Today we read Flower Garden by Eve Bunting.
I feel it is important to make connections to your toddler's life, the world and the books you are reading. This helps facilitate reading and helps children gain comprehension. To go along with the introduction of the Sensory Box I chose to read Flower Garden. I started by introducing the Sensory Box and allowing Jake to try it out for about 15 minutes. He enjoyed planting flowers, watering them and looking for bugs!
It was very cute every time he found a bug he said, "Ewww!" and then laughed!
Next, I introduced the book. I started reading as he was still playing, but I made sure to point items out in the story or in the picture so Jake was listening and paying attention to the story.
In the story the little girl plants flowers in a planter.
Here I point out that she has dirt, a pot and shovel as well as flowers. At this point I pause the story and have Jake plant his flowers as the little girl does in the story. We lined up the pots with 'dirt' (beans) and flowers in front of the pot in the story.
Jake is pointing out that the flower in the book is yellow and he has yellow flowers too!
This is a direct connection between the story and his world (the plants he has planted). This will build his comprehension and make him enjoy this book even more. He will start to look through other garden books and make connections as well.
He then watered his garden!
After we finished the story he enjoyed pouring the 'dirt' back into the tub. We of course had many spill out but that was a good opportunity to teach him to clean-up. I helped so it did not seem too overwhelming then high-fived him after to show him that cleaning can be fun and satisfying!
Use your literature to make connections!