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  • Kim Bogren Owen


Maybe it is the cold, or maybe it is the two back to back short trips I took, but I have been thinking about homes a lot lately. Home always seems cozier (even in our freezing, poorly insulated 1885 house) during the winter.

When I first started teaching preschool and was just starting to discover the wonder of picture books, I discovered The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton. I feel in love with this sweet book and always wanted my own little house (which I now have). A wonderful, sweet reminder of what creates a home.

Home by Carson Ellis celebrates homes of all styles and types. A fun, fast-paced romp about homes around the world.

different kinds of houses people live in is perfect for infants and toddlers. The book brings it back to the reader by asking them what the ideal home for them is.

Take a multicultural tour of the shelters around the world in Houses and Homes by Ann Morris and Ken Heyman. Part of a series of books that show how people live around this world, this book features lovely photographs.

For a more expansive look at different types of homes read Homes Around the World by Bobbie Kalman. Great photos of all kinds of homes.

Four friends decide the each want different things and so head out each taking a bit of the house they shared with them. However, once out on their own they realize thing are not as they planned in Once There Was a House, A House That Was A . . . Home by Alex T. Smith. A good book for demonstrating that a home is made by who lives in it.

Almost all animals need shelter of one kind or another. Learn about those in the playful rhyming book; A House is a House for Me by Mary Ann Hoberman and Betty Fraser.

For another look at animal homes try Animals Building Homes by Wendy Perkins. This book gives children a look at several different types of homes that animals build. It includes an idea for making nests and questions you can ask to expand on children's experiences and learning.

Homes from Start to Finish by Claire Kreger and Patrick Carney details each step that is needed to build a home. While the text might be a bit long for younger children, you can paraphrase the text, and they will enjoy the pictures.

While not specific to homes, Dreaming Up: A Celebration of Building by Christy Hale juxtaposes pictures of different building styles along with images of children building in a similar style. A great book for inspiration for children to make their own homes in various styles with materials in your home or classroom. If the child chooses to build with something that cannot be taken home, such as the unit blocks, be sure to take a picture of it to display alongside the one's children building using art materials.

As you read, add vocabulary to expand on what your child's understanding of what home means. Add words to describe what a house is literally: structure, shelter, building, dwelling, architecture, and storage. Also, add words that describe the emotion that creates a home from a house: safe, cozy, warm, and family.

To expand into dramatic play, use large boxes to create a variety of different kinds of home (or if tight for space, paint a different kind on each side of the box). You can use smaller boxes to create animal homes, such as nests or burrows. Add props (animals costumes, food, costumes and household items from around the world) to expand on these and your child will spend hours entertained.

I apologize for not having images of each book in this blog. The links from Amazon are not working, however, if you click on the title it will still bring you to each book's Amazon page.

As always, I hope you enjoyed this blog and look forward to your recommendations of books about houses, as well as ideas for activities around the theme of home.

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(This blog uses the Amazon affiliate program so when you click on the title and purchase through Amazon, you are supporting us! If you don't buy through these links, please, be sure to support your local, independent bookstore or find them at your library!)

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