Tag Archives: Literacy

Button’s Big Adventure

Lizzie Finnigan, a local author and a parent here at Cart Mill Family Centre visited us today to share her new book ‘Button’s Big Adventure’..

The interactive story telling session was enjoyed by all staff, children and other visiting parents.

Lizzie talked to the children about the front cover and the pictures inside the book. The children very quickly were able to share what they thought the story would be about. Ash said the story was about a little button that went on a big adventure.

The story is filled with word patterns and the children really enjoyed joining in and repeating the pattern.

“I went twirling and whirling up and down and round before I was found…”

The children recalled some of the story and Lewis remembered the kite and the girl with the daffodil coat. The children enjoyed the discussion about their favourite parts in the book; most children chose the mermaid. To finish off Lizzie demonstrated a dance to go with the repeated pattern of words in the story.  The children copied the dance while listening to the story.

The children then chose a yellow button to add to the picture of their favourite part that they got to decorate.



A bit about Phonological Awareness

This week we are delighted to have Katie and Kay from the Phonological Awareness team working in the centre with the children.

Phonological awareness is the foundation on which phonics and spelling is built. It is a prerequisite skill children need to learn. It is the ability to hear and manipulate the individual sounds in a word. This awareness provides a powerful predictor of early learning skills and achievement.

The stages of Phonological Awareness are:

Listening , Spoken Language, Initial Sounds, Syllables, Onset & Rime, and Phonemic Awareness.


Katie and Kay will be with us for another week, if you have any questions for them please let us know. In the meantime, here is a little exercise you can try out at home.

Mystery Bag ?

Hide small toys. Ball, cars, dolls, animals in a bag etc. Put your hand in the bag and say “one, two, three, what do you see?”

Take an object out of the bag and your child should tell you what it is and then put it back in the bag.

This can also be played as a guessing game. Child can feel object or you can describe the object for the child to guess.

Try it, and let us know how it goes.





The Smartest Giant in Town

The children have been interested in listening to the story “The Smartest Giant in Town” this week. To extend and deepen their interest Clare gathered the items that the giant wore for the children to explore. The children discussed feelings and how being kind and helpful is a nice thing to do, even in nursery. Aine said if she saw someone upset in nursewry she would ask them “What’s the matter?” She also said the book was about “a giant who helps sad animals”. James thought giants ate people however, he said the giant in the story wouldn’t as he cheered the animals up. Each child recalled an animal that the giant helped in the story and they were able to select the item that was given to them to make things better.

Pippa recalled that the dog got a belt to put across the mud. When we discussed the mice using his shoe as a house, Amber said she couldn’t live in it as it was quite small. Some of the children have had fun dressing up as the giant and laughed as they tried to walk in the big boots and socks.

We love Bookbug!

Zoe, our Bookbug leader, was so excited to see the real Bookbug here in our centre this morning and so were the children.

Bookbug popped in to our family session to see the babies and toddlers and of course the grown ups.

Then it was time for an outdoor Bookbug extravaganza!

The children went on a Bookbug Hunt and found the hidden images.

Then Bookbug went on a visit to the toddler room whilst the older children received their certificates. It was an amazing day!

Thank you Bookbug!


Garden Literacy

The children have spent some time exploring literacy in the outdoor area.

The children found the initial letter of their name within the wooden shapes and in magazines and stones around the garden. Some children managed to spell out their name and find other letters that are in their name. Abby and Ellie went on to write their name and draw a picture of themselves, their mum or Peppa pig. Ellie chose to draw a picture of Peppa Pig.

Some children decided to make marks on the ground to represent writing, others managed to write some letters and their name.  Lots of fun…


The children have been exploring musicality this week. This has involved staff providing opportunities and experiences to develop their auditory skills.

The children have become familiar with “monster steps” and “fairy dance”, big steps, little steps and let’s move our head, throughout the week.

“I like the fairy dancing and monster one. I like all of the music. We need to listen to which music is coming on then dance.” Child’s quote.

The children have also been playing “guess who is calling you?” where they need to listen carefully and find the friend who calls their name.

Much to the children’s delight the musical bear has made several visits with a range of instruments. He encourages the children to take turns and recognise the names and sounds of instruments.

Adam said, “stomp stomp” during monster music and, “twirl twirl” during the fairy music.  Everyone loves the music and it gets the adults as well as the children moving along to the beat.


Stephanie was practicing some nursery rhymes with the children to help develop their phonological awareness. While playing pat-a-cake, Ben decided he would like to bake a cake. Stephanie and Ben then asked some boys and girls if they would like to help bake the cake. The children collected the resources they would need to bake the cake.

The children used lots of mathematical language as they measured the correct amounts of the various ingredients into the bowl. The children shared and managed to take turns to stir the ingredients into a gloopy paste. They poured the mixture into cake cases and put them into the oven to bake. While the children waited they sang pat-a-cake again…more than once.

Julia Donaldson

A few days ago the children helped to make an apple crumble which the described as Gruffalo Crumble. The children then focused on the Gruffalo story. Some children asked about the author, therefore we decided to look for her on the internet…we found some pictures. We printed a picture of Julia and talked about her cat named Goblin. We discovered this when we read the story about her online.

Guy asked Stephanie to write Goblin on a piece of paper then he decided to copy the cats name in his own writing.

The children then explored other books that Julia had written. Ben said that his favourite is “The Gruffalo”

The Three Little Pigs

This week Kaile asked for puppets in the drama area to do “the piggies and a big bad wolf”.

The children listened to the story throughout the first day to familiarise themselves with it. We spoke about the characters being in a book and the children recalled the characters in the Three Little Pigs and drew images of them.

Today the children gathered the props to act out the story. This enabled the children to explore how they can use their voices and express themselves through drama.

Pippa told us that they used bricks “cos he can blow both the others down but can’t do the bricks”

The children transferred their learning into the block area and built houses for the pigs.