Ideas, tips and resources for families (READY to LEARN)


The sections below provide ideas and tips and links to further information and advice on how you can help your child become READY to LEARN. To view all of these hints and tips on a single page please click here.

We have also produced a READY to LEARN checklist (which can be downloaded and printed) to help families check what their child CAN do and which areas may need a little development.

RESILIENT, adaptable and willing to have a go

Encourage playfulness, taking turns and responses through games such as
peek-a-boo and rhymes.

Allow your child to experience losing which will make them a stronger person in the long run.

Take your child to meet other children at Children’s Centres, parent and toddler groups and activities.

Show your child how to ask for help, both through gesture and voice, such as “Please can you help me?”

Talk about your child’s day and share feelings together. 

Encourage your child to have a go at a challenging task such as putting their shoes on, zipping and hanging up their coats.

Praise your child regularly to help them feel positive about themselves and their achievement, no matter how small.

Helpful links and resources 

ENJOYMENT and satisfaction in one’s own achievements

Use expression, actions and gestures to support communication skills when you are talking together. Communication is vital (Talking Point) | Ages and Stages (Talking Point)

Have fun picking up and dropping items and use words such as heavier, lighter, quicker or slower.

Sing rhymes together everyday and perform actions to songs. CBeebies Nursery Rhymes (BBC)

Have fun filling and emptying containers at bath time, blow and pop bubbles, talk about their colours and how they float.

Play fun games such as ‘I Spy’. “Can you find words beginning with…?” or “Can you find a picture of a…?”

Do physical activities everyday such as tummy-time with babies, climbing, running, jumping, balancing, throwing and catching at your local park or in the garden. Parks and open spaces in Redbridge (Vision) | Gardening with children (BBC)

Develop skills in using tools such as pencils, scissors, knives, forks and spoons. Allow your child to explore textures with their fingers. What are motor skills? (Nursery Resources)

ASSURED, confident and independent

Encourage hands and finger movement using activities such as building bricks and play dough to help strengthen muscles so they are ready to write when they start school.

Develop an awareness of their own bodily needs such as being hungry, thirsty, tired or going to the toilet.

Show them how to use the toilet and then talk about the importance of washing hands.

Allow your child to pour water and drink from a cup or host pretend tea parties to make the activity more fun.

Practice simple instructions such as collecting an item from another room or passing
on a message.

Allow extra time when going out so children can dress themselves without feeling rushed, such as putting on their own shoes or zipping their own coat.

Label clothing and bags with your child’s name to help with finding lost items.

Be close by and available to ensure your child feels safe and loved even when they are not the centre of attention.

Helpful links and resources 

Understanding motor skills (Nursery Resources)

DISCOVERY, exploration and developing curiosity

Switch off TV and limit the use of electronic devices such as tablets and mobile phones to reduce distraction.

Make reading fun. Enjoy reading together in a quiet space. Give characters funny voices, talk about the pictures and use toys or puppets to bring stories to life. Visit your local library regularly.

Make counting part of your daily routine such as counting fingers, toes, cars and trees.

Encourage setting the table at mealtimes while counting cups and plates.

Cook together, including a variety of foods from different cultures and talk about the ingredients and amounts.

Encourage reading when out and about by reading road signs and looking for items when shopping.

Encourage mark making by providing a pot of water and a large paint brush to paint large sheets of paper or sand to draw on.

Helpful links and resources

YOUNG, healthy and happy

Happy parents/carers lead to a happy baby. Children start to learn from inside the womb, can hear your voice and will form a bond with you.

Attend all health appointments, eat and sleep well, exercise and attend relaxation and baby feeding sessions during and after pregnancy. 

Go outside everyday, be active and spend time with family and friends. 

Brush your child’s teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste as soon as the first milk tooth breaks through, register with and visit a dentist before your child’s first birthday.

Eat meals together as a family, including healthy choices such as 5 a day, healthy drinks (milk, water), avoiding sugary foods and drinks whilst serving ‘child size’ portions.     

Introduce drinking from free flow cups from six months and stop the use of bottles and dummies after one year of age.

Live in a smoke-free home

Helpful links and resources

Quick Links

  1. - Ready to Learn


  1. ReadyToLearn-ChecklistForParents

Related Images

Select image to enlarge

Page last reviewed: 17/05/2022

Skip back to top of page