Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Seasonal Book Baskets

One of the things I loved most about being mom to preschoolers was spending a lot of time reading with my kiddos.  Being a former teacher, I knew that reading daily to my kids was a crucial part of their ability to become good readers themselves once they got into school.  Having plenty of books around was never a problem since my two sisters are elementary teachers and always sent us extras from their book orders. What to do with all of those seasonal books and how to get my kids to choose without making a huge bookshelf mess became a BIG deal to this neat-freak of a mom.  So....the seasonal book basket was born!

What in the world is a seasonal book basket?  Well, really it can be any basket you want.  Mine happens to be a basket from Target.

Then, since it is my favorite time of year, Fall (which at my house means Tanner's Orchard), I added in books I have with an apple theme.  You can change the basket with the seasons or holidays.  I always had apples in September, Fall and Halloween in October, Thanksgiving in November, and Winter/Christmas in December. You get the idea.

If you don't have many apple or fall books at your house, that's OK.  Take your kiddos on a trip to the local library and chances are you'll find an entire front table with apple-themed or Fall books right now.  The Metamora branch has always been REALLY good about having seasonal books available.  Also, check out the monthly book orders that come home from school.  This is a fantastic way to get really fun seasonal books and classics for your kids at low prices.

If you have older school-age readers at your house, you might add in some of their chapter books with a Fall or apple theme, too.  This way you can use these as read-alouds to your whole gang, or even better, your older kids can read them to your preschoolers, too.  Keep in mind that your preschooler may only be able to focus on a book or story for about five minutes.  You can build up their reading "stamina" by adding an extra minute or two each week to story time.  Of course, it always depends on the day!

Since I had a little extra room in my "apple" reading basket, I added in some fun activities that we can do together, including a harvest puzzle and a magnetic apple counting maze for when your preschooler has had enough of the reading. (I suppose I should tell you that I'm a little partial to Melissa and Doug toys!  Great quality that lasts through multiple kids!  No, I was not paid to share my opinion.) 

Voila! The seasonal book basket is done.  Happy reading everyone!  MJ

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