While we’ve always explained that human families are not only made up of a ‘Daddy, Mummy and baby’, Cian (17 months) loves this, “Daddy, Mummy, Baby” animal book. He asks his big brothers to read the words out to him on loop, so they set up some small world book play for him.


  • ‘Daddy, Mummy, Baby’ book by Corina Fletcher and Natalie Marshall
  • Farm animals and baby animals
  • Circus scarves
  • Grimm’s small rainbow and house
  • Ostheimer wooden trees


Finn set up the scarves to make fields and water. Ioan used the Grimm’s house to make a pig sty and the rainbow to make a fence for the sheep field. They grouped the animals together for Cian to find.

I don’t know what he was more excited about, seeing the baby animals (he only has these out under supervision due to their size) or being able to match the animals to the book.

Ioan and Finn named the ‘Daddy, Mummy, Baby’ for each set of animals, asking Cian to find each one. They asked him `all the animal sounds, he loves telling us those. Then they asked him to ‘read’ the story to them. As the youngest, he’s used to always being read to, so gets very excited when he gets to do the reading.

Cian turned the pages, babbling away as he grabbed the right animals. Before moving on to the next page, he made the animal sound, holding the animal out to Ioan and Finn in turn, so they could tell him the animal sound. The ducks weren’t in the book, but he made sure to drill his brothers on those too.

DfES Outcomes for EYFS (2013)

Communication and language

Reading (8 to 26 months)

  • Handles books and printed material with interest
  • Interested in books and rhymes and may have favourites

Listening and attention (16 to 26 months)

  • Selects familiar objects by name and will go and find objects when asked, or identify objects from a group.
  • Understands simple sentences (e.g. ‘Throw the ball’.)

Speaking (8 to 20 months)

  • Uses sounds in play, e.g. ‘brmmm’ for toy car.

Physical Development

Moving and handling (8 to 20 months)

  • Passes toys from one hand to the other.

Personal, social and emotional development

Self-confidence and self-awareness (16 to 26 months)

  • Gradually able to engage in pretend play with toys (supports children to understand their own thinking may be different from others).