Everything we do at Bubbles Academy centers around nurturing your child’s development and instilling a love of learning from day one! We love sharing stories of all shapes and sizes and I’m excited to share my recommendations for the top 5 types of books to share with ages 0-5, plus tips for extending stories through art, drama & music.
Below are brief suggestions and check out our video for the full scoop!
Ages 0-1: Family photo stories, textured and peek-a-boo board books – Encourage babies’ love of faces and introduce family members with baby’s first photo album. You could make one of your own, or use one of these baby friendly, waterproof albums. Introduce gentle sensory stimulation through board books with different textures, shapes and contrasting colors. A couple of my baby’s favorites are this ABC sensory book from Skip Hop and Feely Bugs by David A. Carter.
Ages 1-2: Social Stories – These books can be great for welcoming transitions like first school experiences, daily routines, even the introduction of a little brother or sister. They can be made simply at home with photos or drawings of your child or there are several wonderful stories about emotional transitions. One of my favorite books to prepare children for separation from you is, The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.
Ages 2-3: Picture Books – I love sharing stories featuring only pictures with toddlers. They are great for developing their imaginations, speech and introduction to cause and effect. Two that I love are Chalk, by Bill Thomson and Tuesday by David Wiesner. – See video for ways to extend with props and sound effects.
Ages 3-4: Explore Emotions – Sharing books with your child also provides a great opportunity for social-emotional development. Exploring characters’ emotions can help them better understand their own. Some fun examples are Giraffes Can’t Dance, Today I Feel Silly: and Other Moods That Make My Day and Glad Monster Sad Monster. – With this age group, there are lots of fun ways to extend the story through music and drama as well! You can listen to different types of music and discuss how those songs make you feel and also work on ways to recognize and express emotions through your face and body.
Ages 4-5: Comedy and Sequence – Preschoolers have wonderful senses of humor and getting them to laugh can be such a treat! They also develop sophistication in their ability to remember sequence of events in stories and jokes while they develop comedic timing. Stories with a variety of characters and fantastical scenarios help them to further develop these playful and valuable conversation & memory skills. A few of my favorites are: Pssst, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, and Meanwhile. Fun with props and toys to help facilitate imaginative play before or after sharing a story!
Natalie Monterastelli is the Executive Director of Bubbles Academy, Early Childhood Arts Enrichment Center and Preschool. In addition to her work in education, Natalie is a musical theatre actress and improviser, passionate about creating meaningful learning experiences through the arts. She loves encouraging early literacy by bringing stories to life through Drama, Art, Music and Movement at Bubbles Academy.