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Early Years ( nursery and P1)

Dialect in Nursery/pre-school and Primary 1

Ditty Box

The Ditty Box is an exciting new resource which is hoped will help those in Early Years education use, promote and enjoy the Shetland Dialect.

The Ditty Box has been developed by the unique collaboration of the Schools Service and Shetland ForWirds. Dialect is an important part of Shetland’s culture and the Schools Service is delighted to support and promote it in Education.

Learn more about the Ditty Box


Colourful dialect rhyme place-mats, suitable for pre-school age groups, are available from Shetland Library. The mats are laminated and wipe clean.

The mats are illustrated by Vaila Cumming, and feature both traditional rhymes and new poems. They were produced by Shetland Library in order to promote Shetland dialect.

Ask for them at the Library desk.



Ellie an da Sail Needle, by Iris Sandison, Hansel Cooperative Press. Illustrations by John Cumming. This is recorded on the CD A Hansel o Stories (1), also by Hansel. On the Hansel Cooperative Press website is a picture quiz (2-5 years) to accompany this book.

Bobby an da Burland Pearls, by Valerie Watt, The Shetland Times Ltd. Illustrations by Mary Fraser.


Craigsaet: rhymes, sangs an stories for peerie bairns, produced by Shetland ForWirds. Two of the songs are to be found in Oral Tradition - Song on this website: 'Mair aboot Tirval', and 'Da Wiggly Wirm Sang'. All the words are in the tray booklet. Available from music shops in Lerwick and the Shetland Museum, price £9.

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