My Little Lorax.
My daughter K loves The Lorax. And to say that she loves him would be an understatement. At just over one year old, she squeals when she sees the bright colours on the screen and hears the familiar songs playing from the opening credits. Since she is so young, we know that her screen time should be limited, but when you see the bright brown eyes of your little girl with the DVD in one hand and her ruffled Lorax stuffy in tow, how do you say no? However after recently taking part in a literacy conference in Niagara and seeing the studies on children in relation to screen time, behavior and sleep, I knew that even what little screen time we allowed needed to be adjusted. We have always known the importance of reading to our child but didn’t realize just how impactful reading before bed could be.
After excitedly sharing what I had learned with my supportive partner, we altered our routine ever so slightly, turning off all screens by 5 p.m., and picking up books instead. When beautiful little K toddled over with the DVD in her hands, I knew what I had to do. I quickly swapped her movie for The Lorax book and plopped her on my lap. After three pages and about 45 seconds in she was off my lap, but knowing how important it is for her to hear the words I kept reading. I watched her out of the corner of my eye (as my storytelling continued) approach the entertainment unit. I remember thinking that is just my first try and there was going to be an adjustment period, right? But instead of reaching up for the movie, she reached down to her neatly arranged row of 20+ animals and pulled out her Lorax stuffy. K scurried back to me, climbed up the sofa and into my lap and nestled into my chest. No adjustment needed… just cuddles, pages and words.
The Lorax written by Dr Seuss has 1,876 words (yes, I counted) and takes me approximately 15 minutes to read with actions and silly voices. It has beautiful words and is written in a rhythmic pattern that is fun and enjoyable to read. It is also a great example of how easy it is to share 2000 words an hour with your child. And if this routine allows her to get a better sleep, then that is the icing on the cake!
Written by: Jamie Fenton, Family Literacy Coordinator