Whitby's Lane, Winsford, CW7 2LZ

Home Learning Ideas from 2019/20 Covid Lockdown

Home Learning

13.07.20 Stories, fun ideas and how to help your child over summer to prepare for Juniper class (Reception)

More singing and movement fun with the team from Edsential at Home.

Week 6 – Food rhymes & Teddy Bear’s Picnic

In school we have enjoyed this story about Tiddler. We also enjoyed singing 1, 2, 3,  4, 5 Once I caught a fish alive.

This story helped us to learn about lots of new vocabulary linked to under the water. Explore the story and see if your child can name the animals from under the sea.

We have also loved the story ‘Hurray For Fish’. This is a favourite with all children and can be found on Youtube in a lovely animated version. This supports your child in exploring lots of lovely words to describe different fish – spotty, hairy, stripey, fat, thin etc.

Encourage your child to count the fish, draw fish, decorate fish – I’m sure you can have lots of fishy fun with some water play in the bath or outside too.

06.07.20 Supportive ideas for fun learning challenges

Here are the next few ideas to support you with encouraging your child to continue to progress the important skills they will need as they move towards Reception. Focus here is on developing motor control skills and encouraging problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Motor control skills

Indoor Fine Motor challenges

Fine Motor activity cards

Gross Motor Activity Cards

Pencil control sheets

Pencil control patterns sheets

Number Formation practice sheet

Scissor Skills sheets

Mr Potato cutting skills challenge

Pack a suitcase cutting skills

Challenge and Problem Solving

Lego Pattern Building challenge cards

30 day lego challenge

Lolly pop stick patterns challenge

Some of these ideas and resources may need to be printed off to use, others (such as the challenge cards) can be looked at online and returned to time and again as your child completes different challenges.

24.06.20 Some additional ideas for support at home

DfE’s Hungry Little Minds campaign features tips and practical activities that parents can do at home with children to support their early learning. There are many simple ways to help children learn and it does not have to feel like ‘learning’. Having everyday conversations, make-believe play and reading together all make a big difference to children’s development.

The BBC’s Tiny Happy People and the National Literacy Trust’s Family Zone can be accessed for more ideas and content.

DfE has published further guidance on how to help children aged 2 to 4 to learn at home during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

22.06 20 onwards

  • More singing and movement fun with the team from Edsential at Home.  Week 5 – Animals on the Farm
  • Maths skills: build on the children’s ability to say the counting numbers up to 20. If they are very confident with counting to 10, begin practising counting backwards from 10 – 0. Use language with your child to discuss 1 more and eventually 1 less, so that they start to learn the pattern between the counting numbers that we say and the meaning of 1 more and 1 less. Engage in play with your child which involves simple addition and subtraction situations in role play or real life e.g. we have 3 plates, how many more do we need so that everyone in the family can eat (4)? This can be enjoyed with sweets, biscuits, or making use of tea sets and dollies.
  • Phonics – Continue to practice your phonics using the video previously shared. You can prepare your child for early reading and phonics through accessing some of the activities on the Oxford Owl website. There are also some brilliant Phonics Games you can play. The RWI-Set-1-Mini-Flashcards mentioned in the games can also be printed off and used.
  • As some of the children are nearing the end of their time in Nursery, they are becoming more and more Reception ready. For those children who are at the level to be able to access, there are some lovely resources via The Oak National Academy – Reception class pages online. This includes English, Maths, Foundation, PSHE and PE activities. There are also assemblies from each week and activity clubs full of ideas. This has been running since 20th April, so I would recommend that you could start with accessing some of the activities which were shared in Week 1 (via the Schedule tab) then move through.

08.06.20 onwards

  • More singing and movement fun with the team from Edsential at Home.  Week 4 – Action rhymes
  • Phonics – As many children in Nursery were doing so well with securing and remembering the phonics that we taught before Lockdown, I would like to provide you with a resource that will support your child in the correct pronunciation of each sound and help them to revise the letters. This RWI video shares all of the letters  way beyond those which were would have learnt in Nursery. Please focus mainly on the single letter sounds (and the th, sh, ch, ng) but do not move on to the vowel sounds yet. From 10 minutes in on the video, you can use the video for your child to practise the letters sounds in a ‘repeat after me’ style game.
  • Maths activities  – please continue to explore and enjoy any of the games links below.
  • Stories about changes to our lives since the impact of Coronovirus, lockdown and eventually returning to school – Coronavirus, Mia at Home, Elsie Stays at Home, Everybody WorriesWhile We Can’t Hug and In it Together.

