Monthly Archives: August 2013

How to Think Like a Child

The best children’s book authors can really think like a child. They tell a story from a child’s point of view and explain things that a child may not understand. They alleviate fears, confirm feelings, and teach new ideas. Here are some books by authors who validate what a child is experiencing:


When a child starts kindergarten there is some nervousness about all the unknowns. “What happens if you spill your milk?  Are there mean people at school? How will I get lunch? What if I get lost?” In “Kindergarten Rocks!” by Katie Davis, Dexter’s sister, Jessie, who is really old now (in 3rd grade), reassures her brother Dexter that everything will be ok. Dexter takes along his stuffed dog, Rufus, for comfort and finds out that school is fun! The author describes kindergarten activities including art time, play, dress-up, listening to books, the play-dough table, and writing. The book’s illustrations are rendered in crayon, which adds a child-like quality to the story.

When your family is expecting a new baby, your child will have lots of questions. “What Is He Doing Now?” by Patti Farmer and Janet Wilson nicely describes events during a pregnancy from the point of view of a little boy waiting to meet his brother or sister.  Illustrations are realistic but loosely done in watercolor and colored pencil. The boy wonders: Is the new baby growing in mommy’s tummy? How is the baby breathing in there? How does he eat? What will he do when he is born? This book gives plenty of opportunity to talk about how your child feels about a new sibling.

For the very young child, “Little Chicken’s Big Day” by Katie Davis and Jerry Davis is a simple book about what it’s like to be little. “I hear you cluckin’ big chicken,” says the little chick. But just like any two-year old, this little guy is easily distracted wanders off to chase a butterfly. Now where did big chicken go? Little chick can’t find his mama at first, but there is a happy ending. Illustrations of the mother and child chickens are bold yellow images outlined in black.


“Today I Feel Silly and Other Moods that Make My Day,” by Jamie Lee Curtis, with pictures by Laura Cornell illustrates how many emotions a child can experience, including silly, grumpy, angry, joyful, quiet, confused, cranky, and lonely. Children will see that all of these emotions and the different shades of feelings are ones they may experience at times and are normal. This is a playful book with rhyming text and whimsical illustrations.

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by | August 15, 2013 · 2:51 pm

Summer Word Play

Your child has spent the afternoon running, jumping, swimming, and playing catch. Now it’s time to slow down and spend some quality time as a family. It’s time to exercise your child’s brain by playing with words, stories, and songs. You can do these activities almost anywhere with just a few materials.


1. Write down the titles of your child’s favorite books from home or the books you just got at the library on slips of paper. Put them in a bowl and then have your child pick a slip and see which book to read first.

2. Use a puppet or a stuffed animal to pretend to tell a story or read a book. Make up a new voice for the character that doesn’t sound like your normal reading voice.

3. Empty out the change in your pockets daily into a jar. When you have enough money, go with your child and buy a book of your child’s choice.

4. “Read” your family photo album together. Start with the baby pictures of your child and tell stories about the photos. What happened and who was there? What does your child remember? Tell the story of how you picked out your child’s name.

5. Help your child write and illustrate a letter it to send to grandma and grandpa or to a favorite author. You could also make your own greeting cards with your child for special occasions like a birthday or holiday.

6. Play a rhyming game. Say a word and have your child say a word back that rhymes, even if it is a nonsense word. Then reverse. You can make a little song with the words.

7. Write down all the things you will be having for dinner into a play menu. Help your child draw pictures of the foods next to the words. Use the menu at the table to “order” dinner like you would in a restaurant.

8. When you go on a trip or just on errands during the day, make a journal of your activities by writing them down as you go in a blank book.

9. Sing your favorite song together and let your child stand on your feet as you dance. Make up new verses of the song and sing it together.

10. Develop a secret hand signal that means “Let’s read!”

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Filed under book activites, family reading