Asking your child ‘what did you do today’ is a question that many children have difficulty answering. Especially when asked by a family member or friend. Creating an experience book is a wonderful opportunity for your child to practice talking about what they’ve done today, yesterday or a few weeks ago. Put simply, an experience book is put together by a child and parent to capture and reflect what is important in their world each day so they can share these experiences with those around them.
Don’t feel under pressure to do a special activity for the book. Your experience book should reflect your day to day lives so that you child can develop language around these experiences. If you went to the shops together – cut off the front of a box of something you bought and stick it in. If you went to the park, collect some leaves and grass and stick it in. If you stayed home, cut off a small piece of sponge and stick it in to show you washed the dishes together. There is no wrong answer for what should go in your book – anything and everything are the right things to use!!
Give your child lots of things to talk about regarding each page – including who was there, when it happened, where it happened and how they felt when they ate/did/played with it.
Show the book to dad when he gets home from work, show it to grandma or your friends when they come to visit. If you find people are not sure how to interact with your child’s page – write a couple of open ended prompt questions on each page (i.e. Where were you? When did this happen? How did you feel?). This way your child gets to practice answering different questions.
Children learn and remember things that they enjoy and are important to them. Experience books are a wonderful way to make books important and fun for children from a young age – which will inevitably lead to success and interest in early literacy.