If you follow My Little Lamb on Instagram (@mylittlelambblog) you already know what Amadeo’s book library looks like! Its enormous! Thanks to all the guests who bought him books instead of cards for our baby shower, hand me downs from his family members, and mommy’s love of Chapters, Home sense, and Value Village, Amadeo basically has an at home library of all of my favourites!
Children’s books in my opinion are magical! They are the perfect time to have a moment with a little one and bring them to another reality, teach them something new, entertain them and grow those brain cells!
I have taken many courses on how to read to children of all ages, as well as how to choose appropriate books for all ages. I always say when it comes to anything child development there is always an exception to the rule and that being, every child is unique so some children will fall out of those guidelines. The easiest way to tell if a book is appropriate for your child, is to notice how engaged they are. If they have no interest in what you are reading them it may be because it not advanced enough to hold their interest or too advanced so they just tune it out. Also picking the right time to read can be important to how engaged a child will be. In daycare we use stories during circle time usually to start or end to help get everyone on the same page and to be ready to engage with the educators. We use stories during transitions, before lunch, during toileting, near the end of the day etc. At home with your children I would recommend maybe waking up with reading a story or two in your jammies before you get your butts in gear with the regular routines of the day to day, when they get home from school with a snack ( older children can independent read if they’d like) and before bed.
Going to the book stores, thrift stores and libraries with your children so they can have an opportunity to pick their own books of interest is also suggested for the best outcome for engagement. Also who doesn’t love a place with BOOKS!
When looking at a book in hand think and asses with this criteria for if it will be age appropriate for your child…..
- Stories that have an intriguing plot and an interesting setting.
- Themes that would appeal specifically to your child.
- Language that is rich and evocative. Reading level and vocabulary that are age appropriate.
- Intriguing and believable characters.
- Readability. Try reading a bit of the text aloud. Does the language flow ?
When looking at a book in hand think and asses with this criteria for illustration and art….
- Illustrations that breathe life into the text.
- Art that will promote a love of beauty.
- Illustrations that are synchronized with the text and appear with the part of the text they are meant to illustrate.
- The medium the artist has chosen, and its appropriateness to the story it illustrates.
- Look at the overall design of the book, including cover, size and typeface. For example, picture books should have bold, readable text and a shape that is welcoming to young hands.
These are some of my favourite books to read and recommendations for ages 1-5
- Board books, so they can independently play and hold them without running their books.
- Books with rhyme and song.
- Books with little words , lots of interesting pictures and fun story line.
- Still incorporate some board books but with more words and a story line. The Dr. Seuss Early Reader board books are AMAZING!
- Finding books that they can start relating to, they understand they have a mom and dad, they are learning and starting to recognize emotions, animals, the world around them, so find books that include these things.
- Find books with some simple light hearted humor that they will be able to understand and find funny.
- Start to add book with more wording and a bit more complex story lines, still that they can relate to or follow, you will be able to tell again by their attention span to the story. ( this is an amazing reason why taking out library books before you invest is so smart!)
- Start introducing books that touch on their feelings and helping them be able to self regulate their emotions. When they read stories about this it stored into a different compartment of their brains and they can retain and use it easier. ABC mindful me is an amazing book for this, I’m in LOVE with it , the messages and the illustrations are beautiful!
- Start introducing the concepts of opposites at this age, books can help have a visual of this and listening to you read. ie, Eric Carle’s day and night, and land and simple. They are simply laid out so they can start understanding these concept’s.
- Around this age is the P word, POTTY TRAINING , and books can be a great assistant for those long waiting times on the toilet in the early days. Potty Power is the best book and the story lines obviously is made to fir perfectly with potty training a toddler. Simple concepts and AMAZING illustrations.
- Make these kids laugh! The Mo Williams series are my preschool groups FAVOURITE books to read! There aren’t a lot of words but the humor is to die for, even you will appreciate the silliness of these books. Tip: Costco has been selling these for really great prices as of late!
- Find books with now more words and complicated story lines as the age before. At four years old they are able to relate and understand most concepts of the world around them, so now it your opportunity to incorporate that to the literature you read together.
- Humor will always be a great choice, Walter the farting dog is AMAZING and any four year old will love it.
- Introduce more complex books about understanding their feelings and emotions. Today I feel silly is such a wonderful book to help assist that understanding and exposure for this age group.
- Look and finds, start off with simpler versions like this one shown below, they will keep your children entertained and they are a good option to have out while you want to encourage independent reading.
- Introduce more complex opposites and the same but different concepts. The book Llama phones is so fun and inside they show the different meaning of the same word. ie Fairy and ferry.
- By age 5 you should be able to have books with much more words and a longer story time. Buying the 5 minute stories are great for this age.
- I spy books are a big hit at this age and the excitement after finding the items is so fun, I don’t know if you remember but these books are hard!
- The books below are some of my favourites to read to my kinders!
Early exposure to Literature is so important for language development and reading skills in the later years. If you help them grow their love of reading once they go up in grades the reading and learning aspect wont be as torturous!
My FAVOURITE bonding time with my son is already the times I read to him. Its worked into different times in the day and always in our nap and bed time routines.
Happy Reading everyone!