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This Week at Red Bus – Literacy

This week Red Bus Coombe Dingle and Downend have been taking part in lots of different activities that link to Literacy!


Nursery always have the book corner available for children to explore! The adults encourage the babies to handle the books themselves, opening the pages and drawing their attention to the pictures inside. The children will often read with the adults as they narrate the story, using different voices, intonations and gestures to encourage the children to interact.

It’s crucial that children develop a life long love of reading, we encourage this by offering lots of invitations to play relating to books. The babies this week explored a rainbow tray celebrating Elmer the Elephant! It was full of brightly coloured toys, pom poms and ribbons. The children explored the different textures with their hands whilst listening to the story!

Kindergarten have also been participating in literary related activities! The children read the book ‘Octopants’ and explored fitting nappies onto the different sea creatures that appear in the story. Activities like these will extend children’s understanding of the story, and increase their learning! 

On the outdoor stage at Downend Kindergarten took to performing, reading a book about emotions and feelings. The children then used mirrors to look at their faces, showing different feelings like happy, sad and angry!

In the shade of the gazebo at Coombe Dingle some children have been exploring musical instruments! These resources actually help support early literacy, as they encourage children to listen to rhymes, beats and lyrics. As they sang lots of different songs, the children could identify the sounds and rhythms and explored making noise in time! 

Pre-School this week have been exploring the Story Spoons! As a group the children read ‘A Squash and a Squeeze’, and as each character was introduced in the book they searched for the right illustration to hold up. 

At Coombe Dingle there has been an abundance of apples from the tree, so they have been put to good use! The children read the story ‘Too Timid to Talk’, about a shy little hedgehog. As the children searched for sticks and twigs to make their apple hedgehogs with, they talked about how he must have felt and what we can do if we ever feel shy. Whilst reading books, the adults will encourage children to predict what happens next, and discuss the plot and feelings with the characters – potentially drawing on their own experiences too!

The apples were also used in a rhyming activity, where children ‘bobbed’ for different words! At this age children begin to develop a phonologic and phonemic awareness – essentially being able to understand and manipulate sounds. As the children brought up two words they were asked if they rhymed or sounded similar.  Children will start to show awareness of rhyme and alliteration around this age, and may be able to read short words – or maybe just the initial!


Whilst babies are not expected to write at this age, there is plenty of activities that help develop and support the skills that will later help them to write! It begins when children start to understand that marks and text can be symbolic, and carry meaning. Later on they may begin to produce written marks purposefully, what we normally called mark-making. Like the babies using the egg crayons and pencils to express themselves, it enables them to see the connection between their actions and the resulting marks. 

Downend also explored sensory foam this week, dipping into the bubbles with brushes and pencils. Practicing holding onto tools like this will develop fine motor skills and coordination, which are also needed for writing! 

Kindergarten have been using chalk to draw on the outside blackboards this week! Around this age children will begin to understand the cause and effect of their actions in mark making, and that the marks they make are of value. 

Downend have been making treasure maps this week, complete with an X to mark the spot! The adults encourage the children to experiment with a variety of marks – big small, hard, soft – and trying out different shapes like circles, lines and dots.

Pre-School have explored writing on the interactive screen this week! All throughout Red Bus children are encouraged to experiment with drawing and writing on different textures – including technology screens. As the children explored the different activities, the adults made sure to highlight the marks, signs and symbols the children made and what they represent. 

The children also explored an artistic Literacy activity this week, as they explored a tuff tray full of masking tape letters! They were invited to paint over the letters and peel them off to reveal the shapes, although when tracing over the letters themselves the children start to recognise letters and how they are created!