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World Book Day With Your Preschool Child

Reading Aliens Love Underpants

World Book Day is a wonderful reminder to encourage and support a love of reading. What a perfect excuse to snuggle up with your little one and enjoy a book together.

Our Stepping into Stories classes combine pre-literacy skills with dance to bring well known stories to life. Although our focus is on movement, stories are carefully selected to support the Early Years curriculum and to embed the skills needed prior to learning phonics.

These are some of our favourites…

We're Going on a Bear Hunt Front Cover

Environmental Sounds

Developing your little one’s ability to listen is a key pre-literacy skill and one we work on in class a lot. Identifying environmental sounds is one way to sharpen your little one’s skill. What can you hear in the world around you? Traffic? Planes? Birds? The washing machine? A dog barking?

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt

by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury

Published by Walker Books.

Is a class favourite! This adventure story explores different environments and is a fun way to begin exploring environmental sounds. Swish, squelch and splash through the pages of this book. Plus there’s loads of movement potential too!!

Click the image to watch and listen to a reading.

Giraffes Can't Dance Book Cover

Instrumental Sounds

Distinguishing between the sounds of different instruments and being able to describe them in simple terms of loud, quiet, low and high etc. is another way to support your little one’s listening and language skills. We love an excuse to get our maracas out in class!! It’s so easy to make your own from a container and some rice too.

Giraffes Can’t Dance

by Giles Andreae and Guy Parker-Rees

Published by Orchard Books.

This is our all time favourite children’s story- dance, music and a journey of self confidence, who could ask for more!!

Giraffes Can’t Dance is a wonderful story to explore instrumental sounds to. Listen to music in different styles; Latin, Scottish Reel, Waltz or even Rock and Roll! Play instruments along to the music or even create character sounds, such as a shaker for clumsy Gerald.

Click the image to watch and listen to a reading.

Doing the Animal Bop Book Cover

Body Percussion

Making sounds like clapping, stamping and tapping our thighs is another great way to hone your little one’s listening skills and for them to start to understand rhythm and keeping the beat of the music. Every Stepping into Stories class starts with a body percussion warm up. Great to get the heart pumping and to introduce musicality.


Being able to hear and reproduce similar sounds is another key skill. Alliteration is when the initial sounds of two or more words are the same, for example Sammy Squirrel (so hours of watching Peppa Pig during Lockdown might be considered educational?!!). Naming your little one’s cuddly toys with alliterative names or asking your little one to spot all of the ‘s’ sounds on a page of a book are great activities to try.

Doing the Animal Bop

by Jan Ormerod and Lindsey Gardiner.

Published by Oxford University Press.

A lovely story introducing different animal movements. It’s a great one to share with your little one because of all of the alliteration and body percussion, which are both key pre-literacy skills.

Click the image to watch and listen to a reading.

The Gruffalo

Rhythm and Rhyme

Rhythm is noticing how the musical bar is divided i.e. 1 2 3 4 or 1-2, 3-4. At a preschool level we’re more interested in little one’s generally keeping in time with the beat of music and maybe being able to recognise repeated tunes. Rhythm can apply to language too, noticing syllables in words. How many syllables in Gruffalo? How many in mouse?

Rhyme is when two or more word endings sound alike i.e. mouse and house. Julia Donaldson books are not only enthralling stories, but also an absolute gift for rhyming pairs. I wonder how many you can spot? Can your little one fill in rhyming pairs in their favourite stories?

The Gruffalo

by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

Published by Macmillan Children’s Books

We love exploring the characters and habitats in this modern classic through movement.

Click the image to watch and listen to a reading.

10 Little Dinosaurs Front Cover

Voice Sounds

Ok, so your little one has mastered listening (with some selective hearing when you ask them to tidy their toys!!), they also need to develop their own voices. Playing with sound effects like sirens, animal noises and different character voices is a great way for your little one to have fun, understand the world around them and also practice the vocal skills needed to make speech sounds. Lots of roaring is actually a helpful learning experience- who knew?! There are loads of sound effects in the 10 Little series.

10 Little Dinosaurs

by Mike Brownlow and Simon Rickety.

Published by Orchard Books.

This beautifully illustrated counting story is a great way to experiment with voice sounds with a roar…boom…sploosh!

Click the image to watch and listen to a reading.

Happy reading everyone!

Dance is a great way to develop your child’s co-ordination, control and muscle strength; all skills needed for writing.

We’ve teamed up with the Hampshire Library Service to give you a special World Book Day mini Aliens Love Underpants class. Enjoy 20mins for free via the Hampshire Library Service Facebook and YouTube accounts.

Stepping into Stories classes are available for all of the above stories. Visit our Shop for more information.

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