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Chronicles of Parenting

Chronicles of Parenting: Books are Not Just for Reading

by Jocelyn Jane Cox
If you give a child a book, you are giving him or her the gift of literacy. You are opening their little minds to the world of words and language. But it turns out that books can also be magical in ways that have nothing to do with reading.books are not just for reading
Especially if it’s nap time.
And your child is supposed to be resting peacefully in his or her bed.
Of course, for most adults, books have a calming effect and serve as the perfect segue to sleep. But kids? They don’t always quietly turn pages and look at the pictures. In fact, sometimes a book is most certainly not just a book…it’s more of a:

  • Helicopter – You may not realize this, but with the right flick of the wrist, a book can spin as fast as propellers.
  • Butterfly – When flapped simultaneously, the front and the back covers are pretty much exactly like wings.
  • Scooter – If you place one foot right in the middle of the book, and use the other foot for momentum, it will slide nicely across the bed sheet.
  • Rocket Ship – For this, just hold the book, count backwards from three, yell “BLAST OFF!” at the top of your lungs, and jump vertically with everything you’ve got.

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Camps and Summer Programs Special Edition

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Coming to a web browser near you, on Sun April 3. Sponsored by Strawtown Studio Summer Earth Art Adventure and Rockland Center for the Arts (ROCA) Summer Day Camp.

  • Sailboat: The bed is the ocean and your blankets are the waves. All you need is a little wind or…a tiny arm powered by too many fruit snacks.
  • Discus – Weeeeeee!
  • Racecar: Because of course absolutely everything under the sun can be a racecar if you are willing to bring the velocity and a low-pitched vrooming sound.
  • Crocodile – Just open the book wide, and chomp it shut again. Voila, your bedroom is a swamp in the heart of The Everglades.
  • Tunnel – Turn the book over and balance it in an upside-down ‘V.’ In lieu of matchbox cars, which your mother won’t let you bring into the bed, you’ll have to speed your hand through it several thousand times.
  • Roof – If you balance a big book on the corner of the crib horizontally and lie underneath it, you have created the perfect shelter. You could doze off under there, or you could try it out on the other three corners over and over and over again until you mother comes in and takes your roof, helicopter, butterfly, scooter, rocket ship, sailboat, discus, racecar, crocodile, and tunnel away.

Big thank you to our three-year-old son, who, unbeknownst to him, taught me all of the above through the screen of video monitor.

Jocelyn Jane Cox. Photo Credit: ©2015 Dave ZornowFreelance writer and author Jocelyn Jane Cox reports on the Great State of Parenthood with advice you never knew you needed and the chuckles you know you really need every other week in the Chronicles of Parenting. Her 2012 humor book on life in the New York suburbs, The Homeowner’s Guide to Greatness: How to handle natural disasters, design dilemmas and various infestations, is available on Follow her on Twitter at @JocelynJaneCox.

The Chronicles of Parenting are sponsored by children’s performer, Danna Banana, DannaBananaLogowho plays “music for kids that parents can stand.” He’s written for Disney and Nickelodeon and played the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. For parties, songwriting, or to learn more about this composer, performer, and Nyack resident, go to or

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