National Storytelling Week

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This week is National Storytelling Week and we hope you’re enjoying telling stories! Perhaps you’ve been sharing books, retelling favourite stories or creating your own stories to share.Tess Bess read web

Children need to hear and to participate in stories!

Sharing stories with children helps them to develop a sense of narrative – stories with a beginning, middle and end. They will begin to recognise generic plots and types of characters and this helps them to develop their own stories.

Children love repetition! Hearing the same stories again and again gives them the confidence to predict what happens next and reinforces the vocabulary that they hear in the story.

Stories that are full of repetition, rhythm and rhyme introduce children to the patterns of language and encourages them to experiment with words and sounds in their own stories.

Children also love to retell stories – this may reflect the story you have shared or may be their own variation as their imagination takes hold. Children are often keen to tell their own stories to interested and responsive adults and this will encourage them to build on and develop their stories.

Props and puppets help both an adult and a child storyteller – they make it easier to bring a story to life and make it easier to interact with an audience.

Language tips for Advent Calendars!

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Advent calendars are fun but can also can provide you with an amazing number of opportunities for language development! Have a look at our Clickety Advent Calendar - full of downloadable treats that are great for promoting language.10


Advent calendars give you lots of opportunities for counting and for number recognition. Counting the doors you have opened and counting hidden objects in activities are a great way to do this.

Talking about time

Advent calendars provide you with a great opportunity to talk about today, tomorrow and yesterday. These are concepts many children find tricky.

Top Tips for using Sound Play

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We were delighted when Anne Ayre was invited to write a guest Clickety Books blog for the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Yearspacey

PACEY promote high standards in childcare and early years and support their 35,000 members to help give children the best start in life. We share the same ethos we really enjoy working with them.

With a theme of  'Top tips for using Sound Play' Anne decided to explore the use of picture books as an effective way to support sound play. They can be a great springboard for a range of extension activities that will provide lots of opportunities for related sound play.

Soundplay with Erica's Chicks, Flo and Trish the Fish!

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Reading stories and looking at picture books together is one of the best ways in which you can support children's spoken and written language development.

Children love repetition. It helps them build their knowledge and understanding of word meanings and story structure. Children also love soundplay - it's fun! and it helps develop their ability to recognise and say speech sounds in different words. These are key foundation skills for success in phonics, early reading and spelling.

We hope you'll enjoy meeting our latest Early Soundplay characters: Erica's Chicks, Flo the Flamingo and Trish the Fish.

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Their stories are full of soundplay, each with a special focus on a particular sound. The simple, interactive storylines make it easy for children to anticipate what happens next and to join in when they hear the story again. This provides  lots of opportunities for them to both hear and practise saying these sounds within words.     


Behind the Paintbrush

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We ask Clickety Books illustrator, Sarah Leigh-Wills, to talk us through the process of designing and illustrating a Clickety Book!

1. Character Development: This is my favorite part of the process! Creating a character is tricky. To start with, I scout thousands of photos of that particular animal. I study their physical appearance and research their natural behaviour. I find that this is all crucial in capturing the true characteristics. Making the animal then appeal to children is the next job. I tend to laugh at the same things that children do so I am able to make the characters visually amusing for them whilst maintaining their realistic attributes. Imagining I am the character is another trick of mine. I tend to put myself in the mindset of what I would do, what I would look like, how I would speak, act etc. This takes a long time.