Previous activities of the day Make animals with egg boxes Use an egg box to make creative animal puppets. Use the long part of the separation between the egg box to be the snout of the animal next to 2 round spaces that will be the ears . Cut the ears in the shape closest to the real shape of the animal's ears. Choose pencils or paint to colour the animals. Your animal could be a fox, bear, mouse or a monkey. With younger children talk about the animals they are making: "let's paint pink inside the mouse's ear", "let's paint black outside the fox's snout". For older children talk about what you will do and after ask them: “First we will cut it and then we will colour it. First we will _______ and then _____” For older children use descriptive language e.g. we will need long whiskers, a pointed snout etc. Talk about where the animal might live and then play some pretend role play games with the finished puppet. Water activity The aim of this game is to discover whether objects sink or float in water. Tell to your child that you are going to pick some objects up to take to the container with water. Let them hunt for some too. E.g. When the object is floating say: “Oh, Look… it goes up, up, up” When the object is sinking say: “Oh, Look… it goes down” Download the worksheet Loading the washing machine Encourage your child to help with washing a few clothes. Pick up two baskets, look at which clothes are daddy’s and which are mummy’s. Put a few pieces in a basket and ask for your child to take daddy's sock and "put it in", then mummy's shirt and "put it in". Ask them to press the button to “switch on” and talk about “we are going to wash, wash…” and the clothes will be “all wet”. When finished, use the same routine to “take it out” and “put it in” the dryer or “hang it up" if using a clothesline. Encourage older children to help hang and fold the clothes. Talk about how to fold and/or talk about the colours of clothes and the size of each person's clothes, which are easy to fold and which are difficult. Birdwatching Set your child the task of looking out for birds through the window or in the garden. Agree on a phrase that they have to say each time they see a bird, it could be “I saw a bird!”. With older children you can look for defining features of the bird and make a list of all the different birds that have been spotted. The RSPB has a good guide of birds to look out for. Make a rainbow for key workers Many of us will have seen the colourful rainbows displayed in windows to show appreciation to all key workers. Use the rainbow template we’re providing to encourage your child to colour in the rainbow. With the little ones you can talk about how rainbows always come out when there is rain and sunshine at the same time. With the older children you can talk about the symbolism behind the rainbow as a sign of hope and peace. Ask them how do they feel when they see a rainbow? Talk about your own emotions when you see a rainbow. Download our rainbow template Create your own audiobook We are encouraging parents, grandparents and other family members, to record an audiobook for their children. Choose a familiar story and record yourself or another family member reading the story and then listen to the audiobook with your child. Listen to Frances Clark, LSLS Cert. AVT read her book ‘Violet’s story’ and find out more tips below. Create your own audiobooks Making a Sandwich Invite your child to prepare a sandwich with you. Talk ahead about the type of sandwich you are going to prepare and ask them to think about which ingredients are needed. Ask “what will we need?”. For younger children, encourage them to listen to the name of the ingredients used and tell you what to do e.g. ”mix it, spread it, cut it”. For older children, ask them to think of 3 ingredients and then ask them to bring them to the table. Make a plan about how to make the sandwich: “first we spread the butter, then add the cheese, and then cut the sandwich”. Biscuits Choose an easy biscuit recipe that you like, or use a bought biscuit, talk ahead about decorating the biscuit. “We are going to ice it…yum". For younger children, talk about “mix and roll” until the dough forms and draw their attention to the timer telling them when it will be ready. Perhaps help them to ice a face on the biscuit “eyes, mouth, nose”. ” If the child is older, talk about the ingredients they are going to use, put the ingredients one at a time into a bowl and then talk about which colour they will use to ice it and what picture they would like make on each biscuit. Perhaps a face or a pattern? Bowling Do you have water bottles or juice bottles ? They make great skittles. Play with your child showing them how to throw the ball toward the bottles. For younger child you can talk about “waiting” and “ready,steady…go” You could also use these skittles for a Ling check activity. For an older child you can play a True or False game You say a sentence and they need to say whether is true or false and the ball should only be thrown after a true sentence. Play the ‘mystery bag’ game Use any big bag you have, fill it with random objects, example: a duck, a carrot, a tea bag, a ball, a pen, a toilet roll. Play with your child so that they find what have inside the bag. For little ones, encourage them to “pick it up” and ask “what is this?”