David Shannon is the author of the month for the Virtual Book Club for Kids. I’m familiar with many of his books from using them in the classroom, but we haven’t ready too many of them here at home yet.
Alice is a Temporary Fairy. She’s trying to work on a few fairy skills before she becomes a Permanent Fairy, but that may not happen too soon.
Alice’s sense of imagination inspired a lot of fairy pretend play throughout the month, but it was her attempt at casting spells that prompted the most giggles in our house.
Phonemic awareness is a beginning reading skill that is important for preschoolers to develop, and rhyming is one part of developing phonemic awareness. I love incorporating rhyming practice in a fun way, and this book definitely gave us a chance to do that.
In the book Alice needs to learn how to cast spells. With her wand in hand Alice tries to make her dog float on the ceiling. She calls out a few silly rhyming sets like, “Hocus Pocus Croakin Docus!” Amazingly, nothing happens, so she keeps trying. With each new spell my oldest daughter giggled louder and louder, and I knew we could have some fun trying to come up with some of our own spells.
1. We grabbed our fairy wands. You could also have some fun making your own wand, but we had plenty on hand to choose from for this activity.
2. Then we brainstormed some ideas of things we would like to do if we could cast spells. At first Lovey wasn’t quite sure, so I gave her a couple of ideas like…
- “I’d make the laundry wash itself.”
- “I’d have the cat do a ballet dance.”
Once she had the idea, she had no trouble coming up with some of her own spells.
3. Then we started talking about how Alice came up with her spells, and we found the rhyming words in each spell.
4. Finally we were ready to come up with our own spells. With wands in hand we tried to say a few rhyming words that could go along with the spell somehow. For rhyming practice the words don’t have to be real. In fact for this activity the more nonsense words you use, the more laughter you’ll bring.
If developing the rhymes seems to stump your child at first, tt may be helpful to pick one word in the spell and create rhyming words to go along with that one word.
For the examples above, our spells were…
- “Laundry baundry maundry daundry” (my version) and “wash tosh fosh posh” (Lovey’s version)
- Dance pants fants cants (Lovey’s version)
It didn’t take long for Lovey to start coming up with some very funny spells and the rhyming words to go along with them. In fact, at her request we did this activity almost every night for a week. How’s that for some authentic rhyming practice in a playful way?
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