Spark Their Curiosity: Choosing Books For Preschooler’s Love of Learning

The Montessori philosophy encourages a child's natural love for learning. A vital element of this philosophy involves setting up an environment that fosters independence and exploration. One aspect of this is providing your child access to a fantastic selection of books.

Here's a complete guide to help you choose books for preschoolers that will both support and delight their Montessori journey:

Go Beyond Their Reading Level

Your child's reading level is essential to their engagement and enjoyment of books. Opt for books slightly above their current reading level but still achievable. Stretching a preschooler's reading level provides a gentle challenge that helps them progress without feeling discouraged. Look for features like:

  • Simple sentence structure: Short and easy-to-understand sentences with few complex clauses.
  • Repetition: Repetition of words and phrases helps reinforce new vocabulary and concepts.
  • Predictable storylines: Familiar storylines with cause-and-effect sequences allow your child to anticipate what happens next, fostering a sense of accomplishment.

Focus on Reality-Based Books

Preschoolers, especially those under 6, thrive on learning about the natural world around them. Prioritize books rooted in reality rather than fantasy stories with talking animals or magical creatures. Realism helps them make sense of the world and builds a strong foundation for their later imaginative thinking. Opt for books with these themes:

  • Everyday life: Stories about getting dressed, going to the grocery store, or visiting a doctor
  • Nature: Books about plants, animals, insects, and natural phenomena.
  • Cultures and People: Seek out books celebrating diverse people and cultures worldwide.
  • Non-fiction: Books about history, science, how things work, etc.

Look for Beautiful Illustrations

Visually appealing and detailed illustrations have tremendous appeal for children. Seek out books with high-quality illustrations that spark imagination and conversation. Choose artwork that reflects reality–a dog should look like a dog!

Embrace Diversity

Preschoolers need to see themselves reflected in the books they read. Choose books that showcase various ethnicities, abilities, family structures, and cultural traditions. Authenticity fosters a sense of belonging and an understanding of the broader world around them.

Choose Rich Language

Children's vocabulary and language skills expand rapidly in their early years. Look for books that employ rich descriptive language and avoid "baby talk." Books that include poetry, rhymes, and alliteration are valuable ways to expose your child to language's playful sounds and structures.

A Preschooler reading a book in one of our classrooms. She is going through the process of reading the books for preschoolers.

How to Display Books

The way you display books is just as important as the books themselves. Here are a few tips:

  • Accessibility: Place bookshelves at your child's level so they can easily reach and select books.
  • Rotating Selection: Keep a limited selection of books on display and rotate them regularly to maintain interest.
  • Front-facing: Display a few books with their front covers facing out to catch your child's eye.

Additional Tips

  • Visit the library: The library is an excellent resource for finding diverse and interesting books, often for free!
  • Observe your child: Notice what topics your child gravitates toward and provide more books on those subjects.
  • Read together: Make reading a memorable bonding time between you and your child by reading together regularly.

Ready to cultivate your child's love for learning in a nurturing Montessori environment? Lakewood Montessori School offers a carefully prepared curriculum and experienced teachers who understand the unique needs of each child. Contact us today to schedule a tour and learn more about how we can help your child blossom!