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.

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. 

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! 😊

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

Fruit Kebabs!

A nice, colourful fruit kebab is refreshing and fun to make with your child, especially during warm weather. 

It can sometimes be tricky to get children to taste new fruits and this is a great way of helping them to have a wee try whilst having fun. 

At the same time, they will be learning vocabulary about colours, food, about before/after, big/small – and practising finger skills that are great for pre-writing, as well as learning about patterns and sorting

If you don’t have fruit at home right now, then there are some fun online games about food and cooking here