Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Discovering Their Words and Other Things

From the first audible cry to the cooing sounds of a content baby, our words have been forming since before our birth. Before we can communicate, we rely on sounds to let others know that we are distressed, hungry, or have desires we can’t fulfill. The way we respond to those cries for help, usually with soothing words of affirmation lets a child know that we are there.

You learn, as parents, to recognize your child’s patterns. Before long, you are able to tell a hungry cry from a distressed cry and “a diaper leaked in my bed” cry from an “I’m not feeling well” cry. Their nuances become clear because we are listening to them and that’s how we all learn.

What are we without our words? You’ll hear parents say to children who have trouble communicating that they must “use their words” to express why they are pointing to something and grunting excitedly. Effective communication begins with the ability to not only listen but repeat what you hear. The first time they latch onto a concept or recognize a word will result in eruption of recognition when they utter their first word.

From there, it spirals into something magical. Kids who listen to words and repeat them learn how to talk because of repeated patterns. So, we do that in the best way possible, we read to them. We read the same stories over and over ad nauseam until they know them by heart. But it’s that next step that excites me as a parent when they leap from a listener and repeater to an independent reader. The dawning of a child’s comprehension is an exciting time as a parent.

As my six year old daughter starts to recognize sight words, I watch her finger move across the page with awareness. Her eyes concentrate on the curves and line that form letters, her lips purse to mimic every sound. She is putting things together, she’s exploring language, and she is discovering how words go together to make sentences.

Now, there are some drawbacks to this process like the pointing out of the speed limit every time they see a sign or when your budding reader backseat driver lets you know that the last sign you passed said “STOP” even though you didn’t. But becoming an independent reader opens up the world to a child who has just been a casual observer until now.

My daughter is starting to put sentences together and formulating her own opinions about the things she experiences. I’ve begun to see the things that she gravitates towards and likes being reflected in what she likes to read and write about. Her perception is shaping her world and developing her individuality.

And when they finally turn their appetite towards reading and writing, they become as voracious as a kid coming home from school looking for an after school snack. To fuel this uptick in brainpower, we explore new and exciting snack options like Teddy Soft Bakes. The teddy bear shapes are there to oversee the homework proceedings and the light-textured treats with chocolate or vanilla filling are there to satisfy their hunger and keep them motivated. 

When it comes to kids, their exploration never ceases, it just may switch to a different outlet. Kids need to be challenged not only in schoolwork but through play. Play evolves into discovery and discovery turns into comprehension. Children will retain more if their learning pertains to their actual lives. So, here are some ways you can turn regular old snack time into an activity that they enjoy using wholesome Teddy Soft Bakes as your inspiration.

Use these and other prompts to do a fun activity with you child and help them discover their words.
  1. Teddy Soft Bakes writing prompt: This Teddy is.... sad? surprised? hungry? let your child write down what they think and then color the Teddy the way they want. Then talk about it. 
  2. Have your child look at the box and draw their version of Teddy
  3. Have your child tell you descriptive words about how Teddy feels, smells, looks, and tastes and write them down.
  4. Draw a picture that explains just how they got that delicious filling inside Teddy
  5. Looking at your Teddy Soft Bakes, try to make one using only shapes. Color it in!

I'm sharing Teddy Soft Bakes in my life as part of a sponsored series for 
Socialstars™  #myfirstTeddy #discoverTeddy

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