Nursery Resources/Ideas

Learning Ideas

 The SSPCA and BBC Bitesize have produced resources for Pre-school and Primary children……click on the following link and it will take you to their website.

 Sensory Tray

  • Fill a shallow tray with salt or dry rice. Encourage your child to make marks with their fingers.
  • Top Tips: Explore, letters numbers and simple shapes as you play.

Squishy Bag

  • ¾ fill a large zip lock bag with paint/ custard or something of similar texture. Lock the bag and tape it onto a flat surface, explore pushing the contents around with fingers to make marks.

Shaving Foam Fun

  • Spread some foam onto a flat surface and encourage your child to use their fingers to make marks.

Fasten Fun

  • Collect a variety of clothing items with various fastenings. Poppers, zips, toggles and buttons. Encourage and support your child as they have a go.


  • Encourage your child to draw a picture, using a variety of writing tools. Pencils, crayons and chalk.


  • If you have child safe scissors at home, give your child old magazines or catalogues to practise snipping and cutting techniques.

Ball Skills

  • Play catch with a large ball. Practise throwing, catching, rolling and bouncing. Challenge: Try using a smaller ball such as a tennis ball

Share a Story

  • Encourage your child to choose a story. Start with reading the Title and the Blurb on the back page (it will give your child clues about the story). Talk about the main characters and events afterwards. Talk about what might happen next?

Rhyme Time

  • Read a rhyming story or say a nursery rhyme. Point out any rhyming words that you hear.
  • Encourage your child to say a word that rhymes with a given word.
  • Say some nursery rhymes together, encouraging your child to say the missing words.


  • Kiddle is the child friendly version of Google. Use this search engine to find out something about: Your favourite animal, Recycling, The weather and your own choice

Treasure Hunt

  • Write down 5-10 very simple instructions for your child to follow. Place them in a box and let your child choose one note or (clue) at a time. Read each note out loud.   Eg. “Get a teddy”, “put a doll on the bed”, “put a shoe under the chair”.

Shape Spotting

  • Collect and spot as many shapes as possible around the house or local area, take photographs of each shape. Challenge: If you are able to print your photos, encourage your child to group and sort all the shapes that are the same. Stick the pictures onto paper.

Shape Prints

  • Collect various house hold containers such as yoghurt pots, bottle lids etc. (recycling packaging works well). Provide paint and encourage your child to dip items in paint and print shapes onto paper. Talk about the shapes they are creating.

Number Songs

  • Encourage finger counting as you sing number songs. Encourage your child to show you numbers with their fingers.

Setting The Table

  • Give your child an opportunity to help set the dinner or breakfast table. Reinforce how many!
  • How many people? How many plates? How many forks? How many cups? Challenge: introduce new language- more, less, full and empty.

Rainbow Milk

  • Place skittle (sweets) around a small plate to form a complete circle. Pour milk into the centre and watch your rainbow appear.


  • Choose a simple biscuit or cake recipe.
  • Encourage your child to count and measure ingredients with you. Talk about how the mixture changes. How does it look now? How does it smell now? How does it feel now? How does it taste now?


  • Fill up small containers with water. Place small objects into the water such as flowers, figures, marbles etc. Ask your child to help you pop them in the freezer. Once frozen solid your child can explore the ice. Is there anything they can do to melt the ice faster??

Play Shop

  • Set up a shop using real food items such as tins, boxes and packets, real potatoes, carrots and onions. Children will be able to feel the weight differences and explore fruit and veg using their senses.



  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1 cup salt
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • Add paint or food colouring
  • Mix the water, salt, oil and paint together
  • Gradually work in the flour until you get the consistency of bread dough.


  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 cup salt
  • 4 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 cups water plus food colouring
  • 2 tablespoons baby oil (other oil can work, too)
  • Place over low heat and stir often until playdough is consistency of mashed potatoes. Knead when cool


  • 5 potatoes or packet of smash
  • 3 cups flour
  • Bake potatoes in their skins until they are ‘eating consistency’ soft. Peel and then mash the potatoes. Combine three cups flour to every four cups of mashed potato and roll until you form a good dough.


  • 2 cups of hair conditioner
  • 1 cup corn flour
  • Mix ingredients together to form a silky dough that will smell fabulous.

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