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Learning outside of the classroom

Learning isn't just for inside the classroom! There are lots of ways you can support what your child is learning in Reception with activities outside of school, these include:

  • Help them be active: Young children should be active for as much of the day as possible. This might mean the usual rough and tumble of being a 4-year-old, or it could mean specific activities such as going for a walk, dancing, playing football or climbing.
  • Work on their fine-motor skills: Drawing, colouring, playing with blocks, threading beads, making things – any activity that helps to develop your child’s hand-eye coordination will be useful in school life.
  • Support their concentration: Developing your child’s ability to listen, be quiet and concentrate for a short time will really help with classroom life. Good ways to do this, include: sitting and reading, drawing, and doing structured activities like puzzles, painting, or cooking.
  • Share and take turns: Games and activities that help children to practise taking turns and sharing are useful for school, where these skills will be used when working as part of a group.
  • Talk lots: As well as being an important skill in itself, this is the foundation of reading and writing. Telling family stories, asking your child lots of questions, asking them to recount things that they have done in the day, and encouraging them to tell you what they think or feel can all lead to good conversations.
  • Use technology together: Tablets and computers give us access to fascinating films, sites and games. The real benefit of these are when they aren’t just used as a time-filler, but are something you can share with your child, talking and helping them to learn about something new.
  • Enjoy imaginative play: This might include role-play and dressing up or using toys to act out stories or adventures. Play is crucial to how young children learn and make sense of the world. Your child will have their own favourite games, but acting out situations like starting school can help them to prepare for the unknown.
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