Literacy Adventures at Buckle My Shoe

Words are all around us, and to acknowledge the magic words can bring, we spent the week celebrating International Literacy Day and our love of books. 😊

Whether it is in our comfy reading corner or outside on the bean bags, our tamariki love exploring books on their favourite topics and characters throughout the day. Storybooks have the power to transport our little ones’ imaginations to other planets, characters and worlds where they can be and do anything – linking to our philosophy where children are empowered to be creative, express themselves and reach for the stars!


After exploring the features of books at mat time (such as the front cover, author’s name and role of an illustrator), we extended on our knowledge by creating our very own book together as a group! Our wonderful kaiako Kathryn, invited each child to contribute to a giant book, formulating a storyline and then illustrating it to represent the words. This was a very collaborative group exercise and encouraged children to think about their ideas, communicate them and then represent this through pictures and symbols. 👏

A big part of the Communication strand from Te Whariki - the NZ Early Childhood Curriculum - is around children understanding oral language and using it for a range of purposes including hearing, retelling and creating stories.


The children chose to title the book “Today at Buckle My Shoe” with the authors and illustrators being all the children! As each tamariki added to the story, they took ownership of their contribution by adding their name.


Throughout the week we saw our tamariki extend on this by creating their own mini books that held a story about their interests. One of our little ones created a story about fish as he loves sea animals, while another one of our little creators focused on her love of unicorns and ladybugs. Whatever the topic they chose, they were engrossed in creating a title, illustrating the pages and adding their own words & thoughts to the pages.


This was also a great way for our tamariki to explore letters! When they were complete, they carried around their book – ready to share with whoever was nearby to listen. 😊

It was amazing to see some of our tamariki building upon their story each day they came to the centre, adding additional words and pictures. This showed that they were committed to making their story better and more complex each day and they couldn’t wait to share their stories at mat time with the other children.


Storytelling promotes the development of vocabulary, memory and listening skills. It also helps our little ones learn sounds and increase their awareness of words.


To promote a love of books and stories, we invited each child to bring in their favourite books from home during the week, so we could share these together, make links to home and create a sense of community. Many children were familiar with each other’s favourite books, as they too had the same book at home (or had heard the story many times before)!


We asked ourselves: How about we have a “Dress-up Day” to extend on this? Watch this space for Part 2 of our Literacy Adventures! 😊