For children, books are not just for before bedtime. Parents are encouraged to read to their children every chance they get. Whether you read your child a fun article in the newspaper, the back of a cereal box, or his or her favorite book for the 100th time, you are reinforcing critical life skills for your little one.
As a daycare owner, be sure you have many books to host many different learning experiences for all the children at your facility. Here are 5 themes of children’s books to have at your daycare.
- All about me.
- Family and friends.
According to Extension Alliance for Better Childcare, reading books to children will:
- Help them to have a great imagination.
- Develop their verbal language skills.
- Build interactions, problem-solving, and the ability to make educational inferences in the classroom.
Build the bookshelves in your daycare classrooms by starting with books falling under these 5 themes.
1. All About Me
All about me themed children’s books help youth to learn about themselves. Accepting one’s self and personality attributes helps children to build high self-esteem early in life.
These books teach the valuable lesson that everyone in the world is different from one another. While we may share similar likes and dislikes, there is no other person that looks just like yourself.
Children may not like that they are too big or not as pretty or handsome as a classmate. Bullies may even take advantage of this perceived difference to make the “different” children feel horrible for being different.
However, reading children’s “all about me” books can help them to accept themselves for who they are and what they look like, so that they can battle against possible future bullies.
Some titles for this theme include:
- I Like Myself by Karen Beaumont (2004)
- I Like Me! By Nancy Carlson (1988)
- What I Like About Me! By Miki Sakamoto (2005)
- Incredible Me! By Kathi Appelt (2002)
- All About Myself by Mercer Mayer (2001)
- Tippy-Toe Chick, GO! By George Shannon (2003)
- It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr (2001)
- My Book about Me, by Me Myself: I Wrote It! I Drew It! By Dr. Seuss (1969)
Find more titles for the “all about me” theme by visiting Pre-K Pages.
It’s never too early to ask what career a child wants to pursue when he or she grows up. It’s great to give children ideas about their future career even if they are daycare age.
While career desires may change as they get older, you never know if a certain experience will stick with a child for many years to come where they may want to do the same career they desired to pursue at age 4.
Besides reading these books to the children in your daycare, you can also have a dramatic play center set up in every classroom. Provide costumes for students to dress up and act out some of their favorite jobs. This will help them to realize what they love to do most and what type of careers can be pursued based on that passion.
Try stocking some of these career theme children’s books in your daycare classrooms.
- Riley Can Be Anything by Davina Hamilton (2017)
- ABC What Can She Be? By Sugar Snap Studio (2018)
- Friends at the Firehouse by Kayla Stark (2020)
- Delivering Your Mail by Ann Owen (2003)
- Curious George Goes to the Hospital by H.A. Rey (2017 Special Edition)
- Maybe You Should Fly a Jet! Maybe You Should be a Vet! By Dr. Suess (2020)
- The Helpers in Your Neighborhood by Alexandra Cassel (2019)
- Career Day by Anne Rockwell (2000)
Staying in tune with one’s feelings is ultimately crucial for a more positive lifestyle. There are going to be good and bad occurrences that happen in everyone’s life no matter their age.
Something tragic or life-changing such as a family death or moving to a different state could be happening to one of your students. Helping to identify the different types of feelings and how to handle them correctly builds emotional intelligence for young children.
Besides reading books about feelings to the children in your daycare, you can also ask students how they are feeling and why they are feeling this way as an opening conversation during circle time.
Tell your students when they may be feeling angry or upset by saying something like, “I understand you are upset that Joey took your stuffed elephant”. Incorporating feelings into the conversation will help children to sort them out better and eventually feel better.
Stock some of these titles on feelings on the bookshelves in your daycare classrooms.
