Reading Together

Posts Tagged ‘preschool

I hate snow. 

It’s wet and cold and causes me a great deal of stress when I have to drive in it. 

There are a couple of books I like to read aloud regardless of my feelings towards snow. 

My favorite is:

Snow by Cynthia Rylant

 

Her text makes me actually feel warm while reading about snow.  And the illustrations of the snowflakes are beautiful (by Lauren Stringer).

I have been doing some snow/winter storytimes and have found some great new songs and fingerplays on Mel’s Desk here. Thanks!

I did change the words she had to the following:

Hat, scarf, coat and books (tune: Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes)

Hat, scarf, coat and boots, coat and boots

Hat, scarf, coat and boots, coat and boots

In Wintertime we dress like that

Hat, scarf, coat and boots, coat and boots

Advertisements

babyDavid Milgrim’s newest book Best Baby Ever is a fantastic book to share with little ones, give to new parents or to commemorate a child’s first day of school.  A new baby is the best baby ever to every parent.  In Milgrim’s book we watch a new baby grow up and the proud parents look on.  From the baby’s first smile to first steps and as the baby walks out the door to get on the school bus for the first day of school.  I have to say I get choked up at the end when I think of my own kids starting school and I am thankful I am still a few years away from my oldest getting on a school bus! My daughter enjoys reading this together because she enjoys books about babies since we have a new one at home.  She exclaimed to her baby brother, “You’re the BEST BABY EVER!” when we were reading this. 

santaduck

Nicholas Duck is mistaken for Santa Claus by all the other animals when he finds a Santa hat and coat on his door step.  Wearing it, the other animals begin to tell him what they want for Christmas.  Mistakenly, Nicholas becomes Santa Duck and passes on everyone’s Christmas wishes to the real Santa and forgets all about what he wants himself.  Don’t worry, Santa doesn’t leave him out! A wonderful addition to the many holiday books on our library’s shelf.  Santa Duck is an adorable character and the cartoon talking bubbles Milgrim uses make this a fun read aloud.

I am beginning a new series of blog posts.  One of the things I enjoy doing the most is reading to my children and doing arts and crafts projects with my daughter.  With Monday being my day off I usually try to do some small art project with my daughter.  I will share those here as well as one of the books we read together on Mommy Mondays.

This Monday’s Art Project:

My daughter loves to paint and I recently bought her watercolors.  She has been painting outside all summer but with fall just around the corner I wanted to make sure she had something else to use inside to keep her painting going. 

When I took out the watercolors she was thrilled.  She went through each color and painted with each one, naming them as she went along.  Then it was mommy’s turn to paint.  I painted some flowers and asked her which colors I should paint with. 

Then I gave the brush back to her and she started painting her fingernails blue!

Then it was Mommy’s turn again.  She asked me to paint a bunny and an octopus.  I wished I could share pictures with you of my masterpieces! After this we made her hand prints which she loves to do! I also painted her name.  She named each letter of her name as we went along!

 Color and letter recognition were the lessons of this simple art project.  I’m sure she’ll be asking to paint again soon!

Book we Read Together Today:

Yummy: Eight Favorite Fairy Tales by Lucy Cousins

yummy

We are loving the stories in this book. Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears and The Three Little Pigs are our favorites! Lucy Cousings illustrations are wonderfully eye catching.  This would make a great gift this holiday season.  Be wary however, the author does not change much from the orginals.  Grandmother is eaten by the wolf and the pigs are all gobbled up as well.  Still, I wonderful read aloud.

I recently read a blog post on Playful Learning on using DVDs to promote literacy development.  She talks about some wonderful books that were made into wonderful DVDs.  One of my favorite is the Chrysanthemum video which is narrated by Meryl Streep.  My daughter found this at our library and I’m pretty sure I enjoyed it more than she did.  But then I found the book and she loved hearing the book read. 

I would take it one step farther as well and recommend reading books that are based on television shows children enjoy.  My daughter recently went through a Dora phase and the Dora books are still popular for her.  I usually try to make a book connection with anything she watches on television.   The following books you can also find a DVD or television show associated with them.  Some were books first and then a television show and some (like Dora) were shows first and the books came later.

Curious George

Clifford

Backyardigans

Arthur

Diego

Charlie & Lola

Martha Speaks

Bob the Builder

Thomas the Tank Engine

Blue’s Clues

Maisy

Sesame Street

My daughter often enjoys reading the books associated with her favorite television shows more than actually watching the shows.

The other day my family and I went to our local library to pick out books.  I try to make this a weekly occurence.  Of course, I bring home a stack of books every day (I just can’t help myself) but I also want my daughter to have the experience of choosing books to take home. 

A two year old’s method of choosing books to take home is basically pulling books from the shelf and throwing them in our book bag.  I often don’t “preview” the books until I get them home.  Or I am in a rush and see books I would like to read to my daughter and they end up in the bag as well.

So this method of choosing books have resulted in some not so great choices and I asked myself “should I be reading these before I read them to my daughter.” This is something I am in the practice of doing at work.  I have had some embarassing experiences being in a rush at work and going in front of a group of students and being surprised.  I really don’t have the time to read all the books my daughter and I choose at the library. 

