10 Learning Invitations to Set-up Before Breakfast
Another day, another challenge to find fun things for the children to do! If you’re looking for simple invitations to learn which don’t involve too much energy on your part, we’ve got you covered. Here are 10 easy learning invitations you can set-up before breakfast:
Read and match
Setting out simple reading prompts alongside matching toys is an easy way to encourage young readers. You can write out names of toys etc on paper and pop them in a pile alongside a basket of objects, or you could use some of our lovely Montessori style printable cards with pictures (to help your littlest learners who may need a visual clue).
Playdough with themed mat
Playdough has so many learning opportunities (including boosting creativity and helping develop fine motor skills) and yet it’s so easy to set-up! Pick a printable playdough mat to set the theme and add cutters, pom poms, figures, beads etc to invite open ended play. Take a look at our Monster play mat for one of our favourite Playdough prompts.
Playdough is also a fun alternative to paper when it comes to encouraging scissor skills. Roll out some long sausages of dough and leave with scissors so they can chop into tiny pieces.
If you have any bookworms in the family, try mixing up their usual exposure to books with a book basket of stories they haven’t looked at for a while. Encourage them to read them to you, or describe what’s going on, then make up their own alternative versions to extend their learning and nurture their imagination.
Find the treasure
Help your kids practice their sight words with a game of ‘find the treasure’ using our printable Pirate Sight Words Pack (featuring 100 high frequency words.) All you need to do is print and cut out the words and lie them out on a flat surface; hide toy money, games counters or chocolate coins under a few of the words. Have your child read the word, if they get it right they can remove the word and check to reveal any treasure.
Invitations to write
It’s amazing what an inviting piece of paper and a novelty pen can do to encourage children to write! If you are wanting to get a reluctant writer to engage with telling their own stories, try leaving out some fun bordered paper with their favourite pens and letting them come up with their own adventures to match the theme.
Remember, play offers important learning opportunities on its own, so if your child doesn’t want to write – that’s OK. Let them draw, doodle, make marks… it’s all valuable.
For younger children new to letter forms, how about our printable Alphabet Colouring Sheets? Set out with coloured pencils and crayons for a really easy invitation to engage with the alphabet in upper and lowercase.
Puzzles are brilliant for keeping little minds busy, encouraging problem solving skills and practising fine motor skills. Pop out a couple of puzzles your children haven’t done for a while as an invitation to spend some quiet play.
If you’re finding it hard to keep the kids entertained, one quick way to mix things up and help re-engage them is show them new ways to play with their toys – and help them learn while they’re at it! Lego is an excellent tool for educational play, whether they’re using it for free-play, using it as a counting resource or as a painting tool! There are so many ways to make the most of lego.
For before breakfast tasks, try giving your child 2-3 Lego challenges to choose from and then set a timer to see if they can get it done before it ends. We have loads of Lego ideas to pick from here.
Scavenger hunts always go down well, whether it’s an outdoor nature hunt or an indoor hunt for everyday objects. Write a list for readers or draw little pictures for younger children (you don’t need to be an illustrator) and set them off on their way while you get on with other tasks or have five-minutes quiet.
An invitation to play with you!
In this time of uncertainty, what our children need most of all is love and connection – and the number one way they seek it? Play! Our kids are desperate to play with us right now, so the more engagement we can give the better – although it can be understandably hard when you’re tired and stressed. If you’re feeling up to it, invite your kids to play with you for just 10-15 minutes and let them lead the game. Even this small amount of time will help boost their confidence, ease their anxieties and help them move into a better headspace to learn.
Which of these activities will you try this week? Tag us in your photos at @printplaylearn over on Instagram