Toddler Book Club: Where the Wild Things Are
Where the Wild Things Are
I may be a little slow on the uptake, but since having a child of my own, I've come to the realization that toddlers are quite a bit smarter than society gives them credit for. I don't know how this is possible since they've only been alive for two or three years, the first six months of that being spent doing nothing productive. :P
I felt a need to really encourage and push this intelligence in my budding toddler. After all, her brain is a giant sponge right now. So I decided to start a book club with her. You read that correctly, a book club with my two-year old. I wanted to read inspirational novels to her as we set aside time to discuss common literary themes across genres. Just kidding. (I do hope to get there one day though.)
For now, my intention was to read the same book to her each day for a week and complete an activity that promotes skills on her level. Problem was, I couldn't find any accompanying activities on her level. As I scoured the Pinterest boards, all I could find were activities geared towards kinder and up. Well, my child might be smart, but she isn't that smart. So, I've had to make my own. These are free for download if you would like to try the same activities with your toddler. I included the jpeg and PowerPoint versions for your convenience. I don't own the rights to any of the images as they are all straight from the book.
So here is how we attacked our first book study.
First, we read the book. We stopped and identified different objects such as the
hammer, fork, and boat, as we read. Then we looked at specific vocabulary words that I had placed on cards. Keaton's speech is amazing, but her vocabulary is something we constantly work on. I try to teach her as many new words as possible, and, I don't know if it is advised or not, but I never use simplified speech with her unless giving her directions or reprimands. What better way to identify new vocabulary than with a book. We looked at the vocabulary cards and using the pictures, went back and located the words in the book. Please note that we did not use these as flash cards, merely as references.
Keaton also worked on her pre-writing skills by learning to trace lines.
We again read the book, because repetition is key at her age, and discussed the vocabulary. Then we sang a little song I made up for Keaton to learn to spell her name. I wrote her name on her crown and she colored it. After I cut it out, we worked on her hand-eye coordination as she glued glitter stars to her crown. We cut a pipe cleaner in half and taped one end to each side. It then sat nicely on her head. She has a very small head though, so if the pipe cleaner doesn't work for you, you can try cutting extra paper and simply making a ring the size of your child's head.
Guess what? We read the book and looked at the vocabulary. By this point, Keaton
was recognizing some of the words. We added on the Wild Things matching activity. I cut one strip of the Wild Things and let her match them to the other strip. If you choose to, you can use glue or velcro strips.
On our last day with "Where the Wild Things Are", we read the book again. We took one last look at our vocabulary cards. We also matched our Wild Things again. Then we used pre-cut strips of brown paper and treetops, and worked on our hand-eye coordination by gluing them into Max's room, turning it into a jungle.
Kids at every age are capable of learning, especially with repetition. Take a few minutes out of your day to work with your child, and you will be amazed just how quickly they pick things up. Plus, you are spending quality bonding time together. So bust out your old "Where the Wild Things Are" and explore LIFE through the world of a fantasy book.