I love reading and singing, but there is something uniquely special about books and songs for children. While we're now on to Tolkien's The Two Towers as a bedtime story, it's not so many years since I knew several Julia Donaldson rhyming picture books off by heart! Yet the importance of sharing stories and rhymes to later communication skills is not always recognised.
Julia Donaldon's most famous creation, The Gruffalo, is also a popular stage show, and the cast at The Garrick Theatre (right) is endorsing this year's I CAN Chatterbox Challenge. Now in its 10th year, this sponsored event for children, families, nurseries and other early years settings aims for everyone to have fun while developing their communication skills and raising money to benefit children who have difficulties with speech, language and communication.
The Chatterbox Challenge 2011 is 'Learn with rhyme and help children shine'. To take part in the challenge contact I CAN for your free fundraising pack. This includes songs and activities, stickers and sponsor forms. You can even help in a Guinness World Record attempt for the largest game of Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes, which will be in multiple venues across the UK.
Chatterbox Challenge is also a key event in Hello, the year-long campaign to help children communicate.