Imagination is reality. Rooms are turned into a castle, a Colosseum, a train station, or all three at the same time. More than ever, children are wired with curiosity to have fun; mothers can appeal to their playful desires by turning everything into a game. With the constant repetition of “Why? Why? Why?” children are eager to know how the world works, seeking knowledge they know we can share with them.
Look at Me!!!
Get ready for memorable statements, wandering monologues, and profoundly uncensored reporting. While they thrive on routine and predictability, they also crave opportunities for unstructured playtime, skipping and running, throwing and catching, and using their imagination with boundless creativity. What had been a lone superstar toddler, drawing the attention of many adults is now thrust into a classroom where one or two adults must share attention between 20 or 30 children. After arriving home from a long day at school, they will want our undivided concentration and focus.
Hand-eye coordination continues to advance. Despite failures, young children tend to remain optimistic as they learn to take a step back, learn from their mistakes, and then reengage more intelligently. Now able to keep conversations going, preschoolers and kindergarteners are increasingly capable of explaining, arguing, and rationalizing their points. They are starting to understand needs vs. wants, real vs. pretend, and are usually fanatical about following the rules. Very sensitive to harsh criticism, they tend to express feelings through play and art rather than words.
Why is it okay to throw a ball, but not a rock? Why can we hug our friend, but we aren’t supposed to squeeze their neck? Rules for life can be confusing, but we must still teach and enforce them. As they learn right from wrong, convey safety and security while helping them feel not just worthy, but deeply appreciated. School introduces an unfamiliar crisis as children are forced to adjust to classroom rules, lunch lines, and having to obey other adults. As we engage them and their interests, confirm that their ideas have value, their efforts are important, and they are so very much loved.
Doing work gives children significance. This is the age children should be able to complete remedial tasks, such as dressing themselves and getting their own snacks. Carrying groceries, setting and clearing the table, and taking out the trash are all reasonable chores. While it’s normal for them to love pleasing and helping adults, they are often reluctant to ask for help. Sometimes, we need to complete a task with them to show them how it’s supposed to be done. Remember, if we undo their work, they might take it the wrong way—manage expectations with nurturing and care.
The more we talk to and read with children, the better. When we speak with them, use eye contact to reinforce understanding and strengthen retention. If we haven’t yet made reading together a part of our daily routine, there is no time like the present! Sing and dance with them; when parents join children in pretend play, the better we support their learning.
Say things like, “Let’s pick a healthy snack.” “Will you throw the ball with me?” By involving ourselves with their choices about food and fitness, children are more inclined to enjoy eating well and exercising often.
Mothers Truly Matter
Set the mood for the entire day by starting each morning with smiles and words of love. Driving to and from places, answer their “Why, Why, Why?” questions with openness and truth, consistently reinforcing healthy values. Promote the importance of honesty; deception inherent in this age can interfere with a mother’s goal of instilling authenticity. Children will insist the dog ate the cupcake, the rain wet the bed, or grandma used a Sharpie to draw on the furniture. Help them understand how important it is that mom knows the truth, so we are as informed as possible to work together toward making the right choices.
Most toddlers have no problem running outside naked. This time of innocence gives way to discovering their body and learning about the importance of privacy and personal boundaries. If mothers walk around in their underwear in front of sons, and if fathers walk around in their underwear in front of daughters, we set low standards and unknowingly violate boundaries.
Let them know, “If someone touches your privates, come and tell me right away.” “Don’t touch your privates in public.” Children should know that it’s always okay to tell someone “No” if they don’t want to be touched. Consider informing them how babies are made so they understand the basics. Even if we’re not ready to give a full disclosure, we can give simple answers to biological questions and coach privacy. Keep conversations casual, always leaving room to pick it back up again later.
Mothers should guide children as they explore all the great things they can do with digital devices. Google is a wonderful tool, but technology should enhance—not impede—conversations. Real life in the real world is superior to digital life with eyes fixated on a screen. Screen time limits are essential. During mealtimes, mothers should ask (demand) family members to put their phones away so they can talk to each other.
The “Why, Why, Why?” years incite wonder in our children to know God’s love. They’ll ask many questions about creation, heaven, church, and the Bible, some of which might be difficult to answer. It’s ok to say, “Let’s talk to God about it.” Prioritize attending church services, but don’t let these be the only time we talk about faith; talk about God as we go about our day.
American author, Robert Fulghum wrote, “Kindergarten children are confident in spirit, infinite in resources, and eager to learn. Everything is still possible.” The great changes experienced as children emerge from toddlerhood create some of the most beautiful memories. With an insatiable curiosity and a zest for life, four and five-year-old children are quite possibly the most amazing humans on Earth.
