Something active for what looks like another cold day.
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. And if you still have a lot of snow about, then making and throwing snowballs is just as good
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.
One of the things people worry about is whether children can sit still. So, how do we learn this? By moving about, of course! As children move, and gain more control, they become more able to focus and be still
But that’s not really that important. Feeling good in your body, feeling in control of it – these are the foundations for resilience, the sense that we can cope with things and can have a go at a challenge
Today is all about moving and laughing. There is counting too, as you have to jump a certain number of times. You’ll need to tailor this to your child as some will know more numbers than others. If your child is secure counting to 2, 3 or 4, then start there and see if you can built another number on.
Or if, like many young children, your child is not that secure with counting at all – then let them jump or kick along with you as you count for them.
If this just turns into random movement, don’t worry – this means your child is developing coordination and that’s what they need right now.
A story today that gets us moving about and dancing – you can do it indoors or out!
But first, settling down with a story, hearing it over and over, and interacting with the pictures – these are great ways for children to learn new words, develop concentration and listening skills
And how to manage feelings. There is a scary fox at one point! But it all turns out OK in the end (I won’t spoil the ending …)
So many play ideas to take the fun and learning further. Pretend to be a rabbit? Dance til someone says “fox” and then be still as you can? Find out more about the instruments the rabbits play – can you make a trumpet out of a cardboard tube or a drum out of, well, anything strong enough?
Snow is forecast for today and tomorrow, so hopefully you will get some (but not too much!)
We don’t often get enough for a full size snowman, but that does not matter. There are smaller things to make – how about a mini snowman, snow cat, snow dog, snow mouse, snow “not sure what it is”?
A chance to explore and see what you can find to decorate – sticks, pebbles, leaves …
It is fun, and there is lots of learning about different feels and textures and how we describe them. Also about estimating, and talking about concepts like more, enough or less. And lots of maths too as we explore the shapes we make and chat about them.
And a final part can be watching your creation melt in the next few hours or days, saying goodbye – it may not seem much, but this can helps build resilience to change and loss too.
But mainly it is about having fun in the snow. Just make sure you find somewhere clean and safe to play.
Have you ever thought about the huge variety of patterns that are part of our everyday lives? If not, today could be the day!
When children become aware of patterns, they are fascinated by them and will begin to see them in everything …
Understanding what makes a pattern helps children to learn things like rhythm and time, how to make predictions and many other skills they will use in daily life. It even underlies learning about number and how to write a story.
Enjoy playing and talking together with your child today as you find patterns everywhere!
And remember, nature outside is full of patterns. Snowy or frosty days are great for pattern spotting but you need to be quick or they will disappear!
There’s still quite a bit of ice around, and it is great stuff to explore and play with
Take care out and about – it can be slippery! But children can get so much from exploring the texture, the feel, the slidey surfaces
If you don’t want to venture out, or don’t have any ice nearby you can safely get to, then there is lots you can do indoors with a freezer or freezer compartment – try making some ice with your child, or taking some out and seeing how it slides across the table. What does it feel like to hold?
All the time, your child will be learning a lot of science, as well as about their senses and how to describe temperature and other experiences. They will be exploring water and how it can change – be warned, they may want to know how the freezer works!