Beyond The Book

There are so many ways that we can engage our little ones while we are reading books together but have you heard of going … beyond the book? Going beyond the book involves integrating the vocabulary, scripts and narrative elements from the books that your child knows and loves into play and everyday life.
So what does going beyond the book look like?  Here are a few examples:

1. Use vocabulary from a favourite book in everyday situations

 This first example involves taking vocabulary from a book that your child loves and using it in an everyday situation to assist with learning. If you have discussed the meaning of the word ‘delicious’ with your child when reading Fabulous Pie, you can model this when cooking together in play in order to provide a concrete example of what this word means. This is fantastic because the relationship is reciprocal in that we can bring in the real-life example when we are reading the book again e.g. ‘the pie looks delicious – just like those cookies we made together yesterday’.


2. Use familiar stories to enrich play

As another example, you can use stories that your child is familiar with in order to enrich their play. Many little ones enjoy baby play such as feeding the baby and putting it to sleep, but that can get a little repetitive and might not provide the best opportunity for language learning. What if instead the baby gets lost like in Baby Elephant Gets Lost? Now we can bring in a play script around looking for the baby. We can find other toys and talk about things that are similar or different to the baby we are looking for (semantic features) and talk about our feelings as well as what the baby might be feeling.


3.  Use favourite books to motivate your child

Finally, using themes from a book that your little one loves can help them to feel more motivated when working on an activity that might be a bit tricky. For example, if your child has difficulty tying their shoelaces and you have noticed that they are getting discouraged during practice, you can try leveraging their love of stories like Jack and the Beanstalk and create a shoe lacing activity where we need to lace our way up the beanstalk to help Jack get to the top.


If you would like to hear more about going beyond the book please tune in to Cooee’s collaboration with Little Birdie Books available on our Instagram and YouTube this Friday! If you are concerned about your child’s language skills, or would like to know more about language development, you can also get in contact with one of our Speech Pathologists or our client care team via email on [email protected], phone (07) 3265 4495, or via our website.
Kaitlin Davey
Speech Pathologist