National story telling week.


I will admit I did not know about this until I saw a friends business page, however spured on this blog.

Story telling, reading, book sharing what ever you want to call it is greatly important to a child’s development.

Now a days honestly how often do your read/story tell, to your child, weather a book, magazine or tell story from your own imagination?! Not very often now I best, especially compared to when you were a child.

We are bringing children up now in a more digital age, chill them after a busy day with a tablet or to programme but why?! Ease, convience, child wishes?!

Have you really thought about some the of the benefits to story time?! Here I will share some and well as tips to bring it into you home routine.


How and what it helps in development.

1. Enhances Verbal Skills:
Reading out stories to your children helps in making them develop language as well as in learning new words and phrases.

2. Improves Listening Skills:

The more children are encouraged to listen and share stories, the more it help to improve attention span as well as further listening skills and understanding.

3. Encourages Creativity And Imagination
Listening to a story helps a child imagine the characters, places, what things look like etc. This enhances their creativity, making them more imaginative and open to ideas and free thinking.

4.  A Great Tool For Sharpening Memory:

This is done by sharing books and sotored on more than one occasion and asking your child what happens next, who in the story, even missing words especially on rhyming stories. Kids love this as really gets them involved with reading too and triggers excitement to go on. This can also help childrens attention as adding right bits at right part of the story as well as sequencing, e.g. Beginning, middle and end.

5. Broadens Horizon:

you can expose children to different places, cultures, countries around the world via a book, this will give them more understanding of the world around them.

6. Makes Academic Learning more fun:

Through stories you can make any subject interesting, by allowing this grows children creativity and understanding as linking to their likes and interests. E.g. My son learning about the great fire of London and found two books in library on this and now he really willing to read himself and share facts he has learnt, then impacting on writing skills and more all from a book on an event in 1666. When a child finds things interesting more inclined to want to learn more.

7. Better Communication:

many children have lots of buzzing questions, when focusing on story this can help children to link these questions channel long them to themes e.g. The story. Develop Confidance to ask when they want to know more as well as furthering this learning e.g. If you don’t know answer find a book that may. Again this impacts all learning.

8. Helps To Face Difficult Situations With Ease:

Sometimes children struggle to understand changes, their own feelings, emotions of others and more. Finding a story that real ages to this can really help your child, and prepare them for their life adventure.
Amazon and your local library can be great sauce for these.


9. Makes Them Aware Of Their Own Culture And Roots:

Telling children stories from your own childhood and past activities is great to share family traditions, start new ones and share your personal history. Last year I took my own two up home and showed them my old high school, this made them ask more about me as a child and grew on bonds as well as relighting great memories for myself.

Helping at home.

Many setting including my own childminding have books on offer all the time I have fictional and non fiction, magazines, cook books and travel books. We have story time too daily, where I allow children to choose or I will if I know I am working on something in particular. Tiddler is the favourite at the moment and love seeing the children say part with me. This type of learning is linked into the EYFS.

Photos, pictures and flash cards

Story telling does not just have to be from books or the imagination. Photos are a great sauce too, making up their own from these too if great fun, flash cards and changing bit at a time is great to encourage speaking skills, memory and more as above.

Bedtime story

Just doing one story one night a week before sleep has great impact, increasing this as your child gets used to it has even better results. From bonding with your child, above benefits and even helping calm them before sleep as well as relaxing yourself

Involve your child

Let them know of changes, e.g. No screen but book. Allowing them to choose the book to share. Take them to you local library to get a book for one night, woll greatly impact of your children’s relationship with books.


Visit your local library, sign your child up for a card, the books are free and many under a child’s card don’t get fines if late return, lost or damaged. This also keep local libraries alive and in our areas. Find your local on here…

Book swap

Don’t have many books yourself, ask a friend if you can do swaps with them. Your childcare setting if you use one.  Find a book group online, I know I swap a lot of pass on my books to members in there for little to no costs.




This is our story den, cupboard under the stairs, we have two shelves (£3 each spice racks from ikea) but great to give enought space to have a range of books.

Make them warm cosy and comfortable if you can, or if limited of are just share story on sofa, bed making it cosy so the child has a whole nice approach to books and story telling.


