10 Best Books For 4 Year Olds

books for 4 year olds

Reading a book to your child is so rewarding for both you and your child. Not only do you get to spend time with your child, but he or she is learning while you do so. As for you, you know that you are investing in your child’s future. Even more so, if you read to your child from these 10 best books for 4 year olds (presented in no particular order).

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, meaning, I recommend products and services I’ve used or know well and may receive a commission if you purchase them, too (at no additional cost to you).

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

(This is an affiliate link. In fact, all images are).

This bestselling kids’ book, written by Bill Martin, Jr. in 1989, is great for teaching your child the alphabet. As you read it, your child will experience the letters of the alphabet racing up a tree.

In addition to learning the alphabet, Chicka Chicka Boom Boom will expose your child to repetition and rhyming.

Since rhyming is one of the basic components of phonemic awareness, reading this to your child will help prepare them for reading on their own.

Ten Little Fingers, Ten Little Toes

As for this book, written by Mem Fox and illustrated by Helen Oxbury in 2008, it’s one of the 10 best books for 4 year olds for several reasons.

First of all, it helps your child with counting.

Also, the books has an easy-flowing rhythm that helps our child learn the cadence of the English language.

Thirdly, the use of repetition promotes easy word recognition.

Finally, the book teaches cultural diversity and recognizes that, though different, people can be similar.

Brown, Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

For this book, Bill Martin, Jr. collaborated with Eric Carle in 1967 to create a 28-page filled with colorful animals. As such, your child is exposed to color and animal recognition.

Even more, the simple vocabulary of the book includes many sight words. Not only that, this book is great because it prompts your child to respond to what is being read.

Overall, it’s such a great book that School Library Journal as one of the “Top 100 Picture Books” of all time in 2012.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

In 1967, Eric Carle came up an ingenious idea for this book. After an experience with a hole puncher, he decided to create a book in which a caterpillar eats holes in everything!

Your child will love the holes, and you’ll love that the book introduces your child to the days of the week.

Also, your child learns about how caterpillars are turned into butterflies.

Along with these great lessons, the book uses prediction clues. With all of these great benefits for your child, it’s not wonder that The Very Hungry Caterpillar is one of the 10 best books for 4 year olds.

Goodnight Moon

Margaret Wise Brown struck gold with this book in 1947. As she was writing the book, she made use of her experience and research as a student teacher.

For example, the rhythmic pattern of the text tunes into a child’s interest in the use of language.

It’s great as a bedtime story as the bunny in the story says goodnight to everything in the room.

Your child will feel connected to the story as mentions objects that are familiar to him or her. In the end, this book is a great learning tool to use at bedtime.

Green Eggs and Ham

Any list of the 10 best books for 4 year olds wouldn’t be complete without including at least one of Dr. Seuss’ books.

Choosing which one of his books is a completely different and harder decision.

The reason why Green Eggs and Ham made this list is two-fold. For one thing, the rhyming in the book is a prime example of the genius of Dr. Seuss. Your child will be mesmerized by the way the story unfolds as Dr. Seuss moves from rhyme to rhyme.

Yet, this is not the only great benefit of this book. Dr. Seuss takes this book to a whole other level by using a simple vocabulary of only 50 sight words.

By repeating these words over and over, your child is exposed to the level of sight word recognition that he or she needs to learn these sight words.

All of this in one book( I hope my enthusiasm for Dr. Seuss isn’t overly obvious)!

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus

Mo Willems wrote this Caldecott Honor Award-winning book in 2003.

As for the book’s concept, it’s pretty simple. A bus driver takes a break and asks your child to not let the pigeon drive the bus.

Throughout the book, the pigeon directly addresses your child, and your child will respond. This interaction allows your child to connect to the book.

Even more, the illustrations don’t distract from the text.

Most importantly, your child gets to see what a tantrum looks like. In so doing, Willems taps into the emotions and personality of a child when he wrote this book

If You Give a Moose a Muffin

What does happen if you give a moose a muffin? Laura Joffe Numeroff answers this very question in a silly book that grabs kids’ attention.

Giving the moose a muffin causes a chain reaction of events that introduces cause and effect to your child.

As you read it to your child, he or she will get to practice his or her prediction skills.

Along with this, your child gets to use his or her imagination. While doing so, he or she will come in contact with short, simple sentences that help him or her connect to the text.

Where the Wild Things Are

10 Best Books for 4 Year Olds
Written in 1963, Maurice Sendak’s Caldecott Medal winner struck a nerve with the public.

With its realistic portrayal of negative emotions, Sendak tells a great story of parental love and acceptance. To do so, he uses short narration that says so much.

Your child’s imagination will kick into overdrive when you read it to him or her, as will yours. Honestly, it’s a fun book to read as you can’t help but want to act like a monster dancing around a fire.

Because of all of this, it made the National Education Association’s “Top 100 Books for Children”.

Giraffes Don’t Dance

This book by Giles Andreae is another great book that teaches individuality and diversity.

In addition, it teachers your child self-confidence. It does so by telling the story of animals having a dance in the jungle. All the animals have a specific dance they perform, except for Gerald Giraffe.

As for literary devices, the book is full of alliteration, which is great for phonemic awareness with its use of beginning word sounds.

Why Are These The 10 Best Books for 4 Year Olds?

Yes, these books have been included on this list because of the lessons they teach your child. Yet, they do so much more.

In fact, these books also help to promote phonemic awareness through their use of rhyme, repetition, and sight words. By reading these books to your child, you will be preparing him or her for reading independently.

