How You Can Help Your Child

Throughout your child’s time in Nursery it is hoped that you will continue to take on the role of your child’s primary educator. As soon as your child comes into the world, you are preparing them for the life they have ahead of them. Many of the skills required are not learned automatically and children need encouragement and practice to acquire them. As a parent you can work alongside Nursery staff to help your child prepare for the formal learning of school.

Throughout your child’s time at Little Bears you will be invited to attend a variety of events which will give you more ideas about helping your child at home. In the meantime, please feel free to speak to the Nursery staff if you feel that you need more help with suitable activities at home.

  • Socialising with other children is a skill that has to be learnt gradually, and some children will find it easier than others. If you can introduce your child to the idea of sharing and taking turns before they start at nursery they will find the whole experience less daunting. Don’t expect great things at first – children usually play alongside each other rather than together to start.
  • Encouraging your child to become independent with basic self-care skills, such as hand washing, nose wiping, opening lunch containers, manipulating simple clothing fasteners, zipping a bag and covering their mouth when coughing or sneezing.
  • You can help your child learn to listen by reading to them daily. Reading aloud to your child is a great way to help them develop listening skills. Stories with rhythm are particularly engaging, so look for books that repeat phrases.
  • We do not expect all children to be toilet trained, but it would help your child if you could start to familiarise them with using the toilet.
  • Children develop their writing skills by building strength in their hands. Playing with play dough, finger painting, baking, water and sand play are all great at building up those fine motor skills.
Children need lots of encouragement and practice to LISTEN as well as TALK!

  • Talk to your child, and listen to them when they are talking to you
  • Name objects when you show them to your child
  • Talk to your child about colours and numbers in the World around them
  • Rhythm is important. Use words of varying length and perhaps play clapping games to “clap” words (e.g. NUR-SER-Y)
  • Talk about what you can hear when you are out and about with your child or in the home
  • Play silly rhyming games e.g. make up silly names for one another e.g. maddy daddy, Hanna banana etc
  • Play memory games
  • Clapping helps the hearing and memory. Let your child copy simple clapping rhythms
  • Play lots of movement games such as Simon Says
  • Encourage games which use positional language such as on top of, underneath, next to, beside as these are words which children can often confuse
Encourage the muscles that will eventually allow your child to hold a pencil by allowing your child to participate in activities such as:

  • Playing with water, sand and playdough
  • Writing or drawing with a variety of pencils, pens and crayons
  • Gluing and other craft ideas
  • Threading beads, making jigsaws, using peg patterns and other games which use counters and dice
  • Supervised cutting activities with scissors
  • Encourage positive reading experiences by setting aside special times for the purpose. Create cosy reading situations where you will not be interrupted or distracted
  • Talk about the sounds of words – what does apple start with? Can you hear what cat ends with? Use the sounds of the letters as opposed to the letter names (e.g. the letter a is always pronounced aah (as in apple) not ai (as in chain)
  • Let your child choose books that he/she wants to read
  • Talk about the front cover, what might happen in the story?
  • Use books with flaps
  • Continue to read aloud to your child, providing a good model, long after your child learns to read
  • Play games with your child which encourage turn taking and sharing
  • Encourage your child to listen to and carry out simple instructions
  • Encourage your child to become more independent by doing simple tasks by themselves (even if it takes longer to get the job done!) such as putting their own shoes and coat
  • buttering their own toast, tidying their toys away etc.
  • Encourage your child to go to the toilet and wash their hands by themselves
  • Encourage your child to play and interact with other children