Excellent Reading for Preschoolers
This classic picture book from beloved author-illustrator Aliki is a great way to explore feelings with younger kids—no matter the emotion, Feelings explores it—and helps children understand and express their own feelings.
Emily is starting kindergarten and she’s a little nervous. The teacher sent a note home that says each child can bring something from home to make the transition a little easier. But the teacher didn’t bet on a child bringing something—or someone—as big as Clifford!
When young fruit bat Stellaluna is separated from her mother, she’s adopted by a family of birds with very different habits in this award-winning classic.
Little Mouse will do all he can to save his strawberry from the Big, Hungry Bear, even if it means sharing it with the reader. The Little Mouse and the Big Hungry Bear are known and loved by millions of children around the world. Little Mouse loves strawberries, but so does the bear… How will Little Mouse stop the bear from eating his freshly picked, red, ripe strawberry.
Sylvester can’t believe his luck when he finds a magic pebble that can make wishes come true. But when a lion jumps out at him on his way home, Sylvester is shocked into making a wish that has unexpected consequences. After overcoming a series of obstacles, Sylvester is eventually reunited with his loving family. Illustrated with William Steig’s glowing pictures, this winner of the Caldecott Medal is beloved by children everywhere.
Two rascally weavers convince the emperor they are making him beautiful new clothes, visible only to those fit for their posts, but when he wears them during a royal procession, a child recognizes that the emperor has nothing on.
Inspired by real-life makers Ada Lovelace and Marie Curie, this beloved #1 bestseller champions STEM, girl power and women scientists in a rollicking celebration of curiosity, the power perseverance, and the importance of asking “Why?”
Dragons love tacos. They love chicken tacos, beef tacos, great big tacos, and teeny tiny tacos. So if you want to lure a bunch of dragons to your party, you should definitely serve tacos. Buckets and buckets of tacos. Unfortunately, where there are tacos, there is also salsa. And if a dragon accidentally eats spicy salsa… oh, boy. You’re in red-hot trouble.
Martin The New York Times bestseller that celebrates the dreams, acceptance, and love that parents have for their children… now and forever. From brave and bold to creative and clever, Emily Winfield Martin’s rhythmic rhyme expresses all the loving things that parents think of when they look at their children. With beautiful, lush illustrations and a stunning gatefold that opens at the end, this is a book that families will love reading over and over.
Three soldiers come marching down the road towards a French village. The peasants, seeing them coming, suddenly become very busy, for soldiers are often hungry. All their food is hidden under mattresses or in barns. Then follows a battle of wits, with the soldiers equal to the occasion. Why, of course—even with no food, they can still make a wonderful soup! To make a truly perfect stone soup, they will of course also need a carrot or two… a cabbage… and so it goes.
The little house first stood in the country, but gradually the city moved closer and closer… Since 1942, generations of readers have been enchanted by the story of this happy home and her journey from the pleasures of nature to the bustling city, and back again.
Lovable, furry old Grover is distressed to learn that there’s a monster at the end of this book! He begs readers not to turn the pages, but of course kids feel they just have to see this monster for themselves. Grover is astonished—and toddlers will be delighted—to discover who is really the monster at the end of the book!
Celebrate 40 years of Little Critter® with seven classic stories in one book, including: Just for You (the very first Little Critter® story!); Just Go to Bed; All by Myself; I Was So Mad; When I Get Bigger; Just a Mess; and I Just Forgot. This 176-page hardcover collection is a wonderful way to introduce growing up.
Ferdinand is the world’s most peaceful—and—beloved little bull. While all of the other bulls snort, leap, and butt their heads, Ferdinand is content to just sit and smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree. Leaf’s simple storytelling paired with Lawson’s pen-and-ink drawings make The Story of Ferdinand a true classic.
When Mouse takes a stroll through the woods, he meets a fox, an owl, and a snake who all want to eat him! So Mouse invents a gruffalo, a monster with “terrible tusks and terrible claws, terrible teeth, and terrible jaws.” But will Mouse’s frightful description be enough to scare off his foes? After all, there’s no such thing as a gruffalo… is there?
The rainbow fish with its iridescent scales is the most beautiful fish in the whole ocean. But since he is also vain and proud, he becomes more and more lonely over time. Then he realizes that you can’t win friends through beauty. He overcomes his pride and begins to distribute his glitter scales to the other fish.
Since its first publication in 1993, this heartwarming book has become a children’s classic that has touched the lives of millions of children and their parents, especially at times of separation, whether starting school, entering daycare, or going to camp.
