Communication and Languages Activities for Supply Teachers in EYFS

EYFS Supply Teaching Made SimpleThese C&L activities, supply teaching ideas for EYFS, are taken from the book EYFS Supply Teaching Made Simple.


Read a story with the children related to their topic. Chalk key characters around the outdoor area and ask the children to find them, recalling key words and phrases and details from the story as they do so. The children could then chalk their own characters or relevant words from the story. (Links to L, PD, EAD)

Sing a range of nursery rhymes, action songs and number rhymes. You could make and laminate some number song props – five little monkeys, ducks, currant buns etc. – to carry around in your supply bag. (Links to PSED, L, M, EAD)

Miss rhyming words out of a story and ask the children to fill them in. (Links to L and EAD)

Place an object in the middle of the circle (appropriate to the developmental age of the children) and ask questions about it. (A soft toy abandoned outside/a suitcase full of clothes/an unusual fruit) Encourage the children to build their own story about it and write (older children) or draw pictures (younger children) of their story as an extension. (Links to L, EAD, UW)

Use a range of objects for sorting. (If you are stuck, then compare bears are a common EYFS resource, just ask someone!) and discuss as you are sorting. Encourage children to sort according to their own criteria, e.g. the big ones and the small ones, and suggest more challenging ways in which they could be sorted. (Links to M and UW)

Act out a familiar story in small groups. Encourage the children to use the language from the story. (Links to L and EAD)

Sort objects according to initial sound/final sound/rhyming sound/alliterative sound. Objects can usually be found around the classroom, or you can use picture card prompts which you could add to your supply bag (with younger children objects work better) (Links to L, EAD)

Present children with a problem and encourage them to discuss what they could do to solve the problem. You could have a range of resources ready for them to choose from, or you could ask them to draw pictures or write (small or large scale). Ideas might include: How could the giant visit Jack now the beanstalk is cut down/how can Goldilocks fix baby bear’s chair/how can the three pigs make their houses/ strong etc. depending on the topic – it need not be story related! (Links to PSED, PD, L, M, UW, EAD)

Talk about something that happened to you and encourage the children to ask questions to find out more. You could also use a character in a story or a person related to a topic. “What would you like to ask if you met someone who was a fire fighter?” Older children could write their questions down and younger children could draw pictures. (Links to L, UW, PSED)

Start a discussion by asking the children what they know about a particular topic. Make a simple list of facts they come up with and read through them together. Link this with the above suggestion. You could read a simple story or non-fiction text related to the topic to extend. (Links to L and UW)