In Nursery, we spend a lot of time encouraging the skills for early writing ( and we call this 'mark making'). These skills develop gradually over time with practice and help prepare the children for the more formal skills of writing in Reception.
At this age, the children are all at different stages with their mark making skills and will be showing different levels of interest. We know that we want all of the children to enjoy opportunities to mark make and become confident and excited about developing their skills.
As you might be wanting to support these skills at home, it may be useful to remember these points -
Top tips to help develop your child's spoken language :
A broad vocabulary helps you child to understand new ideas and concepts that they will need to learn as they enter school. We can help develop this vocabulary by 'talking about words' in our everyday life.
Emotions - rather than just using 'happy / sad' - we could talk about feeling upset / disappointed / frightened / nervous / excited / shy / amazed etc
Descriptive words - bumpy / uneven soft / hard multi-coloured /patterned / plain fast / slow heavy / light dirty / clean old / new shiny / dull … and so the list goes on!
Encourage your child to ask questions - this is an important skill and it is how they show an interest in their own learning. We know that it can be tiring at times, but it is a skill to be encouraged and, by engaging in conversation, we know we are supporting learning as the children are interested and ready to listen - it was their question after al!
After a few days at home, we hope you are settling a little into this new pattern of daily life.
We just wanted to share a few things about learning at home ....
We will continue to put ideas on this page for you to try, however they are certainly not better or more important than your own activities. You know your child best and following their interests will be the best way for them to learn. In truth, If they are engaged and enjoying an activity with you, then they will be learning.
Spending time talking together, giving opportunities for your child to hear / learn new vocabulary is one of the best uses of your time together.
Through the week do try to include a range of play activities that will support these areas of learning : Talking together / developing skills of independence / physical play / reading / mark making (developing skills needed for early writing) / number / building and shape / creative / imaginative play / finding out new information about people and the world. Offering this variety of activities will cover the range of curriculum areas that we would be working on in nursery.
Some general points of advice....
Please don't spend ages planning a specific activity. It can be quite disappointing when the children don't react with the expected enthusiasm! Keep things simple and spend your energy developing and extending the activities that they are keen to work on.
Please remember that an activity may also only last a few minutes and that is ok. Put the activity aside and use it again another day.
Regular bursts of practice can be just as valuable as longer periods of involvement. We all have tasks that we don't particularly enjoy and so it may be helpful for your child that these opporunities are more regular but shorter in length.
Make a list as you go forward of activities / games / online activities that you child has particularly enjoyed. It's quite hard to remember these things and you can then use the list to go back to them at a later date.
Thanks for managing to get to the end of all this information and we hope that you have found it helpful. We are really missing all of the children and hope that it won't be too long before we are back to the usual routine!
We spend a lot of time sharing and talking about stories. This experience is a crucial part of your child's journey towards reading independently. Please take time to share a story everyday, taking time to talk about the characters, what happens in the story and ask your child to tell you about their favourite part and why.
It is good to revisit and become very familiar with favourite stories and also look for books that may not have been read for a while.
Tell traditional tales without a book if you don't have it - the children are very familiar with these traditional tales and could help you retell them...
Jack and the Beanstalk
The Gingerbread Man
The Three Billy Goats Gruff
Little Red Riding Hood
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
The Enormous Pancake
The Three Little Pigs
The Magic Porridge Pot
The Little Red Hen
Keep reading together - you will be helping to build crucial skills in preparation for school!