01.06.20 onwards

  • More resources have been created with lots of wonderful links to develop children in the Early Years Foundation Stage by ‘Edsential At Home’. Made specifically for young children and their families to explore whilst at home. This is delivered through creative activities in this document Week 3 – Starry Night. Please explore the link document and enjoy some of the activities suggested that you think your child will enjoy. It looks at lullabies.
  •  Maths activities can be accessed via the Top Marks web site – under the heading of counting, ordering and sequencing, addition, measures, money, shape, position and movement and data handling.
  • Phonics activities can be accessed via the website Phonics Play – including listening games, rhyming games and an initial sound game. There is a good video from the Read Write Inc programme for parents to watch which helps to explain what we are trying to achieve through early reading skills and the way we introduce phonics to Nursery children.
    As I am sure you are aware by now, Mrs Alford has been quite poorly since before the half term, with a bad viral infection (not confirmed as Covid 19 despite 2 tests taken). She is now gradually recovering, but this process is going to be slow as she was completely wiped out by the infection and its symptoms.

17.05.20 onwards

  • Continue to use your loose play parts from 14.05.20 – introduce a few new items each day and see what your child does with them in their play.
  • More resources have been created with lots of wonderful links to develop children in the Early Years Foundation Stage by ‘Edsential At Home’. Made specifically for young children and their families to explore whilst at home. This is delivered through creative activities in this document Week 2 Flowers in the Garden. Please explore the link document and enjoy some of the activities suggested that you think your child will enjoy. It links very closely with the focus on Spring, growth and plants that we have been currently developing.
  • Enjoy and revisit any of the books that have been previously read by Mrs Alford – allow your child to choose which is their favourite and to explain to you why they like it. Support: See if they can join in with the repeated parts of the story. Challenge: Once you have finished the story, see if they can make up their own version using the same theme e.g. Brown Bear could be Pink dolphin etc.

16.05.20 – Sorry but Mrs Alford was feeling unwell – rest required.


  • Story telling – gather together a few items of small world toys, teddies or other interesting things. Place them in a pot or basket – ask your child to make up and tell you a story.  Choose one of the characters or items and start a story based on it, then encourage your child to draw more objects out of the basket and continue the story. Support: Enjoy listening to the story with Mrs Alford first. Use the familiar story, such as ‘Walking through the Jungle‘, ‘Brown Bear, Brown Bear’ or ‘Where’s Spot?’ which have simple storylines, to adapt using your new characters. E.g. Green frog, green frog, what do you see? I see a small horse looking at me.
  • Using an object (ball, bat and ball, bean bag, balloon etc) that you can control – can you control it by pushing, patting, throwing, catching or kicking it? Provide a bucket or basket and ask your child to aim for the target and throw or kick the object into the basket. Support: Balloons and larger balls are much easier to practice with first, before moving on to smaller balls. Challenge: draw chalk lines on the floor to give increasing points depending how far you throw your items. Add up the points to find out your school.
  • Continue the play with loose parts – as explained on 14.05.20 – introduce some new items for your child to explore and be creative with.

Enjoy a story with Mrs Alford: Brown Bear, Brown Bear



Using open-ended, loose part materials for play – Providing open-ended play materials allows children the opportunity to be curious, creative and to direct their own play. There are no rules or expectations on how a play item must be used, no specific steps to follow, no ultimate goal to reach or achieve.

So what are these magical open ended play materials that can offer all of those wonderful learning outcomes? To put it very simply they are basically just materials you might introduce that have no specific set of directions to follow. There is no particular right or wrong way to use them and they can be used alone or combined with other materials.

These could include:

bottle caps, straws, cardboard tubes, empty containers and bottles, measuring caps from washing bottles, child safe packaging products such as bubble wrap, cardboard, wrapping paper scraps, styrofoam; plastic cups and lids, egg cartons, rubber bands, paper scraps, bowls, funnels, ribbon, spoons, forks, utensils: such as potato masher, whist, large spoons and strainer spoons; paper clips, beads, hair bobbles, pompoms, pipe cleaners, balls, marbles, napkin rings, curtain rings, golf tees, wooden scraps, nuts and bolts, magnets, wooden pegs, paint sample cards, rocks of varying size and textures, leaves, pine cones, petals, fresh and dried flowers, seeds and beans, dirt, conkers, acorns, pods, sand, sticks, logs, shells, tree cookies (slices of tree branch), feathers….. the list is pretty endless.

You probably have many loose parts items around the house or garden. AFTER LOCKDOWN LIFTS: You can also look outdoors, at recycling centres, charity shops, car boot sales and inquire within hardware shops, florists and other local businesses about materials they may be throwing away.

How to get your child started with loose parts play:

My advice is to start small and just make a few changes at a time until you feel more confident in how to use and present the materials.

