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Download PDF version - Scottish Book Trust

Scottish Book Trust’s guide to sharing

books with your three-year-old.

Includes exclusive interviews with

Lorraine Kelly and Kenny Logan


WELCOME to Bookbug’s

essential guide to

sharing books with your

child. Bookbug is part

of Scottish Book Trust, the leading

agency for the promotion of

literature, reading and

writing in Scotland. Our

programmes reach people

all over Scotland and help

children and adults alike to be

inspired by books!

e Bookbug programme aims

to provide free packs of books

to every child in Scotland.

It also involves a range of fun,

free activities such as Bookbug

Sessions, where babies, toddlers

and their parents come together to

enjoy rhymes, sing songs and listen

to stories.

e Bookbug guide is all about

sharing books with your child.

It’s filled with tips about the best

places to get books, suggestions for

stories we think your child will

love, ideas on how to encourage

language development – and

insights into why enjoying books

together has so many benefits.

roughout the publication you

can read about parents’ own

experiences of supporting their

child in learning about books,

language and storytelling.

We would like to hear about

your experiences of enjoying

books with your child. Get

in touch with us by emailing

bookbug@scottishbooktrust.com.

We hope you enjoy this edition

of Bookbug, and look forward to

hearing from you!

MEET OUR EXPERTS

A team of advisers shared

their ideas and experience

with us, helping to shape

this edition of Bookbug.

They are (left to right):

Kim Hartley (Scotland

officer, Royal College

of Speech and

Language Therapists),

Dr Suzanne Zeedyk

(senior lecturer in

developmental

BOOKBUG ALERT!

Bookbug packs are gifted through health

visitors, libraries and early years settings at

around eight weeks, 18 months and three years

old. Make sure you know when your next pack is

due by registering online at the address below.

You will also receive special emails on the day of

your child’s birthday, full of book suggestions

and handy tips!

This guide is available in

other formats. For further

information, please email

info@scottishbooktrust.com

Bookbug and all illustrations

in the guide by Debi Gliori

Cert no. TT-COC-002217

psychology, University

of Dundee) and

Dr Moira Leslie

(lecturer at Moray House

School of Education,

University of Edinburgh)

www.scottishbooktrust.com/bookbugalert


CONTENTS

Getting started Supporting your child Books & activities Language & rhyme

4 Waking up to words

Exclusive interview

with GMTV presenter

Lorraine Kelly

7 Sit back and relax…

How reading together

benefits you and your child

12 Breaking down

barriers

Rugby star Kenny Logan

on how dyslexia affected

his childhood

18 Books we think your

child will love

We recommend some of

the best stories available

26 Word power

Revealing the many

benefits of being bilingual

27 Talking your

language

Celebrating Scots rhyme

20 Where to get books

Whether you are

borrowing or buying,

here is where to go

8 Practical tips

for parents

Ideas to help give your child

a love of reading for life

14 Reading with blind

or deaf children

Making storytelling fun for

children with additional

support needs

28 Make time

for a rhyme

How music and song can

improve your child’s

language skills

10 Meaningful marks

Tips for encouraging your

child’s first attempts at

writing and drawing

11 Count me in

Why everyday activities

can help your child

understand numbers

16 Look who’s talking

Ideas to boost your child’s

language skills

17 Step by step

Milestones to watch out

for in your child’s

development

22 Bookbug’s Library

Challenge

The free programme

encouraging children

to love their library

23 Reading all together

Sharing books with

different ages

24 Let’s have fun

together!

A handy guide to pirate

games and activities

29 Bookbug Sessions

Find out about our free,

friendly local events aimed

at having fun together

30 Pirate rhymes

Pirate-themed songs for

you and your child to enjoy

Bookbug 3


GETTING STARTED

Waking up to words

GMTV presenter Lorraine Kelly talks to

Scottish Book Trust about her lifelong passion

for reading, writing her autobiography – and

her most embarrassing moment

4 Bookbug

PHOTO: NICKY JOHNSTON/GMTV

HOW DID YOU FIND TIME TO

READ TO YOUR DAUGHTER

WHEN SHE WAS YOUNG? I was

always surrounded by books

when I was growing up, and

I think that influenced how I

read to my daughter. My mum

taught me to read and write

before I went to primary school,

so I had a huge advantage. From

a tiny age all my family were

great readers and there were lots

of books in the house.

I always have a book in my bag

and I’m always reading. I still

have all my books from when

I was a wee girl. Even when my

daughter Rosie was a baby I read

to her – picture books about

animals and stories like Each

Even when

my daughter

was a baby

I read to her.

Bath time or

just before

they go to

sleep is a

great time

to do it

Peach Pear Plum. It’s great for

their imagination. Bath time

or just before they go to sleep

is a great time to do it. We read

e Wind in the Willows, e

Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and

everything by AA Milne. It was

great to rediscover stories like

that through reading to Rosie.

People like JK Rowling have

helped to get kids reading again

and I hugely admire her for that.

WHAT WAS YOUR DAUGHTER’S

FAVOURITE CHILDREN’S BOOK?

She had lots. Each Peach Pear

Plum, anything by Dr Seuss, like

Green Eggs and Ham, and Enid

Blyton’s St Clare’s books. She

reads the Twilight books now.

She’s always reading!

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY READING?

I have a huge collection of books

about Antarctica, which I love. I

did Russian at school so I read


GETTING STARTED

and reread a lot of Tolstoy and

Turgenev. I also like Marian

Keyes and Maeve Binchy.

HOW DO YOU RELAX? I do read

books to relax but I also have to

read for work. I’ve always got a

book on the go. I like to go back

to old favourites. My dad is

really interested in astronomy.

It’s fascinating to look back

at astronomy books that were

written in the 1960s and see how

things have changed.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE

YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY,

LORRAINE: BETWEEN YOU AND

ME? A biography had come out

and that was fine but it was a cutand-paste

job with lots of

mistakes in it. I thought it would

be good fun to write something

myself. I loved the process of

writing – talking to my family

and finding out stories from

them. But writing fiction is a real

job. If I did it, it would have to be

for the right reasons – something

I was devoted to and really

believed in.

HAVE YOU EVER THOUGHT OF

WRITING CHILDREN’S BOOKS

YOURSELF? Children’s books

My favourite places in Scotland

Orkney and Barra

I am currently reading

South by Ernest Shackleton

I always wanted to grow up to be

Jo from Little Women

My earliest memory

Being outside our single end in

the Gorbals when I was about

two, bawling my head off because

I had a scratchy woolly hat on!

My daughter’s first word

“Dada”, swiftly followed by “no”!

are incredibly hard to write.

It’s a very demanding audience!

You have to have a talent for

creating an absorbing story

that’s completely engaging

for children. You need to be

starry-eyed!

OUT OF ALL THE CELEBRITIES

YOU’VE INTERVIEWED, WHO

HAS BEEN YOUR FAVOURITE?

ere are a few! George

Clooney and Will Smith are

always a joy to interview

because they treat the whole

thing as fun and make it so

easy for you. Paul O’Grady was

the surprise host for my 50th

birthday show on GMTV and

he is a delight – funny and

generous but with that

brilliant waspish humour.

