Last week was the first week of 4th term (of the school year) and that means Pram Jams and Storytime are back on in Cockburn Libraries. I used one of the many new board books that come across my desk to read at last week’s Pram Jam and it gave me the idea for this week’s blog. It also neatly flows on from the theme of my last blog post, which was about “work” – or, things we do. So, the theme this week is:

I can … !

The difference between the two themes might not seem very big to adults but let’s examine it a bit more closely. The work theme was about the things that people do (occupation wise) but this time it isn’t about what things others do, but what things we (from the perspective of a child) can do, or try to – as in a task or activity. For example, I work at the library, but I can shelve books in their proper place in the library.

… but this isn’t about me! it’s about what children can do, or with the help of a rhyme and some mimicking actions to go with them, the things they will soon learn to do for themselves – like tying their shoelaces or brushing their teeth.

So let’s have a look at some “I can … ” books – starting with the one I read last week:

Can you? : a touch-and-feel book / Rod Campbell.

Can YouThis board book with textured materials encourages participation from your child. By looking, touching and feeling, they will be able to do what the baby does. To the question ‘Can you?’ the answer will be ‘Yes, I can!’

I can count / Dick Bruna.

I can count

If you want to know what your youngster can do and at what age to expect them to develop that skill, try Baby’s first skills / Miriam Stoppard. You will find it in our Family & Parenting section of the adult non-fiction area.

Baby's first skills


Let’s try a rhyme. If your child is a bit young to do some of these things, that’s okay. They will be curious to know what the activity is and will naturally mimic the actions you perform to do them. As I mentioned above, familiarity with a task will demystify it and make it less daunting when they reach the age when they are expected to be able to do it for themselves, without assistance – which is always a big achievement to a child.

I Can

 (match actions to words)
I can tie my shoelace,
I can brush my hair,
I can wash my hands and face
And dry myself with care.

I can clean my teeth, too,
And button up my frocks.
I can say, “How do you do?”
And pull up both my socks!

If you have a great “I can … ” rhyme or story, or a funny anecdote to share, please make a comment.