Welcome to Dragonflies Community Nursery
121 Ninfield Rd, Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 5BD

50 Things to Do

50 Things to Do Before You're Five

Are you looking for fun activities to have with your little one? Read a list of 50 things for under-5's to do below.
#1 Get to Know You
Babies and children benefit from having close and loving relationships with the adults in their life. Spending one-to-one time doing simple activities will support and strengthen the connection between adult and child.
BABIES: – Babies are wired to respond to faces so when getting to know your baby it is important to get close. Make lots of eye contact and respond to any noises they make as this will help develop their communication. Baby massage is a great way to get to know your baby
TODDLERS: – Toddlers will be familiar with you and your voice so sitting and reading books together and singing nursery rhymes will enhance this. Yoga is a great way to relax and get to know each other through movement, expressions, gestures and sound.
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#2 Where Am I?
Support babies to understand the world around them. Babies learn all their early words from mum and dad. Talk about the things you see around you and introduce new words daily. Tell them where their nose is or where their eyes are. Introduce all the people you meet and the places you go. Constantly talking to your baby helps their language development. The same goes for toddlers and young children in expanding their language.
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#3 Treasure Time
This activity is beneficial for under-twos, although it can be adapted for any age. Create a treasure bow containing a variety of items, such as fabrics, wooden spoon, feathers, shells, pinecones, or fruit. Babies/young children enjoy exploring different materials to help them discover taste, smell, texture, and feel. A treasure box can help older children with expanding their vocabulary, if an adult role models a variety of words e.g. ‘fluffy’, ‘bitter’, ‘soft’, ‘dense’.
Treasure Baskets
•Low basket/box
•Natural materials Wooden spoons Pots ond pans Feathers Shells Pinecones Fruit Vegetables Soft Scarf Sponge Musical instruments Ribbon Sensory bottles
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#4 Make Your Mark
Children love to be able to make their mark as babies. toddlers and preschool children. They con develop their skills in drawing, pointing, chalking and using crayons. This supports them in being strong writers and artists. Children can be creative with their art work and learn about colours, shapes and patterns.
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#5 Squidgy Sand
Children love to play with sand. They can squidge, squish, squash, create and build with it. They can also fill, empty and pour with buckets, cups, bottles and lots more. You can use everyday objects to explore and discover the wonderful world of sandplay. Encourage children to use their hands and feel the sand whether wet or dry and support them in using their imaginations to create sand castles, small world play (dinosaurs, fairies, far etc}, shapes, dinner, and handprints.
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#6 Rhyme Time
Enjoying rhymes with children is a great way to help develop their listening and talking skills. Traditional nursery rhymes include twinkle twinkle little star, incy wincy spider, head shoulders knees and toes, Tommy thumb and many many more.
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#7 Making music
Children love to explore different sounds. You can make a variety of sounds with everyday items from around your home/garden. See if you can then practice your favourite song whilst playing a new instrument.
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#8 Bubbles
Bubbles is a great activity for any aged child and can be made very cheaply and easily when you know how.
How to make your own bubble mixure:
1: Place a gallon of water into your container
2: Add 1/4 of glycerine into the water
3: Add1 cup of washing up liquid
4: Gently mix all ingredients. They seem to work best if left overnight.
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#9 Bug Hunting
Mini beasts are everywhere but can you find them? Going on a bug hunt is a great opportunity for children to explore and discover new things as well as develop their language and add new vocabulary. They can build on their knowledge of the mini beasts and their habitat, habits, lifestyles and life cycles. You can make them a chart to tick off when they come across the bugs and use resources such as magnifying glasses, jars, tweezers and pens and pencils.
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#10 Sharing Books
Sharing books is a wonderful thing to do with young children. They can hear and learn about people and places. It can get their imagination running. Reading often to babies, toddlers and young children will help to develop language skills.
Things to do:
• As well as reading the book talk about it too.
• Encourage children to join in and describe what they see,
• Make comments about what you see – “I can see a butterfly” .
• Ask simple questions – “What can you see? Where’s the butterfly?”
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#11 Making Connections
Children can use a variety of resources to connect. They can connect junk modelling to create a castle, dragon, or robot. They could use magnets to connect metal. They could connect lego pieces, laces, train tracks and puzzles. This is a great opportunity to develop fine motor skills and allow children to become creative.
Ideas for home:
• Magnets – what can connect?
• Puzzles – how do the pieces connect?
• Butterfly pins – what can I connect and create
• Glue/sellotape – Which connects better?
