Building a den is great for encouraging children’s imagination and reinforces their sense of self. For children, a den is a place to sit and observe the world or a place to escape. Children use dens to be alone, and to be with one another.
Dens are fun to build inside the house, children who would not naturally enjoy drawing and coulouring and making marks, will spend hours mark making in dens they have made for themselves!
When out for walks, look out for road signs; what shapes are they and can you recognise the numbers or any familiar letters.
What changes can you see in the familiar world around you; are there leaves on the trees? Or trees to climb or hide under
Children love to explore water! How about giving them some sponges, flannels and brushes with a bowl of soapy water so they can wash their own toys! This active learning experience will help to develop your child’s sense of responsibility and pride whilst supporting their muscle control which will help with their early writing development.
use water play to develop mathematical concepts, such as: full, empty, big, small, in, out, sink and float
Mark making is an important developmental milestone and starts children on their journey to becoming a writer. Children like to make their marks, but pencils and paper are not always a favourite particularly with boys and younger children. Offering experiences which are outside give children the chance to make marks on a larger scale. A simple way to do this is to give your child a pot of water, selection of brushes and rollers and let them experiment with making their marks on the ground, fence or wall. They can make as much mess as they like, there’s little to clear up and it’s exciting to see how magically the marks will just disappear!
Using shaving foam, salt or flour, place some on a tray and practice writing their name, numbers shapes and patterns.
Recognising names, write their name along with others and place them around the floor and ask your child to find their name.
Singing songs and rhymes and reading stories with your child is important, because rhythms and repetitive language make it easier for children to learn language skills. Share rhymes and stories with your child and watch the learning begin.
By spending time with your child, singing or talking softly to them, playing peekaboo over and over again; you are helping to build connections in your baby's brain. Helping them to feel secure and loved which supports the development of the brain, and builds on your child self-esteem and confidence.
Keeping active, dancing to your favourite music
Take story books outside, so that your child can enjoy reading with you whilst they connect with the outside space.
Read a bedtime story
Boxes - Young children love to play with boxes! Find a large cardboard box to play in. Boxes are great for sitting in and climbing in and out of. Talk to your child about what their box could be; it could be a car, castle or even a space rocket! You could decorate your box together or add further objects to make it come to life. This experience is great for developing your child’s imagination! The possibilities are endless, have fun playing!
Talk about the colours and shapes you can see, outside in the garden and inside the house.
What can you grow together in the garden; support your child learn how to look after living plants & things and enjoy watching them grow.
Provide various empty cartons, boxes and glue for your child to construct with.