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50 Things To Do Before You're Five

50 activity inspirations for parents and carers to support their children's learning and development

50 Things to Do Before You’re Five seeks to help every child reach important health, learning, and wellbeing milestones, by providing 50 low or no cost ideas for play to the people who care for them. Our vision is that every parent and carer in the UK will recognise the significance of their interactions with children under five. We hope to improve the lives of as many children as possible.


Information on this page is provided by the innovator and has not been evaluated by HundrED.

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Target group
November 2021
“My little girl loves the activities and keeps her busy most of the day. It makes me happy knowing she is learning and having a good time.”

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

50 Things started with the understanding that parents can make a huge difference to their children's outcomes. Research shows us that the experiences available in early childhood impact on their language, confidence and later attainment, through primary school, secondary and beyond.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

50 Things To Do Before You’re Five is about getting parents involved in a range of activities with their children, along with appropriate guidance that will make an impact. Each of the 50 Things has been carefully developed by education experts and early years practitioners following consultation with parents, and we’ve made sure that we consider children with special education needs and that each of the 50 Things means something across our culturally diverse community.

The initiative includes a 50 Things mobile app tailored to specific regions. This is a simple but effective way for parents to be guided through and inspired by experiences and activities that make full use of resources which give great opportunities to learn. Each activity is supported by local maps, travel guidance, and an exciting menu of creative experiences which will make a lasting impression on young minds. Parents and carers can revisit adventures created with their little ones on the 'Memories' tab.

How has it been spreading?

In our 50 Things local areas across the UK, families are increasingly turning to 50 Things as an exciting way to play and learn at the same time. We find that many organisations are increasingly seeing the value of 50 Things. For example, local support services find 50 Things a new way to engage families they have not yet managed to reach.

50 Things is now over three years old. Across the UK, we have seen a surge of interest in 50 Things as we enter the Covid recovery period. As a result, we expect that there will soon be local 50 Things offers across 17 areas in England, representing almost 600,000 children – over 18% of the national under-five cohort.*

*Based on ONS mid-year population estimates, 2019

If I want to try it, what should I do?

To use 50 Things To Do Before You’re Five, download the app on the App Store or Play Store.
You will be able to view each of the 50 Things activities and try them out for yourself and your child. Each tab will have relevant information that will enhance your child’s experience of the activities. We recommend starting with ‘How to do it’ to give you an idea of what the activities entail!

Spread of the innovation

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