(At Least) 50 Fantastic Ideas To Try At Home…Can You Help?

Alistair Bryce-CleggBoys Learning, Child Initiated Learning, construction, Continuous Provision, Creativity, Environment, Malleable Materials, Mark Making, mathematics, Messy Play, Mud Kitchen, Music, Outdoors, Play, Water Play44 Comments

As more people are self-isolating and schools and childcare settings across the world are closing, we thought we would contribute to easing the burden by providing another place you can direct parent’s /carers to for support.

We are part of a wonderful, international community of Early Years practitioners who have a wealth of knowledge and a HUGE bank of ideas and activities.

So, let’s gather together and share them!

As a starting point I am going to use my blog to share activities that can fairly easily be done at home. I’ll gather a collection of ideas each week and post them on the website – with links from social media.

If you would like to contribute please email me your activity ideas to alistair@abcdoes.com

All you need to do is send me the information and a photograph and I will do the rest.

Here’s an example with good old playdough.

Here are some guidelines we thought would be useful:

Divide your idea/activity in to 3 sections

  • Photo (attach it to your email as a jpeg)
  • What you’ll need – full list of resources/ingredients
  • What to do – step by step instructions (keep them simple)

Don’t forget to give your activity/idea a title!

You can also add any other info you think might be useful

Try to suggest indoor and outdoor activities for all ages of Early Years children using items most people would already have at home.

If everyone shared just one activity – what an amazing bank of resources and ideas that would be!

Looking forward to seeing what we can create!






44 Comments on “(At Least) 50 Fantastic Ideas To Try At Home…Can You Help?”

  1. Hi Alistair, I am i am messaging you from the Nederland, we have just gone back into full lockdown. I have heard very good things about the ‘home learning activities’ you have put together. Please could I ask where I can find them to use with my nursery class?
    Thanks you

    1. Hi Jen – Just click the ‘home learning’ button at the top of the website and you will find them there.

  2. Hi Alistair, hope you’re staying safe! We are currently looking after some critical care workers children in our setting, and thought we would let you know how we were keeping busy 😃. We have just emailed you our light box, 🤞you receive it ok and are able to share with others 😃, Deborah and Lynn

  3. Your post was sent from Israel having been sent there from here… wonderful. Perhaps your ideas could amuse the locked-down 70+ brigade…. many need to step outside their own minds, even if stepping outside their homes is disallowed. Just a thought. Have fun and keep healthy,

  4. I am a licensed school adjustment counselor in an elementary school in Ma. We are out of school until the first week of May. I believe it may be longer. Any resources that can assist my students and their families in remote learning (social/emotional needs), will be helpful for them and beneficial to my work.
    Please and thank you!

    1. Great to hear from you Laurie. I will keep uploading activities for as long as I can. If you have got any that you would like to share around the work that you do then send them over to alistair@abcdoes.com.

      Stay safe


  5. Counting 2s using clothes. There are loads of things in their clothes cupboard that children can use to collect and then use to practise counting in twos. Socks, shoes, wellies, gloves. They could use pairs of animals (think Noah’s Ark!) or other toys that have identical multiples.

  6. Making a scrap book
    It can be a variety of things, one page could be how many numbers you can find in an old paper, magazine or food wrappers and boxes.
    Next it could be some different leaves you find in the garden, google the types of trees and add some labels on there.
    Letter hunt – for all different abilities. From finding letters from their name to building words using newspapers, wrappers and magazines.
    Drawing pictures of family and friends, explore differences and talk about height, hair, features.
    Collage of different materials around the house, you can use anything. Lots of different wrappers are a variety of materials. Old clothes could be cut and used.
    Your favourite story character.
    Your favourite dinner.
    Your favourite TV program.
    You can draw, wrote and learn together.
    Anything you do can be a learning if you add a little extra fun!

  7. Bath Time Writing!
    Give the child a scrubbing brush (or two) and some shower gel at bath time. Get them to scrub the tiles to make foam then mark make with their fingers.

  8. Outdoor scavenger hunt. Attach double sided tape to a strip of card. Collect things outdoors and stick them on to the tape. These can be random or around a theme like perhaps signs of spring, all about green, I can find a rainbow etc. If they are not too bumpy the finished strip can be laminated.

  9. Use recycled plastic containers such as yoghurt pots, varying sizes of milk bottles, etc with a pan for an exploration of capacity at the kitchen sink. Add food colouring if you have any. Ask your child, how many pots it takes to fill the pan? talk about full, half full, empty. If you have plastic tea set, use this to find out how many cups you can fill with the teapot.

  10. Hidden sounds
    Find pairs of household objects that make a noise-eg pans and wooden spoons, shake a bunch of keys, scrunch a crisp packet, shake rice in a jar etc
    Hide one set of objects behind the sofa and put the other in front of you.
    Ask your child to sit with the hidden objects
    You make a sound, can your child make the same sound. If you play an rhythm can they copy it?
    Have fun together and make a band!

  11. No cook playdough:
    2 cups of flour
    2 tablespoons oil
    Half cup of salt
    2 tablespoons cream of tartar
    One and a half cups of boiling water
    Food colouring

    Or make salt dough:
    1 cup of plain flour
    Half cup of salt
    Half a cup of water
    Make whatever you want. Cook on lowest heat for 3 hours, on a baking sheet. Then paint.

  12. Put a wash on:
    Colour sorting the washing and count the items as you throw them into the machine.
    Measure washing powder / what can we smell (conditioner and washing powder).
    Set the machine and watch it whirl around.
    Hang out the washing, talking about water potential and importance of spreading them out.
    How does it it smell?
    Match together the socks. Learn to fold.

    Simple and helpful 😉

  13. Outdoor colour hunt
    Give your child a piece of paper with all colours on. You could colour colour splats on the paper using crayons.
    Go on a hunt outside drawing and sticking things to the paper that match the colours.
    Lots of talk afterwards about what they found and shades etc. Then maybe move onto some colour mixing.

  14. Re tell a traditional tale acting it out using toys.
    For example, The three little pigs with Lego, Goldilocks and the Three Bears with soft toys.
    Make a poster or sell tickets to come and watch.
    Film it on a device and share with school after.

  15. Playing shops

    You will need:
    Store cupboard food items
    Money or create paper money

    Get some food and other items out of the cupboard and set up a shop in your living room. Together, you and your child can price each item using paper tags (numbers to 20 or beyond.) You can take it in turns to buy items from the shop, adding the numbers together to get the total. You could model writing a receipt for the items. Pay with either real money or make your own paper coins.

    You could also use this as an opportunity to talk about healthy eating too!

    Unfortunately I don’t have a photo for this.

    1. Thanks for the idea Emily, don’t worry about the photo – I am sure I can find one that will work!


Leave a Reply to Kerry Taylor Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.