My daughter is now 7 year 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 2.5 years old.
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1. Rainbow Fish
It’s still summer! Perfect time to read stories set in the mysterious underwater worlds. My daughter loved Marcus Pfister’s Rainbow Fish series that slip some value lessons in beautifully illustrated stories. Here is a round up of amazing Rainbow Fish art projects for preschoolers from my blog including our own take on this character.
2. A Day at the Airport
Many families are flying this summer. It’s so exciting (and can be a little scary!) to be in the airport for the first time. Richard Scarry introduces a charming world of the airport that might be a little outdated, but that makes it even more interesting to read this book. Older kids can compare and contrast Richard Scarry’s airport to the airports they know. They can also make this adorable cardboard airport from One Time Through for themselves and for their younger siblings – the post has a detailed tutorial.
3. Where Are You, Blue Kangaroo?
2 and 3 year olds are giving up their toddler habits, but they are hopefully keeping their favorite stuffed friends. A Blue Kangaroo from Where Are You, Blue Kangaroo is very worried about being left behind by his easily distractible owner, so he decides to make sure it doesn’t happen. An entire Blue Kangaroo series by Emma Chidester Clark is adorable and worth a read. And if you are interested in building responsibility in toddlers and preschoolers, Teachers of Good Things has some great advice.
4. My Preschool
My daughter started in daycare when she was a little over 2, but we were moving her to a “real” preschool in August 2009. She was a little apprehensive about that as many other kids are. Preschool is such a big step, and it’s good for children to know what to expect. My Preschool gently goes over the events of a typical preschool day and reassures children that Mom or Dad will come back for them once this day filled with fun activities comes to an end. If you are preparing to send your child to preschool for the very first time, you might want to think of a fun way to make this first day special. Teaching Mama offers 4 ways to celebrate the first day of preschool – I love this ABC pancakes idea!
We loved Elmer series by David McKee. It sends such a strong message about individuality, friendship, and respecting individual differences. I think each child should read this series and then reread Elmer books in elementary school, especially while trying to fit in. The Imagination Tree shows us how a recyclable milk jug can transform into an amazing craft if you apply some imagination and creativity. It is certainly a parent-led project, but her Elmer is beautiful, durable, and can make a great gift.
6. Penguin Post
Again, I am including a longer book for young kids who can sit still for a while. My daughter and I both enjoyed adorable Milo from Penguin Post by Debi Gliori. We read it many times discussing the packages that Milo delivers. There is also a fun twist in the end of the book. This book will be especially appreciated by the children waiting for a new sibling. A great extension for this book is playing post office. It can be a free play set up by your children or you can get your children to practice their letter recognition skills as they play with this great pretend play with letters from No Time for Flash Cards.