Books & Playdoh Go Together Like...

Oreos and soymilk? (I don't drink dairy)...Either way, I want to talk to you about your little ones language and a few easy ways to get your child more interested in books. I don’t need to go over all of the reasons why books are so important for language development. What I hear from parents of preschoolers though is that your child isn’t interested in books or won’t sit still for books. It’s normal for children between two to three years old to be wiggly and

have a hard time sitting down to read a book for very long. So we have to keep our expectations in check. By four or five years of age, children are usually able to sit down for an entire story.

Be aware that playdoh will stick to the pages of books so if your child is playing with the playdoh, then you should be the one turning the pages. Explain this to your child before you start reading so that she knows what the expectations are.

First, give your child some playdough to hold and squeeze in their hands while you are reading to them. This can help calm them so that it’s a little bit easier to look at the book. Show them how they can squeeze the playdough in between their hands as you read them the book.

Next, model sentences for your child. Roll out five or six balls and as you describe a picture from the book, tap on each ball. "The elephant has a big nose." Tap on each ball as you say each word. This helps children hear the distinction in each word and makes it easier for them to imitate what you've said. If your child is only saying one or two words, model out a short sentence of three to four words. "A big ball!" "The dog is fast." If your child is already putting two to three words together, then say short, grammatically correct sentences of five to seven words. You're going to model a short description if your child only says one to two words, or a gramatically correct sentence of five to seven words if your child is combining three words. Got it?

Finally, when you’re done reading the book, make something out of the playdough that they enjoyed seeing in the book- a bird, an elephant, a ball. And then roll out those balls of Playdoh again and use the playdoh to pace your sentence, emphasizing each word. I hope this was helpful. Feel free to share with me what’s working and what’s challenging!

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