• String – Can I tie it together?
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#12 Brrr
Snow, ice and cold weather are experiences that people find exciting. They can use their senses to discover and understand the world.
Snow – wrap up warm and explore the snow. Make a snowman or let your child become creative.
Ice – ice cubes are a great way for children to explore ice and see how it feels. They can watch it melt.
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#13 Shout & Shhh
Children enjoy exploring the noises they can make themselves in different environments. A loud sound in the garden will sound different to a loud sound on the underground. A whisper in the ear may feel as well as sound. Allow children to explore the different sounds they can make whether loud or quiet in different environments. Did it echo? Could you hear it? Was it high-pitched?
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#14 See the Stars
Nighttime is an amazing experience for children to see the moon and stars. They can explore and extend interests in space and the natural world. Children can play with light and darkness and recognise things ore still the same in the dork as in the light. You can talk about the different stages of the moon such as the crescent moon and half moon and that it reflects the light from the sun.
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#15 Dressing Up
Dressing up helps to capture children’s imagination. You can use clothes and objects such as cardboard. (make swords) sticks (for wands) and brushes (to sing into) to pretend to be someone or something else. It’s a great way to inspire children to make up their own pretend play. They can express their feelings, emotions, experiences, and ideas through pretend play.
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#16 Whee, Bang, Whizz
Fireworks are colourful, noisy, and exciting. Spot fireworks on bonfire night, weddings, Diwali and New Year. You may be able to see them from a window or you can listen to them instead of seeing them. Top Tips:
• Fireworks should always be used with care! Always follow instructions.
• Community displays, weddings and neighbourhood celebrations mean you don’t have to buy them.
• Use language like wow and bang with your baby, and when they get older use ‘whizz’, ‘burst’, ‘zoom’ and ‘glittering’.
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#17 Hocus Pocus Potions
Children love to play with water as well as filling and emptying containers. So why not make some potions? You can help your children to make some spells, superpowers or some magic medicine. You can use a wide variety of ingredients such as sticks, water, mud, leaves, food, flour and so much more. Gives children an opportunity to be creative and use their fine motor skills. They can explore different textures and colours. Talk to your children about what they are doing and why.
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#18 Dance
Music and movement is something you can all enjoy and is a fun way of being active with your little ones. Play a variety of different songs to your Iittle one and let them be creative in their movements. Join in and watch them copy your moves and you copy theirs. Play their favorite songs and introduce them to new ones.
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#19 Growing little things
It is never too young to start healthy habits. It’s great to teach children how to sow seeds and dig in the dirt, where food comes from and how to grow their own fruit and vegetables. Getting children to decorate their own pot and putting the soil in will make it more exciting for them. They can then choose what they would like to grow such as cress. sunflowers, tomatoes. potatoes or runner beans. Children can place this on their windowsill and  water it daily and watch it grow,
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#20 Mini Artists
Painting and drawing is a great way for children to express themselves and learn about cause and effect. They can use all different types of resources like paint, water, chalk, pencils, crayons, materials, glue, brushes, sponges and much more. You don’t have to stick to paper children can use cardboard, walls, fences, pavements, beaches the list goes on. Encourage and support children to make marks and gain confidence in their abilities allow them the freedom to explore and create.
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#21 Giggle box
Everyone loves to laugh. Even babies from a young age .love silly noises and games of peek a boo to make them laugh. Older children may enjoy making funny noises or silly stories/ rhymes. We have collated a list below of way which help us to laugh for your you to try at home.
• Tell a joke.
• Make up a funny story.
• Pull a silly face
• Make silly noises.
• Make up a nonsense rhyme.
• Pretend to be a family member or animal.
• Tickling (with permission).
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#22 My Secret Treasures
Toddlers and children love to collect special treasures that excite them. Whether it’s a dinosaur, keys, bouncy ball, odd socks, shells or tiaras it will be special to them and they will want to keep it in a safe place. At home, you can help children to make their own special place to keep their secret treasures. In a box, tin or bag you can help them decorate it and find a special place for it at home so they can add to it when they choose.
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#23 See it Live
Adults and children love seeing live performances whether it’s at a show at the theatre, a street performer who sings or juggles, a puppet show at nursery or a storyteller at the library. Live performances can be a magical and unforgettable experience. Live performances may provide opportunities for your child to develop a lifelong love of music, dancing, stories or instruments. You can support your child by encouraging them to clap, dance along, sing along and help them to cheer and applaud the performance. Check in the local library, newspaper, council website or De La Warr Pavilion for local live performances.
