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Five fun activities to help children learn, grow and develop

fostering and children's activities

Today is the national day for play in the UK, also known as Playday. The day celebrates the many ways in which play is beneficial to children – physically, mentally and socially.

To celebrate Playday, we’ve created a handy list of different activities ideas that children can enjoy while learning, developing and growing. If you’re looking for activity suggestions, bookmark this blog so it’s always easy to find!


  1. Take part in games and activities

There is a whole range of different games and activities that children can enjoy, whether it’s part of a team or with a more individual focus. Games create a fun environment for kids to play together while improving their fitness and developing their social skills. Sports are a great way for kids to develop self-esteem, confidence and leadership skills as well as learn how to be part of a team.

Some ideas for sporty activities could be:

  • Organising a game of football, basketball, netball, hockey, rugby or rounders
  • Go for a bike ride
  • Taking part in karate classes
  • Visit the skatepark
  • Go swimming (remember, in many areas across the UK, swimming is free for children in school holidays)
  • Play tennis or badminton in the park
  • Your own sports day – challenge the children with different races from a lap of the football field to the egg and spoon race


  1. Explore the outdoors

The great outdoors is the perfect playground and there are lots of different ways for children to enjoy them – whether it’s in the countryside, on a beach, in local parks, at canals or in the garden. Learning outdoors can be an exciting way to acquire new skills, spark children’s imaginations, keep active and gain an appreciation for the natural world.

Some potential nature activities could be:

  • Building a den out of sticks in the woods
  • Making a campfire
  • Climbing trees in the park
  • Planting some seeds to grow into flowers
  • Climbing on hay bales
  • Going camping or on nature walks
  • Finding local wildlife in the park, at the beach or in the forest
  • Visit a local pond and spot the insects


  1. Play with music

Creating play through music is a great way to engage children across all ages, even if it’s just putting some music on and dancing around the kitchen. There are plenty of benefits including building self-confidence, developing co-ordination, improving concentration and memory, as well as tapping into creativity which allows for self-expression.

Some potential music-themed activities could be:

  • Going to watch a live music show
  • Joining a local music club
  • Buying or borrowing an instrument (or taking some music lessons)
  • Creating a playlist of favourite songs, to listen to in the car or at home
  • Playing musical games at home
  • Taking dance lessons


  1. Get creative in the kitchen

Cooking or baking with the kids is a fun way to get them involved in trying new things, boosting their confidence and helping their creativity. Following simple, tasty recipes is a great way to get even the most reluctant chef involved. It’s also proven that children are more likely to eat food that they have helped cook!

Some potential cooking activities could be:

  • Baking some delicious cookies or cupcakes
  • Making homemade pizza
  • Helping to chop the vegetables for dinner
  • Visit the local market to discover new foods
  • Choosing some new meals for the weekly shop


  1. Role play

Dressing up in costumes and assuming a variety of different characters through roleplay is a great way for children to explore their imagination and fuel their creativity. The costumes and scenarios created while they play can also help give them the confidence to discover the world and deal with everyday problems they might face at school or nursery.

Some potential role-playing activities could be:

  • Play kings and queens and put on a banquet using plastic food
  • Play knights
  • Princesses and dragons and pretend to defend your castle
  • Have a Superhero day where each child gets to choose their own superpower
  • Dress up as characters from the children’s favourite books and stories


The therapeutic benefits of play

The ideas above are just a few playful activities that children can enjoy while learning, developing and growing. If you want to find out more about the therapeutic benefits of play, read our other blog post here.

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