some of the writing if they can

It is a great way to feel close to someone who is not with us, and to learn how to feel better when we are down. Children can also develop their fine motor skills and ideas about how texts work

Let’s go shopping!

It really can be fun going shopping with your child, particularly when you don’t even need to leave your house! 

Setting up a shop using things around your home can while away the hours (or several minutes at least!) and help your child to understand about the different kinds of shops and how money is used.

You can bring in children of different ages to play too – the children will develop the ideas themselves

It is also a great game for just being together, learning new words and having a laugh, as you sell and buy things – but don’t think you can out-haggle a young child!

Happy shopping! 😊

Sharing our Stories

Every family has its ups and downs, but most have some happy or funny stories that children love to hear

Today is all about helping your child learn about the past, to practise asking questions. They will learn about how stories work too, and develop their understanding of sequences – great for later literacy and maths

But it is really all about feeling close and safe and cosy together. All you need are a few photos – about you, the family, your child when they were smaller – anything you’d like to tell your child about

This is a great thing to try during video chat with grandparents, family, friends – anyone your child might be missing who can show them a photo from the past and tell them about it

Or, make a photo diary of the day with your child to tell everyone about later!

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?

Spot the Difference!

Adults have two really important skills that we almost never think about. But they underlie nearly every decision we make.

Think about how we choose where to go on holiday – we compare different options (sunshine or shopping?) To do this we have to put things into categories and compare them.

The other skill is seeing things from more than one perspective. This is all about understanding other people, and situations. It’s also a really important part of maths and problem solving

So how do we learn these skills? Through playing and talking of course!

Today’s idea is all about spotting the difference between any objects you have in the home. You can play it online too once your child has got the idea of it

Copy Cats!

Children learn a lot from copying us – more than we think, and sometimes more than we’d like them to!

A very simple game today. All you do is some simple actions, say what you are doing, and see if your child or children can copy you.

It may not sound much, but it is great for building a bond, developing attention and growing your child’s vocabulary. And they are also developing executive function – the ability to choose and control actions

This is a good game to play on video calls with anyone your child is missing – grandparents, a brother or sister or a parent who is away.


Safety note: make sure you avoid actions that involve touching the face so we all follow the current public health guidance