Nonfiction Books for Kids - Reference Books for 4 to 8 Year Olds
Essential Nonfiction for Ages Four to Eight
Stories are fun, but so is nonfiction! This is especially true of reference books designed especially for children four to eight years old. Why? Because youngsters have lots of questions, and children's reference books have lots of answers especially designed for their comprehension level.
While just the term "reference book" may bore some adults, kids tend to be absolutely fascinated with a good children's dictionary or world atlas, or encyclopedia.
My little one had her own reference works at an early age, as did my grandchildren, and believe me, those volumes were used with gusto, and to their great benefit!
A Beginner's Dictionary - Is an Essential Part of a Young Child's Library
It's important to teach the value of finding real information and authoritative answers to questions at a very early age.
A great first reference book for a pre-school child's own personal library is a beginning dictionary. When they are very young, they'll enjoy looking at the pictures on their own. But they will especially enjoy having mom, dad, or big brother or sister help them find a specific thing,
By the time they are in second or third grade, they will be able to look up words on their own.
This children's dictionary has lots of pictures, large, easy to read text, and a how to guide in the introduction that parents will find useful.
At the very back of the book is some information the child will appreciate when they are a little older, like maps, basic information on the solar system, and US Presidents. So, the child can start with basic vocabulary in the main part of the book, and 'grow into' the back matter.
Should a Young Child Own a Dictionary? - (What do YOU think?)
Do you think a child should have their own dictionary even before they start school?
Do Kids Really NEED Reference Books
Of Their Very Own?
Kids are naturally curious. They want to know answers to questions that begin with the words HOW and WHY and WHEN and WHO. Non-fiction books for kids answer dozens and dozens of those questions. They tell them about things they want to know about.
Every child should have their own library, and that library should include both fiction AND non-fiction.
Reference Books For Children
A child's nonfiction collection should include basic reference books for children. Here's a good starter list of essential things that should be in a child's personal library:
1 - A dictionary for children
2 - An encyclopedia for kids
3 - A children's thesaurus
4 - A world atlas for kids
Basic Reference Books for Youngsters - That Your Little One Should Own
Basic reference books in a child's own library should include a dictionary, encyclopedia, thesaurus, and an atlas. They will get immense enjoyment from the time you spend with them teaching them how the answers to their questions can be found in the pages of their very own books.
What Fascinates Your Child?
Let Their Interests Help Guide Your Choices in Nonfiction
Four year old boys and girls have usually already found at least one special area of interest. One of my grandchildren was crazy about space and astronauts by the age of four. For another, it was the way mechanical things worked, and another could't find out enough about wild animals.
Reading is Fun!
Sweet Land of Liberty - Fun U.S. History for Ages 4 to 8
Who says four to eight year old kids are too young for history? With the help of an American Bald Eagle, and a precious elephant named Ellis, Sweet Land of Liberty introduces important events in the history of the United States of America to youngsters.
The illustrations are great, the stories inspiring, and the rhyme is engaging in this book that is perfect for parents to read to pre-schoolers or beginning readers. They will love it!
Whatever peaks a youngster's interest, there's probably some great nonfiction for kids about it, and they are highly likely to get hours of enjoyment from a volume that feeds their hungry little minds.
For example, lots of little girls have a particular fondness for ponies and horses, while many little boys are fascinated with cars, trucks, trains, and anything that 'goes.'
DON'T BE AFRAID to go up an age group or grade level for reading material in your child's special area of interest. My grandson who loved space enjoyed space related nonfiction books for kids 9 to 12 when he was barely 7. If a child is keenly interested in something, and already knows a little about it, they may be ready for the information written for the next age group up.
Science Related Books for Little Ones
Why aren't more older kids and young adults very interested in science? More than a few middle and high school students either avoid or struggle with math and science. Maybe because they weren't exposed to it at an earlier age.
There are certainly science related books on topics that young children can readily relate to.
For example, they see the weather around them every day. It's a part of their world. So books about weather help them understand something that's all around them and expose them to a very elementary level of meteorology.
There are others that help them develop concepts used in math and science. Is the Big Blue Whale the Biggest Thing There Is?" just happens to be one of those.
Personalize Their Books
With Custom Bookplates
For that extra touch, how about a personalized sticker with the child's name on it for the inside front of the book? Find some at your favorite local bookstore.
Special bookplates, with their name on it show that the book belongs to THEM. They'll be proud of their growing personal library!
A Cozy Reading Corner
A great way to encourage a child to spend quiet time reading is to give them a special area all their own, perhaps a cozy reading corner in their room, or in some other room away from the television.
Ideas for a Special Reading Area
In your child's cozy reading corner, all you need is decent lighting, a place for some of their books, and a place for them to sit or lounge comfortably.
One easy seating option that many children love is a bean bag chair. Then, of course, good lighting and a special shelf just for their own books is the only other essential. A nice additional touch would be a pretty reading poster, like the one shown above.
Here are some ideas for creating a special reading area for young children.
Give your child a comfy and inviting place to lounge that will entice them to spend more quiet time reading their favorite books. Boys and girls alike seem to be very fond of beanbag seating, and if it's a designated reading area, well, you get the idea. . .
Good lighthing is essential for reading, but it doesn't have to be boring. This certainly isn't - kids will love it.
Do You Like The Idea of a Reading Nook?
Do you like the idea of a reading nook or cozy reading corner set aside especially for a child to use? Do you think it will encourage them to read and just spend time looking at books?
It might even encourage them to keep their books all in one place and (gasp!) put away!
What do you think of providing a special reading area for a child?
Are you in favor of reference books for young children?
What are your favorites, or your child's favorites?
Do you like the idea of a specially designated and decorated reading area?