Reading aloud is crazy important to us. I’ve written about it before and continue to harp on it to whoever will listen.
For us, reading aloud takes place all over. At night as the kids fall asleep, on Wednesday afternoons while they bathe after forest school and under the trees on park days. But it also happens in the car.
We use a variety of apps available through our area library systems. Our favorite is Hoopla but we also use Axis 360, Libby and RBdigital. We make a reading list at the beginning of the yeae and enjoy documenting what we’re read on our playroom door. We sometimes go on rabbit trails off the list, but it grounds us. I also try to find good narrators who change their voice and speak clearly to reduce the cognitive demand on the kids. They tire easily listening to fast talkers who don’t have a clear differentiation between characters!
We also have a growing list of radio shows we enjoy. One thing that really engages the kids are shows that utilize “Foley art” – the adding of realistic ambient background noises like shoes squeaking, doors closing, birds, wind and more. Right now we primarily listen to Adventures in Odyssey and GT and the Halo Express. I’ve been slowly building a collection of old radio shows, so suggestions welcome!
Learning in the go isn’t always ideal, but it doesn’t have to be boring!
I posted last week about how much time the kids and I spend in the car. In addition to our playlists, road signs are another favorite way we learn on the go.
Assign each kid a different color for the day and have them try to find it on the signs you pass. Green is typically the easiest in our area, while blue and red are a bit more difficult!
We call out shapes we see on different signs as we drive. We add them up and see what we see more of – hint: it’s always the rectangle! Sometimes we even make a game of “I Spy” if we are on foot.
Letters & Numbers
Pip loves identifying numbers and letters on signs as we drive down the road. He’ll call them out and I have to try and find the sign. This has really helped him learn how to identify larger numbers!
As well all know, different signs mean different things. Road names vs. speed limits, highways vs. toll roads, etc. Combining the colors, shapes, letters and numbers helps us understand the overall meaning of a sign. It even helps us use clues from signs we know to help us figure out new signs we’ve never seen before! Pip and Liv love to identify different signs and figure out where we are going base on the road clues!
Pip and Liv are fascinated with Mandarin Chinese and are learning from a friend twice a month. We recently covered shapes and have loved practicing our Chinese by naming the shapes of signs (and other objects) as we drive down the road!