  1. Choose one area in which you’d like to incorporate loose parts play today. Perhaps you’ll introduce some cardboard tubes alongside your child’s building blocks and toy cars. Maybe you’ll take a walk outside together to collect some of nature’s loose parts. Perhaps you’ll set out a tray of interesting beads and wire or pipe cleaners in your art or playdough area.

Remember, you can’t go wrong here! Give your child time and repeated opportunities to explore the same materials. Resist the urge to instruct and direct their activities, but do encourage them through open-ended questions or observations. They become the scientists, engineers, inventors, artists, explorers and clever investigators. Children of all ages can move, carry, redesign, recreate and combine open ended materials in any way that they want.

Other top tips:

  • Aim to build a loose parts/materials resource shelf/tub over time (hoard & collect – don’t throw anything away)
  • Begin writing a loose parts wishlist and think about ways you might be able to source those materials and involve your family in your hunt too.
  • Build your collection from visits to parks, beaches, walks, recycling centres, shops, markets, garage sales, £1 shops, asking family and friends, treelopping and mulching services, local council, reusing packaging materials.
  • Keep in mind that offering open ended materials to your children might actually involve a little trial and error depending on the ages you have and the materials you have decided to use. Some things will work one day yet not the next – don’t give up!

WARNING: Loose part play can look/get messy, but it is often easily cleaned up. Provide a box or basket for all bits to be returned to at the end of the play. Setting a ‘tidying up’ routine, and modelling to your child how to put things away at the end of play is an excellent way to support them in understanding boundaries and expectations (similar to in school).

I know that all of your children know how to tidy up – because they did it every day when in Nursery – so don’t be fooled!!! Stay calm, give encouragement, make it a race or a challenge to beat you, sing a song,

or play a piece of upbeat music or the Tidy Up Song (above) and ensure to join in with your child as they are tidying – children will follow your lead, so don’t give up, even if they put only 1 thing in the basket with your guidance and help, praise this and expect 2 items the next time. Before you know it, they will find it a fun part of spending time with you.



  • One Child, One Seed – pause at various pages during the video, and using the pictures from this book, encourage your child to look at the pictures to identify things that are the same and things that are different in their own lives, compared with the lives of the children in the book. Discuss that this story is set in a different country – how do we know? What can they tell you about the pictures – what do they see or notice? Support: encourage your child to point and use single words to describe the things they can see in the pictures and then model how they can add a ‘doing’ word to extend what they say e.g. boy planting, cows watching etc. Challenge: Encourage your child to speak in sentences, correctly using ‘he, she and they’ and where possible to extend their thoughts using ‘and’ or ‘because’.
  • Looking at the numbers in the story – ask your child if they can copy any of the numbers onto paper? What is their favourite number to write? Some numbers are straight and some are wiggly and round – can they practice straight lines across and down the paper, wiggly lines across the paper and creating circles? Write the numbers on the ground in chalk – ask your child to paint over them with water on a paint brush. Or write them on paper in pencil and ask them to draw over them in felt-tip or paint. Have some fun with numbers – don’t worry too much about them being perfect or your child recognising them all yet.
  • Sing a familiar rhyming song with your child – ‘There’s a ____ and a ____  in my little bed” – putting words in the gaps that rhyme, e.g. cat and rat, dog and frog, fish and dish, mole and hole, fox and box, pig and fig etc.  Challenge: allow your child to choose the rhyming words. Support: give the rhyming words to your child and encourage them to copy you and join in with the song.

Enjoy a story with Mrs Alford: 1, 2, 3 Farm



  • Resources have been created with lots of wonderful links to develop children in the Early Years Foundation Stage by Essential At Home. Made specifically for young children and their families to explore whilst at home. This is delivered through creative activities in this document Week-1-Spring
  • Please explore the document above and enjoy some of the activities suggested that you think your child will enjoy today. It links very closely with the focus on Spring, growth and plants that we are currently developing.

Enjoy a story with Mrs Alford:


  • Watch ‘Come Outside – Bulbs‘ with Auntie Mabel and explore how some flowers grow from bulbs. Look at an onion to see what a bulb looks similar too. Encourage your child to express what they have seen through making something creative. Draw a picture of a daffodil, make a daffodil using a cake case or use some different shaped vegetables to enjoy some printing.
  • Circle time – Flowers circle time – using the cards, encourage your child to look closely at the pictures and talk about what they see. Can they name the flower? Can they describe what the flower looks like? Support: can your child name the colours and shapes they see? Challenge: encourage your child to talk about the flower in more detail by using the discussion starters –  extend what they say by encouraging the use of ‘and’ or ‘because’. Extension: play a ‘Guess who?’ style game where you describe a flower and your child must pick out the flower picture card from the clues you give.
  • Sing the songs ‘1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Once I caught a fish alive‘, ‘Head Shoulders Knees and Toes‘ and ‘Grand Old Duke of York‘ with your child – encourage your child to practice saying their numbers in order, touching the correct body part or marching around the room and going up or down at the appropriate time in the songs. Enjoy singing and moving to the music.

