3 – 4

Building it into your day

As a parent, you are your child’s first teacher. Your home is a place where lots of learning is happening every day – the most important thing is that your child enjoys learning. Young children learn by playing and by copying things they see you doing and saying. You can support your children’s learning by giving them lots of opportunities to do and say things everyday: both in the house and when you are out and about.

Normal routines, such as setting the table, shopping or taking bus are ideal opportunities for your child to understand and learn new things. The shared attention between you and your child and the repetition that takes place in these situations, is very important.


  1. For a food shopping trip make a list for your child to tick
  2. Let your child use the picture weighing scales for fruit and vegetables
  3. Let them count items for you, as in ‘Put six oranges in the trolley’


  • Get your child to figure out how many cups and plates they need to set the table
  • Ask them what other food you will need on the table – water, salt, pepper
  • Talk about where food comes from and get your child to tell you something they know about food

In the buggy, bus or car

  • Count animals or people on bikes or name colours of cars
  • Talk and ask questions about where you are going and what you will be doing
  • Play “I spy” something that is a certain colour

Out and about

  • Talk about where you are going before and after
  • Compare things when talking by saying whether something is big or small, long or short or whether a thing is going faster or slower
  • Read shop signs or bus timetables out loud so your child understands what you are doing