Learning to count is really hard – there is a lot to think about and get right. It is easy to rush children into counting things before they really understand exactly what they are doing and why
What’s best is to show them counting in a real context when we are getting things done.
Adults are counting things all the time – we just don’t notice it anymore and do it in our heads.
Today’s idea is just to take some of the times during the day when we count things (putting on socks, laying tables, tidying toys, sharing out sprouts) and do it out loud so your child can hear and see – and join in if they can.
If you build this into your regular routine, it can really help with numeracy without having to do any teaching at all.
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
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!
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
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!
Today we have a game about observing and remembering
You can play this with any small objects you have around the home – start with a couple until your child gets the idea. They may even want to challenge you!
Anyone in the family can play, and it is another good one to enjoy with loved ones during a video chat
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! 😊
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
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
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?