Monday, July 11, 2011

Reading with Your Little Monkey

We have not had air conditioning since Saturday! Ugh! It is sooooo hot! Today was 108 degrees Fahrenheit with the heat index. Needless to say we were slow moving today! We did take time to have some Structured Play but we did it in the dinning room since it was just that much cooler. 
1 Zany Zoo [Book]
We started with a silly story 1 Zany Zoo by Lori Degman. This is a silly story that made Jake really laugh! I love to hear him laugh when we read stories. It shows me that he enjoys the story and really understands what we are reading. He does not always 'see' the silliness on his own but an important part of reading with your child is pointing things out and discussing the story and pictures. 
This picture is an example of when Jake started laughing. The story has three silly sentences to go with the illustration. Jake did not really get the point but when I pointed out the zebra cutting the walrus's whiskers he cracked up. I said, "Does a zebra cut hair?" as I pointed at the picture. He said, "No!" And laughed and laughed.
The next one that made him laugh was this picture. He does not know about skunks or their scent but he knows that when something smells people cover their noses. He saw this little guy covering his nose he said, "PU!"
This one was the best! He laughed when I yelled as the text reads, "Get back to your cages!" He mimicked me and ran around the house all day saying, "Back in your cages!" (In his way) He loves seeing/hearing people yell in books. I think part of him loving this stems from me reading with expression and wonderful illustrations showing facial expressions. I always ask him to do/say the line after I say it. He loves to do this and makes sure to copy the facial expressions as well. This is a good example of getting your child to love reading and love books. Books are informational, entertaining but most importantly they take us on an adventure. Demonstrating this adventure to a child as young as one or two starts the love of reading.
At Jake's age (23 months) it is important for me to talk through the pictures as well as reading the words. I always ask questions about the story as we read but I also point out items in the illustrations. If you speed read, ignoring pictures a small child will miss the point and just not enjoy the story. 
Another great way to experience the story in more depth is to complete a project to go along with the book. Today Jake really wanted to paint so I thought it would be best to incorporate our story into the paining project. I happened to see a new post from Sunday's Showcase Blog, Handprint and Footprints Art and knew it would be perfect for us. 
I painted his hand to make his handprint then set the paper aside to dry. He LOVES to make his handprint so he did it himself after I did it. I always keep an extra paper available for him when we do a specific paint project so that he can free paint as well. 
I have started having Jake add details to his pictures. We use the illustrations in the books as inspiration. Today he used his handprint to make a monkey then we made trees and grass in the background just like in the book picture. 
I made the tree trucks and he painted the leaves and grass. I had to put my hand over the monkey to keep him from painting over it! But still pretty cute for an almost 2 year old! Especially on a hot, slow day! Have to love summer! :)

Beneath the Rowan Tree                                                   abc button


  1. I read your about page and purpose for your blog. You are doing an amazing job with the information you share. Your little guy is lucky to have such a smart fun mommy! I love your blog.

  2. So sweet! Great work!
    Would you be willing to share this at our Weekly Playdate (a kid and family themed link party)? This week's edition is here:

    Come & Play :: Playdate

  3. fun, fun, fun & he looks like he is enjoying himself!

    Would love to invite you to link up to our weekly child centered linky party - The Sunday Showcase



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