Children identify with the characters in this book, and acquire a better understanding of others who are not the same as them, thereby developing empathy and adaptability to new situations. While reading, you may want to focus on the characters’ facial expressions and ask: How do you think they feel? And why?
Sitting, jumping, or perhaps bending down? Take turns choosing a page in the book, and showing the others a movement or posture similar to that of the characters depicted on it. The other players can then imitate the movement or posture, and look for the right page in the book. Did you find it? Then it is now time for the next player to choose a page.
Write down the names of games you like to play together on separate notes: Ball, hide-and-seek, or maybe catch? Put all the notes in a box, and choose one at random each day. What does it say? Would you like to play this game together? If not, you can always take another note out of the box, or add a new note suggesting a new game to the box.
Toddlers like to be part of the story: Repeating words and sounds found in the book, or dramatizing the actions taken by the different characters. It is their way of identifying with the story, enriching their emotional worlds, and acquiring vocabulary and concepts. That is why, when reading together, you could “play” the trumpet, “beat” on a drum using your hands, and pretend you’re a choir conductor.
Gilly finds a job that suits her as the conductor of the orchestra. Following her decision, you too can discuss your toddlers’ roles at home: What can they do and what do they want to do? Pick up their toys? Sweep the floor? Help set the table for dinner?
Almost any item can become a musical instrument: You could clap together to the rhythm of the song, or collect any instruments, rattles, and utensils you can find. A pot with spoons can be a drum, a used roll of paper towels can be a trumpet. You could even try to tap various materials to find out what kinds sounds tapping wood makes? And what about tapping the floor? Or metal? You may enjoy picking one of your favorite songs and playing it together.
Are your toddlers conductors? While listening to your favorite music together, you could hold a small stick and “conduct”. Perhaps you could dance to the music, acting out the various instruments, and switch roles from time to time.
Gali and Gaya love doing stuff together, but also separately. You may want to discuss and discover what your toddlers like to do together with a sibling, friend or you, their parents, and what they prefer doing on their own.
Like Gali and Gaya, you too could walk together. How about making a trail at home, and marking it with a piece of rope or various items. Next, walk along it in single file, one behind the other, or perhaps together, side by side. You can also take turns being in the lead and exclaiming: “Follow me!”
A sheep, frog or butterfly? You may enjoy looking at the illustrations in this book together, and discovering the various animals. You could make the sound that each oft them makes, or move like them: Flying like a butterfly, buzzing like a bee, or… What else?
The poems in this book present small moments in life. Every time you read together, we recommend selecting one poem, and reading it together. Does the poem remind you of something that once happened? This may be a good opportunity for you, parents, to share a childhood experience with your child, creating closeness and intimacy with them.
You may enjoy looking at parents’ family photo albums together, searching for special childhood moments. You could also look at early childhood photographs of the children, and share information about the moments captured. Which memories do they evoke in you?