Friday, January 11, 2013

Preschool at Home - Our Favorite Non-Fiction

We have hundreds of children's books in our home, ranging from the simplest of board books to young adult novels. There's no such thing as too many books, right?

The Children's Book of HeroesWhat's Out There?: A Book about Space (Reading Railroad)The Clock Struck One: A Time-telling Tale (Math Is Fun!)

Today I'm going to share some of the non-fiction books we enjoy and read often. These can be read just for fun, or for a more focused, educational purpose. We have several books on time, the calendar/months/seasons, the solar system, weather, animals and natural science, history, geography, biographies, cultures and civilizations, and religious topics. Most of them have been picked up at garage sales or thrift stores for around a quarter, and you can usually find a huge selection of non-fiction at your local library.

The Kingfisher First Picture AtlasScholastic Children's Dictionary: (2010 Edition)DK First Encyclopedia

These aren't the exact versions we have, but children's dictionaries, encyclopedias, and other reference books provide countless learning opportunities. Even though he is not reading yet, Lucas likes to flip through the biggest books on his shelf and notices something new every time. His interest has been piqued in different areas of science, geography, and history by looking through these books. They also help increase vocabulary and develop the idea of alphabetical order. We usually focus on one letter or a few pages at a time, as they aren't meant to be read from cover to cover in one sitting!

The Story of Saint Patrick's DayThe Story of Valentine's DayThe Story of Thanksgiving

We love this series of board books that explain the Christian roots of American holidays that have become secularized. There are many more including The Story of Jesus, the Ten Commandments, Christmas, Easter, America's Birthday, George Washington, and Abraham Lincoln. (Disclaimer: I have not read every book in the series, but we do enjoy the three pictured very much.) These are short and simple enough to be read to a 1 year old, while still providing a good explanation and possible discussion starters for your preschooler. I highly recommend bringing these out with your seasonal decorations each month!

Hickory, Dickory, Dock: And Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes (Padded Nursery Rhyme Board Books)Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star: And Other Favorite Nursery Rhymes (Padded Nursery Rhyme Board Books)This Little Piggy: And Other Favorite Action Rhymes

These three padded board books published by Tiger Tales are technically fiction, but have gotten a lot of use in 3 1/2 years. Filled with common and not so common nursery rhymes, both our boys enjoy reading, singing, and playing along. I don't know if children are still required to memorize nursery rhymes in kindergarten like I was, but if they are then our boys will have no problem with it! These books help spur my own memory when I'm out of words for the day. Right now "Piggy" is Tyler's favorite book. He requests it multiple times a day and does his best to keep up with all the motions.

As a former math teacher, you know I'm not going to ignore all the fun books and other materials you can use to teach your young children early math concepts! I'm actually saving my math books for another post coming next week. Math can be daunting for many people, and I want to share with you a few easy ways to make it a part of your day.

What are your children's favorite non-fiction books? Particularly if you homeschool, what have been some of your longest lasting, most used books? (I'm not committing to homeschooling past preschool, but we love books in our house and we are always looking for recommendations!)

On our 4th birthday wish list so far:
Curious George Learns to Count from 1 to 100


Billie Jo said...

We love, love, love books in our home too, Marie. I have not yet seen the holiday ones. Be assured, I am going to order some today! Books and holidays together? The Best!

Mama Leigh said...

So perfect for my preschool aged daughter! She has been asking all about the sky and the sun, along with a million other "why" questions. Thanks for sharing all those good resources :)

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