Dough Play

Provide coloured dough and a selection of cutters. Encourage the child to make shapes, animals, vehicles, items of food or to use their imagination to create anything they like. Talk with the child about their...

Read More

Traditional Games

Encourage the child to play some traditional games such as hopscotch, skipping or hide and seek. These are all good ways of getting the child to be active and enhancing gross motor skills whilst also...

Read More

Self Portraits

Provide paints, paper, brushes and some pieces of wool. Give the child all the primary colours to use and suggest they make self portraits! Explain the word portrait and talk about what they look like...

Read More

Butterfly World

Collect together a large tray or plastic container, some grass, leaves, twigs, stones, moss and wild flowers (you could use artificial flowers too). With the child create an butterfly world on the tray or in...

Read More

Feed the Birds

Help the child to put some bird food out and watch for birds from the window. Notice which birds appear, are they all the same, are there big birds and little birds, what colours are...

Read More

Dough Play

Provide coloured dough and a selection of cutters. Encourage the child to make shapes, animals, vehicles, items of food or to use their imagination to create anything they like. Talk with the child about their...

Read More

Seasonal Candy Hunt

Hide a selection of chocolate eggs or seasonal sweets and candies in the garden or outdoor area. Use this as an opportunity for the child to count, follow directions and learn descriptive words. Use words...

Read More

Floating and Sinking

Fill the kitchen sink or the bath with water and let the child play with it. Give them different things to play with. Maybe they can have things which float and things which sink. Try...

Read More

Weeks and Months

Name the days of the week with the child. Talk about how many days in a week, what is a week and how do you get to a whole month? Sing some counting songs and...

Read More

All About Me Book

Collect together a selection of photos of your child from birth until most recent. Talk with the child about babies and how they grow, crawl, sit, walk, talk. Help the child to make a book...

Read More

Countries and Emblems

Most countries have some form of emblem associated with them; Scotland has the thistle, Wales the daffodil and England the rose. Talk to the child about the emblem associated with their country and compare it...

Read More

Doctors and Nurses

Play at doctors and nurses. Find a toy stethoscope and some bandages and a Doctor’s coat (maybe an old white shirt will do?). Take turns with the child at being the Doctor and the patient....

Read More

Household Chores

Young children enjoy imitating what is going on in the house. Help the child to practice doing what you are doing by encouraging them to wash their own dishes after snack and by putting the cups...

Read More

Months and Seasons

Help the child to learn the months of the year and all about the seasons. Talk about spring, summer, autumn and winter and which months occur in each season. Ask the child about winter and...

Read More

Singing and Rhyming

Have a sing song! Sing about Miss Polly had a Dolly, Tommy Thumb, Head Shoulders Knees and Toes, The Sun Has Got His Hat On or any of the many Nursery Rhymes such as Jack and...

Read More

Fruit Fun

Go for a walk to the shops with the child and buy some fruit. Look at all the different types of fruit there are and ask the child to name the familiar ones. Talk about...

Read More

Treasure Hunt

Have a treasure hunt. Hide apples or tiny bags of sweets around the house and challenge the child to find them. Give the child clues and use words like 'under' and 'behind' or phrases like...

Read More

Valentine Cards

Help the child to make a pretend post box out of cardboard or an old box and paint it bright red. Make a slot in the side at the middle ready to post Valentine cards...

Read More

Home Corner

Set up a house corner using all the household things you need. Make a space for dishes, a bed for the child or toys, find a small table for them to put the pretend meal...

Read More

Water

Set out a water tray for the child with graded jugs and a few cups and saucers (preferably plastic), a tube, some things that float (a ping pong ball) and some things that sink (like...

Read More

National Dancing

Teach the child some of the steps of the national dance of their country or of a country which interests the child. For the younger child it is not necessary to focus too closely on...

Read More

Number Songs

Number songs are a good way to help with counting. Borrow a nursery rhyme book from a library and sing the rhymes with numbers in. Some examples are: One two three four five, once I...

Read More

Action Songs

Action songs are a great way to get children moving and singing at the same time. They are also good for teaching the child body parts, numbers, the alphabet and how to follow directions. You...

Read More

Story Time

Collect together some of the child’s favourite books and snuggle together for story time. Let the child see the pictures in the books and follow the words on each page. The child may already know...

Read More

Old and New

Collect together some old items and new items such as; clothing, shoes, toys and books.  Talk to the child about old and new and help them to identify the differences. Talk about a new day,...

Read More

Big and Small

Help the child to measure and mark, on a doorframe or wall, the heights of people connected to them including; the child, parents, carers, siblings, grandparents and friends. When the measurements are completed talk with...

Read More

Making Porridge

Many children enjoy being involved in the preparation of meals or just helping out in the kitchen. Encourage the child to help with measuring and stirring but make sure to take care with the hot...

