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.
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.
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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