Story time/reading does not gave to be a ruling task, it s amazing benefits as above as well as helping develop further bonds with your child.

Give your child a early lead in interest in books when they reach school, they have no choice on guided reading time with teachers, what harm can it actually do, books are free in library and so if your time.


Embrace story telling week (27th Jan to 3rd Feb)  and feel free to share how you are doing it in the comments.


Home Learning – Early writing


I am often get asked to get children writing, from their own names to more words as they progress.

However learning to write is a long process and takes time.

A child needs to have learnt fine motor skills before writing comes, before fine motor they need the gross motor skills, (use of whole arm and shoulder etc).

Children can not write until they know how to mark make, draw and exploring with tools and media (paint, shaving form etc.)

The process of mark making:

Early marks,

6months plus; as soon as a baby is given crayon and paper a child even baby has the ability to mark make. This is the most fundamental stage.

First they learn how to grasp the crayon, then the hand eye co-ordination to get crayon to paper. Even learnt via putting toy mouth or picking up toys. All these learning skills are developing the children’s arm muscles for starting to scribble. Then the child learns cause and effect skill to  around 2 years, knowing putting pen to paper will make mark, banging a toy makes a sound, all part this learning of cause and effect. this take a long time but is concreating new learning.

Scribble to scribe, 2years plus

This is the process of children learning to scribble to scribing recognisable marks, e.g. lines, letters, shapes and even numbers. This is still a period of experimenting in cause and effects and imitating, the more children see others write and draw the more they will.

From around the age of three children start to grasp the symbolic process of writing, that drawing and marks can stand for objects and words. e.g. child appears to be scribbling but tells you that her, or you. Reading books together and pointing out the words, letters, numbers and more, helps to develop this meaning of writing and drawings.

Here is a sample of how children scribble goes from scribble to writing…  as you can see the first three boxes, children move from general scribbling all over, to then beginning to scribble left to right (as we would read) to then forming more recognisable e.g. shapes, number, some letter and more.


As children learn through these stages they will experiment with different marks, and start to imitate writing e.g. may do up and down zig zag lines that may represent their name.

These early stages of drawing are all key to a child learning to write their name or even just letters from their name.

There area may ways in which you can help your child develop and grow through these stages to start the writing process, however please remember every child is different they all learn at different rate and even within the Early Years Framework which covers your child until age of 5, these documents are guideline not a set “criteria” e.g. there no where saying your child needs to be able to write their own name by ages of 4.

I was taught and always believed a child needs to be able to recognise, hear and see, print and letters before able to forms them within writing.

Here are some tips to help develop scribing and writing at home and other places. gross and fine motor skills too.

*Read to your child. They need to see letters before forming them.

*Sky writing – moving arms and finger around in the air to make shapes and letters

*Allow children to see you write on pen and paper, role modelling if a great influence.

*Make letter, shapes and numbers in variety of media e.g. damp sand, paint, shaving form etc.

*Making coping letter, names write out, laminate and give child a white board pen, then they can copy feel movements needs and re copy.

*Talk while writing, giving key works like curly caterpillar as you go around a C or long ladder to go up the L, one armed robot for the r. These are the patterns that introduce children to formal writing. as I have read in gateway to writing – developing handwriting.

*Allow children to use a variety of shaped and sized mark making materials e.g. think paint brushes and fat outdoor chalk. different paper, lined small, large, plain etc

*Allow your child to explore and play with marks, letters, number shapes

Your child will start to learn the writing basics at school, however early starting is paramount, a interest in drawing and mark making from a early age will give the stepping stones to more progression.

You need to send a message to children early that learning to write is a fun thing to do. I am not a great believer that children will learn a lot via work books, sheets, although some do prefer these but not even mine did until later age. These can sometimes restrict children curiosity, weaking relationships with you and they need to be able to read to really get the most out of these.

Although you can print help sheets like pencil control, dot to dot letters etc, but you child needs the foundation mark making to gain from these.

Your child will have to be able to recognise their name in print before writing it. Let them have fun with marks and drawing, they will have year and years of writing suck at tables in school.

Hopefully you have found this blog helpful. If you have any queries please comment.

