One of my favorite things to do with my children is read books. It is even more enjoyable when I love the book just about as much as they do!
Inspire a love for reading when kids are young.
Our first son loved children’s books from the day he was born. He started reading at an early age and still loves reading now that he’s 6 years old. Our second son loved to try and EAT books until he was about 2 years old. Then he became a sit-down-with-a-book kind of kid. Our daughter, who is only 8 months old, is in between both our sons when it comes to books. She enjoys specific books but also likes to try and eat them sometimes, too. Yum?
There are so many wonderful children’s books available that it is sometimes hard to narrow it down.
Here are some of my favorite children’s books for ages 0 to 6 that both my children and I have loved reading:
- Petting Farm: This book is designed perfectly for children from 0 to 3 years old. On every other page, there is a portion of the featured animal that you can pet. There is also a small fact about the animal and then the animal sound to perform! All three of our kids have LOVED this book throughout the years, even my second son didn’t try to eat this book as much as the rest!
- Pat the Bunny: This book is old fashioned, simple and fun. Each time you turn the page, there is a new activity to do, like patting the bunny or feeling daddy’s scratchy face. My 4-year-old still loves this book and is now pulling it out to do with our 8-month-old. On a side note, the “smell the flowers” page is a strong smelling “flower,” so beware!
- My Big Word Book: What an easy sit-down-and-look book for any time of the day! Our children have loved learning the words in this book and pointing out the different colorful pictures to us. As time has gone on, the older sibling may ‘quiz’ the younger sibling on the words as well.
- I’ll Teach My Dog 100 Words: This book is quite different from the ‘My Big Word Book’ in that it’s an actual story and it rhymes. My boys have loved how, at certain points in the book, it will tell what number word you’re on. I’m pretty sure I will have this book memorized for the rest of my life! There are so many Dr. Seuss books I could list here that were big hits in our home. Here are a few more of our absolute favorites: Go, Dog, Go!, Happy Birthday to You, and Dr. Seuss’s ABC.
- Little Blue Truck: The Little Blue Truck is filled with fun sounds, rhymes, and a simple story. The kids love to make the “ZOOOM” and “BEEP BEEP” noises with us as the little blue truck goes on an adventure.
- Sandra Boynton books: I was so happy when I came across these books with our first son. He could (and still can) sit for long periods of time and listen to books. And, although we loved reading to him, we were thrilled to find these shorter books for bedtime. They are sweet, simple, short and fun. You could read 5 to 10 of them before bed and feel like you have not read too much!
- Start Your Engines 5-Minute Stories: This book contains ten stories that are truly about 5-minute reads or less. Our boys have enjoyed almost every story in the book. We would usually have them pick 2 to 3 stories to read before bedtime. Some of their favorite stories have been Curious George Takes the Train, All Aboard the Dinotrain, Monster Trucks, and Sheep in a Jeep.
- Mo Willems books: These books are a big hit in our home right now! They are not only a big hit for our boys, but they are fun to read for the adults, too! The words are simple but the stories are impactful and often funny. The main characters, Gerald and Piggie, are sweet and lovable. The adorable illustrations play a large role in the flow of the book because not every page has words to read on it. Sometimes the pictures are even more significant than the words in these awesome books! Mo Willems has an endless selection of books to choose from. He even has books about a silly pigeon (The Pigeon Needs a Bath) that is sure to tickle your kids’ funny bones, and you will find yourself giggling, too. Some of our favorites include: My Friend is Sad, Waiting is Not Easy, and There is Bird on Your Head!
- The Monster at the End of this Book: If you’re interested in getting peels of laughter from your kids, this book is the way to go. It may not calm them down before bed, but it is sure to be a hit! Both my boys started to truly enjoy this book when they were around 3 years old. And don’t worry, there is NO scary monster at the end of this book!
- Life-Size Zoo: If you want a book that has great animal facts and life-size fold out pictures, this is THE book! The kids are often in awe of the size of the animal, like an elephant head, rhinoceros horn, or a giraffe tongue. The animal facts are to the point and each animal has a small illustration that discusses the facts. We have also recently gotten the Life-Size Dinosaur version of this book!
- Walter the Farting Dog: Ok, so it’s obvious I have boys in the house because we love a book about a farting dog. This book was a hidden gem. I remember seeing the cover and skimming the pages thinking that the illustrations were strange looking. I wasn’t sure how well received it would be. The kids love the story and the farts, but they also love searching for the small spider that is hiding on every page of the book. And who wouldn’t love a dog who used his fart to help save his home from a burglary??
- Magic Tree House: Although our 6-year-old started reading at a young age, he just recently became interested in chapter books thanks to the Magic Tree House series! The chapters are short enough to feel that you’re getting through the book fairly quickly, and the illustrations, although just in black and white, are detailed and well thought out. These books have sparked my reader’s imagination. It also helps that the very first book in the series was about dinosaurs!
- National Geographic Kids First Big Book of….: We have four of these books in our house right now because they are so wonderful! We have a book on Why, Space, Dinosaurs, and the World. The books have detailed information that is broken down into terms even the youngest children can understand. Also, the pictures and illustrations pull you in and make you want to keep reading. These books are tough to STOP reading because they are so interesting! We just give the kids a limit on the number of pages to read if it’s before bedtime. If it’s not bedtime, you could read these all day!
- Choose books on whatever topic your child is interested in! We are currently deep into a dinosaur phase, so we have dinosaur books invading our home at the moment. We purchase some of the books, but often times visit our amazing local library to find more topic-specific books. In the past, our home has also been invaded by space books, United States books, and even president books!
- Make your own book! This takes time but is so worth it in the end. We have only made two books in our home, but they were well worth it. The first book my husband wrote was about putting our son to sleep (how sweet!). This book featured pictures of our son during his bedtime routine. The second book we made together as a spin off of a Big Brother, Little Brother book we had read. For this second book, I selected pictures of our two boys together and my husband wrote the sweetly rhyming story of their friendship. We used Shutterfly to design the book. We also used this book as a Christmas present for the grandparents. It was a hit!
Yes, often times young kids love to read the same children’s books every single night for days, weeks or even months.
But this is how they learn to read! The familiarity of these books eventually turns into the beautiful sounds of your child doing the reading and not you. Now that we have a baby again, I am so excited to be able to pull out some of our most treasured and loved children’s books and read them all over again…and again and again and again and again!