I began our horse themed preschool storytime with the True or False Book of Horses by Patricia Lauber. The children really engaged with the true-or-false question-and-answer format with questions such as do horses walk on their tiptoes, do horses need to move their heads to see behind them, or do horses have a better sense of smell than we do. I used a Breyer toy horse to show the children the hooves and eyes and ears. I asked them to show me how they turned to see behind them. Then I asked them to show me their eyes, and then demonstrated how horses’ eyes are more wide set and closer to the sides of their heads than human eyes. This was a fun introduction to get the children excited about horses!
Are you a horse? by Andy Rash is a very humorous book. The children learned the differences between the various objects, plants, and animals to determine what makes a horse a horse. Categories included living and nonliving, plant versus animal, animals with no legs, and animals that lay eggs. The preschoolers enjoyed answering “No!” when the main character would ask each thing or animal if they were a horse, and chiming in with explanations of why it could not be a horse.
Other books the children enjoyed:
Horseplay by Karma Wilson
Clip-Clop by Nicola Smee
Noni the Pony by Alison Lester
Big Horse Small Mouse: a Book of Barnyard Opposites by Liesbet Slegers
“Play Giddy-up” from Miss Carole’s Polka Dots music cd was the perfect way for the children to walk, gallop and whoa to a stop.
Here’s a link to a printable worksheet with the parts of a horse. http://homeschoolhelperonline.com/2015/07/18/label-the-horse-worksheet/#
When Winter Comes by Nancy Van Laan, illustrated by Susan Gaber. This beautifully illustrated book explains where the leaves, flowers, caterpillars, songbirds, field mice, deer, and fish go in winter.
Another wonderful picture book that describes what happens in winter is Dear Rebecca, Winter is Here, by Jean Craighead George with pictures by Loretta Krupinski. The author’s note contains a wonderful explanation of the summer and winter solstice.
Ridiculous is a funny tale of a tortoise that decides not to hibernate and instead goes to explore winter. A dog, cat, duck and bird ask how the tortoise can keep warm like they do with humorous results.
There are some great hibernation activities for preschoolers at http://trilliummontessori.org/animals-in-winter/ including making animal tracks in Play-Doh, a bear in a cave craft, and a bird migration game.
Big science for little people: 52 activities to help you and your child discover the wonders of science written by Lynn Brunelle is filled with great activities including making a crystal snowflake; perfect for winter!
Questions, Questions by Marcus Pfister
Science is all about asking questions. This book has many questions dealing with earth and life science which children might ask. It’s a great place to start and gather easy non-fiction books to help answer the questions.
Every page has a beautiful illustration.
The Cow Who Clucked by Denise Fleming
Assign an animal to pairs of children at storytime. Then have them make the sound of that animal and find their pair. Chaos ensues but everyone has fun mooing and quacking and roaring.