There are lots of ways to support children’s learning at home:
Help your child to get organised
Speaking to your child about the things they’re going to be doing at nursery can help them to get involved and look forward to their day. It’s also a good way to get them thinking about what’s to come, this gives them a chance to come up with different ideas or questions to ask at nursery.
As well as this, helping your child to understand how their day may be structured can help to prepare them for starting school and following a more strict timetable.
Literacy is a fundamental part of education and reading on a daily basis greatly helps your child in all areas of learning.
Reading is also a great opportunity to wind down and relax in between other activities.
Whether your child is able to read independently or you are still reading to them, carrying out the activity together gives a great opportunity to bond whilst also enhancing their skills.
Repeating activities or tasks that your child has carried out at nursery can help to reinforce the things they have learnt.
It also gives you an opportunity to bond and be involved in the activities taking place at nursery, learning directly from your child what they have enjoyed and things they might like to do more of.
Physical activity is a great way to keep a healthy body and mind and children should ideally engage in some form of exercise every day.
Physical activity builds strong bones and muscles, helps to control weight and improves mood and sleep quality.
This can be done in a number of imaginative ways, such as taking a short walk, playing and dancing.
Singing and Dancing
Music is good for the soul and this applies to children too. Nursery rhymes are really good for this as they have lots of action and every parent knows one or two nursery rhymes by heart.
Listen to a family friendly playlist and learn a song and dance routine. Not only will this be great fun for all the family but it can also be good exercise too.
Imaginative play is a great way to get children to express their creativity and have a certain level of autonomy over their play time.
You could create a scene for you and your child to do imaginative play such as setting up a shop with tins and packets from your cupboard and writing out a price tag for each. Use spare change and a pot so children can count the money handed to them and work out how much change they must give back. You could even get the whole family involved to be the customers.
You could also use soft toys to set up a pet shop but remember to keep the lion away from the meerkat! Once these scenes are set, leave it out, children will love to go back to playing with it.
Cooking engages all of the senses – seeing, hearing, smelling, touching, and tasting.
Cooking with young children provides them with fabulous sensory input and is really important for brain development. Cooking with your child can be lots of fun and relatively stress free with a little preparation.
- Choose a time when your child is not overly tired – first thing in the morning or after naptime work well if they are younger.
- Help your child measure all the ingredients needed for the recipe. This way they are learning measuring and numeracy.
- Children love to mix and stir so be sure to include mixing and stirring in the cooking experience.
- There will be a mess, but this is part of the process too. Get them to help you to clean up.
If you’re lucky enough to have your own garden space, let your child do some digging and planting. You could create a part of the garden which is just for them to create a mud kitchen.
For rainy days, or if you don’t have access to a garden, consider growing your own herbs like cress and indoor salad. There are plenty of websites for you to look at for this.
If there’s nothing particularly sparking your child’s attention, grab a book or watch an interesting programme which might just get them thinking. Bringing any of those well-known characters into the mix can be really inviting for children to want to play.
Take Inspiration from Everywhere
Remember that learning isn’t just about structured teachings in the classroom, there are opportunities to learn every day.
If it is safe to do so, take a walk outside. You can take inspiration from anywhere, such as walking past a muddy puddle or spotting a spider in the house.
You can also use the internet to look for unusual animals or sea life, for example, or use every day items to create musical instruments.
Talk about it and use their imagination to draw their own mystical animal.