Wednesday, October 1, 2014

31 Days of Great Books for Preschoolers


One of my favorite things on earth to do is read books with my three year old daughter, S. It was a dream come true the day I realized that I had spawned another book lover :). We take weekly trips to our library's story hour, and always bring a haul of picture books home.

The only frustration I've experienced is knowing which books to pick off the shelf each week. Often I'll take a book home and find it is just "twaddle"- Charlotte Mason's term for less than high quality. Or that while my daughter likes it well enough, I can hardly endure sitting through it the first time, let alone again and again as a small child is bound to require. There is so much good stuff out there that I hate to waste time on less than the best.

Let's be honest- when you are chasing two or more children around your local library trying to keep them quasi-quiet out of respect for other patrons, you don't have time for a leisurely perusal of the shelves. I like to have a tidy list prepared beforehand that I can hand to my librarian. Or at least authors' last names that I can speedily scan the shelves for myself while the kids are preoccupied at the train table.

My purpose in this series is to bring the great books- ones that I've found through trial and error, or that other knowing moms have recommended to me- to your attention. Many of them may be familiar, while some you haven't heard of. Most of them are old (30 years plus), but a handful are newer.

Beyond just sharing the title, I'm offering accompanying activities that you can use as you share these books with the little people in your lives. I'll be highlighting thematic elements for discussion, as well as pointing out other educational opportunities each book provides. I'm culling some of the best corresponding content I've found on the web so that you can go deeper into the literary experience. This would be great for those of you using a FIAR educational model.

No one can do all of these crafts and activities with their kids, so just feel free to pick and choose what best fits your life and your children's interests. Know that even just reading them together can have a special impact on your child.

I'm also collecting reading lists, book inspired activities, and craft ideas on my pin board Kid Lit.

As a bonus to get you started, here's a list of resources I've benefitted from in my hunt for great kid lit:

Everyday Reading. A former librarian and mom of two, Janssen is always sharing great finds that both parent and child will enjoy.

Domestic Serenity. I really appreciate this sweet homeschooling mom's wisdom- as a mother of 5, you know that she knows which books are worth picking up. She's been there for awhile, and still is there. You might also like her pin boards Literature, Living Books and Five in A Row Ideas.

Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt. A treatise on creating a family reading culture- the importance of it, and how to do it. I especially love her chapter on family Scripture reading. Includes an index of extensive reading lists for each age group.

Today is day one. I'll be taking Sundays off for rest and worship, but still plan on getting these 31 days completed, spilling into November.

Day 2: Caps for Sale
Day 3: The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Day 4: The Rainbow Fish
Day 5: Peter Rabbit
Day 6: Goodnight Moon
Day 7: Madeline
Day 8: Curious George
Day 9: The Cat in the Hat
Day 10: If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
Day 11: Harry the Dirty Dog
Day 12: Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile
Day 13: Blueberries for Sal
Day 14: Catching the Moon
Day 15: My First Little House Books
Day 16: The Little Engine that Could
Day 17: Frog and Toad
Day 18: Three Classic Picture Books About Snow
Day 19: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Day 20: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Day 21: Growing Vegetable Soup
Day 22: Gingerbread Baby
Day 23: Extra Yarn
Day 24: Harold and the Purple Crayon
Day 25: Corduroy
Day 26: Are You My Mother?
Day 27: A Gaggle of Mother Gooses
Day 28: Mo Willem's Books
Day 29: More Eric Carle Books
Day 30: Other Books We Love
Day 31: How to Find Great Books On Your Own

Some of the links above are affiliate links- which means that if you make a purchase through them, I receive a small profit at no extra charge to you. But you should know that I am an avid believer in reading for free through both local and church libraries ;). Thanks for supporting The Purposeful Wife!

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