Activities to support children's developmental needs
April 2016 Dancing Feet by Lindsey Craig
Week 1: Creating an Engaging Read Aloud
I first discovered Dancing Feet when someone gave it to my oldest child for her first birthday. She forced us to read it nightly so soon our whole house had it memorized. We love having Dancing Feet parties where we get to be ducks, elephants, and ladybugs. All those days of clicking and stomping meant I had lots of time to think about activities to go with the story so I ended up using it as a read aloud in my class for students with intellectual disabilities. I hope your house will have as much fun with it as we did. The rhythm, artwork, and invitation to dance makes this book a great full-body reading experience.
We will be reading this book at the Sensory Storytime at the Kings Park Library in Springfield, VA on April 9th. Click here to sign up for the 2-4 age group and here for the 5-9 ages.
~Creating an Engaging Read Aloud~
I adore this book because it is so much fun to read. It has a great beat and encourages lots of great dancing activities.
Bounce your toddler on your lap while you read this book the first time. It has a great rhythm that will engage your little one immediately.
Change your voice as you read about the different animals. Use a deep voice for the bear and the elephant and a quiet one for the ladybug and the caterpillar.
Read a pages that ask who is dancing and ask your child to predict what animal is dancing the beat. Even though the answer is obvious celebrate your child's predictions.
After you have read the book through encourage your child to dance like the animals. While you read the book again ask your child to stomp like an elephant, tiptoe like a ladybug, and slap feet like a duck walks. Read a page and then model how to be the animal. Your child will love watching you pretend to the animals and will enjoy the book even more!
This book is great for preschoolers because of the predictive repetition. After you have read it a few times using the strategies from above (using different voices and dancing like the animals) start asking your child to "read" it with you. Your child can say the words along with you as your point to the words. This starts to show your child that the text contains a message and that we read from left to right in a natural and organic way. Your child does not need to actually be able to read the words to be able to participate in choral reading with you. Remember to keep it fun. Don't pressure your child to participate, but keep an open invitation to read it together.
Ask your child to come up with ways to dance like other animals not in the book. Can they think of the sounds those feet would make?
Give your child access to the book at other times when you are not available to read to them, like in the car, while you are cooking, or in their bed. Encourage them to "read" the book to themselves. You'll be surprised how much of the book they remember and can tell to themselves. Don't worry about the fact they are not correctly matching the words with the print, that step will come. Right now they should just enjoy the experience of reading a book to themselves.
Next Week's Issue: Sensory Activities
Age and Development Recommendations
Activities in these newsletters are designed for children experiencing developmental delays. These activities provide suggestions for parents to help support their child's development in the home environment. However, all children will enjoy these activities and can benefit from them. Change your language and expectations to fit your child's developmental needs. Contact me for help on how to differentiate the activities for your child! firstname.lastname@example.org
This weekly newsletter provides literacy activities to support your child's developmental needs. We choose one book a month and provide literacy, language, motor, sensory, and emotional activities that connect with the book.
Ann-Bailey Lipsett, M. Ed
Special Education Teacher
Mother of Two
Education blogger @