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Saturday, June 17, 2017

Revisiting Memories through Play

 Every year in the month of June, we travel to Michigan for vacation.  It's a week of just us.  My late father-in-law would call this "making memories".  Being the shutter bug that I am, I take about a million pictures.  Okay, maybe not a million, but I have been known to take as many as 4000 in a week on vacation. (insert my husband's eye roll here.)
As a child, we spent our summer vacations at the Englewood Beach in Florida.  Those are some of the happiest childhood memories that I have. But...Once vacation is over though, there's laundry to do and a car to clean out and sometimes those pictures stay on the camera.  Why not make those memories tangible?  Why not revisit those happy times through play?
 With a few simple props, your vacation can continue - a mini vacation, if you will.  We go to Michigan to the lighthouses and beaches.  So I would use a beach play mat, a lighthouse, and some peg dolls of the family to recreate our vacation.
Through play, children can bond with their caregiver or parent. They act out scenarios.  They are developing their language and vocabulary by retelling events (or embellishing stories!)  Play is essential for brain development.  And why not relive some of the happiest times of their childhood?

Board Books - not just for babies

 Board books are works of art in the hands of children.  Usually colorful illustrations accompany simple text.  This is what makes them perfect for early readers.
 Want to encourage a toddler or preschooler to get a bath? Read a book like this where different animals get different kinds of baths and pair with an animals.  Let them take the animals into the bath with them.  Clean the animals. Clean yourself.  It's a parent win!
 Board books are great for teaching early concepts like counting and letter sounds.  One Tiger is thee perfect counting book!
 Add animals to any book for kiddos to get excited about storytime and reading.  Someday, when I decide to go get a PhD, I am going to write about how making characters from a book tangible to children helps them to comprehend and retain the book more completely.  And, hey, how cute is this Schleich Bear?  When children have props, they can later act out or retell the story.
Make the story come alive.  Preschoolers love the book Dinosaur Roar!  let them retell it with their favorite dinosaurs.