We know that a four-year-old is at that early stage of wanting to read on their own but can’t quite yet. Most four-year old’s can point out pictures and be able to match certain scenes and repeat words that sound familiar to them. We also know that their attention span isn’t exactly long and if you want your four-year-old to be active reader parents are going to want a book that’s short, simple, but still engaging to them as well.
Getting your child to read can be a tedious task but we can’t express how important it is to get your child to have a love for books. One way you can get them to enjoy story time is by reading to them or assisting them in reading that is appropriate for their developmental range. To help get you started, we came up with a list of 10 of the best books in today’s market that we’re sure your little toddler will love.
Our Top 3 Picks
- Press Here Book
- Enhances Creativity
- The Book with No Pictures
- Great Humor
- The Cat in the Hat
- A Dr. Seuss Classic
Criteria Used to Evaluate The Best Books for 4 Year Old
The Fun Factor
Playtime is serious business in the world of four-year old’s. Many parents often forget that play time is crucially important for children as at that young of an age, younger children learn through play, whether it’s through a book or a sensory object. Whether or not a book would be considered fun was extremely important when coming up with our list of criteria for our top ten books. When searching for the best books for this age group we needed to make sure that each book passed the fun test. Each of these books on our top ten list are interactive, had humorous story lines that we know your little one will enjoy, and rhymed.
Is It Age Appropriate?
Parents tend to forget that when buying for a child they need to remember not only their developmental age range but also the age group that their child fits in. Since our goal is for your child to develop a lifelong love of reading, it’s best to set them up to be successful when starting out. Each book that your four-year-old has should be challenging enough but also shouldn’t bore them or make them feel discouraged. If any of the books on our list are too easy for your four-year-old, ask some follow up questions or have them suggest alternate endings. Not only does this get them engaged and talking about what their reading but it’s also a creative way of showing that every story can have a different ending.
Many of the stories in our book have lessons to be learned – some of these can even have a hidden meaning throughout the storyline but your child will learn from these sweet stories. Whether they’re being taught kindness, or teamwork, reading along is a powerful educational tool and will overall help your child in the future. We encourage parents to keep the conversation going about what they just read with their child even after the story has ended. Talking with your children about lessons that they’ve just heard and learned is a great way to help them not only retain information but for your child to be able to relate to it and have a better understanding of it in their lives.
Many of these authors on this list are recognizable from even parents’ childhoods. There are some that you might not be familiar with, but our research team carefully researched each of the authors that we chose and found that they all represented the same kind of talent that inspires a love of reading in young children. Each one of the authors on our list also has other books you can enjoy while discovering the ones you already have with your children. The odds are if you like one book from a specific author you may like others that they have written, and we know your child will too.
Tips to Helping Your 4 Year Old Read
While we already have mentioned earlier, a majority of four-year old’s cannot read on their own. It’s very rare to find a child that’s this age who can already read with amazing understanding and pronunciation. While it is rare, we know that it does exist, and some children are simply gifted. We also want to remind parents that if your child isn’t reading on their own at this age to not feel defeated or discouraged since the development of a four-year-old progress at a steady pace. Most children this age, aren’t ready to read independently yet. This, however, doesn’t mean there’s nothing we can do about it. To get them started it’s important that parents and caregivers know how to help their children read. We’ve provided some tips below on what you can do to help:
- Be a good role model
This is one thing that most parents fail in. They expect their kids to be proficient at something, yet they themselves are clearly not. If you want to teach your kid how to read and even develop a passion for reading, it is a must that you show the same passion and commitment to reading as well. It makes no sense to tell our kids to read their books when they don’t see us opening our own books.
- Always make it a point to read WITH your child
Almost in the same line as being a good reading model, parents should understand that MOST 4-year-olds cannot read independently, yet. As such, reading with our children is a must so we can figuratively show them what we mean by saying certain words. If reading involves younger kids, you may have to read TO them and create a fascinating experience they will all remember. However, if you already have a 4-year-old, nearing his or her 5th birthday, it is crucial to read WITH him or her so your kid also gets to experience “saying” those words, if needed. Do understand that it all depends on your child. If he or she is already adept at mimicking your voice and the way you produce sounds, reading WITH him or her should be the nature of your session; otherwise, you may need to read TO your kid.
- Ask questions to encourage interaction
If you want to encourage your kid to read some more, you will have to give him or her the right motivation. He or she may not know how to interact with the story that you’ve read but you can always ask questions to direct him or her into wanting to know more about the story. Sooner or later, your child will be the one who will be so eager to ask questions. Remember that one of the most remarkable characteristics of 4 year olds is their curiosity. They are naturally curious about things and about how different events and objects work in the real world. That’s why many child psychology experts look at them as little explorers as they are always filled with fascination. It is this fascination for things that are new, novel, and unique that usually keeps them very interested.
- Visit the neighborhood
Did you know there’s a reason why Sesame Street always plays the song “Who are the people in your neighborhood?” Kids, especially preschoolers, are exploring the world around them. It is one thing to read with them the story about a firefighter or even a doctor and it’s an entirely different matter if he or she gets to interact with these professionals, face-to-face. Your child can ask them questions about their profession, about what they do on a daily basis. They can then compare these with what they have “read” in their books. This helps facilitate learning and provides the basis for more reading. The point is that you may really have to exert some effort of bridging the gap between the things written in the book and the things that are found in the real world. This provides the backbone for their love for reading.
Reading with a 4-year-old kid is something that all parents should spend time doing especially if they want to see their kids to grow up a well-read person. And even if he or she is not going to be a bookworm, the mere fact that kids can read is often enough to see them through the rest of their lives. Let these 15 best books for 4-year-olds be your starting point in realizing your child’s true language and speech development.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Are these good choices for reluctant readers?
A: Yes. While it’s true that every child has personal preferences, many of the titles on this list are great for reluctant readers. If your child isn’t enthusiastic about story time, try a book that is interactive.
Q: Can I use these books to teach my child to read?
A: You can. The best way to encourage early literacy is by having fun while reading and doing it consistently. Pointing out sight words while reading is another great way to help them learn to recognize them.
Q: Is it safe to buy a 4 year old a paperback book?
A: That depends entirely on the child. While a 4 year old isn’t likely to put a book in their mouth the same way a baby or toddler would, they may still not be able to treat a book gently. We suggest demonstrating proper book care when giving a more fragile copy to your child.
Q: Are these books appropriate for children who are either younger or older?
A: Absolutely. When reading these to younger children, keep their shorter attention span in mind. For an older audience you can encourage them to explore concepts shared in the story and/or ask them to read it aloud.
Q: Why are some of the books on this list abridged versions?
A: There are many reasons a publisher releases an abridged version. Those include the desire to print in a new format such as a board book.
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