- Lots of Feelings by Shelley Rotner (2003)
- The Feelings Book by Todd Parr (2005)
- The Color Monster: A Story About Feelings By Ann Llenas (2018)
- Calm-Down Time by Elizabeth Verdick (2010)
- The Way I Feel by Janan Cain (2002)
- My Body Sends a Signal by Natalia Maguire (2020)
- Don’t Feed the WorryBug by Andy Green (2011)
- B is for Breathe: The ABCs of Coping with Fussy and Frustrating Feelings by Dr. Melissa Munroe Boyd (2019)
Teaching children to learn how to share builds empathy, teamwork, and overall social skills.
For example, there may only be a limited amount of a certain toy in the classroom.
Say there are only 2 firefighter trucks in the classroom, but 4 students want to play with them at the same time. The children will have to work out a plan where everyone can get a turn for a certain allotted time frame. While the other 2 children wait on the first 2 kids to finish their time playing with the trucks, they can play with another vehicle in the care center.
Sharing goes beyond just doing it with toys. You can teach the children in your daycare how to share by:
- During children’s craft time, have them share a box of crayons amongst 2-3 children.
- Have an event where children bring in their favorite snacks to share with the whole class
Share the gift of reading with these great sharing book titles for toddlers.
- Llama Llama Time to Share by Ann Dewdney (2012)
- Learning to Share (Peppa Pig) by Meredith Rusu (2017)
- I Can Share! By Karen Katz (2011)
- Friends Ask First!: A Book About Sharing by Alexandra Cassel (Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood)
- All About Feelings by Sesame Street (2006)
- Kindness Starts with You by Jacquelyn Stagg (2018)
- What a Feeling!: The ABCs for Emotions by Stephanie Alexandra Kaufman (2020)
- In My Heart: A Book of Feelings by Jo Witek (2014)
5. Family and Friends
The bonds of family and friends are great emotional support as the children in your daycare facility grow and learn.
Immediate family is there at home for constant support. Friends help in other ways while at school and in their local neighborhood while at home.
Build the children’s appreciation of family and friends with these book titles.
- Thank You For Being My Friend by Parragon Books (2019)
- How to Be a Friend: A Guide to Making Friends and Keeping Them by Laurie Krasney Brown (2001)
- Disney Pixar Family and Friends by Editors of Phoenix International Publications (2019)
- The Family Book by Todd Parr (2010)
- Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer (2018)
- The Little Book Of Friendship: The Best Way to Make a Friend Is to Be a Friend by Laurie Friedman and Zack Bush (2020)
- Best Friends Forever By Xenia Pavlova (2016)
- Just My Friend and Me by Mercer Mayer (2001)
Build Your Daycare Library
Grab these 40 themed titles and many more by visiting Amazon or your local bookstore.
Since book prices can be pretty high, you can purchase the books second hand off of Facebook Marketplace or at a local thrift store. Be sure to disinfect the books before use since they were priorly used.
Buy bookshelves that are low to the ground for children in the library center to access when it is center time. Here are some tips for providing books to the children in the daycare classroom.
- Board books are easy to turn for little hands and will not get ripped.
- Be sure crayons and markers are only in the art center, so children in the library center will not be tempted to try to color inside of books.
- Get book titles with lots of pictures and 1-2 sentences per page to encourage learning how to read.
Keep a separate library that teachers use to read to the children during storytime. This will keep the books pristine and only handled by adults.
Build your daycare library little by little, and you will have an effective resource for teaching the children at your daycare to read, grow, and learn!
Now need to stock up on toys? Check out our must haves HERE!
How else can I get books for my daycare?
To get books for your daycare you can:
- Ask parents of enrolled children to donate old books they are not using.
- Ask your family and friends if they have any books they are willing to donate.
- Look on Facebook Marketplace for any free book giveaways.
- Purchase second-hand books from a book sale at your local library.
What else can I do outside of daycare to instill a love of reading in the daycare’s students?
To instill a love of reading for your daycare students, you can:
- Have a Scholastic book fair.
- Give a fun reading activity over the weekend.
- Challenge your students to read as many books as they can during one month. The winner gets a prize from a classroom prize chest.
- Hold a second-hand book sale at the daycare for students to purchase their own books to read at home.
Please note: This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Please consult a legal expert to address your specific needs.
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