Play & Learn

Toys and Books
Recommended Books Suggested Toys
* Our booklists and toylists are updated weekly.

The Seven Silly Eaters

Author: Mary Ann Hoberman & Illustrated by Marla Frazee
Reading Levels: 4 - 7 years
Number Of Pages: 40

Farmers’ Market Day

Author: Shanda Trent & Illustrated by Jane Dippold
Reading Levels: 5 - 6 years
Number Of Pages: 28

Rainbow Stew

Author: Cathryn Falwell
Reading Levels: 5 - 8 years
Number Of Pages: 32

The Power of Books

  • It’s never too early to start reading to your baby. (Yes! That means a newborn enjoys being read to as well!)
  • Chunky board books, soft fabric books, touch and feel books, and vinyl bath books work great. Wordless books are wonderful!
  • Children move from no words at all to right around 2,000 words by age 5.  Talking, reading and singing to your child are keys for their language growth!
  • Books are not only great for literacy skills but also the number #1 choice for adults to explain to children about challenging feelings or situations in the most aged-appropriate ways.
  • Positive reading experiences with your child set the foundation for a lifelong love for reading and learning.  The neural pathways that develop during consistent reading time lead to critical thinking, imagination, creativity, memory, concentration and many other life abilities.
  • In addition, reading to your child brings greatest emotional benefits. By snuggling together to read, your child experiences physical attachment, emotional comfort and bonding. Studies have shown that emotional experiences are the driving force for healthy development.

Tips for Reading

Not finishing the story is OK!
  • Young children can only sit for a few minutes for a story. Let your child decide how much or how little time on reading.
  • Babies may just want to mouth the book. Toddlers may want to skip pages, read the book upside down or outside in, that is completely OK!
  • When children can explore books in the ways that interest them, they will more likely to enjoy reading.
Using books therapeutically
  • Books are excellent to help children talk about challenging topics or difficult feelings. Follow the child’s lead. Some children may want you to read the entire book. Others may prefer to look at specific pages and just talk about what is happening. Allow them to do so.
  • If a topic is challenging for children to read, they may wander away or ask to do something else. That is okay. You may be surprised that your child will ask you to read that book another day.
Free Storytelling
  • Let your child choose the book even if it is the same book over and over. Re-reading familiar stories may help children process information differently each time.
  • Encourage your child to retell a story. Don’t feel the need to correct how she’s telling the story. Let your child be creative in storytelling. That is even better than memorizing the old plot.
  • You don’t always need a book to tell a story. Make it personal, use your child and family members as characters. That works wonderfully!
15 minute a day
  • If possible, set a goal of at least 15 minutes of reading aloud per day. It doesn’t have to be 15 minutes all at once, 3-4 times a day for 3-5 minutes is very effective too!
  • Many toddlers and preschoolers like to spend overall an hour or more a day with a parent or anyone who will spend the time reading with them.
  • It can be fun to read books at different places and different time. This will help create a reading routine for your child.
  • Have you tried reading to your child during bathtime? Very fun indeed.  Just make sure to use vinyl books!

So what is the best tip? Try to have fun together! When children are enjoying the emotional experiences, they are learning at the most rapid speed. Better yet, it will also help you reduce stress in daily life!