If you want your preschoolers to enjoy reading, this bulletin board can help. It’s fun to do and easy, too, because the children will help by contributing their own projects. The title may be only three little words, but its impact will be huge: “I love books!”
To design the board, flip through magazines and catalogs to find pictures of children with books. Crop as needed, then back them with colorful craft paper so they stand out and beg attention. Seeing other children with books sends a subtle message: Books are desirable.
Once this part of the board is up, place your classroom bookshelf or book basket near the bulletin board. Be sure it’s filled with sturdy, attractive books that are easily accessible to little hands. When the books and the bulletin board both promote reading, children may beg you for story time – and that’s the idea!
As you read aloud from a book, encourage children to act out a particular scene, a voice tone or a situation. This makes the book come alive to them and is great fun! Getting children involved in the story means they remember it longer and learn to love it dearly.
The following books are popular with pre-K children. If you cannot find them at your local library, ask the assistant there to guide you to favorite read-alouds you can display near your bulletin board. And be sure to read some out loud, too!
Corduroy – Cornelius P. Mud, Are You Ready for Bed? – Curious George – Hop on Pop – I Knew You Could! – In a People House – Monkey and Me – My Friend Rabbit – The Adventures of Max and Pinky – The Hello, Goodbye Book … and there are many, many more.
Ask your school (or city) librarian for some book jackets to display on the board. They may also have back issues of book catalogs and magazines that will help supply what you need. If none of these are available, take colorful photos of attractive books, print copies out in an enlarged format and tack them to the board.
Help children make small booklets of their own, and add them to the board, too. If there’s no extra room, run a sturdy piece of yard across the bottom of the board and hang the books like clothes on a line – with paper clips.
To make a booklet, fold an 8 x 10 piece of craft paper in half – and then in half again. Cut across the middle fold (horizontally) and you will be holding the makings of two small book covers, one in each hand.
Fold these on the crease, then decorate the front cover with stickers and the title, “I like books!” Write each child’s name on the back cover.Inside the booklet, add pages made of white copy paper that’s been folded in fourths and cut in half (horizontally). Trim about ¼ inch off the outer edges of the white pages – making sure they fit neatly inside the book cover.
What to put inside the book? First, take a Polaroid print of each child and let them glue it inside their book. Next, include their hand print (using washable paint or ink so it can be easily removed from the skin). You can also opt to draw around the student’s hand, instead.
Make miniature books within the booklet! You can easily do this by asking for a cluster of paint strip samples at your local building supply store. Cut each color off the strip, fold it in half and it looks like a colorful mini-book. Let children decorate them with crayons, tiny stickers, etc. They can even “write” their own stories inside.
Here’s another fun idea … Have an assistant snap photos of the children while you read to them aloud. Try to catch different emotions in the children’s responses to the book … chin in hand, big smile, a frown of concentration, hand over mouth, etc. Print out a handful of these and make a small collage to add to your bulletin board. Tell the children this is how they looked when they were enjoying the book.
Make a list of books you have read together in the classroom and put it on or near the bulletin board. Count how many there are and ask students which were there very favorites.
You might also wish to make bookmarks. Click here to find a variety to of ready-to-print bookmarks online. Once you copy as many as you need, let the children color them. These can also be displayed on the board – or sent home for story time with parents.
Children and books belong together. There’s nothing quite like settling down and hearing the words of a favorite story – again and again. Celebrate this love of books by designing a special bulletin board called “I love books!”