Do you know your child is watching everything you do and say – they’re learning all the time. Simple everyday conversation about what you can see around you, helping put the shopping into a basket or hanging the washing out can all be learning opportunities if you make tasks feel fun and involve your child.

The early years in a child’s life is such an exciting time – between birth and 5 your child will learn to talk and listen, use their body, develop emotions, express themselves, have some understanding of the world around them and even learn some maths! You can support your child in developing all these skills by playing, chatting and caring.

Where do I start?

There are many national webpages dedicated to helping you help your child learn or providing you with activity suggestions. Here are 5 which include some short video clips of easy to do actions you can copy:

Tiny Happy People from the BBC

Hungry Little Minds from the Government

Small Talk from the National Literacy Trust

Look Say Sing Play from the NSPCC

Home Learning Environment from Pacey

What else can I do?

If you’re stuck for ideas, we’ve put together a list of fun activities that are free and can be done at home.

Click here to view

Rhymes and Songs

As well as being lots of fun, singing nursery rhymes and songs have many benefits for your child such as

  • Helping them practice speaking without pressure
  • Introduces new words and phrases
  • Learning numbers
  • Helps with understanding of pitch, volume and rhythm

For examples of songs and rhymes visit:

Learning Together

Sometimes having a small child can feel isolating – attending group activities can support you both. Your child can start learning how to make friends, can develop more concentration skills, have more toys to play with and enjoy new skills and activities that can be repeated at home. As a parent, groups can give you advice on how to support your child and reduce feelings of isolation.

  • Activities in Children’s Centres include:
    • Baby Group – A physical and sensory play session, with ‘baby babble’ activities and a chance to chat with other parents and families with babies
    • Little Learners – Sessions for children age 1 – 5 years old to support your child to be an active and engaged learner.
    • Baby Babble – gives parents lots of information about how speech and language skills
    • Wrigglers & Gigglers – for parents aged 25 and under – come along to play, chat, meet other parents and have days out.
    • Move and Play – at Active Tameside venues – lots of fun ideas and information about crawling, cruising and pulling to stand, sensory play experiences and information on physical development.
  • Library Time for a Rhyme Sessions
  • Parent & toddler groups

Learning at the Shops

Not everyone enjoys shopping, but playing learning games can make it more fun. Try:

  • Counting the items as you put them in the basket
  • Finding the items on the shopping isle
  • Drawing a shopping list and crossing off the items
  • What can you see that’s round, square etc
  • What can you see that’s blue, red, green
  • I spy with sounds – what vegetable can you see starting with the sound ‘br’

Learning at the Park

Being outdoors keeps us active and makes us feel good. Visiting the local play park equipment can be fun, but don’t miss out on other learning fun. Try:

  • Going on a bug hunt
  • Wellies on – jump in some puddles
  • Playing hide and seek
  • Building a den or fairy house
  • Red light, green light – stop go
  • Looking for outdoor treasure

Where Else Can I Go?

There are a number of different places to visit in Tameside for FREE that will help give your child new experiences. Follow the links to find the locations and details:

Tameside’s Parks

Tameside’s Country Parks


Tameside’s Museums and Galleries

Tameside’s Arts and Events Programme

Garden centres

There are also low cost activities such as swimming and many paid for activities such as soft play, music or sports sessions for very young children, for more information visit Tameside’s Service Information Directory