5 Concept Board Books

Looking for some fresh books to help your baby or toddler learn concepts? Here are 5 that our family recommends:

  • Follow the Yarn by Emily Sper (Teaches COLORS)

One of the most unique color books I’ve seen. A cat plays with yarn and the colorful lines of string build up on each page. My preschooler even loved this one because she enjoyed tracing the strands of brightly colored string back to its original ball of yarn.

  • We Love Each Other by Yusuke Yonzu (Teaches SHAPES)

A one-of-a-kind book to introduce and reinforce shape learning. Two animals are creatively positioned to form each shape, and the book has cut-outs that young children will enjoy feeling and tracing.

  • Monkey World ABC by Matthew Porter (Teaches JOBS)

Can you think of a career that starts with each letter of the alphabet? While admittedly not my preferred style of illustrations, this book has a fun array of professions displayed… literally from A to Z. Both my daughters both enjoy reading this one!

  • 1 2 3 Beep Beep Beep! A Counting Book by Brian Biggs (Teaches NUMBERS)

Bright and slightly off-beat illustrations make this book really fun. My daughters liked counting the vehicles on each page and sharing which was their favorite. The final page provides a cute ending.

  • I Love You, Papa, In All Kinds of Weather! by Nancy White Carlstrom (Teaches DAYS)

I picked this up expecting it to provide basic weather learning and found that it does a better job of clearly emphasizing days of the week. From Monday to Sunday, Jesse Bear describes the activities he does given the weather. Very sweet!

Best Ages: 0-3 years


Learning about the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are recognized since 1978 by the United Nations as a World Heritage location. Located off the coast of Ecuador (and officially a part of that country), the Galapagos are a source of endless learning opportunities in geography, natural science and marine biology.

Kick off learning in any of those areas by reading aloud the picture book We’re Sailing to Galapagos: A Week in the Pacific, written by first grade teacher Laurie Krebs. This book has lyrical text with a tercet that repeats through the book:

We’re sailing to Galapagos, Galapagos, Galapagos.

We’re sailing to Galapagos.

I wonder who we’ll see.

The seven days of the week are also given, with a different animal discovered each day of visiting the Galapagos Islands. Collage illustrations add flavor to the discoveries readers make as they “travel” to Galapagos. Additional information is provided at the end of the book on the history and geology of Galapagos, a brief biography of scientist Charles Darwin and additional details on the animals identified in the story.

Here’s another post on a fantastic island book!

Best Ages: pre-k – 1st grade

For Parents:

  • Help your child locate the Galapagos Islands on a world map. How far is that from where you live? Talk about how you would be able to get to Galapagos: walk, drive, take a boat or fly in an airplane?
  • Talk about the days of your week. What will your family and/or child be doing each day this week? If desired, print off a copy of this chart with the days of the week and write or draw in the activities your child does each day this week.
  • Practice the days of the week with a fun song! (If the video images are too juvenile for your child’s age, just use the song.)

For Teachers:

  • Using a globe or a world map, ask for a volunteer to find South America, Ecuador or the Pacific Ocean (depending on age of your students and prior knowledge). Then point out the Galapagos Islands. Discuss which types of transportation you can use to reach an island.
  • Make a bulletin board with printed photos of animals from the Galapagos Islands and facts if desired.
  • Invite a student from an older grade to come in the classroom and read the tercet of the book with you. Or print off the final line of the tercet (I wonder who we’ll see) and practice it with students. Then ask them to say it aloud each time you read the tercet for audience participation. 🙂