Reading to my doll
When my daughters were younger, I loved reading to them. Those quiet moments with them sitting next to me on the couch or in their bed before bedtime were so precious. I loved the calmness, the gentleness...the pure happiness!
I am sure that you have the opportunity to enjoy moments like this with the children in your daycare group. As you cuddle with one child, invite the other children to sit down with their favorite doll or stuffed animal. Encourage them to read a story to their little pal to provide them with the chance to relax and tell a story as they imagine it in their mind.
The method is simple. Once children have chosen a book, invite them to sit comfortably in an armchair, on their naptime mattress, or a tiny rocking chair with the doll or stuffed animal of their choice. Show them how they can gently turn the pages of their book and use a quiet voice to help their "baby" calm down and prepare for sleep. You can, among other things, suggest they vary the tone of their voice, mime various actions, or use certain gestures to bring the story to life.
You will see that the simple fact that children are not "alone" with their book will make this reading activity fun, even for those not normally attracted to books. What's more, children will be forced to make the story their own in order to share it with their "baby". Listen in...you may be surprised by the level of energy and imagination they put into their storytelling!
This activity is great right before naptime. You may even choose to let children put their "baby" to sleep next to them. After all, both the dolls and the children in your group will have benefited from this calming activity.