As we begin the last half term of the year, thoughts of many families will turn to their holidays, or the odd overnight stay away from home. So this month, we have an activity suggestion that explores this theme, as well as promoting Physical Development (a Prime Area of Learning within the EYFS). The early learning goal (elg) promoted is Health and Self-care, and it is ideal for a small group of children aged 40-60 months.
You may like to start the activity by sharing a storybook about holidays, such as “Rosie’s Holiday,” or “Spot Goes on Holiday.” The story can be followed by a discussion about packing for a holiday, making use of open-ended questions, such as, “What do people usually take on holiday with them?” and “What do they pack their things in?” Direct discussion around to the things people take so they can look after their bodies while they’re away – toothbrush and paste, hairbrush, sponge, shower gel/bubble bath, soap, shampoo, sunscreen etc.
For the second part of the activity, you’ll need a person puppet (you can use a doll if preferred), and a suitcase with a few puppet or doll-sized clothes packed inside, along with an empty toiletry bag. You’ll also need to collect together some spare toiletry bags, and to set up the imaginary area as shop/chemist, stocked with toiletries to buy. Paper and pencils should also be available.
Introduce children to the puppet and explain that they are visiting your city/town/village on holiday. They’ve just arrived and they’d like some help to unpack. The group can then open the suitcase and talk about the clothes inside. Next, open the toiletry bag and make the “discovery” that it’s empty – “Oh no! There’s nothing inside! She’s forgotten all of the things she needs to care for her body while she’s on holiday! What can we do to help?” If necessary, direct the conversation around to the solution of buying everything from a shop. Using the children’s suggestions, make a shopping list of all the items needed to go in the toiletry bag. Take the opportunity to talk about the purpose of each item as part of the process and prompt if necessary, e.g.“What does she need to clean her teeth?”. Then together, take the puppet shopping in the imaginary area. Children can check each item off on the list as it’s found, and once the shopping has been paid for, they can pack the puppet’s toiletry bag.
Lastly, children can play freely in the imaginary area. Make available the pencils and paper for writing their own shopping lists and the spare toiletry bags for packing once they’ve made their purchases.
This activity also promotes several other elgs across the areas of development, so tutors, you may like to set students the task of identifying these. It’s a great way to build familiarity with the EYFS as well as practicing curriculum planning.
If you’re looking for further activity ideas, check out my book A Practical Guide to The Early Years Foundation Stage, which includes activities that promote all elgs across the 0-60 month age band.
Enjoy the sunshine!