Reception articles

Grow a love of gardening with these tools for kids
Gardening isn't just for the grandparents; it's a hugely popular pastime for people of all ages! Gardening (and being outdoors) has so many benefits in terms of physical and emotional development, and learning about the world around us. You can use the tools below to get started and encourage a love of growing. Who knows? Maybe this will be a new family hobby!
24 fun toys for summer outdoor learning
It's well established that outdoor play is important for young learners and provides opportunities to develop physical, social, fine and gross motor skills. Our editor, Kate Morgan, has put together her top picks of outdoor toys. So get the kids outside, having fun and learning this summer. Let the games begin!
Tips and tricks for adding and subtracting numbers
Adding and subtracting numbers are the foundations of many mathematical operations and the ones that children will encounter first on their mathematical journey. Developing strong skills in these areas is crucial for primary-school children as it lays the groundwork for more complex maths concepts. In this article, we will explore a range of tips and tricks to help children excel in adding and subtracting numbers, broken down by year groups. Let's dive in!
What are fractions?
Fractions are a fundamental concept in primary maths, and they're all about sharing and dividing. Whether it's dividing a pizza into equal slices or sharing a bag of sweets between friends, fractions are a part of everyday life.
What are ordinary numbers?
Ordinary numbers, also known as counting numbers or natural numbers, are the foundation of mathematics. They're the numbers we use every day to count objects, tell the time, measure distances and much more.
What is a function machine?
Function machines are versatile tools in the teaching of mathematics, helping children understand and explore a wide range of mathematical concepts in a fun and engaging way. From basic operations in Key Stage 1 to more complex functions in Upper Key Stage 2, function machines can help play a crucial role in developing children's mathematical understanding and skills.

How the daily learning programme works
Whether you're taking your child out of school for a period, setting out on your home education journey or simply looking for extra activities to boost your child's learning, here's why the daily learning programme could be the right fit for you...
5 ways to overcome empty nest syndrome
Empty nest syndrome is normally associated with teenagers leaving for university but what about when your young one starts full-time at primary school? Lauren Crosby Medlicott's youngest child is about to do just that, leaving her with an empty house six hours a day. She shares her plan for coping with this big change.
Best rhyming books for children
Listening to repeated sounds, rhythms and rhymes offers children clear educational benefits and helps to make them into readers. Best of all, rhyming books are a pleasure to read out loud! Our pick of the best rhyming stories offers a brilliant selection of family favourites that you'll be reciting for years.
Best biographies and autobiographies for children
Biographies and autobiographies bring the lives of influential people to life for young children, highlighting the role exceptional individuals have played in our shared history. Introduce your child to the world's greatest artists, activists, scientists, inventors and humanitarians with books aimed at every age group. Each biography and autobiography is bursting with anecdotes, imagery and information, sure to inspire young people to follow their own dreams and aspirations.
7 things you need to know about the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA)
In the first half-term of their Reception year, children take part in classroom-based assessment. We take a look at what’s involved.
Forest school fun for kids
Learn to read clouds and enjoy some splashy water games in the great outdoors with an extract from Forest School Wild Play by Jane Worroll and Peter Houghton.
The parents’ guide to primary school reports
The time has come to open that all-important envelope, but what can you expect the report inside to say?
Green cooking for kids: healthy food that's good for the planet
Is your child a future eco-foodie? Learn to cook healthy sweet or savoury crêpes, veg-peel crisps and apple and ginger flapjacks with an extract from Green Kids Cook, a sustainable cooking and living guide for kids from cookery writer and teacher Jenny Chandler.
6 literacy and numeracy early learning games
Looking for some quick and easy learning activities to do with your child? In our extract from Five Minute Mum: Time For School, parent and best-selling author Daisy Upton (AKA Five Minute Mum) introduces you to simple, fun five-minute games to support Reception and Key Stage 1 children through their first years at school.
12 ways to make walking fun for kids
Take the whinging out of walking with these great ideas for helping your child enjoy getting out and about.
Best online drawing tutorials for children
Does your child love to draw, doodle, paint and sketch? Help them learn new techniques and perfect their own versions of their favourite characters with a host of free draw-along videos from children's book illustrators and animation artists.
Why jigsaw puzzles are great for kids
Jigsaws can help your child develop many physical and mental skills, so why not get one out this weekend?
