As COVID-19 continues to take over the news and our daily lives, many children have questions and concerns about what has been happening. Talking about scary events might seem daunting, as we worry about saying the wrong thing or instilling more fear in children. To help start the conversation, we are sharing a few books to discuss worries and concerns and also a few mindfulness books to help children learn to cope with their emotions.
Many of us are at home with a lot of extra time on our hands while schools and child care centers are shut down. Staying at home can be challenging, but it also provides an opportunity to take some extra time for yourself, enjoying new hobbies and new books. In this article, we are sharing books for ECE professionals to read while at home to continue to grow in your teaching practice so that you can return to work feeling refreshed with new ideas to bring into your classroom or program.
As of March 19th, we are officially in Spring! This season is a fun time of year for young children who enjoy exploring the colorful flowers and splashing in rain puddles. If you are looking for an easy way to bring Spring into your classroom and help children learn about the new season, check out the list in this article for some of our favorite books to enjoy with early learners.
The toddler stage of development is full of big emotions, lots of activity, and strong opinions. Working with children of this age can be challenging for caregivers. The Emotional Life of the Toddler, written by Dr. Alicia Lieberman, provides insight into development, temperament, and challenging behaviors. You will find the information in this book valuable if you are a toddler educator, have toddlers in your program, or if you are the parent of a toddler.
February is Black History Month. This celebration was initially introduced as National Negro History Week in 1926, in an effort to raise awareness of the contributions of African Americans to US history, and was expanded to a full month in the 1970s. This month provides an important opportunity to introduce conversations with young children about African American heritage and history.
Many educators are familiar with the work of Sandra Boynton. Her board books are a favorite in many classrooms, especially for toddlers. The fun characters, simple illustrations, and sing-song rhymes quickly capture the attention of young readers. The stories are short and sweet, just long enough for young children to stay engaged.
The Elephant in the Playroom is a series of short essays written by parents of children with special needs. The stories help us to better empathize with the challenges that come with raising a child with special needs. If you work in an inclusive classroom, this book is an important read to create deeper, more understanding relationships with parents of the children in your care.
Are you looking for new ideas to engage young children; or struggling to come up with fresh, new art projects that inspire curiosity and creativity? Play, Make, Create: AProcess Art Handbookis a fantastic resource book for any educator or child care provider. The book includes activities and invitations for children to create and an in-depth guide for facilitators that shares how to set up materials in an inviting way.
Young children love to hear the same stories over and over again. In addition to enjoying the stories and illustrations, research suggests that re-reading stories can also help children to learn new vocabulary. Choosing books that are interesting, engaging, and fun to re-read are keys to supporting children’s learning. While there are many to choose from, we are sharing a few of our favorites.
Cooking with children offers an educational, fun, and enjoyable experience for children to practice early math and social-emotional skills. To tie recipes into your curriculum, choose some of your children’s favorite books and find recipes that relate to the story! Children quickly engage in activities that stem from stories and characters they already love. To help you get inspired, we are sharing a few of our favorite books to cook with.
A growing body of research about the importance of young children spending time outside is encouraging early learning professionals to carefully consider outdoor curriculum. Time spent outside should offer rich learning experiences that complement academics studied indoors. To help create these experiences, experts have written books that explore the benefits of outdoor learning and help guide educators in moving their curriculum outdoors.
Infants and toddlers love to spend time reading books with their caregivers. Reading with infants is an all-in-one activity that develops early literacy skills, engages their observation and communication skills, and even exposes them to early math concepts. Books that emphasize shapes and geometric patterns give caregivers the opportunity to point out the shapes and patterns while they are reading.
A recent focus on mindfulness and meditative practices have shed light on the important connection between body and mind. Education researchers have explored further, to gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between physical activity and the learning process. A book that is at the forefront of these conversations is Carla Hannaford’s Smart Moves: Why Learning is Not all in Your Head, exploring research in neuroscience, education, and child development to understand how we learn and how movement can help us tap into our full potential.
Many parents, educators, and caregivers will notice infants’ specific fascination with the faces of other babies. A recent article from The New York Times shared a list of books that infants will love, as they feature a variety of illustrations and drawings of other babies! Sharing books with infants on the topic they find most interesting is a great way to engage their young minds in story time.
Are you struggling to find ways to effectively communicate and connect with families? Janis Keyser’s book, From Parents to Partners, is an excellent resource that provides quick and helpful tools to help you successfully connect with parents and families.
While diversity is an important topic to talk about in early childhood, it can sometimes be hard to find a way to introduce these topics to children. If you are looking for a way to start the conversation, a book can be a great opportunity. Stories are easy ways to create moments to talk to children about the importance of accepting themselves and their peers for all of our similarities and differences.
As early childhood professionals, we recognize that the care and guidance we provide to children today helps construct the foundation for their success as adults. This is vital work and can cause us to ask ourselves important questions: How will the lessons that we teach and the opportunities that we provide affect them later in life? Are we setting children up for success? The Formula, by Harvard economist Ronald Ferguson, along with award-winning journalist Tatsha Robertson, is a new book that might help answer some of these questions.
Children have a curiosity about the world around them. They wonder about how things came to be, and where things come from. This curiosity often expands to their own plates during mealtimes! Children will ask questions about where their food comes from and will be curious to learn about its history. Books are a great way for children to explore the history and story of their foods. Stories about healthy foods also offer an opportunity to talk to children about healthy eating and nutrition.
The Caldecott Medal, awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, is an honor given to the artist of “most distinguished American children’s books published the previous year.” This year’s winners are beautiful and diverse stories that will be enjoyed by both children and the adults reading with them. Review the list to find some books to add to your classroom or center’s collection of stories.
Do you wonder how to inspire children’s creative thinking? Are you looking for ways to set up a classroom environment that supports curiosity and imaginative tinkering? If so, Rachelle Doorley’s Tinkerlab: A Hands-On Guide for Little Inventors is a fantastic book to add to your resource library. The book includes inspiration for experiments that will encourage children in your care to build, create, explore, and discover.
Those who have worked with infants and toddlers will often find themselves reading the same stories over and over again. While everyone has their favorites, these books could make great additions to your collection and will add variety to your curriculum, as recommended by NAEYC.
In collaboration with New York Public Library, The 2018 New York Times rated Best Illustrated Children’s Books of 2018 in the United States. The winners were selected on only the basis of artistic merit and feature several great additions to add to your collection! Check out the winners to find several potential new books to introduce to the children you work with.
Research on infant development has found that babies are born with under-developed cones (cells in the eye’s retina that signal color) and, of course, with still-developing brains. High contrast black and white books are best for babies under 6 months old whose eyesight is still developing.
This year, several literary favorites won awards for their illustrations and contributions to children’s literature. Review the awarded books for inspiration or new additions to your center or classroom’s library collection.