“You can find magic wherever you look. Sit back and relax. All you need is a book.”
Be Magical is one of three themes in the Prep4Prep package and the importance of this theme really cannot be overstated.
Imagination is what the brain can create for itself and we are all born with the potential for building this thinking skill. How well someone’s imagination flourishes depends on how much it is nurtured by their environment.
So today’s blog shares three key ingredients for helping to create a ‘magical childhood’ for your child:
- Practise projecting with picture books
“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird
My Magnificent Jellybean Tree by Maura Finn and illustrated by Aura Parker couldn’t be a more perfect picture book for the ‘Be Magical’ theme. A boy creates a magical jellybean world where there are endless possibilities – even jellybean shampoo! This magical tale combined with Julia Donaldson’s “Freddie and the Fairy” will not only get the creative blood pumping but will also develop a skill known as ‘theory of mind’ or ‘projecting’.
Theory of mind involves understanding another person’s knowledge, beliefs, emotions, and intentions and using that understanding to navigate social situations.
The language of projecting or ‘theory of mind’ sounds like this: “If I had a kingdom, I would have a chocolate palace where rivers flow with chocolate” or “If you were the Jellybean King, who would you invite to your magnificent tree?” “Our RichREADING cards provide support for turning reading into a conversation through deliberate ideas for ‘what to say’ as you read.
- Play make-believe with your child
“You’re only given a little spark of madness, you mustn’t lose it.”
Never be fooled into thinking your child is ‘just playing’. Our ‘Be Magical’ theme provides opportunities for your child to ‘get in character’ by creating props like a magic wand to become a fairy or a wizard or a crown to become a queen or king.
The best way to help your child develop this ‘outside the box’ thinking is to get down and play too! Check out our two ‘Be Magical’ play activities (pictured below) that teach the essential language skills of ‘character innovation’ and ‘rhyming skills’ plus develops their ‘imaginative play’.
- Encourage problem-solving in every aspect of life
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.”
The best armour you can give your children is the ability to problem-solve. For young children, problem-solving opportunities are everywhere – picture books, play scenarios and everyday tasks. ‘ Freddie the Fairy’ presents lots of opportunities to problem-solve how to help Freddie be heard so his wishes could come true.
The way parents can model the language of problem-solving is through a skill called ‘think alouds’: “I wonder if we tried a different way?”; “I’m going to look at a map to help us find our way”; or “How else could you fix it?”. Seize opportunities to help your child ‘see the unseeable’ by imagining solutions to problems they face every day.
Discover these beautiful picture books and play activities with a purpose in our Prep4Prep package which includes: Be Yourself, Be Brave and Be Magical = 3 themed book boxes!
As speech pathologists, we know that language and thinking are inexplicably intertwined. The beautiful thing about language is you reap what you sow.
Thanks for hearing our call.
Your Little Birdies, Tania and Janice