Words are very powerful things. They can convey our feelings, describe a scene, or tell a story. They can give us factual information or give us pleasure by reading a story or listening to a song. We are frequently encouraged to read for pleasure so why are children not encouraged to write for pleasure?
I find writing for pleasure relaxing and lots of fun. There is nothing better than sitting down with a notebook and pen and letting your imagination run riot. It’s something that we should definitely do more of. It’s also something that the new Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child is a big supporter of as she strongly believes that children should have much more time to sit down and let their imaginations wander and we couldn’t agree with her more!
In case you didn’t know today is National Writing Day and we thought we would come up with a little writing prompt for you in case you’re wondering what to do.
Pojo’s chest of dreams only grants wishes to those who had been good, but what would be in your chest of dreams and what stories would it tell?
We are always on the look out for great stories and would love to hear yours.
We are absolutely delighted to say that our Pojo and the Chest of Dreams Create and Show kit was awarded three stars in the Early Years Excellence awards.
The judges said “The Pojo and the Chest of Dreams kit had a vast impact on children’s listening and attention skills. The children were able to interact with, and take part using the puppets, which is also good for social interaction and building confidence.”
It’s good to know our Pojo is such a little star!!
We were also delighted to see Little Livello was also a finalist in the maths category so it’s good to know that we’ve got a whole range of award winning resources.
To see the rest of the winners we’ve attached the awards special for you to have a read. Awards Special
Handa’s Surprise Picture book £6.99, big book £19.99
For this story we decorated a plastic by covering it with strips of paper to represent Handa’s basket. The we used sponge fruit shapes to create picture of the different fruits. We took it in turns to be Handa carrying the bowl and the rest of the group took fruit from the bowl and in the end putting the tangerines in.
Owl Babies is fast becoming a firm favourite with me. There are so many things you can discuss from the story. Such as how we try and sound brave when we are scared, feelings about being lost and about how we love our mums. I have told this story often in the run up to Mother’s Day.
For this story we created finger puppets.
Here is a template for the puppets.
We then decorated them with feathers and retold the story using the back of chairs for branches. It would have been fantastic to do this story outside with an old branch. Unfortunately the weather was pretty awful on the day we did this.
Get the children to go through the sequence of the story this is where story talk cards come in handy. Retelling the story really gets the children into the repeated rhythms of the book. The finger puppets help those reluctant to speak or those with EAL to join in.
This story is often one I use when teaching early years practitioners how to use Big Books and Puppets with Children with EAL.
For this story we reused our story box from Farmer Duck but this time our veg carton instead of being a bed was a bridge. I just added a piece of blue felt for the water. We made the goats using the template I used before when doing Three Billy Goats, which you can download and wrap around a cardboard tube. Continue reading →
I started the session with my reception group by telling the story. We then created our farm animals ready to retell the story using a story box.
The templates for the characters are below or alternatively you could use these great wooden characters.
I had created the box from a cardboard box I had, I cut off the flaps and one of the side panels. I then painted the remaining sides light blue and covered the base in green felt. I then cut out some hills and sun in paper and some strips of white paper for a picket fence.
We then created the farmer’s bed from a vegetable container. I snapped it at two corners and raised the side to make a headboard. We then covered it in pieces of felt.
The children then had a great time retelling the story using the box.
We had a bit of fun this week as it was the last session before the Easter break. We look at how there are lots of stories about how the Easter bunny came about.
Literacy Lesson Idea
Once we had made a bunny I asked them to come up with with a story about how the bunny they had made came to be the Easter bunny. They could make up their own or use bits from some of the stories they had heard.