Children learn best when engaged in fun and meaningful activities, and there are plenty of opportunities to be involved in this type of learning at home.

Our team of educators have put together some ideas of experiences to do with children using everyday objects from home and inspiring imagination through role play.


Child and adult baking

  • Recipes for play dough, slime, oobleck
  • Process cooking
  • No sugar desserts
  • Assisting with dinner or meal preparation

Building and construction

Building with pipes

  • Making a cubby house
  • Use a hammer and nails and wood to make creations
  • Use spare parts, or materials you have around the house
  • Box construction
  • Recycled construction


Dramatic play or roleplay

Nurse role play

  • Act out your favourite book, nursery rhythm, make costumes and prompts
  • Puppet show, toy puppet show, finger puppets, make your own puppets, create puppets to represent your friends 
  • Act out a play/television commercial you have written- Film it- Link to Technology and Literacy
  • Create a classroom/Be a teacher. Gather together your toys/stuffed animals and ‘read’ a story to them 
  • Create a supermarket
  • Role play a variety of occupations- Research what equipment they use and what it is used for, think about the roles in your local community

Children’s learning is deepened when their thinking is challenged or extended. You can do this through the language you use during these activities. Asking questions that invite children to share their thoughts or ideas is a great way to do this. Try to ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer. Introduce new language and concepts, think aloud “I wonder how many spoons of slime will fit in this bowl”. It can feel strange initially, but stick with it and listen out for your children’s thoughts and theories… Then watch the magic unfold!

Posted by Sharon Carlson

Sharon's early years were supported at home by her Mum in Taranaki. She later became an ECE ICT facilitator for CORE Education, and then Storypark. Sharon has successfully supported the implementation of a diverse range of ICT products and services around the country and is helping make sure Storypark is awesome for teachers and children's development.

Try Storypark for free and improve family engagement with children’s learning

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