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 by Esther Jantzen, guest poster

Children love to hear stories about what they did as babies or young children. It helps them know how they are unique. It helps them to see that their own lives are interesting and noteworthy. They learn that not all of the good stories come from books; many stories can come from their own experiences. This easy activity can be done any time, anywhere.

Here are some ways to do it:

1) Recall something specific about your child – something he or she did when quite young  and tell him or her about it. For example, tell them about when they learned to walk, or something funny that they said, or what they liked to eat or not eat, or their favorite toy or pet, or about the time they rode a tricycle or two-wheeler for the first time. Start with, “I remember when you…” 

2) Tell your children about times when they got through problems successfully or mastered something — like when they stopped sucking their thumb or using a pacifier, healed from an injury, or helped care for a new brother or sister in a kind way. (If you have a hard time recalling such things, looking at photographs may help jog your memory.) 

3) Ask your child, “Do you remember when you did such-and-such?” If they do have a memory of that, say, “Tell me about it.” If they don’t have a memory, then you tell them the story. 

4) Ask your children if they’d like their stories written down. Write them in simple language. Don’t be surprised if they want to read those stories over and over again!

5) As you recall more childhood stories, tell them to the children. Do it often. It’s a great car game. It’s an easy way to share love with your child. Feel free to tell stories of your own childhood, too.


Esther Jantzen, Ed.D, is a mother, an educator and the author of Plus It! How to Easily Turn Everyday Activities into Learning Adventures for Kids available at www.plusitbook.com and the Way to Go! Family Learning Journal available through www.jantzenbooks.com

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