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.
One of the things people worry about is whether children can sit still. So, how do we learn this? By moving about, of course! As children move, and gain more control, they become more able to focus and be still
But that’s not really that important. Feeling good in your body, feeling in control of it – these are the foundations for resilience, the sense that we can cope with things and can have a go at a challenge
Today is all about moving and laughing. There is counting too, as you have to jump a certain number of times. You’ll need to tailor this to your child as some will know more numbers than others. If your child is secure counting to 2, 3 or 4, then start there and see if you can built another number on.
Or if, like many young children, your child is not that secure with counting at all – then let them jump or kick along with you as you count for them.
If this just turns into random movement, don’t worry – this means your child is developing coordination and that’s what they need right now.
A story today that gets us moving about and dancing – you can do it indoors or out!
But first, settling down with a story, hearing it over and over, and interacting with the pictures – these are great ways for children to learn new words, develop concentration and listening skills
And how to manage feelings. There is a scary fox at one point! But it all turns out OK in the end (I won’t spoil the ending …)
So many play ideas to take the fun and learning further. Pretend to be a rabbit? Dance til someone says “fox” and then be still as you can? Find out more about the instruments the rabbits play – can you make a trumpet out of a cardboard tube or a drum out of, well, anything strong enough?
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 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
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.