Early learning in the home

Every time a child meets new people, joins in a conversation, goes shopping or visiting, unpacks the groceries or plays make-believe, they are learning.

A child’s home is a familiar learning environment and is full of great learning opportunities. Learning can occur anytime, anywhere. However, learning depends greatly on the range and quality of opportunities offered, and your child’s desire to learn about themselves and their world. As a parent, there are many ways you can turn every day activities into fun learning experiences for your child.

Learning around the home doesn’t require a lot of expensive toys or a special room for activities. It just requires time, support and opportunity for your child to explore and experiment.


Household items can be recycled to become play materials, the garden can be a place to learn about science and investigate how things work, and by using imagination you and your child can create an adventure almost anywhere.

Seize the opportunity

Anything can become a learning experience for your child.  Unpacking the groceries or folding the washing may seem tedious to you, but with a bit of imagination it can be made into a fun game with your child, and can help them develop early literacy and numeracy skills. Allow them to sort things into different shapes or colours, or discuss why the washing dries faster on a windy day.

Encourage curiosity

Encourage your child to be curious and ask questions about the world around them and take the time to listen and explain what you can. Point out interesting and relevant things and ask them to try and think about or explain how they think things work.

The foundations of learning are built in the early years through the experiences, opportunities and relationships with parents and family members. Check out some more ideas on how to turn your home into a learning environment.

Published — 14 October 2016 Last updated — 26 October 2018

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