As we all take extra measures and precautions to keep our children and families safe indoors, our homes can start to feel smaller and more restricting. So, why not escape and take your little one to distant lands, introduce them to funny new friends and develop their learning and literacy skills through a range of colourful and fascinating stories?
We have put together a collection of age appropriate tales for children under 5 years old to enjoy, along with their parents and families. If you have not already got these works at home, don’t worry. Why not download a copy from Amazon Kindle or find a reading on YouTube or BBC iPlayer?
Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group are also taking part in the AFA 200 Million Minutes Reading Challenge. Why not join us and log the minutes you have been reading with your child at home?
There is no such thing as being ‘too young’ for books! Even young babies enjoy looking at the colours and images on the pages whilst listening to you reading the words aloud, introducing the rhythm and sounds of the words.
Picture books are the perfect introduction for under 2’s, as the stories are shorter and concise with lots of images to provide you with opportunities to ask questions and discuss the story; such as, ‘Look, it’s a dog’ or ‘Can you see the monkey?’
Our Top 5 Recommended Picture Book Authors:
Eric Hill – Where’s Spot? Series
A wonderful interactive book as your child helps Mother dog to look for her puppy, Spot. Your child will be able to lift the flaps throughout the book and identify the animals that you find! The series continues with more fun with Spot as you join him on his adventures to the seaside, the shops and even school.
Rod Campbell – Dear Zoo, It’s Mine, Buster’s Day and ABC Zoo
Best known for his classic story, Dear Zoo, the picture book also uses flaps to reveal different animals. This story is a great introduction for little ones to identify the animals, make the associated noises and even try to move like them too. For examples, jump like a monkey or slither like a snake.
His other works include, Buster’s Day, another ‘lift-the-flap’ book to discover what is hidden around Buster’s home. Along with, It’s Mine, where you will be found running through the jungle! As well as, ABC Zoo, which provides little ones with the opportunity to learn the alphabet by lifting flaps to find animals with the matching first letter of their names.
Janet and Allan Ahlberg – Each Peach Pear Plum and Peepo
The classic and timeless rhyming picture book, Each Peach Pear Plum, encourages little ones to engage with every page to help them find the next fairy tale character. This is a great way to find all your child’s favourite nursery rhyme characters in one place. Plus, if there is a character they don’t know, you can find the story to keep on reading!
Peepo is also a beautiful book for your little one to see the world through the eyes of a baby, snatching glimpses and answering the question, ‘What do you see?’
Annie Kubler – Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
You know the song – and the actions! This is a great story to introduce your little one to their body parts, carrying out the actions with them, or for babies that are not yet mobile, you can point them out as you read.
Penny Dale – Ten in the Bed and Rosie’s Babies
Do we all have enough room? With ten in the bed – of course not! The delightful book uses a range of different animals, from hedgehogs to zebras, to introduce whilst reading the funny book.
As a child we all had favourite toys, and some of them came to life in our imaginations. Rosie’s Babies are no different, she knows their likes, dislikes and takes very good care of them whilst they go on adventures together.
At this age toddlers are exploring the world around them and often find subjects that interest them, in particular animals and transport. By making them the protagonists, the stories capture and hold little one’s attention – and often result in them wanting to read the book over and over again!
Eric Carle - Brown Bear, Brown Bear; The Very Busy Spider; The Mixed-Up Chameleon; The Very Hungry Caterpillar
Carle’s works always evolve around different animals that transform throughout the story and discover their true nature. All his books are beautifully illustrated so younger children will also enjoy looking at the pages. Whereas, the clear and simple language is a great introduction for children to start reading their favourite stories themselves.
Tony Ross - I Want My Potty
Toilet training is always on a parent’s mind during this age, and this story is a great way to broach the topic in a positive way. Your child will be introduced to the concept, along with the understanding that accidents will happen and that’s OK.
Sam McBratney - Guess How Much I Love You
A beautiful story that is perfect for bedtime reading to tell your little one how much you cherish them. The Hare family can run fast but just how far they will go to represent their love for one another is out of this world!
Brianna Caplan Sayers - Where Do Diggers Sleep at Night
Wonderful bedtime reading to impart the importance of getting ready for bed and being quiet to go to sleep. All represented through construction machines that your child will find fascinating – plus there is a whole series including steam trains, jet planes and so much more that need to catch some Zzzzzzz!
Grosset and Dunlap - Wheels on the Bus
The classic nursery rhyme that you can explore with your child through the vivid pages and sing together whilst finding the relevant shapes around your house. What else can you see that is round? What else makes a ‘swish’ sound?
Reading at every age helps to develop literacy skills. However, children over 3-year-olds are able to learn and understand key learning aspects – all by learning through play.
It has been proven that an early understanding of music, rhythm and rhyme for children contribute to an enhanced literacy and mathematical development. At Kiddi Caru Day Nurseries Group we encompass all these learning aspects by training all our qualified staff in Boogie Mites. Therefore, we are able to carry out a range of sessions every day with our over three year old children to help to develop their literacy skills through music.
The following books are some of our nursery favourites at Kiddi Caru to introduce the children to the learning aspects to prepare them for school and beyond!
Aspect 1: Environmental Sounds
Encouraging children to tune into the sounds of the environment throughout the story. You can take this one step forward by reading the stories outside to see if your child can identify the sound in their natural environment.
Walking Through the Jungle - Julie Lacome
We're Going on a Bear Hunt - Michael Rosen
Aspect 2: Instrumental Sounds
Developing your little one’s understanding of sounds created by musical instruments.
Animal Music - Julia Donaldson
Aspect 3: Body Percussion
Including body sounds, such as clapping and stomping your feet to the beat of the story.
Doing the Animal Bop - Jan Ormerod
Aspect 4: Rhythm and Rhyme
Rhythm and rhyme contribute to memory – that’s why you can recall every word to your favourite song as a child or when you can’t get a song out of your head!
Giraffes Can't Dance - Giles Andrae
Hairy Maclary - Lynley Dodd
The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
Aspect 5: Alliteration
Focusing on the initial sounds of words and what makes them sound similar.
Funny Bones - Janet and Alan Ahlberg
Pass the Jam Jim - Kay Umanski
Aspect 6: Voice Sounds
Playing around with your voice with your little one is great fun! Also, it allows your child to understand the range of sounds they can make, such as how making your voice low and making your voice quiet is different.
Owl Babies - Martin Waddell
We hope you found our suggestions useful! We would love to hear about the activities you are carrying out with your child. Please share your experiences with Kiddi Caru on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.