As a mum or dad, how can I help with my child’s learning?

All the fun activities that you do with your child at home are important in supporting their learning and development, and have a really long lasting effect on your child’s learning as they progress through school.

Even when your child is very young and is not yet able to talk, talking to them helps them to learn and understand new words and ideas. If you make the time every day to do some of the following things with your child it will make a real difference to your child’s confidence as a young learner.

  • Talk about the numbers, colours, words and letters you see when you are out and about
  • Sing and tell nursery rhymes
  • Allow your child to cut out and stick pictures from magazines
  • Plant seeds or bulbs in a pot or garden patch
  • Cook / bake together
  • Use the weather – shadows, rain puddles, snow, wind, mist and sun – to extend your child’s vocabulary
  • Explore the park at a different time of the year – go off the beaten track
  • Talk to your child at every opportunity – e.g. what you are doing that day
  • Share a book
  • On a trip to the supermarket, talk about all the different packaging shapes

If you’re looking for new ideas for things to do then find out what is on offer at your local children’s centre. Many offer ‘messy play’ activities which you and your child can join in with, and many of the activities they provide are free. Staff can also give you advice about the kinds of books or other activities your child might enjoy at different ages.