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Monday, August 5, 2013

Just Play and Read


When I was a little girl my favorite thing to do was  cuddle up
with my mom and enjoy reading a good story. As I grew into
books the stories and characters would come to life for me. They
would jump off the page and felt so real that I didn't want the story
to ever end.  I am a book lover. I can read several novels per week
and that is something I want to pass on to my children.  I want them
to love reading. There is so much to be gained from the printed word.
Now when  you are a beginner reader. Sometimes reading isn't so fun.
You are reading sound by sound... letter by letter and it can be painstaking.
A child can't always dig into the characters. They can't enjoy the
story as much as when mom or dad reads books to them, at least
not yet anyway. It won't take long for them to take off and read on their
own but for now in those younger years. Let's help those little ones
make their books come alive. You only have this time once. Why not
spend it playing with your kids. Let's get started . It's pretty easy to
get your kids playing along side of their story books.

First things first... Locate their favorite books. You know what they are
the ones you try to hide because you are tired of reading it to them the
100 and umpteenth time. Gather that book and think about the Characters
in the story. Think about who and what is involved .

Then take a look around your house. What do you already have that you
can put together to bring that book alive. Something that will help those
little ones play along with their story. Help them act it out and retell what
is happening. Retell and make up their own stories with the characters.
All great basis and qualities for beginner readers and writers.

Once you've gathered the items well then just play. Just play and
act it out and talk about what might happen next. If it's an animal
that is the main character and lots of times it is talk about that animal.
What care does it need? Can it talk in real life? What color is it normally?
Be creative but at this stage of the game just set up play areas. We will
expand on them more as the week goes on. Here are a few examples
Of picture book play. Some are recent and some are ideas we have
done in the past.

This is a Disney Princess Look and find book. Like the where's
Waldo books except easier for little readers. My daughter loves
finding things in books and the fact that it is princess didn't hurt.
She likes to point out different items and name them. Naming
is great for that preschool beginner readers.

This is what I created for her. I set up some of her princess dolls, her bottles,
phone, bunny slipper and pretend make up. All she has to do is
find the item I'm talking about. I can give her clues like....

It is white, It is fluffy and you wear me on your feet.
That would be her bunny slipper.

Another way to play is to take an item away and see if your child can
figure out what is missing. This can go for hours of fun. It helps that
the older siblings like to play with her too.

The Cheerios playbook is just wonderful. The little O shaped cheerios
fit into various pictures in the book. There is actually a groove for real
cheerios to sit. This is a hands on sort of book but we can make it more
hands on  by adding Cheerios to our play.

Put some cereal in a bowl , cups, spoons, bowls, etc... and allow
children to play, mix and pour.

Another really easy thing to do is just gather the supplies and allow
the children to play. They can make up their own play or try to mimic
the story. These nutcrackers became hours of fun for Spirit. He made
up many of his own stories about heroic nutcrackers saving the day.
Sometimes they were villains or monsters crushing cars. Allow
their imagination to flow out. Don't worry if it doesn't match the story.
You can work on retelling when the time is right. Don't make every
play time a narrative.

Don't rule out books that name items, give facts or information about
a topic. They can be explored just as well as those that hold a
creative story line. Like the dinosaur naming book above.
My child can use this along with the dinosaur set he has. He can
try to match the dinosaur and give them all names.


A trip to the firehouse prompted us to read Firefighter Frank.
The children had just received new fire hats and Spirit had a fire
suit. The two of them used Princess doll cradle as the fire truck
and acted out the story of being a firefighter. Acting out a story
and dressing up can allow the child to really feel as if they are a part
of that character.

And just because it's so darn cute I had to show you my little
Angelina Ballerina. This was taken sometime last year but it is
still one of my favorites. Sweet Pea loves Angelina and always
says she wants to be a ballerina. Mommy tried her hand a making
a tutu. It wasn't to hard and her brother jumped in with helping
her become her favorite dancing mouse.

They are so silly.

Around Easter time we read the Easter Egg by Jan Brett.
Mom just so happens to work for our church and had to get ready all
those eggs for an egg hung but not before I allowed Sweet Pea to swim
in the 1,000s of eggs. Who else would get the chance to swim in Easter eggs.


My last example is the story of the Billy Goats Gruff. Sweet Pea
loves this story. I gave her some plastic goats and helped her to act
out the story with them. Here we are taking our play to another level.
One of narrating the story.

I hope you enjoyed todays post on Picture book play.
Stop by tomorrow to see how you can ....

Tuesday- Learn Math with Picture books
Wednesday- Explore Science
Thursday- Arts and Crafts
Friday- Resources and ideas.

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