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#24 Hop, skip and jump
All children are incredible and love to be active. Giving children lots of opportunities to practise their physical skills helps them have healthy development. Hopping, skipping and jumping are great ways to focus on their gross motor skills and it can be a fun way to move around and explore their environment. Encourage children to try and do what they can. It starts from crawling to walking to running. Have fun and be active.
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#25 Creative Junk
Let your child’s imagination run wild with junk modelling. They can use household recyclable items to create cars. castles, dinosaurs, pirate ships or a house. The list is endless! This can be small creations or large creations that they can climb in. It is a great opportunity for children to be creative and use gross and fine motor skills.
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#26 Splish, splash, splosh
Children love water play. Filling, pouring, splashing, paddling and mixing. Children can explore water at bath or shower time and also inside and outside in play. You can fill containers for children to transport or fill and pour. They may want to make puddles they can jump in.
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#27 Little people park keeper
Adventures in the park is a great way for children to explore the outdoors, play and be imaginative. Playing outside benefits children’s emotional, physical and cognitive skills. Below is a map of bexhill and surrounding areas with a variety of different parks to visit.
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#28 The Wheels on the Bus
Travelling on different forms of transport is really exciting for young children whether its top deck on the bus, catching a train, or riding a boat. It’s a great experience for young children as they can take in the scenery, feel like they are on an adventure, and learn about new places and people. Children under 5 traveI free on buses and trains.
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#29 Pitter Patter
Going out into the rain can be made into a fun experience for children. Splashing and making ripples in puddles, giggles and dance in puddles, watch raindrops racing down leaves and plants as well as windows and fences. Children could get a container and catch raindrops in a bucket and hear what sound it makes.
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#30 Yummy Picnic
Make a picnic with your child and then find somewhere exciting to eat your picnic together. This may be at home in a den. in the garden or even at the beach. Click here to visit Phunky Foods, which is an amazing site with lots of free, healthy meal and snack ideas. Why not give one of these recipe ideas a go for your picnic?
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#31 Boing
It is great to encourage children to move their bodies in different ways. Let them get creative with how they can move and join in with them. It can be turned into a game. Who can jump the furthest? Who can star jump the fastest? Who can do the best roll?
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#32 Where have I gone?
Babies love to play peek-a-boo. Toddlers and young children love the excitement of hiding and being found. Some great hiding games can include hide and seek, peek-a-boo and sardines. You can also make up your O\Vn games as this will help build attachments between you and your child. These games can be played anywhere including at home, at the park, in the woods, and at friends/ family houses.
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# 33 Home from Home
Children love to create special cosy places where they can feel safe and secure. A great way to do this is building a den. They can do this at home, in the garden and at their nursery. Den building is a great way to encourage your child’s all-round development such as physical, mental and social development. It will help children to plan what they want to do and problem-solve any challenges that arise. They can plan-do-review. When they have finished they can talk about how it went and enjoy what they have made. You can make a den with anything round the house such as towels, sheets, sofas, chairs, boxes or blankets. They can get creative with their ideas.
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#34 Woodland Wandering
Visit your local woo. Collect acorns, conkers, sticks, spot mushrooms and toadstools. Stand still. Listen. Look. What can you see? What can you hear? What’s over there? Did something move? Explore and discover nature, wildlife and woodland areas. Woodlands are full of interesting things. noises and play opportunities.
Things to do:
• Use things collected to make a collage.
• Take photos and use them to recall and talk about what you did, where you went and what you saw and found.
• Remember to take care of the woods.
• No fires or pulling branches off trees. Only collect things found on the floor.
• Many mushrooms and toadstools are poisonous so it is important to teach your children not to touch them. 
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#35 Trip Trap
Trip Trap, Trip Trap, who’s that walking over my bridge? This is a great opportunity for children of all ages to get outside and explore the different elements of walking over a bridge with water. How does it feel to walk over a bridge? What does the water look like from above? How does it feel to be up high? What could be in the water?
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#36
It is great to encourage children to move their bodies in different ways. Let them get creative with how they can move and join in with them. It can be turned into a game. Who can jump the furthest? Who can star jump the fastest? Who can do the best roll?
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#37 Show and tell
Nurseries, childminders and playgroups allow parents to come in and visit. Why not ask to go and visit, with your child so they can show you around and tell you what they do at these places. They can show you their favourite things and places they like to play. Look out for open days or ask these places if you can have a look around. It’s a great opportunity to get to know what your child does, what they play with, and talk about what they experience in their day there.
