This summer is action packed with fun activities indoors or out. Go for a swim, a mini beast hunt or a teddy bear’s picnic! The full version of the 52 Things to do before you’re 5 activity pack supports you with your child’s home learning and development whilst having fun together.
Week 18: Teddy bear’s picnic
Set up your picnic at home or outside, assemble teddies and toys, use real food or pretend and chat about healthy foods and drinks.
Talk to your child about what food is healthy for them and why we should choose these foods. Do they know which food will help their bones grow big and strong and which food will give them muscles to run fast?
Week 19: Visit Derby Museum and Art Gallery
Arouse your curiosity and inspire your imagination by visiting Derby Museum and Art Gallery. There’s something new to discover and learn about for everyone.
Encourage your child to explore the different areas of the museum, talk together about the interesting things they see. Why not encourage your child to ask a volunteer for more information about what interests them?
Week 20: Hubble bubble
Mix up a potion with water and add different materials from the garden. What happens when you mix them together? Is it a witch’s brew? Is it magic for superheroes?
Let your child choose what to put in their potion and as they mix their ingredients together, comment on what they are doing and how the mixture changes as they stir. They will learn that what they do can change the way the potion, looks, feels and smells. Water makes it runny and thin, however soil makes it thick and gloopy.
Week 21: Hide and seek
Take it in turns to hide or seek. Babies start with peek-a-boo behind hands covering faces. Then start hiding and seeking around the house. It’s fun to play indoors or out.
Children love to hide and have the excitement of being found! You can hide your face with your hands or a scarf. There will be plenty of giggles when they see you again. As they get older, your child will discover new and different spaces to hide in by themselves. Where will they squeeze themselves into next?
Week 22: Flying Falcons
Derby Cathedral tower is home to a pair of breeding peregrine falcons. Take a look upwards at the cathedral in May or June to see the birds.
This is a great opportunity to come and view the fastest bird in the world. See if you can observe it swooping down from the cathedral to catch its prey. Together you can learn about the falcon’s life cycle, what they need to live and grow and how we need to respect them, keep them safe and protect the environment they live in.
Week 23: Splash!
Go to Chaddesden Park Splash Zone, or the paddling pool at the Mundy Centre in Markeaton Park or simply fill a bowl of water at home. Enjoy playing in the water.
Playing in water is fun whether it is in the bath or a bucket of water in the garden. Your child can explore the force of water as they pour it from container to container. Talk about what floats and sinks and how water rises when your child gets into it, or they put toys into it. Remember to stay safe around water.
Week 24: Mini beast hunt
Go on a mini beast hunt to the park or a garden. Look under rocks, piles of leaves or inside logs. Remember to put mini beasts back safely with care.
Your child will love to explore the natural world. Encourage your child to peek under stones or bits of old wood and see who lives there. Your child will be curious to watch a ladybird, worm, caterpillar or woodlouse. You can help them think about where the insect lives, how it stays warm and how we should respect living things.
Week 25: Chalking rainbows
Use chalks outside on a wall or pavement, create shapes and draw, have fun using a variety of colours.
Activities like this will help your child to build up large shoulder and arm movements which helps them to develop the coordination needed to support small muscle coordination. The most important part of making marks is the exploration, not what it looks like, so have fun making lots of big marks together.
Week 26: Play Pooh Sticks
Find a bridge over water. Check which way the water flows, count to three and throw your stick. Watch your stick emerge on the other side. Maybe have a race with two sticks.
Children love a game that includes anticipation. You and your child can use this game to make comparisons between the shape, length and weight of sticks. You could line up your sticks to see which one is longest and which is the shortest. Then, find out if short or long sticks are the fastest in your game of Pooh Sticks. Remember to stay safe around water.
Week 27: Make some noise
Listen to the world’s sounds - the wind in the trees, ducks on the pond and whispers in ears. Experiment with your own sounds - shushing, shouting and roaring in different places.
You can support your child’s listening skills by exploring sound making together. Create your own natural instruments using ‘found objects’ such as running a twig along a fence or tapping two pebbles together. Listen to what sounds you can create or just stop and listen to the sounds around you. Which sounds are loud and which sounds are quiet?
Week 28: Play with sand
Enjoy the sandpit at a children’s centre or use play sand in a washing up bowl. Use cups or bottles to mould, shake and squish sand into many different shapes.
Explore sand with your child and see what they can do with it. Add water to change the texture. Can it be used differently when the sand is damp or dry? They can use everyday items such as spoons, old yoghurt pots or sieves, as tools. Talk to your child about what the sand feels like. Encourage your child to create their own masterpiece.
Week 29: Kite flying
Help your child design and make a simple kite and decorate it together. Then go outside to have fun running about and flying the kite.
Making a kite is a fun way to encourage your child to develop their small muscle coordination by using one handed tools such as scissors or pencils. Talk to your child about their design and the shapes they are creating. Allow them time to independently think, draw and cut out before chatting through how to join the parts together.
Week 30: Make mood cards
Help your child recognise emotions by using or making mood cards. Talk about emotions and what they mean - happy, sad, excited or worried. Talk about how they feel.
Helping your child to recognise their emotions is a good way for them to start to understand them. It’s important for children to be aware of how different emotions make them feel at different times or in different situations. Understanding the way they feel will help your child to express this to you or another safe person.
Week 31: Library storytime
Go to one of our many libraries. Listen and enjoy their Storytime or Rhymetime events. Children enjoy sharing books with adults and you can meet new parents and friends.
Encouraging children to listen and respond to books and nursery rhymes is a great way to build up their listening skills and introduce new words. You can talk to your child about what you can see on the page, the characters in the story, what they did and how they felt. Find out and enjoy the events at your local library.
Week 32: Hopscotch
Chalk some squares on the ground and fill in some numbers. Find a pebble or bean bag to throw on one of the squares and hop to it to play hopscotch.
Playing hopscotch is a fun game where your child uses their large muscle skills to move around the area. Children can explore movement through hopping, jumping, or stepping. Try and make this more complex as they develop their confidence such as hopping on one foot or balancing on the square.
Week 33: Make a den!
Make a den, indoors or outdoors, use a blanket or sheet between two chairs, go behind the sofa and make a roof or use a box to hide underneath.
Making a den allows children to use their imagination and build a fun place to play and hide. Listen to and encourage your child to create and design the space they want and then support them to build it. Let them explore different materials freely and develop their own ideas about how to use them.
Week 34: Clip-clip bridge
Share the 'Billy Goats Gruff' story with your child and then find a bridge to both pretend to be billy goats. Clip clop loudly, clip clop softly.
Sharing books together is a fantastic way to build your child’s imagination. Plan a trip out to bring the 'Billy Goats Gruff' story to life. Take the book along and read the story again. Act out any of the pages together and play different parts. Regularly looking at books together is a great way for your child to learn new vocabulary.