Amy Clark

Check It Out: Playful Reading by Carolyn Munson-Benson


I just got back from the library this evening and I have been searching for great books that would foster a love for reading in my son. I am addicted to reading and I attribute that to my trips to the library with my father. He always was reading and it made me want to read too. As far as I can remember, I have had a true love of reading and that is why it is such a priority in our house.

I found an excellent book called, “Playful Reading: Positive, Fun Ways to Build the Bond Between Preschoolers, Books & You” by Carolyn Munson-Benson, that was exactly what I had been looking for.

In this book, the author shares great books for preschoolers (including a short synopsis about what they are about) and then she shares activities and recipes you can use to go along with the book that you are reading.

My son’s favorite book in the world is, “How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?” by Jane Yolen. In fact, he loved that book so much that we created art for his room out of the book jackets. I decided to look up this book and see what the author had suggested. Here were some of her ideas for this book:

  • Return to the illustrations and together find letters that spell out the name of each featured dinosaur. You will see the letters on items such as a wall pennant, a line of alphabet blocks and a bed’s headboard.
  • For fun, act out the meaning of verbs such as mope, moan, sulk, or demonstrate for the child how readers can find the exact meaning of a word by looking it up in a dictionary.
  • Talk about your favorite dinosaurs and their reactions in the book.
  • Turn inexpensive plastic dinosaurs into props that stimulate use and growth of language. Print their names on index cards and make a museum. You can also make a landscape backdrop for the dinosaurs out of boxes, crayons and construction paper.
  • Have the child arrange the dinosaurs by size, type, and number. Then have them group them by similar characteristics (e.g. meat eater) or in groups of their own kind.
  • Let your child tell stories about the dinosaurs, but don’t be shocked by gory or gross stories because this is developmentally normal.
  • Visit a museum and learn more about the dinosaurs.

This is just one example of the great activities and books that have been chosen for this book. I am writing down a lot of notes for this book, which might mean that it would be a nice addition to our own family library.

I plan to do the dinosaur story with our son this week and incorporate some of the activities. I also thought Michelle, from Scribbit, had a great idea for chiseling artifacts that might be a fun assignment to go along with our story.

Sound Off: What is your child’s favorite book? Do you have any books that you could recommend for helping your child learn to read or developing a love of reading in them?

Published August 31, 2007 by:

Amy Clark

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of MomAdvice.com. You can read all about her here.

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