When winter weather keeps you indoors and away from the playground, you and your preschooler may come down with a case of cabin fever. Fortunately, there are some great books that can get your family moving, laughing, and practicing pre-literacy activities: read, talk, sing, write, and play.
The Croaky Pokey by Ethan Long
This variation of the Hokey Pokey provides lots of opportunities to practice pre-literacy activities together. Read the book. Talk about how frogs look, sound, and move. Sing the song while dancing the Croaky Pokey, and don’t forget to play pretend and hop like frogs!
Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury
Read this book together, and then go back to the beginning and put actions to the words while you read a second time. March in place while on your “bear hunt,” wave your arms back and forth as you swish-swash through the tall grass, and tiptoe through the cave. Play and make up your own movements.
Is Everyone Ready for Fun? by Jan Thomas
This is the perfect book for anyone who has been stuck inside all day and needs to let loose. Join the crazy cows in this book as they jump, wiggle, and dance until they drop. Then talk about other ways to move and dance. Play pretend and act like those silly cows in the book.
Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes by Annie Kubler
Several things make this book ideal for babies and toddlers. It’s a board book, so young children can easily handle its stiff pages. It also points out the names of body parts, and it’s a song. Read this book with your baby in your lap and touch each body part as you read it in the book. Sing the song with your toddler and show them how to touch their own head, shoulders, knees, and toes. For extra fun, slow down or speed up the song and movements.
It’s a Tiger! by David LaRochelle
This picture book will entertain your older preschooler with lots of action words. Try reading the book standing up so your child can play pretend and run, climb, tiptoe, and swim along with the character in the book.
If all else fails and your preschoolers are still bouncing off the walls, try this super silly song and dance called Tooty Ta. It's sure to get you giggling.
For ideas for more books and songs, visit your local library!