And Peter Ustinov was lovely.

He was a great communicator

Lorraine's

childhood

experiences of

books influenced

how she read to

her daughter

and an extremely well-read and

absolutely fascinating man.

He could communicate with

anyone without ever being

patronising, which is a real

talent. He was a raconteur,

writer and actor; he had such

a long and varied career.

WHO IS YOUR FAVOURITE

CHARACTER, EITHER FROM A

CHILDREN’S BOOK OR A BOOK

FOR ADULTS? I loved Winnie the

Pooh. He was cheeky and a rebel

– I really liked that. But my

favourite character of all time

would have to be Raskolnikov

from Crime and Punishment.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR MOST

EMBARRASSING MOMENT ON

GMTV? I was coming down the

stairs on one of the shows and I

just fell over! I have an earpiece

so that the producers can tell me

things while we’re on air and all I

could hear in my ear was them

howling with laughter! When

something like that happens you

just admit it and go with it. I

stood up and I’d skinned my

knees. I said, “Does anyone have

any ideas about how to help

someone who’s skinned their

knees?” And lots of people sent

in suggestions.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO STAY

IN DUNDEE AND NOT MOVE TO

LONDON? GMTV have allowed

me to stay up here – they’ve been

fantastic. I do the Monday and

Tuesday shows live in London

and then record two days. So I’m

only away from home for two

days. It has meant that Rosie

could go to school in Scotland.

I feel very lucky to be able to live

here. I love London but it’s great

to be able to live in Scotland and

be with my family – it’s the

best of both worlds. ●

6

Bookbug


Sit back and relax

Cuddling up together to read a story brings a surprising range

of benefits for children and parents, as Suzanne Zeedyk explains

Emotional

benefits

Effects on your

child’s brain

and body

Every time your child enjoys time

reading with you, important neural

pathways in their brain are being

strengthened.

If story time is part of a predictable

evening routine, this will be good

for the development of the

amygdala, which is a part of the

brain that processes emotions.

When your child cuddles up to

you, their body produces a

hormone called oxytocin

(sometimes called the ‘cuddle

chemical’). This brings a feeling

of contentment and security, a

reduction in the heart rate and a

sense of calmness and relaxation.

This is an opportunity to share

experiences and have fun together.

You can link events in the story with

your child’s feelings, and explore

new emotions by talking about the

experiences of the characters.

Your child will be anticipating your

attention. If they point to a picture of

a dog in a story, and say “Dog!”,

they may turn to look at you and

expect a positive response. If you say

“Well done!” or “Yes, that’s a dog”,

you help reinforce their confidence,

and emphasise a shared

understanding between you.

If you aren't a very confident reader

yourself, don’t worry. Make up some

stories about the pictures. The most

important thing for children is that

they are having an enjoyable time

with you.

Dr Suzanne Zeedyk is

senior lecturer in

developmental

psychology at the

University of Dundee

Learning and

development

You and your child are giving joint

attention to the story in both

pictures and ideas. This is an ideal

setting for learning new words

and concepts. You can also relate

what you read to things your child

has recently experienced.

Bedtime stories help to establish an

understanding of boundaries. You

can do this by telling your child how

many stories you’re going to read

and then saying before the last one,

“Okay, we will read one more story

and then we’ll say goodnight.”

Bookbug 7


GETTING STARTED

Practical

tips for

parents

1IT DOESN’T HAVE TO TAKE LONG! You just

need a few minutes every day to read

together. Sit your child on your knee or

anywhere close to you, and simply turn the pages

of a book, chatting about the pictures.

2IT’S FUN Reading to your child helps

you both enjoy special quiet moments

together every day – and it’s the perfect

time to have a cuddle!

3EVERYONE CAN HELP Encourage everyone

to share books with your child –

grandparents, carers, older brothers and

8

Bookbug

Follow

our

advice

and give

your child

a love of

reading

for life

sisters, and friends. ey could also recommend

favourite stories, authors or places to get books.

4READ ANYTHING Choose something that

you like to read. It doesn’t matter what you

pick – it could be stories, poems, comics or

rhymes. If you enjoy reading, your child will notice.

5READ TO YOUR CHILD AT BEDTIME It’s a

great way to end the day on a calm, positive

note for both of you. Your child will sleep

better if they feel relaxed and so will you!

6BOOKS MAKE GREAT PRESENTS Suggest

to friends and relatives that they buy your

child a book as a gi for a special

occasion. And if you go to a birthday party,

buy a book – it’s cheap and it’s sure to be a hit.

7TAKE A BOOK WITH YOU WHEREVER

YOU GO You can look at it with your

child when you’re waiting for the bus,

visiting the doctor or sitting on a train. Children

are better behaved when they have something to

focus on, and reading a storybook is ideal.


of ensuring that books

become a central part

of your child’s life.

9JOIN YOUR LOCAL

LIBRARY Children

are never too

young to join. It’s free

and you can borrow a

great selection of books.

Let your child pick books

they like – and choose a few

you’d like to read too.

10

BOOKS

ENCOURAGE WRITING Sharing

books together will inspire your child

to begin drawing, writing and coming

up with their own stories. Encourage your child

to do this by sending a pirate postcard to a

grandparent.

8BOOKS DON’T HAVE

TO STAY ON THE

BOOKSHELF! Make

sure books are easy for your

child to find and pick up

around the house. Why not put

a few inside your child’s toy box

too? Or under their pillow, or in

the bathroom? It’s a simple way

My experience…

Alison (28), mum to Gemma (four),

and Rory (18 months)

“My kids both like books with textures

to touch or little doors to open. They like

books with strong rhythms and brightly

coloured pictures. I found it hard at

first when the older one wanted the

same books again and again but I

realised that this really helped her

understand the stories. Now she has

YOUR CHILD BECOME A BOOK

LOVER It won’t be long before your child

11WATCH

brings their favourite books to you,

asking you to read with them. Children love

reading the same book again and again and

knowing what happens next – so enjoy it

with them! Follow their lead and look

for interesting new details on the page.

12

AND DON’T FORGET –

READING TO CHILDREN

GIVES THEM A HEAD START

IN LIFE Sharing books with your child will

help develop their listening and language

skills. ey will also find learning to read

much easier when they start school. ●

started wanting to make her own little

‘books’ by sticking her drawings

together. When I was heavily

pregnant with my second child, books

were a lifesaver. When I got exhausted in

the afternoons I would snuggle up with

my daughter and read while

getting a lie-down!”

Bookbug 9


GETTING STARTED

Meaningful

marks

Your child’s early attempts at

writing can be fascinating and

fun. Moira Leslie explains what

you can do to encourage them

SHARInG storybooks and

rhymes with children from

day one is great fun. It is

also likely to have a

positive impact on their early

literacy development.

