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. It’s Fall!
September is perfect time for fall books, and we read a fair share of them when Smarty was young. She really enjoyed It’s Fall! by Linda Glaser. Cut-paper illustrations work beautifully with a simple non-fiction text describing things happening in fall. This book can serve as the foundation of nature study for older kids. Toddlers and preschoolers can enjoy leaf identification activities and leaf collages from Toddler Approved.
2. Mouse Shapes
Mouse Shapes by Ellen Stoll Walsh is one in the series of her “concept books” of early math. As you can expect, this book focuses on teaching shapes and on making things out of shapes. It’s also illustrated with torn paper collages and a wonderful read for toddlers and young preschoolers. You can easily extend the book with paper shapes or with felt board games like the one from Teach Preschool.
3. Here Are My HandsHere Are My Hands by Bill Martin Jr. is a great complement to All About Me or Human Body preschool theme. The text is very short, which appeals to kids who cannot stay still for a long time, and the illustrations by Ted Rand feature kids of different races stressing the similarities between them. I like the extension activity of tracing your child’s body and labeling its parts from Bunch of Berries:
4. Whose Mouse Are You?Whose Mouse Are You? by Robert Kraus illustrated by Jose Aruego is a great read for young kids with big imaginations, especially for those who are overwhelmed with their responsibilities. Little Mouse feels unloved and imagines himself as a hero of his family. Both adults and children will giggle at short sentences that go so well with bright and somewhat mysterious illustrations that display only part of an object. We also read other books in this series, and highly recommend it. You can make this paper plate mouse from Reading Confetti with your children or perhaps an entire mouse family by Molly Moo for Nurture Store.
5. Dog and Bear
Laura Vaccaro Seeger is another author with a series of very engaging concept books for young children (one of our favorites was Lemons are Red). Dog and Bear is perfect for new readers (and we did reread this book about 6 months later when my 3 year old started to emerge as a reader) and it is an excellent “primer” on friendship. Kids Activities Blog has an excellent article on how to help children become better friends that might work very well with this book.
6. The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree
The Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons is another non-fictional book about seasons that was very popular in our house. In this book a young boy is enjoying seasonal activities and games centered around his friend, an apple tree. We even made a fun family art project on it with each of decorating our own tree.