Clifton School

Caring Brings Success

Fun Learning ideas


Play dough recipe.


  • 2 cups of flour
  • ½ cup of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of oil
  • 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 1 to 1.5 cups of boiling water



  • Add the dry ingredients.
  • Add the oil
  • Add the water slowly while stirring. Be careful not to add to much but if you do add more flour
  • Mix well and kneed.
  • Once cool its ready for play


Store the playdough in an air tight container and in the fridge. This will enable play for longer. You can add different colours and smells through herbs, food colouring, food flavours etc.


Playdough mats are available from Twinkl to extend play and learning.


Sensory play ideas.

You can use a range of different materials to provide different sensory opportunities. You can use:

  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Cereals
  • Shaving foam
  • Gloop (cornflour, water and food colouring)
  • Sand
  • Water
  • Really anything can be used to explore textures, colours and smells. Extend your child’s learning by modelling the play and using describing words for sounds or textures.


Sensory bottles

  • You can make your own sensory bottles by adding water, oil and food colouring to a drinks bottle and sealing the lid with Sellotape to secure it closed
  • You can add anything to the bottle such as glitter or little objects which are of interest to your child.


Sensory bags

  • Add hair gel to a food storage bag.
  • Again anything can be added to the bag
  • Seal the top and secure with sellotape
  • Peas and water in a bag makes a good sensory bag. Seal the edges and tape it to a surface (floor or table).


Sensory stories

  • A story that includes interactive items that increase engagement and attention.
  • To turn a story into a sensory story or to create your own story, selected the key points. Think of something you have that could represent the key points. This may be something to smell, hear, touch, see or taste.

Play based Learning Ideas.

  • Sand and water - Use items you have in the house to add to sand and water in a tray or bowl.
  • Play dough – ask your child to create something e.g. a monster, a bug, a person etc. Play dough helps develop fine motor skills by rolling, squeezing, pinching, pulling and pressing.
  • Sensory play – Explore texture, sound and taste. Sensory materials can be used to draw different types of lines and encourage fine motor skills and early mark making.
  • Creative activities – let your child explore paint, make things, colour and draw.
  • Table top – puzzles, threading, sorting, shape sorters, stacking cups, posting activities, matching tasks, board games, fine motor activities. A range of activities can be used to increase skills, attention and focus and to encourage interactions.
  • Construction – build or create something using Lego, Duplo, mega blocks or other items to see how they join and fit together.  
  • Small world - dolls houses, action figures, cars, buses, trains etc. uses these toys to extend imagination, language, focus and attention.
  • Role play – set up a shop, use a play kitchen etc. to be able to increase interactions and shared play. Many other skills can be linked and achieved through role play such as money, counting, matching and following instructions.
  • ICT – Apps and online games can help extend learning and skills. Involve your child in taking photos of their work and play this can also help with tidying things away at the end of the period of play.
  • Outdoor play – get outside as much as possible, any activity can be completed inside or out. Go for a walk, have a list of things to find or look for flowers/leaves, play with balls, jump, run, skip, play different playgroup games such as ring a ring a rosy etc.


Numeracy and literacy activities

  • Count with your child and get them to help in tasks that involve counting objects
  • Sorting skills – sort for colour, size and similarities – use the items you have to create a game
  • Get your child to help set the table helps with knowing everyone need one of each item.
  • Matching – use objects to match the same for object to object, use snap cards for picture to picture, write known words and match for word to word matching.
  • Shape – find shapes in the home, shape songs, shape sorters
  • Mark making – encourage children to make lines in different sensory materials and on paper. The different types of lines you can work on are straight, curved, wiggle, dots. Please see the PenPal writing scheme information section and ask your class teacher for more information.
  • Sing and listen to number and letter songs to increase vocabulary.
  • Read and look at lots of different books Read books with your child and listen to stories on . 
  • Use items like clothes pegs on a tub to help develop fine motor skills and strengthen the pincer grasp.
  • Practice high frequency wordsif this is appropriate for your child (check with your child’s class teacher if you are unsure.  
  • Numeracy
  • Literacy  


Physical activity




Self-help and independence skills

Help your child learning independence skills through the following tasks (where appropriate):

  • Dressing and undressing
  • Zips, buttons, Velcro straps, laces etc
  • Personal hygiene routine – washing hands, brushing hair, using the toilet, brushing teeth and cleaning their nose
  • Using a spoon/fork/knife
  • Communication – encourage words or signs