Educating your child

Article By: Renee Lighton - Owner: Inspiring Through Play!

Education is not the filling of a bucket, but the lighting of a FIRE - Yeats

So how do we light that fire? One of the best ways to light that fire is to put books and reading high on our value list! If we, as parents and teachers, really value books and reading, the chances are that our child will too. When we walk our talk, really do what it takes to ignite the child’s interest in books, we are giving our child, our learners, an opportunity to access the world. Awesome stuff!

You wouldn’t give up on encouraging your child to brush their teeth for two minutes a day, twice a day! Would you ? We value that skill. It is high on our list of values. It is what we all do! We make it fun!
We  buy a little step so the child can reach the basin and water easily. We buy a special plastic cup for rinsing. We sing, dance, persuade, buy different toothpaste, toothbrushes, get teddy to brush, the dog to brush etc . Recognise that behaviour? Then one day, as if by magic! Viola!( yes, I know for some, this day comes sooner than for others!) your child is  off to the bathroom on his own, brushing away without being told, because it is now a habit!

Why do we give up and accept that it’s ok when our child doesn’t want to sit down with us and look through  a book? Why are we not out there looking for ways and stories that will capture the child’s interest? Can enjoying the feel of books and listening to stories become a habit? Why not? It is certainly worth trying. The cost of not persevering is too high! The benefits are many.

Let’s put books and reading high up on our value list. Lets persevere and let’s make it fun from the word go! Let’s start reading to our child from when they are in the womb and let’s not stop!


This is one easy way to lay a foundation of all of the above. Let’s make our own books together with your child. Always make sure the book is relevant to the age, stage and interest of our child. Keep it simple. Make sure these books can be held, put in little pockets, under pillows, look at, enjoyed without saying “no, don’t touch, don’t bend “ etc.  We want our child to realise that what I am thinking about, I can talk about , I can write about and read about!  Been for a walk in the park? Well, these are the things I found in the park. This is my book-  my visit to the park. Got the idea?

Here are some ideas for the pages in your book on - me

Paste a photograph of your child on the first page if they are too young to draw a picture of themselves. Write their name under the picture or photograph. If they are old enough, they can write their own name. Depending on the age of your child, you can choose to write a word or even a sentence, under the picture. this is me.

Cut a tiny lock of your child’s hair and paste it on the second page. If appropriate, write my hair. Remember to write the word or words, in lowercase letters for younger children. The only capital they need to recognise is at the beginning of their own name.

Let your child use your lipstick. Good fine motor practice and hand eye co ordination is needed!  Allow your child to kiss the page. What a treat! Yes mom, even the boys! If you have a real problem with doing that, then I suggest you use Vaseline.  Not as much fun though! Sprinkle with glitter, sand or whatever suits. Heading – my lips

Use an stamp pad and fingerprint your child for the fourth page. Talk about each finger as you complete the finger prints. Which is the longest finger? Which is the shortest finger etc. my fingers

Trace around your child’s hand for the fifth page. Questions to ask include: Is your hand clean or dirty? Is your hand bigger or smaller than my hand? my hand

Trace around your child’s foot for the sixth page my foot

For the sixth and seventh page, fill with something relevant to your child for example,  my pets, my favourite toy, my favourite game, my family, things I like. Use your imagination.

If you want to know how to use just 1 piece of paper to make a book, see my LETS GET READY book which shows you how to fold and cut 1 piece of paper and do just that!

Remember reading is an empowering habit!

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