The school year is in full swing and your children focus hard on the everyday routine. Autumn months, however, offer them opportunity to appreciate the ever-changing nature of . . . well, nature! Here are 5 great stories about nature to build discussion during your preschool Circle Time in October.
Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the Trees
by Jim Arnosky
Teaching children about the natural sciences is always a plus! Hands-on activities are automatically built in and encourage inquiry-based learning for all children of all ages.
In Crinkleroot’s Guide to Knowing the Trees, the main character goes on a show-and-tell tour of woodlands and forests, sharing his knowledge. As he hikes along, he introduces children to the basics of tree anatomy and natural science.
Unique tree features are clearly explained and accompanied by beautiful illustrations. Children will enjoy the animals and birds featured in this book as well.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar
by Eric Carle
Food is a universal language! Helping children understand that “delicious” does not always translate to “healthy” is a good introduction to nutrition. Early exposure to healthy diets and lifestyles is essential in a preschooler’s ever-evolving world.
The Very Hungry Caterpillar eats his way through fruit, cheese, salami, pie and much more–and is still hungry! This book, which has captivated young audiences for generations, follows the adventures of a little caterpillar on his journey of growth and transformation.
In addition to enjoying the colorful shapes on each page, children also have an opportunity to talk about the types of food that make them healthy.
When Grandma Gives You a Lemon Tree
by Jamie L.B. Deenihan
Social-emotional development is one focus of this book which helps children identify critical content with phrases like “listen closely–this is important” and “it’s good you’re staying focused.”
So what happens when a little girls wants a robot dog and a phone for her birthday but gets a lemon tree instead? She smiles, says thank-you then waters her tree and keeps it warm (even when she wants to drop it off a bridge in protest!).
The book’s bright illustrations and gentle humor truly demonstrate for children how to make lemonade out of lemons and use good manners in the process.
by Leslie Falconer
American folklore is a traditional part of childhood literacy. Stories about Paul Bunyan and Johnny Appleseed, for example, help children understand the importance of nature and their own roles in helping to sustain it.
In the storybook Johnny, a young boy loves apples but is sad that he has no one to share them with. So he sets off on adventures that take him through Ohio, Indiana and Michigan! As he travels the countryside meeting many new friends, apple seeds spill out of his pockets and eventually become fruit-bearing trees.
This sweet retelling of the colorful historical character focuses on friendships and a love of nature.
A Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon
by Audrey Penn
In today’s busy world, children may not always have consistent bedtime routines. Blue light from smart phones and tablets may also disrupt restorative sleep. Gentle reminders that sleep is necessary to good health can go a long way, as can calming bedtime routines and soothing words.
In A Bedtime Kiss for Chester Raccoon, Mrs. Raccoon reassures her son Chester there is nothing to fear at bedtime, but his imagination goes wild after she tucks him in at sunrise. With a few gentle words from his mama, he finally drifts off to sleep.
Children will recognize familiar routines in these gentle illustrations. Encourage your children to share their own stories and rituals about how they get ready for bedtime.
Enjoy this teacher-recommended booklist of 20 stories all about friendship and feelings. Each book coordinates with a daily topic featured in the Experience Preschool Curriculum’s thematic study: Orchard Harvest. Enjoy 20 lessons all about nature and wildlife with integrated book activities as well as hands-on art, music, STEAM and learning games. Open the box and be ready to teach! Available for use in childcare settings or homeschool.