Book Recommendations and Activities for young kids


By Julia Kennedy

Is there anything more enjoyable than sharing a beautiful picture book with your young child?  Reading to our children exposes them to words and sentences and ideas.  It prepares them to become readers themselves.  The calm sound of our voices help soothe them as babies and inspire them as they get older and begin to identify with favorite characters.  But books offer more than just opportunities to bond with our children.  They can also be used to teach important lessons, and build self-esteem.

Vivian Kirkfield has put together a wonderful resource that pairs book recommendations for young children with activities you can do together to help build self-confidence.  Show Me How! Is recommended for ages 2-5 and includes six chapters of fifteen or more picture book story suggestions each, as well as summaries and commentaries for each book.  She also matches a craft project and cooking activity for each story.  The six chapters range from “I Can Do It Myself!” to “I Am Really Mad Right Now!” to “I Like Myself!”

One of the story selections from the “I Can Do It Myself” chapter is Good Job Little Bear, written by Martin Waddell. The book illustrates the skills children develop as they play, and a reminder that they need encouragement when they fall.  She pairs this book with a craft activity using a shoebox and other household items to make a bookend and a recipe for making child-friendly teddy bear pancakes.

A former kindergarten teacher and day-care operator, Kirkfield developed a program that uses structured activities and a daily picture book story to help children gain the skills, knowledge and positive self-image they would need for later success in life.

She chose the books featured in Show Me How! based on their ability to address six elements for building positive self-esteem:

  •                 Mastering tasks and skills
  •                 Valuing one’s strengths and qualities
  •                 Feeling appreciated, loved and accepted
  •                 Being able to express one’s feelings
  •                 Coping with and overcoming one’s fears
  •                 Accepting and Liking oneself

The craft projects are made from items typically found around the house and the recipes are designed for your child’s participation to help build confidence.

Looking through the book, I saw many of my old favorites that I read to my own daughter and also some new titles that I was not familiar with.  It’s obvious the book selections and activities were chosen with great care and will be a great resource for parents looking for easy ways to connect with their children through books and activities.

A special Thank You to Vivian Kirkfield for providing this book for my review.  For more information, visit her page at Enhanced by Zemanta

2 Responses to “Book Recommendations and Activities for young kids”

Hi Julia,

Thank you so much for sharing Show Me How! with your readers. What a lovely review!
I just did a program for Tollhouse Preschool in Merrimack, New Hampshire…what fun! After reading Yes We Can by Sam McBratney and doing the leaf family picture craft project, the children got ready to go out to play. One of the boys came over to me to ask if I would be there when they came back in and would I PLEASE read the story AGAIN after their naptime. Children really do love us to read to them.

Heidi Angell says:

This looks like an awesome resource. As a cub scout leader and scout parent, I can vouch for the fact that craft activities and cooking as a family help to build a great bond with your children, help to build their confidence, and with that their independent thought processes! (Particularly when you step back and let them do it, while encouraging them, only intervening when they ask for help!) My children (10 and 7) STILL love to read books together as a family. They are also healthy independent readers, thanks to always reading together. Vivian’s book sounds amazing and I can’t wait to refer it to my friends!!

Leave a Reply