Talking, reading and writing

are all connected, so as well as

frequent book-reading, your

child will benefit from lots of

opportunities to explore and play

with different writing materials.

Try to involve your child as

oen as possible in activities such

as writing shopping lists, birthday

cards and notes. As your child

sees you writing, reading back

what you have written and talking

about why you are writing, they

will probably want to have a go at

writing too. Praise and

encourage your child

whenever you see

him or her

experimenting

with writing

while

playing.

Talking with

young children

about their

Maya, 22 months,

drawing a play

park (below),

and an envelope

on which she

has written her

name (above).

Note the ‘m’

mark-making and early attempts

at writing is an important first

step in helping them understand

the connections between

reading and writing.

You are unlikely to be able to

‘read’ any of your child’s early

pieces of writing! Very early

attempts will take many forms –

they might look like random

marks or scribbles on the page.

Later, you might be able to pick

out shapes that look like invented

or recognisable letters, perhaps

from your child’s name.

Whatever your child produces,

show that you are interested in it

and that you feel it is important.

You can do this by having a

conversation about what they

were thinking about when

they did the writing, and

by asking them to read it

aloud to you. By joining

in this enjoyable writing

play with your child and

talking together, you

will begin to find out

what he or she

understands about writing.

is will give you ideas about

how to support and develop

this interest.

Young children’s mark-making

and early attempts at writing are

fascinating. Collect examples as

your child is growing up and you

will have a precious keepsake

from these important first years

of development. ●

Dr Moira Leslie is a lecturer at

Moray House School of Education,

University of Edinburgh

Top tips

Make special books with your

child using photographs of family,

favourite toys, pets, your street…

the list is endless! Make up the

story together and let your child

see the words appearing on

the page as you write their

contribution. Your child will love

sharing these books and will

probably try to read them to you!

Put together a special box

of interesting writing materials

and involve your child in choosing

what to put in the box. Paper

folded into different book shapes

will encourage your child to

have a go at creating their

own little books.

10 Bookbug


Count me in

Everyday

activities

can help

young

children

grasp the

basics of

maths,

explains

Professor

Aline-

Wendy

Dunlop

Professor Aline-

Wendy Dunlop

is chair of

childhood and

primary studies

in the Faculty of

Education,

University of

Strathclyde

WHEn MY first grandchild was three

weeks old, my younger daughter and

I were visiting just before bath time.

Calum was lying kicking on his bath

towel. His admiring audience sat close in, faces

within his view. He looked from one adult face to

another in turn. en his mum went to fill his

baby bath. Calum again looked round the faces

– one, two, three – where was his mum? One,

two, three, and he cried.

As a fond granny with a passion

for child development, I declared,

“Calum’s going to be great at maths –

he’s counting already!”

How can we ensure that children grow

up with a useful grasp of mathematics

and numbers? Opportunities to develop

basic numeracy surround us in our

everyday lives. Parents and carers

typically chat to even very young

children about the mathematical tasks

they themselves undertake.

Almost every activity during the

day provides opportunities to talk

about numbers with little ones. ese

can include:

• Writing a shopping list with ‘how many’ of each

item is needed

• Pressing the button for the right floor in the li

• Spotting the bus number at the bus stop

• Buying enough sausages for tea

• Making sure there is a cup or piece of toast or

apple for everyone

• Looking at books such as e Very Hungry

Caterpillar which make numbers, counting and

sequencing part of the story

• naming and counting everyone in a family photo

• Singing songs such as ‘One, two, three, four, five,

once I caught a fish alive’

• Playing with fingers and toes

• Pouring water in and out of containers in the bath

• Stacking beakers by size

• Counting candles on birthday cakes

• Sorting the washing into piles

• Picking up shells, leaves, sticks, clothes pegs

and toys

• Counting the steps upstairs to bed.

ese everyday activities indirectly and quite

naturally help little children to enjoy ‘the language

of maths’ from an early age.

Most children will soon notice if there is a

banana short at teatime, if there aren’t enough

sweeties to go round or if one foot has lost its sock.

With the help of their parents, children will

naturally develop a playful understanding of

number, colour, shapes, groups, one-to-one

matching, counting, classifying and sequencing.

A child who uses number concepts in these

practical ways is already a mathematician!

A strict or formal approach to numeracy is not

needed with the youngest children. But an adult

who notices maths and numbers in everyday

things can help children to be observant too,

to count, to use number names and to have fun

in a practical way. ●

Bookbug 11


SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD

Breaking

down

barriers

Rugby player Kenny Logan talks

about fatherhood, his first book –

and why being dyslexic doesn’t

have to hold you back

HOW OLD WERE YOU WHEN YOU

FOUND OUT THAT YOU WERE

DYSLEXIC? I was 16 or 17. I lived

through my childhood thinking

I was thick. It wasn’t until a

teacher helped me aer school

that I understood. e only

thing I was told was that it wasn’t

about being stupid. My teacher

started telling me about people

who were dyslexic who had been

very successful, like Winston

Churchill and Jackie Stewart,

and that made me feel better.

e first book I read was Lassie,

which is probably aimed at a

nine or ten-year-old child. at

took a year to read. I was so tired

by trying to read it – I couldn’t

take it in.

WHAT WAS IT LIKE WRITING

YOUR AUTOBIOGRAPHY, JUST

FOR KICKS? e best thing about

the book was actually doing it –

I wrote about and talked about

things I’d never opened up

about before. It was a journey.

When I got to the part about

school I didn’t want to continue

with it because it was such a sad

part of my life. But then I got

into it again. Talking about

dyslexia and seeing how other

young children cope with it has

The only

thing I was

told was that

it wasn’t

about being

stupid

made me understand it better

and feel good about it.

WHAT KIND OF SUPPORT DO

YOU THINK DYSLEXIC CHILDREN

NEED TO BE GIVEN BY THEIR

FAMILIES? It’s really important

to recognise that every child

is different. My wife Gabby and

I have twins, a girl and a boy.

My daughter, aged four, takes

everything in like a sponge, but

with my son you have to sit down

and really talk to him. e most

important thing is praise – talk to

them, help them understand,

spend time with them, and be

positive. I don’t shout at them, I

speak to them. I try to treat them

as if we’re players in a rugby team

– you go and help them!

Communicating with your kids

is essential. I don’t think I could

have told my mum or dad that I

couldn’t read; I was so frustrated

as a kid and it hindered me.

Children need to be able to speak

and be heard by their mums and

dads and teachers.

HAVE YOU ENCOUNTERED

PREJUDICE ABOUT BEING

DYSLEXIC AS AN ADULT? In the

past the hardest thing for me

was telling people. But now if I

can’t spell someone’s name I just

ask them, even if I have to ask

them three times – by the third

time I’ll definitely be able to

write it down. I’m lucky – if I say

12

Bookbug


I’m dyslexic people are

interested because I’m in the

media. I le school without

a qualification and I didn’t go

to university, but I’ve done okay

as a rugby player and then in

business. In the business world

there are many people who are

dyslexic or who can’t read but

they’re hugely successful and

happy in their careers. It doesn’t

have to hold you back.

