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?
We recommend reading the book on your own, before reading it together as a family. Familiarizing yourself with the book in advance will help you read it afterwards at the pace and sequence suitable for your children. Enjoy reading this book together!
Have you ever had to wait for something? Perhaps you could share that experience, and tell each other about anticipation. You could also come up with ideas together of what you could do while waiting, or tell each other what you chose to do in those instances while you waited. What happened in the end?
Look at the final illustrations in this book. Can you find any indications for the birthday party the wolf had almost missed? And which presents did the bunny get? And what was special about the wolf’s gift?
Leaf through this book and decide the order of play. Take turns looking at the illustration you have each selected and acting out the depicted wolf’s motion: Is it going up in the elevator? Or walking on all fours? The other players will have to guess what the wolf is doing.
All houses consist of walls, a roof, doors and windows: What’s special about your house? What makes it your home? You may want to discuss special objects and items found in your home, or the things you do there together.
How about making a house out of blankets, cardboard boxes, sticks and clothespins? And what else would you need? Decide on a location and workplan, gather the necessary items and accessories, and off you go!
Take turns announcing a topic and having all the other players try to work together to find a suitable item. For instance, when “red” is announced, all players must search the house for a red item. In the next round, another player might call out “big”, “small”, “cute”, “old”, “multicolored”, “annoying” or “wheel”, sending the other players to look for an item matching their announced topic.
Have you ever lost anything you found important? How did you feel and what did you do? Perhaps you’ve found someone else’s lost item… This book invites children as well as parents to share their childhood experiences of losing and finding lost items.
Pick an item and take turns hiding it and having the other players look for it. You can help each other by giving clues such as “hot and cold” or a treasure map. Did you find it? Now it’s someone else’s turn – hide, search and find.
There are lost ads on the first few pages of the book. You may enjoy looking for amusing and surprising ones together to share with the rest of your family. Among them is one found ad – are you able to locate it?
Do you also have little friends visiting your home? Are they imaginary friends, or maybe a beloved doll? It is worthwhile to talk about it with the toddlers and hear what do they like doing with the little friend. You can “bring in” the little friend to join and read the story.
The story is slightly longer than usual, and in order to arouse interest and curiosity it is recommended telling it in a variety of voices: a voice for Dad, a voice for Yaeli and a different voice for Mom and for Elik Belik. You can look together at the illustrations and invite the toddlers to participate in the identification of details and repeat the words “Elik Belik”.
Where’s the doll? On the table? maybe underneath it? And where’s the ball? You can hide various objects, look for them and then say: “The ball is on the chair”, “The ball is under the bed”. You can also hide yourselves and look for each other.
Dad has big shoes, Mom’s shoes – they are less big, Yaeli has little shoes, and Elik Belik’s? Tiny shoes! Go on a journey throughout the house, collect items of the same type and arrange them from the smallest to the biggest.
What can toddlers do at home? Many things! They can put glasses on the dining table, sweep with a small broom, feed the pets, and… offer cookies. It is worthwhile to talk and show what the toddler is helping with at home, and what else they want and can participate in.
The child in the story hands out cookies to other family members: grandmother, uncle, sister, cousin. Who are your family members? You can talk about family members, say their names and thier roles, such as: “Grandma Braha,” “Uncle Baruch,” use family photo, and use family photos.
Do you know the game “Grandma made porridge”? “The child had cookies” can be played in a similar way, in which the toddler opens her, or his hand, and the parent begins to count: “The little boy/girl had cookies and gave one to Grandma (holding the thumb), and one to Uncle (holding the forefinger) etc. And so you count the fingers by allocating a family member to each one. Who will you give the last cookie to?
You may enjoy sitting comfortably, looking at the tender illustrations, and identifying the various ways in which Bear helps his friends. Perhaps you could ask your child to tell you the story by the sequence of illustrations, or imagine what story Bear was going to tell his friends before winter came along. You may also enjoy inventing another Bear story, and illustrating it together.
Bear is a good friend, who realizes what his friends need, and helps them. You may want to remind one another how you have helped each other throughout the day. You could choose a family member, neighbor or kindergarten friend, and think together about something they may need a hand with, and how to lend it to them.
You may want to allocate a corner of your child’s bedroom to serve as a winter corner for their stuffed animals. Perhaps you would enjoy using pillows and blankets to make burrows or caves for comfy, cozy hibernation.
Bear turns his experience into a story to tell his friends. You may enjoy making a little book together entitled The Day we have had, and fill it with drawings of the experiences you had today. You could read the book together before bedtime.
Is your child always asking for one more story during bedtime? You could place a small box or basket by their bed, containing some of their favorite books, for your child to look at on their own after saying good night. You may want to go through the basket every once in a while, and select new books with which to fill it together.
You may enjoy taking a walk in your neighborhood together, collecting colorful fallen leaves, and making prints out of them: place a piece of paper over a leaf, and color over it using red, orange and brown crayons. Hang your leaf prints around the house.