September Calendar Activities: Nurseries

For the month of September, there are several national activity days, including National Read a Book Day and National Fitness Day.  This blog will outline what these days entail and provides examples for you to carry out in your nursery setting. 

 

Friday 6th September 2019: National Read a Book Day

Storytelling traditions date back centuries, and are an integral part of human culture and communicating with others.  National Read a Book Day celebrates the importance of reading and how books can be entertainment, educational and, overall, enjoyable.

Although the origins of National Read a Book Day are uncertain, it is widely suggested that it was first established around 2010, and it has now become an annual event that is celebrated across the nation.

National Read a Book Day doesn’t mean you have to read an entire book; it is simply a day dedicated to encourage and inspire people to pick up a book and start reading regularly.  Ways to participate in National Read a Book Day also come in a variety of forms, ranging from reading alone, reading aloud to children or grandparents, donating books to charity or hosting a book reading party.  

For your childcare setting you could:

  • Read Aloud To Children
    • Although you probably read to the children in your nursery already, you could assign extra reading time for National Read a Book Day.  You could also do special features, such as you and your team making the reading a performance with props, or buying a new book so it is something new and exciting for the children. 
  • Organise a Book Donation
    • The nursery could either organise a book donation for themselves or for a local library.  By asking parents/guardians to provide any unwanted books, the nursery could increase their book selection with appropriate reading material, and then donate the excess to their local library.
  • Showcase the Importance of Reading
    • Reading has a wide range of beneficial factors for children.  It stimulates brain activity and improves memory, critical thinking, language comprehension and communication skills.  Reading can also increase empathy and compassion, and provides individuals with awareness on societal issues and cultural differences.  
    • Whilst our current era and cultures have become highly reliant and saturated with technology, it doesn’t override the importance of reading.  By showing children the different types of reading materials, such as books, graphic novels, using Kindles, this will encourage them to find the best option for them as they grow up and continue reading.
  • Roald Dahl Day
    • National Read a Book Day also closely coincides with Roald Dahl Day (Friday 13th of September 2019), providing you with the opportunity to extend reading and book activities in your nursery by dedicating a Roald Dahl book a day.  You could read sections from these books, plan art projects that correlate with the book, and even provide themed snacks.

Wednesday 25th September 2019: National Fitness Day

National Fitness Day is dedicated to bringing awareness to the importance of physical activity, and its role in providing us with healthier, happier lifestyles.  Across the UK, there is a range of organised activities available for participants of all ages and backgrounds, so everyone can ‘celebrate the fun of fitness.’ https://www.nationalfitnessday.com/fitnessday/

For children, it is crucial to provide them with the necessary information for them to develop healthy habits, and encourage them to exercise.  Children under 5 shouldn’t be inactive for extended periods of time as this negatively impacts their health and development, and the NHS recommend 180 minutes/3 hours of exercise a day for this age range. 

This can include light activity, such as:
  • standing up
  • walking 
  • moving around
And also energetic activities, undertaken once the child is able to walk on their own, such as:
  • running 
  • jumping 
  • climbing 
  • dancing
  • using a skipping rope
  • active play, such as ‘tag’, ‘hide and seek’ and ‘stuck in the mud’.

To encourage the children in your nursery to be active and join in National Fitness Day, you could organise fun exercise activities, such as mini obstacle courses, dance competitions or running games.