It takes skilled professionals to lay the groundwork of a child’s lifelong creativity and personal wellbeing. The right training helps early childhood educators empower child development at every level. And through books, children’s authors lend a helping hand too!
Books are an early childhood educator’s (ECE) bread and butter. Reading aloud to young children in an engaging manner promotes their literacy, language, critical thinking skills, and more. It’s also a great way to keep kids entertained and build a happy classroom environment.
If you are planning to pursue a career in early childhood education, read on for a selection of children’s books you’ll want to have on your classroom shelf once you break into the field.
Encourage Participation with Interactive Children’s Books
Studies show that active class participation has significant benefits for children’s self-esteem and future learning abilities. The right training lets you involve children in these silly stories:
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and Oliver Jeffers. What if crayons had feelings too? This charming book carries readers along as Duncan’s crayons decide to go on strike, one by one. Children can predict what each page turn will bring (with hilarious results).
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems. This book won the Caldecott Medal in 2004. ECE’s who have read this book to their students know that most children love being able to answer back and decide the fate of an ambitious little bird.
Problem-Solving: A Pillar of Early Childhood Education
Early childhood education is all about using simple tools and methods to lay foundations for a child’s education and life skills. Children need a solid basis from which to learn critical thinking and analysis. Once you become an early childhood educator, you can inspire your students’ thinking skills with these books:
I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen. Have you seen this bear’s hat? Encourage children to look closely, because they just might solve the mystery themselves. And a twist at the end might even keep you on the edge of your seat as well.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett (illustrations by Jon Klassen). This 2014 Caldecott Medal-winner is full of suspense with two friends digging for a treasure only the readers can see. Kids will revel in knowing more than the characters do.
Colour: Bringing Brilliance into Early Education
Some of the greatest children’s books are loved for the bright, kaleidoscopic colours that keep kids excited with every page.
One by Kathryn Otoshi. The colours of the rainbow act as this book’s characters. “Red” bullies “Blue” until the other colours step in. Experienced ECEs know that this book is a great choice, since it teaches children about bravery and compassion.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle. It won’t take an ECE long to recognize Carle’s distinct, brilliantly colourful style sprinkled across many classroom bookshelves. His hungry caterpillar’s journey is pointedly repetitive, introducing your future students to early math skills like patterns and sequencing.
Language Keys for ECEs: Reading Rhymes at Storytimes
Rhyming books are as fun for you to read as they are for children to hear. Anyone with early childhood education training knows that rhymes help children grasp patterns, rhythm, and connections between words.
Superworm – by Julia Donaldson. This book spins a tale about friendship and kindness that kids will delight in chanting along with you. Rhymes like “squirm” and “worm,” inspire ‘pre-spelling’ skills; recognizing that cat, rat, and hat sound alike will eventually help children understand their similar spelling.
Green Eggs and Ham – by Dr. Seuss. Any Seuss book would be a good choice. He makes the most of a storyteller’s voice. Children are happy to follow along when the words in a book sound a lot like a song. Repeating, repeating, repeating a sound builds memory skills in ways that astound.
With the right training, you can turn books like these into memorable learning experiences for young children. In fact, you might even come to love storytime yourself.