Enjoy a story with Mrs Alford: Elephant Wellyphant


Tomorrow will be a big day of VE Day celebrations when many people will be having stay at home parties to celebrate the end of the Second World War. People will decorate themselves and their homes in red, white and blue. At 9am on the 8th May, the Queen will speak to the nation and there will be a live stream on BBC. Watch the VE film with your child to give them an idea of what the VE Celebrations are all about. Sing a song about happiness that the war was over and people were friends again with Mrs Watson and Brit in this short Video 

  • Explain to your child that people in Britain will celebrate tomorrow because it is a special day in history. Ask ‘What do we have in a party?’ Think about birthday parties they have enjoyed and try to write down a list of all the things they can think of that we do to celebrate at a party. (Hints: invitations, balloons, cards, gifts, music, wear party clothes, get together with friends, dance, sing, have party food, have a cake, blow out the candles etc.) Challenge: Ask your child to write a list of party food that you need for tomorrow. Make a party invitation for each family member to attend your ‘stay at home’ VE party.

  • Union Jack – look at a picture of the Union Jack, encourage your child to name the colours and notice the patterns on the Union Jack. Support: Colour in a Union Jack with many different and bright colours of your choice. Put this up to decorate your house. Challenge: Can you draw your own Union Jack using lots of lines in different directions?  If you want to make your own bunting – you can print off the bunting to colour in.
  • When you go on your daily walk, look out for the decorations that people are starting to put up. Can you count how many flags you see on your walk? What shape are the flags that you see? What colours do you notice? Can you spot the letters V and E? Are there any numbers that you see?

Enjoy a story with Mrs Alford: I went to the zoopermarket


Explore this African counting story with Mrs Alford.

  • This story helps the children to focus on numbers 1-10. Encourage your child to have a go at copying the numbers in flour, paint them or use chalk to write on the floor outside. Support: look for numbers all around you as you take a walk. Challenge: can you child write the number without seeing it first? Can they add the correct number of dots underneath the number?
  • Play a traditional game of ‘hide and seek’ in the home or using the natural environment when out on a walk. Take care but let your little one discover new hiding places then use the opportunity to practise counting together before the search begins.
  • Paint or draw a picture of a flower from closely observing it. Look closely at the colours that you can see, the shapes that you notice. Challenge: look on the internet for other famous artists work using flowers e.g. Van Gogh”, Monet ‘Water Lillies’ and O’Keefe ‘Poppies.’ Talk to your child about what is similar and what is different in each picture. Allow them to use their vocabulary to talk about what they observe in the pictures. Support: look for flowers when you are out on a walk. What colours of flower can you see?


  • Continuing thinking about growing by enjoying the story ‘Jasper’s Beanstalk‘ – Challenge: can your child answer the questions at the end of the recording? Enjoy a discussion about the story and explore their ideas and thinking. Support: support the children to learn new words as they enjoy the story – point out and use new vocabulary such as seed, bean, spade, watering can, torch, moon, slugs and snails, lawn mower and hose pipe. Repeat the story a few times to encourage your child to learn the meaning of the new words and to begin saying the word to you.
  • Think about what Jasper does each day. Notice the words which show the order of events in the story – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday – can your child remember the days of the week song that we sing in Nursery? Sing the ‘Days of the Week’ song together.


    To help you to join in, here are the words: “1, 2, 3, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday too. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 days, each day’s different and every day’s new.” Challenge: Keep a picture diary of what you do each day this week? (Although I’m sure it is pretty similar at the moment!) Can you say what day comes after Thursday/ before Tuesday?

  • Talk about the time it takes for plants to grow. In Jasper’s Beanstalk, many days passed before the beanstalk grew. Discuss: What do seeds need to help them to grow? Do you have any seeds to plant whilst at home? What plants do you have growing in the garden – take your child on a walk around your garden or in the local area to see what plants and flowers they can notice. Try to find a different plant or flower for every colour in the rainbow.


