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 in 2009 when Smarty was 2 and a half years old.
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1. My Garden
Have you planted a garden with your kids yet? I am sure they are anxiously waiting for results and will enjoy a whimsical My Garden book by Kevin Henkes. A young girl is dreaming of fantastic garden of seashells and lollipops after planting a real garden with her Mom. Kids Playbox has a fun garden sensory bin based on My Garden that your kids will enjoy outside or inside.
2. Are You a Butterfly?
May is a perfect month to explore backyard creatures. Backyard Books series is a great companion to this hands-on exploration as it playfully presents fascinating information to young kids. You can read Are You a Butterfly by Judy Allen before or after watching butterflies outside and extend the activity by picking some great printables from lifecycle of a butterfly pack by 3 Dinosaurs or by doing her butterfly silhouette painting project.
3. What Can You Do with a Paleta?It’s never too early to introduce kids to traditions and tastes from another culture. What Can You Do with a Paleta? transports readers to a Mexican neighborhood where kids and adults cool off with delicious paletas. I am pretty sure that everyone will be begging you for one by the end this short story is done. It’s not at all difficult to fulfill this wish, since paleta is essentially simply a fruit Popsicle, but Mamas Latinas has tips on how to make perfect authentic paletas.
4. In the Castle
It’s also never too early to show kids how people lived long time ago. My 2 year old Smarty really enjoyed In the Castle book by Anna Milbourne with engaging illustrations of Benji Davies. Readers get to visit the castle – obviously, you won’t see any “Game of Thrones” gory parts in this book, but plenty of feasts, jousts, and knights. We read this book for our England and Germany theme and built our own castle, but I like this tutorial on making a cardboard castle from The Imagination Tree.
5. My Truck Is StuckMy Truck Is Stuck by Kevin Lewis is a modern version of a Russian folktale story that was near and dear to me in my own childhood – The Gigantic Turnip. In fact, a fun activity with somewhat older kids would be to compare and contrast these two stories. Several cars are trying to help an unlucky truck and each page ends with the same refrain, My truck won’t go! Daniel Kirk brings additional humorous plot to the story with his illustrations. In the story, the car is stuck in the pothole, but you could extend the story by playing in mud or making a chocolate mud playdough from The Chaos and The Clutter.
6. Starting Off with CountingLooking back at my records, Smarty’s counting and number recognition skills really took off when she was about 2 and a half. One of the reasons for this was a lot of concept math books that we read since she was a baby. Starting Off with Counting is one of the first books in the“Starting Off” series that was available in our local library, but, of course, we also did a lot of hands-on activities to support her interest in numbers and math. I have shared ideas on exploring quantity with young children in one post on my blog.
More May Book Recommendations
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