General guidance for parents for working with children at home
- Children thrive on predictability and routine. Create your own daily schedule around your own family – this has to work for you! Try not to make it too rigid and focus on ticking things off.
- Your daily routine could include school work, a bit of tv watching, reading for pleasure, practising a skill, drawing and colouring, getting outside where possible, chores around the house, cooking/baking, sewing, playing card games, playing board games, playing shops etc., a daily workout (healthy body, healthy mind).
- You may need to accept that your children are going to watch television or play on electronic devices more than you would usually allow, but please follow the World Health Organisation recommendation of no more than 3-4 hours per day.
Afternoon activity ideas and guidance
Communication and Language and Being imaginative
During times when children aren’t doing structured activities (ie. Maths, English etc), is a prime opportunity for children to learn through play. Whilst playing, we try to help the children to develop their language skills and to play imaginatively. Try encouraging your child to act out a narrative with their toys to create a story of their own by modelling the language you would expect them to use and joining in with their play. For example, if you child is playing with a farm set use the farmer to introduce a problem, i.e ‘Oh no, the cows have all escaped. How can we save them?’ and encourage your child to play along with the other characters.
You can also support their language development by correcting mistakes in their language as they speak. For example if you child says ‘I hearded a noise’ repeat back ‘Yes, you heard a noise.’
There are lots of different areas within physical development that you can support you child with at home. Below are some ideas that you can try whilst your child is at home:
- Scissor skills. Through craft activities, encourage your child to use scissors with good control. Ensure they always hold their scissors correctly, with their thumb at the top.
- Fine motor skills. Encourage children to use their fingers and thumbs to pick up small objects and manipulate them with good control. For example, using pegs or tweezers to pick things up, treading beads or blocks onto string, knitting, sewing, planting seeds, playing tiddly-winks, hole punching, making bracelets.
- Pencil control. Encourage the children to draw patterns and shapes with different implements (pens, pencils, paint brushes) and practice correct cursive letter formation.
- Gross motor skills. This is the ‘PE’ part of our curriculum. Encourage the children to practice throwing and catching balls with accuracy (i.e throwing into a target), rolling on the floor to develop core strength, yoga (there are lots of videos of children’s yoga on youtube), balancing/walking a line, climbing and hop scotch. They can also help with more ‘heavy’ jobs around the house, such as cleaning patios and scrubbing floors.
If you are on facebook or the internet, there are lots of people out there who are producing free resources in this area, such as:
- The PE shed
- The body coach
A lot of the creative activities we do in the class are based on our current topic which, at the moment, is growing and Easter. Please see the resources we have produced for some fun ideas. The children could also think about people who are unwell through this time and make a card to send to somebody in the community or a local nursing home.
Understanding the World
This area of our curriculum is all about understanding the world around us and has three sections:
- People and communities, which involves learning about different jobs, religions and cultures and taking part in family activities.
- The world, which incorporates lots of basic scientific understanding such as features and changes in the environment (growth and seasons etc) and thinking about how the world has changed through time.
- Technology, which means being able to use simple age appropriate computer programs to do things such as play games, take photos, etc.
Ideas for you to try could include:
- Planting a seed and watching it grow and talking about the changes that they see and what a plant needs to grow big and strong.
- Drawing a picture of a flower and labelling the parts if they are able to.
- Researching and reading stories about different times in history.
- Thinking about or watching videos about farms and how they work and talking about where food comes from.
- Matching baby animals with their grown-ups.
- Start a compost bin and talk about how they work and why they are used.
- Help to recycle more around the house and think about how we can waste less.
- Explore floating and sinking.