Helping your child learn through play.

Your child’s Early Years are the most precious time; every new experience is an exciting learning experience. Imagine that you have just landed on a strange planet and everything you see, hear, smell, touch and taste is new. With such a huge amount of new and interesting sights it is fair to say that you would be experiencing a range of emotions.

To help you make sense of this new environment you need to explore it, find out what things are and how things work and the most natural way of doing this is by using your senses. Young children need to feel secure to enable them to take full advantage and make the most of every opportunity and by having a familiar adult there will enable them to move freely in new surroundings safe in the knowledge that they can get reassurance, confidence and affirmation  from that adult.

The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) builds on this very basic vision, that children learn most when they are able to explore for themselves, doing what children do best; play. This is supported by the environment and world around them and through the positive relationships they build along the way.

The EYFS is how the Government and Early Years Professionals describe the time in your child’s life between birth and age 5 and the framework is what nurseries, pre-schools, receptions classes and child-minders use to inform their practice and support the children in their care to learn and develop and get ready for school. As a parent you are the most important person in a child’s life and there are lots you can do to support your child in preparing for school.

Did you know?

For children to fully understand the sounds in words they need to develop an awareness of everyday sounds around them. So supporting your child to develop attention and listening skills is essential in supporting language development.

Why don’t you?

Try singing familiar songs and rhymes. Involving actions are great for encouraging eye contact and building suspense in songs will also encourage them to focus on you and what you are singing and doing.

Did you know?

Any game that involves taking turns can develop your child’s conversational skills. Talking involves one person speaking while the other listens and then the other person speaking while the first listens, taking turns in conversation.

Why don’t you?

Blowing bubbles- Taking turns to dip the stick and blow bubbles. Catching and chasing bubbles is also great for developing eye contact and coordination.

Did you know?

For a child to build confidence and become independent learners they need to feel safe in the environment they are in. Having a familiar adult to give that support and encourage them in new environments or around new people will help them to develop that sense of security.

Why don’t you?

Take time to relax when your child is playing, offer cuddles, encouraging words and facial expressions when exploring new environments or activities. Make new experiences as exciting for you as it is for them.  New experiences could be somewhere to visit, the park or a toddler group. It could also be new objects such as pots, pans and wooden spoons or even rain showers, splashing in puddles in wellington boots or getting under the cover of an umbrella.

Did you know?

Children need to gain full control over their bodies before they can begin to develop more intricate skills such as writing. Supporting them to develop large movements such as, running, jumping, balancing, catching and crawling, will enable them to explore the capabilities of their own bodies. Their success in developing these skills will give them a sense of achievement; give them confidence in approaching new challenges and develop their determination to perfect new skills.

Why don’t you?

Playing hide and seek, mimicking the movements of the child, if your child is crawling, crawl to your hiding place, move around the space in different ways and encourage your child to do the same. Pretend to be circus entertainers, juggling invisible balls, lay a dressing gown tie on the floor and balance on the high wire, crawl around on hands and feet pretending to be lions or stomp like elephants.

Did you know?

The more children have the freedom to explore every day objects the greater their understanding of what it is and how it is used becomes.

Why don’t you?

Try providing children with a range of different objects varied in size, weight, shape and texture will enable them to explore using their primary skills, their senses. They will be able to make their own meaningful connections and begin to develop their knowledge of shape, space and mass.

Did you know?

Children can develop their understanding of size, quantity and measurement through their enjoyment of sand and water play.

Why don’t you?

Try filling the sink, old baby bath or large bucket with water and collect a range of jugs, cups, bottles or any other containers to fill. Play with your child and talk about what you are doing such as, ‘mines nearly full’ or ‘this one is empty’ or ‘too much’ or ‘is it enough?’ Not into water? Try using dry pasta or rice. NB-please ensure you supervise young children at all times around water.

Did you know?

The outdoors is the most natural environment for children to explore using their most primary skills, their senses. Through their senses children can begin to make sense of their environment and the objects in them, enabling them to understand how we use things and what their purpose is.

Why don’t you?

Get outside and dig!! Make use of an unused flower bed, large plant pot or tray and use a range of buckets/pots/spades. Play with your child showing them how to dig or join in with their digging, filling pots or just digging a giant hole. Talk about what you’re doing; ask the child how far they are digging to, where would it take you?  Haven’t got any buckets/spades? Make use of everyday items such as, spoons or sticks. Feeling adventurous? Why not add a little water.

If you want to know more about the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) click here and scroll down to download Parents Guide. If you are looking for registered childcare then please email us

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2 thoughts on “Helping your child learn through play.

  1. Pingback: Helping your child learn through play | weeklyblogclub

  2. Pingback: Power, plebs and play | weeklyblogclub

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