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

Heads, shoulders, knees, and toes

A song today to get us all moving, and a great one to share if social distancing with family or friends outdoors

It is the kind that gets stuck in your head – great for learning body parts and about rhyme and rhythm.

As you get good at the song, you can start to miss out the words – ” …, shoulders, knees and toes”. This develops coordination and attention.

And how fast can you go?

Words, music and a video to watch are on the downloadable sheet

2 metre play togethers

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

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.

Squishy bags

Sensory play is brain building work for children. It allows them to explore, problem solve and be creative. 

It doesn’t always have to be messy! Squishy bags are great way for children and families to enjoy mess-free messy play! 

Although glitter and shiny stars make eye catching squishy bags, the use of natural items such as flowers and leaves can spark children’s creativity even more – and they’re free! 

This is also a great activity for adults as it’s very calming and will chase worries and stresses away. 

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

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:

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

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Question Mark Muncher!

What if there was a way, by just playing and having fun, we could help children learn more words, build concentration and develop more ideas and concepts? A way that involves no effort at all?

There is! And this is where the Question Mark Muncher can help.

Children get asked so many questions! But they don’t actually learn that much from them.

Instead, if we make comments and say what we see – and then wait for and build on their responses – then they learn a lot and the play is even more fun for everyone.

So today’s idea is just to play. But to be careful with questions. This can be very tricky for adults as we are often in the habit of asking lots of them.

But help is at hand …

For more information about the ideas behind this, click for Words Up posters

Awful Orchestra

You don’t need expensive equipment to make music. Any household object has a playful tune in it if only we look or listen hard enough.

Music can express our deepest feelings and draw us together as families and communities

It is also an excuse to make a racket and have fun!

Today’s idea is all about children playing with rhythm and different sounds. Without even realising, this will develop their coordination and attention skills

It is also a great way to feel close, take turns and enjoy being together

Almost anything can be a musical instrument – some ideas in the sheet below. Make sure you keep an eye on your child so they are playing safely!