Pre-School Education Resources

Image: Pre-School school Banner


As parents, you are your child’s first and most important educator.  Playing, reading and talking to your child will greatly increase your child’s language skills and how well they do at school.

The earlier we begin these activities with our children the better the results and the longer they will last.  This area is dedicated to providing parents with lots of ideas and suggestions for home learning with your pre-school child.  The links below will take you to a range of different websites that will provide information to support learning at home.

General Information

Libraries NIs website has an area dedicated to children’s activities and a parent’s page which is packed full of information, advice and parenting books, all downloadable free of charge. 

Visit Libraries NI Children to access the children’s area 

Visit Libraries NI Parents to access the parent’s area

Booktrust has many ideas including read-a-longs, singing and story times.

RISE NI (Regional Integrated Support for Education in Northern Ireland) have resources to help you and your child understand and cope with the Covid-19 outbreak.

The Children & Young People’s Strategic Partnership have daily COVID-19 updates as well as a range of supports for parents.

Childcare Partnerships Ezine has useful links to a range of support services.

Learning Through Play

Here are some ideas and resources to help you nurture your child’s mental and physical health through play and help learn through exploration of the world around them.

Have Fun with Nature

Have Fun with Rubbish

Have Fun with Tongue Twisters

Have Fun with Writing

Things to Make at Home

Ways to Keep the Kids Busy

Playboard NI  have a range of indoor play ideas and activities or children to try out at home, and a Play for Parents Guide, which outlines practical tips and suggestions on quality play experiences whatever the time of year.

Stranmillis University College students have compiled a list of ideas and activities that you can do with your children which are both fun and educational at the same time.

Hungry Little Minds has simple, fun activities for 0 to 5 year olds.

SureStart has practical information and support on parents and childcare.

Getting ready to learn has lots of ideas and suggestions for home learning with your pre-school child, including the 20 activities for 20 days challenge.  Resources are regularly added so keep an eye out for updates. 

Meet Harper, the Wonder Dog. He is going to help your child play in the garden, in the house and in the bath, created by the West Belfast Partnership Board.

Watch more:

Helping at Home

Washing your hands

Having fun indoors

Playing in the Garden

Give your child a helping hand - Top Tips for Parents” provides tips about talking and listening; playing; counting; reading; encouraging positive behaviour; emotional and physical well-being and using digital devices with your children

Tips for parents on how to help their child with their education are available on NI Direct

BBC's Tiny Happy People is a resource for parents of young children with ideas and activities for keeping little ones entertained. 

CCEA have published resources including Learning Through Play in the Early Years and Learning Outdoors in the Early Years, to help support teachers.

Emotional Health & Well Being

Parenting NI contains resources, tip sheets and free information for parents all across Northern Ireland.

The information in this booklet will show you how you can use techniques to guide, nurture and encourage your child and build your confidence as a parent.

The Barnardos Supporting Families Sub Hub has a range of resources, videos and tools to support families during the pandemic. 

Lenny and Lily stories may help children make sense of their experiences during the coronavirus pandemic, communicate their feelings and prepare for more change as they go back to the classroom. As the stories are told in pictures alone, it is not necessary for children to be able to read words to enjoy them.

Starting school

Transition from pre-school to year 1 is a big step for both children and their parents/carers. Here is some transition advice from pre-school to primary school

The Education Authority’s Early Years Inclusion Service have developed a range of Early Years Transitions resources.

Special Educational Needs

The Education Authority’s Special Educational Needs Early Years Inclusion Service (SEN EYIS) provides support to settings, parents and early years children for a range of special educational and medical needs. 

More information can be found on the SEN EYIS section.

Last updated: 13/04/2022