Excellent Reading for Kindergarteners
The town of Chewandswallow was very much like any other tiny town—except for its weather which came three times a day, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. But it never rained rain and it never snowed snow and it never blew just wind. It rained things like soup and juice. It snowed things like mashed potatoes. And sometimes the wind blew in storms of hamburgers. Life for the townspeople was delicious until the weather took a turn for the worse. The food got larger and larger and so did the portions. Chewandswallow was plagued by damaging floods and storms of huge food. People feared for their lives. Something had to be done, and in a hurry.
This adorable picture book celebrates all the familiar milestones and moments shared by every single kindergartener. Whether it’s the first-day-of-school jitters or the hundredth-day-of-school party, every aspect of the kindergarten experience is introduced.
Join the call for a better world with this New York Times bestselling picture book about a school where diversity and inclusion are celebrated. The perfect back-to-school read for every kid, family and classroom!
A nose for digging? Ears for seeing? Eyes that squirt blood? Turn the page to find out which marvelous animal these attributes belong to. With six full spreads illustrated in cut-paper collage and an end glossary with even more fantastic facts, learn about species of birds, amphibians, reptiles, fish, mammals, and arthropods, stirring the imaginations of readers young and old.
Father Bear Comes Home: Little Bear’s father is finally coming home from a long fishing trip. Little Bear is very excited to see him—even if he doesn’t bring the toy Little Bear has been hoping for! Little Bear’s Visit: Little Bear likes to visit Grandmother and Grandfather Bear. He likes Grandfather’s hat and Grandmother’s cooking. But most of all, he loves to listen to their stories!
MJ is more than ready for her first day of kindergarten! With her hair freshly braided and her mom’s special tiara on her head, she knows she’s going to rock kindergarten. But the tiara isn’t just for show—it also reminds her of all the good things she brings to the classroom, stuff like her kindness, friendliness, and impressive soccer skills, too! This is the perfect book to reinforce back-to-school excitement and build confidence in the newest students.
Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: His crayons have had enough! They quit! Blue crayon needs a break from coloring all those bodies of water. Black crayon wants to be used for more than just outlining. And Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking—each believes he is the true color of the sun. What can Duncan do to appease all of the crayons and get them back to doing what they do best?
George and Martha, those incomparable hippos, will delight readers of all ages in these five funny, warm, and wonderful stories. This 368-page hardcover edition will bring joy and giggles for years and makes an excellent gift.
Once upon a time there were two good friends, a frog and a toad… from writing letters to going swimming, telling stories to finding lost buttons, Frog and Toad are always there for each other… just as best friends should be.
With over two million copies sold in the United States alone, readers are in love with this spunky hanky-panky cranky stinky-dinky lanky honky-tonky winky wonky donkey! The international blockbuster by Craig Smith and Katz Cowley is now available as a board book, allowing the very youngest children to join in the fun.
In a rainbow-colored station wagon, the relatives came. When they arrived, they hugged and hugged from the kitchen to the front room. All summer they tended the garden and ate up all the strawberries and melons. They plucked banjos and strummed guitars. When they finally had to leave, they were sad, but not for long. They all knew they would be together next summer.
Joseph had a little overcoat, but it was full of holes—just like this book! When Joseph’s coat got too old and shabby, he made it into a jacket. But what did he make it into after that? And after that? As children turn the pages of this book, they can use the die-cut holes to guess what Joseph will be making next from his amazing overcoat, while they laugh at the bold, cheerful artwork and learn that you can always make something, even out of nothing.
Friends come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. In Amos McGee’s case, all sorts of species, too! Every day he spends a little bit of time with each of his friends at the zoo, running races with the tortoise, keeping the shy penguin company, and even reading bedtime stories to the owl. But when Amos is too sick to make it to the zoo, his animal friends decide it’s time they returned the favor.
Starting kindergarten is a big milestone—and the hero of this story is ready to make his mark! He’s dressed himself, eaten a pile of pancakes, and can’t wait to be part of a whole new kingdom of kids. The day will be jam-packed, but he’s up to the challenge, taking new experiences in stride with his infectious enthusiasm! And afterward, he can’t wait to tell his proud parents all about his achievements—and then wake up to start another day.
PLEASE NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, Mothers Truly Matter earns from qualifying purchases. Much of the information in this post was inspired by Kristen Ivy and Reggie Joiner’s Parenting Your Four-Year-Old and Parenting Your Kindergartner available on www.parentcuestore.org and should not be construed as providing specific psychiatric, psychological, or medical advice, but rather to offer readers information to better understand the lives and health of themselves and their children. It is not intended to provide an alternative to professional treatment or to replace the services of a physician, psychiatrist, or psychotherapist.