A few months ago, I had my fill of Big M’s bedtime reading selections. She has a tendency to fall in love with a book and want to read the same one, every night, for weeks on end. There are only so many times you can read the same Fancy Nancy book in a row before your brain starts to turn to mush, and you actually find yourself talking like Nancy in everyday life. It’s monotonous… that’s fancy for really, really boring. To add a little variety to our bedtime ritual, I introduced her to her first of many chapter books. It was love from the first page. We read a chapter a night, and it quickly became the inspiration source for many of our day time activities and projects as well.
10+ Read Aloud Chapter Books
I am including both the chapter books we have read already, as well as those next on our list. Each book includes fun activities you can do by day to go along with your reading at night. I will continue to add to these activities as we read them ourselves!
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
The first chapter book I read aloud to Big M was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It was first primarily because we already had it. For her baby shower, my mom, ever the teacher, decorated every table with a book theme, complete with matching stuffed animals, puppets or characters. The book, along with the cast of Kelly Doll characters, had been sitting on her shelf since before her birth. We took each character out as we encountered them in the story. I was amazed by how much of the story she followed, and since it was my first time to ever read the book too, fascinated by all the differences from the movie.
Build Your Own Tinman from PlaygroundParkbench
Imaginative Play: Build Your Own Emerald City from PlaygroundParkbench
Wizard of Oz DIY Green Spectacles by Harrington Harmonies
Charlotte’s Web was our next pick. Big M thoroughly enjoyed The Wizard of Oz, due in part to the Kelly doll cast of characters (which I found out my Mom bought on EBay and were collector items – oops! maybe we weren’t supposed to play with those). She would hold the characters as we read, and often reenact scenes from the story during her daily quiet time. Since we already had a farm animal set, I thought we could easily continue the fun with Charlotte’s Web.
Word Formation with Playdough by PlaygroundParkbench
Channeling Templeton – Charlotte’s Web Words by PlaygroundParkbench
Weaving Word Webs by PlaygroundParkbench
Paper Plate Pig by Busy Bee Kids Crafts
Making Words in Charlotte’s Web by Creekside Learning
A Bear Called Paddington
We are just wrapping up Charlotte’s Web… and next on our reading list is A Bear Called Paddington. Back in January, I took the girls to see Paddington at the movie theater – it was their first real movie theater experience, and they loved it! And at this week’s visit to our local Natural History museum, Big M ran up to a giant stuffed brown bear, yelling, “It’s Paddington!”
It’s Orange Marmalade Day! by My Bright Firefly
Paddington Bear TP Roll Craft by Red Ted Art
Paper Plate Paddington from Crafts by Amanda
James and the Giant Peach
James and the Giant Peach is the first book I remember reading on my own and really loving as a kid. And with summer coming, and peach season on the way, there will be so many fun things we can do during the day to go with our bedtime reading.
Go Peach picking at a local orchard (New England season is Late July – September)
Giant Peach Collage by Activity Village
Mini Peach Pies from This Mama Cooks!
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
And while we are on Roald Dahl, we definitely will have to read my other favorite – Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I would include Matilda on the list as well, but fear it might encourage rebellion at school – maybe in a few more years! We will probably hold-off on watching the movie for this one as well – I have strong memories of Oompa Loompa nightmares!
Make Your Own Wonka Chocolates from Fun-Filled Flicks
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Play Dough from The Imagination Tree
Make Lickable Wallpaper by Meri Cherry
One of Big M’s current favorite books is a Golden Book about a kitten that grows up with a mouse family and doesn’t know he’s actually a cat. The children of the house ultimately adopt him, but it’s one that frequently appears in the repetitive rotation. She loves it, so I know she will also love Stuart Little.
Paper Boat Races from Mess for Less
Matchbox Mouse Beds from Little Moth
Mrs. Piggle Wiggle
From her name to her smell to her funny stories, who didn’t love reading Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle as a child? I searched and searched and couldn’t find any great activities to go with it… but fear not, that just means I will have to invent some great ones of my own when we start reading it 🙂
Pippi Longstocking is one of those classic characters from my childhood that I will never forget. What little girl didn’t want to be Pippi at some point? With two girls, this one is a must read for our reading list.
Make Your Own Longstockings by Library Adventure
Little House on the Prairie Series
As a kid, I remember Little House on the Prairie being on TV all of the time. I became infatuated with the story. The summer before 5th grade, my Mom bought me the Little House Nine-Book Box Set. I read it in its entirety on a road trip with my Grandparents from Texas to Wisconsin… and when I finished it and realized we would be driving through Missouri and past Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home, I begged and pleaded with my Grandfather to make a detour. And he did! Still one of my great childhood memories.
Build a Pretzel Log Cabin by Playground Parkbench
Homemade Butter from This Simple Home
How to Make Yarn Dolls by Little House Living
All of these books I remember fondly from my childhood, and can’t wait to share them with my girls. What are some of your favorite chapter books to read aloud with young children? I’m sure there have been some other great ones written in the last 20 years too – what are some newer series we should put on our list?
If you enjoyed this list of books and activities, be sure to follow the Kids – Books with Activities board on Pinterest. It’s an amazing collaborative board, fed by Kids Bloggers from around the web.