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  • HCA Blogs . Clare Pryke




In a past teaching job, a highlight of the day for me was getting out my singing

Sack at circle time . This was basically a white pillowcase that I had drawn crotchets and quavers on, and filled with my children’s toys (I did ask them first!).


This activity can be enjoyed at home with your children, nursery or charges.

Simply find a pillowcase and draw your musical notes/symbols on , whatever you

choose. It would be nice to involve your child by getting them to help you look for

objects/toys around the house. Fill your singing sack and hey presto!.


Ask your child to close their eyes and pull out one object. On doing so sing a nursery

rhyme that it corresponds to. Sing songs you both know or introduce a new one.


Extend their learning and sensory experiences by describing the sounds,- are they fast, slow, loud, quiet etc. Listen to a wide range,and genres of music. Allow your child to use ' technology’ for e.g, a c.d player, so they can choose what to listen to – as many times as they like (maybe not as you like), make instruments using junk modelling, and experiment with sound. Have fun making simple rhythmic patterns!

Count whilst keeping a beat, and repeating sequences. Or incorporate two claps,

two head taps, etc.

Be spontaneous!


These activities cover one of the areas of learning and development set out within

the EYFS.

Expressive arts and design – using media & materials.


~ Go find some toys & objects. And have a good sing song ! ~


IDEAS Of POPULAR RHYMES


Worm There’s a worm at the bottom of my garden

Sheep/lamb Baa Baa Black sheep/ Baa Baa White sheep

Teapot I’m a Little Teapot

Spider Incy Wincy

Bowl/spoon Little Miss Muffet

Fish Slippery fish/ 1 2 3 4 5 Once I caught a fish

Crocodile Look at the terrible crocodile I oh I oh I oh

Star Twinkle Twinkle

Bus Wheels on the bus

Car I’m driving in my car

Shark Baby shark do do do do do do

Boat Row row row your boat

Frogs Five green and speckled frogs

Mouse Hickory dickory dock

Doll Miss Polly had a dolly

Sun symbol Sun has got his hat on

Ducks 5 Little ducks went swimming one day

Rabbit Sleeping bunnies.

Frying pan 5 fat sausages

Flannel This is the way we wash our face ( Mulberry bush tune)

Bun 5 currant buns in the bakers shop

Glove Tommy thumb

Cow Hey diddle diddle

Rainmaker I hear thunder

Rubber hammer Peter hammer's with 1 hammer



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  • HCA Blogs . Clare Pryke

Not only is it pleasurable for the adult, as well as the child, but reading aloud

is so important on so many levels. There is nothing quite like cuddling up on the sofa

to settle down together to share a story. It formulates such happy memories.

My own children can still recall some of their much loved stories which we shared all

those years ago.


Introducing books to babies

It's never too early to start reading to your child. Babies enjoy holding onto a book and helping to turn the pages.

Start with board books, cloth and bath books. Books with pop-ups or 'lift the flaps' all help

engage the child with the additional interaction. They will delight in rhythmic patterns in rhymes and stories. Choose stories with repeated refrains, talk about sounds such as a car

'broom broom'. Point to animals, or objects, whatever they may be and name them.Encourage your child to do the same.

It's a good idea to register your little one at the local library if you can, where they will be given their very own library card. You perhaps might like to start attending 'story time' sessions.

Your baby will appreciate the social interaction with the other children, and enjoy the older ones pointing to & discussing characters in the book.This will all help to develop language

and listening skills.


Toddlers and beyond

When they are old enough let them choose whatever books appeal to them most,

even if it means having to read the same one again and again!.

And don't forget, it also sets a good example to your child to see their parent reading , and

being surrounded by literature at home. Create an environment rich in print!.

Share books from different cultures. You might even use a story with a different language to

your own. This allows your child to hear a range of different languages .


Its fun, and certainly amusing for your little one, if you can use different voices to tell the story whilst reading. Go on, become animated!. Children love this!.

Don't miss out on factual books and poetry too. Broaden their horizons, fuel their imagination

and help them build a greater understanding of the world.


As children get older, discuss the content of the stories your read. Ask them "what comes next", and to predict the outcome. Point out specific words in the text. This is all a preparation for understanding the written word and learning to read.


There is such a fantastic variety of literature to share with your little ones.

Enjoy this time, as hopefully they will be as enthusiastic to sit and read a book

on their own, just as you once were with them!.






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Updated: Oct 6, 2020

These activities are recommended for 2.5-5 year olds.

Remember folks that children grow and develop at different rates every - child is different! If you have any concerns about your child's developments please consult a health professional. We can put you in touch with a speech therapist if you wish to explore this option further.

Here are a few ideas to help with those all important listening skills and ways to encourage them. Don't forget, if your child is losing interest or gets frustrated, then I suggest you leave the activity for another day. Don't put any pressure on your child. They may not be ready for the activity just yet!


  1. These skills are learnt through play and used everyday- so please keep it fun!

  2. Lots of repetition.

  3. Keep your language simple.

  4. Give lots of praise.

  5. Do not draw attention to your child's mistakes - repeat the correct words eg. Child says "I see tat". Adult repeats, "Yes that is right, I see a cat".


Games to play:


-Feely Bag: Put different objects into a bag i.e, brush, stone, ball etc. Take turns in pulling an object out and naming it.

-Jigsaw Puzzle: Put the pieces of a simple wooden puzzle in a bag, take turns to pull one out, name it and put it in the puzzle.

-Musical Toys: Hide some musical toys behind your back (drum, shaker, guitar etc.) make the sounds in turn and encourage your child to name the instrument, a bit of help may be need here.

-Bubbles: Take turns blowing bubbles wait for your child to look at you before doing so. You may need to give a gentle reminder.

-Categories: Have a selection of real objects or pictures. Start off by placing one of them in a row at the top. Encourage your child to place each in the correct category whilst naming them.

-Simon Says: Adult and child take turns in giving the commands, "Simon says touch your nose", "Simon says reach up high".

-Sound Lotto: Let your child listen to a CD/online/book of sounds. Name the sound, if your child is ready get him/her to close their eyes when the sound is played and ask them to identify it - this requires a lot of concentration.

-What can you hear? Draw your child's attention to any loud sounds around them i.e, a dog barking, a helicopter, aeroplane, washing machine etc.

-Whispering games: Whisper to your child to fetch you something within your environment, keep repeating.

-Musical statues: Dance to the music, when the music stops, stand still. Repeat.

-Songs/Rhymes: Sing familiar songs repeatedly, pausing so your child can fill in the missing lyric/word.

Have fun!





#advice #nanny #parenting

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