Laura J, our Butterfly room lead in kingswood has put together a Home Learning Pack for families at home. The pack contains activities, games and ideas for learning that can easily be done at home. Thank you Laura.
Home Learning packs
Physical development/ ideas and games.
The Daily Mile
What is its aim?
The aim of The Daily Mile is to improve the physical, social, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of our children – regardless of age, ability or personal circumstances.
What does it involve?
The Daily Mile is a social physical activity, with children running or jogging – at their own pace – in the fresh air with friends. Children can occasionally walk to catch their breath, if necessary, but should aim to run or jog for the full 15 minutes.
Where can you do the Daily Mile?
You can use your gardens, and outdoor spaces, taking into account the social distancing rule and one form of exercise outside the home a day.
The Daily Mile allows children to get fresh air, weather walking, jogging or running and it doesn’t involve no set up, tidy up or equipment. It is Non competitive and fun and something you can do as a family during the current situation. The daily Mile is fully inclusive and everyone can join in.
What is Dough Disco?
Dough disco involves moulding dough in time to music and performing different actions such as rolling it into a ball, flattening it, putting each individual finger into the dough, rolling it into a sausage and squeezing it.
Why do dough disco?
This activity helps to strengthen children’s fine motor muscles to enable them to develop their pencil grip which in turn will help to develop their writing skills. But most of all it’s fun!
When can I do dough disco?
Dough disco is a fun activity to do, moving to music and having exercise for approx. 10 minutes daily.
What do you need to do dough disco?
Music – Any song will do! We have had 60s classic songs to modern pop songs! Dough – You can buy pots of dough or make your own with your child. See the recipe below to help! A set of moves! – These can be done in any order and you don’t need to include them all!
Playdough recipe – uncooked
1 cup of salt
2 cups of warm water 2 tablespoons of cream of tartar ( Not essential)
2 cups of flour
2 tablespoons of oil
- Mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar and oil in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix the water with the food colouring.
- Add the water/colour-mix to the other ingredients, stir well.
- Stir continuously until it becomes dough.
- When the mixture has cooled start to knead. Knead it until the stickiness has gone. Add more flour if it remains a little sticky.
- When desired texture is achieved, the play dough is finished, enjoy your dough disco!
Dough disco moves!
- Roll the dough into a ball using both hands.
- Poke the dough with each finger and thumb in turn to make holes in the dough. Make sure you swap hands, so all fingers and thumbs are used. Extend by using names of fingers and thumb: x Tom Thumb x Peter Pointer x Toby Tall x Ruby Ring x Baby Small.
- Squeeze the dough with all the fingers and thumb using a fist grip one hand at a time.
- Sausage! Roll the dough between both hands moving backwards and forwards to make a sausage.
- Pancake! Hold the dough in one hand and push the other hand flat into the dough. Repeat this until the dough is flatter!
- Pinch the dough. Hold the dough in one hand and use Tom Thumb and Peter Pointer to pinch the dough. Then swap hands and repeat.
Roll the Ball Game
What does it involve?
This game can be done with 2 + people. Sit yourselves in a circle or sit opposite one another. 1 person starts with and holds the ball and then chooses and says the name of the person they are rolling the ball too. You can choose to roll, bounce and throw the ball to one another.
Why play the roll the ball game?
This game benefits and improves children’s motor skills, hand- eye coordination and timing, which are all important for a child’s development.
Animal Walk Game
What does the game involve?
Get your children to move like different animals around the room. You can encourage them to move inside or out, to slither like a snake, hop like a frog, gallop like a horse, or walk like a bear on all fours.
Skills this develops
This game allows children to use their body in different ways, negotiating space and speed.
Walk the line movement game
What does this game involve?
Find and use some tape around the house or use chalk outdoors. Place it down on the floor or draw lines. You can make straight, zig zag, wiggly lines and shapes for your children to walk along and follow. You can also pretend to be different animals as you move along the
What are the benefits of this game?
This simple gross motor game allows children to develop balance, coordination, movement planning and gross motor skills like running, jumping, skipping and more. Although it is simple it is full off opportunities to develop these skills and it is great fun too.
Aiming and throwing games
What does this game involve?
You can use either cups, bowls, hoops or other containers and place in a row and at different distances. Around the house you can find and use balls, sponges and bean bags etc. Stand back at a reasonable distance and either alone or in turn with somebody else you can begin to try and throw the ball etc into the different containers. You can begin by having the containers close and then with more practice gradually move them back further to make it a little more difficult and interesting. If you are playing with somebody else, you can make it into a little competition and game and see who can get the most into the buckets etc.
