Make learning more fun for preschoolers |

Make learning more fun for preschoolers

by Kendal Rautzhan

Preschool children are eager to learn, and today’s reviewed books offer learning in an exciting and fun way. But books are just one way to help children learn. Every day life offers limitless opportunities to learn, and the more creative and fun you make that process, the more receptive young children will be.

Take the grocery store, for example. Share what you’re buying, and enlist your youngster to help, such as one box of Cheerios. Where is it in the isle? What color is the box? Please get one. Snack time: have your child count out two cookies (or other snack item) for their own snack, and two for you or someone else. How many total cookies are there? Or, have your child count out four cookies, then have them divide the cookies in equal shares – two for you and two for the child.

Engaging your child in all sorts of day-to-day teaching activities will lead both of you to discover more ways to open other doors to teaching, learning, and communicating. Your child is willing to learn. Take the ball and run with it.

Books to Borrow

The following book is available at many public libraries.

“Spot Can Count” written and illustrated by Eric Hill, Putnam, 22 pages

Read aloud: age 2-4.

Read yourself: age 7.

Eric Hill’s lovable character, Spot, is at it once again with an engaging story that bursts with fun. Coupled with bold, colorful illustrations, this book makes learning easy!

Spot announces to his father that he can count from 1 to 10. His dad his pleased, and asks Spot to see what he can count on the farm.

From 1 mouse behind the sacks of grain, 2 squirrels in the tree, 3 horses in the stable, and 4 ducks in the pond, Spot counts all the way to the 10 cows in the barn.

Young children will delight in learning to count with Spot by lifting the flaps to reveal the answers and the funny comments by other little critters around the farm. Thanks, Mr. Hill, for another great adventure with Spot!

Librarian’s Choice

Library: Douglas County Public Library, 1625 Library Lane, Minden

Library Director: Linda Deacy

Youth Services Librarian: Kathy Echavarria

Choices this week: “Kitten’s First Full Moon” by Kevin Henkes; “Make Way for Ducklings” by Robert McCloskey; “Goodnight Moon” by Margaret Wise Brown

Books to Buy

The following books are available at favorite bookstores.

“Max’s ABC” written and illustrated by Rosemary Wells, Viking, 2006, 32 pages, $15.99 hardcover

Read aloud: age 2 and older.

Read yourself: age 7.

Rosemary Wells has taken an ABC book to a new height with her spirited bunny Max and his level-headed sister, Ruby.

Combining a funny story with the alphabet, readers will squeal with delight as Max’s ants escape from their ant farm, smell the piece of birthday cake Max is eating, and climb up Max’s pants to have some cake, biting Max along the way. In a panic, “Max poured his Cup of Cranberry juice onto the ants in his pants.” But it doesn’t end there. From A to Z, Max and Ruby outwit the ants until they are finally home again in their ant farm.

Hilarious illustrations and text make learning the ABC’s loads of fun!

“Hands-On-Learning: I Know An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly” produced by Bookworks in consultation with early childhood expert Carol B. Andrew, Ed.D., Scholastic, 2006, 9 stacking cards and 1 parent guide, $10.99 boxed set

Read aloud: age 2-5.

Read yourself: age 5-7.

Joining together plastic figures for children to touch, rhyming repetitive text, and colorful illustrations, this ingenious selection makes learning exciting and fun.

Using a familiar rhyme, young children will develop an understanding of sequence, prediction, number concepts, spatial relations and memory skills while also building vocabulary. Each card also features a rebus – where a picture takes the place of the name of an animal or character, furthering the child’s concept that a word stands for something.

Be certain to read the Parent Guide before reading this selection to your child. The Parent Guide is short, clearly written, and will help you and your child to maximize the vast learning potential packed in this boxed set.

• Nationally syndicated, Kendal Rautzhan writes and lectures on children’s literature. She can be reached via e-mail: