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 6 and 7 years old.
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1. If You Find a Rock
April is the month to get out and spend as much time in nature as possible. One of our favorite things to do, especially on hiking trips, is to look for unusual rocks. If You Find a Rock is a great photo book that will appeal both to rock collectors and to the kids who simply love to use rocks for play. Fantastic Fun and Learning has a great post on 30 ways to teach kids about rocks, and we did some fun open-ended art projects with rocks over years.
2. Adventures of Plastic Bottle
The Adventures of a Plastic Bottle and its sister, The Adventures of an Aluminum Can (both by Alison Inches) were Smarty’s favorites for several years. These stories about recycling are a great read for Earth Day. We discovered them first when Smarty was about 4, but the length of the books and the vocabulary will make them a better fit for kids over 6. A great extension activity for this book would be upcycling or repurposing some of the plastic bottles. Crafty Morning has a beautiful project that turns a plastic bottle into a flower – it might make a pretty Mother’s Day gift.
3. The Secrets of Stonehenge
I always tried to insert books about countries, cultures, and history into Smarty’s library book picks. The Secrets of Stonehenge is a fantastic book for elementary school age kids. I was impressed how well this book answers many questions about Stonehenge using the latest research and archaeological findings and still staying accessible to young readers. I would also recommend this book to older students studying Stonehenge in school or homeschool. We once built Stonehenge with blocks, but I like this project from First Palette to build miniature Stonehenge from real stones or a sand-dough.
April is a National Poetry Month here in US. Not every kid enjoys poems, but perhaps they just didn’t connect to the right book. Poem-Mobiles by Patrick Lewis and Douglas Florian will appeal to car enthusiasts out there and might encourage them to create their own crazy cars. Illustrations by Jeremy Holmes are simply enchanting, and great for brainstorming crazy car ideas. We paired this book with making Lego Egg Racers.
5. The Romans: Gods, Emperors, and DormiceMy daughter is a big fan of ancient myths and devours mythology books with amazing speed. She also really enjoys comparing Roman and Greek myths, so she was delighted to find another excellent book by Marcia Williams – The Romans: Gods, Emperors, and Dormice. As other books from these series, The Romans feature both myths and true moments from Roman history on its pages, all narrated by Dormeo: a dormouse. Adventures in Mommydom has a terrific series of posts with hands-on ideas for Roman history – all accessible from one landing page and worth checking out.
6. Ms Piggle WiggleIt’s time for a chapter book! When Smarty was 6, she really enjoyed Mrs. Piggle Wiggle book by Betty MacDonals and its sequels. This book was originally published in 1957, and the childhood described there is a lot more “free-range” than what our children have today. Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is a great read for parents too as Mrs. Piggle Wiggle is able to solve problems that couldn’t be solved by yelling or bribing. It’s a great blend of fantasy and real-life story that is guaranteed to enchant your kids. Homeschool Share has a great Ms. Piggle Wiggle lapbook – you can do all of it or some of it depending on how much time you have.
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Do you pick books for your kids or do they choose them on their own in the library or bookstore?