New free Hertfordshire ’50 things to do before you’re five’ app

    Published: 16 November 2021

    An exciting new initiative that supports children’s learning at home and in their Early Years setting.

    “50 things to do before you’re five” is a menu of activities for early years settings and families with young children, contained within a FREE app, giving great suggestions for how to have fun and learn at the same time.

    Inspired by parents and carers, each activity has been developed by Early Years experts and language specialists to create a fabulous resource for families and a range of early years settings to use.

    Launched to schools, education partners and PVI settings at an online event on Wednesday 13th October 2021 hosted by Herts for Learning and featuring Andrea Layzell, the creator of ‘50 things to do before you’re five’.

    Emma Wild, Project lead and Early Years Advisor at Herts for Learning, was delighted at the feedback from the event, saying:

    "It was brilliant to see so much interest from schools and settings throughout Hertfordshire at the launch event. We’ve had a surge in app downloads and are really excited to get children experiencing new things around the county.”

    The “50 Things” app is free to download by visiting hertfordshire.50thingstodo.org or through the AppStore or GooglePlay store, and then select “Hertfordshire” from the list of regions/cities.

    Once downloaded, the app offers a list of 50 FREE, or low-cost activities (under £20 for a family of four) that early years settings, schools and parents can experience with their child/children in or around Hertfordshire.

    Hertfordshire County Council commissioned the Herts for Learning Early Years team to ensure all activities within the app include links to local services and places to visit, such as the many parks, woodlands, and waterways in Hertfordshire as well as the libraries, museums, and historical sites. The activities have been designed to support families and focus on developing important early language skills. This no-cost resource can be used to complement the EYFS curriculum and home learning.

    We think this app is fantastic. The suggested activities are incredibly rich and varied, and by engaging our parents in exploring the activities it will have a real impact on our pupils and their readiness to learn. The activities are very inclusive and will particularly benefit our disadvantaged and SEND pupils.

    We have communicated information about the app to our parents (right up to Year 2 as we can see how older children could benefit too!) but also look forward to using some of the ideas in our setting as well. We have already received feedback from 'wow moments' over half term where parents have used the app as a basis for family fun.

    Rebecca Wild, Deputy Headteacher and Inclusion Leader, Ashwell Primary School.

    The app also offers the ability to build a digital memory bank of a child's special moments. Ideas include indoor, outdoor, seasonal, home-based, and out-and-about activities, that are not only fun but will get young children off to a flying start with their learning and language development which will support their transition into school.

    “Development of children’s language is critical to closing attainment gaps and maximising opportunities for children to learn and thrive. Across Hertfordshire, schools and settings are working hard to close gaps and reduce inequalities, more so now than ever. This app will provide another tool for them to use when helping support parents with learning at home to continue the work they’re doing with their children in school.”

    Mireille MacRaild, Education Services Director – Early years, Herts for Learning.

    For further information or images, please contact Emma Wild by emailing Emma.Wild@hertsforlearning.co.uk or visit hertfordshire.50thingstodo.org

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