Preparing to start school
Starting school is the start of a new adventure for your child. Below you will find some useful resources to help you and your child to prepare for life in Reception.
We have included some activity suggestions that you can use at home, including an introduction to the phonics approach that we use at DPA.
When preparing to introduce any of the suggested activities with your child make sure it is a time when they are ready to engage, learning should be fun for everyone. Outside is a great place to learn, included here are many activities that can be explored outside.
There are also some website links at the bottom of the page which you may find useful to watch!
- Can your child find their name? Create a scavenger hunt around the house to see how many places they can see their name. Maybe they could use a device to take a picture every time they find their name. Talk about the differences and similarities between each picture.
- Cut up pieces of paper with the names of family members or significant others, can your child find their name amongst others (begin with just a couple of different names)?
- Use a tray or cake tin lid and add a thin layer of salt, use this to make patterns using a finger, this could lead on to exploring the letters in your child's name.
- When getting changed talk about what to put on/take off first, then next.
- There are many picture cards available online that can be printed and ordered to help.
- Encourage your child to practise putting on and taking off their own coat and shoes. Show them how to do up a zip and support them with having a go themselves.
- Remember that we are not expecting the children to be completely independent, but having had some experience of having a go themselves will help to approach PE with confidence.
- Make some playdough for your child to explore, be adventurous by adding different colours/herbs/spices. You will find some recipes here: https://abcdoes.com/abc-does-a-blog/2010/08/21/playdough-recipes/
- There are lots of dough disco songs on YouTube
- Let your child play with the peg bag, squeezing pegs is a great way to strengthen hands. If you make a washing line be careful to ensure that this doesn't become a hazard.
- Threading things such as Cheerios or penne pasta.
- Here are the sounds that your child will be introduced to when they start school. There is a new sound every day. These videos introduce each sound in the same way we do. Watching the speed sound can be a good prompt to talk about the sound, how it looks, searching for it in favourite books or when out for a walk. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDe74j1F52zSHkrG_OoWu0sHBTLCEzq1G
- Saying the 'pure' sound is very important when learning to read. This video demonstrates how to say the sounds in a way that will make blending the sounds together to read much easier for your child. It's a good habit to get into and will really support your child too. https://www.oxfordowl.co.uk/for-home/reading-owl/find-a-book/read-write-inc-phonics--1/phonics-pure-sounds-video
- A bucket of water and a paint brush can provide hours of entertainment and believe it or not can really help when your child begins to write.
- A small broom with soapy water can create lots of bubbly fun on hard ground.
- A washing up bowl with recycled pots and containers of various sizes.
- Use your collection of old or holey socks and add them to the sand pit with spoons.
- Go on a bug hunt.
- Plant some sunflowers or beans.
- On a sunny day take out toy animals, place them on a sheet of paper and encourage your child to draw around the shadow.
- Take time every day to share a book.
- Encourage repeat readings of favourite books and let your child be the story teller.
- Take time to look closely at pictures in books, ask open questions and encourage curiosity.