WHAT WAS THE NICEST THING

THE RUGBY COMMENTATOR BILL

McLAREN EVER SAID ABOUT

YOU? He used to call me “a son

of the soil, a little farmer boy

from Stirling”! I had a lot of

respect for him; I grew up

listening to him, and he was one

of the biggest influences on my

rugby career. He was the nicest

man, and such a big figure in

Scotland – he was loved. When

you travelled around the world,

the first question from other

rugby players would always be,

“Have you met Bill McLaren?”

His commentary was so honest;

he made you feel like you were

part of the game.

WHAT HAVE BEEN THE

HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR RUGBY

CAREER? Four things stand out.

Winning the league for Stirling

County in 1994/95. Winning the

Five nations in 1999 playing for

Scotland – not many people get

the opportunity to play for their

country and win for your

country. Moving to [English

professional rugby union team]

London Wasps – going to a big

club and having such an impact.

And the amount of good people

I’ve met through my rugby

career has been very special.

I look back at rugby and enjoy

and appreciate everything that it

has given me. ●

Exposure to books is essential

when learning to read – and

particularly helpful for children

who may be dyslexic, writes

Kathleen Clark

Kathleen Clark

recently retired

as a senior

lecturer at the

University of

Strathclyde

where she was

course director

of the Masters

programme in

Educational

Support. Her

specialist area

is dyslexia

DYSLExIA,

as literally

translated,

means a

difficulty with

words. It can result

in children

struggling to learn to

read and write.

Dyslexia has other

characteristics in

addition to poor literacy

development. It tends to

run in families and can

affect spoken language

development, co-ordination,

memory skills, organisational

skills, and the processing of

information received via the

ears and/or the eyes.

Unfortunately it is more

common to hear about the

negative aspects of being

dyslexic rather than the

success achieved by many who

are affected by it. It is a subject

that can cause much anxiety

for parents.

EXCEPTIONAL CREATIVITY

Recent research refers to

dyslexia as a ‘difference’

in the way the brain deals

with learning, rather than

something wrong with brain

function. Many people who are

dyslexic have exceptional talents

as a result of such difference.

In very young children it is

not possible – or desirable –

to conclude that they may

be dyslexic. This is because

children develop different skills

in a time frame that varies from

child to child. Sometimes

children may produce words

with a jumbled sequence of

sounds, saying things like

‘vigenar’ instead of ‘vinegar’ –

but all children will do this

at some point while

learning new vocabulary.

LISTENING, SEEING

AND DOING

Young children

should have lots of

opportunities to hear

and repeat words,

rhymes and stories.

is helps build

up their

vocabulary and

tune in to words, regardless

of whether or not they may

be dyslexic.

e more exposure children

have to books, the better

prepared they will be to learn to

read – and later to write. Try to:

• Read to your child every day

• Let your child see you reading

in the home and enjoying it

• Let your child choose the

books they want to read.

Hearing stories, touching

books, talking about the

pictures, and pretend writing

and drawing of stories will make

the experience a multi-sensory

one. is means children will

learn and remember better by

using the skills of listening,

seeing and doing.

Such a multi-sensory

approach works for all children

and is particularly important if

dyslexia is a possibility.

So even if children have

problems reading at some point,

early immersion in language will

help them overcome difficulties.

Parents and carers, therefore,

have a crucial role to play in

engaging their children in the

joy of books. ●

Bookbug 13


SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD

BOOKS CAn spark children’s imaginations,

reassure them and help them relax. Pages

with shapes and textures can develop your

child’s confidence in using their hands.

Learning to hold a book and turn pages is an

important skill for the future. Most importantly,

books can be fun!

SHARING BOOKS WITH BLIND AND

VISUALLY IMPAIRED CHILDREN

If your child is blind or partially sighted, sharing a

story with them can be a happy, positive and

helpful thing to do.

Listening to your voice as you read and sing

gives blind and partially sighted children a feel

for the sounds and rhythms of language.

WHICH BOOKS SHOULD I CHOOSE?

• Blind or partially sighted children may not be

familiar with things that they might otherwise

absorb by seeing the world around them. So

books about things your child has recently

experienced, or ideas that are familiar to them,

can be a good starting point

• Look for books with print that is easy to read

Books that have words in plain bold lettering

and text written on a plain background are best

• Choose stories with simple, bold illustrations

and clear outlines

Books featuring clear photos of real objects can

be useful

• Start with books that have flaps, noises or

textures to enjoy

Books with songs and rhymes help younger

children with communication skills. ey are

lots of fun and mean other family members can

join in too.

HOW CAN I MAKE SURE MY CHILD

FEELS INVOLVED?

• Get them to help hold the book and turn

the pages

• Ask them lots of questions as you read and

explain things they don’t understand

• Relate things in the books to things your child

knows about (for example, you could ask,

“You’ve got a teddy too, haven’t you?”)

• Give your child their own bookshelf and

encourage them to choose which books to read

• Adding tactile pictures or text stickers can help

blind or partially sighted children find their

favourite books

14

Bookbug

• If you’re using touch-and-feel books, remember

to talk through what a child is about to feel so

that unexpected textures do not come as a shock

when they’re touched!

• Make sharing books a daily pleasure.

MAKE IT FUN

• Try changing stories to fit with your child’s

experience, or replace character names with

family names

• Get your child to say what will happen next or

fill in missing words

• Put your body into the position of the character

in the story and let your child climb around you

to get a ‘picture’ of what is happening

• Add sound effects and use your voice playfully

to pretend that you are different characters

in the story

• Encourage your child to take on a character’s

role and act out the story.

SHARING BOOKS WITH DEAF AND HEARING-

IMPAIRED CHILDREN

WHICH BOOKS SHOULD I CHOOSE?

• Very young children like books that are

highly visual and colourful with clear,

uncluttered images

• Touch-and-feel books with different textures are

great fun

• Look for books that relate to experiences your

child has had

• Start with books that have flaps, patterns or

textures to enjoy.

Reading with

blind or deaf

children

Children with additional support needs can

enjoy books as much as anyone else. Here are

some suggestions for how you can help


HOW CAN I MAKE SURE MY CHILD

FEELS INVOLVED?

• ink about how to sit so your child is at your

level and can see your face so you can establish

good eye contact

• Make sure there is enough light so your face and

the book can be seen clearly

• If you don’t use BSL (British Sign Language)

try using gestures to support the visual

communication between you

Gabriel, who has a

hearing

impairment,

enjoying a book

with his dad

• Take your time so children can see the pictures,

text and your facial expressions

• Try propping the book up in front of you

facing the child, even if you have to read the

text upside down!

• Encourage children to talk about emotions

by looking at the character’s expressions

• Get your child to say what will happen next and

fill in missing words and sounds

• Repeat the same stories again

and again.

is will help develop

language and be

reassuring for your child.

