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Fun activities for pre-schoolers to encourage learning

There are all sorts of activities you can do with your children at home, where they'll not only having fun but also start to use important skills they'll be using at school. 

Grow a Sunflower 

Sunflowers are easy to look after and they grow quite quickly. Young children will love watching them grow week by week and seeing how tall the sunflower grows in comparison to themselves. You could use a metre stick or tape measure to keep a weekly chart of its growth, or you could take photos of your child standing next to it to keep as a visual diary! 

They can be grown indoors or in pots, but don't plant them outside too soon and when you do, watch out for slugs! Your child can look after their sunflower and learn what it needs to help it grow. 

If you'd like to grow something your child can keep indoors, you can make a grass-head person or monster by putting a few scoops of grass seeds into an old sock, them filling it with compost and fastening the end with an elastic band. Pop it into yogurt pot, water regularly and your child will love watching the 'hair' grow! 

Nature Walk 

Enjoy a nature walk, looking out for seasonal flowers, such as daffodils, blossom on trees and baby animals in Spring. Talk about all the colours your child can see around them and how each season compares. You could even sit down and listen to see what sounds you can hear, such as bees buzzing, birds singing or rustling in the bushes. Give your child a notepad and pencil for them to keep a record of all the things they see and hear, by writing or drawing pictures. They could use this as inspiration for a picture or painting. This could be a good opportunity to practise describing what they saw. 

Baking 

Let the kids help make some treats to help them follow instructions and have fun weighting out the ingredients. If you have young children, ask them to find the ingredients from the list, e.g. point out the word "flour" in the recipe and ask they to look at the ingredients on the worktop to see if they can match the word on the packaging. 'Bird nests' with mini eggs are really simple for young children to make and they'll love eating them afterwards too! This might result in lots of mess but the children can learn that baking includes cleaning up after themselves.