Ideas and Activities
Below you will find some suggestions and ideas for how you, as a parent/ carer can help your child to learn and continue developing their understanding, vocabulary and literacy skills:
Reading together is a wonderful way to engage your child to learn. It is also a great opportunity for developing conversational skills, responding to the humour of the book, and a way of strengthening emotional bonds. All family members can be involved in reading. Depending on child’s age, they could be encouraged to read out loud, independently or to listen to tales and stories. Talk about the plot and illustrations, ask questions, predict what may happen next or summarise what has been read so far. It is recommended to read a variety of texts including traditional tales (e.g. Jack and the Beanstalk, Little Red Riding Hood; Goldilocks and the Three Bears); newspaper articles; poetry; comics etc. For younger children, hunt for objects inside or out that begin with different letter sounds (and make a list).
Encourage older children to research a topic they are interested in. Start by thinking of questions that they would like to know the answer to. They might then enjoy making their own fact file. This might include drawings, pictures and information downloaded and their own observations.
Cooking and baking – you can read instructions, estimate an ingredients’ weight and weigh the ingredients, or write your own instructions/ recipes.
Gardening or walking (if either are options) - looking for signs of Spring e.g. tree buds; flowers; insects; birds; butterflies; observing weather changes and reading the thermometer. Growing flowers or vegetables (from seeds available on-line) in a garden or in window boxes, or indoor plant pots (if space is limited). Encourage the child to look after the plants themselves. They can also record how things grow with photographs, drawings or measurements.
Design and technology projects such as building a bug hotel or making a bird feeder.
Playing together – Lego bricks, board games, etc.
Colouring, painting or cutting out.
Role-play activities – home, shop, school, airport, doctors, vet, etc. Younger children can simply act out their own stories using toys as characters (using a box as a theatre). Older children might enjoy writing their own play script.
Writing a diary, letters, own stories of fact files on a subject of your child’s interest.
Finding different shapes around the house and describing their properties and the materials they are made from. If you feel that your level of English is not sufficient for you to support your child in the above activities (in English) please don’t worry. Working with children and deepening of knowledge in home language equally important, e.g. in reading, storytelling, science, history or maths. Allow your children to explore their own interests and to summarise in home language what they have read or found out from books or educational websites. To develop communication skills in English, you can encourage other family members or friends, who can communicate well to do this with your children through the use of internet. For example, encourage your children to attempt writing in English, to watch some entertaining TV programmes or to find out interesting facts in English.