All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.
Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.
If you're looking for new ideas for things to do then find out what is on offer at your local children’s centre. Many offer ‘messy play’ activities which you and your child can join in with, and many of the activities they provide are free. Staff can also give you advice about the kinds of books or other activities your child might enjoy at different ages.
Quick ideas for real-world learning and play
- Use the weather to extend your child's vocabulary - maybe even play weather presenter with them! Try to use more descriptive words like 'shadows', 'rain puddles', 'snow', 'mist', 'sunshine'.
- Count everyday objects such as steps, plates, cups, cutlery, patterns in fabric, dogs you see on your local walk.
- On a trip to the supermarket, talk about the different packaging shapes and colours, you could go one step further and ask your child how the shapes and colours make them feel!
- Cook basic foods together.
- Plant seeds or bulbs and talk about what they need to live happily.
- Explore your local park throughout the seasons, go off the beaten track.
- Sing nursery rhymes together.
- Talk to your child at every opportunity. For example ask them what they are doing that day, tell them what you plan to do, ask them questions about what they notice and how they feel about it.
- Share a book together.