What are the benefits of this game?
This game will improve and develop upon your children’s focus, attention, motor skills and hand eye coordination. This is a fun and simple game for your children to play alone or with others.
Other game ideas to play indoors or outdoors
- Puddle jumping
- Bubble play
- Jelly beans, broad beans, French beans.
Activity Ideas to Develop Physical Development
- Wet sponge designs – gather up lots of sponges, provide a bucket of water for endless resoaking and get your children to throw the sponges on a wall or surface to make different marks and designs.
- Digging for treasure- Whether it is indoors or outside in the mud or a sand box you can use spades and other tools to dig for treasure. Hide small objects and animals in the sand and mud and let your children find them. This develops upon their filling and emptying skills and object manipulation and problem solving.
- Planting and gardening- Allow your children to help dig and plant seeds and flowers in the garden or in indoor pots and planters. You can talk about and comment on the different sizes, colours and smells of the flowers. This activity encourages language, imagination, creativity, using language of shape and size as well as using number language and learning new words. ( Plant names)
Home Learning Pack- Communication
Language and Literacy activities and ideas.
Song sacks –The idea of a song sack is that you can fill the sack with different toys from around the room that each relate to a song or rhyme. You then take it in turns to select a toy from the sack and sing the relevant song.
At nursery we all sit in a circle for circle time and then sing our song sack song. Here it is below.
Here’s our song sack, Here’s our song sack
What’s inside, What’s inside.
(Name of person) put your hand in
(Name of person) put your hand in
What can you find?
What can you find?
Ideas of objects you can use and songs:
- Teapot- I’m a little tea pot
- Duck- 3 little ducks.
- Cow- Cows in the kitchen
- Dog- How much is that dog in the window.
- Toy hammer- Peter hammers with one hammer.
- Fish- 1,2,3,4,5
- Farm animals- Old MacDonald
- Bus- Wheels on the bus.
Bertie bus is going to the zoo game
This is a fun activity based around early phonics and communication. Bertie bus travels to the zoo and meets lots of different animals on the way.
It is a good way to start with younger children to encourage them to say the words of familiar objects and animals.
( Select approx. 4 at a time)
instead of only using the sound of the animal. Then as the children get older ( pre school age) it is a good game for them to recognise and say the animals which all begin with the same letter. You can select and choose approx. 4 animals of the same letter and then add an animal which begins with a different sound to see if your children can notice the odd one out.
How do I set up this game?
- You can use either a brio train track or roadway and create a circular or oval shaped track.
- Select and place the different animals spaced out around the track.
- Find and use a toy car or toy bus.
- Sit with your child and get them to slowly move the vehicle around the track, stopping at each animal in turn. (Sing the song as you move the vehicle- see below)
- As you reach each animal, stop the vehicle and encourage your child to say the name of the animal. Then continue to move the vehicle to see which other animals you see on your way to the zoo.
Bertie bus song
Bertie bus is going to the zoo,
What does he see as he passes through?
Story based activity ideas
Stories play a vital role in the growth and development of children. It is a nice thing to share and do as a family. Stories allow children to get to know the characters and brings them to life, making them feel part of the story. Stories allow children to learn new words and join in with a range of repetitive rhythms and rhymes which can be fun and silly.
At nursery the children have free access to a range of books and many have their favourites which they like to look at and read with their friends and adults.
We plan and implement a range of activties related to the childrens favourite books and we would like to share some of these with you that you could do at home with your children.
You can use a tuff tray if you have one at home or a sand/ water tray or similar. Pretend to make gruffalo crumble, scooping up, filling and emptying containers. Through this activtiy you can retell the familiar story as well as using number and language of size as you fill up different sized containers.
Gruffalo foot prints
You can paint and print yours and your childrens feet onto pieces of paper and then when dry you can cut them out and place them on the floor around the house and garden, pretending to go on a gruffalo hunt.
Gruffalo natural tuff tray
If you have access to a garden and outdoor space you can collect different things such as grass, leaves, twigs and logs and place them in a tuff tray or something similar. This activity allows your children to explore natural resources and encourages lots of language and use of new words relating to the colour, size and smell of the different thigs you have found.
Gruffalo child shadows
Children show great interest in looking for and finding their own shadows. Outdoors you can try and find your shadow, move your body to make your shadow move in different ways and use chalks to draw around your own shadows. If you have torches at home you can use these to shine on different surfaces to create different reflections and light.
