Helping my child
Encourage your child to tell you what they have done at school today. The earlier you can get into this habit the better. We will have been learning songs and actions that they can show you and you can join in with. Sharing songs and rhymes is something that you can easily do when you are busy with something else e.g. cooking, cleaning, driving in the car.
Learning to express ideas clearly in speech and to gain information through listening to others is a key skill children will learn and practise in Foundation Stage.
For more ideas see 'Top 10 Tips for Talking' at the bottom of the page.
Sharing books with your child will support them in becoming a confident reader.
There are many, many different things that you can do. Here are just a few:
Let your child see you reading - This can be a newspaper, magazine, anything you like. This is a powerful message to send to your child so go on, put your feet up for 10 minutes and have a read.
Read something with your child - It doesn't need to be a book. The secret is to find something that your child is desperate to read - comics, magazines, football programmes, newspapers, internet pages, texts, e-mails, catalogues etc.
Talk about what they are reading - Talk before you start. Talk whilst you are reading. Talk after you have finished. You can still talk about what your child is reading even if they don't want to actually read with you any more.
Praise your child - Studies show that children who are given specific support with their reading make much greater progress if they are given lots of praise than if they are given the support alone. Try to praise your child's accuracy, understanding and attitude.
A useful document 'A Love of Books is a Gift of Life' at the bottom of the page.
Learning to Write
The precursor to good handwriting is good fine motor skills. Before children begin to write script they need generous opportunities to develop their fine motor skills.
Here are some ideas to encourage the development of fine motor skills:
Activities to develop pencil grip:
- Play dough: pinching, squeezing with thumb and forefinger. Example activity: making various animals from play dough
- Threading: beads, pasta, straws. Example activity: jewellery making
- Picking up small objects: use tweezers and pipettes/eye droppers. Example activity: a race to see how many peas your child can put in a pot
- Finger rhymes: stretching and curling fingers
- Water play: using spray toys, and spray bottles. Suggested activity watering the garden
- Craft activities: glue sticks and paint brushes. Make a collage with lots of fine papers and decorate it with sequins
- Icing cakes: using a plastic dispenser to push and squeeze out the icing
Strengthening activities: swinging from the climbing frame or grasping to climb and crawl.
What can I do at home to help and encourage my child to write?
- Encourage independent mark making and writing at home provide a wide range of different pens, pencils, felt tips, crayons and chalks.
- Be a role model – write notes, shopping list and memos with your child and give them their own paper or post it notes to use
- Encourage painting, drawing and colouring
- Make temporary marks with shaving foam, in trays of salt or brushes and water outside on a sunny day.
Writing ideas at home