If you love books, you’re probably frustrated, maybe horrified, to see the way toddlers typically treat books. But there’s hope! In honor of Dr. Seuss’s birthday and NEA’s Read Across America Day tomorrow, I want to share some ideas that can help your toddler or preschooler learn to take care of books.
My husband and I have always loved books. So it was important for us that our children learn to love and take care of books, too. I kept my now-adult children’s favorite books for grandkids. And I’ve been amazed by the condition of the books. Even though they were looked at and read many, many times in the 1980s and 90s, the books are in almost perfect condition today.
I have a post with tips and Montessori presentations for helping children learn to treasure books. In that post, you can read some of the things we did to help our children treasure and take care of books.
How to Help Toddlers and Preschoolers Take Care of Books – YouTube Video
And today, I have a video with my now-adult daughter, Christina, telling about learning to take care of books. After a Montessori presentation, my 2-year-old granddaughter, Zoey (Christina’s niece), demonstrates how to gently look at books.
The Montessori book presentations are wonderful at home with one or more children or with a small group in a classroom setting. You can do the presentations separately as shown in the videos in the other post or combined as Christina did in this video (especially as a review presentation).
Wondering what book this is? It’s I Spy a Lion by Lucy Micklethwait. The books in this series are a fabulous first introduction to art masterpieces. Lucy Micklethwait has beautiful art books for children. Some of them (such as this one) are available in hardcover for as little as $.01 plus shipping.
What Do I Recommend Regarding Babies and Books?
For babies, I recommend lots of snuggling and reading along with board books for babies to look at independently. I use board books until toddlers have the necessary fine-motor coordination to look at regular pages without damaging the book. Of course, I still read some books with regular pages aloud to babies.
Some parents don’t mind babies chewing on board books, but I don’t like even babies to damage books. I would never punish a baby or toddler for damaging a book, but I gently guide them to learn to take care of books. I quietly say: “Books are for reading, not for eating.” If the baby continues to chew on the book, I simply trade the book for a toy the baby is allowed to chew on.
Here are some of my favorite Montessori-friendly books for babies.
And here’s my recommendation for the very best Montessori-friendly books for babies and toddlers.
Here are my favorite Montessori-friendly books for a 2 year old.
I love book baskets for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers. I always keep a few books on a bookshelf, too, but book baskets are my main way to focus attention on a few special books.
A love of books is one of the greatest gifts you can give your child. And teaching your child to take care of books can be part of that.
Do you have favorite techniques to help your child learn to take care of books?
In case you’re looking for Dr. Seuss books to celebrate throughout March:
(Note: In case you’re wondering, Zoey’s outfit in the video is from Gymboree.)
Learn more about my eBook Montessori at Home or School: How to Teach Grace and Courtesy! I’m also one of the coauthors of the book Learn with Play – 150+ Activities for Year-round Fun & Learning!
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