Personal, social and emotional development

Activity - Flower and hammer art

Words to use with your child: Flower, petal, print, colour, dye, pound, hammer, squash, safe, handle.

Go outside and collect some flowers and leaves that your child finds interesting, talk about why they like them, what is special about them and why they chose them. Try to find things with bright colours, that aren’t too dry. Then place the items on a hard surface, such as the floor and over the top place a piece of fabric (white works best but this can be any colour). Make use of old clothes here, a cut up old t-shirt works fine. Then using a hammer or mallet (or possibly something hard enough to squash the flowers beneath) pound the flowers through the fabric. As the flowers and leaves begin to squash their natural juices will dye the fabric and leave behind a beautiful pattern.

Be sure to talk to your child about using a hammer safely. Ask them to think about where to hold the hammer and why, how to carry the hammer, how to swing the hammer when in use, be clear about these safety rules and ensure children understand why they are important. The children are used to using a range of tools both indoors and outdoors at nursery and are very good at following the ‘tool rules’ when using them.

Activity - Helping your child learn to take turns

Words to use with your child: take turns, wait, patient, kind, well done, I like the way you...

Play a game together and take turns. This could be as simple as eye spy (make sure you used colour clues or size clues if your child is unsure of the letter sounds, for example – “eye spy with my little eye something that is blue”) or you could play a game you have at home dominoes, lotto games, snap…

Make sure you take turns and talk about whose turn comes next, praise your child for waiting for their turn. Young children need lots of practice at turn taking and it can be challenging for some children to pick this up so be patient and practice this at any opportunity.

Activity - Helping your child learn to talk about their feelings

Words to use with your child: friends, family, miss, together, apart, happy, sad, upset, love

It is easy to forget that small children feel things as keenly as adults do.  When they are sad or unhappy and don’t have this acknowledged by a grown up, children can become aggressive and appear to be ‘playing up’. This activity will provide a platform for children to discharge these feelings if they need to.

Activity - Contacting someone special

Words to use with your child:  Sad, happy, angry, alone, missing, missed, family, friends, home, safe.

Make time to think of someone special who you are missing. This may be someone who you haven’t spoken to in a while, a friend from nursery or a family member who you haven’t seen for a long time. You might phone this person, send them a picture in the post or send them a message. Encourage your child to interact, ask questions and prompt them to talk. Talk to your child about how they are feeling about not seeing people who are special to them and reassure them that even grown ups sometimes feel sad right now and that’s ok. Spend time having cuddles and being together.