Notes from Story Time

Notes from Story Time Blog

What Shapes Do the Clouds Make?

Talking prepares your child to learn to read by helping them acquire language skills and teaching them new vocabulary. Talk to your kids throughout the day about anything and everything. In It Looked Like Spilt Milk by  Charles Shaw, your child will get a chance to see different things in the shapes of the clouds. Looking at the world around you and talking to your child about what you see can be done anywhere. Next time you see clouds in the sky, ask your child what he or she sees.

Put Your “T” in the Air

Before children can identify the differences between letters, children first need to identify differences between shapes.  When reading at home, be on the lookout for letters with “special” shapes, like the letters in children’s names. Hunt for curvy lines, straight lines, or even

circles!

As a fun activity, you might want to try singing the following rhyme with the letter “T” with your child. Trace the letter with your finger. See how it has two straight lines?

 

 

Put Your “T” in the Air  (to tune of “Put Your Finger in the Air”)

Put your “T” in the air, in the air.

Put your “T” in the air, in the air.

Put your “T” in the air, and let’s hold it out to there.

Put your “T” in the air, in the air.

Other Verses:  “on your knee….and jump along with me”

                          “behind your back….and let’s pretend to eat a snack”

                       “on your nose…and then onto your toes”

 

Print and Technology Work Together

Experts recommend parents be very involved in their child’s experience with electronic devices, especially at a young age. Print books and technology can work together to enhance your child’s overall learning experience.

As you read a book with your child, use your  index (pointer) fingers to trace the shapes (in the book, on the floor, on child’s back, etc.). Fine motor control helps children when using technology such as a tablet. Children may begin by using both hands and all of their fingers, and then transition to using just one finger to push, swipe, and move things on the screen.

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Playing matching games helps children see what is alike and different in objects and letters. Take Me Out to the Yakyu by Aaron Meshon shows the differences in baseball in two cultures. As you read this book, talk about the differences in each picture. This will help your child learn new vocabulary as well as that the world is multicultural.

Down on the Farm

When children are learning how to read, it’s important for them to realize that words have parts. Singing is a wonderful way to slow down the sounds in words so children can hear and repeat them. Practice singing the repeating line “Down on the farm, down on the farm” with your child before you start reading Down on the Farm by Merrily Kutner. Repetition helps children learn about sounds and syllables in preparation for reading on their own.

Let’s Make Pretend Cake

Many stories offer a chance for you to play with the concepts in the book. In A Birthday for Cow by Jan Thomas, the animals make a cake. Incorporating props such as a mixing bowl and spoon into the reading of the story, or retelling the story afterwards will help children understand the story better, and have fun at the same time.

Read It Again!

Has your child found a favorite book that you feel like you are reading over and over again? Keep reading! There is value to be found even in repeated sharing of a book– exposure to familiar words helps to build vocabulary.

Playtime

Allow your child time for free play. Provide a variety of toys and objects that are safe for babies, and let them direct how they want to play with the object. Even if it just looks like they are putting a toy in their mouth or knocking things over, they are learning!

Talking Parentese

If you have found yourself talking to your baby in a higher-pitched, sing-song voice, that’s actually a great thing!  We call this “parentese” and for babies from birth to about 9 months, this is a way to slow down language so they can listen longer and hear more words.  At any age, you can explain words, even though it might seem like baby doesn’t understand, they are processing what you say. The more times they hear words, the easier it is to understand and say those words.

Sing Your Favorites With Your Baby

Did you know there are many picture books in the Youth collection that feature familiar rhymes and songs that you can sing as you read? Think of a favorite one and ask for it at the Youth Services desk! We may have it available. Youth staff can also recommend other great titles for you to take home and enjoy together.