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Hillside Nursery and Forest School

Help Your Child at Home

Activities to try at home


Personal, Social, Emotional Development

To help your child develop relationships with others, increase self-confidence and self-awareness and manage their feelings and behaviour, here are a few ideas to try at home:

  • Encourage your child to take his/her own coat on and off.
  • Encourage your child to say please and thank you.
  • When playing with your child, support them in sharing
  • Allow them to choose some toys themselves and reflect on opinions about these toys; e.g. this is my favourite doll/car.
  • Ensure that your child is able to go to the toilet unaided.
  • Try to support your child in taking turns with others.
  • Encourage your child to talk about their feelings.


Communication and Language

To help with your child’s listening and attention, understanding, speaking, here are a few ideas to try at home:

  • Talk about everything you are doing.
  • Model language providing key words for your child to repeat.
  • Increase vocabulary and identify sounds: play word games such as I spy.
  • Talk about the stories you read together.
  • Retell familiar stories together.
  • Give one/two word instructions of little jobs for your child to do. 

Please click here to access the DfE's Hungry Little Minds 

Please click here to access the BBC's Tiny Happy People 


Physical Development

To help develop your child’s moving and handling skills, health awareness and self-care skills, here are a few ideas to try at home:

  • Encourage your child to handle small and large equipment.
  • Allow your child to use scissors. pencils and small tools to develop their fine motor skills.
  • Allow your child to run, hop, skip, jump and find different ways of travelling.
  • Provide opportunity to climb up, over, along, under and through play equipment.
  • Play games such as follow the leader and change actions to develop motor skills and coordination.
  • Discuss changes to their bodies after exercise; heart beating faster, feeling hot etc.
  • Encourage your child to wash their hands before eating.


More activities - the 4 specific areas of learning


Literacy - reading and writing

  • Allow your child to independently select books. 
  • Encourage your child to ‘read’ what is happening in the pictures. Prompt them to tell you a sentence about what is happening.
  • Make shapes of letters out of playdough; write them in sand, write their own name in the air etc.
  • Encourage your child to sing/say songs and rhymes and tell you their own stories.
  • Ask your child about words that rhyme, e.g. house and mouse. 

Please click here for Phonics games 


Mathematics - numbers, shape, space and measures

  • Practice counting groups of objects in pictures and stories; pose questions such as how many altogether? Which number is one more?
  • Count out loud with your child saying the names of numbers clearly.
  • Show numbers to your child (perhaps on number cards)
  • Sing songs or rhymes with numbers in them; 10 In The Bed, 5 Little Ducks, 10 Fat Sausages etc.
  • Read stories with numbers in them, e.g. The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
  • Use mathematical language; add, take away, number names.
  • Count using fingers.
  • Point to and say numbers around the house.
  • Encourage children to identify shapes around them; do a circle spotting hunt, square spotting etc.
  • Apply mathematics to real life; shape, money, amounts of objects etc. 

Please click here for Number Blocks games


Understanding the World - people and communities, the world, technology

  • Talk to your child about special times; birthdays, festivals, and other key events in their lives and the lives of others they know.
  •  Encourage them to explore their surroundings; particularly when playing outdoors.
  • Allow your child to observe animals and describe them.
  • Allow them to use simple tools; such as a small hand trowel.
  • Encourage them to feel different textured objects and describe; rough, smooth, soft etc.


Expressive Arts and Design - exploring and using media and materials, being creative

  • Listen to and sing songs and rhymes with your child.
  • Engage in role play with your child.
  • Explore different media; paint, pencils, crayons.
  • Using scissors and glue; encourage cutting and sticking activities.
  • Dance to songs and make up actions to complement; e.g. Wheels on the Bus.