Working at home with your child
Here are some ideas of things to do with your child in the lead up to starting school. Key things which will really support the transition for your child are:
- Going to the toilet by themselves
- Getting dressed by themselves - taking off and putting on jumpers and socks particularly, these are the trickiest!
- Holding writing tools correctly (it can be fun for children to practise using lots of different mark making tools such as pencils, crayons, biros, felt tip pens, gel pens etc)
- Holding and using scissors correctly
Below are lots more ideas split up in to the areas of learning in EYFS (Communication and Language is embedded within all these areas through talking with your child):
Personal, Social, Emotional Development
- Encourage your child to say please and thank you.
- Encourage your child to take his/her own coat on and off.
- When playing with your child, support them in sharing toys.
- 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.
- Encourage your child to handle small and large equipment.
- Allow your child to use scissors and develop their skills.
- Allow your child to run, hop, skip, jump and find different ways of travelling.
- 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.
Reading and Writing
- Allow your child to select books for themselves; ones that interest him/her. Picture books with repetitive and basic language such as those by Julia Donaldson.
- Encourage your child to ‘read’ what is happening in the pictures. Prompt them to tell you a sentence about what is happening.
- To increase vocabulary and identify sounds: play word games such as I spy.
- Sing alphabet songs and talk about the names of the letter and the sounds that they make.
- Make shapes of letters out of play dough; write them in sand, write their own name in the air etc.
- Begin to practise recognising their name.
- 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.
- 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.
Understanding the World
- Talk to your child about special times; birthdays, baptism and other key events in their lives and the lives of others they know.
- Encourage them to explore their surroundings; particularly in the outdoor area.
- 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
- Allow your child to listen to and sing songs and rhymes.
- 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.