Home Learning Pack for 0-2 Year Olds

Here we have put together some activity ideas for our younger children who are at home and for them to enjoy with their families. These activities are simple and easy to do at home with things you may be able to use you have lying around in and around the home.

We hope these activities give you some ideas you can try at home and we would love you to share pictures of your children enjoying the different activities.

Mess in a Bag

This is a lovely and simple activity which is a great idea, especially for those children who are a little unsure about getting messy.

What do I need?

For this activity you can use a zip-lock bag or sealed sandwich bags. You can squirt and put in different coloured paints inside the bag or you can use shaving foam, hair gel or other coloured bath/ shower gels.

When you have added the different media ensure the bag is sealed securely.

What do children gain from this activity?

Sensory bags allow children to explore, discover, create and learn while engaging in mess free play as they explore using all their senses. They can explore making marks using their hands, fingers and other mark making tools, observing the marks they make and how the colours may mix and change.

Sensory and Discovery Bottles

Sensory bottles are a great way for children to explore using all their senses. They can be used as calm down bottles and show children relax and soothe themselves as they focus on the motion of the sensory bottle as they are shaken and rolled.

How can I make a sensory bottle?

A sensory bottle can be used by placing in everyday objects and media you may have lying around your home. All you need is some clear plastic water/ drinks bottles. Once you have added in the different objects and materials ensure the lids are securely fastened and stuck with superglue, so that they do not unopen and leak.

Leave the lid to dry over night or for a little while before your child can play with them.

Here are some ideas of what you can put in your sensory bottles

  • Rice- You can use plain rice and place inside the bottle, filling up the bottle half- way so the rice has room to move and make a sound when it is shaken.
  • Silver foil pieces- Simply cut up some pieces of kitchen foil into smaller pieces and place inside the bottle. This bottle is great to explore sound as well as sight, looking at their reflection in the silver pieces and watching as they reflect in the light.
  • Buttons- Lying around the home you may have different sized and coloured buttons which is great to make a sensory bottle. You can add them into the bottle and will make different sounds when they are shaken fast and slow, exploring colour as you play.
  • Coloured water- Fill the bottle with lukewarm water to approx a third way up the bottle. Add a few drops of food colouring and stir. If you would like you can add glitter. Top your bottle up with more warm water until it is full.
  • Natural bottles- Whilst you are outdoors in the garden or going on a walk you can collect leaves, twigs, bark, grass and stones. These can all be added into a sensory bottle to allow your children to explore nature in a safe way and see how they can make it sound when they shake the bottle.
  • Under the sea – you can create different themed bottles. To create an under the sea bottle you can add the bottle with warm water and then a few drops of food colouring. You can then maybe add some shells, stones and some small under the sea figures you ma have in your toy box.

Baby texture boards

Sensory boards allow children to explore and touch different textures from smooth, rough, bumpy, soft and hard as well as exploring their own reflection through shiny materials.

How Can I make a Sensory Board?

Sensory boards can be easily made at home using a variety of media and materials you may have. Some ideas of materials you can use are: Sponges, leftover carpet squares, Velcro, pom poms, silver foil, bubble wrap, feathers, leaves and ribbon.

You can cut out large shaped squares or rectangles out of cardboard or card/ paper. On each piece spread glue evenly and cut and stick the different materials to fit the size of the card. Press the material down firmly and allow to dry.

Another creative way in which you can make sensory boards is by using the lift flap lids off wet wipe packets. Remove the lids from the wet wipe packs and stick them firmly onto a large piece of card or paper and stick them evenly spaced apart. In each lid you can cut the different materials you have to fit into the lid space and stick firmly down onto the card. This a great way for your children to explore, by lifting the flaps in turn and exploring the different textures.

Rolling Balls in Paint

This is a great fun and easy activity for your children to enjoy and engage in, rolling the balls using their gross motor skills through different coloured paint to make marks.

This activity can also be easily done on a low level table or on your child’s high-chair- placing a piece of paper on the tray and squirting a bit of different coloured paints on the paper. Encourage your children to move and roll the balls across the paper in different directions to make a range of marks. This a great way for children to explore colour and a different sensory experience.

Sand Play

Sand play is a simple and great activity which most children enjoy exploring through using their body and filling and emptying using scoops, spades and buckets.

You can purchase children’s play sand from most supermarkets and online on amazon.co.uk.  Sand play can be explored and played with indoors and outdoors using sand and water trays, tuff trays or small sized trays and containers.

You can add a range of tools and home utensils into the sand for your children to hold and use and explore creating different marks.

Posting Objects

All children enjoy holding and exploring different objects posting them into different trays and containers. Babies and young children show great fascination in dropping small objects and picking them up.

At home you may have clean empty milk bottles, formula tins, toilet roll tubes and other large containers lying around. You can remove the lids or safely cut a hole into the top or side of the container. Provide your children with different blocks and other sized objects which they can begin to pick up and post into the container and then once they have posted all of the objects can enjoy shaking the container and try to remove and empty all of the objects.

This a simple but fun activity your child can engage in, keeping them entertained for a short while.

Low Level Water Play

Water play is a simple but fun activity that is enjoyed by all ages of children. If you are doing water play with a younger child, you can add a small amount of water into a small tray or bowl. Babies show great fascination in the cause and effect of making the water splash using their hands. To make the water different you can add bubbles and different objects which they can explore and use to scoop, fill and empty the water. This activity provides lots of excitement and fun.

Baby Tuff Tray Ideas

Reflective Tuff Tray

All babies and young children demonstrate great fascination in shiny and reflective objects and materials. This is a fun and easy tuff tray you can create at home. Things you can add are: mirrors, saucepans, colanders, silver spoons and utensils, whisks, baking trays and kitchen foil.

All of these objects can create great sounds when they are banged and are a great way for children to explore their own reflection.

Loose Parts Tuff Tray

This activity is a great way to use unwanted pieces of paper, toilet tubes and packaging you no longer need from around the home.

Your children can explore the different materials in different ways, exploring through touch, sight and sound. They can explore moving the paper between their fingers, banging two objects together and seeing their own reflection in the shiny materials. This is a great way to allow your child to explore freely and is quick and easy to set up and pack away afterwards.

Ice Play

This is a great activity to allow your children to explore using their touch and taste sense. You can easily pour water into different sized containers, cups or ice trays the night before and allow them to set.

You can place the different iced shapes into a tuff tray or other container and allow your children to explore freely, experiencing the coldness and licking and tasting the ice as they place it in their mouths.

This is an easy and fun sensory experience for children of all ages to enjoy, especially the younger aged children who love to put everything in their mouths and with this activity they can with no worry.

We hope these activities which your children enjoy at nursery give you some ideas of what you can do with them at home when you may be running out of different ideas.

Keep coming back to find more ideas we will be sharing over the coming weeks.