Family activities 

Welcome to our family activities page!

Here you can find some fun activity ideas for children under the age of five. They include language tips for helping you to make the most of the language involved in play. They can be used by parents, carers and other family members at home.

Activity of the week

Design your family tree

Design your family tree. Print the photos of brothers, parents, uncles, grandparents, cousins and draw a tree to stick on the face of each family member. With small children use the expressions, “Where shall we put mummy?” “Who is going to be next to daddy?” etc. Let your child cut or paste the photos on the tree. If you don’t have a printer, you could draw the people together.

For older children use the vocabulary "boy" and "girl", ask "Is your uncle a boy or a girl?" “Who are the boys? Who are the girls? ” Or extend to who is a man, woman, child etc. Explore where each family member lives and work on comparative vocabulary such as "older, oldest, younger, youngest, taller, tallest” etc. Then talk about who lives far away and who lives close by. "Who is daddy's mommy?" "How many grandparents do you have?"

Previous activities

Ice lollies

Enjoy the summer with homemade ice lollies. With young children talk about the flavours they will use, “shall we make strawberry ones or orange ones?” When preparing, use the vocabularies "put it in" "mix it" and when it is time to put it in the freezer talk about making it cold and waiting for it to freeze to make a lolly. Maybe talk about it taking a long time and when can we come back and look. E.G. “First we will go to the park for a walk and then we will look.”

For older children play with making/selling ice cream or lollies. Make them think about what they need to organise an ice cream shop, where they will serve the ice cream, what flavours, how much it will cost etc. You can teach giving money and receiving change. Enjoy the family time and invite everyone to play.

Recycling at home

We can take advantage of the importance of recycling and teach our children from an early age. For young children, you can use labels with different colours for each waste basket and talk about the ‘clean waste’ that we can use again. Use the vocabularies "put it in the red bin” or request "The plastic goes in the red bin" "Food goes in the green bin” and so on. For older children work on the vocabularies “paper, glass, plastic, organic, garbage, basket, cans” and explain the importance of recycling to the world. Use the vocabularies “wash, knead, cut and fold” before you put the objects in the trash. “First we are going to wash the milk container and then we are going to crush it to put it in the recycle bin.” “First let's get the ________ and then ________.”

Talking about books

Children love reading books. Tell the stories using different facial expressions and voice intonation. For young children ask "what book do you want to read?", “lets choose a book”. Maybe limit the choice to two…. "shall we read this one or this one?”. While reading, emphasize the prepositions and actions of the characters by changing the intonation for those words using acoustic highlighting. Talk about what happens on each page and associate it with the characters' feelings if they were “happy, sad, scared” using facial expression to help at first.

With older children, start the book by asking what the story is about, how do we know? Who wrote the book can you find his name? If the child knows the book well, encourage them to remember the story before reading. Or at each page ask what will happen, why, how the characters feel. 

Water the plants

Invite children to help take care of plants, indoors or out in the garden. For a young child or a new listener, try to show the importance of caring for the plant. “Be careful, be gentle”, "The plant needs water." Put some water in a jug or watering can, listen to the sound of water filling the container. Say “ok we are ready” and help the child water the plant by saying "pour it". To build on this make a plan “first let's fill it with water and then pour it in the pot”.

With older children, talk about the different types of plants and flowers, that some have thorns and need care, some need more water and others need less water, there are plants that we use for cooking. Make your child think about what is needed to plant a seed. Use vocabulary like "seed, ground, and pot". If you have seeds or plants follow a plan together.

Activities to do at home

Other helpful resources and activities