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Primary School

Homework Ideas

Thank you to those of you who came to our Phonics and Maths workshops over the last couple of weeks. We hope that you found them valuable and took away some ideas. Below are some further suggested of ways that you can support your children at home. 

Children need to develop their physical strength before being able to hold a pencil correctly. Some things you can do at home to help this are below
Fine motor - developing strength in small movements, targeting hands
Play dough: Kneading play dough will strengthen the muscles that your child uses to grip and control a writing utensil.
Hole punches:  the repetitive squeezing motion of a hole punch will strengthen your child's muscles that are used to grip writing utensils.
Scissors: cutting objects other than paper such as straws, felt and string will promote the dexterity that your child will need to manipulate a writing utensil
Broad tip markers: The wider grip of these are easier to control and markers take less pressure to produce an effect on paper, making exploring more appealing
Popping bubble wrap 
Playing with playdough - squishing, rolling, pinching, squeezing, smuching
Wringing out sponges in the bath
Spray bottlers/water pistols - fill old soap dispensers/spray bottles with water and let your child water the plants in your garden
Nursery Rhymes involving hand actions 
Picking up raisons/smarties etc. off of a plate
Construction that involves screwing nuts and bolts
Screwing/unscrew bottle tops (add to bath time)
Cut up own dinner
Peel stickers on and off
Open tinned cans using a tin opener 
Stick on and peel off stickers on a vertical surface 
Scrunch up newspaper and have a pretend  snowball fight 
Gross motor - developing upper body strength 
Wheelbarrow walks (hold your child's feet whilst they walk on their hands)
Climb monkey bars, ladders or play frames
Digging in sand/mud using spades, rakes and other tools
Ride a bike/scooter 
Crab walking around the house
Play cricket, tennis or other ball games (also good for hand-eye coordination, which ultimately supports letter formation and line positioning)
Help carry shopping bags
If your child finds it difficult to hold a pencil, try the following tip: While doing a pincer grasp (pointy finger touching thumb - like a birds beak) put a pop-pom/marble/ball of blu-tack on their palm to be held by their ring and little fingers.
Finger painting: gliding their fingers along the paint's slick surface is a fun way to practice the movement of shapes and letters
Typing on a keyboard/on the 'notes' section on a phone
Using a stick to write letters in the mud
Attach paper to the underside of a table for children to draw or write on (this will build up core and muscle strength too) 
Old carrots dipped in paint and write on paper
Attach a felt tip to a toy car and move the car across paper to write words/make pictures
Turn an old tool belt into a mark making belt - put pens/pencils/crayons in the pockets
Use felt pens (or sharpies if you're brave) to write on tin foil 
Attach a feather to the end of a pencil and write wizard/witches positions 
Write one letter/word  per one duplo brick and join to make a word/sentence 
Write letters on the top of toy cars and drive them next to each other, saying each sound then blending to read the word
Highlight tricky (on red card in your child's pot) or high frequency words (on green card) in a newspaper/magazine for children to read
Get superhero figures/Barbies etc to hold tricky/high frequency words from your child's pot. Who has 'the'? etc
Write short words/tricky/high frequency words (in biro) on banana skin or orange peel for children to read before opening
Put words on walls and darken the room. Use a torch to find and read the words
Set the dinner table up for x amount of people (counting and problem solving)
Play games involving dot dice or dominoes
Give your child a colour and tell them to count that many cars as you walk along the street. You could choose another colour and count those cars - who counted more/less? How do they know?
Put numbers on the roofs of toy cars and dots in parking spaces for the cars, then get your child to drive the car to matching amount of dots 
Look out for numbers (and letters) on car number plates or give them a number, can they find that on a number plate?
Shape, Space and Measure 
Different sized containers in the bath to investigate which container holds the most/least amount of water
Find 3 sticks in the park and order them by length on the floor. You can extend this by finding another stick and getting your child to work out where it fits in the line
Use the stop watch on your phone. How many times can children sing the alphabet, write their name, do star jumps in 30 seconds. If they had a longer amount of time do they think they could do more? How many in 1 minute?
On the see-saw at the park. Testing who is heavier/lighter and how do they know/why do they think that is?


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