Springboard Speech and Language

Read this if…. you are a parent of a pre-school child, you are an Early Years teacher, or you run narrative/language groups in schools.

We were given a set of Sandra Boynton books from American relatives when our first child was born and we quickly fell in love with them. They are well crafted rhyming books with fun / silly elements and are packed full of things to talk about.

One of my favourites is ‘The Going to Bed book’.  It’s the story of a group of animals living on a boat who go through their bedtime routine (including an exercise session on the deck!).

It is packed full of potential to use as a base for speech and language activites:

(1) Vocabulary – animal names, different forms of exercise, things you need at bedtime.
(2) Sequencing – brushing teeth or having a bath routine (some useful pictures on Twinkl’s website for this).
(3) Retelling the story (narrative skills) – act it out as you go along – the story lends itself well to this.
(4) Play skills – act out the story with props (as in the photo).
(5) Rhyme – go through and spot the rhyming words together.
(6) Early literacy skills/phonological awareness – work out which animals have 1/2/3 syllables when you clap out their names
(7) Descriptive language- take turns to describe your favourite pyjamas or your duvet cover.
(8) Practise a concept such as ‘after’ e.g. ‘What did they do after they brushed their teeth?’ ‘What do you do after you brush your teeth?’ Then look for ways to talk about ‘after’ in the rest of the day e.g. when retelling the day together.

Phew! One little book but loads of language opportunities. Enjoy!