We're still story mad in this house. Do you find that your little one goes back to the same, familiar stories time and time again? Floss certainly has her favourites, I can't remember how many times I've read - Where is the Green Sheep?! When she was younger she was quite excited when new books arrived in the house and would want these read first. She loves going to the library and picking out new books too. However, I've found as she's got a little older she's pushed new books away or gone off and found one of her favourites instead for me to read. I've kept going with introducing new books and now she'll often pick up the new book the next day and want it shared with her.
If you've got a little one who just likes the books they know, keep persevering with new books - it's definitely worth it. Here's a few ideas to try:
- Just pop one new book in with a couple of favourites to choose from.
- Go to libraries, books shops and charity shops to choose new books together.
- Have a special day of the week or month that you get new books from the library or shops. That way they'll know what to expect and you can build up the excitement.
- Make sharing a new book part of your daily or weekly rhythm with your little one. You could have a special snack or drink when you read it together or read it in a special place.
- Spot familiar characters and objects in new books to build up familiarity before reading.
- Let your little one choose what voice you'll be reading the story in - whispering, animal voice, particular accent.
- Use puppet and props to bring the new book alive.
- Record yourself reading the book and play it at home or in the car.
- Invite a friend over and have a book swap; share each other's favourite books together.
This week our rainbow shelves have a farm animal theme to them. we've got an annual pass to a local farm and usually go at least once a week. I love having that pass as it means we can just pop in for as little or as long as we like. Floss is really enjoying naming all animals that we see and trying to engage with them with her animal noises. She likes to try and list off the animals that are at the farm when we aren't there too. It's lovely to see her confidence grow around these wild animals. The book 'On The Farm' folds out to four times its size and is full of real animal photos to spot and count. The goats and horse are Lanka Kade and the donkey is from The Puppet Company.
The Grimms Rainbow is dotted around all over the house - these are the pieces left. The yummy Grimms Mushrooms are the perfect size for little hands. A great idea for colour matching and lovely for small world play. The needle felted mat I made last week and it's been used with the Grimms Mushrooms and Grimms Dwarfs for mini tea parties.
We love 'Rosie's Walk' by Pat Hutchins. It's such a great text for little ones. The images are really beautiful and it gives great opportunity for children to work out what might happen next as fox follows Rosie around the farm on this precarious journey! Some words could be read by children who are beginning their phonics journey (phase 2 and 3) and there are some more tricky words that would be a good challenge for children further on in their phonics (phase 4 and 5). There are other creatures to spot in the book and the pictures could easily be used with older little ones who could add their own text. At the very start of the book the sun is shining - our sun is the Grimms Casa Sole. - still gets used as a telephone more often than not! We've got hens and a fox by Lanka Kade and some lovely scenery from Eric & Albert; it's actually a Sahara stacker, but here we're using it as hay stacks.
We are REALLY into sheep. Well "Baa Baas" to be precise. None of these little sheep remain on the shelf for long. They are all used in her play all day long. Again we have a lovely Lanka Kade sheep, a mini sheep (I'm sorry he was part of a bigger set with the grass and I don't know where he was from) and a Plan Lacing Sheep. The Plan Lacing Sheep is AMAZING! I've mentioned him when he's been on a shelfie before, so popular with children of all ages who come to play at ours. It's often a toy I take out and about with us too as it keeps Floss entertained for ages.
The book I think I have read more than any other is 'Where Is The Green Sheep?' by Mem Fox; a wonderful gift when Floss was younger. The other book was also a gift. The play base is a Grimms Semi Circle and the large sheep is Nici brand. The sheep have been really good for looking at comparisons of size, ordering and language related with both. Initially, starting with two objects and using the language of big and small and other synonyms associated with these sizes. When extending learning by adding one additional item you can begin to order objects and introduce the use of superlative adjectives such as biggest and smallest. Further objects can be added and discussions around ordering and comparison had. For young children narrating their play can be a useful way to introduce new language. For example - "You've put the smallest sheep first". For older children questioning can help children to practise using new language they are acquiring. For example - "Why have you chosen to put that sheep there?"
Floss has the craziest Moo noise. I don't know where it came from, but it even unsettles the cows! It really sounds like something awful has happened and makes me think that she's hurt herself. Thankfully, then I notice one of the cows and realise it's just the moo sound. Do your little ones make any funny noises for animals that make you laugh or terrify you? The wooden cows are Lanka Kade.
Floss's little cousin is obsessed with the Lanka Kade Pig. He's 17 months old and one of his favourite games is to find where piggy has been hidden around the room. 'Wibbly Pig Likes Bananas' by Mick Inkpen is a great, interactive book for little ones. It's not a flap book, but it asks questions and gets you to make a choice of what you prefer with items that most little ones will have come across. The 'Flip Flap Farm' book by Axel Scheffler is an absolute hoot and will have your little one giggling at the funny combinations of animals and their ever so silly names.
We've also had a mini shelfie update this week. Yes, we do have two sets of Grimms Mushrooms. The mini shelfie lives up in our bedroom. I find it really useful to have this little unit there as it means Floss is well entertained if I'm getting ready or doing some jobs upstairs.