children’s books

Colors of Childhood: Books About Colors

There are some wonderful books about colors for kids: old, new, big, little, imaginative stories, real nature ones, and more. The hard part is choosing!

Brown-Bear-Brown-BearOne of the well-loved and well-used books about colors is Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. and Eric Carle. This book is a favorite one in many preschools, kindergartens, and grade one classrooms as well as homes. Kids love finding a familiar book at school that they have at home. It’s like connecting with an old friend. After reading it to kids many times, they remember the words and will enjoy ‘reading’ it to themselves and others.

a color of his ownAnother color book  is A Color of His Own By Leo Lionni. Beautiful illustrations help tell the story of a sad chameleon who doesn’t have his own particular color. He shares his feelings with another chameleon who has an friendly idea.

living color steve jenkinsLiving Color by Steve Jenkins has lots of information about animal colors. There are several animals for each color on a page with a paragraph of information for each, so this is a book for older kids. He explains why animals need and use colors.

spots favorite colorsSpot’s Favorite Colors  by Eric Hill doesn’t tell a story. It’s lots of pictures of everyday items with the word beside. Fingers of kids and adults can point to an item and voices can say the words. You can also ask kids to find specific ones on each color page.

many colored days dr. seussIn My Many Colored Days, Dr. Seuss writes about colors and how they can be part of our moods and feelings. He has other books about colors too like Green Eggs and Ham, and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish.

pete the cat white shoesThese are only 5 color books, but there are many other great ones. I have days when my clothes are like the shoes in Eric Litwin’s Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes. Do you and your child have some favorite books about colors?

Children’s Books and Stories for Counting

Counting is one of children’s early math activities; there are some wonderful children’s books and stories for counting to encourage this developing skill. When children are first starting to count, they are imitating what we do and saying the numbers. Sharing books and stories with them gives them opportunities to practice and figure out what we are doing when we count.

Does your child have a special interest? You might be able to find a counting book that will particularly appeal to your child. There are stories with kittens, dinosaurs, bears, bunnies, snails, dogs, fish, mermaids, gardens, crocodiles, butterflies, construction sites, vehicles, crows, turtles, monsters, teddy bears, ladybugs, bugs, monkeys, and even hugs and kisses.

books and stories for counting

Do not read the book Cookie Count by Robert Sabuda if you are hungry. The pop-up images of bakery treats will start requests for cookies, and not just from kids. It could turn all of us into cookie monsters. Curious George, Olivia, Maisy, Berenstain Bears, Spot the dog, and other favorite characters also have books for counting. Huckle Cat and Lowly Worm help count in Richard Scarry’s Best First Book Ever! Some counting stories and count books are written in rhyming text. Most have color illustrations but even the black and white illustrations with a touch of red in Olivia Counts by Ian Falconer are delightful and appealing. (see the video below)

stories for counting

There are absolutely dozens and dozens of books about counting. Some of these, or ones that are similar, you may be able to borrow from your local library. Garage sales in areas with families will often have a few children’s books on the table. If you do buy a book on counting, choose one you can read over and over. Children will soon be able to play with a counting book by themselves and say a few of the words and numbers, but remember, you will be hearing this book countless times. If they—the books, not the kids—are driving you crazy, maybe you could be like Keith Baker and Quack and Count?

March into Fun – Dr. Seuss Day & Read Across America

Horton Hatches the Egg Inspires Play-of-the-Day

It’s appropriate Read Across America Day happens on Dr. Seuss’s birthday. The celebration can be Pole to Pole if all of North and South America reads too. This will be the first post in a whole series of ways that a story can be combined with another activity so that reading inspires a play-of-the-day.

hortone hatches the eggHow about starting with Horton Hatches the Egg? First, read Horton with your child. (If you can’t find a book, there’s a video included below at the end of this post.) Next, have some fun with eggs. Of course, this story is about hatching an egg, but not all eggs can hatch. Some eggs are for hatching and some are for eating or decorating.

How do you like to eat eggs in your family? Perhaps, you and your child can make some scrambled eggs for lunch. Once adult hands have cracked the egg in the bowl, little hands can stir them up with a fork. Boiled eggs don’t need any cracking and once they have cooked and cooled, you can show your child how a cooked egg will twirl round and round but an uncooked egg doesn’t. Experiment with some different ways to peel an egg and find which one works best. Of course, grownups need to do the cooking part but everyone can gobble them up.

horton hatches egg math funEgg cartons are fun for all sorts of activities too. As long as your child is past the everything in the mouth stage, one of the simplest is to give your child an empty carton and an assortment of little items. Kids can put one item in each empty space. This is called one-to-one matching and is a critical concept for number sense: one number means one thing. Or kids can fill up a space and then count to see how many items a space can hold.

These are just a couple of ideas. For some science fun, name animals that lay eggs. Maybe hatch some dinosaur eggs. For art, squeeze a paper toll just a bit to make an egg shape instead of a round one and use it to paint. Horton had to just sit, but kids don’t. Move around like an elephant and a bird.

Have an egg-citing day!

Valentines and Dinosaurs

This play-of-the-day combines 3 ingredients: a book, movin’ and groovin’, and dinosaurs; what an awesome combination for kids and valentine fun. Dinosaurs appeal to kids of various ages. In the story “I Love You, Snugglesaurus” by Sandra Magsamen, a dinosaur encourages kids to do a variety of actions, such as jump and clap. When reading … Continue reading Valentines and Dinosaurs

Helping Kids Learn to Play Series: #8 Books

Helping Children Learn to Play with Books We don’t usually think of books as toys but they are great to play with, once children know how. For such toys as balls or blocks, children easily discover ways they can play, but for books, we need to participate with children many times. Playing with kids and … Continue reading Helping Kids Learn to Play Series: #8 Books