Teach Your Preschooler to Love Reading by Building

Teach Your Preschooler to Build A House with Reading

The tale of Hansel and Gretel teaches your preschooler to Build A House with Reading


To encourage a preschooler’s interest in books about buildings you can use everyday items to build a small sculpture.

You need a paper plate, toothpicks, graham crackers and gumdrops. The candy serves as Tinker toys for tiny fingers. An alternative is using pretzel sticks for toothpicks and colored marshmallows for gumdrops.

Gumdrops are easy for preschoolers to pick up.

Gumdrops are easy for preschoolers to pick up.


Show your child how to assemble walls, roof, door using the food items. Children will like the soft textures of the foods. This activity could accompany a reading of Hansel and Gretel, castles, farm stories and other books with a focus on buildings. Have fun!

Share with Your Preschooler about God’s Love

Why I Praise You God by Michelle Medlock Adams

Why I Praise You God by Michelle Medlock Adams

Play: Assemble these objects—feather; cork; penny; stick; metal paper clip; bowl ¾ full of water.

Talk: Look at these items and tell me which ones you think will sink or float in the water. (After child shares guesses, have child place each item one at a time into the bowl). Some items sink (stick, penny, paper clip) while others (feather, cork) float. God created every person uniquely.

In Ephesians 2:10 we learn that no matter what we look like He has plans for each of us. We can serve God by loving Him, helping others and telling people about God’s love.

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For this week’s lesson I recommend a book by Michelle Medlock Adams (http://michellemedlockadams.com) called

Why I Praise You, God (Concordia Publishing House (January 1, 2006). This is a fun board book to reinforce God’s care for each of us. Michelle is a great children’s author and speaker. I learned everything I know about children’s writing from enrolling in her classes.

How do you teach your child about God’s love?

 

New Feature! Reading Tips for Preschoolers

John and Maddie look at penguins at the zoo. At home they looked at a book of animals.

John and Maddie look at penguins at the zoo. At home they looked at a book of animals.

My husband and I have a 3-year-old adopted granddaughter named Maddie. We call her ‘adopted’ because her parents are good friends of ours and they allow us to entertain her sometimes. It’s great fun for John and me. He was a great help with her at the zoo recently—he figured out how to assemble her stroller and buckle her into the car seat!

Being a children’s book author, I especially love to read to Maddie. I’m always looking for creative ways to make reading fun for her. I thought, ‘Why not share ideas with my readers about fun ways to read with a child on my blog?’

I plan to share some of our favorite ideas here weekly along with a picture of the book we read. Most of the ideas will be relevant for preschoolers but you could adapt them for older children.

Animals in the Zoo by Beth and William Hoos

Animals in the Zoo by Beth and William Hoos

Today’s Reading Tip– This is simple. Following an adventuresome day such as a trip to the zoo, read a book to your child about what you saw/did. John read a book to Maddie that contained pictures of many of the animals we saw at the zoo. He reminded her of the Hornbill bird and feeding the goats and riding the pony. She pronounced all of the names correctly and it reinforced the day’s events.

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Please let me know if you use one of the reading ideas posted here. If you come up with your own, I’d love to hear about that too! Send a photo if you like of you and your child reading together. Most of all, have fun reading with your child, no matter the ages!

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Playaways — Great Way to Read Children’s Books

Listening to Playaways is a great way to listen to children's books.

Listening to Playaways is a great way to listen to children’s books.


As a public middle librarian, I choose to immerse myself in the reading of children’s books – classics and modern day – to try to interest and encourage students to read. As an author, this can be a challenge in finding time/energy to read after writing /researching most days.

A great solution for me has been to listen to books while I’m walking. For years I’ve listened to books on CD and even cassette tape (yes, I still have a tape recorder!) during my daily hour-long walks. Nowadays I’m taking advantage of items called Playaways.

A Playaway is a complete book on an item the size of a deck of cards. It is an MP3 that just requires a AAA battery and headphones.

Boy, do I love these things! I place a Playaway in my handy bag with its long strap and fling it over my head and off I go!

I’ve listened to dozens of books by Playaway and am still enthralled with the ease and entertainment of these little guys. Usually the novel is read by a single reader. I’m so impressed by the talent of these actors to create different characters with their single voice.

Stop the Train! by Geraldine McCaughrean was read by a whole troupe of actors with musical backgrounds and sound effects!

Sometimes the novels are read by the actual author. I loved hearing Jack Gantos read one of his Joey Pigza books. Cool!

The popularity of Tim Green’s sports books at my school prompted me to try one—and this middle-aged female who is not crazy about sports loved it! Not only did Tim do the narration for the books, his own kids read the parts for kid characters in the books! How fun is that? I’ve listened to three of Tim’s books on Playaways.

Playaways are fairly expensive– $40+/each. My local library stocks them, thankfully so I don’t have to buy them.

I’m hoping the Playaway people will put my own books on these nifty contraptions so more people could listen to them.

Hermes by Kayleen Reusser

Hermes by Kayleen Reusser

Leona Lewis by Kayleen Reusser

Leona Lewis by Kayleen Reusser

Taylor Swift Day by Day by Kayleen Reusser

Taylor Swift Day by Day by Kayleen Reusser


If your library does not have Playaways, suggest they purchase a half dozen or so. They could be helpful for kids to use while riding in a car and following along with a book. Or by adults who love listening to children’s books.