My daughter is now 8 years old and a very fluent reader. Very often I hear the same question, What did you do with her when she was little? Well, we read a lot, and 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 years old.
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1. SnowballsIt’s time to celebrate winter! We don’t get snow, but we certainly enjoy reading books about snowmen. Snowballs is one of my favorite Lois Ehlert books. The story is simple and short enough for 2 and 3 year olds, but a real treat is in illustrations and in all possible extensions for this book. My daughter is not super arty, but I think even at her current ripe old age of 8 she might enjoy this foaming dough snowman from Fun At Home With Kids even if she knows perfectly well how it works.
2. It’s OK to Be DifferentJanuary is an official “It’s OK to Be Different” month, and Todd Parr has just the right book for parents and caregivers to talk with kids about how different and how same we all are. It’s OK to Be Different has very little text on each page and bright simple child-like drawings conveying the same message on the last page – It’s OK to be different. You are special and important because of being who you are. I think we would all have a lot less hate and violence in this world if we learned early to accept our differences rather than to fear them. Kids Activities Blog has an awesome hands-on lesson on diversity than even the youngest kids can appreciate.
3. Eating the Alphabet
How many of you made a New Year resolution of eating healthier? Get your children on board with Eating the Alphabet, also by Lois Ehlert. Even the pickiest eaters will probably find some fruits and vegetables in this book that they might be tempted to try, plus they will reinforce their emerging knowledge of letters of alphabet. If you love to cook, take this book one step further and involve your children in making fantastic meatless dishes for every letter of the alphabet with this post from The Good Long Road.
4. Milk and CookiesMy daughter really enjoyed Bear series by Frank Asch, and we reread every book many times. Milk and Cookies was one of her favorite, since she was in the process of sorting out reality from fantasy in her head at that time. In the book Little Bear has a scary dream, but his father is able to calm him down and they both enjoy milk and cookies in the middle of the night. Extend this book by making these adorable snowman cookies with a detailed tutorial from Toddler Approved.
5. Hush Little Polar BearWhen our daughter turned 3, we decided that it’s time for her to appreciate better how big our world is, so we started to read more books that are set in faraway places and “visit” different countries and regions. You can read more about these explorations in my Hands-On Geography series. Hush Little Polar Bear by Jeff Mack is a great book to read before bedtime. In his dreams, little polar bear travels to different places of the world encountering sights and colors so different from his native snowy world. The Imagination Tree has a great explanation of how to make mini sensory animal habitat tubs that would make a great extension for this book.
6. GiftsGifts by Jo Ellen Bogart ad Barbara Reid is a beautiful book both in concept and in artwork. Just as the previous book, it’s a great introduction to nine different locations in the world and can be used in geography studies with older kids as well. I also appreciated that in this book grandmother doesn’t sit at home making cookies but travels the world instead bringing unique souvenirs and stories to her granddaughter. A good extension activity for this book would be to capture a memory of a vacation trip or a special event with a memory jar. Paging Fun Mums have a great tutorial on how to make one.
More January Books RecommendationsJanuary Books for 4 year olds
January Books for 5 year olds
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