How it Plays
Make your own picture book featuring something your toddler likes or an experience you have shared (My Family, My Trip to the Zoo, or My Favorite Foods, for instance). Together, select pictures from your own collection of photographs, or cut pictures out of magazines. Paste them into a small blank book, or make a book by folding sheets of 81/2 x 11-inch paper in half and stapling near the fold. Add a simple text below each picture that explains what it's about (see Family Photo Fun). Help your child connect the text to the pictures by pointing out details as you read. Or ask him to find things in the pictures and point them out to you.
Variation: Play photojournalist. Tell your child that you're in search of a good story and need his help. Grab a camera and head off to one of your child's favorite places-a zoo, a construction site, a fire station-to take some pictures. After the pictures have been developed, let your child help you create a book by assembling the photos in a small photo album. Help him remember what happened first, next, and last. Write down his words on slips of paper and insert them beneath each photo.
What You'll Need
Learning and Growing
Reading and discussing a book of pictures is a meaningful way to link words with actions or events, a key step in any child's language development. Transferring his words to paper enables your child to associate written words with spoken ones. As he becomes more organized in his thinking, he can follow a simple plot and even create his own, with your help.