MAKE IT FUN

• Try using real objects and

props to act out

the story

• Use funny facial expressions to keep

children entertained

• Play at dressing up

as characters and

using puppets

• Make a ‘story sack’ and fill it with interactive

materials to bring a book to life. ●

Not all these suggestions will apply to your child

but they may be a useful starting point.

For further advice, contact

THE LIVING PAINTINGS TRUST

A free service that offers specialist

touch-and-feel books.

Contact: 01635 299771;

info@livingpaintings.org

www.livingpaintings.org

CLEARVISION A library service for

Very young

children like

books that

are highly

visual and

colourful

with clear,

uncluttered

images

touch-and-feel Braille and Moon books.

Contact: 020 8789 9575;

info@clearvisionproject.org

www.clearvisionproject.org

SCOTTISH BRAILLE PRESS

Contact: 0131 662 4445

www.royalblind.org/scottishbraillepress

Bookbug 15


SUPPORTING YOUR CHILD

NORMAN ADAMS LBIPP, ABERDEEN CITY COUNCIL

Look who’s talking

Top tips for developing your child’s language

and communication skills by Kim Hartley

Join in with

your child’s

pretend play

– and let

them take

the lead

activity helps children develop

language for new situations.

SPEECH AnD language is

central to the way parents

and children make a

connection with one

another. By talking to your child

and responding to what they say

and do, you are creating a bond

with them that will last your

whole life.

Speech and language

development needs to happen

before your child can make a

start on reading and writing.

Although children develop

communication skills at

different rates, there are lots of

things parents can do to help.

• Having a dedicated time each

day to talk about what has

happened will help your child’s

memory. It’s also a chance for

them to practise talking about

16

Bookbug

things outside the ‘there and

then’.

• Use pictures or objects to help

focus children’s attention – for

example, illustrations in books

or puppets acting out stories.

• Talk about or play games

involving opposites, like ‘on

and off’ or ‘big and little’.

• Join in with your child’s pretend

play – and let them take the

lead. Try to comment on what

they are saying and doing rather

than asking lots of questions.

is not only reinforces their

language skills, but also shows

them that you are interested

and listening to them.

• Reversing roles with a child,

where they are the mummy or

daddy and ask you to do things,

can be great fun. is sort of

Kim Hartley is

Scotland officer

at the Royal

College of

Speech and

Language

Therapists

IF YOU HAVE CONCERNS ABOUT

YOUR CHILD’S SPEECH,

LANGUAGE OR

COMMUNICATION...

Let your health visitor know or

ask your local speech and

language therapist for an

appointment. You can find your

local speech and language

therapist through your health

board, nursery, GP or in the

phone book. ●

More advice, ideas and tips...

The tips above come from Talking Point

(www.ican.org.uk/talkingpoint/), a website full of

ideas, advice and useful resources to help children

develop speech, language and communication.

Talking Point was produced by experts from the Royal

College of Speech and Language Therapists, I CAN

and AFASIC.


Step by step

All children develop at different stages, but here are

some milestones to watch out for – while parents

give us their perspective on learning

These are

guidelines only,

and may not

reflect your

child’s

behaviour or

stage of

development.

Talk to your GP

or health visitor

if you have

concerns

Three years

At three your child may:

• Listen eagerly to stories and ask for favourites

to be repeated

• Know several nursery rhymes

• Be able to say his or her full name, sex and age

• Ask many questions, beginning with

‘who’, ‘what’ and ‘where’

• Enjoy make-believe play involving

imaginary people and things

• Join in play with other children.

MY EXPERIENCE …

Tanja, mother of Ronja (three)

and Tomi (two): “My daughter

made us all laugh when she

mastered saying her own

name in full and then greeted

everyone she met in the street by

telling them what it was! We

praised her a lot when she got it

right – and she then moved on

to learning her address!”

Four years

Aged four your child may:

• Speak in a more straightforward, confident and

direct way, for example “I did that before”, “I

need the toilet”, “What’s for lunch?”

• Ask lots of questions!

• Draw recognisable figures with faces and limbs

• Recognise some numbers and be able to count

from one to ten

• Recognise some letters

• Show an interest in how their name looks

written down

• Prefer to play in a group of up to three children.

MY EXPERIENCE …

Jackie, mother of Ashley

(four): “My mum –

Ashley’s granny – told

me to say something

general like ‘Tell

me about your

drawing’ when

Ashley draws a

picture, rather than

offending her by

thinking her dog

is a giraffe!”

Five years

At five your child may:

• Talk in full sentences

• Be able to complete a few simple sums

• Count up to ten objects

• Show an interest in protecting and caring

for a younger brother or sister

• Ask adults meaningful questions, such as

“What is this for?”, “How does this work?”

• Be comfortable when separated from a

parent at nursery or school

• Play in more defined groups of two to five

• Develop stronger and more enduring

friendships.

MY EXPERIENCE …

Mike, father of Sam (five) and Elliot (two):

“When my second child was born I never

thought the two boys would get along,

but now the older one is so protective.

My partner and I have encouraged this

by giving Sam more

responsibility and

involving him in things

like choosing clothes and

stories for his brother.

Now the little one’s become

the sidekick in Sam’s

superhero games!”

Bookbug 17


BOOKS & ACTIVITIES

Books we think

your child will

love…

Our guide to some

of the best stories

available

ALFIE GETS IN FIRST

Written and illustrated by Shirley

Hughes Alfie, his mum and baby

sister arrive home aer

shopping. While his mum

struggles with the pushchair,

Alfie rushes inside and slams the

door. So now Alfie’s stuck inside

and mum and baby are stuck

outside without a key! Soon

everyone in the street becomes

involved in trying to rescue Alfie,

but he’s got plans of his own...

MOON RABBIT

Written and illustrated Natalie

Russell Little Rabbit likes living in

18

Bookbug

the busy city. But at night when

she’s all alone she looks up at the

moon and wonders if there’s

someone else out there. en she

meets Brown Rabbit in the park,

and he’s just the friend she has

been wishing for. But how long

before the bright lights call Little

Rabbit back to the city? An

unforgettable story with

stunning illustrations.

THE ELEPHANTOM

Written and illustrated by Ross

Collins What’s a small girl to do

when a mischievous,

bothersome Elephantom just

won’t leave her alone?

Luckily, Granny has the

perfect solution... Edgy

illustrations make Ross

Collins’ wry comic tale of

a pesky ghost pet an

instant hit!

THE INCREDIBLE BOOK

EATING BOY

Written and illustrated by Oliver

Jeffers Henry loves books so

much that he eats them! He

loves to devour books of every

shape and size – though red ones


MEGGIE MOON

Written by Elizabeth Baguley and

illustrated by Gregoire Mabire

Digger and Tiger spend all their

time in the Yard. no one else

dares to come there – it’s their

place. en one day someone

arrives, wanting to play. Worse

still, it’s a girl! But when Meggie

builds a fantastic racing car and

then an amazing pirate ship,

they have to admit she does have

some brilliant ideas...

