Last week we took part in National Storytelling week. We explored and read a variety of story books throughout the week. The idea was to choose books that would spark the children’s interests. We would then plan activities based on the stories we had read.
We started the week by reading the gruffalo story. A very popular book at nursery. Afterwards during circle time, we talked about the main events in the story and the children’s favourite parts. We made brown playdough from scratch and cut up bits of coloured paper. Then children made their own versions of the Gruffalo. The children were able to remember what the Gruffalo looked like. Even down to the green wart on the end of his nose! We also used tuff trays (messy trays) to explore the story further. Children made the Gruffalo’s favourite foods. Owl ice cream and scrambled snake noodles. We made the noodles green using food coloring. Children served the Gruffalo’s favourite foods to each other whilst exploring and expanding their imaginations in the role play kitchen.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Next, we looked at Goldilocks and the three bears. The children were particularly interested in matching the porridge bowls and chairs to the correct bear. Together, we recreated the story in our role play area. We had three different sized chairs and three different bowls of porridge. The children remembered key words from the story such as ‘too lumpy’ and ‘much to soft’. They were able to use these keywords whilst acting out the story. This supported children’s learning later on when they were looking at comparisons. Children had to organise a variety of items into three different groups. Big, medium and small. Just like the bears in the story we looked at previously.
Room on the Broom
Room on the Broom by Julia Dawson was also another favourite amongst the children. Whilst reading this story we talked about authors and illustrators. We talked about their jobs and roles. Children learnt that Julia Dawson is an author who also wrote the Gruffalo story. Following on from this children had a go at making their own witches potions. They put washing up liquid and sequins into jars.. Then added bicarbonate of soda and vinegar to each jar making the potions bubble up and erupt. It was very fun! The idea was that children would whizz, mix, stir and shake the potions in order to cast a magic spell that would help fix the witch’s broken broom. We also set up a swamp in the tuff trays. Children explored all of the different textures in the swamp whilst searching for the hidden creatures.
We’re going on a ‘book’ hunt!
Later in the week we explored The Three Little Pigs, The Bear Hunt and another Julia Donaldson book, Squash and a Squeeze. We created our own bear hunt in the garden, including a swirly whirly snowstorm and a deep dark cave! We also went on a book hunt. During this activity, children were developing their team work skills and language and communication skills as they worked together to find all of the hidden books.
The Three Little Pigs
For the Three Little Pigs, children used play dough, sticks, hay and bricks to make their own versions of the pig’s houses. We put on our scariest and loudest voices, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down” we said. We tested each house by blowing them as hard as we could, just like the wolf did in the story. The children concluded that the strongest houses were made of sticks and bricks because the hay could easily be blown away.
A Squash and a Squeeze
Friday was National Number Day so to incorporate this into Storytelling week, we had a look at A squash and a Squeeze by Julia Donaldson. After reading the story together, children had a go at making different sized homes using building blocks. The children counted each animal that they could squeeze into each house before it was full. They were able to use visual numerals to represent the amount of animals they could squash and squeeze into each house.
The children and staff had a fantastic week looking at a variety of story books, old and new. We are going to continue our love for reading in nursery by reading and incorporating activities as often as possible. We have also started lending libraries in both of our nurseries. With the aim of encouraging more family reading at home. We know we have only just scratched the surface but we can’t wait to see where storytelling takes us next.
”Storytelling can be found enriching lives everywhere. The sharing between teller and listener empowers, feeding the imagination from one generation to the next.”
Society for Storytelling https://www.sfs.org.uk/