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Ideas for Play:


Make your own car mat for playing with - include your house, our school, and 3 places you will go to once the lockdown ends e.g. the park, someone you would like to visit, or somewhere in town - the choice is endless. You could draw it in chalk in your garden, or on the back of a box, or regular pages. If you have building blocks, why not add some buildings to your map? Then enjoy your creation!


Make a musical instrument: find an empty container with a lid. Add a handful of dried peas, pasta, stones etc to the container, and replace the lid. If you are feeling creative, decorate the container. Then use your instrument to accompany some songs - Baa Baa Black sheep, the Alphabet Song, 1 2 3 4 5 once I caught a fish alive etc. It will be quieter than a spoon and a saucepan! 


Water play. With a watering can, pour a SMALL(!) amount of water out on a path or driveway. Watch the water find its own course. Can you collect some stones/twigs and change the course of the water? Alternatively, draw a chalk line around the puddle you have made. Return in 10 or 20 mins. Is the puddle still the same size? Discuss why the puddle is getting smaller - you can explain a very simple water cycle to your child: the sun dries up the water, to goes into the air where we can't see it, then it becomes a cloud high up in the sky - which will eventually bring rain. 


Look around your house. You are surrounded by different shapes, colours, textures, letters, numbers, mechanics...worlds to explore for inquisitive minds. Have a wee go at some of the activities below.


Go on a shape hunt - you may challenge your child to hunt for 2D shapes and then talk about their names and properties.


* Trap some small toys (eg lego figures) in ice. You can use bun trays, ice cube trays, plastic containers, or balloons for this. Your child's challenge is to free their toys. You may wish to talk to them about how ice melts. We have carried out experiments similar to this in school so your child may be able to offer some suggestions. You may provide warm water, salt, or if supervised, the adult can use a hairdryer to see how quickly the ice will melt. Alternatively, give your child a spoon and let them chip away at it. You can follow this one up with a nice ice cream or lolly and maybe even get cosy and watch a bit of Disney's Frozen.


* If you have Playdough, ask your child to make some of the characters from a favourite story book and get them to act out a part of the story with their Playdough characters.


* Let your child be a creative genius. Hang or clip a large sheet of paper or card onto an outside wall / fence / or place it on the ground with something in each corner to weigh it down and prevent it from blowing away. Provide your child with some paints and a variety of brushes, paint rollers, sponges (or whatever you have) and let them work away. Some children will enjoy just creating random shapes and patterns in an 'abstract art' manner, and some may choose to create a scene or more detailed picture. Anything goes! Let your child express themselves and as long as the rain stays away, leave their creation outside and see how the sun might change the colours or if little insects may come and pay their painting a visit. If you're supervising your children throughout this activity, you may even wish to let them use their hands and feet to paint with as well. If you are doing this, just remember to have a basin of warm, soapy water and a towel nearby to clean little fingers and toes before going back into the house!  


As well as these ideas, remember your construction play, small world play, role play, free writing, water play if you have an appropriate tray, jigsaws, board games and some limited iPad / computer time.