26th March 2020 All Posts

How to keep your children engaged during the closures

Play is the highest form of research

Remember to be kind to yourself during this time. This is a stressful time for everyone and especially parents. You don’t need to turn your home into a nursery and double up as a practitioner, there are lots of different ways to have fun whilst playing. Remember that Albert Einstein once said, “Play is the highest form of research.” 
Don’t stress too much about ‘homeschooling’ under 5s. The three most important things you can do each day are Chat, Play, and Read.

Understanding the development stages

This ‘What to expect, when?’ document will give you guidance on your child’s learning and development in the ‘Early Years Foundation Stage’ (or EYFS for short). The EYFS is a framework which sets out the learning and development stages for children as they grow from birth to five years. It’s been created to show those working in the early years what they need to do to support your child. 

This document has been written to help you as a parent/carer know what to expect during these vitally important years by focusing on the seven areas of learning and development which are covered in the EYFS. This should be a good starting point for supporting your children’s learning from home.

Resources to support the Seven Areas of Learning and Development

The seven areas of learning and development which are covered in the EYFS are:

We’ve pulled together a bunch of resources from some well-known celebrities and children’s entertainers who we’ve collaborated with below and labelled them up for you. So you know exactly how they will help your child to develop and you can be confident that playing does lead to learning.

Up first we have some amazing videos and games from some of our chosen collaborators...

Baby Sign Language

Learn Baby Sign Language

Communication and Language

Baby signing is about good communication between you and your baby. It’s an excellent way to communicate “two-way“. From around 6 months old, babies can understand you and they are having plenty of thoughts of their own BUT they cannot tell you what those thoughts are and that is frustrating!

The good news is your baby is developing their hand co-ordination and can learn many signs to communicate their message to you. Signing bridges the ‘I know what I want but can’t say it yet’ gap. In short, it gives your child a temporary tool for the job until speech comes along and this is a great relief for a frustrated baby and frazzled parents!

Captain Fantastic

Make slime with Dr Zob

Expressive Arts and Design
Communication and Language

What you need:

  • PVA GLue
  • Shaving Foam
  • Food Colouring/Dye 
  • Borax or Baking Soda as ‘Slime Activator’
  • A spoon for mixing
  • Some tissues for the mess!

Playing with slime allows children to experience different textures and sensations. Whilst you are playing, ask them to describe what it feels like – this will help them to increase their understanding of new words.

Family Yoga

Enjoy a Family Yoga Game

Personal Social and Emotional Development
Physical Development

This game can be played individually with friends or family in person or over video calling. And you can download the game as a PDF here.

Yoga can benefit every child and increase their individual chance for success and happiness.

  • Learn to relax together
  • Develop body awareness and learn to trust their intuition
  • Recognise their uniqueness and feel loved
  • Improve listening and their ability to follow directions
  • Manage stress through breathing, movement, mindfulness and relaxation
british sign language

Learn British Sign Language

Communication and Language
Personal Social and Emotional Development

Children who learn sign language are thought to gain confidence and self-esteem. Join Natasha Lamb and Kelly-Ann for a brand new series teaching beginners British Sign Language (BSL).

Freddie Fantastic

Learn the Magic of Books


Online Interactive Reading programme with Freddie. 

  • Reading
  • Writing 

Listen carefully and you could even win a super-secret prize!

Like what you see? Then head to Magic4Children’s website now for more fun and games!

Sign and Sing

Sign and Sing Class

Communication and Language
Personal Social and Emotional Development

In this video, Jayne from Kids Can Communication signs a nursery rhyme for children.

Jayne has been live streaming over on her facebook page. Check it out.


Here you can find links to celebrities who have also started online communities to support parents and children with home learning during this time...

PE with Joe Wicks

PE With Joe Wicks

Physical Development

Join Joe Wicks otherwise known as “The Body Coach” and the other 1 million Households who tune in to watch the nation’s favourite unofficial PE teacher.


9am Live on Facebook and Youtube.


David Walliams Audio Books

Audio Stories with David Walliams


David Walliams has released a free audio story each day for the next 30 days to help keep children entertained. Find out more here.

Theo Cooks with kids

Kids Cook With Theo

Understand the World

The former MasterChef star said he’ll publish a list of (easy, quarantine-friendly) ingredients the day before each session. ‘Kids Cook With Theo’ is streamed on Instagram and YouTube.

Music Class with Myleene Klass

Expressive Arts and Design

Myleene’s Music Klass airs on Instagram and YouTube Monday and Fridays at 10am and on Wednesday at 6.30 for lullabies for little ones. Subscribe for FREE.  

Other resources:

Don’t forget, that for as long as schools are closed, audible is open. Kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.

There’s also these Facebook Groups called Learning and Exploring Through Play and Housebound with Kids which have over 100,000 members sharing fun activities which you can do from home every day.


ParentHub Coming Soon

ParentHub will bring your parents a wealth of resources and activities to ensure that learning continues in the home. It’s free and if you use ParentZone, your parents will have access to it very soon.

Add observations from ParentZone

Contribute to your Child's learning journey during closures.

Continue to contribute to your child’s learning journey during closures by adding observations from home. If you would like to find out how, and you are unsure what you should upload, read this document. 

Share this article
About the Author

Marketing Lead at Connect Childcare