The Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) marks the beginning of a child’s education. Typically it starts at the nursery stage and lasts till the age of five. Its philosophy is to develop language and communication skills through play while at the same time fostering physical, social, emotional and personal development.
This is the focus in the classroom but research has shown that the biggest influence on the development of a young child from birth to the age of four is its parents. So, any way a parent can complement the programme of those in education jobs at school will benefit the child beyond measure.
Parents can organize a number of activities at home that will serve this purpose well.
Simple games with water can help children develop concepts of capacity. By using cups, jugs and bowl, they have fun with measuring. It is also helpful in developing language related to water and capacity. This type of activity can be expanded to introduce colors and size and so on.
Arts and crafts
Art and craft activities help to develop motor skills and coordination. It helps children to improve muscle control and the resulting products – pictures, collages etc – give children a great sense of achievement. These activities are great fun and only require the use of simple household objects like paper, glue, clips and in fact almost anything that can be found around the home.
Children love to imitate adult behavior. It is a simple matter to set up a “small world” environment like a shop or doctor’s surgery. Acting out adult roles in these environments, helps children gain a greater understanding of the adult environment and the world around them.
Games for the table
Games like puzzles and building blocks help children to develop motor skills and concentration. Exploring different shapes, sizes and colors helps children to develop spatial awareness and color differentiation. As with arts and crafts, tabletop games can contribute to creativity and can be used to increase vocabulary.
Phonics is used at EYFS level to help children understand and vocalize sounds. It can form the basis for the development of reading and writing skills. Parents do not need to fully understand phonics to help their children. Early childhood teachers will be happy to help demonstrate games and activities that can be played at home to reinforce what has been learnt in the classroom.
Schools can only do so much for a child. By encouraging your children to join in games and activities like these at home, you will be helping to form a greater bond with them, while giving them every advantage as they take their first steps on the educational ladder. And when learning is fun, children are more inclined to learn.
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