Room on a broom
Make a wand
Using paper or card and a straw or lollipop stick or something similar you can create your very own witches wand. Provide your children with crayons and pens etc and let them decorate and colour a star for their wand. Simply cut out the star and using some sellotape stick the star to the straw.
There you have your very own wand to cast all of those magic spells.
Room on a broom spaghetti painting
Get a handful of spaghetti strands. At one end tie the strands together using an elastic band or string etc. Make 2 or 3 of these. Place the untied end of spagthetti strands into a saucepan and boil the water, cooking one end of the spaghetti. When the spaghetti is cooked remove the strands holding the uncooked end. Place them on a plate etc to cool. When these are cooled you can then give them to your children to play with. You can get a paint tray or pots and place different coloured paints in. Your children can hold the uncooked ends and dip their spaghetti broomsticks into the paint and dab them onto the paper making lots of different marks. Creating their very own room on a broom broomstick pictures.
Potion making tray
You can search and find different things from around the house and garden such as rice, flour, leaves, flower petals, water and food colouring. Place all the items in the tray along with different utensils, pots and colanders etc. Your children can fill, empty and mix the different media making their very own potions, exploring the different smells and colours as they play. This activity is a great way for children to explore different media and use their imagination.
The Hungry Caterpillar
Using different paper or coloured card you can cut out different shaped fruits and food. Using a hole punch you can make holes around the edges of the different foods. Using some string or wool, your children can begin to thread in and out of the holes, working their way around the edges, creating their own food threading cards.
Threading is a good way for children to develop their fine motor skills, moving the string in and out of the holes. This also develops upon their focus and attention. As you are threading you can comment on the different foods and discuss your likes and dislikes of food.
Magic butterfly art
Using different pieces of plain paper, squirt different coloured paint onto the paper in different directions. When you have used the different paints you would like, fold the paper in half and rub it gently together. Gently lift and pull the paper apart and see your beautifully created butterfly. When the paper is dry you can cut around the butterfly shape.
Helping to prepare snacks and meals
Linking to the story of the hungry caterpillar, the caterpillar eats and enjoys many different foods on different days. This is a nice way for children to join in with the story and enjoy exploring the different, fruit, veg and other foods themselves.
Most children like to get involved in the preparation of food and meals. Children develop more positive relationships with healthy food when they are involved in preparing it. You can create and prepare lots of yummy foods, snacks and treats. A lovely idea is to make different fruit kebabs which is a nice snack for your children to enjoy. They are easy to make, by chopping the fruits and placing them onto a kebab stick or straw.
Allow your children to help peel the different fruit and vegetables as well as giving them a child safety (blunt) knife for them to hold and use, beginning to help with and chop the different foods. They can also use spoons to scoop out the insides of different fruit and veg and mix the different foods.
These types of activties provide your children practical experiences and essential skills such as learning new words, reading recipes, following directions and measuring. Getting involved in cooking helps your children to develop fine motor skills, hand- eye coordination and even early concepts of maths and science.
Tuff Tray and Messy Play Ideas
You don’t necessarlily need a tuff tray to create and play with some of these ideas. You can easily use a different sized tray or container or even use a sand and water tray you may have in the house or in the garden.
Playing in this way allows you to encourage messy and active play while also contaiing all the mess. These type of play ideas allows children to devlop upon their imagiation through making up different worlds and also promotes positive play in a dedicated space.
You can add a range of small and hard materials such as pulses, natural materials and small world objects and toys.
Look at some of the ideas below which you can create easily at home.
This tuff tray is easy to make. You can add rice, cornflakes, mud, grass, leaves, water to name just a few.
You can add different small world animals and toys you may have around the home to create your very own small world farm yard. Through this activity you can encourage singing of familiar animal songs, simple filling and emptying as well as learning new words, making the sounds of the animals and developing your own imagiation, creating different stories and rhymes using the props.
From around the home and garden you may have different shells, pebbles or stones along with some different leaves. You can add all these into the tray and then add different ducks, fish and other under the sea creatures to create your very own pond and water play tray.
Through this activity you can encourage lots of number play, counting the ducks and singing the familiar song of 5 little ducks as well as talking about shape and size whilst exploring the stones and pebbles. You can comment on and share own experiences of visiting different ponds, rivers, lakes and seaside locations.
This is a fun and simple activity you can do around the home. Your children can do it by themselves or you can do it together and see who can find the most objects of the different colours. In turn you can select and ask What can you find which is the colour green? And send your children off around the home looking for different objects to match the colour. This is a good way for your children to begin to recognise comment on and differiante between colours.