Non Fiction Books For Preschoolers

Part of learning to read is learning all about why we read. For pleasure, for directions, and for information. Most young children use the words story and book synonymously by introducing them to non fiction books you are opening their minds up to another use for books and print. So next time you are at the library checking out books if you don’t already know where the non fiction books are find out and grab a few . These are some of our favorites.

A Picture Book of Helen Keller (Picture Book Biography) by David  A. Adler tells the story of this great heroine in a simple way without loosing the magnificence of her life.  From her illness as a young toddler, to meeting her “miracle worker” Anne Sullivan and earning the first degree ever awarded to any deaf and blind person all of the amazing things that Helen Keller accomplished are covered. The author doesn’t sanctify Helen though , they talk openly about her tantrums as a child and her naughty behavior.  My son sat for this whole book, it opened up a bedtime talk about blindness to which we turned off the light and experienced a little ourselves. I am hoing reading this book will open more doors of empathy for my son, to recognize that we are all different with different abilities but are all capable of great things.

Imagine You’re a Knight! by Meg Clibbon is a fantastic book for children interested in what being a knight is all about. There are so many great details and answers given that I am eager to read more in tis series. My son loves this book and not just because it answers his many questions about knights but also because it’s the type of book that you can open and close as time permits , reading a little or a lot and still enjoying it. I like the humor and illustrations by Lucy Clibbon. It’s a great choice for 4 and older. 3 year olds might find it to be too much.

Delivering Your Mail by Ann Owen is a simple book about being a mail carrier. The text is to the point and perfect for toddlers and young preschoolers learning about mail carriers for the first time. It focuses on not just what the mail carriers do but how it impacts the reader, which is paramount for young children who see the world through their perspective only. Cute beginner book!

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Little Shark by Anne Rockwell is another accessible non fiction book from one of our favorite authors. We follow a shark from birth until it’s full grown in this book filled with fascinating shark facts. I like that it reads like a story because it sucks the reader in instead of just spouting off cold facts about these cool and scary ( to me) animals. I loved that my son was rather shocked that sharks don’t stay with their moms or their many siblings, and are instead solitary. I loved how it explained a little bit about the food chain in the ocean and how we get oxygen from air but fish get it from the water. Add this one to your shelf!

Baby on the Way by William Sears MD, Martha Sears RN and Christie Watts Kelly  has been the very best baby book we’ve found. It explains much of pregnancy from nausea, to aching feet and even nesting. It also describes labor in a really kid friendly non intimidating way. I love that it explains that in mommy’s belly is a baby holder called a uterus. My son has been asking me how my uterus is since reading this daily for the past week. Explaining contractions, that others will likely be taking care of them for a little while and what mommy is doing when she is not with you is all really useful. It also goes on to explain what babies will do , like nursing, crying and what that funny crinkled thing is on it’s belly!  The book also offers many many resources for expectant parents.

Trash And Recycling by Stephanie Turnball is a great book ! I learned more about garbage and the recycling process reading this to my son over lunch than I ever knew! He loved it and despite being a pretty sophisticated book for a 3 year old immediately asked to read it again as soon as I closed it. It explains the whole process from curbside pick up, land fills, incineration and recycling. The idea for today’s activity came from the sorting of  recyclable garbage from this book!

Mining For Shapes

by Kim

My daughter is learning her shapes and colors. She is doing fabulous, but I remember my son having trouble with certain shapes simply because we didn’t talk about them as much. Let’s face it diamonds, ovals, and octagons (other than stop signs) don’t really come up that often. So I came up with this sensory box as a fun way to practice these shapes.

You will need scissors, craft foam, cardboard, aluminum foil, and black beans.

I drew some shapes onto the craft foam and cardboard. Rectangles on green (for emeralds), octagons on red (for rubies), ovals on blue (for sapphires), and diamonds on the cardboard.

Cut the shapes out and wrap the diamond shapes with small pieces of foil.

Pour the black beans and shapes in the bowl. I chose black beans because I thought it would look more like coal. It really makes the colors stand out, too.

To make it a tad more authentic for mining, you can cut strips of construction paper and tape them together to fit around your child’s head. Then cut a 1 inch section off of a toilet paper roll and tape it to the headband. I thought we had yellow tissue paper (very cute for the headlamp, but we didn’t). He’s still cute, I think.

You can give your child tongs, sifter, strainer, colander, or measuring cups. Try anything to make it feel more like mining. It’s all about having fun.

Every time my daughter found a shape I would say “Wow, you found a blue oval. Great job!” or the corresponding shape and color. We had a blast mining. My son had to play along after he saw how much fun my daughter was having.

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.

Trash Rainbow Craft

trash collage rainbow craft for kids

I love rainbows. With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner rainbows have been popping up every time I sit down to brainstorm activities. This one was particularly fun because it used things I am cleaning out of my craft dump closet , incorporates my son’s incredible love of pretend play ( he’s a garbage sorter) and most every preschooler’s desire to sort.  You can do this in 2 parts sorting one day, making a rainbow the next or if I was still teaching I’d do this as a cooperative group project. My 4 year old did all the way up to putting the trash on then lost interest until I started putting some on and he ran back to the table saying he could do it better (is everything a competition in your house too? Sigh) so we did the gluing together.Make sure whatever materials you use that they are safe for the age/ ability of child you are doing this with.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need a large piece of paper ( I used a grocery bag cut open ), glue, scissors, colored pencils/markers , 7 small containers, small squares of paper in the colors of the rainbow, a mixed mess of “garbage ” -paper/ buttons/foam/plastic toys/ribbon in the colors of the rainbow.
  2. Next fill a container up with all the “garbage”
  3. Start sorting by color.
  4. I was so pleased with how much he liked this part of the activity. It seemed to go on and on forever as he pretended to need a coffee break from his job at the garbage sorting factory. We are not short on imagination in this house.
  5. While he returned to work I made the rainbow with colored pencils.
  6. Time to add glue. We added two glue for a few colors at a time.
  7. Add the objects! We did this part together
  8. Add more glue.
  9. Add more objects.
  10. Let dry.