Read More

Pooh Sticks

Find a river with a bridge and collect some small sticks of different sizes. Encourage the child to drop one of the sticks off the side of the bridge upstream and watch it float away....

Read More

Fireworks and Bonfires

Discuss the enjoyment of bonfires and fireworks and also the dangers. Mention pets and why they may be frightened by the noise of fireworks. Help the child to make a firework picture using sparkly paints...

Read More

Dark and Light

Talk about night time, daytime, the night sky, shadows and reflections. Help the child share any fears about the dark in a safe way. Talk about nocturnal animals such as foxes, badgers, bats and owls...

Read More

Visit a Museum

Visit a local or national museum to see what you can find. Look at animals, birds and fish as well as their now-extinct predecessors. Talk about how they’ve changed and see if you can spot...

Read More

Autumn Walk

Take the child on an Autumn walk where they can experience the patterns and colours of the changing season. They may enjoy stepping in puddles, walking through piles of leaves, noticing reflections, finding footprints and...

Read More

Baking Bread

Try baking bread using a quick and simple online recipe or one from a cookbook. Involve the child in mixing the ingredients and kneading the dough. Talk about the ingredients that go into the mixture,...

Read More

Painting with Water

On sunny days have fun with big paint brushes (the kind that painters use) and a bucket full of water. Encourage the child to paint the path or wall and watch the water evaporate. Talk...

Read More

Make a Zoo

Provide a variety of different materials such as fabric, paint and card or dough for the child to create different animals. You could also provide an assortment of animal pictures for a younger child. When...

Read More

Making Simple Puppets

Provide paper bags, felt tip pens and pieces of fabric and encourage the child to create simple puppets. When the puppets are finished encourage the child to put on a puppet show with the creations....

Read More

Bake a Sponge

Bake a sponge cake from an online recipe or cookbook. Make sure the child takes part in the baking; measuring out the ingredients, mixing and decorating. Talk about what happens to the ingredients as they...

Read More

Go for a Picnic

Spend some time with the child planning and preparing what to take on the picnic. Help the child to prepare sandwiches and snacks and to pack them into a bag. If you do not have...

Read More

Sun and Shadows

On a bright sunny day take the opportunity to point out shadows to the child. Take time to look around at different shadows, lamp posts, cars, buildings and trees. Point out the child’s own shadow....

Read More

Weather Walk

Go for a walk outdoors with the child. Talk about the kind of clothes you wear on cold days, warm days or wet days. Wonder about animals and their fur and feathers, how they keep...

Read More

Finger painting

Finger-painting is a fun way for children to be creative and express themselves. Make sure you give the child a very big piece of paper to work on as this could get messy! Also make...

Read More

Water Play

Use bath time for water play. Make sure the child has a selection of different sized containers, plastic ones are best. Help them to work out why a big jug of water doesn’t fit in...

Read More

Clocks and Time

Talk to the child about clocks. If possible let them listen to a clock ticking. Look at a digital clock perhaps on your phone or alarm and talk about the differences. Show the child how...

Read More

Make a Jelly

Help the child to make a jelly - remembering safety rules when dealing with hot water! Encourage the children to add fruits to the mix, though citrus fruits stop the jelly from setting. Talk about...

Read More

Outdoor Digging

If you have a garden or outdoor space give the child the chance to dig for worms, slugs, snails, ladybirds and butterflies. Encourage the children to be kind to all of these creatures and help...

Read More

Outdoor Activity

Outdoor activity is great for working on gross motor skills (the big muscles in the body). Take a ball outdoors with the child. Encourage the child to practice running, throwing, catching and jumping. Take turns...

Read More

Sea Story

Tell a story about the sea. If possible, use real props such as seaweed, driftwood and sea shells. Encourage the child to talk about the sea, ships and sealife. You could also sing songs or...

Read More

Pirate’s Day

Make a pirate ship from cardboard boxes, pillows or anything else that comes to mind. Paint a pirate flag and hoist it to the main sail (broom handle!). Make newspaper swords and hats with the...

Read More

Pancakes

Make some pancakes with the child. Let the child choose savoury or sweet and serve with lemon and sugar or cheese. There are plenty of fun recipes online or in cookbooks. Talk about the ingredients...

Read More

Bag of Things

Fill a bag with interesting things to show to the child. You can use simple everyday household items. For example: a cup, a saucer, a plate, a knife, a fork, a spoon and perhaps even...

Read More

On the Farm

Visit a farm and allow the child to have first-hand experience of real animals. Talk about tractors and farm machinery. When you get home ensure the child has materials to paint or draw what they...

Read More

Mother’s and Father’s Days

Talk to the child about caring for other people and encourage them to discuss the things they would do to care for others. Make a card for a mother, a father, a grandparent or a...

