With the school year starting up again soon, one of the best ways to help toddlers and preschoolers learn more about letters, numbers, colors, shapes, and opposites is with Concept Books.
Concept Books typically present these basic ideas with bright, appealing illustrations and simple, focused text. Since many concept books have minimal plots, they offer an excellent opportunity to engage children in conversation.
Some ideas for conversation starters around Concept Books include:
- Point to objects on the page and then label them or ask the child to provide labels, names, and identifying details.
- Ask questions about what is going on in the pictures. Make sure to give young children about 7 seconds to formulate an answer and give positive feedback when they respond.
- Take turns making up your own stories about the illustrations.
- Extend the learning beyond of books by taking the concepts into the real world. Count objects together, identify letters in signs, label colors of cars as they drive by.
Categories of Concept Books include:
- Alphabet Books like LMNO Peas, Creature ABC, and Alphablock help children learn the names, shapes, and sounds of letters.
- Counting Books like Feast For 10 and Ten Terrible Dinosaurs introduce children to number identification, counting in order, and other numerical concepts.
- Color Books like Blue Goose and My Colors, My World=Mis colores, mi mundo help children identify and name colors.
- Shape Books like Shape By Shape and Round is a Mooncake introduce children to different shapes, their names, and their characteristics.
- Opposite Books like Black? White! Day? Night! and Animal Opposites: A Pop-Up Book work with a variety of different concepts such as size, time, and feelings, and they help children identify sameness and difference.