Books About Rainbows

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Duckie’s Rainbow by Frances Barry is a clever little book , you walk with her as she passes things like a yellow cornfield and blue pond until the pages above create a rainbow . I love the idea but reading it with my son ( who was 2 at the time) all he wanted to do was turn the pages as quickly as he could to make the rainbow. Not a big deal but this would make a better story time book then a bedtime one for that reason.

Planting a Rainbow by Lois Elhert is a wonderful book to use for teaching about flowers and colors. The illustrations are bold and bright, perfect for little curious minds. I have always liked this book because you can sit down and dive into it reading each flowers name on every page , or browse it more casually with a younger child simply noting the colors.

This project too complicated for your toddler? Yesterday in my Link &Learn weekly linky this awesome rainbow project from Toddler Approved was linked. When I saw it after writing this post I knew it would be a perfect link to share as an option for younger kids so I added it in .

Board Book Reviews – New Releases


by Carrie Anne

A love of books is important even before your kids can read. I hope to bring to you each month some new releases for the smallest ones in your family to enjoy.

The Hug(above)

written Lesley Simpson, illustrated by Yayo
Annick Press
Age 2-4 (board book)

First published in 1985, this new board book edition of THE HUG revisits the story of one lonely hug. Feeling unneeded, the hug sets out to become something different. It uses its large round shape to turn itself into different things but maybe all the hug really needs is a little practice to remember how good it feels to give—and receive—hugs! I found this to be a wonderful book about hugs, something you and your kids like to give and receive. Why not end the story by hugging some of your favourite people and things.


Baby: Beep! Beep!

DK Books
Age 0-5 (board book)
This chunky board book combines kids’ love of vehicles with lift the flap books. Each page contains a question pertaining to the picture ‘Who’s behind the brick wall?’, inviting kids to lift the flap and see. The images are all based on kids toys. Each page has a nubby tab that sticks out for little fingers to flip open. The pages are thick and sturdy for little hands. A great book for little ones to explore on their own or enjoy together sitting on mom or dad’s lap.

DK Books
Age 0-5 (board book)
Kids will enjoy discovering common play items found in the park while flipping through this little chunky board book. Each page consists of one image with the word written below, great for building vocabulary. There are also a few descriptive words for each image: tricycle, pedal, pedal, pedel; kite, high in the sky. This board book also offers kids a sensory experience for the sight and touch, with sparkly details, fuzzy images, and other ways to connect kids with each item. Extend the experience by visiting your local park and seeing which of the items in the book you see in person.

My First Colors: Let’s Learn Them All!

DK Books
Age 0-5 (board book)
Whether your child is just learning about colours or you’re looking for a way to reinforce them, My First Colours will make it fun. Each colour has it’s own tab that is illustrated not only by the colour but also by an item representing that colour: yellow is a rubber duck, green is a leaf. Kids can choose the colour they want to explore by flipping to corresponding tab. Each double page spread will fill a child’s eyes with a variety of things in that select colour. Some items are common, some not. The colour word is is written large in the top left-hand side of each page. Each item on the page has it’s name written below, adding to your child’s vocabulary.
The last page includes an I Spy page with a variety of different coloured images. Some spy questions are included: Can you see a spotted triangle? Or you can make up your own questions. Kids will enjoy searching and finding things on the page and throughout the book.
I want to thank Chris from DK Canada and Joanne from Annick Press for my review copies.
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Carrie Anne is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards , she is a mom of 3 , Managing editor of EverythingMom.com and an avid reader. You can catch up with her on her blog  Another Day. Another Thought…Or Two

Paper Roll Shamrock Craft

by Kim

St. Patrick’s Day is coming and the kids and I made these cute four leaf clover bouquets. The idea for this craft struck me when I was making a Valentine’s Day heart wreath. All you will need are toilet paper rolls, green paint, green chenille stems, scissors, and a hole punch.

Have your little one paint the toilet paper roll with the green paint. Be sure to get it covered inside and out.

Once dried (we let ours dry overnight) bend the roll in the shape of a heart.

Use your scissors (big kids can cut this, but little ones will have a very hard time) to cut slices a little less than an inch wide.

Use your hole punch to make a hole very close the the bottom tip of the heart.

You can have your little one thread a chenille stem through the holes on four hearts. Then turn the end and twist it to the stem tightly. Be sure to fold the exposed tip over to avoid the metal poking your child.

This is the final result. I wanted to get pictures of my daughter threading the hearts and holding the clovers, but we were having a toddler meltdown moment about getting our picture taken.

These make great four leaf clover wands, you know to turn things green or make rainbows appear. You can use them for decoration. You can always use your four leaf clovers for something more fun. Like maybe something to diffuse a toddler meltdown…a silly mommy.

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Kim is a contributing writer for No Time For Flash Cards, a mom to a toddler, a preschooler, and a foster parent, too. She juggles her day by trying out fun activities and crafts with the kids. After all, she is just a big kid herself. See what she has been up to over at Mom Tried It.