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Learning At Home Activities

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Age Groups: Preschool, Toddler
Bean Exercise
You will need:

An open space to exercise safely.

Directions:

List as many different beans as you can together and practice how these beans would move such as:
• Broad bean – Stand as wide as you can stretching your legs and arms out wide.
• Chilli bean – Clasp your arms around your body and shiver.
• Baked bean – Lie flat on the floor.
• String bean – Make yourself as tall and thin as can be. Arms together and stretch up high. Feet together and stand on your tip toes.
• Runner bean – Run on the spot.
• Jelly bean – Make wobbly movements like jelly.
• Jumping bean – Jumping up and down on the spot

Tip:

Before you start your exercise, talk about warming up to increase blood flow to our muscles and prepare our bodies for temperature changes.

Warming up exercises can include arm circles, squats and stretches.


Age Group: Preschool
Fun With Measuring
You will need:

• Paper or card
• Crayons and or felt tipped pens
• Stickers
• Things to measure
• Scissors

Directions:

• Create a set of measuring hands for measuring how long, how wide, how tall and how short things are at home.

• These non-standard units of measure help children understand the concept of using units to measure items.

• Draw round hands, then cut them out and decorate with crayons, felt tipped pens or stickers.

• Number each hand, then start measuring.

• Count how many hands wide, long and tall items or people are.

• Record these results and compare them to find out which is the shortest, longest, widest and tallest.

Tip:

How this activity helps develop early maths learning

Children typically progress through a series of stages in understanding measurement (Copley, 2000):

1 Comprehending that objects can be compared and measured and understanding the meaning of questions like “how long is this?”, “how heavy is that?” etc.

2 Making comparisons themselves, such as judging which pencil is shorter, which pebble is heavier, etc.

3 Determining an appropriate unit and process for measurement.

4 Using standard units of measurement (centimetre, grammes, etc.).

5 Creating and using formulas to help count units.

During the preschool and reception class years, children primarily focus on stages 1 and 2 and may begin to work on the concept of “unit” in the third step. Steps four and five are typically focused on in the primary school years.

Copley, J. V. (2000). The Young Child and Mathematics. Washington, DC: National Association for the Education of Young Children.


Age Groups: Preschool, Toddler
Target Practice
You will need:

Chalk
Cones
Hoops
Balls
Buckets or containers of varying sizes

Directions:

Set up targets for your child using cones, hoops, buckets or chalked shapes on the floor.

Ask your child to roll, throw, or kick the ball to the target.

Move the target further away to make it harder, or move it closer to make it easier.

Make the target smaller to make it harder, or bigger to make it easier.

Ask your child if they notice how some objects are easier to throw and why they think that is. Can they throw with both hands together? Can they throw with their left and their right hands separately and at the same time?

This game encourages hand/eye coordination, gross and fine motor movements, and direction and precision throwing.

Tip:

If you haven't got ant buckets, why not draw targets on a wall with chalk or on paper which is then stuck to the wall? These can be different shapes and sizes and placed at different heights to provide higher levels of challenge.


Age Group: Preschool
Thirsty Celery
You will need:

Red and blue food colouring
2 clear plastic cups
2 stalks of celery
Water
Magnifying Glass

Directions:

Adult Guided Activity

Trim the bottom and top of the celery (adult only)
Put a small amount of food colouring in each of the plastic cups and fill them with water
Place a celery stalk in each cup and leave in a warm place overnight

Developing Investigation and Enquiry

Talk about what has happened to the celery stalks


  • Why do you think it has started to change colour?

  • How did the celery 'drink' the water?

  • How did the water get up the celery stalk?

  • Can you see the tiny tubes in the celery?


Introduce the word xylem to explain the tubes that transport up the stalk. Use the magnifying glass to see the xylem.

Tip:

Keeping Everyone Safe

Role model safe cutting when using a sharp knife to cut celery.


Age Group: Infant
Where's It Gone?
You will need:

A silky fabric scarf, fabric napkin or a tea towel
A selection of favourite toys

Directions:

This is best done sitting in front of your baby either on the floor or when your baby is seated in a highchair. Pop the scarf, tea towel or napkin over your face then pull it away quickly and say “Peek-a-Boo”. Repeat again and then invite your baby to pull the scarf, tea towel or napkin off to reveal your face. This becomes a game of great anticipation and fun as your baby discovers that you’ve not disappeared. Switch the game round and pop the scarf, tea towel or napkin over your baby’s face and say “Where’s ……. gone”? Watch as baby pulls the fabric away to reveal that they have not disappeared.

Extend the game by hiding a favourite object, such as a teddy, under the scarf, tea towel or napkin and saying “where’s Teddy gone”? As baby pulls the scarf, tea towel or napkin away to reveal teddy say “there’s Teddy”! This fun game of hide and seek is a great way to help develop the connection of the object and object name as you reinforce the name of the object by saying “where has ……. gone” and “there is ……”

Babies learn through repetition so don’t be surprised if this becomes a game that your baby indicates they want more of it!

Object Permanence

Object permanence is about understanding that when something disappears it has not gone forever and tends to begin to develop between 4-8 months of age. Before a baby begins to understands this concept, things that disappear from her view, such as something falls off the high chair tray or is covered over with an upside down bowl, are gone. Quite literally out of sight and out of mind. Developing object permanence is an important cognitive milestone. It is an essential foundation to learning for symbolic understanding (which a baby needs to develop language, pretend play, and exploration) and helps babies work through separation anxiety.

Tip: