A couple of notes before I begin today’s post. I decided to continue with the Primary Colours (+1) activity plan for a third week because I felt the babies could use more practice with the concept before we move on (another demonstration of how flexible the Clever Clovers Development Program is). Monday’s colour has been yellow but since you have already seen a couple of yellow activities I decided to do Tuesday’s activities today (red). Ideally, I would have dressed in red too but I only have red pj’s and since this is going on the web, I chose not to be seen in my pj’s!
Also, I have wanted to share a reading activity for some time now to demonstrate different techniques to effectively & interactively read a story with your baby; promoting early years literacy. Today I attempted to do this, and was met with camera issues on 2 occasions (the first one ran out of battery and the second one ran out of memory) – poor planning on my part. So I was only able to capture a fraction of what we did with the story but I hope it helps give a couple of ideas. I promise to post more reading activities in the future.
Mondays and Wednesdays I choose one activity we did today from the Clever Clovers curriculum and share our experiences (starring my twin babies)
This week’s Theme: Primary Colours (+1)
Activity Description: Read the story Red is Best (Stinson) and talk about it as you go.
This Activity’s Main Area of Development: Emotional Learning
Specific Skill: Exploring preferences
O&M’s Ages (at the time of posting this): 16 months + 3 weeks
1. First, I sat with them and quickly reviewed their red clothing and gave a quick introduction about what the book is about. (Love it when M says, “la la la” to the word Elmo. – if you don’t know, it’s part of his song)
2. In the clip below, you can see a few important things. One, when M proclaims “ock” (for sock), I acknowledge her understanding and communication by repeating it with the correct pronunciation “socks”. The second is that I am asking them to find the socks in the picture. Sock is a word they know. It would not be very productive to ask them to find something that they are not familiar with. O points to something else first (either out of interest or as an incorrect response). I still acknowledge her communication. I don’t say “no, you are wrong”. I give words to what she is doing. I say, “this is the girl”, then continue back with the question, “can you find red socks?”. Third, using the limited language they have, I am attempting to explain the concept of the story and today’s specific emotional learning skill (exploring preferences) . I say things like “red, yes, yes, yes” with a smile on my face. And when it is a different colour I say “no, no, no” without a smile. These words are not in the story. I am using the language that they already have an understanding of to help them understand the story’s meaning what it is to “like or prefer” something.
3. The next clip shows an example of how to get your baby interactively involved with a story. This helps with comprehension and gives them a break from sitting and paying attention. (They get to move their bodies)
– Again, to begin, I only give them commands that I know they already understand (jump). New commands can be slowly added in over time. It wasn’t caught on camera but on another page I asked them to run. They weren’t quite sure what that meant so I took their hands and ran back and forth with them, saying “run, run, run”.
4. The following is an example of changing the vocabulary in the story to suit your baby’s understanding. In the story the word “jacket” is used. My babies don’t know this word but they are familiar with “coat”. So when I’m reading, I change the words. You will also see me use an action when I say “cold”. This helps with comprehension. You will notice M pointing to her red sweatshirt at the end. This shows that she is empathizing with the girl in the story and that she understands.
5. The last clip I have, shows another example of changed vocabulary. The story says “boots”. I say, “shoes”. You can’t see it because M is not on camera but she points to the top of her head, indicating “hat”. I acknowledge her communication by indicating that the girl in the story has a hat but it’s not red. In retrospect, I would have preferred to say something like, “yes, this girl has a hat, it’s green and white”. (To frame it a bit more positively).
6. As I mentioned above, I was not able to catch the rest of it on camera but as the story progressed, they began to comprehend the “no, no, no” to other colours and “yes, yes, yes” to red. They were nodding along and smiling when the colour was red. And shaking their heads and index fingers when it was not red. I hope some of these tips will help you engage your child more through reading activities.
Please leave me a comment to let me know how the tips worked for you!