Check for comprehension by asking questions about what your child sees and hears in the story. Asking the questions in the same tone as you are reading makes this less like a lesson, and just plain fun! An example is: "Oh, my! What is going on here?" "Does that cow look happy?" If your child's answer makes sense, even it if is a different interpretation than yours, accept it and move on. If you are unsure, ask follow up questions like, "Why do you think he looks happy?" You just might end up seeing something you missed. Resist the urge to correct the answer unless it is clearly wrong and then only do so playfully, like "Hmmmm...that's an interesting way to look at it. I thought he looked sad because he has tears in his eyes."
Games and Fun
Download the file below, print it in color (on heavy paper or cardstock, if possible, for durability), and laminate if desired. After cutting apart the animal and food images, have your child match them to the correct color on the color board.
1) Play duck, duck, moose - see the video on the second page of the Instagram post at the top of this blog post.
2) Click on the link below to watch a YouTube video demonstrating a group of children playing the traditional game of "duck, duck, goose." Simply change the word "goose" to "moose" to extend the fun from the book.!
Extend the story to explore various modalities of learning. The more ways a child is able to experience a topic, the better the retention of information. Visual and auditory learning are the most obvious, as children hear and see the story, but try expanding on this with tactile (touching), verbal, and social lessons to name a few. Using the stories read this week, some examples might include: Tactile - make a homemade pizza, allowing your child to knead the dough, spread the sauce, and sprinkle the cheese, Verbal - ask questions and allow your child time to relate answers (sometimes it is best to read the story through a first time, before re-reading and asking questions as this allows for a better flow of understanding), Social - take a friend along on your next visit to the pizza place!
Songs and Movement
Pat a cake, Pat a cake, Pizza man
(clap to the rhythm)
Make me a pizza as fast as you can
(toss imaginary pizza dough in the air)
Sprinkle it with cheese
Put it in the oven
(open the "door" and push the pizza in)
And bake it fast, please!
Every time you re-read a book to a child, you and your child will discover new things. It might be something in a picture, or a joke you missed the first time around. In The Great Thanksgiving Food Fight, the names of author Michael G. Lewis' children and wife are hidden throughout the book, along with some other little notes. On subsequent readings of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves!, encourage your child to remember the sequence of events by following the pictures.
1. Create a list of things to be thankful for.
2. Create your own zany "There Was an Old Lady" story.
3. Talk about your favorite fall/Thanksgiving traditions.
Other Fun Ideas to Try:
Choose stories about events and milestones in your child's life. Start the discussion about dreams and aspirations while your child is young. If he/she shows interest in a particular job, read additional stories to enhance his/her understanding. Encourage dress up and pretend play. Who knows? You may be the parent of a future astronaut, firefighter, teacher, or scientist!
Storytime Craft Project
Create a frame using fun colored shapes. Have your child draw a picture of what "you want to be when you grow up." This can be a self portrait, a tool used on the job, a building or vehicle, etc. (Note: while the photo above shows a black background, you will want to change this to white or allow your child to use chalk for their drawing.)
Add a time for reading into your daily schedule. Read TO your child sometimes. Some books flow best when a book is read without interruption. Read WITH your child sometimes. Allow them to interject and ask questions or make comments so they feel like they are "reading" as well. Read ALONGSIDE your child at times. Children will develop good reading habits if they see their parent(s) also enjoying a book of their own. Encourage your child to sit with you and "read" their own books. Quiet reading time is fun for all! No matter how you do it, sharing books and stories is an activity that will create fond memories!!
Songs and Movement Activities
Funny, Little Bunny
Funny, little bunny goes hop, hop, hop.
Funny, little bunny please stop, stop, stop.
Wiggle your ears and crinkle your nose,
Then, wiggle, wiggle, wiggle right down to your toes.
Storytime Craft Project
Wrap a juice box with white card stock or heavy paper. Add bunny features (shapes cut from colored paper) and google eyes/pompom tail. Alter the look by gluing the feet under the box, sticking out the front, or bending an ear forward for a floppy look, etc. Give your child(ren) permission to arrange things however he/she likes. The goal is having a fun experience, not a perfect end result.
Other Fun Ideas To Try:
Have fun when sharing fun stories! The best way to ensure your child(ren) become lifelong readers is to make stories fun. This means letting go of any reservations you have and sing, laugh, add voices to the character dialog, etc. Kids love it and you just might find yourself having a good time as well!
Songs and Movement Activities:
Ten Little Puppies
1 little, 2 little, 3 little puppies,
4 little, 5 little, 6 little puppies,
7 little, 8 little, 9 little puppies,
10 puppies bark like this ... Woof, Woof!
(Repeat faster and louder several times)
Do Your Ears Hang Low?
Do your ears hand low? (pull on each ear)
Do they wobble to and fro? (wiggle ears)
Can you tie them in a knot? (rotate hands around)
Can you tie them in a bow? (tie hands in a bow)
Can you throw them over your shoulder like a continental soldier? (throw hands over shoulder)
Do your ears hang low? (pull on each ear)
Build your child's vocabulary by naming things in everyday conversation. Examples: "Look at that robin!" "Let's watch it fly high in the sky."
It's also fun to create a story together from a simple observation like above. Start the story with something like - "Where do you think the robin is going to fly and what will he/she do when he/she gets there?"
In the story we shared today, Wordy Birdy by Tammi Sauer, wordy birdy likes to talk...a lot! She says a lot of words, many which are familiar to most children, but some which are not. Children do not need to know the meaning of all the words to enjoy the flow of the story, but if they seem interested in a word they do not know, take some time to talk about it, either during the reading or after.
Songs and Movement Activities:
I Saw a Little Birdie
I saw a little birdy go hop, hop, hop (bend 2 middle fingers in and "hop" hand)
And I said to the birdie, won't you stop, stop, stop? (wiggle finger of other hand at the birdie)
I went to the door to say how do you do? (wave hand at birdie)
And he shook his little tail and away he flew! (shake and fly the birdie around)
Play a copycat game where one person does something, then the rest repeat. Let your child(ren) take the lead with many more movements after demonstrating a time or two. This is a great activity that doesn't take a lot of time or effort.
Examples can include:
fly like a bird
wiggle your toes
spin round and round