Do you have something like this with your kids, a structure for a song or a story that moves the child to speak at intervals and to feel — along with the entertainment — a sense of participation and accomplishment?
When my son John was quite young, I had an ongoing bedtime story that I called "A Boy Named John." I'd start with really nothing at all and get as quickly as I could to the question: And what do you think happened next? Whatever answer he gave, I'd express amazement that he got it right and go with a few details and stop again with the question. His answer would always be right, and the collaborative story could go on forever.
IN THE COMMENTS: Henry Buck said:
I'm trying the opposite with my kids. I start a story, ask what happens next, then, whatever answer they give, I say: "What are you, an idiot? Geesh, you'll never amount to anything." Then I take the story on a different track. I'm hoping it will toughen them up for a bleak future.