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 4 years old.
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1. LMNO PeasWhether your preschoolers are reading already or just learning alphabet, they will enjoy LMNO Peas – an inventive alphabet book by Keith Baker. Little green peas in this book try variety of jobs and hobbies starting with every letter of the alphabet, some of them are common, and some of them are quite exotic. When we were reading it, I kept thinking that this book is practically begging for an art project to go with it, but my daughter was not in the mood. More creative children (and their caregivers) might find a lot of different extensions, but I love this fingerpainting project from Craftulate that was based on this book.
2. Dino Pets
Are your kids into dinosaurs? Mine was at that age, and we read many dinosaur books in preschool. Dino Pets by Lynn Plourde cleverly mixes fiction and fact. It has bouncy short rhymes, and amazing illustrations by Gideon Kendall bring different dinos to life in a moden suburb. There is also a fact sheet in the end of the book. Your young paleontologists can build their own dino small world with mocha glitter playdough from Frogs, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails.
3. The Earth and I
The Earth and I by Frank Asch is a great read to celebrate Earth Day. The text is very short and doesn’t require long attention span, and the pictures are beautiful. This book could also be good for those preschoolers who start recognizing sight words or learning to read through phonic methods. I Heart Crafty Things extended a classic coffee filter Earth project to include a star-filled background and a writing prompt that you could change into a drawing prompt.
4. See Inside RecyclingAn Usborne Book See Inside Recycling and Rubbish is a more “practical” Earth Day book that will be engaging for kids 4 and up. It answers that burning question – where does the trash go? Interactive flaps and bright illustrations will keep kids busy and learning new vocabulary (including British word for garbage:)). It’s only appropriate to learn how to recycle after reading this book by playing this practical “garbage sort” game from Playdough to Plato.
5. The Tiny SeedWe were big fans of Eric Carle in preschool, and I could have included his books with every month of the year! The Tiny Seed fits so well with any gardening and seed exploration activities as it follows the group of seeds from one page to the next. Teach Preschool has a great lesson on exploring seeds in preschool that would work really well with this book.
6. Favorite Hand RhymesDid you know that April is a Poetry Month? My daughter loved Marc Brown’s Favorite Hand Rhymes. This book has 14 easy poems with hand motions. Parents and children can read the poems and memorize them together with hand motions to play for younger siblings. Perhaps kids can even paint their hands into hand puppets following this painting hands tutorial from B-Inspired Mama.
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