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

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! 😊

Ten pin bowling

You don’t need special kit for this – you can make a bowling game out of old bottles and a ball

Be warned this is a game that could last all day – you can do it indoors or out, and involve the whole family in a tournament (but make sure your young child has a chance!)

A great way for your child to learn without even realising – about coordination, concentration, weights, movement, counting and turn taking

If you want, you can make the “pins” more special – your child might want to decorate them.

And there are chances to talk to your child about useful maths words like near and far, quick and slow, in front and behind, left and right, forwards and backwards

But it is mainly about having a happy time and forgetting any worries for a while

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!

Where’s that sheep?

A fun rhyme today about some naughty sheep who get lost – poor Little Bo Peep!

Losing things and finding them is all part of life, and this is a gentle way for children to learn about it and how to cope

And we have some ideas for turning this into a game of hide-and-seek, or lose-and-seek, that you can play indoors or out

If playing outdoors, always follow the latest health advice of course

Treasure Hunt!

Today’s idea is to turn your home into an island full of treasure that children can hunt for

You can send them off to look for items, and while they burn off excess energy they will be learning all about attention and searching, and developing their memories.

You can make the searches as easy or as tricky as suits your child. How many blue things can they find? Can they bring you two things at a time?

Or you can play online with family, friends or anyone your child might be missing seeing or playing with

Make a walk a treasure hunt – can you spot a traffic light? A bird? A cloud?

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

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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I’m forever blowing bubbles!

Blowing bubble pictures is a quick, easy and fun way to create fantastic masterpieces – and your children can even have a go as well!

Using items that you will hopefully have to hand, this craft activity can help children to develop their language – naming colours and shapes and describing patterns.

It is also a wonderful opportunity for children to express themselves through art, producing beautiful pictures without having to feel anxious about how skilled they are with pencils or paint brushes.

Anyone can have a go, and you could even do an art show to display your pictures

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Old MacDonald

You might be an opera singer or an undiscovered Rod Stewart, or have a voice like a rusty door – your child will still love to sing with you!

Rhymes and songs are great for learning. They make us feel good and forget our worries for a bit. But also, they help children understand about patterns, words and sounds

Every story has a pattern to it, so you will be preparing your child for a lifetime of successful reading and writing. As well as having a laugh and some fun

Not sure of the tune or the words? Click here for a funny version by the BBC

Don’t like farm animals? Pick any – the more the better!

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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!