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 …

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

Hey diddle diddle!

Sometimes life just does not make sense, and today’s rhyme certainly doesn’t!

Children enjoy nonsense, and it is a great way to play with language and let off steam at the same time

Hearing different sounds and how they fit together is an important foundation for reading and spelling.

And there is lots of play you can try after. Maybe not over the moon, but can you jump over a stick (how high?) or a puddle?

You can even do jumping contests out and about with loved ones while keeping a 2m distance

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.

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

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.

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

Five speckled frogs

Some helpful frogs are going to sing along with us today so we can learn about numbers and about nature – and have fun jumping too!

You can act out this song, and take it outside – or move on to looking up facts about frogs and toads

Whether you sing like an opera star or a toad in a pond, it is a great way to have fun with your child while they learn

And some cut out pictures to play with too:

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

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

Incy Wincy Spider

An old favourite today that is great for developing ideas of up and down, finger movements, learning about weather …

But most children will want to know about the creepy crawlies, so we have some ideas for how you can explore that too!

Remember it does not matter if you sing like a drainpipe – your child will love to do this song with you. Words and actions are on the sheet, or you can find them on this link too

Plop Bucket

Today’s idea is very simple – all you need is a bucket of water and some cleaned coins

But from this play, children can learn about taking turns, can develop their hand-eye coordination (really useful for writing later on, not to mention sports)

And they can count out their winnings, learn about different coin values – all the while doing some science as they watch the way coins float and fall in water!

All the family can play – you can even challenge the grandparents over a video-call …