Some useful links are here too. As well as links to formal guidelines schools and Early years setting read.

scribble to scribe

literacy trust

gateway to developing handwriting

what to expect when








Home learning.


Home learning, what is it? What’s the benefits? Why do it? 

Home learning: supporting your children’s learning and development at home, familyies homes etc, outside of childcare and or school.

Did you know that from birth you started home learning your own child, you interacted with them, payed together, shared stories, talked to them.

However as your child gets older and older this seems to decrease. They spend more time playing alone or on technology. You stopped sharing that book or no longer do bed time story…. Why?? There are no excuses.

Home learning especially when children are in school or childcare is just as important now as it was when they were younger.

Yes when in school it is more supporting their homework, doing their guided reading but it can be so so much more.

How many time you told you child to go play…yes I am guilty too. You have things to do, cooking tea and housework, or like me you work from home too. It’s all about getting the balance.

Soon with my children in my care under 5, I will be introducing our home bags, every so often they will get a book, one to share with their family. Parents can read and share story with their child, encourage the child to read by asking them what’s happening in the pictures.

Just this 1 change can open up a world of further opportunities for home learning. E.g. Given a book about the shop, it’s read at home, then why not make shopping trip more fun with the children, have them write the list, help pick ad find items needed, add to trolls or bags at the end. From this you can also have your child start helping with the tea preparing, setting table, cutting veg (safety first though) stirring etc. The opportunities from 1 book is emence. The life skills that are taugh here (unknown) are great.

Home learning is not just about home work and workbooks, it’s as fun as you make it, it’s your learning  for your child.

Benefits; Your involvement can have positive effects on your child development and learning, thier own Confidance and knowledge as well as increasing you relationship with them. And who doesn’t want a happy content child. Thees millions of benefits.

How do to it; Research as identified 7 main area know as Early Home Learning Environment Index (EHLEI) as being important elements of home learning that improve educational outcomes;

1: Parents and carers reading to their child

2;parents taking children to the library (do you know your local on)

3; children playing with letters, (even self written or printed to paper)

4; parents and carers helping their child to learn the alplahbet

5; parents and carers teaching thei child numbers and counting

6; parents and carers teaching thei child songs, poems or nursery rhymes.

7; children painting or drawing at home, (how simple)

These 7 things really as simple, effetive, not time consuming things to do, theses 7 things can greatly impact on your children. What’s stopping you doing 1 today even on the school run, or shopping trip, counting oranges etc….

Over the coming months I will share more tips and activities to help support this, show how resources can be made cheap at home.

Go on what is really stopping you from supporting this…..Nothing. I bet you do a lot ready.





WOW 2017, you were kind

Well, it’s 2018 and the New year officially starts.

I have seen so many people saying good byes to a bad 2017… Don’t you think that just your view on life.

Yes bad things may have happened for you, myself and everyone… But why look back on the past in a negative way.

2017 really was amazing for me… And many of you all too. Just look at the smaller things.

Heres my highlights

*Quality time with the kids and my family. Making memories, laughing, time in the sun and snow.

*My best friends wedding.

*Breaks away, day trips (not all good but still done)

*New car, (after killing the old one, lol. Was not laughing at the time)

*Winning exceptional service award for my childminding

*Getting a lot more sorted for me personally, mindset included

*redecorating living room, Ryins bedroom and finally getting my real own stamp on the house,

*Succesful business year, making great memories with all children and fantastic fedback from their families. The book are really really full, waiting list developing.


Sometimes with a negative mind things look bleak, bad year etc. Well why… Look further see the perfect in everything.

I have learnt a lot this year too, as a parent and a person, but iaint we always learning… That life isn’t it after all a full learning curve, no 1 person gping throught the same as you…. So really look back on your year with positivity.

Lessons I have learnt:

*There in a perfect in every day.

*Positivity gets you much further.

*You Create your own destiny.

*You can get what you want… You have to really want it and work for it.

*Work is pleasurable when you love your job and follow your heart.

*Things come in the most unexpected places, when least expected.

So go ahead into 2018 with a positive mind, yes bad things may happen, but keep focused. Your strong, you own this…2018 is your year.