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Posted by Katie oGrady

Encouraging a Love of Stories

Sharing books is an enjoyable way to spend time with your child, even before they can read. There are lots of ways to enjoy stories, reading books, make up your own stories, listen to audio tapes in the car as well as taking regular trips to the library, all aid this love to develop.

At the nursery we spend time on a daily basis to further encourage this enjoyment with a range of activities that are completed either one to one with a child’s key person or as part of group work.

Starting in the Baby Room, we have a number of real life image books that we share. These are simply images of items that they will see in their everyday life which encourages communication. Furthermore, we have our story and nursery rhyme of the month, so through repetition they start to remember and learn. In fact, rhymes are sung throughout the day and the children love hearing the rhythm from just banging away when they are really small to singing along to all the words as they grow and become more confident with their language.

In all rooms there are images at the children’s eye level as this again promotes conversation and an understanding of what is happening in the picture, a great start to comprehension. Furthermore, simple words are placed throughout the nursery at the child’s height, so they can start to recognise letters and for some put these sounds together to form simple words. There are also plenty of books placed in all areas of the nursery including the garden during outdoor play, to have books readily available is so important.

For the older Pre-Schoolers circle time provides the perfect situation to discuss stories that have been read, there is also a chance for any child to create an alternative end to the story.

We like to take a creative approach, so that everyone remains keen and enthusiastic. Kelly, Area Manager, Boys & Girls Nursery explains “A puppet show provides a great opportunity to re-tell stories, create characters and encourages children to become confident storytellers. An alternative to puppet shows but just as fun are making Storyboxes, again the children can take on different characters, put on funny voices and create all the contents for the Storybox.”

The nursery therefore provides ample opportunities for a true love of stories to develop in children. Dr Seuss probably summarises the importance of books and stories best “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”