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    News — Literacy

    Who Am I?

    Who Am I?

    Did you know that by reading and telling stories, children begin to tackle some of life’s big questions: who are we and how did we come to be? 

    In the playroom and in social settings, children begin to develop their identity through storytelling. Children often recount meaningful life experiences and events that both define and excite them. One of my daughter Louise’s favorite stories to tell is of the day we ran into a friend at the mall and then later at the beach. “It was craziest day ever!” This wonderful form of self-expression and communication helps children begin to manage their self-identity. 

    But where does story-telling all begin?

    One of the most valuable ways in which children begin to understand storytelling and story structure is by being read to by their parents, caretakers and teachers. Fairy tales are full of moral obligations, what is right and wrong, this where children begin to gain feeling of conscious and therefore self-worth. Fairy tales are also filled with enchantment and wonder, painting an imaginative world where a child is able to look inward and identify their own feelings and emotions. Ask your child: Why did that story make you so happy? 

    Here are some of my favorite children’s books: 

    Raise Your Hand by Alice Tapper

    This book encourages girls to be brave, to be bold, and to participate! We must note that Alice Tapper was only 11 years old when she penned this beautiful book! 

     

    Stand in my shoes Kids Learning About Empathy by Bob Sornson, Ph.D. 

    This book introduces the concept of empathy and noticing the feelings of others. Do we need to say more!? 

    Moody Cow Meditates by Kerri Lee MacLean

    Kids can meditate too! This is a wonderful book for children and parents to share together and discuss the concept of mindfulness.  

    What Do You Do With an Idea? By Kobi Yamada

    Wow! Do we love this book! When we were developing Snickerdoos, we felt like we were going through all the same emotions as the lead character in What Do You Do With an Idea? From toddlers to adults, it can be scary to share our ideas and feelings; and Yamada beautifully helps to illustrate that is completely normal! 

    And of course, you know my favorite costumes for supporting and enhancing a child’s story-telling: Snickerdoos! 

     

     

     

    BENEFITS OF DRESS UP (Hint: it’s not just preparing your child for the stage)

    BENEFITS OF DRESS UP (Hint: it’s not just preparing your child for the stage)

    When I decided to create a new costume line for children, I knew two things—that I wanted to make dress up more comfortable, and that I wanted to cultivate children’s natural curiosity about real world characters and heroes. What I didn’t know was the multitude of benefits that dress up can offer a child: from supporting their confidence and joy to promoting their cognitive, emotional, and social development!

    Did you know that early play can enrich a child’s literacy?

    One day, Louise (my daughter) came home from school and was so excited to report that there was a special visitor that day: a lovely librarian named Michele. Later that day, I found a pamphlet from the library on activities to help prepare Louise for reading tucked away in her backpack. I’m not a literacy expert myself, and was surprised to see some activities listed that I wouldn’t have associated with reading! The four stepping stones listed to prepare your child for reading were talking, singing, playing, and writing (scribbling counts too)!  

    I was thrilled to see playing listed among these reading readiness skills—it’s something we do often, and I love encouraging it on our Snickerdoos platforms.

    I dug in to find out more and learned that play, in addition to being fun, helps children think symbolically. For example, have you ever noticed how a child can associate a wooden block with a phone from a young age? Hi! Hi!…Bye-bye! That is because at a young age, children begin thinking symbolically. One shape or symbol can represent and giving meaning to another. This kind of symbolic thinking can relate to reading as children begin learning that each individual letter (shape) represents a particular sound.

    So where does dramatic play come in?

    During dramatic play, children create and act out stories, which builds their knowledge and understanding of how a story works. This helps them understand the characters, structures, and themes when they begin to read books. Who is going to play doctor, who is the patient, and what will happen next?!

    I am constantly in awe of the power of play-based learning. I could just scream it from the roof-tops: not a minute is wasted on the playground or in the playroom!