The 10 Best Story Books for Preschoolers

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Still Life” by Oldiefan is licensed under CC by 2.0

The Very Hungry Caterpillar (by Eric Carle): A fascinating story of a caterpillar turning into a butterfly, eating a humongous amount in the process.

Just Me and My Dad (by Mercer Mayer): A father and son go camping and bond together in the midst of nature.

Strega Nona (by Tomie de Paola): The title translates into ‘Grandma Witch’. The story is about a woman who has magical healing powers and cures the people residing in her town of various ailments.

Madeline (by Ludwig Bemelmans): A classic, humorous tale of the protagonist’s bravery when she gets appendicitis and needs to get her appendix removed at the hospital.

The Dot (by Peter H Reynolds): Beautifully illustrated, this self-discovery story of a young school artist who is convinced that she cannot draw will teach your preschooler the secret behind converting an ‘I can’t’ into an ‘I can’.

The Snowy Day (by Ezra Jack Keats): Every page holds something new in this tale where a little boy goes through an exciting day filled with footprints in the snow, a snowball as well as snow angels.

Petey’s Listening Ears (by L R Knost): Petey and his stuffed friend, Beans, are having a difficult day. His mommy and daddy help him to make the right choices and feel better.

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie (by Laura Numeroff): If you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to ask for a glass of milk. When you give him the milk, he’s going to ask you for a straw. Then a napkin… and so on.

Me and My Dragon (by David Biedrzycki): A little boy wants a fire-breathing dragon for a pet and talks about how he would take care of it.

Beautiful Oops! (by Barney Saltzberg): Flaps, tears and splotches aren’t all that bad…After all, a torn piece of paper may just be the beginning to something much bigger!

Pirate-themed Birthday Party Ideas for Preschoolers

What could preschoolers and pirates have in common? Well, actually nothing, except perhaps for the fact that both the terms begin with the letter ‘p’. And so we had thought. But when my little one got an invitation to a pirate-themed birthday party from one of his friends in the neighborhood last week, there was a flurry of activity at home; me and the little tyke’s mum were all excited in dressing up our young little pirate, for a start.

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Pirate” by ArtsyBee is licensed under CC by 2.0

And that’s how I decided to gather a couple of ideas which may come in handy if you’re planning a pirate-themed birthday party for your kids anytime in the future (trust me, it can turn out to be pretty exciting, as we eventually found out in the above mentioned case). Here goes.

The right pirate costume

First and foremost, your little one needs to be dressed like a pirate for it to be a fun affair. Get your hands on any old white t-shirt which is a tad too big for him, cut off the sleeves and bottom in a ragged zig-zag fashion and let your preschooler unleash his or her artistic skills on it – the end result? The gaudier the better; hence, bright stripes in colors such as blue or red work best (got the idea from the pirate costumes in these pet games which I enjoy playing). An absolute essential is the black patch for the eye. It can easily be made out of a piece of lightweight cardboard painted black and secured using elastic behind the head.

Musical chairs aka ‘islands’

No points for guessing what this game is all about. It’s the same as our traditional musical chairs except for one simple fact – there are no chairs. Instead, you could cut out haphazardly random shaped pieces of cardboard (big enough for a child to sit on) and scatter them on the floor, in no particular order or row. The only thing that needs to be taken into account is that the number of ‘islands’ should at any point of time be one less than the total number of children playing the game. The music is turned on, the kids are made to run around – or better still, prance around the room – and once it stops, they need to ‘assert their supremacy’ over a particular island by sitting on it. The person found sitting on the last island at the end is declared the ‘Ultimate Pirate of All’!

Find the buried treasure

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Chest” by OpenClipart-Vectors is licensed under CC by 2.0

This one is fun when there is a relatively large group of kids involved. Divide them into two teams. You need to get two boxes filled with sand ready, in which you have buried fun ‘treasure’ – their favorite small superhero action figures, colorful pieces of lego, dinky cars and the like. Let each team be in charge of one sandbox and provide them with a plastic bucket and shovel set. Let them dig for all they are worth within a particular frame of time and fill in their buckets with the ‘found treasures’. The team which has collected the maximum booty at the end of the stipulated time period wins.

Talking of pirates, did you know that September 19 was ‘International Talk like a Pirate Day’? Well then… “Ahoy matey! Heave ho! Walk the plank ye scallywag!” 😀