Creating Meaningful Connections with Your Children

Did you know that human connections create a neural pathway in the brain? Our brains are shaped by the relationships we share with others. The relationships we form with children should be loving and meaningful from the start. “I love you Rituals” were created by Dr. Becky Bailey.


She wanted to help adults be present with children and make meaningful connections with them. “I love you Rituals” are great activities that help provide unconditional acceptance, caring touch, sensory input and messages of hope for children. These rituals help to promote learning and literacy, decrease power struggles and enhance self-esteem. All you need to do is make a playful connection by providing eye contact, touch, being present in the moment.


There are many times you can use “I love you Rituals”. You can do them in moments to help build trust and acceptance. You can do them during routines and transitions such as greeting and departing, diapering and toileting, active times, quiet times and during rest or bed time.


Resource: Bailey, B.A. (2000). I Love You Rituals. HarperCollins Books: New York, NY.

Our favorite “I love you Ritual” is a nursery rhyme re-written in a positive manner.


Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

What a wonderful child you are!

With bright eyes and nice

round cheeks,

Talented person from head to feet.

Twinkle, twinkle, little star,

What a wonderful child you are!


Preparation and Instructions:

It is important you be at the same height as the child for this activity. You may choose to stand, kneel or sit with the child to attain this position.

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star,”


Hold your child’s hands and raise them slightly above your heads. Wiggle your fingers together to represent the “twinkle” of stars.

“What a wonderful child you are!”


Bring your arms down and rest your hands on your child’s shoulders with the child’s hands on your shoulders.

“With bright eyes and nice round cheeks,”


Take your hands off the child’s shoulders and touch the child’s face with your index fingers. First touch the child next to his eyes, then draw your fingers down around the child’s cheek.

“Talented person from head to feet.”


Take the child’s hands in your and swing them up high (above the child’s head) and sweep them down low (to the child’s feet).

“Twinkle, twinkle, little star,”


Raise the child’s hands and touch fingertips as in the beginning. Wiggle your fingertips to represent the shining stars.

“What a wonderful child you are!”


End the interaction with a hug.


Resource: Bailey, B.A. (2000). I Love You Rituals. HarperCollins Books: New York, NY.

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