Singing helps children practice hearing and making different sounds. Playing around with sounds allows children be able to hear the different sounds that make up words. As you read All Aboard the Work Choo-Choo by Carol Roth, have your child repeat the refrain “All Aboard! to work…Choo-choo! Chug-a-chug-a-choo-choo-choo!” It can almost become sing-songy!
Notes from Story Time
Play is critical for the development of imagination and creative problem-solving skills. There are many different types of play such as large motor play and make believe play. Children love to climb, run, and jump. Pretending to be a dinosaur gives them opportunity to use their large motor skills and their imaginations. As you read I’m a Hungry Dinosaur with your child, encourage your child to pretend he/she is a dinosaur making a cake. You can even pretend to eat the cake at the end!
Talking with your child is a wonderful way to help them develop their early literacy skills. Ask them questions that require more than a yes-or-no response, and give them time to formulate their answers. As you read Llama Llama Home With Mama, ask your child questions about the book. How do you think Mama Llama got sick? Did Llama Llama take good care of her? What did he do to help her?
Reading and writing go together. Right now, your child may only write scribbles, but that’s okay. When learning to write, children need fine motor skills to hold a pencil and eye-hand coordination. Practicing writing (even if it is only scribbles) strengthens these skills. After reading Stone Soup, encourage your child to “write” their own recipe for soup. Then pretend to make the soup using the recipe. This way children see that writing is important and has meaning.
Reading and talking with your child helps build vocabulary by introducing new words. As you read Hoppity Skip Little Chick, point out some action words like jump, hop, and bounce and talk about what they mean. It is okay to briefly stop while reading a story to point out a new word and what it means.
Besides being fun, singing with your child brings numerous emotional and academic benefits. Research has shown that children who have been exposed to singing activities (like nursery rhymes) are more proficient in rhyming skills and the pronunciation of new words. So many familiar songs include rhyming words—see if you hear any in “Five Speckled Frogs!”
With the rise of technology in our everyday lives, it’s important to look at how we are using it with our children. Enhanced interactive digital books are a great way to engage with your child while reading to them. Tapping, moving, and reading are all important when using these apps. The Stellaluna app by Living Books is both fun and educational. You can find more storybook apps on our iPads in the Family Place.
Listening to music stimulates many parts of the brain. Singing is a wonderful activity to do with children because they can easily join in by clapping, dancing, humming, or even singing nonsense words to the tune.
There are at least twelve types of play, and each one gives your child valuable experiences that translate into improved communication and critical thinking. As you read Ready Rabbit Gets Ready! do some actions from the book together such as building the spaceship, driving a stagecoach, or driving a motorcycle. Have fun with this make-believe play.
By spending time talking about a name, we are calling attention to the connection between spoken word and print. In this story, Thunder Boy Jr. doesn’t like his name and wants a new one. It is the tradition in some communities that when you get older, you get a new name to show something you’ve done or what people hope you will do. Talk to your child about what he/she would like their new name to be. Write this name on a piece of paper and ask your child to draw you a picture.