“Read me a story,” my two year old says throughout the day in his sweet irresistible voice. I love that he and my four year old daughter are in love with reading together or can simply occupy themselves by paging through books (for awhile anyway). It’s one go-to-activity that I pull out to calm everyone down. Plus, when my daughter is too wound up to sleep, we can tell her to go to her room to look at books by herself, which she’ll gladly do. Downstairs we’ll hear the occasional clunk as she finishes a book and drops it to the floor. These frequent reading requests and “clunks” are happy noises for parents.
We have some book loving, reading machines in our house.
Naturally our local library’s challenge – 1000 Books Before Kindergarten – was a good fit for me and my kids. It’s a nationwide program with MANY libraries participating. Check out their website to see if it’s offered near you. It’s basically a program to record every book that is read to your children – at home, school, babysitter’s, storytime – whenever and however many times they hear it, so YES, if you read a story five times in a row, you can write down that same book five times. The library makes it easy on parents to fill out the reading logs. There are recommended authors and literacy tips to accompany the reading log and program materials.
Plus there are incentives at varying levels – bookmarks, book labels (“this book belongs to” sort of thing), and a few free books. Our library received a grant to give a free book after 300 stories are read in addition to other levels.
1000 books SOUNDS like a lot, but it breaks down to reading 3 books a day to your child to hit the 1000 mark in one year.
I’m a fan (if you can’t tell already). As an organized, overachiever type, I get satisfaction writing down the books read and filling up spaces on the log. It’s a nice record of something small we accomplished that day and can help us remember our favorite stories and authors.
It’s a good program for libraries too, as it encourages more frequent visits to check out more books and obtain the next set of reading log pages. No, they wisely do not handout all pages at once.
Here are some of my favorite pictures of my kids during storytime:
Some of our recent favorite reads typically involve trains, dinosaurs, princess stories, or animals. Here a few we’ve recently enjoyed:
- Chloe & the Lion – Mac Barnett
- Giraffe and a Half – Shel Silverstein
- Mostly anything by Mo Willems – Elephant & Piggie, Knuffle Bunny
- Locomotive by Brian Floca (a little long but good for train lovers)
- Dinorella: A Prehistoric Fairytale
- Anything Skippyjon Jones, or Dr. Suess
Books Your Child Should Hear Before Kindergarten (1000 Books before Kindergarten site)
What are your favorite children’s books? What do you think about the 1000 Books Before Kindergarten Program?