. They should say the name and then you say something about the object “oh thanks, I need a pen to write. I need a pen to _____”. For older child, you could play a guessing game by giving them a description and they can then guess what is in the bag or they could close their eyes and feel around in the bag. You can ask them to describe how it feels if it’s hard/soft/squishy etc. They can talk about the shape, size, and texture, then they can guess the object or ask someone else to guess before they take the object out. Curl up with some books Ask your child to pick out 2 or 3 of their favourite books and engage in a productive conversation with them. For younger child, ask them to find the book that has the specific character, talk ahead about the story before you read it and then find the characters together and explore the page with the scene you are talking about. If the child is older ask about their favourite book and ask why it is their favourite. Talk about what might be happening in that story from the front cover and who wrote the book. Maybe ask them if they can remember what happened next. Make sure your child understood the message of the book. Peg Leg Animals Use a toy plastic animal and outline the animal on the paper or if you are confident in drawing, draw your own animal. All animals should be drawn without legs. Use some pegs to make the animal legs. For the youngest children help your child to put the legs on “put it on”; “squeeze the peg” “ Let’s see how many we need. Create a scenario for the animals “jump in the puddle”; “eat the grass”; “go inside/outside the house”, “over/under the bridge” or just have the animals talk to each other. For older children, you can ask what the animals they want to draw, what do we need to do to show which animal it is, how many legs each animal has, what the colours/patterns they have, where each animal lives, talk about the size of animals and maybe what they would like to eat, Easter activities Why not organise a treasure hunt? Hide chocolate eggs around a room in the house and give your child clues to find them (you can swap the chocolate eggs for puzzle pieces, or small toy cars – whatever your child will be motivated to find!) You might start with an empty bowl or basket and talk ahead about the problem of the missing eggs i.e. for younger children you might say ‘Uh oh! There’s no eggs! Where are the eggs?’ For an older child you might explain they need to listen for clues and search the room “Look under something with pages that you read”. Or check out our Easter activity sheet. I spy. Play a variation of the classic game of ‘I spy’ by describing the object that you see. “I spy with my little eye, something that is round, and boils the water”; “I spy with my little eye something that is square, soft and full of feathers”. Adapt the description so that your child can be successful at guessing the object but then see if at the next round you can make it slightly harder. For the little ones you can describe the object by its function “something that we use to eat yoghurt”. For older children ask them to describe an object that you have to guess. Today’s recommended activity is for our younger children (6 -18 months) as we know at this age children love to put things in and take things out. Fill a muffin tin with different toys and loosely secure them in place with a piece of masking tape. Let your child explore the textures and develop their fine motor skills as they peel back the tape and retrieve the toy. This is a great opportunity to practice reading your child’s thought bubble and giving words for their thinking and their message. Acoustically highlight the words for their message and think about some functional verbs that might be useful “pull pull puuuull”, “take it ooooout”, “uh oh!” and “it’s stuck” etc. Spider web doorway. Help your child become Spiderman for the day by creating a spider web in one of your doorways! It’s all about the process, so ensure you talk and involve your child each step of the way. Start by talking about why spiders build their webs and then talk about what could be long and sticky that we could use instead? Get some sticky tape (ideally masking tape so it doesn’t leave marks!) and get your child to help you place strips of tape from one side to the other of the door cross-crossing all the way up. Then make paper-planes or scrunch up pieces of newspaper, and throw them at the giant web to see how many stick without falling. Help to change the bed sheets. This is a routine that gets done regularly. Involve your child by talking about the process. Your two key strategies will be to ask open questions and pause so that your child has time to think about what you said and give you an answer: “how do we wash the old sheets?”; “where are the new sheets?”. Keep talking about the process and give clear verbal directions e.g. “you hold this corner”, “fold it over” and “tuck it in”. Preparing breakfast. Try giving your child some small choices at breakfast. These could be “do you want toast or cereal?” or a smaller choice like “do you want jam or butter?”. For the older child ask an open question such as “what do you want for breakfast?”. Be prepared to talk about ‘why’ having ice-cream for breakfast is not a good idea! Remember to talk ahead about the options so that your child is listening to the verbal options. Create a pretend tight rope or bridge. Place some tape or string across the floor and say to your child that you must walk only on the rope and not fall in the river. Talk about who might be living in the river. A little tip… this game is great for calming down your children as it helps them to focus on walking slowly. Make a hammock for your teddy. Use a pillowcase to tie two opposite corners to the back of two chairs to make a teddy hammock. Before making the hammock talk to your child about how teddy needs a nap. Ask an open question, where can teddy have a nap? Then suggest that we can have a nap in different places not just in a bed. Explain how a hammock can be built. Listen to how the child is copying this new word, are there any sounds that they are finding tricky? Try whispering the word to highlight the consonants. Create a Treasure Den. Place a bedsheet over two chairs or a table and call it the ‘Treasure Den’ talk with your child about what are his/her treasures and then make a list of these treasures that they need to find around the house and place in their treasure den. Make sure you wait for your child to say his/her ideas.