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Supporting your child's learning

The Family Learning team have compiled this selection of fun ideas that you can do at home with your child, useful websites and further reading.  

Young children learn best through play.  
When you:

  • Sing songs
  • Read books
  • Paint and draw

You are helping them to build the skills they will need to:

  • Speak
  • Listen
  • Read
  • Write 

Sensory play is a fantastic way to:

  • Introduce new words
  • When they are squishing play dough, scooping mud or pouring rice they are also developing the motor skills and hand-eye coordination they need for writing

Local libraries run fantastic, free rhyme time sessions for young children - why not visit and borrow some books while you are there?

This link explains child development at each age, and has suggestions to support your child's learning: Parents Guide


One of the best ways to support your child's learning is to read to them and to listen to them read, as often as possible.  
If your child is reluctant you can make this more exciting:

  • 'Spy' reading under the covers with a torch
  • Reading to a pet or favourite toy

Phonics ability is built on good listening skills, so when you are out for a walk, why not turn it into a listening walk? Stop and listen to all the sounds around you.  By encouraging your child to 'tune in' to different sounds, you will help to build their awareness of the different sounds in words - great for reading and spelling!  There is some great information for parents.

You can make writing and spelling practice fun at home with different kinds of:

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Paper

Your child may prefer to write somewhere different:

  • Some like to write lying on the floor as it supports their whole body
  • Using scissors to cut out shapes
  • Playing with play dough

This can help to build the muscles used to write.

Your child may come home and talk about English terminology that you are not familiar with, or have forgotten since you were at school.  Here is a very comprehensive 'Jargon Buster' of grammar and punctuation words and their meanings.


Young children love to learn about maths through play.  
When your child:

  • Sings nursery rhymes
  • Plays with a shape sorter
  • Chooses different coloured crayons

They are building maths understanding about:

  • Numbers
  • Colours
  • Shapes

You can encourage your child to learn about important maths skills such as measuring through cooking together. There are great, child-friendly recipes.

Matching and sorting are important maths skills that your child can develop by helping with things like:

  • Pairing socks
  • Sorting toys into boxes when tidying up

Playing games where you share out plates with teddies, or snack with friends teaching your child about counting and division. 

There are lots of fab ideas to try at home here


Maths at primary school can feel intimidating to parents, especially if you found maths tricky or your child is using a method you are unfamiliar with.  Ask your child to teach you what they are learning - not only will this be a great confidence boost for them, it will also help them to develop a deeper understanding of the maths skills they are learning.  

There are lots of opportunities to build maths into everyday activities:

  • Cooking
  • Shopping
  • Using a bus or train timetable
  • Gardening
  • Simple DIY

Build your child's understanding by asking them why they think an answer is right, or asking them to help you to think of ideas to solve a problem.

Have a look at the family maths toolkit website.


A free online course for parents to discover what is a growth mindset and how to support your child to develop this attitude to learning.

This website is for adult ESOL learners and it provides an on-line course at all levels.
It includes:

  • Word of the Week
  • Phrase Builder
  • Website Learning Record
  • Dyslexic-friendly reading texts 

This website focuses on the children.
It has videos

  • Flashcards
  • Worksheets
  • Games

Covers everything from:

  • Spelling
  • Grammar
  • Reading
  • Writing

It also has an adult version.

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Last updated: 15 August 2018 | Last reviewed: 15 August 2018