Books in the Setting

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By Hilary White

Although the book corner is a traditional part of the pre-school environment, it’s important that books are seen as integral to every area of the setting and every aspect of setting life.

children reading in a nursery

What to do

Assess your environment and make a list of themes linked to different areas of the setting; for example, the snack table (food and drink), the home corner (domestic and houses), the small play garage (vehicles), the art and craft area (inspiration for artwork) and ‘by the window’ (birds, garden wildlife). Set up accessible storage for books as a part of each area and source books with an appropriate theme. Be as creative as possible – for example, the art and craft area could have a collection of picture books illustrated in soft pastels to reflect an activity on mixing pale shades of colour. Include themed books in the outdoor setting covering nature, wildlife, gardening and outdoor games. Set up dedicated little ‘reading stations’ throughout the indoor and outdoor setting – enticing areas where a small group of children can enjoy books. Supply push carts so that children can gather books to take to a reading station. Create a collection of ‘special’ books, such as beautifully illustrated hardback classics, delicate pop up books and old books, and set up a library lending system to make the reading of these books into a special event.

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