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Learning at Home

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Learning at home

Sometimes professionals talk about a  'home learning environment' They don't mean you have to create a classroom at home.

  • It means having books, toys, and things that help children learn.
  • It's when you talk to and play with your child.
  • It's helping children with their schoolwork
  • It's reading books together.
  • It also includes having a calm and organised space where children can focus and have fun learning.

The everyday things that you do together with your child make a real difference to their learning and development. Small things can make a big difference.

Talking, and making sounds together

Clicking the blue headings will open up a new page with lots of ideas, videos, easy tips and activities you can do together, right from the start.

It's the little moments together that matter the most when you're encouraging your baby towards their first sound, hum, giggle or word. Every game, song or nursery rhyme will help them get to know you and your voice.

During these months your baby will start to listen more carefully. They'll love it when you take the time to chat, play and read with them. Every little thing you do together, whether that's at bedtime or lunchtime, will help to improve their confidence and communication. It might not seem like it, but this is an important step in their journey to talking.

Your child will start to recognise more words than they can say at this age, so every conversation, game or story will support their understanding. Try to respond to their babble and pick out and expand on the words they're saying. It'll help them become a more confident communicator.

Use your child's imagination with roleplay, counting games, and helping at home. It builds on the words they already know.

Encourage your child to form sentences. Ask them about their day during activities like coming home from school or nursery or over dinner. Let them take the lead and enjoy what a little storyteller they're becoming!

Remember every child is different and they develop at their own pace. If you want to know about child development, and where your child is at, you can speak to a health visitor on 01226 774411 or drop in at one of our Family Hubs. 

Find your nearest Family Hub using our search tool here

Play, play and play some more

Try to make some time to play with your child every day and ensure you give them your full attention, so put your phone away and turn the TV off!

Let them lead the play and just join in by copying what they are doing and using simple language to comment on the play, such as “you’re feeding teddy”.

Children don’t need expensive toys, so keep it simple and use everyday items around the home, including plastic bowls, water,  wooden spoons or a towel to play peekaboo.

Watch how Engagement Practitioners use everyday items as a chance to play and develop children's skills.

Singing songs and dancing along

Enjoy singing songs and rhymes together. Your child will love to hear you singing it doesn’t matter if you can hold a tune or not!

Why not dance along together to the songs and rhymes?
Remember it doesn’t matter if your child wants to sing the same thing over and over again, repetition helps them to learn.

Even grown-ups listen to their favourite songs time and time again!

Getting out and about

Getting out and about is a fantastic way to introduce your child to new words. Talk to your child when you are going to the shops, playing in the park, on the school run, there's always lots to see.

Your garden if you have one counts as getting out and about and it's free! Most gardens gets muddy from time to time, and children love it. 

Watch how Engagement Practitioners have fun playing in the mud. 

When you go out spot signs and logos along the way. Have fun with different sounds, words and facial expressions and never be afraid of looking or sounding silly, your child won’t mind!

Not sure where to go?

Look for baby, toddler and playgroups using our search page here: 

Search for a baby group, toddler group or playgroup 

Or try the Tiny Talkers website 'places to go' page here: 

Tiny Talkers: Places to go 

Check out the 'Things to Do and What's on in the School Holidays' section for more inspiration: 

Things to Do & What's on in the school holidays 

Cuddle up and share a book

Sharing books together is another great way to learn at home. You're not just reading — you're supporting their early language development. It's a fantastic way for children to begin understanding the world around them. 

Watch Marie talk about reading, and bringing books to life for little ones:


Join the Library
Your local Library offers access to a fantastic range of free books and offers a range of activities for children of all ages. It's quick and easy to join the library take a look at their website for more information:
Have you heard of Bookstart?
Bookstart is a nationwide program that provides free books to every baby in the UK. It not only offers books but also provides helpful tips for families to encourage, and grow a love of reading in their little ones. This program aims to give children a fantastic head start in life, You'll get a newborn pack and a second baby pack at around 6 - 8 weeks, you can speak to your health visitor on 01226 774411 to find out more, or pop into your local Family Hub or Library. 

Make everything fun!

Everything a child does helps them learn. You can make anything fun with a bit of imagination, the more fun they have the more they learn!

You can have fun making things, drawing, painting or writing - but also around the house doing everyday tasks like putting washing in the basket and counting as you go. When it's time to tidy up, talk about each toy you are putting away; you could point out things like colours, shapes, letters, shapes and numbers.

Point out the things you are going to buy when you are shopping, you could draw pictures of what you need on your shopping list and talk about what you are going to buy. Chat along whilst you put the shopping away, and talk about their favourite foods. 

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