We registered for this year's summer reading program at our library. Matthew earned a few nice prizes for reading - well, listening to me read to him - for 42 days. He now has a new shirt, a crazy straw, a smencil, and a mini paint set. We kept the shirt and crazy straw but gave the other items to his cousins.
The Summer Reading Program included going to the 30-minute Tot Time sessions at the library. During Tot Time, the librarian reads a few books and sings songs with toddlers once a week. Matthew doesn't always participate but it's good for him to hear the words of the stories being read out loud and hang around other toddlers.
I've learned to choose books that are easy to read and have colorful illustrations that hold Matthew's attention. A few of his favorite books borrowed from the library during the summer reading program, one of which I have reviewed in a previous post, include:
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
The Cow That Went Oink by Bernard Most - a cute story about being different. I think I enjoyed this more than Matthew did. It's not a baby book by any means but the animals and animal sounds keep Matthew interested in this book.
Cock-a-Doodle Moo by Bernard Most - Matthew is interested in cows.
Cats by Matthew Van Fleet - We love the squeaker on page 4.
Global Babies by The Global Fund for Children - Matthew enjoys looking at photos of babies from all over the world.
Baby Fingers: I'm Feeling...Teaching Baby to Sign by Lora Heller - We like to look at the toddlers in this book too.
Reading to Matthew is something I cherish. He'll sit in my lap and help me turn the pages as I read the story. Sometimes he turns the pages too quickly and I end up ad-libbing or just pointing and naming pictures in the book. I believe that hearing me read the words to him helps with his receptive language. We also love to read his favorites over and over and over. He has demonstrated to me that he has memorized some stories. For instance, when we read Sesame Beginnings: Bubbles, Bubbles, he starts poking the bubbles on the page as if popping the bubbles as soon as I turn to the page that says "Bubbles, bubbles. Pop! Pop! Pop!"
Structure & Security
Our daily nap time and bedtime routine, which includes brushing teeth, changing his diaper, and reading, seems to give Matthew the structure he needs to know that it's time to sleep. I've noticed that including reading in our routine usually helps Matthew wind down. He feels secure with a routine and more importantly, with his most important and special person in the whole wide world - ME. Kowing that gives me more security than the soft, warm, plush blanket that enwraps me in slumber.