Playing, singing and reading with a toddler — parent blog
Felix is learning to talk at the moment and is obsessed with tractors and farm animals.
When he pulled Time for Bed by Mem Fox off the shelf for me to read him, I quickly grabbed our bucket of animal figurines. We fished out all the animals that are in the story and lined them up along the arms of the chair and then began to read.
For each page, Felix picked up the matching animal and I made the animal sound — he copied enthusiastically.
After the story we sang some songs like “Come to the farm and visit me”, “I went to visit a farm one day” and “When cows get up in the morning”, picking up the animals and making their sounds along the way.
I was delighted to find that Felix could say the sounds at just the right time in one of the songs! All up we probably sat, read and sang together for about half an hour as he continued to pull books off the shelf and we looked in them together for animals to match.
Having a good stash of animal figurines is a great tool for encouraging talking and cross-referencing, and I now enjoy giving books with matching figurines to the littlies in our life.
First 5 Forever tip
If you don’t have a bucket of farm animals, soft toys, puppets or pictures cut out from magazines will do.