Talking Tubs and Floor Books are both tools for promoting communication and language (‘oracy’) in young children. They provide opportunities for children to talk and for adults to listen to them. Following recent inset training, staff members have been developing their use with the children in Green Room and Blue Room.
A Talking Tub is essentially a box filled with a collection of objects (or ‘provocations’) that have been carefully selected by practitioners and are loosely grouped around a theme or topic e.g. food or animals. In small group sessions guided by an adult, the children are invited to choose an item they find particularly interesting or significant and are then given time to talk about it. Some children may recognise and make links between some objects and their own experiences, others may ask questions about items they have not seen or handled before. The language and ideas shared in these sessions provides practitioners with valuable insight into areas of particular interest and fascination for the children. Documenting their comments and ideas generates a number of possible lines of development (PLODs) that can be followed up with planned activities that reflect the children’s interests, build on their curiosity and develop their skills and knowledge.
Floor Books are large scrapbooks made and owned by the children with the support of adults to document the creative journey from the start to the end of an activity or project. Designed to be worked at on the floor, these multi-media, multi-sensory books contain a combination of children’s own mark-making, pictures, photographs, found items and artefacts. Working on the books offers opportunities for co-construction, sustained shared talking and thinking. Even as works in progress, they provide a valuable learning resource for children, prompting them to reflect on past learning and experiences. Floorbooks have been produced in Blue Room to document creative projects led by Cath as well as weekly Forest School sessions at Railway Fields led by Shelley and Simona and are available in the room for parents to view and contribute to, should they so wish.