Welcome to day five of our activities for toddlers series. We’ve already looked at sensory play, arts and crafts, maths games and imaginary play and today we have some lovely playful ideas for reading, writing and songs that are just right for toddlers.
My daughter is interested in learning how to read so I’m always looking for ways to add words in to our play. She enjoys reading books, but she’s still at the stage where that can feel like hard work sometimes. Adding words into our play gives her lots of opportunities to practice reading but it feels much more like fun than a lesson. Here’s a very simple but effective way to add in some reading to a story telling and art play time :: we’re using speech bubbles!
Learning how to read with speech bubbles [Read more…]
We are very fond of Pippi Longstocking in our house and her inspiration is seen in lots of different ways – from her encouragement to climb trees, through the idea that fun and creativity is rarely tidy to our latest passion: turnupstuffing.
Do you know Pippi? She’s nine years old, lives by herself and doesn’t go to school. Her mother has died and her father is a Cannibal King. And she’s celebrated in a series of books by Astrid Lindgren. She is also an expert at turnupstuffing – and so are my kids!
What’s a turnupstuffer? [Read more…]
Are you going to celebrate World Book Day with your children on 1st March? It’s a worldwide celebration of children’s books and reading and marked in over 100 countries around the globe.
Books are such a fun springboard in to all sorts of activities, crafts and play. Here are our favourite World Book Day ideas for you to try.
21 World Book Day Ideas for fun with your kids [Read more…]
Welcome to the carnival of Reading and Book Play
L’s been taking literacy outside this week and reading stories to our sunflower (which had decided to grow along and up)
How do you share books and reading with your children? Swap an idea with us. All playful activities related to books, reading and story telling – old posts or new ones – are welcome!
1. Link up a post to share an idea with us.
2. Add a text link back to the Play Academy from your post.
3. Spread the word about the carnival and invite others to come and join in.
I’m always on the look out for opportunities I can offer the children to get them interested in writing. Sitting rather reluctant writers down with a blank piece of paper and a pencil and saying ‘let’s write a story’ doesn’t work for us – but adding writing in to play or setting up a invitation which sparks their interest does.
Create your own opening crawl
This idea for creating a story on a roll popped into my head when I was thinking about a different way for us to use our easel. Adding a long roll of paper to the easel made me think of the opening credits to Star Wars, when the text crawls up the screen and I thought we could use it all summer long to create a story.
These are the best children’s books ever – well according to the NurtureStore panel of book critics. Today is World Book Day and to honour the occasion I thought I’d share with you our very favourite books – and see if you agree with our picks. It’s so hard to put together a definitive list of course but these are the books which hold a very special place in our heart.
Dogger by Shirley Hughes is a tale of love, loss and how to be a fabulous big sister. It tells us what happened when Dave lost his favourite toy dog and how big sister Bella saved the day. This book made me cry when I first read it to B, when I was pregnant with L and B was just about to turn into a big sister herself! We haven’t come across a Shirley Hughes book we don’t love and this features her amazing illustrations, depicting a family and school life which is so familiar.
I’m sure you all know Room on the Broom by Julia Donaldson and it’s in our top picks because it’s the book we especially love to read out loud as it gives plenty of opportunity for great character voices as well as dramatic resonance.
Can You Catch a Mermaid by Jane Ray is a moving tale of a lonely little girl and a very hard decision she has to make. It’s all about friendship and features Jane Ray’s beautiful illustrations. B has a real love of mermaids so this is her top pick and I like it because it can be read on different levels: it has a happy ending and also leaves you thinking about unanswered questions long after you’ve finished reading.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle is the first book I ever read to both B and L and so has a very special status in our family. It’s a real classic and a fabulous springboard into learning about caterpillars and butterflies, numbers, days of the week and so much more. I’ve used this book in so many different ways with the children I work with and it just had to be in this selection.
I loved the My Naughty Little Sister series by Dorothy Edwards when I was little and I think it’s a real joy to share a childhood favourite with your own children. Some of the things my naughty little sister gets up to make B gasp, andw e also love the book because some of the stories remind us quite a lot of a little sister we know.
B is now at the stage where she can read chapter books independently and she’s delighting in discovering lots of new-to-her authors. Roald Dahl is a master story teller but I’d forgotten just how well crafted his books are. Fantastic Mr.Fox is the first of his books which B came across and I often find her fast asleep at night, clutching this book in her hand.
So this is our pick of the best children’s books ever. What’s would be on your list?
More World Book Day ideas.