Encouraging and supporting your child to be independent with their self-care needs will remove barriers to their learning, for example, getting dressed and undressed, putting on their own coat and using the toilet and washing hands.

Talking to and reading to your child each day also makes a massive difference to their listening, speaking and attention skills.

Here are some suggestions below:

  • Playing games that involve taking turns.
  • Playing with children who are of similar age to develop social skills.
  • Reading books about starting school.
  • Playing with Alphabet letters.
  • Using your child's favourite toys to role-play going to school.
  • Painting and drawing, which involve sitting down for short periods of time.
  • Constantly talking to your child and listening to their answers is a really important activity and builds language skills and social skills.
  • Sing Nursery Rhymes and songs that children like that have repetition in them as these will help them to remember new words.
  • Telling or reading stories and poems to your child is an important part of developing an interest in reading. This should be an enjoyable experience for yourself and your child. You should aim to do this for a short period (e.g. 10 minutes at least) every day. When reading a story, encourage your child to talk about the pictures and identify characters.
  • Let your child hold the book and turn the pages as you read the story.
  • Children often ask for the same story over and over again. This should be encouraged, as it shows an interest in reading, and will assist in developing the language of writing, value your child’s choice and encourages decision making.