What to do with this activity?
"My shadow" is a poem written a long time ago by Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. It is still a favourite today. Read it out loud to your little one here. The word "nursie" is old fashioned, so change that to "mammy" if you like.
The poem notices how our shadows follow us about, and grow shorter or taller depending on where the light is coming from. However, in the poem, one morning the shadow decides to stay in bed while the child goes out to play!
Show your child their own shadow and how it follows them around. Talk about how the sun makes the shadow. Notice how when the sun is low, their shadow grows longer.
Have a look at this funny youtube video of a child noticing their shadow for the first time - they can't run away from it! (watch the first minute or so).
Why am I doing this?
The written word is everywhere and by pointing out words around you everyday, your child will realise the usefulness of reading and how it brings information and knowledge of the wider world into your lives.
Reading together shows your child that you think reading is important. It helps your child to link the words on the page to how they are spoken and to begin to recognise words.
How can I do more?
Encourage your child to read by giving them books or information about what they are interested in, for example, if they are interested in cars, give them books about cars – it’s a great motivator. Use comics, magazines and newspapers to provide lots of new words and facts. Your child can use the pictures for information about the words they are reading.
Read longer books to your child. This will help with memory.
You could do ‘paired reading’ – your child chooses a book or comic to read.
- At first, both of you read aloud together. When the child is ready, they carry on reading alone.
- If they don’t know a word, you say it for them and both of you continue to read together until they are ready to read alone again.
- No pressure is made to get them to read by themselves. They only do it when they are ready. This is useful with older children when they find text books difficult.
Your child might like to practise their reading skills by reading to younger children.
Discuss with your child’s teacher if they are having difficulty reading.
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