Read More

In the Jungle

Collect pictures from magazines, books or leaflets of as many jungle animals as you can think of including elephants, tigers, lions and snakes. Talk to the child about each animal and the sounds that it...

Read More

Junk Robot

Collect together a variety of cardboard tubes, boxes, tinfoil, yogurt pots, corks, glue, brushes and paint. Talk to your child about machines and electrical equipment within your home including the television, washing machine, fridge, cooker,...

Read More

Sensory Toy Box

On each side of a large cardboard box cut a small hole (just big enough for a child’s hand to fit through). Encourage the child to decorate the box with paint, crayons, pictures from old...

Read More

Alphabet Treasure Hunt

You will need one sheet of paper for each letter of the alphabet. Start by writing one letter of the alphabet onto each sheet of paper (you may only want to use 5 or 6...

Read More

Nature Art

Go for a walk to the park, local wood or other outdoor area with your child and collect leaves, stones, moss, twigs, bark, grasses etc. Arrange all of the items collected on the ground and...

Read More

Teddy Toss

Collect together some small soft toys and an empty toy box or laundry basket.  Make sure that there is nothing around that can be broken then ask your child to pick a toy and throw...

Read More

Shape and Movement

For this activity you will need some masking tape and a ball. Use the masking tape to mark the outlines of different shapes on the floor. For example, circle, square, rectangle, triangle, diamond etc. Make...

Read More

Boiled Egg

Allow the child to break a cooled, cooked hard-boiled egg. The process of knocking on a hard surface for example a table gives the child the opportunity to learn different forces of knocking and handling...

Read More

Talk About Me

Talk to your child about all the different parts of their body – head, eyes, nose, mouth, ears, chin, arms, legs, hands, feet, tummy, back and chest. Go through each part in turn talking about...

Read More

My Family

Collect together some photographs of your family and talk to your child about the people in the pictures. Start by talking about the people in their everyday lives such as parents or carers and brothers...

Read More

Street Colours

As you walk along the street with your child take the opportunity to talk about what you can see. Talk about the traffic; ask if the child can see a red car, a green bus,...

Read More

Glass Lanterns

A lantern parade is often part of seasonal or cultural celebrations, For this activity collect together a few empty glass jars, red tissue paper, glue, scissor, glitter, ribbon and sequins. Make sure the jars are...

Read More

Story Stick

Prepare to go on a nature walk, either in the garden, the local park or some other outside area. Collect a twig or small tree branch about 30cm long and the thickness of an average...

Read More

Story Stones

Collect together at least 5 - 8 flat stones, paint, chalk or coloured markers and encourage the child to draw or paint an image or character on each stone. (You may choose to do this...

Read More

Shopping List

Cut out 5 or 6 images from old magazines or supermarket leaflets of the items you intend to buy on your shopping trip. If possible include a selection of fresh, chilled, frozen and dry goods....

Read More

Nature Scavenger Hunt

Cut out or draw some small pictures of things the child is likely to see on a nature walk. For example, spider, worm, flowers, butterfly, bridge, trees, ants and beetles and stick them in a...

Read More

National Day

Provide paper, card, paint, crayons, scissors and glue. Encourage the child to create a flag to celebrate the National day of their country. It does not have to be the flag of their birth country...

Read More

Bubble Wrap Paint

Collect together a tray of paint, some long strips of paper, bubble wrap and sticky tape. Place the long strips of paper on the floor (the reverse side of wallpaper is good). Ask the child...

Read More

Wooden Spoon Puppets

Collect together some wooden spoons of different sizes, oddments of fabric to create clothing, wool or cotton wool for hair, pipe cleaners for arms (works well without arms too), rubber bands to hold the fabric...

Read More

Imagination Circles

On a large sheet of paper draw 3 or 4 different sized circles and encourage the child to create a picture with the circles. Provide paint, pencils or crayons and let the child use their...

Read More

Street Science

Things that we take for granted in the street are often novel and exciting to children. Use the goings on in your local streets to explain what is happening and how things work. For example...

Read More

Shopping

Collect together some items of packaged food and also some household items (books, clothing, and plastic storage containers). Set up an area as a shop with priced goods then give the child some coins and...

Read More

Dancing

Put on the child’s favourite music and encourage them to dance. Ask the child to dance with each part of their body in turn. Start with the arms, ask them to make their feet dance,...

Read More

Dressing Up

Most children love dressing up and although you can buy specially made costumes the child can use his or her imagination to create their own costume and character. Supply a selection of jumble including: shirts,...

Read More

Make a Den

Dens are great places for children to hide in, use their imagination, create secrets and have lots of fun. Dens can be made almost anywhere, indoors, outdoors, under a table, using chairs, bunk beds and...

Read More