Most days, we read for an hour or more, always at Grace’s request. She loves books.
When something comes up in a book that she’s never encountered, I help her to understand it. Often, I create an experience.
- I can get photos online. A lot of the time, seeing the flower/animal/insect is sufficient (especially when it’s something that Grace finds frightening).
- I can look up YouTube videos of all kinds of animals and places.
- I can take her outside and show her clouds and trees and so many other things in the environment.
- I can take her on a field trip to see or touch things. We drive to parks and lakes and museums. Up soon is the aquarium, where we’ll watch clown fish in action.
Last week, my niece gave Grace two large boxes full of books. We’re slowly working our way through said books.
It takes a while.
A lot of the books from my niece mention food. They’re almost always foods that Grace has never tasted. Honey. Sardines. Tuna fish.
I can’t show her a picture of honey and expect her to understand it. I can’t tell her about it because I can’t put the flavor into words.
Even if I could explain the flavor, I don’t think I could do it in terms she would know. For example, honey is smooth. Smooth? To a two-year-old, smooth is the opposite of rough, and the opposite of rough has nothing to do with honey.
So, I created an experience.
I put a couple of tablespoons of honey in a bowl, and I gave Grace a spoon.
She didn’t like the flavor of the honey, but now she knows what honey tastes like.
Before long, her fingers were coated in honey. She knows that honey is sticky and sweet, but not in the same way the sugar is sweet.
The next time we read a story about a bear who finds a honey comb, she’ll remember what’s inside.
© 2009 – 2017, Tara Ziegmont. All rights reserved.