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We have been talking to some of our friends, parents, and teachers about using books to divert toddlers and to keep them happy. This article is made up from some of the comments and ideas those friends and helpers have contributed to make this piece. Thanks to you all.
1. "Read to your toddler" - and "sing, play rhyming games and look at a book together"
Everyone agreed that reading to a toddler is one way to keep the toddler happy. It is of course well-known that parental reading to children increases the child’s cognitive and reading skills. This early-life intervention is beneficial for the rest of their lives and it starts with reading in the toddler years.
Pre-school children who are exposed to a lot of everyday language do better when they get to school, whether that’s singing songs together, or playing rhyming games, or looking at a book.
Being read to is one of the best ways to hear language. It is a natural next step to talking to your child throughout the day. Reading problems can be minimised if reading starts when the child is just a toddler.
2. "Work on shapes and building up the sounds helps with basic skills"
Before children can read by themselves, they need to gradually build up what are really early literacy skills.
Reading to toddlers gives awareness that words are built up with smaller sounds grouped together. Gradually they will recognise some of the letters of the alphabet, and from these very first words they will build a vocabulary.
Reading aloud to toddlers as often as you can is the right path to help them learn to read by themselves.
A toddler’s vocabulary increases remarkably quickly, supported by first books which become favourites – and shapes colours and letters become identifiable.
Several people who work with toddllers told us that the action of pointing to shapes and colours builds that awareness.
Two nursery teachers said they spend time each day playing a game where they point to objects. They like to use early learning books to point out familiar things. Sitting calmly helps to get the children calm so they can listen and learn.
Even before the toddler gets on their feet they will then be familiar with so many aspects of what will be reinforced on the pages of ‘first books’.
The action of pointing at objects will have come from basic interaction at play from a strong connection with those around them – not just parents, but brothers and sisters and playmates.
Today we are waving a flag for ‘Shape Up Your English’.
What is 'fake news'? We have heard that phrase a lot over the last four years.
News comes at us via Twitter, Facebook, radio, TV, and it can be overwhelming.
Fake news, and breaking news, is news that is deliberately made up and sent around to make us believe something.
'Fake news' is a false story that is politically motivated and made up to influence our views.
Even for a native English speaker, a story that is a hoax can severely mislead. It can be difficult to understand the truth of what is being said. Understanding figures of speech – metaphors and similes – can make a story impenetrable. Metaphors are used constantly to make a point.
Vaccines – at the moment - are trending. For obvious reasons. We notice that metaphors with railway stations and stopping trains are currently being used to explain the progress of the development of vaccines against Covid-19.
It seems that we are 'on the right track', 'making headway', but we are 'not at the end of the line yet'. Let’s hope we 'don’t go off the rails'.
Colloquial expressions can seem more relevant as the world waits for 'a real shot in the arm'.
Idioms take a bit of getting used to – so 'get your act together' and 'don’t miss the boat'.
We published a book to help learners of English with contemporary English as you will hear it spoken on the streets, in an office, outside your home, and in the news. It is called 'Shape Up Your English'. The book explains the elements of English grammar and usage, and will help guide you in your writing and comprehension.
If you need to 'separate the wood from the trees', ‘Shape Up Your English’ will help.
TPS: 234 x 165mm, 384 pages. With little illustrations and jokes to try to cheer you as you learn. We recommend 15 minutes a day 'bitesize' learning segments.
Available from our Geddes and Grosset website and also available to order from a bookshop.
If you are locked down, and looking for books delivered to your door, we have this lovely offer on 12 tried and tested books for young children. At 80% off the normal recommended retail price, we can deliver this set of books to your door (12 books supplied within 30 days of order).
BookSource, the warehouse in Cambuslang, who processes and despatches our orders, is open and running at full capacity. We have an offer on the First Steps series - 12 books for £20 plus P and P. Wonderful value for this colourful and fun series of books that introduces early learning concepts and how to do things. Great for reading aloud and play time.
Stock is limited so be quick! Orders will be despatched with 28 days of order.
Something positive amidst the Brexit chaos for G&G today:
We are delighted to say The G&G Primary Dictionary has been approved by the Ministry of Education for use in primary schools in Mauritius and Rodrigues in 2020 and won the tender. That means there is now a print run going ahead for delivery in a few weeks’ time and the books will be supplied to pupils in schools in Mauritius and Rodrigues. We are working with a partner publisher in Mauritius. Rodrigues is 650 km east of Mauritius – a beautiful part of the world in the Indian Ocean.
The G&G Primary Dictionary was first created for Isaac Books, Ghana, a publisher of award-winning Ghanaian dramatists and the supplier of educational books to Ghanaian government schools, and we also supply the same book to Rombic Concepts, Nigeria, a leading publisher who also distribute Pearson in Nigeria. An adapted edition is licensed to Navneet Education, India, with other customers being supplied direct from Booksource, Cambuslang, Scotland.