We hear from the first day we become parents about the importance of reading to our children. And with so many outstanding classics in children’s literature, it’s hard to not enjoy reading out loud to your tot as often as possible. From One Fish Two Fish to Corduroy to Harold and the Purple Crayon, children’s literature is imaginative, colorful and just down right fun.
Hosting a Toddler Book Club is a fun way to bond with other mamas and expand your kiddo’s mind as he interacts with his friends. But if you, like me, are looking to spice up book club with modern tales for the present day, head over to your local library or bookstore and check out a few of these hot new picks and host your own Modern Tot Book Club.
After the Fall by Dan Santat
This is the (quite) creative story of what Humpty Dumpty does after he makes his infamous plunge. Silly and smart, this story is great for slightly older readers who are familiar with Humpty’s timeless tale. This story teaches children the importance of getting back up even after a rough tumble and learning to carry on even when it scares you.
After you read:
Ask children to give an example of something that was scary or challenging for them and what they did to overcome this obstacle. In the story, Humpty, who is appropriately afraid of heights after his fall, begins to make paper airplanes that are able to fly over the wall he is too afraid to climb. An easy, and fun!, tie-in activity with this book is to have children write what intimidates them on pieces of paper. Then they can fold those papers in paper airplanes and send their fears flying!
It Takes a Village by Hillary Rodham Clinton
This story makes a great conversation for little ones through elementary school aged kiddos. Written by a strong female, this story highlights the importance of working together to achieve a common goal. Beautiful pictures illustrate what can happen when all types of people work together.
After you read:
Set out crayons and markers and assign children different parts of a village to create (or let them pick themselves!). Have one child draw a fire station, one a police station, one a grocery store, one a park and so on. When they’ve completed their artwork, have them assemble all their pictures together in one grouping and create their village. Lead a conversation about how much more quickly the project came together when the kids all worked together.
Princesses Wear Pants by Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim
As a girl mom, I strive to teach my girls that they are capable of absolutely anything and that gender should not be a barrier. This story is beautifully illustrated and silly, but it drives home an important message: girls are more than just pretty little dolls. The story’s heroine, Princess Pineapple, saves the day because she prefers to wear pants under her dresses. Girls are never too young to learn that they can be both fierce and feminine.
After you read:
Precut pants or shorts out of construction paper —enough for several per child attending. Then set out markers, crayons, stickers, pom pons, sequins and whatever else you can think of to let kids decorate the shorts they will wear when they save the day like Princess Pineapple! Let kids talk about what they would wear to save the day and why it’s cool to wear pants under your skirt — or to ditch the skirt entirely and just rock the shorts!
Don’t Touch This Book! By Bill Cotter
Great for younger readers, this book is silly and interactive and teaches kids about sharing. Larry the Monster delights young readers by encouraging them to interact with his story. Larry doesn’t want any of his readers to touch his book at first, so it is up to young readers to encourage him to share!
After you read:
Sharing is such a hard lesson to teach littles. It seems children learn to say the word mine before they learn much else! A book club centered on sharing lends itself to some fun activities. Try playing Hot Potato with little ones and using fun toys, encouraging kids to share toys as they pass them around the circle. Tell them when the music stops they don’t want to be holding a toy!
Also set out art and craft supplies and let them recreate Larry on paper. The key here is to set out limited amounts of glue, scissors and so on. Help they draw monsters they can then adorn with stickers and glitter. Tell them Larry is watching so they have to share the supplies!
Anxious for more book club inspiration. Check out the fabulous Toddler Book Club blog with loads of ideas and inspirations to make book club a weekly occurrence for you and your mommy friends. Written by a fellow Midwesterner, blogger Sarah Miller will keep your playdates fresh and your kiddos engaged.
Stephanie Jarrett contributed this post as a guest writer. Stephanie is a Midwesterner and total girl mom. Although she now lives in Arlington, TX, Stephanie will always call the Midwest home and is a proud Missouri Tiger. She enjoys reading, running and red wine. When she’s not chasing three little blondes all over DFW, you will find her working from her home office listening to country music.
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