4 Tips for Choosing the Best Books to Read to Preschoolers
By Hallie Bulkin
There are so many wonderful children’s books available these days. This is why it is important to have a strategy to pick amongst the many available options! So how do you choose amongst the sea of children’s books? You narrow it down to:
- Books that are predictable. Books that are predictable are a child’s best friend. When they know what may come next or they can guess what’s coming next, they remain engaged in the story. One example of a predictable book is “Brown bear, Brown bear, what do you see?” The repetition, even though the color and animal change each page, help the child to know what they will see once they turn the page (e.g., a red bird, a yellow duck, a blue horse, etc).
- Books that have repetition of lines/words. For example, books like “Are You My Mother?” are great because there is a line, “Are you my mother?” that repeats throughout the story. Children are able to quickly jump in and participate, which encourages them to “read” the story.
- Books that are short if you want to read more than 1 at night. The worst thing that can happen is choosing too long of a story where your child will push through to hear the whole story as you fall asleep telling it! And once that one is done, they will request another…and another! So pick wisely and make sure the stories are a “happy length” for the reader.
- Books that teach a song, nursery rhymes. One of the easiest ways to teach songs or nursery rhymes is to put them in a book format! I have lots of adapted books for this but I have found dozens of “Wheels on the Bus” books and nursery rhyme books. It can be helpful to have these is written and visual formats to review while singing a song or reciting a nursery rhyme.
BONUS TIP: Make sure you choose books that you like because your child WILL want to read the(se) books OVER and OVER again (they may even memorize them and then “read” them to YOU).
I hope that you find these tips useful! You can go take a trip to the local library today and give this a go! Report back and let us know how things are going with reading!
*Note: First posted on TheDCladies.com October 13, 2014.