3 Ways Nursery Practitioners Can Help Encourage a Love For ReadingFebruary 19, 2020 10:10 am
With so many digital distractions in the modern-day world, it can be difficult to anchor the love of reading in nurseries that is essential for young children’s development. A love of literature is the gateway to expanded thinking, accepting other ways of life different than their own, and developing early language skills.
This early development of communication and vocabulary skills sets young children up for success in their later years, both as they move onto primary school and far beyond. Books and reading can be a lot of fun even for those yet unable to read, but how do we grow a love for books and reading in our nurseries that children will want to continue day after day, both at nursery and at home?
Make Reading Time a Special Part of the Day
It’s understandable that children who are either never presented with books at home or only at bedtime would prefer to pay attention to more lively activities. As nursery practitioners, we make sure that story time isn’t just a time for everyone to sit down and be quiet, but an interactive experience.
Do what you can to create a ritual around reading time by collecting together in a certain part of the building where it is most cosy and comfortable, and consider how you can show your own enthusiasm for reading. Many of us remember the books we were read as young children, so these are great books to share with the children in your care. You can tell them why you loved it, how many times you read it, and pause to tell them about how a certain part was your favourite. It’s key for children, even at this early age, to see that reading isn’t something they have to do, but that the adults around them also enjoy it.
Act Out Scenes from the Books
One of the best ways to bring literature to life is to ask the children to play out key scenes from their favourite books. You could also consider inviting in theatre groups to perform live productions or puppet shows of their favourite books. This is a great way to anchor those stories as being special in their mind. Engaging with books and theatre doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive exercise; a few hand puppets and a little time putting a basic show together can be just as engaging as a trip out.
Use Stories as a Foundation for the Day’s Activities and Ask Parents to Continue at Home
Try using a story to guide and inspire the day’s activities so you can link what they’re doing throughout the day back to scenes in the story. This can lead to greater variation in activities and the ways children interact with the world around them.
It’s also important to encourage parents to continue reading at home, asking children about the stories they heard and read at nursery that day and about their favourite books. Encourage parents to take trips to the library and, if you don’t have a good library system, consider allowing parents to take their child’s favourite books home overnight so they can read them again before bed.