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Friday, March 27, 2020

Willow Nursery School

Ideas of things to do at home

with your child


The country is experiencing an emergency on a grand scale like never before. We thought that we would put a pack together to give you some ideas of what you could do with your child at home. These are just suggestions. At this difficult time, the best thing you can do for your child is to love and support them through this.


The early years curriculum is divided into seven areas. These are

  • Personal, Social and Emotional Development
  • Communication and Language
  • Physical Development
  • Maths
  • Literacy
  • Understanding the World
  • Expressive Arts and Design

The Early Years Curriculum can be found here:


Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Communication and Language and Physical Development are known as the prime areas. Maths, Literacy, Understanding the World and Expressive Arts and Design are known as specific areas.


The following ideas and activities aim to cover the prime and specific areas of the early years curriculum.


Personal, Social and Emotional Development

This area of the curriculum is about making relationships with others, being confident and aware of themselves. It involves being able to manage their feelings and their own behaviour. The best way you can help develop this is to spend time with them. Talk to them, praise them for the things that they have done, good behaviour, being kind etc. Engage in conversations with them, talk about what they like and don’t like. Allow them to listen to your opinions too.


Communication and Language

This area of the curriculum is about listening, speaking, understanding and communicating with others. So again, the best thing you can do is spend time with them and talk to them. Allow them to express themselves and try not to ask too many questions. The best way to get children to talk more is to make comments about what they are doing rather than questioning. Read with them to help them learn new vocabulary, play games to help with their attention and listening skills and above all, listen to what they have to say.


Physical Development

This area of the curriculum is about developing fine and large movements and learning to care for themselves.

There are lots of things that you can do indoors and outdoors to develop large movements. These include ball skills, running, walking, using a trampoline if you have one, using bats, balls, playing tag and obstacle courses amongst other things.


With small motor movements, this is about using playdough (see attached recipe), completing puzzles, using mark making materials like paint, chalk, pens and pencils and cutting with scissors. Anything that involves strengthening the muscles in our hands and fingers. It involves learning how to copy the letters in their name, copying and writing the letters with the correct formation and using tools and objects with more control.

Please click on the following for links to activity sheets to help develop fine motor skills.


Scissor skills sheet 1

Scissor skills sheet 2

Scissor skills sheet 3

Playdough Recipe

Pencil Control Sheet


Physical development also involves self-care skills. It involves the children being aware of how to use equipment safely, learning about their body and what it needs to keep it healthy. We learn about personal hygiene like using the toilet and washing our hands effectively. It also involves learning how to dress and undress independently. Now that we have lots of time on our hands, it may be the time to encourage your child to be more independent.



This area of the curriculum involves learning the skills needed for reading and writing. To be able to read, children need experience of books and stories. They need to hear and learn about different stories. They need to handle books and make sense of the story by looking at the picture. They need to learn how to turn the pages one by one and talk about the characters and the beginning, middle and end of the story. One thing you can do with your child at this difficult time is to share books and stories with them. Make books available to them for them to look through and explore. We have put together a sheet to help you when reading with your child (see below).

Reading with your child sheet


Children also need experience of rhyming, playing with letters, sounds and words to help develop their reading skills. Below are a few sheets to help to develop those skills but eye spy, and other verbal games are even better.

Initial sound sheet

Match the rhyme sheet

Eye Spy sheet


As some of you already know, the children leaving in July 2020 have been taking part in phonics sessions where we have been learning a new letter and sound each week. We have attached the remaining letters for you to complete at home. There is also a handout to show all the letters and actions in case they have been forgotten!


Jolly Phonics (all sounds)

Jolly Phonics ‘m’

Jolly Phonics ‘d’

Jolly Phonics ‘g’

Jolly Phonics ‘o’

Jolly Phonics ‘ck’

Jolly Phonics ‘e’

Jolly Phonics ‘u’

Jolly Phonics ‘r’

Jolly Phonics ‘h’

Jolly Phonics ‘b’

Jolly Phonics ‘f’

Jolly Phonics ‘l’



This area of the curriculum involves learning about numbers, shape and space. A good thing to do at home is to involve your child in any kind of counting that you can e.g. how many steps to get to the top of the stairs, How many carrots on their dinner plate, how many apples in the fruit bowl. Cooking is another good way of getting your child thinking about numbers and counting.

In this area of the curriculum, children need to be able to count accurately, begin to understand that numbers of items can be added together and that the amount has a numeral that represents them. The need to be able to understand that if we ask for 6 items from a larger group, that they have to stop counting when we get to 6!

Maths is very hands on at nursery and involves lots of manipulation of objects to count, number puzzles, games and playing with shapes.

A few things that you could do at home are go for a hunt around the house looking for numbers or shapes and record this down on paper.  Roll a dice and do that amount of star jumps or touching your toes or do some cooking and measure out the ingredients. Below are a few ideas to help with maths development.

Colour by number Elmer

Colour by number flower

Dot to dot pictures


This term, the 2020 leavers would have also been given the opportunity to watch a programme called ‘Number time’ which we find really consolidates their understanding of number. It can be found here:


Understanding the World

This area of the curriculum helps the children learn about people and communities, the world and technology. We learn about different occupations, show an interest in the outdoor world including seasons, the growth of plants and trees and also of animals and humans. We learn about how to look after living things and the environment. We learn about technology and how we can access information from the internet and interact with age appropriate programmes. To promote this area of the curriculum, if you have a garden, get outdoors, look at the trees, bushes, plants and flowers. Talk about the change of season about to happen. Look for bugs and if you have any, plant a seed in a pot to see what happens. Below is a link to a couple of sheets that may help.


Bug Hunt Sheet

List of useful websites


Expressive Arts and Design

This area of the curriculum is about exploring media and materials and being imaginative. It involves art, singing, dancing, colour, constructing, role play and small world play. At home, it would be great to do a bit of colouring or painting if you have any resources. The children would have a great time if you set up a role play shop, school or café and played with them. Let them create storylines in the role play and allow them to develop their language being the shopkeeper or customer! If you have any construction toys like Duplo or Lego, these are a great resource for being imaginative.

Below is a list of songs that we sing at nursery. If you do not know the tune, type the song into the internet search engine. I am sure the children will tell you if it is the right song or not!


List of Songs


Update: Thursday 26th March 2020

Monday, March 23, 2020




After reading all relevant guidance and completing an in depth risk assessment, we have made the difficult decision to close until further notice. The nursery staff have young families and for us to place our children in other settings is working against government advice and increasing the risk to society.


If you are a keyworker and need care for your your child please email and they will find a school place for you.


Home Learning:

We are currently compiling a home learning pack which will be available online. Check the website for updates.


Pastoral Care:

As the school is now closed, we will be unable to speak with parents individually. 


Parents Consultations/Visit Days:

As the school is officially closed, our normal programme of parents consultations, visit days etc. will not happen. We will advise about this at a later date.