Today’s theme for the Share a Story literacy blog tour is the Terrific Twos. Even nine years removed, I can still *feel* the exhaustion of that bundle of energy and curiosity that was my (then) two-year-old daughter.
My favorite times of day were nap time and bedtime.No, not so that I could collapse on the couch, but because we could settle down for 15-20 minutes with children’s books.
As much as I looked forward to those daily milestones, there were times when I was just too tired to “put on” my best baby bird or drop my voice for the “down, down, down” of a favorite bedtime story. I am guilty of using the television as a Mother’s Helper … it is very tempting, and Between the Lions was educational. I still feel guilty … but I learned something, too: I had other ways to create a literacy rich environment at home without any extra effort.
Literacy Beyond Books
- Conversation and thinking out loud. Just by talking with my daughter (or myself) I was showing her how words and communication work. I would ask her questions throughout the day, or point to things in the yard and describe them for her. Sitting in the grocery cart she was a captive audience as I compared Brand X and Brand Y.
- The Radio / CD player. I know I’m dating myself … we all stream music these days! But the idea is the same: lyrics are a wonderful way to surround kids with language. Ballads, in particular, tell a story that gives us a chance to create a “movie” in our mind’s eye. Sometimes I would put on children’s songs, other times it was what I wanted to listen to.
- Audio Books. Even nine years ago, lots of children’s books came with a CD so kids could listen along while a narrator read the story. My husband traveled a lot, so we also recorded him reading books so that Catherine could hold the book and follow along as he read to her.
One of the greatest literacy resources a family can have is the local library. There are plenty of traditional books, but you can also borrow music and audio books. Libraries regularly host Story Time events that is a place where your child learns new things and a time for you to enjoy the wonder of the Terrific Twos!
How about you? What ways have you discovered to incorporate literacy concepts into daily life with your toddler?