Sharing books and time with your child is a great way to bond.
Spend some cuddle-up time. Forget about your chores for 15 minutes and curl up on a comfy chair or in bed with a blanket and a quiet book. Here are two books that foster pre-reading skills through sing-song repetition that will have children reading along in no time. And both have lovely illustrations for children to enjoy.
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrated by Clement Hurd You probably remember it from your childhood-the mittens and kittens, a mouse and a house, the bowl full of mush and the quiet old lady whispering “hush.” It’s a timeless book that your infant or toddler will love.
Down in the Woods at Sleepytime by Carole Lexa Schaefer, illustrated by Vanessa Cabban
This charming book tells the story of how the mama animals can’t get their babies to quiet down for bedtime. Sound like a familiar situation? This story’s comforting rhythmic language will help calm the reluctant toddlers and preschoolers in your home.
Clean-up together. Okay, now you can go back to your chores…but have your child help. Remember, to choose a task appropriate for their age and your patience level! Is there a closet you’ve been meaning to clean? Children can help you clean and sort items. Do you have a special occasion coming up? Kids can learn so much by helping you plan, shop and prepare for a dinner. Great books to share before your chores are:
Feast For 10 by Cathryn Falwell The author uses collage illustrations to create a counting book about a loving family who works together to share a great meal.
Spot Helps Out from the Spot Collection by Eric Hill Spot, everyone’s favorite puppy, is back again helping Mom with the chores.
You and Me, Little Bear by Martin Waddell, illustrated by Barbara Firth Little Bears shows Big Bear that work and play are both important.
Giving to others. Giving shouldn't be just for the holiday season why not spend a little time, instead of money, showing children how beautiful sharing can be. Make cookies for a local senior center. Help you child sort through their used, but still good, toys to donate to Goodwill. Start collecting pennies in a milk carton to buy items for your local food pantry. Stories that illustrate the joys of giving are:
A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams One of my favorite books. A Chair for My Mother tells the story of a family who loses their home in a fire, but they don't lose their love.
Jamaica’s Find by Juanita Havill, illustrated by Anne Sibley O’Brien This book shares the story of how a little girl decides to do the right thing, even though it’s not the easiest choice.
Rainbow Crow retold by Nancy Van Laan, illustrated by Beatriz Vidal Older preschoolers and school-aged kids may enjoy this Native American legend. A lesson is learned when Rainbow Crow sacrifices his beauty to save his friend