THE SELFISH CROCODILE BOOK

OF NURSERY RHYMES

Written by Faustin Charles and

illustrated by Michael Terry

A superb collection of

traditional nursery rhymes with

an animal twist. Accompanied

by a fantastic audio CD

narrating the poems with lots of

amazing animal sounds, this will

make a much-loved and muchlistened-to

collection for

younger readers.

are his favourite. e more

books Henry eats, the

smarter he gets – until one

day it all starts to go a bit

wrong. e humour of this

book will appeal to children,

especially little boys.

A NEW HOME FOR A PIRATE

Written by Ronda Armitage and

illustrated by Holly Swain Pirate Jed

is seasick and doesn’t want to be

a pirate any more. So he packs up

his things and heads for dry land.

On his adventure he encounters

a cast of animals all needing his

help. Together they meet Farmer

Ted who is fed up with life on dry

land, so he and Jed decide to

swap! A gentle adventure about

friendship, fun and finding your

place in the world.

LITTLE BOAT

Written and illustrated by Thomas

Docherty Little Boat is an

independent and determined

vessel who sails bravely on,

whatever dangers he may face.

Docherty perfectly captures the

emotions of a little traveller, with

a great sense of movement and

perspective, and a limited but

highly effective colour palette.

You really get the feel of the huge

ocean in all its moods from this

delightful story. ●

Bookbug 19


BOOKS & ACTIVITIES

Where to get

your books

As a parent you know that reading with your

children can encourage a lifelong passion for

books – but where can you find the right

stories to read to them?

LIBRARIES

Most libraries have a children’s book section.

ese days, libraries aren’t stuffy places where

children must stay silent. ey’re warm and

welcoming, with a big range of books to interest

your child. Library staff can give lots of helpful

advice about choosing children’s books – so don’t

be afraid to ask them!

Joining a library for free also means you can

read lots of different books that won’t cost you

anything. Most libraries don’t charge fines for

children’s books and you can usually borrow more

than enough books to last you until your next visit!

So make the most of it – try out lots of different

stories and themes with a whole range of

characters and settings to see what your child

enjoys most.

If you use the internet, you can find your nearest

library at www.scotlandsinformation.com. e

website gives information on opening hours and

access for disabled visitors, alongside contact details

and links to the library catalogue. As well as allowing

you to borrow books for free, all of Scotland’s

libraries offer free broadband internet access.

NURSERIES

nurseries recognise the importance of reading and

sharing books. Some have libraries for the children

to borrow books from. is encourages your child

to make their own choices about what to look at,

and means they can learn early on about how

libraries work. e nursery is also an ideal

environment for your child to talk to their friends

and teachers about stories they’ve read, or make

the stories part of their play.

Top tips

• Children’s libraries often have toys for children to play with

• Don’t worry if your child is not interested in the books at first. Select

a few books to look at yourself and they’ll soon want to get involved!

• Or you could read a story and then act it out using the toys.

20

Bookbug

CHARITY SHOPS

Charity shops are a cheap source of books for

children – and a good way of giving

some money to charity. Although

the books will be secondhand,

most children

care more about the

colours, pictures,

words and characters

in a story than

whether the book has

been a bit chewed by

another child!


These days,

libraries

aren’t stuffy

places

where

children

must stay

silent.

They’re

warm and

welcoming

BOOKSHOPS

Most large bookshops, such as Waterstone’s and

Blackwell’s, have extensive children’s book

sections, oen with well-trained staff who can help

you choose the right book for your child. e

children’s section is usually arranged in age order

to help you find your way around. ere are also a

few specialised children’s bookshops around

Scotland – if you have internet access, look online

to find one near you. ●

Contact your local library

For information on opening hours,

locations or joining instructions for

your local libraries, please call your

local authority’s library headquarters

telephone number, listed here, or visit

www.scotlandsinformation.com

Aberdeen 01224 652500

Aberdeenshire 01651 872707

Angus 01241 435103

Argyll and Bute 01369 703214

Clackmannanshire 01259 722262

Dumfries and Galloway 01387 253 820

Dundee 01382 431500

East Ayrshire 01563 554300

East Dunbartonshire 0141 775 4501

East Lothian 01620 828220

East Renfrewshire 0141 577 3500

Edinburgh 0131 242 8000

Highland 01463 235713

Falkirk 01324 506800

Fife 01592 583204

Glasgow 0141 287 2999

Inverclyde 01475 712323

Midlothian 0131 271 6668

Moray 01343 562600

North Ayrshire 01294 212 716

North Lanarkshire 01698 403 200

Orkney Islands 01856 873166

Perth and Kinross 01738 444949

Renfrewshire 0141 887 2723

Scottish Borders 01750 20842

Shetland Islands 01595 743868

South Ayrshire 01292 272247

South Lanarkshire 01698 454545

Stirling 01786 432383

West Dunbartonshire 01389 772137

West Lothian 01506 776336

Western Isles 01851 708631

Bookbug 21


BOOKS & ACTIVITIES

Bookbug’s

Library

Challenge

Five easy steps to starting Bookbug’s

Library Challenge

• Let your child join the library

• Ask for your Bookbug’s Library Challenge

collector card

• Collect a stamp on your card at each visit to your

local library

• Exchange four stamps for a beautiful certificate

• Get a new collector card and start again!

22 Bookbug

BOOKBUG’S Library Challenge is a free

programme that encourages children aged

birth to four to discover and enjoy their

local library. It’s a fun, exciting way to give

your child a love of reading for life.

On their first visit to the library, children are

issued with the Bookbug’s Library Challenge

collector card. Every time you visit the library the

collector card will be stamped, and your child can

exchange four stamps for one of our beautifully

illustrated Library Challenge certificates.

Your child’s name will be written on the

certificate to encourage them to feel proud that

they have become a member of their local library.

ere are five different limited-edition

certificates to collect. So start collecting now

– it’s never too early or too late to join your local

library... and it’s FREE! ●

The Library

Challenge

certificates will

help celebrate your

child joining their

local library


they couldn’t remember

anything when I asked them

earlier! It’s nice to feel we’re

sharing something all together.

Reading all

together

JUNE, MOTHER OF FINN (FIVE),

BRODIE (THREE) AND COLL (ONE)

I like our bedtime-story routine

– the children each choose one

book (although sometimes they

try to sneak in two!), and we

cuddle up on the couch, one on

each side and the little one on

my knees. As I read the story, I

Parents'

perspectives on

sharing books

with more than

one child

tend to point out some details

on the picture or relate them to

something we did recently, so

that Coll feels included even

though he might not follow

everything. And sometimes the

older two end up talking about

stuff they did at school or

nursery even though they said

ROSS, FATHER OF SAM (EIGHT),

JAMIE (SEVEN), ROWAN (FOUR)

AND OLLIE (TWO)

Having four children, I find it’s

beneficial for the older ones to

read to their younger brothers

and sisters. My seven and eightyear-old

love the status this gives

them in the family, of being

considered capable and

responsible. And it helps out

Mum! It’s very good for their

confidence and their

development. I’ve noticed it

encourages more expression in

their reading voices. My four and

two-year-old just love cosying up

either with their mum or their

big brothers, as at that age they

just love stories! I think it helps

strengthen the family bond. ●

Top tips for storytelling

• Sit somewhere comfortable. Snuggle up

with your child and make sure you are

warm and cosy

• Throw yourself into it. Relax, enjoy

yourself and have fun

• Read slowly. Put lots of expression into

your voice and use gestures, funny faces

and sound effects such as animal noises

or a train tooting

• Get your child involved. Look at the

pictures together, point to objects and

characters and encourage them to guess

what they are

• Talk to your child about the book after

you’ve finished reading it. They might

enjoy using characters or ideas from the

story in their own playing, drawing or

conversation.

