Children are made readers on the laps of their parents. This quote by Emilie Buchwald says it all. Children learn language from direct interaction with meaningful people in their lives. Learning is facilitated when children have trusting relationships. So just imagine the amount of learning potential when parents read to their children!
During February, the month of LOVE, help your child develop a LOVE for reading! Commit to reading at least 1 story/day for the rest of the month. That’s potentially 14 different stories OR, more likely, some lesser amount as most kiddos love to have a favorite story read and re-read to them over and over again. Invite them to your lap!
I LOVE children. They’re what motivate me. My emotions are authentic and genuine; readily seen and understood by anyone, even children. Tears welled up and rolled down my cheeks more than one time when reading a story at group time. My reactions made it easy to explain what was touching my heart, helping to develop their empathy. Two books where tears always came: My Mama Had A Dancing Heart by Libba Moore Gray and Coat of Many Colors * by Dolly Parton.
Big Girls (and Boys) Do Cry…
Yes, LOVE is emphasized in February. BUT children have a wide range of feelings and emotions they need help identifying and managing. At preschool we’d use music and movement, books, visuals, activities and toys to help children pinpoint how and/or what they were feeling. One of the music and movement activities we did was a variation on the classic If You Are Happy, And You Know It. In this variation, the movements include body language that express emotion too. Children might not be aware of these non-verbal forms of communication yet. So, as with everything related to trying to engage kiddos, exaggerate your expressions and/or movements. Know it’s always okay to embrace being silly!
SING: If You’re Happy And Your Know It
Now replace happy with different emotions:
Mad – cross your arms.
Frustrated – stomp your feet.
Excited – jump up and down.
Sad – make a frown
Join Me at StoryTime!
Another story I’d read during February, The Dove’s Letter by Keith Baker didn’t make me cry but it did let us talk about the many different ways people show others they love them. If you don’t have this book or don’t have time to go to the library-no worries. Invite your kiddo to your lap; this is one of the stories included in StoryTime! Don’t fret if your kiddo does decide to go for a new story each and every day, there are enough!
* In case you’d like to hear Dolly sing it!
Yours in Play!