- Family and Parenting
Soothing Finger Poems for Children and Babies - How to Teach and Soothe Your Child Through Touch
What Are "Finger Poems?"
Finger poems, or "touch poems" are a gentle caressing while forming shapes of objects or emotions in a story form. These may be performed with or without telling a story to go with them.
How Do Touch Poems Work?
By using the sense of touch, you can soothe, or teach your child by having them to lay on their tummy while you "illustrate" a story on their back. Although words are optional, it is more beneficial to add words. Also, children will enjoy having words to their stories and hearing your voice will definitely be an added plus. Just keep your voice soft and low and focus on touch.
Start by telling a story that will be easy to illustrate and would appeal to children. Don't worry if your story doesn't sound very "poetic." It won't matter to your child as long as they feel your touch and hear your soothing voice.
Here's a sample of a touch poem.
The wind blew in big, fluffy clouds. The clouds were dark and soon it began to rain.
As you say the the first part, gently blow on your child's back. Then, begin to "draw" big, fluffy clouds with your finger. When you say, "It began to rain," trickle your fingers down your child's back to simulate rain.
Benefits of Touch Poems
Touch poems allows children to create mental word pictures to the stories they hear by what they feel. It is also an excellent bonding time for both children and parents.
You also may want to try drawing an easy object on your child's back and letting them try to guess what it is or have them fill the blanks in your stories.
For example: Ask them the question, "What is green and brown and usually grows very tall?" Then, draw a tree on their back with your finger and let them try to guess what it is.
When letting a child guess, add descriptive words in your question that can't be shown through touch such as colors. This helps not only with guessing, but reinforces color knowledge and enhances the imagination.
When letting your child fill in the blanks, start by telling a story then leave out a key word and draw the object on their back.
For example: The wiggly worm lived in the big, red ____________.
Start by wiggling your finger across your child's back to simulate a worm, then give them the descriptive word, "red" to help them guess as you draw an "apple" on their back.
Make Your Story-telling Easier!
If you don't feel very spontaneous in trying to come up with a good descriptive story on the spot, think them up ahead of time and write them down. You can then read them to your child as you perform the touch. Another alternative would be recording your story. You can then play the recording for your child as you perform the touch.
Teach Your Child Through Touch
You can also use touch to help teach your child. This is great for preschoolers. Pick one letter of the alphabet and work on it every night for a week.
For example: Draw an "A" on your child's back. Then say, "This is an "A." Then draw it again. "A makes the sound we hear in apple." Reinforce the sound of "A," as you say apple and draw an apple on their back." Show them during the day a picture of an A so that they can better grasp the mental picture of what it should look like. After doing this a few days, have the child to draw an "A" on your hand with his finger and watch to see if he does it right.
Your Child Is Sure To Love Them!
And so will you. You may be surprised at how your child will be more relaxed during the day and will actually look forward to bedtime!
REMEMBER: OUR CHILDREN ARE IN OUR HANDS!