Activity:

Dress Up Box

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What You Need:

  • King or Queen crown
  • Soft bear or bear puppet
  • Little rubber snakes, frogs, and bugs
  • Simple puppets or dollhouse-size figures of a man, woman, and child
  • Witch or wizard hat
  • Plastic dog, donkey, sheep, and horse
  • Soft baby chick or duck (these can be interchangeable)

What You Do:

  1. Start with a box or basket that's attractive and inviting. Fill it yourself, or even better, enlist your child's help and build the collection together.
  2. Any phonics crafts your child creates at school should also go in the box, along with any special animals or doo-dads that may have come with a story (this writer has seen some awesome “Wild Things” and “Lyle the Crocodiles” over the years, for instance).
  3. The next time you read together, dive into the box and get ready. Give your kindergartener a prop or two to hold. Then, when you finish the story, use the prop to get your child talking and retelling. What happened? Who did it? How did the story start, develop, and end? At first, don't be surprised if the story goes every which-way from end to start and back. But encourage your child to take it slow and steady, from beginning to middle to end. Keep at it, and rest assured: this is a fast track to raising a child who loves to read.

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