Telling and listening to stories is great fun, the shared experience makes everyone feel better. Discuss and think together – when is the right time for story-telling and letting your imagination run wild, and when is it best to tell it like it was without adding anything or leaving any details out? Who would you feel comfortable confiding in when you face dilemmas?
Who can recall what happened yesterday? Can you tell it like a story? Take this opportunity to share experiences. You can also play: One of the participants will tell a story, while the others try to discern what about the story is true, and which parts are made up.
Whenever Shahar wants to share or consult, she sits on Herzl the security guard’s bench and he always listens. Choose a spot at home where you can always speak and be heard. Whenever you need to share, sit there, tell your story, and seek advice.
Reading books is a wonderful way by which to get to know a child’s world. While reading, you may want to pause every once in a while, and allow your child to respond to the events depicted in the book: How do the characters feel? How do we, as readers, feel? Has something similar ever happened to you?
Have you ever helped to make a salad? Have you ever fallen and hurt yourself? You may enjoy recollecting together, parents and children, moments when you felt big, and managed to do something all on your own, and other incidents when all you wanted was to be hugged and comforted. This may be a good opportunity to get to know your child’s experiences, while sharing special moments with them from your own childhoods.
Pick up two objects and compare them – which of them is small and which is big? Now, replace one of the objects with another, and check again: Is the teaspoon big or small when compared to a bottle cap? And what happens when it is next to a broom? You can use yourselves as one of the objects and check whether you are big or small. And what happens when you stand next to other family members?
While reading, you may enjoy looking at the illustrations and searching for interesting details: What is Matan doing? How many animals can you spot? Who is large and who is small? Where can you see a cat? And which of the illustrations is your personal favorite?
From bed to daycare – what a journey! From the moment we open our eyes to the minute we set foot in daycare, so many things happen: We can meet the sun rising, our toothbrush or some people on our street, and wish them all a good morning! This greeting is a ritual that helps toddlers begin their days confidently, calmly, and enjoyably – a new day has begun well!
How do we turn books into friends? Reading from a young age contributes greatly to toddlers’ development. We suggest starting slowly, gradually, and age-appropriately: Some toddlers will want to touch the book, open and close it, or even “taste” it. You can then read a little, patiently and enjoyably. You could start by reading one page, and, as you get used to it, add more pages, until, hey – books have become friends!
While reading, you could emphasize the words good morning using a special voice and welcoming gesture. Invite toddlers to join in, follow the story, and take an active part in the reading. You could create your own good morning greetings: “Good morning kitchen chair!” “Good morning, tree on our street!”, “Good morning, Bobby the dog!”
To toddlers, everything can be a teachable moment. Time spent together going to or from daycare provides an opportunity to observe what attracts toddlers’ attention: Is it ants walking in a row? A large truck? Or perhaps a flock of birds taking wing?