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Hillside Nursery & 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. 


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.