So, pick one of these books, several of them, or all of them, and read to your child.

What books make your 10 best books for 4 year olds list? Share your favorite kids’ book below in the comments.

If you enjoyed the post, share it with others. If you want to know more about teaching your child to read, sign-up for my newsletter where I share more information about reading at home and give away free resources to help your child learn to read at home.





Phonemic Awareness Activities Parents Will Love

It’s true. Learning can be fun. Studies have shown that children learn best through play. And, I think I understand why: they’re interested, they’re attentive, and they’re having fun. Making learning fun is the best way to make sure your child enjoys learning and gets the most out of learning. So, why not make learning phonemic awareness fun? Here are some phonemic awareness activities parents will love because their children will love them, too.

Phonemic Awareness Activities Parents Need to Say

First of all, there are several activities that you can do with your child that simply involve saying words with our child. These are perfect for little one because they don’t take very long, and they don’t require much preparation or materials. They just require taking a moment to focus on phonemic awareness.

To begin, you can have your child count out the sounds in a word. You say a word. Be sure to emphasize each individual sound. Have your son or daughter count out the individual sounds as you say them. For example, You say “cat” by emphasizing /k/ /a/ /t/, and your child counts to 3. With this activity, not only is your child isolating phonemes, but he or she is also working on counting. You’re killing two birds with one stone.

In addition, when you’re talking with your child, you can have your child identify the initial sound of word that you choose out of the conversation. When using this activity, you’re using words that your child is already saying. You don’t have to set aside time for phonemic awareness. Actually, you incorporate it into time you’re already spending with your child. Fortunately, to make this work, all you have to do is to remember to do it.

Phonemic Awareness Activities That Require Sight

phonemic awareness and sightNot only can you emphasize phonemic awareness using sound, but you can also incorporate the sense of sight in to your activities, as well. Including more than one of the senses makes learning easier. It helps in retaining the information better.

To include sight, you can bring in the alphabet. You can start off by pointing to a letter and asking your child what sound the letter makes. From there, you can move to words. Here, you can point to each letter in the word and ask them what sound each letter makes. Once your child has identified each sound in the word, have them blend them together to make the word. Then, have them say the word.

Another way that you can use sight is to point to words that are visible in your immediate surroundings. For instance, if your in the car and your child notices road signs or billboards when at a stop, take a moment to use this as a teachable moment. You can use the same method as before, only now you’re using words that your child sees around them. Your kid will be engaged because you’re using cues that he or she has already picked up on.

As you can see, these are phonemic awareness activities parents don’t have to work too hard to use. Honestly, kids are naturally observant. They’re curious. They see a word, they point, and they ask what’s that. My daughters did it all the time. Once I started indulging them and taught them the word, they did it over and over. Eventually, they made a game out of it on their own.

Phonemic Awareness Games

Speaking of games, there are so many little games that you can play with your child that will help them practice phonemic awareness. Picking which one to play is simply a matter of knowing what your child likes. With these games, your child will be paying attention, learning phonemic awareness, and having fun. Plus, you’re assured that your child is doing something beneficial to them. It’s win-win situation.

phonemic awareness activities parents will love

Here are a few of my favorites:

  • “I Spy”- Once you’ve taught your child a few words, you can use this game to reinforce what he or she has learned. To play, say, “I spy with my own eye, a word that begins with ____” and fill in the blank with a sound. Your child then has to find something that starts with that sound.
  • The Rhyming Game
  • “I went to the store and bought _____.”- Same as “I Spy”. Fill in the blank with a sound and have your child say a word that starts with that sound. To make it harder, have your child say a word that has the sound anywhere in it, not just the beginning sound.
  • Matching Game- Say a word and your child says more words that starts with he same beginning sound or end sound.
  • Sound Scavenger Hunt- Give your child a paper bag. Then, have him or her collect as many things that start with a given sound as he or she can find in the house. Be sure to let them know that the item has to be able to fit in the bag. It could be a disaster if the sound you chose was /k/, and he or she tried to put the cat in the bag.
  • Jumping sounds- Sound out a word. Your child jumps for each individual sound in the word.
  • Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes- You can start this one by actually singing the song a couple of times. Then, sound out a word. Your child uses the body parts from the song to identify the different sounds within the word. He or she touches a different part for each sound.

With these phonemic awareness activities parents can keep their kids moving while learning phonemic awareness.

Singing and Phonemic Awareness

Finally, in addition to all the activities I’ve already listed, you can use singing to teach phonemic awareness.

Of course, the easiest way to use singing is to sing the alphabet song. Only, when you do, pick a letter to focus on phonemically. In other words, pick a letter to review the sounds that it makes.

singing the alphabet song

Along with the alphabet song, you can use other songs that contain phonemes already in them. These songs don’t have to explicitly teach phonemic awareness. Actually, you’re using them to draw attention to various phonemes and reinforce what your child has already learned. “Old McDonald” is a great example of this type of song.

Phonemic Awareness Activities Parents Will Love Because Their Kids Will Love Them

Learning phonemic awareness doesn’t have to be boring. More than that, it shouldn’t be. You want learning to be fun, so that your child will want to keep learning. These phonemic awareness activities will help because kids enjoy doing them. You’ll grow to love them because your kids will love them.

As always, I’d love to hear from you about this post. Feedback helps me know how I can help you better. More than that, we can help each other teach our kids to read at home. So, please leave me a comment.

Be sure to sign up for our free email newsletter if you want to know more about teaching your child to read at home. If you do, not only will you get more useful tips, I send free stuff that you can use with your child to my subscribers.