K27-E Learning to Play

Immunization information

Vaccines and immunization are a safe way to protect your child’s health.

In Ontario, children have several vaccinations before they are 2 years old. Children are due for more vaccines between the ages of 4 and 6 years. When your child starts school, all his shots (immunizations) must be up to date. To check which shots your child should have, visit Ontario’s Routine Immunization Schedule.

Keep a record of your child’s immunizations. Your school or public health unit may ask to see your child’s updated immunization records.

If you have questions about your child’s immunizations, please call your family doctor or your local public health unit.

Routines and self-help checklist

Use this checklist to establish a healthy daily routine to help your child be prepared for school. Some questions about your child’s self-help skills and safety practices are also included.

  • My child gets up around the same time each morning.
  • My child has a bedtime routine and usually falls asleep easily at night.
  • My child sleeps at least 10 hours most nights.
  • My child has a healthy breakfast each morning.
  • My child is physically active for at least three hours per day.
  • My child has a time during the day to play quietly or to have a nap.
  • My child has no more than one hour of screen time (TV, computer, or video games) per day.
  • My child can ask an adult for help.
  • My child knows how to dress herself (except for some buttons, zippers, and ties). Note: This is more likely for 4 or 5 year olds.
  • My child can go to the bathroom without or with little help.
  • My child knows how to wash her hands.
  • My child can tell others her full name and her address.
  • My child knows how to cross the street safely with an adult.
  • My child knows how she will get to and from school.
  • My child is familiar with the school, the yard, and the neighbourhood.
  • My child can open and close lunch and snack containers.
  • My child can tell others about her activities, outings, or events.

If you answered “no” to any of these questions that does not mean your child is not prepared for school. Just take some time to set routines and practice self-help and safety skills. Try some of the activities listed in this booklet. To help your child get to know other places and people before she starts school you can:

  1. Go to programs for parents and young children.
  2. Go to your local library, recreation centre, or friendship centre.
  3. Take your child to the park, a museum, the grocery store, or for a bus ride.
  4. Check with your local school to see if they offer a school readiness program. Ask if they offer a Kindergarten visit before your child goes to school.

For tips to establish a healthy routine for a child aged 25-30 months refer to Tips for Parents – Brain Development.

Parent quiz

Now, that we are almost at the end of the guide, let’s review what we have talked about. Take this True or False test.

  1. Children start to learn from the day they are born.
  2. Good nutrition is important for learning.
  3. A secure attachment develops when parents respond warmly to their child’s needs and cues.
  4. Self-regulation is a skill that is developed throughout childhood.
  5. Children learn through play.
  6. Active outdoor and indoor play develops children’s large and small muscle skills.
  7. Parents can use the Looksee checklists to see if their child is developing according to his/her age.
  8. Young children prefer to play with other children.
  1. True. From the day they are born, children learn and develop by: touching, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and doing (e.g., playing).
  2. True. Seven very important ingredients for learning are: lots of love; talking and listening; play, play, and more play – with you; active play; good nutrition; daily routines including lots of sleep; and regular health check-ups. Refer to How to Build a Healthy Preschooler.
  3. False. A secure attachment develops when parents respond to their child’s distress.
  4. True. Self-regulation is a skill that is developed from infancy through the loving and consistent responses from parents and lots of practice through play!
  5. True. Children learning when they play.
  6. True. Being physically active has many benefits. First of all, it is fun. At the same time, children learn a lot of skills such as eye hand coordination, large muscle skills (e.g., running), and small muscle skills (e.g., doing up shoes).
  7. True. The Looksee Checklists are easy to use checklists to help you track if your child is developing according to his age.
  8. False. You are your child’s favorite toy. There is nothing in the world your child would rather do than play with you!

Resources for families

Growth and Development

Building Resilience in Young Children – Booklet for parents of children from birth to six years
A booklet to help parents and caregivers to boost a child’s ability to bounce back from life’s challenges and thrive.

Children See, Children Learn
Learn tips to parent without punishment.

Encyclopedia on Early Childhood Development
The most up-to-date scientific knowledge on early childhood development, from conception to age five.

Healthy Baby Healthy Brain
Information to help support your child’s early brain development.

Is My Child Growing Well?
Fact sheets and information about your child’s growth.

Looksee Checklist
Quick and easy checklist of a child’s development and skills typically observed in children from 1 month to 6 years of age. The checklist requires a “yes” or “no” answer.

When Children Speak More Than One Language
As a parent of a child who will learn two or more languages, this guide shares helpful information.


A Parent’s Guide to Vaccination
Learn about vaccination and why it is important to your child’s health.

Dental Care for Children
Find important information on how to properly care for your child’s teeth.

Immunizations for School Attendance
Information regarding the need for children to be immunized according to Ontario’s Immunization Schedule.

The Eye See… Eye Learn
A site developed to raise awareness about the importance of having children’s eyes checked before starting school.


Canada’s Food Guide
Explore Canada’s food guide

Speak with a dietitian free of charge at 1-866-797-0000. Find expert guidance information about everyday eating.
How to Build a Healthy Preschooler (3-5 years)
An educational resource part of the NutriSTEP® Program.

Parents’ Support

Canadian Association of Family Resource Programs (FRP Canada)
Provides information and support for parents.

Canadian Child Care Federation
Resources for parents with practical tips on how to manage the early years or call 1-800-858-1412.

Canadian Paediatric Society
Information about your child’s growth and development, health, safety, and more.

EarlyON child and family centres
Free drop-in programs for children from birth to 6 years old. You can learn and play with your child, meet people or get advice.

A website and virtual community dedicated to lifelong learning and support for people who have an intellectual disability, their families and support networks. The site is organized by age group.

Dad Central and New Dad Manual
2 websites with useful tips, resources, information to learn more about fathers’ roles in the lives of their children.

Government of Ontario
Visit website with programs and services including information on early childhood or call 1-866-821-7770.

Your Local Public Health Units
Find your local public health unit.


Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines
View Canadian Guidelines on physical activity and ways to be more active.

Daddy and Me On the Move
Aimed at fathers of children aged 0 to 6, fathers will find activities they can do with their children.

Have a Ball Together!
Helps you find all the tools you need to promote and encourage physical activity for children 0-6.

Is Your Child Safe? Play Time
Health Canada has produced this guide to provide you with information to create a safer play experience and to make safer choices when selecting toys for children.

Offers information to sit less and move more.

Why Play?
A series of brochures offering information to parents and caregivers on play and child development.

Preparing for School

Ontario Ministry of Education
Information on full-day kindergarten and the many things that you can do at home to prepare and support your child for school:
Full-Day Kindergarten
How can I prepare my child?