Starting Out for Early Years

Helping Early Years providers

Starting Out can be offered as a universal service through an Early Years provider (nursery, pre-school or childminder).  The setting offers families an opportunity to borrow Activity Sacks to take home and use together.  Each sack, designed as a low/no-cost activity promotes parental involvement in using the home as a learning environment for their child.  These shared experiences can be recorded for children to share with their peers in the Early Years setting they attend.

There are 15 different Activity Sacks, each linked to the Early Years Foundation Stage, supporting Personal, Social and Emotional development, Communication & Language and Physical development.  Each Activity Sack has an accompanying Activity Card which offers parents suggestions on how to use the sack.

In addition to loaning Activity Sacks, the Early Years setting can offer parents workshops to attend.  These workshops (pre-written and provided as part of the Starting Out programme) help families to understand more about child development, particularly focusing on brain development in the Early Years.  Information on how children learn and ways to support this learning can also be offered through these workshops.

Benefits

  • All families attending the setting can access the programme.

  • Parents are encouraged to try low/no-cost activities with their children in or around the home which can be replicated with household items or toys once the Activity Sack is returned.

  • The child’s development is maximised through the use of the home as a learning environment.

  • Parents are given knowledge and ideas on what to do with their child.

  • Attachment is built between parent and child as they spend quality time together.

  • Parents have an opportunity to learn more about children’s brain development from 0-5 years and the important role they play.

  • Parents have an increased understanding of why children behave the way they do.  Advice on behaviour management and schemas is available.

  • The programme provides an opportunity for peer-to-peer support for parents.

Activity Sacks for Early Years

There are 15 Activity Sacks available for Early Years settings, suitable for children aged 2-4.  Each Activity Sack includes everything you need for the activity, an Activity Card containing specific suggestions and an exercise book, in which parents or children can record what they did with the Activity Sack.  Activity Sacks can be purchased in three ways, either as a full set of 15, as a set bundle of 5 Activity Sacks either for Personal, Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development or Communication and Language, or individually.  Activity Cards included in each Sack can be purchased individually as well.

For settings who are new to the programme, it is necessary for them to purchase practitioner training to understand the programme and learn more about delivering it in their setting.

Note:  Contents of Activity Sacks may change slightly, subject to availability.

'Look at me'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Children need you to be positive with them. They like lots of praise. This stimulates the caring areas in their brains.

This Activity Sack combines the fun of discovering expressions and learning all the different parts of the face.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

'Let's explore'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

When children focus on an activity, brain connections are made. Children will focus on activities when they are having fun.

Exploring different objects can lead to hours of fun.  This is a must Activity Sack for encouraging children to discover and collect things.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

'Snuggle up time'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

The emotional parts of children’s brains are developing. If children can understand big feelings it will help them to deal with these feelings when they are older.

This Activity Sack encourages those special times of imagination, learning more about the world and the way in which words play a vital role in understanding.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

'Splish, splash, splosh'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Children like to have a regular routine. They find it very comforting and therefore will be more cooperative when they know what to expect.

Help children learn more about their world with this fun Activity Sack.  Everyday routines can become an adventure in discovery.

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

'Sock puppets'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Children’s’ brains learn language at a very fast rate, which is why talking and word play is so important.

Bring characters to life with this ageless Activity Sack.  One for all the family to enjoy!

Personal, Social and Emotional Development (PSED)

'Nursery rhymes'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Playing with your child, laughing and giving them hugs, makes the caring areas of the brain active. The more they can experience this, the stronger these areas of the brain become.

Everybody can enjoy this Activity Sack as nursery rhymes and finger puppets come together to create some memorable moments.

Communication and Language

'Look what I can build'

Brain Benefit

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A child’s brain is developing in certain areas that make it possible to use their imagination. This is why pretend play is so important.

This Activity Sack is all about nature.  Children love discovering different textures and patterns from the simple objects they collect.

Communication and Language

'Musical band'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Children learn by doing real activities rather than watching activity on TV. Having fun and playing together is important for brain development.

Children love to make music with the items in this Activity Sack and there are plenty of ideas for making their own instruments.

Communication and Language

'Spot what's gone'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Asking children questions which require more than a yes or no answer helps them to use the thinking part of their brain.

This classic Activity Sack provides hours of fun and tests the memory.  One for senior members of the family to enjoy maybe!

Communication and Language

'An outdoor adventure'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Children’s brains like to be very active. If you provide them with fun things to do, they will not look for the negative ways to stimulate their brain.

Exploring the wonders of the outside world is what makes this Activity Sack so much fun.  There’s plenty of fun items to use to take a closer look at what’s out there.

Communication and Language

'Discover patterns'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Repeating experiences helps the brain to make stronger connections. 85% of a child’s brain development happens from experiences they have before they are three years old.

This Activity Sack provides endless opportunities to discover patterns and enjoy the process of making something from scratch.

Physical Development

'Have fun with a ball'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Children’s brains first of all learn to use their arms, then their hands and then
their fingers. Children need lots of fun activities, such as throwing and catching, which help them to use their arms.

This Activity Sack encourages physical development and experimenting with different types of throwing objects.

Physical Development

'Make a den'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Giving children fun ways to use their hands prepares their muscles and brain
connections, helping them to learn to write and draw in the future.

A favourite Activity Sack for all ages. The options are endless with this one; use your imagination and carry on long after the Activity Sack has been returned.

Physical Development

'Have fun dancing'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Activities with lots of movement will help the brain get more oxygen. This is needed for development.

Help children to be creative with this Activity Sack as they enjoy interpreting the music and experimenting with dance.

Physical Development

'Pick it up'

Brain Benefit

Tell me more

Activities with lots of movement will help the brain get more oxygen. This is needed for development.

This Activity Sack helps to develop those fine motor skills together in a way that they may never have done before; you’ll be surprised at the smile on their face.

Physical Development

Development Sets

PSED Set

Activity Sacks x 5

C&L Set

Activity Sacks x 5

PD Set

Activity Sacks x 5

Other Starting Out components

Click any of the other three components below for specific information.

Offered through a local Children’s Centre as a targeted service for families that require specific support.

Offered through a local Children’s Centre as an invitation-only targeted service.

Offered though a reception class at school as a universal provision.  Workshops can be offered to provide information on child development.