EY Residency session 1

Today was my first official day as early years writer in residence. There was a good turn out. (9 out of 12 parents came along, 3 had a college day so couldn’t make it)

We played some rhyming games and collaborated on a couple of group poems. The session was really upbeat and really good fun. Everyone contributed. We made rhymes around our names and our children’s names and had some fun with a bag of groceries. Making a shopping list poem as you can see below. I think everyone there has a really good sense of rhythm and rhyme and it will be really interesting to see how we can build on the work over the next few weeks.

We also talked a bit about why reciting rhymes is good for babies. It’s good fun but it also teaches the sounds, pattern and structure of language. And provides a great foundation for reading.

Many of the parents already recite nursery rhymes to their children. We shared different versions of rhymes we know. One mum remembered an interesting local nursery rhyme, which I hadn’t heard before. We also talked about improvising nursery rhymes and personalizing them making the children the centre of the story.


I went to the shop,
at the shop I bought…

A cake
because my mum can’t bake,

Spaghetti hoops
so I can jump through loops,

Some macaroni
for my Shetland pony,

A bottle of water
for my daughter,

A pack of muffins
they cost me nothin’,

A tin of beans
to feed my teens,

Some runny honey
it’s very scrummy,

Some wholemeal bread
to get me fed,

A pack of rice
it’s very nice,

A bunch of grapes
for my pet apes,

And a block of cheese
Is that all?

Yes please!

When I finished
and the shopping was done
I went home
and had
a sticky

I love the fact that she went home and had something that was not on the list!

I have to admit that I wasn’t really expecting the parents to be so brilliant at contributing, I thought it might take a while to get the words flowing. So I hadn’t really thought about refining the text with them at this stage. But I think this group are going to confound expectations, so i’ll definitely be doing this in future. I think I’m going to really have to work at challenging them more and more with every workshop.

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