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Play = imagination, creating, problem-solving

Child playing with a box

'When playing, I'm always right'

Creating your own home learning environment

All children and young people need to play. The impulse to play is innate. Play is a biological, psychological and social necessity, and is fundamental to the healthy development and well being of individuals and communities. 

Box play

  • Gather a number of empty boxes of all sizes.
  • Provide paint, fabric, books, dress up clothes etc.
  • Watch what your children do with these resources and observe the games they begin to play. Join in and play alongside them. 

You might be called on to take on the role of princess, knight or superhero? Enjoy! 

Mummy, daddy and me

Four year olds happily develop their own early literacy skills, when allowed to practice and try out their reading and writing skills as  Family pic mum dad and baby part of their natural daily play and not as a separate sit at the table and lean activity - and with no need for pressure.

Your child will still love to be involved in your daily chores, so take advantage of these to develop reading and writing. Let them write their own shopping lists or leave messages for family members. 

Provide old birthday cards or calendars. Look for writing together when out and about - use

  • road signs
  • food packages etc. 

and see if your child can find letters from their name. It is especially important for your child to see you reading and writing too! 

Building block for development

"My Brain Grows better when you play with me!"

Play cube Playing in the Puddles 
Buy some cheap wellies and paint images all over them. Go out and splash in the puddles with your children and observe what happens to the paint. 
Gather various items from your home, some that float and some that sink. Take them out to the puddles and play 'sailing' games with your child.

Play = 'All I need for Learning' 

Play is a key opportunity for children to think creatively and flexibly, solve problems and link ideas. Establish the enabling conditions for rich play:

  • space
  • time
  • flexible resources
  • choice, control
  • warm and supportive relationships

Challenges are essentially problems that the children have to work together to solve.

Make and play Make and do

Make and fly a parachute with your child!

Find out how to make an easy, yet effective parachute »

Get active

Being active should be encouraged from birth. Before your baby begins to crawl, encourage them to be physically active by reaching and grasping, pulling and pushing, and moving their head, body and limbs during daily routines, and during supervised floor play, including tummy time. 

Lay your baby down so that they can kick their legs.
Once your baby has started crawling, let them crawl around the floor. First, make sure it's safe (see home safety checklist).

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Article utilities:  Bookmark and Share Print Print this page Last updated: 28 Mar 2014 at 00:01