No Sweeter Way to Learn

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Curious Fingers

Just in the last couple weeks, T has arrived at that stage where other people’s faces become fascinating. Anyone holding him is likely to be groped as he explores eyes, noses, mouths, and his current favorite: ears. I’ve been trying to appeal to his curiosity by naming the features for him, touching his fingers to my eyes then his, while saying, “eyes” or “Mommy’s eyes, T’s eyes.” It’s one of the simplest, yet easily overlooked ways of building vocabulary when we name and narrate. Even from infancy, babies are building their receptive vocabularies and just storing their knowledge away until they develop the ability to express themselves.
Patient B gets "explored" by T

Head to Toe

Beyond the facial features, I’ve also been using dressing and diaper time to name other parts like feet, toes, tummy, hands, etc. When B is helping, I make some intentional mistakes (like calling his fingers toes or his belly-button his nose) and then I enjoy B’s laughter as he corrects me. It’s a self-esteem boost to have your jokes laughed at, even by a 4-year-old. There’s something about bare baby skin that just begs to be kissed, so when we’re naming parts in the bathtub or on the changing mat, I often have to sneak a few kisses in too. That reminded me to pull out one of our favorite board books from B’s baby-hood, Counting Kisses.

Counting Kisses
Counting Kisses: A Kiss & Read Book
I’m a fan of Karen Katz in general, but I have to say Counting Kisses is probably my favorite from her collection. The enjoyment of kissing baby parts goes without saying, but I also love that the kisses in the book are bestowed by many different members of the family so everyone can share the love. I like the exposure to numbers in this book more than other counting books because giving the prescribed number of kisses (“7 loud kisses on a pretty belly button”) associates a concrete action with the number. I’ve expressed my affinity for bedtime books before, and while kisses are good any time of day, the story takes a sleepy baby from cranky and fussy to cozy and loved in bed. The bright illustrations are warm and capture many special family moments, including Grandma holding baby in the air and Mommy and Daddy each kissing baby’s sleepy eyes. Even the family pet gets in on the love!

Appropriate for babies, toddlers, preschoolers.

Linking Up With:
Read-Aloud Thursday

Feed Me Books Friday hosted this week at Smith Stories
Meme’s the Word (on Saturday)

Don't Forget: Feed Me Books Friday will be hosted HERE next week (July 23)! Please come back and link up!


Raising a Happy Child July 16, 2010 at 8:54 AM  

Beautiful pictures! Have you read Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes? it's one of my absolute favorites!

Dana July 16, 2010 at 1:47 PM  

Who doesn't love Karen Katz? I love each book better than the last! I agree, though, that Counting Kisses is at the top of the list. I think her pictures and sweet "storylines" appeal to everyon :)

And, you are totally right: baby skin DOES just beg to be kissed!

Ginny Marie July 17, 2010 at 1:07 PM  

I love the photo of T's little foot! Just precious!

Thank you for the reminder about FMBF next week...I haven't been posting on Fridays lately because we've been so busy with summer activities, but I want to be sure to link up when you are the hostess!

Hear Mum Roar July 17, 2010 at 6:24 PM  

There's nothing more special than a bedtime story, is there? Our kids really look forward to it

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