Getting more out of your shared reading time

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When sharing stories with young children, add fun, excitement and participation with a prop from around your house.

Props relating to the book help young children understand the story and the meaning of more unfamiliar words. For example, showing  your child a patchwork pillow or quilt to help them understand what the word patchwork means. Use items that are tiny, little, big and huge to help explain describing words used in a story.  Props can include real objects, sounds, toys, craft, natural materials or food.

Try these simple ideas for the popular story The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle:

  • Grab a pipe cleaner or green scarf and make a caterpillar to act out the story. You could even draw some eyes on your finger to be the caterpillar.
  • Get some real food from your fridge or fruit bowl and use them to explore together what the hungry caterpillar likes to eat.

You can also look for photos of real caterpillars and butterflies and have fun with butterfly actions as you fly around the room at the end of this story.

Have you got some ideas for using props with popular children’s books? Share them on our Facebook page.



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