Busy day ahead, so I just stopped in to offer some read-aloud possibilities.
Here are some poems, selected haphazardly but that I like a lot:
“A Song to David” by Christopher Smart
“Love” by Czeslaw Milosz
“Morning” by Mary Oliver
“On His Blindness” by John Milton
“The World Is Too Much with Us” by William Wordsworth
“Song of the Open Road” by Walt Whitman
“Sea Fever” by John Masefield
“Small Comfort” by Katha Pollitt
“Wild Geese” by Mary Oliver
Or see the list of the 10 most popular poems ever, here.
Here is Billy Collins on how to read a poem aloud.
And then, for the little ones, here are some of my favorite books for reading aloud:
Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems
Go, Dog, Go! by P.D. Eastman
Goodnight, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
Moo Baaa La La La by Sandra Boynton
Mouse Mess by Linnea Riley
One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
On the Day You Were Born by Debra Frasier
Tuesday by David Wiesner
And I already mentioned 10 Minutes Till Bedtime but it bears repeating.
Some of these have very few words–that’s okay, better than okay for the littlest ones. Too many words can be overwhelming for babies and toddlers. It’s good for them to just get acquainted with books, see the conventions of page numbers and left-to-right, up-to-down, front-to-back, understand the format of a cover with a title, know that there is an author and an illustrator, all of that. These are all features that early readers have to learn.
Even if reading to tiny babies, it’s useful to get in the habit of introducing the book: “Let’s read that amazing classic Goodnight Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann. She also drew all the pictures. Look, there’s the gorilla on the cover. What’s he doing? Do you want to open the book?”
You can find one of many free lesson plans based on Goodnight Gorilla for preschool or kindergarten here.
Children who start kindergarten having had such reading experiences as part of their daily lives are miles and miles ahead of children who have had little exposure to books and other printed text.