Recovering Play – Sharing Stories

Sharing Stories

What is it?

All of us love stories whether this is through reading books or simply retelling our experiences.  There are so many wonderful books to be enjoyed; we are not short of choice. Stories don’t just need to be for bedtime, they can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Finding a quiet, comfy spot helps with listening and concentration. Books can be fiction stories, factual information books and rhymes and poems too. Even chatting about your day  can be a story in itself.

Why is it important?

Children benefit from exploring the world using stories as it stimulates their imagination. They have the opportunity to hear new words, find out about other ways of doing things and learn how characters act and react. They can discover the sequences of events and the rhythm of stories. Many stories are written in rhyme which supports children to identify sounds; they can listen out for the word that sounds the same.  As stories are read to children it gives them the opportunity to respond to them and explore their own thoughts and feelings. Interacting and chatting also helps to develop the social act of conversation, learning when to talk and when to listen.

How to bring it back

Try to have a space which can be quiet and away from nursey traffic as much as possible. Soft furnishings, drapes, cushions etc can help to add to the cosy atmosphere. Have a variety of books; fiction, factual, books of rhymes and include books promoting equalities.  This area can be for quiet conversations as well as looking at books.

Ensure books are displayed attractively to invite children to come and look at them and remove any which are torn or have pages missing. Books should be available in all areas of the nursery and outside, not just in the story area.

Sharing with home

Share with families which story or a rhyme of the week you are focussing on. Recommend favourite authors suitable for their children.   Encourage adults to read to their children at home. If you have a library nearby advertise opening times to families suggest they make a visit.  Could you develop an ELC homelink library?

This is one of a weekly series of posts highlighting different spaces, experiences and interactions that practitioners have told us are not all easy to get back after the pandemic restrictions.

It’s all about playing, talking, and having fun together – so we hope they are useful.  If there are any ideas you’d like us to highlight, just get in touch with your link EYESO.

For ideas about family engagement, you will find a “home” version of this post on