If it scares you, it might be a good thing to try.
Kids try an exponential number of new things in the first few years of their lives, from when fear starts to appear, even as young as a few months through separation anxiety. But with our patience, consistent support and acceptance, young children learn to grapple with the many fearful feelings that are part of their development. Picture books provide the platform to build on your child’s courage and resilience while giving them a boost with their language and literacy skills. Let us talk you through 3 highlights of our Be Brave book box.
1. Talk about feelings
Research tells us that children who understand emotions are more likely to
act kindly towards others. Picture books provide a safe, visual and engaging space to explore emotions. Understanding characters’ feelings/motives is paramount to comprehending a story. We support children to explore this in both books, Be Brave Little Penguin and The Lion Inside by providing information to parents through our RichREADING guide.
Here’s what you can say: “Look! There’s a tear on Pip-Pip’s face to show he is sad and lonely.”
2. Role play
We can prepare our children for situations they may find frightening but creating pretend play scenarios and guide them through what they might say and do. Our BoxPLAY activity does a wonderful job of this as your child explores what it’s like to talk to an emergency services phone operator and learn how to answer Who, What, When, Where, Why questions!
Top Tip: HELP THEM OUT – “When they ask for your location, you need to say…”
3. Be the hero
It’d be hard to find a child who doesn’t love being the hero. For some children, these play scenarios may help them to work through their fears. Your child will have the opportunity to rescue Pip-Pip the Penguin. They can do this by completing the SoundPLAY activity in which they have to break up words into syllables to earn ice cubes to build Pip-Pip an igloo. ‘Syllable segmentation’ – the ability to break words up into smaller chunks, or syllables – is an important skill prior to learning to read.
Top Tip: CLAP AS YOU SAY – “Watch me say the syllables in octopus. Oc-to-pus. (clap 3 times) Add 3 ice cubes to your igloo!”
Well, there you have it – three lessons on bravery married with language and pre-literacy goals, all fueled by picture books and a child’s natural instinct to play.
This edition of our Be Brave box is available now as part of our Prep4Prep Package. Designed by speech pathologists to empower parents to support their child in getting ready for school. See more here.