50 Things To Do Together Before You're 5

Playing Together in Cheshire East

The first 10 of our list and they are all activities you can enjoy right here in Cheshire East. 

Toddlers playingGettyImages-1089346194

1.  Visit a Children’s Centre

We are so lucky in Cheshire East to have fantastic staff who work in Children’s Centres to give your child great experiences. Join in with our Parenting Journey and have fun in in a wide range of activities from messy play to sensory play.  You're sure to find something for you and your child to enjoy.  Currently our Children's Centre's are limited due to Covid-19 but we will keep you updated.

Baby (Under 1)

  • A trip to the Children’s Centre is a good place to start to gain confidence in getting out and about with your new baby; they have all the necessary facilities and friendly staff to help you on your way.  Pop in and pick up a “What’s on?” guide or book a slot in one of the sensory room.

Toddler (2 year old)

  • Toddlers learn through exploring their environment and Children’s Centre’s are great places to explore! With indoor and outdoor spaces, lots of resources and toys to play with or books to borrow, you and your toddler will have a great time. 

Pre-schooler (3-5 years)

  • Stay and play is a great session for under 5’s and can help your child begin to get ready for school by; having a routine away from home; encouraging independence and socialising with peers.

2.  Visit a Library

There are loads of fun and exciting activities going on in your local library.  Looking at books, interpreting pictures and building early language and communication skills can boost a child’s wellbeing as they grow due to the link between language and other social and emotional learning outcomes-it’s great to read! 

Baby (Under 1)

  • It’s never too early to start reading with your baby, they love hearing you talk! Why not visit your local library, get signed up, borrow a couple of baby books and test out your reading voices?

Toddler (2 year old)

  • Reading to your toddler is a great way to extend their imagination, you could even incorporate the stories on your way back to the library to return them; for example, you could look out for key objects/characters on your journey. Bringing books to life can make them even more fun!

Pre-schooler (3-5 years)

  • Supporting your pre-schooler to borrow books from the library can help them to take ownership of something, this is a great skill for them to have, whilst having quality time with you and enjoying stories.

3.  Explore the Woods

Visiting a forest can be an exciting adventure for you and your child. Whether it be the sounds of the wildlife, smells of the trees or the abundance of space where they can run and burn off some of their energy. Forests contain a wealth of natural resources that can keep your child exploring for hours.

Baby (Under 1)

  • Getting some fresh air is great for you and your new baby and exploring a woodland (a buggy friendly route) can be an exciting sensory experience, with lots of new smells and sounds.

Toddler (2 year old)

  • Exploring the woods with your toddler is a fantastic way to keep them busy, talk about all the different things you can see, smell and hear to support the language skills, going in different weathers will create a different experience!

Pre-schooler (3-5 years)

  • A trip to the woods with your pre-schooler can be a fun day out, you could take a picnic, collect twigs, leaves and stones to create a picture. (see number 26 - Make a Natural Collage) 

4.  Have a Swim in a Pool 

Visit a swimming pool, swimming is a really fun way of a child, parent or whole family of getting exercise.  Children from a few weeks old can go swimming and the younger they start, the quicker they will grow in confidence and begin to enjoy the splashing, swimming and jumping in as they get older.

Baby

  • Taking your baby for a swim is a great way to have some fun bonding time, the warm water and gentle exercise may also help with your baby’s sleep.

Toddler - Pre-schooler

  • Visiting a pool with you toddler will help them to gain confidence in the water. You can make the experience even more fun by playing games, for example, rolling an inflatable ball to each other and singing songs together such as; ‘if you’re happy and you know it splash you hands’.  Swimming is a good life skill to have and has lots of benefits as your child gets older such as, it can help to develop their balance and co-ordination, support concentration and is a good opportunity to let off some steam!

5.  Visit a Lake or a Pond and look for Wildlife

 At a lake or a pond there is an abundance of wildlife big and small.  You could see anything from Herons, to frogs, tadpoles, fish and so much more. Talking about what you see and teaching your child the names of the animals will really boost their vocabulary . Say things slowly, clearly and repetitively to give your child the best chance of understanding the new word.

Baby

  • Taking your baby to a range of environments is great for their development, visiting a lake or pond will have lots of different sounds and smells for them to experience and it’s a good opportunity for you and your baby to get some fresh air!

Toddler (2 year old)

  • Your toddler will enjoy visiting a lake or pond, there’s lots of things to see and learn about. Encourage your child’s language development by naming what you can see and hear. Go at different times of the year for a different experience!

