Discussion: Facing Your Fears
It is important for children to know that even adults get nervous and scared sometimes. Take this opportunity to share with your child a time when you were afraid or nervous. Tell them what you did to face your fear. Talk about tools that we can use when we are scared.
Maybe you know of a time when your child was scared or worried. If not ask them if they can think of a time when they were. Discuss the situation and how they handled it. If they could have handled it better retell the story with them using the new tools that they have to face their fears! What was the outcome? Was is different? What will they do next time they are scared?
Important to Note:
Children have a very hard time differentiating between the feeling of fear or anxiety and excitement. They invoke the same flight or flight response releasing the same hormones! You can talk to your child about their fears and discuss if they were feeling excitement or fear. Explain that sometime when you get an anxious feeling it may just be that you are excited! It’s good to try new things as long as you are safe.
This is one of our favorite games and usually ends in uncontrollable giggling! It’s a great game to play in the car or while you are waiting.
How to play:
Have your child choose a word any word and take turns thinking of a rhyming word. It doesn’t have to be a real word to count! The sillier and more creative you are the better! You may have to model a few words to help your child get the idea and get the party started! But they will catch on quick and be rhyming before you know it!
This will teach your child the basis of rhyming and prepare them for future interactions with rhyming words and poems.
Memorize a Poem
Choose a poem with your child and have them memorize it! When they have it down have them recite it in front of three different people, make sure there is applause at the end and praise on how well they did and the hard work they put in to memorize their poem.
Memorizing has so many benefits! Here are just a few!
- It trains your brain to remember
- It challenges your brain
- It improves neural plasticity allowing you to recall more information overall
- Memorization by repetition helps learn rhythmic patterns teaching balance and symmetry
- Learn to focus
- Fosters creativity by developing your working memory
Those are reason enough to have your child memorize the nursery rhymes or a simple poem!
Tips on HOW to Help them Memorize:
- Activate prior knowledge. Ask question like “What do you know about ____” “have you ever ____” this will give them something to relate to and help them prepare to store memory
- Make sure they are interested in the subject
- Use visuals! It can be pictures or objects from around the house!
- Write it down over and over. (If your little one is old enough to write the poem) when information is heard, written and read it has a better chance of becoming a long-term memory.
- Get rid of distractions so they can focus on the task
- Have them summarize what the poem means, it will help them encode and remember
- Turn it into a song or dance! Add hand movements! The more senses involved the better it will be remembered.
Ideas of Poems to Memorize:
In a Story Book
At night when sunshine goes away,
And its too dark for me to play,
I like to come inside, and look
For new friends in a story book
Florence A Richardson
Water and soap will make you sweet;
Brush and comb will keep you neat;
But “Thank you,” “Please,” and “Pardon me,”
Will make a sweeter child of thee.
Write a Poem
After doing all these activities your child will be ready to write a poem! It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, we are just going for the experience here! Giving them exposure so that in the future when they are asked to write a poem it wont seem like a big deal because they have already done it once!
Ideas for how to do this:
Have them think of a task, it can be anything from mopping the floor to riding a bike. Or an experience they have had, first day of school, favorite thing about Disneyland… it can be ANYTHING! Have them share about how to do it or what happened using rhyming words. Write it down for them if they are not able to and give suggestions on what to add or tweak to make it an actual poem. Stay positive always and give lots of praise! They may be so proud of their work that they want to memorize it and share with others!