Monday, June 21, 2010

Story Time


JellyBean (20mos) has never been fond of reading. Whereas JayBird has loved to sit and read since he was an infant, JellyBean screams and tries to take the book out of my hands if I am reading to her or her brother. It has made it quite difficult to read and enjoy stories together.

I recently heard about a mom that used carpet squares for her wiggly kids during circle time. I thought that was a great idea! The next day I happened to be at a community garage sale and was able to purchase some carpet squares for 25 cents each! Perfect! I thought carpet squares would also work well for my active JayBird. What I didn't realize is how wonderful it would actually be for JellyBean!

As much as it can be nice to cuddle up on the couch with your kids to read a story, I have found that it just doesn't work for us...well, at least not for JellyBean. One afternoon I decided to use our carpet squares for a story time. The kids sat on the floor on their carpet squares while I sat on the couch. It definitely had the feel of a library story time and felt a little odd to be like that in my home since I was "above" the kids reading a story and not sitting cozily right next to them. worked! I sang a little story time song and we read The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Having JellyBean on a carpet square below me kept her far enough away from the book that she didn't try to tear it out of my hands. And she really loves her carpet square! If she did stand up and wouldn't sit back down, I would just sing a sit down song and she would immediately sit down. She really responded to my instruction through song! And The Very Hungry Caterpillar was coincidentally the perfect book to read because there were several words that we could all say in sign language, many of which JellyBean had just learned that week! So it was very fun for us!

And now...JellyBean LOVES to read! The carpet squares were like magic in regards JellyBean and reading! She even brings books to me now and signs "book" and says "". Gone are the days of her screaming and closing the book on us. She is requesting I read to her. And she happily goes to get her carpet square for story time. I'm sure one day she will like to cuddle up to read with me, but for now, having our more formal, library-like story time is what works for our family so that we ALL enjoy reading together!

Into my readers' hearts:
~ What have you done to encourage a love of reading with your little ones?

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