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Raising Children Network has developmental information, activities and tips on topics such as nutrition, sleep and behaviour for all age groups
If you're looking for some online resources to support your child's learning and emotional wellbeing check out these videos and audios from the ABC
Playschool episodes relevant to current learning
Department of Education Early Childhood Guided Learning Packages
These early childhood guided learning packages have been developed to support families with a guided learning from home experience for preschool children aged 3-5 years.
The packs have been created by department early childhood professionals and learning designers.
A new package will be launched each week.
As with all of the learning activities we suggest for home, please use as much or as little as you would like, to suit your family.
Nichole's chicken - Hensworth
Hensworth - episode 1
Hensworth - episode 2
Science Week 2021
Science week was 14th - 22nd August and we thought we'd share this great science activity that you can try at home:
All you need is a tray, some bicarbonate soda, vinegar, 3 containers, eye dropper (or a small spoon) and food colouring.
1. Fill your tray with bicarbonate soda
2. Divide your vinegar into your containers and add food colouring
3. Using your dropper or spoon, drop the vinegar into the bicarbonate soda and watch what happens!
There are loads more ideas for getting scientific at home on the Science Week website:
ABC listen also has a wonderful podcast filled with science concepts where they answer questions such as ‘how do bees make honey?’ and ‘why does rain only come from grey clouds?’- great to listen to during your daily quiet time, at bedtime or in the car:
School Readiness Focus Week 7 2021:
Things you can do at home to support your child's hand strength and dexterity in view of holding and using writing tools effectively when they go to school include:
Involve your child in meal preparation- they can cut or snip ingredients, whisk or knead.
Craft, particularly cutting and pasting, is great for developing hand strength and fine motor control. Draw shapes for your child to cut out or encourage them to do it freehand. Provide a variety of materials for your child to explore.
Encourage your child to be independent when opening food containers, such as screw tops or zip lock bags. Practice opening the containers they bring to preschool and will take to school.
Completing mazes support's a child's visual perception as well as well as fine motor skill in following the route with their pencil.
And, of course, playdough- a staple of our preschool program and something that is easy to make at home with children. You can provide your child with anything you can find around the hpuse to use with the playdough, such as scissors, bottle tops, pipe cleaners, seed pods, sticks, leaver and small toys such as dinosaurs. You can add colour and scents too, or just leave it as it is. Rolling, stamping, squashing and pinching all support finger strength and dexterity.
You'll find below our favourite playdough recipe that we use when we make it with the children at preschool, as well as photo visuals you can use to support your child's involvement in making it at home. Don’t have the right ingredients? Experiment! We’ve made some great concoctions when we’ve run out of something!
2 Cups Flour
1 Cup Salt
3Tbsp Cream of Tartar
Food Colourng or Natural Dyes
2 Cups boiling water
A large glass bowl & spoon
Place dry ingredients into the bowl
Add wet ingredients and stir
Kneed until smooth
School Readiness Focus Week 8 2021: Literacy
Read with your child every day. Point to the words on the page as you read them and talk about the story line. Bring their attention to letters on the page that may be familiar to them (e.g. from their name). Notice together words that rhyme.
Whist driving/ walking/ shopping ask your child to spot any words on signs that begin with the same letter as their name.
Play ‘eye-spy’, ensuring you use the sound, not letter name e.g. something beginning with p/mmm (not ‘pee’/'em')
Model literacy in your everyday life, e.g. write a shopping list, let them see you reading a book or newspaper.
Acknowledge and encourage any form of ‘writing’ that your child does, this may be scribbles as they role play, or attempts to write their name on a drawing they are creating. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it’s more important that they enjoy having a go and build an awareness and understanding that marks have meaning and are used for communication.
Provide lots of different mark making tools and different and interesting surfaces to make marks on, e.g. textas, crayons, paint or pencils on paper, white board and markers, chalk or charcoal on the driveway or fence, a stick in sand or even a found feather dipped in food colouring!
Go on a sound hunt around the house- can you find 5 things that start with a 'sss' sound? Try different letters.
School Readiness Focus Week 9 2021: Gross Motor
Have a look at the Fundamental Movement Skills videos below for specific skills to practice at home or at the park- encourage your child to do their best- even the educators find it tricky sometimes! We incorporate FMS into our program at preschool to support children to develop important skills that will aid them in everyday activities such as running, riding a bike and getting dressed as well as providing a foundation for the development of more complex skills.
Grab some chalk and play hopscotch on the drive way- try jumping with two feet together and hopping (don’t forget to practice hopping on each leg)
Visit the local playgrounds and allow your child to embrace the challenge of completing the monkey bars, balancing on the bridge, or sliding down (or climbing up!) the pole.
Make some stepping stones at home using pieces of wood, cushions or pieces of paper.
Sign up to swimming lessons when you can. This is not only a great gross motor activity, but also an opportunity for children to practice listening, following instructions and turn taking.
Have a wheelbarrow race- hold your child’s legs as they ‘walk’ forwards with their hands- this is great for upper body strength.
Dig holes and build sandcastles at the beach.
Go exploring and rock hopping at the creek.
Act out your favourite story (e.g. We’re Going on a Bear Hunt- can you do some big bear walks?)
FMS- overarm throwing
FMS- side sliding
FMS- underarm throwing
FMS- bouncing a ball
School Readiness Focus Week 10 2021:
One of the biggest changes for children when transitioning from preschool to school is the number of adults around to help them with everyday tasks, so the more they can do for themselves, the better. And in conversations we’ve had with local Kindy teachers, we know they really value this skill too!
Encourage and support your child to put on their own clothes in the morning. Use verbal rather than physical help.
Do the same with their socks and shoes. When buying school shoes make sure they can put them on independently.
Ensure the containers you send for lunches are easily opened, and practice using them at home or when you pack a picnic for the park or beach.
Involve your child in household chores, increasing the expectation that they tidy up after themselves.
Support them to manage their belongings by encouraging them to pack their own preschool (then school) bag and reinforce the need to put all of their belongings back in whilst at preschool/ school.
Encourage your child to ask for help if they need it, if they have already tried themselves, and remind them to ask their teacher for help if they need it too.
School Readiness Focus 2021:
The last in our series of school-readiness activities you can do at home to support your child is all about social skills.
Encourage, model and support your child to greet people they see for example, friends while you are at the shops and educators/ teachers when they get to preschool/school. Encourage them to look at the person and say 'hello'.
Organise social opportunities with children of a similar age such as a play at the park (some families have left their details on the sign in table)
Play with your child, taking turns and sharing toys. Model language for negotiating in play such as 'can I have a turn with the red truck please?'
Play board games with your child. This supports turn taking and learning to cope with disappointment when they don't win (as well as so many other concepts!).
Discuss and model ways to be a good friend. Maybe ask your child at the dinner table what they did to be a good friend today.