Bookbug 23


BOOKS & ACTIVITIES

Let’s

have fun

together!

Making things and playing

games doesn’t need to

cost anything, especially

if you have a little pirate

to entertain!

TAKInG THE time to talk

to your child, play with them

and get creative together is

great for all aspects of their

development, and will give them

a head-start at school.

Here are some suggestions to

help you begin your journey of

discovery...

Treasure Hunt

The idea Put pirate hats on and hunt for

hidden treasure!

The adventure Hide some items around

your house, and ask your child to find

them. You could even draw them a map

to follow, or give them some clues to

work out.

The benefits Children this age love a

challenge, and an afternoon spent

indoors is the perfect time to create a

mystery for your child to tackle.

Pirate Ship

The idea Make a pirate ship to sail in the bath, at the

park or in the paddling pool!

The adventure Start collecting your empty margarine

cartons or ice-cream tubs. Cut out triangular sail

shapes from white or coloured paper. Make a small

hole at the top and bottom of the sail so that you can

push through a straw to make a mast. Fix this to the

bottom of your tub with a lump of blue tack, and let

the adventure begin!

The benefits Craft activities can be particularly good

for children who have lots of energy. This type of

activity requires patience and helps the child to learn

that great results are achieved with a little bit of effort

and time.

Top tip Don’t forget to let your child give their ship a

name, and write it in ink along the side of the tub.

24

Bookbug


I-spy with my Pirate Eye

The idea Make a telescope together

The adventure Cardboard tubes from

kitchen roll or tin foil make instant

telescopes for pirates – get creative with

glitter and glue and go for a trip to the

beach to see if you can spy any ships or

sea-monsters on the horizon!

Ship-Shaped Lime and Coconut Cookies

The idea Cookies in the shape of ships

The adventure

INGREDIENTS:

2 egg whites

100g caster sugar

160g desiccated coconut

1 tsp grated lime zest

1 tbsp lime juice

METHOD: Preheat the oven to 180ºC/Gas 4. Use your

hands to mush the egg whites, sugar, coconut, lime zest

and juice in a bowl until they lightly come together.

With wet hands, press the mixture into a flat, square

shape about 1cm high.

Use an upturned cup to cut out small rounds. Have a

go at shaping these into boats, and place on a lightly

oiled or non-stick baking tray.

Bake for 12-15 minutes in the centre of the oven until

very lightly golden.

Cool the cookies on a wire rack, and enjoy!

The benefits Children love being involved with

preparing food – it is fun, and can provide all sorts of

learning opportunities, such as following directions,

hand-eye co-ordination, good hygiene, and even an

early introduction to maths!

The benefits Creating the telescope boosts

your child’s creativity and gives them a

chance to practise their co-ordination

skills. At this age they love nothing better

than pretend play and make-believe, so

creating props to help them in their

pirate play will be the cause of

much excitement!

Top Tip Turn this experience into an

exciting adventure for your child, by

reading the recipe together, making your

list for the grocery store, travelling to the

shops, finding the ingredients on the

shelves, and then finally making the

food together.

This guide is available in other

formats. For

further

information, email info@scottishbooktrust.com

Bookbug 25


LANGUAGE & RHYME

HOW CHILDREN LEARN ABOUT

LANGUAGE ere is strong

evidence that young children

absorb more than one language

quickly if they hear enough of

each language. But there are other

important factors in the way they

learn. For example, children who

are learning a new language go

through a phase where they

understand what’s being said

around them but say very little. So

be patient – these children may

simply need time to listen and

build up the new language they

are learning in their brain.

MYTHS AND MISINFORMATION

ere are a lot of wrong ideas

about bilingualism. Many people

are still convinced that having

two languages is somehow a

‘burden’. But we know from

research that this is completely

untrue. e infant brain can

accommodate even three

languages, and babies can

distinguish their languages

at the age of just four months.

Bilingual children are very

good at separating languages

and there is no evidence that

they are confused between one

language and another. ere are

different ways of balancing the

two languages – for example,

children speaking their native

language at home and English at

nursery. e most important

thing is to expose the child to

both languages in situations

where they feel motivated to use

them. is could be by sharing

books with their parents,

or listening to songs

and stories in another

language. Libraries oen

have bilingual books for

everyone to borrow!

AN EXTRA RESOURCE Parents

who come to Scotland from

26

Bookbug

For many young children in

Scotland, English is not their native

language – but as Professor

Antonella Sorace explains, being

bilingual should be seen as a

benefit, not a burden

Word

abroad can feel that

their language is an

power

obstacle to living

here. Many believe

they have to speak

English at home.

In fact, that’s wrong –

maintaining their native

language is an advantage. Having

two languages has many mental

benefits for children: research

has found that it helps them

deal with complexity and

develop their concentration.

Children who are learning an

additional language should be

viewed as having an extra

resource, rather than a problem!

A DIFFERENT POINT OF VIEW

Interaction between bilingual

and monolingual children [who

speak one language] is beneficial

for both groups. It opens up their

minds and makes them more

accepting of others. Bilingual

children have an advantage

because their understanding of

another language makes them

aware at an early age that other

children can have a different

point of view. at’s something all

children have to learn eventually!

BENEFITS OF RHYMING Some

parents find that rhyming and

singing can help children pick

up a new language. is may be

to do with the fact that a child

exposed to two languages is

more aware of the sounds and

structure of language, and

listening to rhymes allows them

to use this sensitivity and skill in

an enjoyable way. Many

nurseries introduce children to

foreign languages. Using rhymes

can be a very good basis for

doing this. ●

Professor Antonella Sorace is

director of Bilingualism Matters,

a service that gives advice and

information for bilingual families,

based on current language

research. For more information visit

www.bilingualism-matters.org.uk


Talking your

language

Matthew Fitt discusses the value of

learning about Scots rhyme from

the earliest age

IS BIRTH TO THREE

A GOOD TIME FOR

CHILDREN TO LEARN

ABOUT SCOTS

RHYME? e

pre-school stage is

crucial because it sets

in stone the child’s

attitudes to language.