Enjoy the story ‘Jack and the Beanstalk

  • Make a giant’s treasure chest – using a box, ask your child to decorate by sticking, colouring or painting on it to create a treasure chest for the Giant to keep his gold. Then ask your child to think carefully about what other treasure a giant might keep in his chest and encourage them to explain why they think this. Ask what they would put in a treasure box? – discuss what is special, valuable or important to them – encourage them to collect the items, then tell you why it deserves to go in the treasure box. Keep the box as a special place for keeping things that are important and that make them happy – to be returned to whenever they want during lockdown.
  • Estimate and count dried beans – Using a pile of dried beans/peas/lentils/buttons etc, ask your child to roll a dice (or use a dice app on your phone), count the spots, then invite them to be ‘Jack’ and to get the correct number of beans by counting out correctly. Support: Help the children to point to each bean as they count, making sure that they use one number name per bean. Challenge: Encourage your child to roll two dice, count/add up the numbers that the dice land on, then put the correct total number of beans into their purse. Vary the game by asking your child to take a handful of beans and then guess the number of beans that they have in their hand. Explain that we call this ‘estimating.’ Whose hand can hold the most beans?
  • Fee, fi, fo fum imaginary play – take on the role of the giant and Jack and play out the story of Jack and the Beanstalk. Encourage your child to use the words and phrases that they remember from the story, such as ‘Fee-fi-fo-fum’ etc. Can they create a beanstalk with things they find around them? Can they build a giant’s castle using cushions or a bedsheet? Let your imaginations run wild – small children come up with the best ideas!


  • Number challenge: count the windows in your house. Count the doors in your house. Do you have more doors or windows? Find other features of your house to count and see if you have more or less. Using the language of more and less will help your child to develop their understanding about number. Challenge: can your child record the numbers on paper? Can they sort the numbers into order of size? Support: can your child count the doors, windows, TVs, phones etc in your house?
  • Draw shapes in the dirt with sticks – Can they name the shape you have drawn? Can they copy the shape themselves into the dirt Support: encourage your child use the stick to make lines and circles. Challenge: ask your child to draw the shape by name only: circle, square, rectangle, triangle and then encourage them to describe the shape. Play a ‘Guess who’ style game – where you describe a shape and they must guess which one from the description.
  • Book Trust ‘Pyjamarama Festival‘ is today – go to the Book Trust website and explore lots of wonderful activities linked to books – including dance with PJ Masks at 10.15am, learn to draw PJ Masks at 2.30pm and sing with PJ Masks at 4.30pm, plus lots more fun around other stories!

Enjoy a story with Mrs Alford: One Ted Falls out of Bed


  • Developing counting skills – using an egg box/pot and small items/toys – encourage your child to count out and say one number for each item. Challenge: write numbers on small pieces of paper, ask your child to pick a card, then put the correct number of items into the egg box or pot. Support: It may help your child to recognise each number by drawing the correct number of dots on the paper with the number.
  • Can you build a wall for Humpty Dumpty to sit on? Sing the nursery rhyme and enjoy ‘helping’ him to topple off the top. How could you protect Humpty Dumpty so that he doesn’t crack? Ask your child to think of ways they could protect an egg, then if possible try out their ideas with materials they can find. The importance in this task is to encourage your child to come up with ideas, explain their thoughts and ideas using their previous experiences – it does not matter if they are wrong! Have fun testing out each idea if you dare!
  • Can you measure short periods of time in simple ways? How long does it take to go up the stairs? Measure the time by counting as each family member has a go? Who is the quickest? Slowest? Can you use a timer to see how long it takes to go over an indoor obstacle course? Encourage your child to see if they can get quicker – and in doing so, notice that the the time it takes get smaller.

Enjoy a story with Mrs Alford: The Teeny Weeny Tadpole



  • Sprinkle flour on a tray or the table. Ask your child to practice writing their name, numbers, letters or shapes in it. When practising the letters – can they say the phonic sound for the letter? Can they remember the rhyme that we say as we write the letter? Letter-formation-chart
  • The children have been developing their knowledge of rhyme – and how this is when a word sounds the same as another word. Play this rhyming word washing line game to encourage them to listen carefully to how the words sound. Remember you could also re-watch the Alphablocks video from 02.04.20 as the children love this video and it is good at tuning their ears into words which rhyme with ‘cat’. Challenge: can your child tell you words which rhyme with a word you give them? E.g. pin, pot, fox, dog, leg, set, tap etc.
  • Read or listen to the story of ‘Chicken Licken’ again (see 30.03.20) to help the children tune in to words that rhyme – can they join in with the storytelling, and when there is a pause – say the word which rhymes? Challenge: encourage your child to come up with rhyming words for other animals that they know? Perhaps making up a story about a visit to zoo with zebra zebra, lion lion etc.


