Updated: Aug 2, 2021
A Companion Guide to Busy Toddler's Playing Preschool Curriculum
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I'm Starting with the (Wo)man in the Mirror
A lot has happened in the last few months since we finished Year 1 of Playing Preschool in May. Not only have we have experienced a global pandemic, but a movement against racial injustice swept the land this summer. As a mother, I was compelled to listen and examine my own heart as well as what I was doing in my own home to prevent the spread of a cancer called racism. I thought I had been doing enough, but I felt I needed to do more. I was challenged and influenced by my fellow bookstagrammers to add more diversity to my bookshelves in order to prompt the kind of conversations with my children that could create real change.
Experts say children should read books that are "mirrors" (reflections of themselves) and "windows" (a glimpse into the lives of people who are different from them.) By doing to, they learn respect for themselves and others. - Pamela Paul and Maria Russo, How to Raise a Reader
It's August now and in light of all that has transpired, the first unit of Playing Preschool Year 2 could not have been more timely. In the first week "All About Me" we are examining what make us unique and at the same time appreciating each other's differences, which seems like the perfect place to start.
After finishing Week 1 of Year 2, I made the decision not to continue but to repeat Year 1 of Playing Preschool instead. You can read all about that here, but I wanted to go ahead and share the book list and activities I had compiled up to that point.
*Books with an asterisk are my Top 5 Picks to Add to Your Home Library for this unit. Because this unit has two themes, I couldn't help but pick my Top 5 for each theme.
I Like Myself - Beaumont, Karen
Chrysanthemum* - Henkes, Kevin
I Like You, You're Like Me* - Gainer, Cindy
Big Feelings - Penfold, Alexandra
I am Human -Verde, Susan
Why Do We Cry? - Pintader, Fran
Additional Book List
Books in bold are also suggested books in another unit
Being Oneself/Appreciating Differences
I Am Enough - Byers, Grace (promotes diversity)
You Matter - Robinson, Christian (promotes diversity)
The Wonderful Things You Will Be* - Martin, Emily Winfield
Hooray for You! - Richmond, Marianne
We're Different, We're the Same (Sesame Street)* - Kates, Bobbi (promotes diversity)
All Are Welcome - Penfold, Alexandra
What I Like About Me!: A Book Celebrating Differences - Nolan, Allian Zobel (promotes diversity)
I Like Me - Carlson, Nancy
Your Name is a Song - Thompkins-Bigelow, Jamilah (promotes diversity)
Eyes that Kiss at the Corners - Ho, Joanna (promotes diversity)
The Name Jar - Choi, Yangsook (promotes diversity)
Whoever You Are - Fox, Mem (promotes diversity)
We're All Wonders - Palacio, R. J. (promotes diversity)
I'm Gonna Like Me: Letting Off A Little Self-Esteem - Curtis, Jamie Lee
The Story of Ferdinand* - Leaf, Munrow
Giraffes Can’t Dance* - Andreae, Giles
Nobunny's Perfect - Dewdney, Anna
In My Heart: A Book of Emotions* - Witek, Jo
Grumpy Monkey* - Lang, Suzanne
The Color Monster: A Story About Emotions* - Llenas, Anna
Llama Llama Mad at Mama* - Dewdney, Anna
Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day - Viorst, Judith
The Boy with Big, Big Feelings - Lee, Britney Winn --> For sensitive littles
Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day - Curtis, Jamie Lee
The Way I Act - Cain, Janan
F is for Feelings - Millar, Goldie
I Hate Everything - Graves, Sue
The Way I Feel - Cain, Janan
My Many Colored Days - Dr. Seuss
A Little SPOT of Feelings: Emotion Detective - Alber, Diane
A Little SPOT of Anger: A Story About Managing Big Emotions - Alber, Diane
A Little Peaceful SPOT: A Story About Mindfulness - Alber, Diane
A Little SPOT of Kindness - Alber, Diane
A Little SPOT of Sadness: A Story About Sadness and Empathy - Alber, Diane
A Little SPOT of Anxiety: A Story About Calming Your Worries - Alber, Diane
A Little SPOT of Confidence: A Story Believing in Yourself - Alber, Diane
A Little SPOT of Love - Alber, Diane
Developing Life Skills: Help your child learn what makes them unique with The Relaxed Homeschool's All About Me. Practice acting out and naming emotions like in the song If You're Happy and You Know It.
Sensory Bin: Add foam letters and shaving cream to a bin (it doesn't take much) and have your child find and the letters to make their name.
Gross Motor Skills: The next time your child is feeling a little grumpy or restless, have a dance party to shake the blues or wiggles out. Ask them to notice how they feel before and after.
What was your favorite part of this unit? What other books did you read? What other activities did you do? Please share your photos and feedback in the Playing Preschool with Busy Toddler Curriculum Facebook Group in "Units" → Year 2: Unit 1 - All About Me
Until next time, may your coffee be warm and your toddler be busy.
Up Next: Playing Preschool: Year 2: Unit 2 - Animals