Here are the ones we chose that didn’t turn out exactly as I expected:

Firefighter’s Thanksgiving by Maribeth Boelts

My daughter really like “fighterfighters” which is why my husband pulled it off the shelf.  Seemed harmless enough until the firefighters went out to fight a fire and one of them ended up in the hospital.  Not the upbeat story I was hoping to share with my two year old.

The Nine Lives of Rotten Ralph by Jack Gantos

Rotten Ralph has used up eight of his nine lives and only has one more life to live.  On one page the little girl is looking for Ralph and sees a shape in the sky that could be Ralph’s ghost or something. Not really sure what they were going for here.  You don’t know whether Ralph managed to stop being rotten or did he get himself killed one last time.  Then you turn the page and there is Ralph happy as can be.  I found it a little twisted!

We only read this ones once before they were returned to our book bag and back to the library.  Not really what I was hoping for with either of them.  So, since I can’t preview every book before I read it.  What do I do? We managed to get through these mostly because of my daughter’s age and the upbeat voice my husband continued to read them in.  I think we also skipped a few parts here and there.  These books were definitely intended for older children who could perphaps appreciate the humor of Rotten Ralph. 

Oh well, atleast we enjoyed our reading together time.

I have discovered a new favorite children’s book writer: Robert Munsch.  His classic story, Love You Forever always brings me to tears.  I am not exagerrating.  I have actually hid our two copies of this book in our house because I seriously cannot read it without crying! (Munsch wrote it as a song for two stillborn babies he and his wife had).

 He has written tons of other great books that are hilarious! Munsch began telling his stories to children at the daycare he worked.  Eventually, he was convinced to get his stories published.  With Love You, Forever he became the bestselling children’s book author in Canada and later the United States. 

His books are wonderful for reading aloud.  Here are some of my favorites:

1Stephanie’s Ponytail

Stephanie is the trend setter at school and everyone blindly follows her, even when she shaves her head!

 

paperbagThe Paper Bag Princess

A dragon burns down the castle and when the princess goes to rescue her prince she realizes what a “bum” he is.

 

mortimerMortimer

Mortimer won’t go to bed and sings instead.  I love this story and I am trying to think of a way to incorporate into a storytime.  I am, however, afraid to read it to my daughter who already sings loud at bedtime already!

The Offical Robert Munsch Website

For more information and to listen to some of his stories  go to the Robert Munsch website.

Once you watch your young child graduate from preschool it is time to prepare for the next step: kindergarten.  This is the most important milestone in your child’s school career.  It can also be a frightening transition for a young child.  New school, new teachers and new friends all make transitioning to kindergarten an emotional experience. The National Head Start Association and the SERVE Regional Educational Laboratory state on their Terrific Transitions website that, “There is a great deal of information indicating that a child’s success in school can be linked, at least in part, to effective transition practices and activities”  (http://www.serve.org/TT/). Parents and caregivers must do their part in preparing their child for this transition into kindergarten.
               Parents can ease the stress of this transition by providing children with literature experiences that discuss this new kindergarten and school experience.  Reading books about a potentially stressful situation, with a parent, can take the stress out of the situation.  Here are a few book suggestions parents can share with their child:

Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten by Joseph Slate
               A delightful book with fun illustrations by Ashley Wolff depicts a kindergarten teacher and her students getting ready for kindergarten.  It also introduces the letters of the alphabet which is perfect for budding kindergarteners.  The first of a series, this is a must for any preschooler getting ready for kindergarten.
The Berenstain Bears Go to School by Stan and Jan Berenstain
               Sister Bear is nervous about starting school but discovers all the fun stuff she gets to do at school.   Mama Bear helps to soothe Sister’s fears but taking her to the new classroom and meeting her new teacher.  A classic book, which gently acknowledges a child’s fears while easing the stress of starting school.
The Wheels on the School Bus by Mary-Alice Moore
               A favorite song is tweaked to introduce the many people who make up the daily life of a school as they all travel on the school bus.  Children will love to sing along the new verses such as “the librarian on the bus…” and parents can discuss with their children the new experiences and new faces kindergarteners will encounter day to day at their school. 
Kindergarten Countdown by Anna Jane Hays
               Children won’t be able to help getting excited about kindergarten with this appealing picture book.  Rhyming text is perfect for preschoolers and the enthusiasm of the text will rub off on even the most skeptical of would be kindergarteners.
The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn
               Chester the raccoon is reluctant to head off to kindergarten but his mother devises a secret way he will be reminded of her love throughout the day.  Separating from parents can be a tough issue for children who haven’t spent that much time away from home.  This sweet picture book can ease a child’s mind and give parents an idea to help with soothing separation anxiety.
               Parents must acknowledge the fact that moving up to kindergarten is hard for their young child.  Using children’s literature can help with the transition.  Reading together and discussing the situation will help take the stress out of starting school


  • None
  • Amber: Thanks for sharing my blog with your readers! You summed up the reason for the name better than I've been able to :) Good luck in the giveaway!
  • Musing: I wasn't able to finish Twilight myself, but I'm always glad to hear of young people being turned on to reading. :)
  • juliannahelt: I forgot about Twelve Hats for Lena. It is a great book! Thanks for mentioning it.