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Just like writing, within the Literacy strand of the Early Years Foundation Stage is reading.

Again, it may not be the typical reading you may expect. A lot of the formal teaching of sounds, decoding and reading words comes alongside Phase 2 phonics which is taught more formally in reception. In Nursery, we focus on phase 1 phonics which underpins the more formal learning, and essentially lays the foundation for this to ensure your child is ready.


Reading in nursery is mainly done through exposure, we expose children to different types of stories, rhymes and sounds to practise their listening skills and help them tune into and recognise the sounds around them and extend this by talking to them about it.


Here are some ideas of how to do that at home:


Daily stories - Of course, we have daily stories in nursery! Children come into nursery and upon their arrival they use their photograph to vote for the story they would like to hear that day.

Here are some familiar ones, on CBeebies 


- Here is a link to some parent friendly videos and ideas to support home learning. There is a newsletter you can sign-up to which provides new ideas and support:


Story telling. This could be telling stories from memories, using photographs, reading books together, watching stories on the internet or television, retelling familiar stories or acting your own stories out using puppets, soft toys or figures. Ask your child questions along the way to develop their understanding. Talk about the language and unusual words they may not have heard before. Talk about how the characters are feeling throughout the story and ask your child to represent this. What does your child think will happen next – can they predict the ending or make up their own version?


- School Reading List have put together a list of 100 books to read before you're 5. Check out the list here - how many have you read?


This link gives an overview of Phase 1 Letters and Sounds which we teach in nursery. It also has some good listening games linked to this phase:


I Spy game to practise memory and concentration skills:


Listening game to practise tuning into sounds and recognising them:


Make musical instruments using materials around the house or outside. Compare the different sounds different materials make by exploring and talking about them. Can you make a loud sound? And a quiet sound? Why not create a band and put on a show for someone in your house?

Use a wooden spoon (or something similar) to hit different surfaces – did they all make the same noise? Which was the loudest? Which was the quietest? Experiment with this and encourage your child to find out for themselves.


Like story time, song time is a daily occurrence in nursery. Here is a link to some of the nursery rhymes we sing along to:

We have a ‘rhyme bag’ in nursery with pictures in to represent our favourite rhymes and we have a lucky dip to pull a picture out to see what we would sing next. You could try this – use objects from around the house to represent your child’s favourite song or draw pictures and pop them into a bag.


- Some additional ideas:


- The National Literacy Trust have lots of activities for children aged 3-5 called "Words for Life", which can be found here:


- Video call a friend or family member to have a conversation. This will focus on those listening and attention skills, taking account of what is being said and responding linked to this.

- Follow the instructions to make no-cook playdough – this requires listening skills and following instructions