Signs of Spring focus:

  • Look at the Seasons Poster seasons-pos-21845 with your child. Ask them to describe what they can see in each picture and think how each picture looks different. Use the vocabulary for the different seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Which season does your child think we are in now from looking at the pictures?
  • Use the Spring word mat/Signs of spring pics to look at signs of spring from all around us – can your child explain what they can see in the photos/pictures? Do they know the vocabulary – such as frogspawn, blossom, bulbs and buds.
  • When on your daily walk – look for the signs of spring around you. Enjoy a ‘scavenger hunt’ style walk where you tick off your list of signs of spring that you see or a tiny treasure hunt (see information below). Allow your child to use your phone to take photos of the signs of spring and create a Pic Collage of the exploration.

    Spring scavenger hunt

    In spring, nature starts to wake up from its long winter sleep. Trees burst into leaf, flowers cover the ground and animals emerge from hibernation. There’s so much to see, can you find…

    • new green leaves
    • scented blossom
    • springy moss
    • sticky leaf buds
    • a lichen-covered twig
    • a piece of eggshell (stay well away from bird nests, look for fragments of shell that have fallen to the ground)

      Tiny treasure hunt

      You’ll need to keep your eyes peeled for this activity. Hunt for really small things you can fit into a matchbox. Collect little leaves, blades of grass, small snail shells, tiny twigs, feathers and pebbles. Turn it into a competition with your family – who can fit the most items inside their box?

      You can take a magnifying glass on your scavenger hunt to help children to investigate their finds. Can they see intricate patterns, subtle colour changes and interesting textures?

Enjoy a story with Mrs Alford: Brown Bear, Brown Bear


Thank you to those of you who made pictures, cards and videos for Mrs Alford – they made her day very special.

  • Use any of your construction materials – lego, blocks, junk materials, cushions – to make a farm area for your toys or teddies. Can you make an enclosure or field? Explore and play with your farm, making up a story as you go along. Challenge – use the format of the story ‘Oh Dear’ to make your own story using your farm.
  • Play a ‘floor is lava’ style game inside or in the garden – use descriptive language (on, under, next to, behind, on top) to encourage your children to find different safe zones as you play.
  • Memory game – choose a theme and write on 20 pieces of paper (suggestion – use letters of the alphabet, numbers, pictures of animals, colours, shapes etc) – set the paper out on the floor. Play a pairs game, where children must find 2 of the same card. You can use this game to develop your child’s vocabulary – by asking them to say what the picture is whenever they turn over 2 cards.

Enjoy a story with Mrs Alford: The Gingerbread man


  • Tomorrow is Mrs Alford’s birthday – can you make a birthday card or draw a special picture and then write your name on it? Please share these via At Home on Learning Book to make her day extra special.
  • Using an object that you can control –  ball, beanbag, scarf, small cushion – can you control it by pushing, patting, throwing, catching or kicking it?
  • Play the Underwater Counting game with your child on the computer – can they individually touch and count the different creatures int he picture? Next get them to count down the numerals at the side to find the correct number for the total. Please remind them that the last number they say when counting the objects is the total number of objects.  Start with 1-5, then move on to challenge them with 1-10.

Poems with Mrs Alford: Farmyard Hullabaloo


  • Make a shop at home with your child -sell teddies, toys, fruit, food etc. Use coins or make paper money to enjoy some role-play pretending to go to the shop – allow your child to take on the role of the shopkeeper and shopper. Encourage use of everyday language linked to money – e.g. cost, price, change, coins, pence, pounds, expensive, cheap etc.
  • Sing 5 Little Speckled Frogs– explore that the numbers get smaller each time a frog jumps off the log. Introduce the concept of ‘1 less’ to your child. Play with 5 teddies, letting them jump into a ‘pond’ as you say 1 less.
  • Make a picture or a card for someone that you are missing. Make it colourful and bright – use materials to stick on, colouring pens, draw pictures. Challenge – can you write a message and your name. Visit the post box on your daily walk and send it to them.

Enjoy a story with Mrs Alford: Dear Zoo


  • Gather lots of objects from in your house (different teddies, kitchen equipment etc) that you can use to compare in size. Which is the largest, smallest, tallest and shortest? Explore this concept of comparison more by playing this game: https://www.topmarks.co.uk/early-years/lets-compare
  • Watch Come Outside – Frogs – discuss what you see about the growth of tadpoles into frogs. Fold a paper into 4 sections and encourage your child to draw a picture in 3 boxes that show the stages of the frogs life cycle (frogspawn, tadpole, frog). Challenge – use initial letter sounds to label the pictures.
  • Sing some Nursery rhymes with your child off the Nursery Rhymes sheet shared in your home learning pack. Can your child join in with all the words? Repeatedly singing these songs is very supportive for early reading skills. Favourites of Acorns include: Humpty Dumpty, Twinkle Twinkle, Baa Baa Black Sheep, Incy Wincy & Hickory Dickory Dock.

