Really capturing our children’s imaginations and exciting them is key to good play. If they are truly engrossed and in make believe world, the learning possibilities are endless. As I said last week, J is really keen to learn to read. Therefore, I have decided that one way to increase this interest is through a character. So, today was the introduction of that character. To introduce him into our lives, it all began with a letter! Reading for a purpose is where the interest will grow!
I wrote a very simple letter to get J excited… Here is what it said,
To the boy with curly hair,
I saw you yesterday with your family. I am very lonely as I do not have a Mummy, Daddy or sister. I do not even have a name. I wish I was in your family! I would love to live with you. I am a teddy and I am very good at cuddling. I just need somebody to cuddle and look after me. Do you think I could be your friend? Will you ask your Mummy please? If she says yes, come and find me in the garden. I hope you come. Love from the teddy. x x x
I put the letter in an envelope and put the letter in our post box. I found an unfamiliar (to J) teddy, put him in a scarf and hid him on a bench in the garden.
I told J that we needed to collect the post and J hopped on his scooter ready for the usual post collection. Little did he know, today was no ordinary post day…
When J saw the envelope addressed, ‘To the boy with the curly hair,’ he decided it MUST be his! He was delighted and couldn’t wait to open it.
With just one read of the letter, J’s imagination was buzzing! As we looked around the garden, he kept pausing and saying, ‘shhh, can you hear him crying? He’s calling me!’ It was so lovely and so magical!
When J finally spotted the teddy, he did a victory dance and couldn’t stop grinning from ear to ear! To say he was excited is an understatement and would have even rivalled Christmas morning!
The first thing J did was give the teddy a cuddle and whispered, ‘don’t be scared, I’m here!’ I will admit, this brought a HUGE lump to my throat and I did very nearly start crying but I managed to hold it together!
J sat down and started chatting to the teddy. In the space of two minutes, J had introduced himself, told him he could live with him, explained he couldn’t play with G as she is too scary (!!!) and had given him three names; Clonky, Penny and finally settled on Ted. He explained we were going to visit his cousin E who is also ‘scary’ apparently and not to worry as he would look after him!
At E’s house, J introduced Ted to all of E’s toys, making sure to look after him and keep him safe from the scary girls! (I think this was to do with not wanting to share Ted rather than an irrational fear of his sister and cousin!! HA)
J showed how caring he is by giving Ted copious amounts of milk and water and later made him an egg. Bless him! At least I know he’ll look after me in my old age!!
Before bath time, J always settles down to watch a bit of Cbeebies. Ted was not left out! They had a cuddle on the sofa and J was very protective over the letter too! He must have asked me to read it to him ten times. The most tear jerking bit of the whole play was J putting a phone on his lap just in case Ted’s Mummy wanted to speak to Ted and wanted him back! (Sob!)
The speech and language that came from this simple play was beautiful. J’s imagination had a true workout and he had such fun with Ted all afternoon. The plan is that Ted will help J learn to read in a variety of ways and I can’t wait to get cracking with it! Why not join us for the journey? It doesn’t have to be for learning to read, it could be for learning anything or even just for the speech and language benefits! So easy but so effective!