Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Reading to Children...with a Cognitive Twist!

"Polar Bear, polar bear, what do you smell?"
"No, [laughter] hear!"

"Flamingo, flamingo, what do you hear? I hear an alligator braying at me"
"[giggles} Noooooo...zebra! [giggles]"
I very much enjoy making mistakes in books when I read to Tyler. I'm not the first person to do this, but I truly delight in it...and so does he.
Sometimes he laughs, sometimes he just corrects me:

"Some big dogs and some little dogs going around in airplanes"

"Now it is night. Night it not a time to eat. It is time to sleep"

"Look at those dogs go! Why are they going slow in those cars?"

Then there are the times when I get tricky. When I really want to see if he's paying attention. I don't think he's let me slip once, even when about to pass out with exhaustion at the end of the day:

"...But Nicki wanted snow-white mittens so much that Baba made them for her"
"Noooo [giggle] him"

"A hedgehog wanted to get warm. The mole and the bunny made room for him"

I even try to get him in his longer books...the ones with at least a couple full paragraphs on a page:

"If I didn't have to run, run, run for every single bit I get, I'd be fat as biscuits and sleek as satin..."

"Sure enough, there was the rabbit's house, with a big pot of carrot soup bubbling over an open fire"
"No... [pause, thinking of the word] stew."

Sometimes it's not words in the book I flub, but in pointing out illustrations.

"Do you see those birds way down in the tree?
"Up tree"

"Look, at the man laughing. He seems sad"
"No, happy!"

Making mistakes in books has been game we've played often over the last few months. Back in the summer, when we were trying to get more speech out of him (he was quite delayed), I had different tactics. I messed-up singing songs. His own perfectionist tendencies didn't let this stuff get by, so I was sure to get some laughter and words out of him. I still do this for a giggle. If not to get him thinking, it acts as an instant mood lifter. Humor is powerful!

"Old McDonald had a Farm, ee-ii-ee-ii-ooo, and on that farm he had a sheep, ee-ii-ee-ii-oo! With a quack, quack here and a"
"[laughter] Noooo! Baaaaa! Baaaaaa!"

"Look at that kitty in the neighbor's yard! Woof, woof, woof!"
"[Looks at me like I'm crazy] Meow!"

As he colors with an orange crayon" "Oooh, look at all the red circles you're making!"
[Looks down at the crayon for a moment then up at me with a smile] "No, orange!"

It's become a game with us. Mama acting like a fool and Tyler correcting me. He seems to know I'm joking, though perhaps he also takes me to be a bit mentally challenged. Either way, it gives him the power to correct an adult, to feel smart, to know that he can catch me just about every single time in our little game. I feel it also sharpens his attention. It gets him thinking. Most of all, it makes him laugh, or at least crack a smile at his silly, silly Mama. To me, those moments golden!

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