Enjoy a story with Mrs Alford: The Train Ride



  • Play ‘I Spy’ game, but change it to ‘I Hear with my little Ear something that begins with…’ – then use the phonic sounds that your child is practising. See if your child can make a collection of items which start with each letter sound.
  • Dance freeze – Dance when the music is on and freeze when it stops. It’s as simple as that. Enjoy dancing with your child to some happy music – encourage them to wave a scarf or small hanky or napkin around. You could direct them on where to wave the scarf, using different language, e.g. high, low, middle, behind, under, on top, around, through etc.
  • Story telling – gather together a few items of small world toys, teddies or other interesting things. Place them in a pot or basket – ask you child them to tell a story.  Choose one of the characters or items and start a story based on it, then encourage your child to draw more objects out of the basket and continue the story. You could use a familiar story such as ‘Where’s Spot?’, ‘Oh Dear’ or ‘Dear Zoo’ which has a simple storyline which you could adapt using your new characters.

Enjoy listening to the silly rhyming words in this story with Mrs Alford.

What rhyming words can you think of?


  • Use a tray and sand/rice/flour to create a surface in which your child can practice drawing shapes, numbers and letters. Can they write letters from their name?
  • Can you put the numbers 1-5 in order? Can you get the correct number of objects to put with each number card? Challenge – put numbers 1-10, 1-20 in order.
  • Create a magic potion (bowl with water) – find things that you can put in (salt, bubble bath, talcum powder, herbs etc), give it a stir and say a magic spell. Talk to your child about what the magic potion will do to whoever drinks it? Challenge: Encourage your child to write the ‘recipe’ list of ingredients of the potion – using the initial letter sounds for the items that were added and drawing pictures.

Enjoy another familiar story with Mrs Alford


  • Use paint brushes (scrubbing brush, sponge, cloth) and water in the garden to draw patterns and make shapes on the floor, on fence panels or on walls This develops both shoulder strength for writing and also develops control when making shapes.
  • Touch a texture: indoors or outdoors, use an old egg box or similar and collect small samples of materials. Describe how each one feels. Try setting challenges of a particular texture that your little one must try to match and bring back to you as fast as they can!
  • Visit the virtual Chester Zoo 2 online – can you create a list of the animals that you see? You could draw pictures, paint them, use chalk on the ground, write the word using your phonic skills. If the zoo sent your child a ‘pet’, what would they want them to send and why? Talk to your child and encourage them to extend their ideas by using the words ‘and’ and ‘because.’




  • Make shape cards (circle, square, triangle, rectangle) and hang them up around the room. Give instructions for your child to follow: e.g. run to the shape  with 3 sides, skip to a shape with 4 corners etc. For extra fun, reverse this and encourage your child to give the adult instructions to follow.
  • Draw round your hand or foot and cut it out. Find some objects in your home and measure them using the hand or foot. How many hands long is the sofa? Compare which items are the biggest or smallest. Can they put 3 items in order from longest to shortest?
  • Watch the Alphablocks episode ‘The Cat Sat on the Mat’ (one of the children’s favourites!) and enjoy listening to the words that rhyme. Can your child identify the words that rhyme with cat, sat, mat…? Can they think of some more words that rhyme? If they are finding this easy, can they do this for words which rhyme with log, bug, pet etc.



Boogie Mites Support to keep you sane:

We collected the best tips and advice we could find for you earlier this month. Our blog post, The Family Lockdown offers tips for keeping a sane household and it has a few suggested activities at the end…

We’re pleased to announce that our teachers have been quick to volunteer to offer live Boogie Mites music and movement sessions. Please share the Boogie Mites YouTube channel and Facebook page with your parents so that they can find out more and join in. (If on YouTube it asks you to subscribe, just click cancel then you can access all the videos in the collection. Subscription will be needed to access live content.)

You can see a full timetable here:


We are suggesting that parents join the group that is run by their local Boogie Mites teacher (indicated to the left on the image) where possible.

If you are not based in any of the areas listed parents can still join any group, and/or watch the YouTube sessions which are delivered by Boogie Mites amazing singer song writer and founder Harriet Thomas.


  • Use the play dough made on 27.03.20 to enjoy the dough disco – go to the Youtube link and watch and join in with a dough disco to get those little fingers stronger to writing.
  • Can you build a house for your teddy or a small toy using any construction materials you have in your house? Think about making all the parts and naming them using vocabulary such as: roof, door, window, walls etc. You could even encourage you child to write labels on paper using their initial sounds.
  • Watch ‘Where’s Spot?’ – notice the positional language used in the story (in, under etc) – play a hide and seek game with a toy where you place it in different positions in the room and ask your child to use words to describe as they look for it. E.g. is it under the TV? is it in the toy box?