Oen children are

developing their

language confidence

and their first steps in

language are entirely

in Scots. But in many cases

when they go to school that

stops and Scots is no longer

used. It’s much harder to

change that at primary

school, particularly for

boys. e new Curriculum

for Excellence makes clear

statements about

celebrating the Scots

language. It’s usually the nursery

that values Scots rhymes but

sometimes the parents feel that

their children shouldn’t learn

these rhymes in school. ey can

be very concerned that the child

will learn Scots ‘slang’ instead of

English! ere’s a prevailing

anxiety about language, and

that’s a shame.

WHAT ARE THE BEST WAYS FOR

CHILDREN AND

PARENTS TO ENJOY

SCOTS RHYME

TOGETHER? e key

thing is to have fun

with the language!

ere’s a lot to be

gained from enjoying

these wonderful simple

rhymes and stories.

It’s all literature, it

scans and it’s

lyrical. It can be

enjoyed with the

most important

people in any

child’s life –

Mum and Dad.

By reading and

reciting these

rhymes we’re

also sharing them

within a wider

community; most

people in Scotland

know them. We need to hold

on to that shared experience

Scotland has had for

generations. ese rhymes are

important – they’re part of

Scottish folklore. ere’s a

massive demand from nurseries

for books with Scots rhyme and

a real sense of how much young

children and parents love it.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF

LEARNING ABOUT SCOTS

RHYME? It enhances children’s

awareness of language – both

Scots and other languages – and

contributes to improving their

communication skills. ey can

use both Scots and English; it

doesn’t have to be one or the

other! It helps them find out

about their country and other

cultures. ere are so many

people out there who see how

children’s learning experiences

have been improved by using

Scots. It’s a national asset and

we should safeguard it. ●

Matthew Fitt is the director of

Itchy Coo, which has published

35 new titles in Scots since

launching in 2002. Alongside

outreach education work in schools

to promote Scots language, Itchy

Coo created the ‘Katie’ books,

a series of stories in Scots rhyme

My experience…

Ania, mother of Patryk (18 months)

“My partner and I are from Poland but

our son Patryk was born in Scotland, and

we’d like him to be bilingual. Since he

was born, books and music have become

very important to us. I love singing

rhymes to him; it’s great fun. I can see

he loves listening to me singing and

watching me making faces – I think

it helps him have a better understanding

of words and he is even starting to copy

the ‘moves’! I noticed that Patryk prefers

Polish rhymes when at home with me,

but enjoys rhymes in English at our

weekly meetings at the library. Most of

the time I sing the rhymes I used to sing

or loved myself as a child – it brings back

good memories. We also listen to lots

of great nursery songs or lullabies on

CDs that I buy in Poland. And with the

internet, I can quickly and easily find new

rhymes and songs for us to learn together.

For me, rhymes are the most amusing

ways to make kids read, write and have

fun. It’s time well spent!”

Bookbug 27


LANGUAGE & RHYME

Make time for a rhyme

Using music and song helps your child develop

their language skills – and it’s a great way for

you to communicate too

BaBIES aNd young children love music

and hearing you sing. From around 24

weeks in the womb babies can respond to

sounds and work out what kind of music

they like. ey may kick or move about in time to

their favourite songs. Some like chart music,

others classical or the sound of pipes and drums!

When babies are born, adults talk to them using a

lilting ‘sing song’ voice called ‘parentese’. Research

has shown that babies learn best from this kind of

talking. Babies and toddlers enjoy the regular beat

of the words, the rhythm and the melody.

THERE ARE MANY BENEFITS FOR CHILDREN WHO

ENJOY MUSIC AND SINGING REGULARLY

• ey learn language more easily

• Reading and spelling are easier to learn when

they reach school

• It encourages their creativity

• ey feel more confident and positive

• It helps them to learn about numbers

• It encourages them to be more sociable with

other children.

GETTING THE BEST FROM SINGING

• Go for it! Your child will think you are the best!

• If you can’t remember the words, make them up

• Get face to face with your child and make

eye contact

• Pause, wait and give your child time to take

a turn

• Use lots of actions and gestures

• Notice which songs your child likes best and

repeat them many times. Children love

repetition – and it helps them learn

• Choose songs to suit the situation. Sing lively

action songs when your child is energetic and

relaxing lullabies at bedtime

• Make up songs for everyday routines like getting

dressed, brushing teeth or going out shopping.

• Enjoy being together! ●

By Sarah Duncan, Rhona

Cruickshank and Gretel McEwen,

speech and language therapists,

NHS Grampian

Babies and

toddlers

enjoy the

regular beat

of the words,

the rhythm

and the

melody

28 Bookbug


Bookbug Sessions

Our Bookbug Sessions

aim to boost children’s

language development

– and give parents a

chance to meet other

mums and dads

BOOKBUG SESSIOnS

are fun, friendly and free

events for babies, toddlers

and their families to

enjoy together. e sessions,

which include songs, stories and

rhymes, are a great opportunity

to spend some relaxed, quality

time with your little one.

e sessions, available

throughout Scotland, are

generally held in libraries or

other community venues.

Coming to the sessions is an

excellent way of meeting other

parents and children in

your local area. ey

offer your child lots

of benefits, helping

to build up their

confidence and

social skills, and

giving their speech and

language development a

real boost!

For more information

or to find out where

your nearest Bookbug Session is

taking place, please visit

www.scottishbooktrust.com/

bookbug or ask at your local

library. We look forward to

seeing you there! ●

“When I first came to these

sessions I was suffering

from postnatal depression

and they helped me

enormously”

“My daughter and I

love the sessions and

she sings the songs all

week long! It’s really

beneficial for her and has

helped her speech”

“I wish we had discovered

Bookbug Sessions with my

first daughter – it’s great

and we love it!”

Bookbug Sessions are a

fantastic resource and great

company for mums as well”

Bookbug 29


Pirate rhymes

It’s a pirate’s life for me!

(Sung to the tune of The farmer’s in his Den)

It’s a pirate’s life for me

A pirate’s life for me

Aye, Aye Captain

It’s a pirate’s life for me

(Other verses)

I’ll wear my pirate hat

I’ll sail across the seas

I’ll dig for buried treasure

Row, row, row your boat

Row, row, row your boat gently down the river

If you see a polar bear don’t forget to shiver

Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream

If you see a crocodile, don’t forget to scream

Row, row, row your boat gently in a puddle

If you see a nice Bookbug, don’t forget to cuddle


A pirate went to sea

A pirate went to sea sea sea

To see what he could see see see

But all that he could see see see

Was the bottom of the deep blue sea sea sea


Three craws

Three craws sat upon a waw

Sat upon a wa’, sat upon a waw

Three craws sat upon a waw

On a cauld and frosty mornin

Cruinnean beag reamhar

(HumptyDumpty)

Cruinneanbeagreamhar,‘nashuidhaira’bhalla

Thuit e ‘na sgailleagan ‘s chaidh e ‘na chlaraibh

Chaidh eich agus marcaich an righ ann an cabhaig

Ach dh’fhailich orr cruinnean beag reamhar a’ charadh

ILLUSTRATIONS DEBI GLIORI

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