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#38 Posty
This is a great opportunity for children to pretend to be a posty. Children love to receive post addressed to them and rove posting in the big red post box. They can draw, write, point, print or stick stuff to create a postcard, letter or picture that they can put into an envelope and send off to someone special. At home, you can roleplay being a posty and make your own post box to post letters into and children can deliver the letters to everyone.
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#39 Talking SIgns
Here at Dragonflies we use Makaton signs as a visual aid when communicating with the children. The early use of signs gives the children visual clues to the meaning of words, questions and instructions. Look on Tapestry and our Facebook page for videos of the team demonstrating the Makaton signs that we use including words, songs, and poems.
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#40 Happy History
It is educational and exciting for children to visit museums and castles. East Sussex offers a variety of amazing places for you to visit with your little ones.
Below is a list of some:
• Bexhill Museum
• Eastbourne Heritage Centre
• Hastings Museum
• Lewes Castle
• Bodiam Castle
• Rye Castle
Learn new things and explore wonderful places from history.
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#41 Water Feature
Take a trip to your local pond, river, or stream and see what you can see. Maybe even feed the ducks or swans, they really like sweet corn. porridge oats or peas. We have attached below of the local ponds you could explore.
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#42 The Rough and The Smooth
Exploring different textures is great for children’s development. It is also very beneficial for their vocabulary and descriptive language.
You can make playdough and add sequins, glitter, or beads to create different textures. Gloop is also great as this changes texture on its own but other textures can be added.
Sand, rice, oats, sandpaper, wood, metal, rope and material.
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#43 High Five
Pre-school children are really interested in the people and world around them. They are fascinated with the people in uniform such as the police. paramedics. nurses. firefighters and dentists.
Encourage your children to high-five these amazing people from our community as a way of saying thank you for helping us. Role model this by high-fiving your local heroes.
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#44 Head for the hills
East Sussex is full of hills and cliffs. Some are big and some are small. You are never that far  from higher ground where you can look at the beautiful surroundings from different perspective. Climb hills with your little ones and explore different sceneries. Talk to them about what they can see at the bottom and what they can see at the top.
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#45 Wonderful Waiting Games
Waiting for a bus or a train, at the doctors or even for a meal at a restaurant can be boring for children. Playing simple games can pass the time and extend on your chijd’s vocabulary.
Games to play:
• I spy
• Peek a boo
Can you find/spot ….?
• Guess where/who/what?
• Singing nursery rhymes
• Talking about what is around you.
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#46 Fantastic paper folding
Children love to make things out of paper such as boats, planes, fans, and paper chains for decorations. It’s a great way for children to work on their fine motor skills and cognitive development. They can explore different ways of folding and make their own creations.
Things to do:
• Boat races
• Whose boat can float the longest
• Plane races
• Who can make the biggest/ smallest fan
• Who can make the longest/shortest paper chain
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#47 Great East Sussex Baking

Make some tasty food for all the family. Children love to help with cooking and baking and they can chop and mix ingredients while you chat about what you are doing. Cooking is fun and provides ‘ qualify time together making on end result you can eat.
Things to do/ideas:
• Find a recipe together.
• Make a list of ingredients and go and buy them together.
• Let your child help you find everything you need and give them money to pay at the till.
• Children can make bread, sandwiches, fruit salad, pizza, chapattis, pancakes and salad. For a treat cakes and buns.
• BBC Good food has a variety of recipes for children.

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#48 Natural Art
Take a trip to your local woods, field or go on an adventure and collect some natural objects of interest. Take them home and see what you can create with what you have collected.
Encourage your child to use their senses and talk about their findings and what they want to create. How do they feel? What do they look like? How do they smell?
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#49 Grass gazing
Children love to play out on the grass. Lay down on the grass with your little ones and explore the wonders of the sky. How many planes can you see? Are there any clouds? What shapes are they? Is that a helicopter? Enjoy asking questions and getting children to describe what they see and hear. remind little ones not to look directly into the sun as this can be damaging to their eyes.
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#50 Sea and Sand
A family trip to the beach can be a mc1norablc experience for babies and children. They can feel the  water and sand on their feet and build sandcastles and other creative ideas with the sand. They can explore rock pools.
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Download the mobile app and keep a record of all your activities:

Step 1: Download the App from the App Store or Google Play.
Step 2: Find the area you live within or nearby on the Regions page.
Step 3: Start working through the activities and capture memories!
Step 4: Share your memories with others to inspire your community.