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Books Books and more Books!!!
I have a deep and intense LOVE for children's books! I love my job as a preschool teacher because I get to read books everyday! I love my job as a Mommy even more because I get to come home and share my love of books with my son!
I read my son his first book at a week old and we read at least one book everyday but usually its about two or three. :D
I like to think of myself of some what of an expert when it comes to children's books...I have read 100's and 100's of children's books over my 7 years working with children and still I always go back to a few...my absolute favorites! If someone were to ask me for a handful of must have children's books...I would say these...
There are of course sooo many more that I LOVE but these are a few that stand out in my mind because they are great for the toddler age and are also great for children as they get older because the concepts can be talked about more in depth.
Brown Bear Brown Bear: Great for learning colors and animals!
The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Great for learning about fruits, colors and life cycle
Chicka Chicka Boom Boom: Great for learning letters!
Fright Train: Great for learning colors and the concept of movement
Mouse Paint: Great for learning colors and as they get older, learning what happens when you mix colors.
Polar Bear Polar Bear: great for learning animals and animals sounds
Goodnight Moon: Great for identify objects.
The Snowy Day: Just a great book all around! First of all the concept of snow which living in Southern California, our children don't have much first hand experience. I also love this book because the little boy lives in an apartment...it's important for children to see that not everyone lives in houses and for children like my son who lives in an apartment, it's important for him to be able to identify with a character that lives how he does! The Snowy Day was also The very first full-color picture book to feature a small black child!
Now that I have given just a few book suggestions, how do you store your books?
I am a firm believer that books should be accessible to children at all times! We have two book baskets in the living room and one large book basket in my sons room. All of the books in these baskets are board books, board books are so much more durable and I am not afraid my son will ripe them. I also rotate the books in and out of the baskets so we always have something new and fresh to look at and read.
Making books a part of your bed time routine! My son and I have two books that are a part of our bed time routine almost every night.
I can simply say to my son, "Go get your bed time books" and he will pull these two books out on his own! When he was younger I would somewhat speed read through them to hold his attention. Overtime he became interested in turning the pages and would hear the pause in my voice and he would know on his own it was time to turn the page. Now that he is almost two he knows a few of the words before I say them! We can now pause and talk about the different pictures, colors and words and it is amazing to see how much he has learned from these two books alone!
If your family is bi-lingual I strongly suggest incorporating books from your native language! My husbands side of the family is Latin and speaks Spanish so although I am embarrassed to attempt reading my son the Spanish books while my Husband is in the room it is still very important! It also gives my husband a special thing he can do with our son.
Your probably thinking...it must be nice to have so many books...but they are too expensive! I agree books can get pricey! You don't have to go to an expensive book store to get great children's books! Bargain stores such as Ross or Marshall's have a great selection of inexpensive children's books, Office Depot even has a bargain bin...and many teachers are apart of Scholastic book Clubs that allow parents to buy books very inexpensively! Don't forget, there is always the local Library!!! What an amazing way for children to learn about the responsibility of borrowing a book, taking care of it and returning it!!!
I am always looking for new and exciting ways to bring literacy into my sons life and I found something I am very excited to share with you all!
I found a children's magazine/book through the National Wildlife Federation that comes in the mail once a month! Who doesn't love getting stuff in the mail...especially kids!!! The magazine/book come in 3 different age groups. My son gets the Animal Baby and it's perfect for the toddler age group!
Here are a few pictures of the magazine/book and the website! CHECK IT OUT!
One last thing that I love to do is have pictures of our families in an accessible way for my son...one easy way I have done this is I took an old photo album and simply put pictures of us in it! He LOVES to get this 'book' and sit down and flip the pages naming everybody...Mommy, baby, Daddy, Sara, PAPA...ect.
I hope you always take time in your day to sit down with a book and your kiddos and enjoy the teachable moments! And Remember if your child wants to hear the same book, over and over and over again...that means your doing a GREAT job!!!! If I had a $1 for every book I have fully memorized I would be a rich woman!