- Cooking together and asking your child to help prepare lunch and dinner (this is a good maths activity, incorporating number, counting and measuring.)
- Taking turns – play games together e.g. snap, dominoes and ball games.
- Sharing toys - with siblings and friends.
- Helping with tasks in the home and garden – tidying, cleaning, sorting clothes, weeding and planting.
- Make a happy face chart to promote positive behavior – discuss together what makes you happy and keeps them safe e.g. being kind, picking toys up from the floor, walking inside.
- Showing emotions - Make different faces for your child to guess how you are feeling and then they can have a turn at making them for you to guess.
- Memory games - Place a few items in front of you, name them and then cover them up. Can your child recall what they were? Then uncover and check.
- Build confidence in speaking in front of others by making short fun videos and then watch them back.
- Share books – Read together daily, talk about the pictures and predict what will happen next. Re-read favourite books and encourage your child to join in. Rhyming books and those that have a repeated refrain such as “You can’t catch me I’m the Gingerbread Man” are particularly good books to encourage your child to join in with. Don’t be afraid to use silly voices when you read, your child will love this!
- Sing Nursery Rhymes together. Rhymes are really important for young children as they help develop an ear for language and introduce new vocabulary. Their rhythm and repetition make them easy to remember and developing memory plays a large part in learning to read. Nursery rhymes are a source of developing children’s early phonic and math skills.
- Lots of mark making activities. This doesn’t need to stick to pens and paint, you can be as creative as you like. Some ideas that we find work particularly well are using chalks or water and brushes on the ground or walls outside, making marks using sticks in mud/ice/snow, tracing fingers through sensory materials such as sand/flour/paint/gloop (a wonderful mixture of corn flour and water.) Encourage your child to talk about what they are doing; this is the beginning of their storytelling and writing journey. If your child is making a picture, you could be their scribe and write down their story for them.
- Name writing. Help your child to practice writing their name (using a capital letter for only the initial letter.) The best way to do this is by creating real scenarios e.g. encouraging your child to add their name to a card or thank you letter, on a picture they have made for somebody or adding their name to a list will be more meaningful for them rather than just copying their name.
- I spy games e.g. can you find something that begins with an ‘a’? (say the letter sound rather than the letter name.) Can you find something that rhymes with ‘cat’? To practice oral blending try sounding out a word e.g. can you find the c-a-t/c-u-p/h-a-t/s-o-ck etc. Encourage your child to think about what sounds they hear in words. You could also play ‘I Spy’ with colours or shapes.
- Every day and self-help tasks e.g. dressing themselves, matching pairs of socks when doing the laundry, laying the table for meals, sorting and tidying toys etc.
- Gross motor activities which develop control, coordination and spatial awareness:
- Go on walks, runs and bike/scooter rides.
- Climb trees or use playground equipment.
- Sweep leaves/sand etc. outside.
- Play ball games.
- Digging in sand or mud.
- Why not try Cosmic kids yoga: https://www.cosmickids.com/category/watch/
- Fine motor skills which can be developed through activities such as
- A range of mark making activities using crayons, pencils, paint brushes etc.
- Puzzles – develops the pincer grip (thumb and index finger.)
- Playdough – manipulate by squeezing, rolling, stretching, pinching.
- Using scissors during cutting and sticking activities.
- Threading/lacing activities – develops the pincer grip and hand-eye coordination.
- Washing up toys in the sink or outside in a bucket with bubbles and sponges/flannels. Squeezing is really good for strengthening hand and finger muscles.
- Pegging up laundry.