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A picture is worth a thousand words! Looking at pictures, sharing information about them and making up stories are great ways to support your child's language and literacy skills and to enjoy some Comfort, Play & Teach™ time together!

You will need:

  • An assortment of pictures from magazines
  • A piece of construction paper with a small window cut into it

How to do this activity:

Select a picture and cover it with the construction paper so that your child can see only a part of the picture through the window. Encourage him to describe what he can see and guess what the rest of the picture might be. Then reveal the rest of the picture and talk about your child's guess.

Comfort, Play & Teach™ Message

Comfort: This activity provides an opportunity to encourage your child's expressive language and helps them to develop confidence in their knowledge about various things. Sharing what he knows with you will give him a sense of pride.

Try using family photos of recent, enjoyable events, like a birthday party. Recognizing a familiar picture will help your child feel successful, and will also give you a chance to talk about happy memories together!

Play: Look for humour or the unexpected in pictures (a skunk sniffing a flower, for example!). Talk about why the picture is funny and write down what your child says. Some pictures contain a story that your child will enjoy reading and telling again and again!

Try this activity with a familiar picture book. Can your child remember what is in the picture and what happened in the story? Encourage him to tell you the story and see how closely it matches the words in the book.

Teach: Guessing the missing part of a picture helps your child to strengthen skills like memory, recognition and problem solving. Ask open-ended questions that support your child's efforts to complete the picture. His understanding of the picture will be deepened through describing and talking about it.

Explore some pictures that open your child up to different experiences, for example cultural diversity or a person's different abilities, e.g., someone in a wheelchair or wearing eyeglasses. This will give your child a chance to ask questions safely, to deepen his understanding about people and to develop sensitivity and empathy.

This activity is good for children 3½ to 5 years.

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