From as far back as I remember I have always enjoyed reading. It all started at the age of four when I would come home from school with my ‘Peter and Jane’ reading book. Mum and I would sit on the couch and she would patiently listen to me as I joined letters to make words. These words soon joined together to become sentences and the rest is history. Now I’ve got a little girl of my own and a love of books is something which I have most definitely passed on.
When I was teaching, I read stories to my classroom children every day without fail, even now you will often find me in one of the classrooms reading to our children. The best thing is that children of all ages will be engrossed in a story if you make it age appropriate. Our Buttercup babies will happily sit and listen to my out of tune singing as I turn the pages of one of our big books for them it’s all about the sensory experience listening to my voice and seeing the bright colours on the pages.
I find that our toddlers love to be involved so for them I like to pick pop-up books or ‘feely’ books designed for curious little fingers and books with nursery rhymes which they can sing along to as well as do the action rhymes. We know that children of this age cannot sit for too long so often in these classrooms I will have a book in one hand as we march in a circle to ‘The Grand Old Duke of York’.
Our older children get very excited when I say that I have a new story to read to them. I watch as they all sit down and then I wait for the “Ms Beth I can’t see” which always follows. I position myself so that all eyes can see the book and I swap regularly from one hand to another as I read; making sure that nobody misses out on the all important illustrations. I believe that children of this age enjoy most books; from classic fairytales to new age stories as well as reference books filled with interesting pictures offering new information.
From a teacher’s perspective books and stories are a fabulous way to promote communication and language skills. Our children learn new vocabulary and whether they are talking yet or not… they are always listening! Books can also be used as a learning tool for teaching our children morals as well as how to make sense of the world around us. Personal experiences like becoming a big brother or an upcoming trip to the dentist can be made a lot easier when explained with a story. However, the best part about reading books to our children for me is having their undivided attention. I love to see their expressions as they hang on my every word, as well as hearing their laughter as I take them on a magical journey to ‘The World of Make Believe’.
Emerald City Nursery