My daughter is now 7 year old and a very fluent reader. I maintained a diary of our reading activities in weekly What My Child Is Reading entries in my blog. I decided to make these reading diaries more useful and create a new series on my blog where I will share our best books for each month for ages 3, 4, 5, and 6. Moreover, I will pair each book with an extension activity – sometimes with ours and sometimes with activities from my creative friends from Kid Blogger Network. In this post I am featuring books that we read when Smarty was 3.5 years old.
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1. US Holiday of the Month – Father’s Day
Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer is one of adorable Little Critter books that every child loves, mine included. They are also quite good for beginning readers, since the amount of text is relatively small, and text itself is simple. The true beauty of these stories comes in illustrations. We read dozens of Little Critter books in preschool, and Just Me and My Dad is a great read for Father’s Day. My daughter was in “anti-crafting” stage all throughout her fourth year, but she really enjoyed making a more “practical” Father’s Day gift by mixing a barbecue rub similar to this Barbecue Rib Rub from Cool2Craft
2. Flag Day
When Smarty was 3, we started to read more “social studies” books. F is for Flag by Wendy Cheyette Lewison is a good intro book that can lead to different discussions about flags and their use. Frankly, Smarty found this book boring, but perhaps I didn’t spend enough time exploring the topic before and after with her. For example, we could have done this beautiful patriotic candle holder from Fantastic Fun and Learning or checked out Patriotic Activities for Kids Pinterest board that was created by Living Montessori Now
3. Jacob’s Tree
My daughter is tiny for her age (even now at 7) and she sometimes complained that she couldn’t do certain things as well as her taller preschool peers. Jacob’s Tree by Holly Keller addresses these concerns of preschoolers through the story of Jacob who yearns to be able to catch up with his older siblings and make a new mark on their elm tree. As you can expect, time and a winter’s slumber help Jacob see his dream come true. A fun project for this book could be a growth chart – I love this kid-made Dinosaur Growth Chart from Mama Smiles: Joyful Parenting.
4. The Best Pet Ever
We received The Best Pet Ever by Victoria Roberts as a review from Tiger Tales, and it was very well received by my preschooler. In the book a little girl keeps asking for a real pet, but tries to solve her problem on her own by making a pretend pet. We had a lot of pretend pets, especially balloons, in our house over years, and you can find some other ideas in my post on Making Pretend Pets
5. The Fairy Ball
The Fairy Ball by Mandy Stanley also arrived to our house in Tiger Tales review package and was the second favorite from that set. My daughter didn’t enjoy books with conflict between characters at the age of 3 and 4 and preferred very gentle fiction or non-fiction books. In the book Bella attends a fairy ball and has fun with her fairy friends. This one is probably the most “girly” book in this set, and it lends itself very well to all kinds of extension fairy activities. Shauna from Fantastic Fun and Learning has a beautiful Pinterest Fairy board, and I still want to make these rainbow flower fairies from The Imagination Tree this summer.
6. Please and Thank You Book
My daughter loved Richard Scarry’s books, and I was thrilled to find Please and Thank You Book since we were focusing on reinforcing manners with our preschooler. As our experience shows, manners is something that one keeps teaching over and over again, at least in our family, since real manners come from focusing on what is happening now, which is not always easy for our daydreamer. In the hindsight I often wish we would send our daughter to Montessori school which places particular emphasis on staying focused on “here and now”. Living Montessori Now has an excellent post on teaching preschoolers manners using Montessori Principles.
More June Book RecommendationsJune Books for 2-3 Year Olds
June Books for 5 Year Olds
June Books for Kids 6+