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Activities to engage with your child
  • W E E K L Y  C H A L L E N G E

    Storytelling

    FOR ALL AGES 
    Can you build a storytelling cubby? Having a cosy space to share books and stories can make it an even more special bonding time.
    For some ideas: click here

    FOR AGES 2 AND ABOVE
    ‘Helicopter’ stories! (this challenge is for adults as much as children!)
    ‘Helicopter stories’ is a simple process that we sometimes use at nursery, where the adult writes down the child’s story, word for word (this could be just a couple of sentences, or a full page or more!)  – you can do this within your cubby!

    When the story is written, mark out a stage on the floor, and an adult narrates the story, with different children (and any other family members available!) acting out the different characters. For more details on ‘helicopter stories’: click here and for how it can and has been done with 2 year olds: click here

    This process helps children’s confidence as they see their ideas come to fruition, their interest in writing as they see the power of the written word, and their imagination, vocabulary and understanding of story structures will develop very quickly. Try it a few times and see how your child’s stories develop over time!

    LINKS TO AUDIO BOOKS AND ONLINE BOOKS

    If you have already read all the books in your house and are looking for more stories – there are lots online!

    ‘Now Press Play’, which we use at the nursery to listen to stories through headphones, have kindly made some of their stories available for parents
    Now Press Play password: nowpressplay

    This site has online books in 60 languages: 
    Children’s Library

    This site has lots of free audiobooks 
    Story Nory

    Spotify has lots of playlists of children’s books. (you will have to put up with some adverts):
    Spotify Children’s Books Playlist

    This site is not audiobooks, but videos of actors reading stories, which are quite nice: 
    Story Line Online 

    Audible now has free streaming on all children’s books:
    Audible Free Children

  • A N I M A L  K I N G D O M

    Watch live animals at the aquarium and zoos

    Lots of aquariums and zoos around the world have opened up their live webcams for you to see – here are just a couple of examples!
    Aquarium: 
    Monterey Bay Aquarium

    Dublin Zoo:
    Dublin Zoo Animal Webcams – my favourite is the penguins

  • M E N T A L  H E A L T H

    Supporting mental well-being

    For adults: Every Mind Matters has now released expert advice and top tips on how to look after your mental well-being if you need to stay at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. It also includes guidance if you’re feeling worried or anxious about the outbreak.

    Please visit: www.nhs.uk/oneyou/every-mind-matters/

    For children: https://mindup.org.uk/mindup-activities/

  • B A B Y  P L A Y  I D E A S

    Engaging activities with your baby

    • Place herbs, fruits and other smellies in small boxes and pierce holes so your baby can safely smell their scent baby Make sure you secure it!
    • Create a car wash/animal/doll bath with soapy water in a bowl and a toothbrush.
    • Use make up sponges and cotton buds for printing in paint
    • Fill empty spice jars with rice/dry beans or corn for little hands to shake
    • Fill a zip lock bag half with water, some water toys and lots of air then zip and tape shut for prodding and poking!
  • N U M B E R S

    Counting and number recognition

    • Draw around your child’s hands and cut out of card. Use these as a resource for counting by folding down the fingers when you say a 123’s number
    • Hide magnetic numbers in a sensory box for your little one to dig up and match the numbers written on a sheet of paper
    • Place a piece of colour card in the bottom of a baking tray and cover with sand. Let your little one trace numbers into the sand
    • Write numbers onto small pieces of card. Give your child a hole punch to make the correct number of holes to match the digit
    • Dip Lego bricks in paint and print onto paper. Can your little one count the dots and write the correct number?