Stories are an important part of children’s lives. Stories are part of our culture, history and can help children make sense of the world around them. Stories can contain morals, life lessons and can capture children’s imaginations, inspiring them to create their own worlds when they play.
Encouraging passion for stories and books from day one is vital for future success. Research by Bookstart has shown that children who handle books from an early age and are read to regularly by their parents and carers are more likely to achieve when they start school.
Children create their own narratives or stories in play. They will act out every day family life; making dinner, visiting the shops, looking after babies. This can help them understand their own experiences and emotions. For example, playing with the baby dolls may be a child’s way of dealing with new emotions that come with the arrival of a new brother or sister.
As children’s imaginations grow, their stories grow more varied and complex. Using stories they already know in play such as The Three Little Pigs or The Gruffalo is a part of developing early communication and literacy skills. As children explore well know stories they build up an understanding that stories have a beginning, middle and end. As they develop a sense of characters within the stories they repeat the words from the books helping them to build a rich vocabulary.
Our two Preppies Rooms and Pre-school are embarking on an exciting new project. We will be working together to engage children through stories. All three teams will be looking at developing the excellent work they already do.
Already in Preppies we have been using our one of our children’s favourite stories, Room on the Broom, to explore rhythm and rhyme. Alison has been encouraging the children to tap and shake instruments in time to the syllables of the words as they repeat the words from the story. I have been supporting our children to create a dragon puppet, allowing them to explore different creative materials and discuss the story.
Some children even decided to write down that the dragon was going to eat ‘witch, chips and beans’ making marks on note pads with crayons. Diana who is very passionate about circle time in pre-school has already taken great initiative creating a felt board with characters and props for stories such as Goldilocks and Three Bears.