My Top 5 Play Based Learning Activity Ideas For Children

If you are beginning your home education journey or are looking for ideas to keep the kids busy, Here are some of my top play based activities that both of my children enjoy:

Building with Blocks: As much as it is probably one of the most painful ideas when a piece finds its way underfoot, Playing with blocks and building tiles encourages creativity and logical thinking by providing various types of blocks and shapes for children to build structures. This activity also promotes problem-solving and fine motor skills.

Nature Scavenger Hunt: At this time of year, a nature walk can spark so many learning opportunities as the season changes into Autumn. Take children outdoors to explore and collect items from nature like leaves, rocks, or flowers. This activity helps them learn about different textures, colours, and shapes while enjoying the outdoors. One of my children’s favourite things to do with their scavenger finds is to create a picture with them, you can find various templates online like this one from Twinkl or go solo and make your own unique piece of art.

Cooking or Baking Together: If you are anything like me and found yourself firmly at the back of the queue when cookery skills were been handed out, worry not! This activity does not have to be as daunting as it initially may appear. If you want to get your Mary Berry on then theres lots of recipes from scratch to make with the kids, alternatively there are lots of all in one supermarket kits readily available off the shelf if your a cheat like me! By involving your children in simple cooking and baking activities you increase their math concepts, measurements, and fine motor skills, all while having fun and getting a bit messy.

Pretend Play: One of our favourite activities follows on from the last! With our home baked treats we set up a themed tea party, usually based around a story book. The kids will dress up and get their finery on to be invited to the grand high tea usually set in some imaginary castle or palace. To extend this activity further we have made our own party invitations and home made decorations. Using costumes and props, allows children to engage in imaginative role-playing which fosters social skills, language development, and emotional understanding.

Storytelling and Puppet Making: Finding a few moments to read a story together not only has learning advantages but also creates a relaxed and calm environment for you and your children to talk about anything and everything that may be on your mind. One of the best craft activities that my children really enjoyed was when we made story spoons and came up with our own story about them, there are lots of tutorials online but here’s one from Hobbycraft on simple story spoon crafting. This type of hands on play encourages children to create their own stories and characters as well as boosting language skills, creativity, and narrative thinking. The Rory Story cubes can also be a great way of involving the whole family or children of different ages in a fun learning activity.

Below, I have included some of the resources that we have used as a family as an alternative way to learn on our home education journey:

Magna Tiles 32 Piece Building Set

Rory Story Cubes

The Gruffalo Cookbook Recipes and Baking Ideas

The Gruffalo Autumn and winter Nature Activity Book

Little Wood Walkers Nature Hunt Scavenger Cards

Craft-Tastic Scavenger Hunt Journal

Melissa and Doug Wooden Building Blocks

Fisher Price Mega Blocks

John Addams Childrens Flower Press Kit

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