Play has evolved very quickly, in a short space of time. It is a huge focus on Early Learning and one of which has been proven time and time again, to be extremely beneficial in children’s learning. Parents are extremely time poor in one way or another so I have shared 5 engaging learning experiences for your child to do at home, and they’re free!

  1. Reading.

I go on and on about this but it is such a good foundation for independent reading. While it promotes the message to children that reading is enjoyable, it also builds emerging language and literacy skills.

      2. Playdough.

Playdough is fantastic for building fine motor skills. Fine motor muscles are those in the hands and fingers and also include hand/eye coordination. These muscles need to be strong in order to write. If children don’t have strong muscles, they find holding a pencil tricky and then emerging writing can become challenging. You can also add to the playdough- smells, beads, playdough boards, animals. The list is endless…

      3. Cooking.

This one requires patience, somehow I find cooking with 10 children easier than cooking with 1 at home! Never the less, cooking is actually a really great way to build early numeracy skills and use mathematical language. When we cook, we automatically start using language associated directly with maths such as 1 cup, ½ cup, 1 teaspoon. Cooking usually incorporates early chemistry as we chemically change the ingredients such as heating.

       4. Talk to them.

 I have some of my best conversations with Ms2.5 in the car. She chats (and chats!) about things she sees as we are driving and I ask open-ended questions (what do you think? Which one do you like? What do you think?) It’s also a good way of telling children about the world and expanding their knowledge. The other day we drove past a large retirement/ nursing home and my little one asked ‘What’s that?’ Rather than dismiss is and say a building, I tried my hardest to explain what it was. Children have a thirst for knowledge, a 4-year-old can ask up to 300-400 questions per day!!!

      5. Box construction. 

 This one may take time but could be good preparation for winter! What we dismiss as rubbish, can be a masterpiece to a young child! Start collecting boxes of all different sizes so you can have a decent collection and then provide the scissors (if old enough) and sticky tape and away you go! Box construction fosters problem solving and imagination. Where will their little mind take you…

 

 

You may also like to read:

Too many books? I think what you mean is not enough bookshelves

Don’t eat the playdough

10 Play ideas beat the winter blues 

Parenting strong