Do you want to introduce more stories at mealtime that relate directly to your child? Make your child the star of the book!
I was contacted by Stepping Stories a couple of weeks ago regarding their personalized books. When I visited their website, I was able to easily create a personalized book for both of my children in less than ten minutes.
What are Stepping Stories? Stepping Stories are personalized stories to help aid your child in their emotional and social development. The company was created by two moms who wanted to help make parenting easier by making your child the hero in the story. The women took common issues within families such as allergies, taking turns, eating healthy food, divorce, potty, sleep, etc and created books based on these topics. To see a full list of all of the books available, click here.
When you create your own book, you first add the name and photo of your child and then the name of the caregiver. This can be a mom, dad, grandparent, cousin, etc. You can also choose the character and can customize it to better reflect the features of your child. The books are attractive, easy to read to young children and can be an excellent vehicle towards making positive changes in the home. The books can also be ideal for both children who are typical and have special needs.
I received the “taking turns” book and the “eating healthy food” book. Each book discusses the topic in a way that a young child would understand. For example, in the “eating healthy food” book, the message of the book is positive and gives facts about what healthy eating does for your body and how it makes you feel. It also discusses the reaction of the caregiver (e.g. “Mommy is proud when you eat healthy foods”) which can be motivating for many children. Both of my children were excited to receive their own book and were interested and engaged when listening to it. The text is also simple enough that an older child (K and up) can read it to themselves or their younger siblings.
1.Read the book several times to your child and ask “wh” questions. Ask specific questions regarding the book (my questions are specific to the eating healthy book) such as “Why is it important to eat healthy?”, “How can we eat healthy?” “How do you feel when you eat unhealthy?”
2. Use print referencing techniques. To check out what print referencing is, click here.
3. Give examples of the specific behavior. For example, in the book of taking turns, you can reflect on a recent time that your child had trouble taking turns. These examples will help your child understand the story better and be able to make more positive changes.
4. Focus on the vocabulary. For example, ask your child, What does healthy mean? What is sugar and what foods have a lot of sugar in it? What does the word energy mean and what foods give you a lot of energy?
5. Read with expression! At the beginning of each book, there is an informative paragraph that gives parents tips about reading the book to their child. One excellent tip is reading with emotion and increasing the tone in your voice when appropriate. To check out my post on reading with expression, click here.