[Mum and child are sitting on the floor together sorting coloured pencils]
Mum: You’ve got yellow, you’ve got blue, you’ve got pink. What other colour should we make a pile for?
Narrator: Learning comes in many shapes and sizes, and learning opportunities are everywhere. You can use everyday items in many different ways to help your child learn different things. When your child helps sort pencils, he can try sorting them by colour, size or shape.
Narrator: You can help your child to learn about words, ideas and concepts by playing together.
[Mum and child are sitting on the floor together playing with opposites cards]
Mum: What’s the opposite of open? You pick one. Good girl.
Narrator: If you've got memory cards or opposites cards, you can talk about the pictures on the cards as you play, and about what the word ‘opposite’ means.
Mum: Let’s pick another one. The opposite of high is.... ?
Mum: Good girl. You’re doing really well.
Narrator: If you don’t have a game, why not go on an adventure to find opposites around the house – hot and cold taps, inside and outside, upstairs and downstairs, upside down and right way up.
[Another mum and child sit on the floor drawing. Girl writes the letter A and draws a picture]
Mum: Good girl. Oh, beautiful darling.
Narrator: Children love to draw and write with pens, pencils, markers and crayons. Adding a scribble or a drawing to a birthday card or learning to write the letters of their name can be great fun. Playing like this helps children develop the fine motor skills they need for writing as they get older.
[Mum and child count coat hangers]
Narrator: Numbers and letters are everywhere, and it helps if you use them with your child in everyday life. When you are putting the clothes away, count the coat hangers with your child. This teaches her about connecting numbers with objects.
[Mum helps her daughter read a counting book]
Mum: Can you tell me how many frogs are on that page?
Mum: Good girl.
Narrator: When you're reading, point to the letters and numbers in the book. You can use the opportunity to talk about where else you see those letters and numbers. Are they on your letterbox or in your phone number? Which letter does your child’s name start with? By showing that numbers and letters are useful in the real world, you can start your child on the road to using them herself.
Mum: Back again: 1, 2 ...
Mum: Good girl.
Narrator: If possible, it's good to have a box or bookshelf where your child can choose a book to read.
[Dad and daughter are sitting the couch. The girl picks a shape book from her own bookshelf and reads through the shapes]
Dad [reading the cover]: Shape book. Learn the shapes. [Points to a picture] What’s that one?
Dad: Good girl. What’s that one? The bed shape?
Dad: Remember? Rectangle.
Dad: That’s it, and this one?
Dad: Good girl.
[Mum and daughter read a book on the floor together]
Mum [reading]: ‘A big crab lives here.’ [To daughter] Where’s the crab? See the big crab. He’s looking at you.
Narrator: You can build your child’s vocabulary and imagination by describing the colours and characters in the books you read together, and talking about the meanings of new words.[Dad and daughter reading together. The girl picks a book from her bookshelf and gives to Dad]
Dad: Snow White and the 7 Dwarves.
Narrator: Your child will decide which are her favourite stories and can learn to tell the story as you turn the pages. This helps her learn to make the connection between the printed word and the parts of the story. These are important skills for learning to read as she gets older.
Dad [reading]: ‘She was living with the Prince at the big castle...’
Narrator: A lot of libraries have preschooler story time sessions. This will introduce your child to sitting in a group and listening.
[A family walks into the library together]
Mum [to the librarian]: Hi, excuse me? Do you have a section for 3-year-olds?
Narrator: The library might also have suggestions on good books for preschoolers that you can borrow. A love of books and reading is a lasting gift that you can give your child.
Librarian: A at that end, around to Z down there. So they’re in alphabetical order.
Mum: OK, thank you. Look kids, there’s the books; you can pick a book now.