March 31, 2004

Expanding on Simple Bedtime Stories

So what's an education minded Dad like me to do when the kids (Ciaran and Rhiannon) ask to read bed time stories that, in my opinion, are "beneath" them? I'll start off by saying that I am not anywhere near consistent in this approach but it worked well last night. Here's the background: Mom had taken Sirah out with her and I had the kiddos. Normal bed time routine includes story reading and the kids usually get to pick the book. I do like to encourage chapter books or at least books with bigger words and vocabulary. But most times I'll ready whatever they ask.

So Ciaran brings me a "Pooh's Senses" book. It's a cardboard book with one or two sentences per page and 4-5 words per sentence. He's been reading this book for about two years and can almost recite it. What to do?

So we read it, but I first had him name the 5 senses and their corresponding body parts. Then as we read the book, we found things in the house (nearby to our seats on the couch) that fit the sense we were talking about. For this purpose, a vanilla scented candle did the most "work". When Pooh smelled "his favorite snack" in the book, we smelled the candle and described it. We talked about other smells we smelled during the day (always a riot with these two and the stinky dog). As Pooh touched the honey tree we felt the smoothness of the candle and the "prickles" on Daddy's chin (by the way, dads, your FACE is a great touch and texture teaching tool - parts are smooth, parts are hairy, parts are rough - and the kids have a blast pawing your mug).

All in all, we continued and made this simple book into an impromptu lesson that worked out well for the kids at bed time.

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