Discover early years inspiration to help you celebrate this annual favourite’s 25th anniversary…
Reading for pleasure is the single biggest indicator of a child’s future success. Early years providers inspire children every day with shared stories and activities, fostering a love of reading that will last a lifetime.
World Book Day®, which takes place on 3 March, is a chance to celebrate reading; to follow children’s interests through their favourite stories; and to ensure that children have access to books at home as well as their early years setting. Here’s five exciting activity ideas to try:
Ask the children about their favourite books and characters – this instantly shows an interest in their own choices and helps children to recommend stories to their friends.
Listen to MC Grammar’s popular World Book Day song together – how many picture books do you recognise from the lyrics?
Once the children have settled in, invite them to help you display books in all your learning spaces, and take some books to share together outside. Choose a variety of stories that can link with different areas of provision and extend children’s learning.
Get the dressing up rail out so that children can dress up as different characters if they like. Dressing up provides an opportunity to celebrate children’s favourite characters and talk informally about a range of stories.
You’ll need lots of books to have some fun! Explore the books in your setting to find each thing on the World Book Day scavenger hunt sheet. Can you spot a bear? The moon? Something funny? Your favourite picture?
Tick the boxes on the scavenger hunt sheet as you play.
Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola, authors of award-winning picture book Look Up!, bring us more fun and adventure with their World Book Day mini book about science enthusiast Rocket.
“My family says that one day I’m going to change the world. But every day I like to make a difference – even if it’s something super-small…”
After reading Rocket Rules, extend children’s learning with these activity ideas:
In the garden
Offer exploratory materials (such as magnifying glasses, binoculars) and ask the children, ‘What would you like to learn about the world today?’
In the tuff tray
Create a landscape that needs cleaning up. You could use coloured rice or fabric to make land and sea and include some wildlife. Then add plastics and other ‘rubbish’ that the children have to clean.
In the creative area
Offer materials to make placards for things the children want to change or for them to make their own rules.
In group time
Adapt a welcome song to include the children’s dreams and ambitions.
Add movement and props when you read, and invite the children to join in. Arms and legs can become a whole host of fantastic props!
Involve your listeners during story time – ask them to repeat sentences, add sound effects, count and name what they see or guess what’s coming next. What do they notice in the illustrations?
Try to relate the book to other things happening in the world. By setting an example, children will become active, engaged readers who make their own connections.
Children really engaged with audiobooks during lockdown. According to the National Literacy Trust, one in two children said that listening to audiobooks has increased their interest in reading, and one in three said that audiobooks helped them to feel better during lockdown.
World Book Day offers every child the opportunity to have a book of their own for free – with £1 book tokens. Here are the 2022 early years World Book Day £1 books:
Rocket Rules by Nathan Bryon and Dapo Adeola
Dinosaur Roar and Friends! by Peter Curtis
Hey Duggee: The World Book Day Badge by BBC Children’s Books
The 25th anniversary of World Book Day is on 3 March 2022. Find further inspiration and resources at the World Book Day Schools and Nurseries Hub and take a look at their early years reading recommendations.