Busy Books Are the Perfect Combo of Stories, Manipulatives and Imagination!

Busy Books Are the Perfect Combo of Stories, Manipulatives and Imagination!

When I was working as an SLP doing group language activities for early childhood students with a developmental delay, the only way I could get them to sit still and pay attention for 20-30 minutes was to engage them in a multi-sensory experience.

Some of my favorite activities involved actual books or stories I invented. One activity I base on the book, The Napping House, by Audrey Wood. I brought in my daughters’ American Girl doll bed, two of their dolls, tapped into their Beenie Baby collection for a dog, a cat, and a mouse and finally I located a ladybug that had made its way into our house. All of this to tell the story that builds on a snoring granny and several other characters in this lazy house on a rainy, dreary day until the “wakeful” flea (my expired ladybug) bites one of the sleepy group to set off a frenzy of waking everyone up.

The kids help me stack the sleeping characters onto one another and can’t take their eyes off of the action. I let them interact with the materials and the language is rich and exciting that comes out of the students!

Another multi-sensory story I’ve used starts with my puppet Alvin who LOVES Honey Nut Cherrios. He whines for the cereal and when I bring a box out, he tries to dive into it. Then he has to patiently wait for the necessary items to get ready to eat, but becomes crushed when things come out of the box that are not exactly Honey Nut Cherrios! Loads of surprises, fun and language!

I like to use short but powerful words, phrases that the children can imitate like: Wait a minute, Open, Pour, That’s not Honey Nut Cherrios! I want Honey Nut Cherrios!

I typically had as much fun as the kids when I did things like this! My mantra when I was doing therapy was, if I’m bored with this, so are the kids, so if I’m having fun, they’re having fun! Therefore making activities and lessons fun, engaging and multi-sensory was my secret weapon to getting and keeping the attention of 3-5 year old students with special needs.

I’ve highlighted samples of Busy Books in today’s video that could help you turn a circle time activity into some multi-sensory fun!

Take a look!

Let me know what you think!

You take care and I’ll see you next time!


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