Friday, 10 April 2015

Play Time: Favourite Tickles

We're big fans of reading here at WIYDB?, that's no secret. Whether it's a quiet bedtime story or a raucous afternoon story time complete with funny voices and call and response, reading is important to include into every day, where you can. But, there is more to pre-literacy than books. Songs, rhymes, bounces, tickles, and play all work together with books to prepare your child for reading and communicating throughout his or her life and, really, who doesn't like to play? We're introducing this new "Play Time" feature to the blog to give you tips, tricks, and hacks for the ultimate (but not expensive) play experience with your growing little one.

Why tickles? Simple tickle rhymes are a great way to bond with your baby using language and fun. The use of rhyming words builds phonological awareness while the movements help to connect words to actions and associate words to fun and love. It's great to add rhymes, songs, and tickles to a story time - to keep your child's attention and build different skills - but you don't have to set aside special time in your day to incorporate a tickle. Try a back tickle when you've sat your child up to button the back of her shirt, or do a tickle while you wait for the bottle to warm up (much needed distraction).

Below are some of my favourite tickles, illustrated and annotated so you can do them at home with your baby or toddler. Take a minute to try one out this afternoon!

Slice, Slice:

*If your baby can't sit up on his own yet, make sure you offer proper support as you do these tickle rhymes. Or, put him down on his stomach and alter the actions a little bit.

Criss-Cross Apple Sauce:

* Take cues from your baby. If she doesn't seem to be enjoying the tickle rhyme, don't force it. She may be fussy or gassy and just not feeling it right now. Try again later - after a nap for example - when she's in a better mood. If she still doesn't like it, just move on to another kind of play, like a bounce or a lifting song.

Slowly, Slowly:

*When possible, face your baby towards you while you play. It's a great bonding experience, and you can see that adorable happy, laughing face! Allow a toddler to do the rhyme on you for added fun.

'Round and 'Round the Garden:

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