40 Years of Busy Bees

Introducing the Busy Bees Bucket List for Pre-Schoolers

30 Brilliant Activities For Your Child to Try Before They Start School

Published: 28/04/2022

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At Busy Bees, we understand how important it is for children to experience new things in their early years to help their development and we encourage all our children to try as many new things as possible.

We recently conducted research into how parents feel the pandemic has impacted their children’s development. Deena Billings, Head of Experience at Busy Bees, shares her thoughts on the findings:

Life is full of wonderful adventures and every child should experience as much as they possibly can during their early years to help them develop their confidence and understanding of the world. Sadly, many have missed out on important milestones due to the pandemic.

Our research found that 72 per cent of parents with pre-school aged children believe experiencing new things is important for their child’s development. However, nearly two-thirds of parents (63%) believe their children have missed out on many of these key experiences due to the pandemic, with 78 per cent agreeing that their child’s progression has been held back.  

As part of the research, we also polled almost 2,000 members of the Busy Bees Parent Panel (thanks to all of you who took part!). More than a third (36 per cent) are concerned that the pandemic has made it harder for their child to feel ready for school.  

These findings confirm what we have seen in our nurseries and heard from parents firsthand. But the great news is that more than half of our parents (52%) are already making plans to make up all the things their children have missed now that life is returning to normality. 

And we’re doing our bit to help too in all our centres. Since the beginning of April, we’ve been rolling out the ‘Best Start with Buzz’ programme which means we’re building in extra activities at our centres that will specifically support the key areas of development which we know have been most affected by the pandemic:

  • Social interaction (53%)
  • Social skills (51%
  • Speech (30%)

We’ve also worked with parents to develop a list of the definitive 30 things that all children must experience before they start school.  You can download the list here - we hope this provides some inspiration for family-friendly activities to take away over the coming summer months.

Top 30 Things Every Child Should Do Before They Start School

  1. Swim in a pool
  2. Jump in a puddle
  3. Make a friend
  4. Feed the ducks
  5. Have a birthday party
  6. Meet some friendly farm animals
  7. Go to a toy shop
  8. Go on a bouncy castle
  9. Paddle in the sea
  10. Dance with their parents
  11. Bake a cake
  12. Build a snowman
  13. Play with playdough or slime
  14. Watch at least one Disney movie
  15. Have chips at the seaside
  16. Finger painting
  17. Jump into a big pile of crunchy autumn leaves
  18. Ride on a bus
  19. Dig a huge hole or build a sandcastle at the beach
  20. Wear fancy dress
  21. Have a teddy bears’ picnic
  22. Make a sofa fort
  23. Plant a seed and see it grow
  24. Go to a funfair
  25. Use a bed like a trampoline
  26. Go on a treasure hunt
  27. Eat a 99 flake
  28. Go to the cinema
  29. Go on a bug hunt
  30. Scrape their knees

If you’re curious about how many of these your child has already experienced, take our quiz here and be sure to share your results with us on social media.