Choose the classification system you would like to use:

Newsletter sign up

Sign up to the monthly newsletter to hear about the latest free resources.

Sign me up to:



Language and Communication understand why questions in context and respond  This resource has been viewed by a moderator.


The child will understand a 'why?' question in a real life context and respond using 'because, to, for' etc with support.

Early years skill:not specified
Early years typical range:not specified
P-scales/Curriculum skill:Scientific Enquiry
P-scales/Curriculum level:L1
TAP skill:Language (old categories)
TAP level:TAP60
Pre/Nat. Curriculum Area:not specified
Pre/Nat. Curiculum Standard:not specified
Section:Primary (5-11yrs) info
Activity/strategy name and materials required How to do the activity Key principles for doing the activity and comments
The Disastrous Day

A Playmobil figure or similar

Small world objects - some of them broken

1. Explain that you are going to tell a story about the toy.

2. Tell a story about what the toy does in the day. Lots of things go wrong because the objects are broken e.g. 'want to go to work in the car but it won't move.'

3. Whenever there is a problem for the toy, ask the child 'why?' e.g. 'why won't the car move?' Answer: 'because there is no wheel!'

Give the child a turn at telling the story too.

Freddy's Travels

A toy character (called Freddy)

Pictures of different locations, e.g. beach, mountains

One or two items which go with each location e.g. bucket and swimming costume for the beach

1. The child gets Freddy to ask for one of the items.

2. You say "Why do you want X?" (e.g. "Why do you want the bucket?").

3. Help the child to give a reason using 'because Freddy is going to...' E.g. 'why do you need a swimming costume? Answer: 'Because Freddy is going to the beach'.

Animal Adventure

Pictures of different locations with different 'hazards' or things of interest e.g. a jungle with a river and dinosaurs

Two toy animals (wind up toys are ideal)

1. The two toys go for a walk in one of the locations.

2. One toy will ask 'why...?' all the time. E.g. 'why are we hiding?'

3. Have the child give the answer the other toy would give e.g. 'because there is a dinosaur there'.

Use your imagination!

Problem solving

Equipment to demonstrate an everyday problem and discuss it.

Some examples of equipment you could use:

Torch or toy with no batteries;

Cup with a hole in it;

Dry pasta;

Pen with no nib and in;

Broken pencil;

Dry pen with no lid.

1. Talk about a problem, e.g. a torch which will not work.

2. Ask 'why won't it work?'

3. When the child has worked out why there is a problem ask them to tell you. 'Because there are no batteries!'

You will need to think of a problem in advance - see the list in the materials column.

This activity is ideal to do throughout the child's day, whenever there is a problem to be solved!

If you find the Commtap site useful, please fill out a review of it on EdTech impact. This really helps us to get funding to continue running the site. Thank you!
Ads on this page are provided by Google Adsense - and their presence does not imply any endorsement by Commtap. Report a problem with an ad on this page. Log in (for free) to avoid seeing ads.