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

Sharing our Stories

Every family has its ups and downs, but most have some happy or funny stories that children love to hear

Today is all about helping your child learn about the past, to practise asking questions. They will learn about how stories work too, and develop their understanding of sequences – great for later literacy and maths

But it is really all about feeling close and safe and cosy together. All you need are a few photos – about you, the family, your child when they were smaller – anything you’d like to tell your child about

This is a great thing to try during video chat with grandparents, family, friends – anyone your child might be missing who can show them a photo from the past and tell them about it

Or, make a photo diary of the day with your child to tell everyone about later!

Spot the Difference!

Adults have two really important skills that we almost never think about. But they underlie nearly every decision we make.

Think about how we choose where to go on holiday – we compare different options (sunshine or shopping?) To do this we have to put things into categories and compare them.

The other skill is seeing things from more than one perspective. This is all about understanding other people, and situations. It’s also a really important part of maths and problem solving

So how do we learn these skills? Through playing and talking of course!

Today’s idea is all about spotting the difference between any objects you have in the home. You can play it online too once your child has got the idea of it

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 …

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Tiny Treasure Chest

Who would have thought your home was full of treasure!

And treasure that can help your child learn all about exploring, how to be curious, how to count and categorise and how to learn about stories and history

This is a really simple game that all the family can play, and that grandparents or others can join in on Skype or FaceTime or similar

The trick is you have to use a really, really, really small treasure chest

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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!

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!

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Snakes and Ladders

As we all know at the moment, life has its ups and downs. Do you ever wonder how we learned to cope with them?

Schools are on holiday in Highland, so this week’s ideas are all about playing and fun.

But Snakes and Ladders is also a great way to understand numbers and how to count. At the same time, we learn how to cope with setbacks (even funny ones). And the whole family can play and feel together at this time.

Already know how to play? You’ll find some ideas here to make it more fun (and amuse your child for longer) by making your own board – or taking it outside and being “living pieces”!

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Laundry looking!

Did you know that helping you sort the clean clothes can be good for your child’s maths?  Or that it helps them learn how to concentrate or learn new words?

This idea is all about how to turn a bothersome daily chore into something you might enjoy together

As with everything, don’t feel you have to, and don’t force your child.  Stop when you’ve both had enough!