I am not an early childhood education expert, but these are some things I’ve done:
- Whenever a word comes up like nose or foot, touch that part of your anatomy of hers.
- For shorter books, have a basket of objects close by that are mentioned in the book. I do believe my daughter has associated the 2-D Minnie Mouse with the 3-D, as Minnie is one of her favorite toys and she gets excited whenever I break out, “5-Minute Minnie Tales”.
- If a word comes up that reminds you of a song, sing it. Incorporating a song within a story breaks up the cadence of your voice and helps keep their attention.
- To keep it interesting for you, you can make up little stories about the pictures. She will enjoy it, too. You can be as serious or as silly as you like. Pointing to certain animals and making animal noises is great fun.
- Use different accents. For instance, I always take on an English accent whenever I read a nursery rhyme set there; whenever I sing, “When Irish Eyes are Smiling”, I do my best Irish brogue. Also, when coming across words like fast or slow, I say the words in fast or slow motion, respectively.
- Use objects or hand gestures to help tell the story. I’ve been teaching myself baby sign language and it really holds my daughter’s attention when I incorporate signs into a song. I never realized how dexterous a hearing-impaired person has to be.
- Let her turn the page. It’s okay to abbreviate, or improvise a story. I’ve always been a creative person, but a new side of my creativity has been tapped while doing this activity with my daughter. Encourage interaction, and take her hand to point to things, to help build those associations.