Learning at Nursery is based around play and practical activities. Whilst at home, give your child lots of opportunities for play. By playing with your child, you can support their learning, explain concepts and develop their language skills. If your child has the opportunity to play with siblings then this will help develop social skills such as turn-taking, sharing and conflict-resolution. Also, give your child time to play on their own as this develops imagination, allows them to come up with their own ideas and encourages independence.
At Nursery, one of the key areas that we work on is Communication and Language. Talk to your child lots and lots and listen to what they have to say to you. By reading books together, playing together and even watching telly together, you are supporting their communication and language by introducing new vocabulary, helping them understand new concepts and modelling good listening skills. The BBC website, Tiny Happy People, has lots of information about how you as parents can support your child's language development and also has activity ideas and resources.
Routine is also important for young children as it makes them feel secure when they know what is happening. While children are not at Nursery, maybe think about creating some structure or a new routine for the time of day when they would normally be at school. You could plan to spend some time playing; then do a short adult-guided activity from the ideas in your home learning pack or from the resources below; sing some songs; prepare and share a healthy snack; have some outdoors time if you have access to a garden; and then share a story. You could make a visual timetable, using pictures, to show your child what you are going to do together.
Please try to read with your child every day. Children love to re-read familiar stories so don't worry if you do not have a huge selection of books at home. By re-reading the same stories over and over again, children learn about story structure, begin to join in with 'reading' the story, are able to look carefully at the illustrations and can begin to talk about the characters, settings and events.
The Oxford Owl website has a small selection of e-books for 3 and 4 year olds that match the Oxford Reading Scheme books that your children have been bringing home:
At Nursery we have been reading a few of the 'Barefoot Books' stories and the children have really enjoyed them. Musical versions are available on YouTube for you to watch with your child:
The cBeebies website has a selection of stories that you could read with your child:
The BBC iplayer website has all the bedtime stories that they show on the cBeebies channel for you to watch with your child:
Sing Nursery rhymes and traditional songs with your child to develop their language skills, sense of rhythm and rhyme and also counting skills. Encourage children to do actions to match the words of the song.
Here are some links to online songs and rhymes that you could watch with your child. Please remember to always supervise your child while they are watching things online.
"Barefoot Books" has some lovely sung stories on YouTube:
The cBeebies website also has a whole section of songs and rhymes to watch and sing with your child:
In Nursery, we work on Phase 1 of the Letters and Sounds phonics scheme. Here are sheets with ideas that you can do at home to help your child develop their early phonics skills:
It is really important for children to have regular opportunities to mark make. This could be drawing, colouring, painting with paint or water, using chalks, making marks with tools in dough or playdough or messy play like making marks in shaving foam, mud or flour!
Your child's home learning pack will contain some handwriting pattern sheets so that your child can practise drawing the different shapes and marks that they will need when they start to write letters when they move up into Reception. It will also contain a diagram of correct pencil grip. Try to remind your child to use their "Percy Parrot" (thumb and two fingers) to hold their pen or pencil.
The patterns that we have worked on so far this year are: vertical and horizontal lines; circles (anti-clockwise if possible!); zig zags; and upwards and downwards loops. Your child could practise these patterns when mark making with different resources.
Fine Motor Skills
It is really important for children in Nursery to develop their fine motor skills. You can help them to do this at home by giving children the chance to use pens and pencils, child scissors and toys that require them to use a three-fingered tripod grip to pick up or hold small parts.
Your child's home learning pack will contain some cutting sheets for your child to do while you supervise them and also contains a diagram of correct scissors grip so that you can remind your child how to hold scissors correctly so that they can cut with control.
Here are some other ideas for activities, that can strengthen your child's hand muscles and develop their fine motor skills, using items that you probably have around your house:
Here is a recipe for you to make your own playdough at home:
1 cup flour
1 cup water
½ cup salt
1 tablespoon oil
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
Drops of food colouring
Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and cook over a medium heat, stirring continuously. Eventually the ingredients will come together to form a ball of playdough. Store in a sealed box or wrapped in clingfilm and it will last for a few weeks.
There are lots of things that you can do at home to support your child's mathematical development, both in the areas of Number and Shape, Space and Measure.
Here are some ideas of activities that you could do at home to develop your child's counting skills, their concept of number and also recognition of numerals.
Shape, Space and Measure
In Nursery, we have been thinking about 2D shapes so it would be great if you could continue to work on this at home. Here is a 2D shape challenge to get you started.
Understanding the World
If you have access to a garden, try to get outside for a bit every day, whatever the weather. Your home learning packs contain some ideas for scavenger hunts and I spy games.
The cBeebies website has some really interesting and educational shows such as 'Andy's Adventures', 'Vet Tales', 'Get Well Soon' and 'Let's Celebrate' that you could watch with your child and use as the starting point for discussion or creative activities such as painting, model making or imaginative play.
You could also try cooking with your child. Your home learning pack contains a recipe for star biscuits but more recipes can be found on the BBC Good Food website