Tuesday, 23 August 2011

5 A Day Books Challenge

Last week I stumbled across The Imagination Tree's 5 A Day book challenge and decided to give it a go with Eden. I've always been an advocate of reading to Eden, and books have been part of daily play at home. However, I love the idea of introducing a bit more of a structure to reading books, rather than the randomness of picking and choosing whatever happens to be lying around, that has up until now been the form.

On the subject of literacy skills, The Imagination Tree highlights the importance of developing TALK and LISTENING skills first, before focussing on reading and writing skills in children. I guess another way of putting it is talking and listening are the BUILDING BLOCKS providing the foundation for reading and writing.

The 5 A DAY challenge involves the following

  1. Choose 5 titles from your book collection or the library
  2. Read them every single day for a week
  3. Short pictures books with rhyme or rhythm are especially useful in helping children's memory of words, so they can join in too
  4. This empowers them to be able to 'read' and re-tell stories from a young age.
Our books this week and how we got on:
As it's our first week on the challenge, the books I chose this week were ones that had a theme of interest to Eden, that I knew she'd enjoy.   

Rabbit's  Nap (Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler)
One of our current library books, picked out as the authors are the creators of The Gruffulo, a fave of Eden's. As the week progressed, I noticed Eden's increasing interest in rabbits, learning the word 'hop' and putting her own rabbit soft toys to bed for a nap. This book's great as a wind-down before a child's own nap-time or bed-time, and on the last page, rabbit finally gets her nap 'ssssshhh!'  

Bath Time (David Bedford and Leonie Worthington)
Another library book, and another book featuring rabbits (part co-incidence). There's a repetitive theme and rhyme all the way through about various animal's 'likes' at bath time. What I noticed with Eden reading this book everyday, was how she picked out a certain bit of 'detail' on each page - her own 'thought' and repeated it each time. For example on the lion page she would notice the bubble on lion's nose, and on the monkey page she'd notice the toy ducks. It was really interesting to see her thought processes through the book. 

That's not my monkey (Fiona Watt and Rachel Wells)
Great for exploring textures, the bright pictures hold Eden's attention. I picked this book as Eden loves monkeys, and we haven't read it for a while. 

Spot Goes to the Farm (Eric Hill)
Spot goes on a lift-the-flap adventure to find baby animals with his Dad. A good book for teaching animal sounds, and learning about baby animals - something Eden has taken an interest in having recently got our own kitten.  

Postman Pat's 1,2,3 (Heinemann Books)
I wanted to include a counting book this week, and Eden really enjoys talking through what's happening on each page of this book - pointing out Postman Pat's glasses and hat, the cat, the sheep walking across the road. For a 20 month old like Eden, the pictures on each page contain just enough detail to have an interesting story behind them that she can recognise. 

So there we have it, our first 5 A Day! I've really enjoyed it, and the repetition of the same 5 books has led to the bonus of watching how Eden's responded to each book in different ways - something I wasn't aware of previously.

You can read more 5 A Day challenges from this week here

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