Pre-schooler (3-5years)

  • Help to bring your child’s imagination to life with stories and songs about animals you might see at the pond, such as ‘Five Little Speckled Frogs’. Have a go at making the sounds the animals at the pond might make.

6.  Use your Bike on the Cycle Paths 

When using the bike, you and your family can cover miles of countryside with ease. Follow the link to find a cycle path near you. Follow this link for safety advice and the health benefits of cycling. NHS Cycling For Beginners

Toddler (2 year old)

  • If you enjoy cycling, there are options to attach a child seat to your bicycle to take your child out with you. Alternatively, tricycles are great for supporting your toddler’s physical development. There will be opportunities in Children’s Centre groups; such as Stay and Play to have a go on a tricycle.

Pre-schooler (3-5years)

  •  Learning to ride a bike is a valuable life skill for your child, spending some time teaching them will allow you to make some fun memories together! Model to your child how to do it and give them lots of positive praise along the way.

7.  Walk along a Canal

Canals have been in use for hundreds of years! A long time ago they were used as a life line for distribution in the UK, now they are mainly used for lovely country walks and narrow boats. They are a wonderful place to share some new experiences with your child. Your child could see a lock in use, count how many windows a narrow boat has, or even try and race a narrow boat that is travelling. 

Baby

  • A walk along the canal can be a relaxing experience for you and your baby, walkways are generally flat which helps when pushing a buggy or when “wearing your baby” using a baby sling.

Toddler (2 year old)

  • Toddler’s are learning all about the world around them and walking along a canal can help with this, seeing boats, locks and crossing bridges will be very exciting!

Pre-schooler (3-5years)

  • Walking along the canal with a pre-schooler is good opportunity to relax together and have a chat, you can also look out for wildlife and support your child’s learning by talking about what the insect/animal eats or where it lives etc.

8.  Visit a Museum

Museums are a great place for a child to broaden their experiences and understanding. In Cheshire East we have a large number of museums that you can visit. Visiting a museum will help your child to learn more about the world around them, discover more about their local community and connect with local history in your area.

Baby

  • Museums are family friendly and you can walk around with your baby at your own pace! Large colourful objects and new textures and materials will stimulate your baby’s senses. Chatting to your baby whilst walking around will support the bond between you.

Toddler (2 year old)

  • Many museums have interactive exhibitions which are great for toddlers who are learning through hands-on experiences. Take the time to let them have a go and better still, most museums are free.

Pre-schooler (3-5years)

  • Museums have lots of exciting things which can stimulate your child’s interest, from dinosaur skeletons to ancient treasure, it’s a fantastic learning opportunity and can be enjoyed in your own time, spending as little or as long as you like there!

9.  Have Fun in the Park

Head over to your local park and enjoy some time together.  There are so many games you can play such as "Hide and Seek", playing on the swings or keeping it simple with running games.  There are activities planned in the parks for the summer holidays, see what you can get involved with. 

Baby

  • As your baby starts to become more interested in what’s going on around them, the park can be a fantastic place to visit, they will enjoy watching other children play and all the different sounds, smells and sights. Once they have good head and neck control, you can even let them have a little go on a baby swing or support them on a small slide.

Toddler (2 year old)

  • Parks are really good places to support Toddler’s to develop physical skills, from running and jumping to climbing and crawling, take a ball and you could even practice some throwing and catching skills.

Pre-schooler (3-5years)

  • As well as allowing children to practice their physical skills, parks can be a great place for children to socialise and they may have to use other skills such as; problem solving, turn taking and sharing. If it’s a nice day, why not take a picnic or get an ice cream?

10.  Watch the Sunrise or Sun Set 

This new experience can be a great way to teach your child about the sun, moon or the earth. You can search for the time of the sun set or sun rise and make sure you are awake to see it. #50ThingsTogether the sun set and sun rise can show the beauty that the skies of Cheshire East can offer.

Baby

  • Having a new baby will mean big changes to your usual routine and you might find yourself awake much earlier than usual; watching the sunrise can be calming “feel good” activity to do with your baby. If you’re not feeling up to leaving the house yet, you can even do this from your garden.

Toddler (2 year old)

  • Watching the sunset with your toddler can be a good way to ‘wind down’ in the evening, it’s a good opportunity to sing some songs and rhymes or read a story. You can pick a nice spot in the countryside around Cheshire or watch from your home.

Pre-schooler (3-5years)

  • You could use this time watching the sunset or rise to teach your pre-schooler about the; sun, moon, sky etc. and to extend the activity even further, encourage your toddler to have a go at drawing or painting a sunset or sunrise.

 

#50ThingsTogether to share your adventures 

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