No-budget STEM fun at home
At-home science doesn't have to involve expensive special equipment! Primary school teacher and author of the 15-Minute STEM series, Emily Hunt, suggests some brilliant STEM uses for everyday items you'll find in your recycling bin, along with three quick, creative STEM activities your family can try with each of them. Will you make a water xylophone, a ping pong ball run or a hurricane house?
Best nursery rhymes and fairy tales apps for kids
For many children, nursery rhymes and fairy tales are the first step on the road to independent reading. We’ve rounded up 10 of our favourite traditional song and story apps for pre-school, Reception and beyond.
9 ways to keep your child busy on zero budget
Feeling the pinch? These brilliant ideas will banish boredom without testing your bank balance.
Coding benefits for kids
​Why is your child learning to code in primary school and why is coding an important skill for their future? We asked the experts at Bright Little Labs to explain why coding can and should be a part of a complete education for a modern child, and how to mix coding, stories, art and fun.
How to buy toys safely online
Every year, more and more of us buy toys online rather than in person. When you can't examine packaging or speak to retail staff, it's vital to know how to spot dangerous toys, so follow the Child Accident Prevention Trust's advice to help you make a safe choice for your child.
Why children’s books need more disabled representation
Actor, children’s author and former CBeebies presenter Cerrie Burnell shares what it was like growing up with a disability, and why children’s books need more disabled characters.
57 school uniform tips from parents, for parents
From buying the right kit to stopping it getting lost (perhaps!), we asked parents on social media for their advice on choosing, organising and labelling school uniform.
Getting your child back into a school sleep routine
A good night's sleep is essential if your child is to learn and achieve, but what if their sleep patterns have gone haywire over the holidays?
Once you’ve encouraged your child's love of stories and boosted their confidence in their reading skills, it’s time to develop those strategies which really make your child ‘a reader’.
Art and sculpture projects for children
Help your child develop their artistic skills with three hands-on sculpture projects in our extract from Wonder Art Workshop by Sally Haughey.
4 paper play projects for children
Paper can be a snowflake, a paper chain, a fortune teller, a windmill, a piece of modern art, a magic trick, a sculpture, a hat or any one of a hundred other things. Find out just how much fun a humble sheet of paper can be with this extract from Paper Play: Roll it. Rip it. Fold it. Snip it! by Lydia Crook. All you need is scissors and glue – and paper, of course!
Best poetry home education resources
Do you love poetry, or wish you had more time to explore it? Introduce your family to the delights of the spoken word with this selection of wonderful free poetry resources. Classic poems for children, performance poetry videos, interactive poetry games and kids' poetry podcasts: everything you need to encourage a love of verse is available at the click of a button.
Why play matters to primary school children
In school and out, play is an important part of every child’s life. We asked child psychotherapists and play experts to explain how imaginative and structured play helps your child learn, develop and grow and offer tips to help support playful learning at home.
Best numeracy home education resources
Boost your child's confidence with all aspects of maths with our pick of the best home education numeracy resources: games, hands-on activities, video explanations, online lessons and downloadable workbooks, all available to access for free.
Night-time family learning activities
Rethink bedtime and reclaim your evenings as family fun time with light-and-shadows art, lantern-making and star (or satellite) gazing. From dusk until dawn, there's a wealth of learning opportunities to be found in the darkness – and lots of family fun to be had.
Best literacy resources
Whether your child is just learning to read and print letters or looking for ways to put their creative writing skills to the test, we've rounded up some fantastic resources to help them practise phonics, grammar, story-writing and comic-creating at home. Plus there are loads of different ways to connect with authors and listen to stories.
Best wildlife and nature home education resources
Watch wildlife webcams, construct habitats, grow seeds on a windowsill and make eco-friendly choices – we've rounded up the best nature and wildlife home education resources to help your child explore the world without straying from home.
Best science home education resources
You don't need a Bunsen burner, a chemistry set or a science degree to share these STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) activities with your child at home. Whether you want to try a hands-on experiment, ask an expert some questions via video chat or play some interactive games, you'll find lots of science home education options in this round-up of resources.
19 life skills you can teach your child at home
Learning isn't just about mastering spellings and times tables. A lot takes place outside the classroom, and spending some time teaching practical life skills at home will help set your child up for the future.