Get Up and Move!
Reading together doesn't have to mean sitting still and staying quiet. If you've got a little one who wiggles their way through story time, check out these interactive picture books that let you jump, shake, chop, and twirl. Need more incentive? Each of these picture books also gives your child a chance to practice following instructions, a great skill for preschool.
Ready for Fun?
In Is Everyone Ready for Fun?, by Jan Thomas, the cows have come over to visit chicken, but they're far from quiet visitors. They want to jump on the couch, and it squishes more and more each time! Get up and jump along with the cows (but maybe not on the couch. Ask your mom first).
Next try Open Very Carefully, by Nicola O'Byrne. A crocodile has crept into this picture book! Each page invites you to slam the book shut on the crocodile, or turn the page very carefully to sneak past him, or to shake the book back and forth to try and rock him to sleep.
Can You Do It?
Another great active read is From Head to Toe, by Eric Carle. What does an elephant do? It stomps its foot. Can you? This picture book uses a great question-and-answer format that lets little listeners shout back, "I can do it!" and then stomp their feet like an elephant (or wave their arms like a monkey, or bend their neck like a giraffe). This book is also great because it highlights the differences between animals, which helps children develop their observational skills.
For days when everyone's feeling just a little cranky, check out Pete's A Pizza, by William Steig. Pete's in a bad mood because the rain pouring down outside means he can't play ball with his friends. But Pete's mom and dad know what will cheer him up - pretending to bake him like a pizza (this is not as weird as it sounds). You and your little listener can play along. Sprinkle some tomatoes (or checkers!) on your pizza, and then some cheese (or pieces of paper!). By the time the pizza is done, everyone is in a better mood.
Chelsey can stomp her foot like an elephant, but she can't bend her neck like a giraffe. She's old, and not very flexible.