Please enjoy and listen to Chicken Licken every day this week as hearing a story over and over is great for children to build on their vocabulary and language skills.


Plus this weeks idea from the Local Authority Early Years team:

The chatty plan add an adjective

A lovely talking activity which involves using describing words to develop children’s vocabulary.


  • Make a den – use bed sheets, washing racks, chairs and washing pegs etc. Allow the children to use their imagination to design, resource, build and then play in the den.
  • Go on a number hunt around your home – where can you find numbers? Look in cupboards, on shelves etc. Can your child identify the number, take photos on your phone of the numbers they find, copy the number onto paper?
  • Kitchen orchestra – get out the pots and pans, spoons and forks and other utensil. Encourage your children to explore the different sounds that different items make and different materials make. Can they explain which sounds are similar and why they sound like they do? Can they close their eyes and work out which instrument was being played just by listening?

Please listen to and join in with the story Chicken Licken again today -encourage your child to fill in the gaps to identify the rhyming words in the story. Can they give you another word that rhymes with chicken, licken….. bicken, ticken, etc?



  • Cloud gazing: is it a bird? is it a plane? No, it’s a giant marshmallow monster eating a bowlful of squirty cream! Lie down outdoors, or look from a window and enjoy cloud land – let your imagination go wild with what you can see! http://www.ltl.org.uk/resources/cloud-gazing/
  • Get it sorted – collect a group of natural materials such as rocks or leaves (or if indoors toy cars and buttons) even the recycling. Just how many different ways can you sort it? By size, colour, material, use. Try to encourage as much different vocabulary to describe the items and lots of problem solving to compare the items and find something that they have in common.
  • Exercise: make number cards 1- 10. Choose a card. If the card chosen is 5, do 5 star jumps. Repeat this for other exercises: jumps, hops, push ups, sit ups, side steps. toe touches. bend overs etc.

The story for this week to enjoy is Chicken Licken – it is to encourage the children to develop their understanding of rhyming words. Before we closed schools, we had been working on this lots – firstly rhyming with the children’s names – ask your child to give you a rhyme with their name (e.g. dylan pilan etc.)


Here are some useful links shared by the Local Authority Early Years team to provide more ideas of how to support your little ones whilst at home.

Useful information to support parents in eyfs with home learning

Lots of general links to educational websites, advice, online support, ideas for fun stuff to do etc. All of these recommendations have been made with 3-5yr olds in mind.

The chatty plan sort it out

A lovely sorting activity which develops listening and understanding through language.


** Mrs Alford would definitely recommend that you make some playdough whilst at home. It is very easy to do – just follow this recipe.

The chatty plan dough disco

** Use the playdough made to join in with a dough disco everyday to support your child’s finger and hand strength for writing and other find motor tasks.



  • Use empty toilet rolls to make skittles. Draw dots on each skittle (1-5). Make a ball with rolled up socks. Roll the ball, knock down the skittles, count how many you knocked down, or count all the dots. Play this as a family and see who gets the most.
  • Visit the virtual Chester Zoo online – see if you can identify the initial sound of the different animals that you visit. E.g. ppp panda, lll lion. Remember to use the sound you hear, not the letter it begins with e.g. giraffe would actually be jjj sound.
  • Draw a picture or make a card for a family member who you cannot visit in person at the moment. Put it in an envelope, walk to a post box and post this card to them to bring them a smile.


  • Make your own sandwich.
  • Can you draw a picture of your favourite farm animal from ‘Oh Dear’ and then use your phonics to try and write the sounds you can hear in the name?
  • Use pegs and a washing line – get all of your socks out of your drawer and use your fine motor skills to peg them out on the washing line. You can count them, make maths problems with them etc.


  • Paint or draw a picture of the members of your family or pets.
  • Perform a puppet show for your family using socks.
  • Get all the chairs together and make a bus – pretend to take your family on a trip, be the conductor, driver or passenger.


  • Go on a shape hunt with your child. Encourage the use of names of shapes they can see: circle, triangle, square and rectangle.
  • Explore items which can float and sink in a bowl of water or the bath. Can you encourage your child to predict (guess) before they try it out?
  • Sing 3 of your favourite nursery rhymes in silly voices together (as directed by your child) – e.g. high voice, low voice, posh voice, pirate voice, cowboy voice, mouse voice, giant voice, quickly, slowly etc.