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.

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

I am a Tiger!

Today we have a story to share about a small mouse who thinks he is a tiger!

And why not? We learn in the story that even small people still have courage and dreams

It is a lot of fun to act out and pretend to be all the animals. And at the same time we learn about categories and comparing

Food stall fun

Even now the lockdown is easing, days at home may still seem long – and it is still tempting to snack away the time!

Today’s play idea is a way to have chats with your child about different kinds of food, and how we need to balance the different types

As you set up a shop together, your child can have a real experience of buying and selling – learning as well about money, shops and even some economics and politics (who says you can make sweets more expensive than fruit – is it fair?!)

You can download the Eatwell Plate here

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 go shopping!

It really can be fun going shopping with your child, particularly when you don’t even need to leave your house! 

Setting up a shop using things around your home can while away the hours (or several minutes at least!) and help your child to understand about the different kinds of shops and how money is used.

You can bring in children of different ages to play too – the children will develop the ideas themselves

It is also a great game for just being together, learning new words and having a laugh, as you sell and buy things – but don’t think you can out-haggle a young child!

Happy shopping! 😊

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

0

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

0

Recycling fun!

Some people love sorting the recycling – for others it is a boring chore

Everyone can have fun if your child joins in and helps you.

Not only does this give you some time together, there is a lot they can learn from it. About how the world works, what happens to our rubbish, why recycling is important

And also about sorting and sequencing, counting, talking and listening

You never know, they may be able to take it over and do it for you soon!

Welcome!

Thank you for visiting our website!

If you are looking for ideas how to help young children learn at home through play, scroll down! Or search using the tags.

You can also subscribe for a daily email using the “follow” button if you wish. This will arrive every weekday morning with a new idea for play, learning and fun

If you are looking for more general information about early child development and how to support this, then please use the menus above, or go to this link

These pages are created by people living and working in the Highlands of Scotland, but everyone is welcome to use them. You can find out more about us using the About menu

Playing and talking together, having fun, a listening ear and loving kindness – that’s all our young children need from us to learn and develop right now.

0

Literacy at home Part 1

Almost anything you do with your child will help develop their literacy.

Through conversations with you, they can learn new words and how to use them. There is a link below to show four key things that really help

Playing and helping you with tasks in the home develops your child’s movement and coordination, which will help with their handwriting. They can make marks and draw pictures to show their ideas. You can let them “help” when you are reading or writing – such as a shopping list or a TV programme guide

The most important thing you can do with your child is to share and enjoy stories, songs and rhymes together.

Look out for more posts on literacy at home!