Like the harvest at the end of a growing season, the benefits of reading to our children are bountiful. Reading aloud to children helps them develop language and listening skills, have a higher aptitude for learning, develop a lifelong love for reading and books, and leaves our children with fond memories of being held and read to by a voice of love. Unfortunately, The US Health and Human Services estimates that American children spend about seven hours a day in front of a screen (television, computer, phone, tablet, video game). Our children are spending more time in front of screens and less time in front of books resulting in negative impacts on their brain development. Thus, I propose a challenge to America- The “Leave” Electronics and “Fall” Into Books Challenge! For motivation, I created a round-up list of 50+ Fall children books to read to your children and stimulate their minds this season.
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As an elementary school counselor, I have read numerous studies connecting delayed brain development with long exposure to electronic media. Of course, there are benefits for children using educational apps and watching educational TV shows, but only if used in moderation. It seems we are cluttering our children’s still-developing brains with the wrong stimuli. Instead, we need to nourish their brains with stimuli from the real, physical world.
Because of my job and witnessing the adverse affects screen time has had on my own children, I am passionate about turning off our screens, snuggling with my own children, and watching them grow in their curiosity and understanding of the world. Unfortunately, I am guilty of backsliding this past summer. Since Fall is the season of change, now is the perfect time to get back to my beliefs, turn off electronics, grab a blanket and a book, and read aloud to my children.
Lets take a stand for our children’s development and power off from the virtual world. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that for children ages 2 to 5, screen time should be limited to one hour per day. For the other 23 hours, turn off televisions, phones, tablets, and video games. Open a book and read together. Expand on what you read together with fun activities and conversations.
Let’s talk with our children.
Early childhood is a critical time for the brain’s most important job: making neural connections and becoming a permanent foundation for all later brain functions. The brain needs human interactions to grow just as crops need water. It is so important for your children to hear your voice, have time to think through and process your words, as well as visualize your words. By reading aloud to your children, you are teaching them to think critically, compared to electronics, which do the thinking for them.
I have witnessed, first-hand, my four-year-old and three-year-old become “dependent thinkers” when given too much screen time this past summer. It is my mission to extinct the “I can’t” mindset and train their developing brains with an “I can” mindset- a mindset filled with critical thinking skills to overcome life’s barriers.
Today, I begin the “Leave” Electronics and “Fall” into Books challenge. Please join me in this challenge during this season of change! Lets screen less and read more.
50+ Fall Children Books
I Love Fall!: A Touch-and-feel Board Book, by Alison Inches
Fall (Bright Baby Touch and Feel), by Roger Priddy
The Busy Little Squirrel, by Nancy Tafuri
Count Down to Fall, by Fran Hawk
Pumply, Dumply Pumpkin, by Mary Serfozo
The Spooky Wheels on the Bus, by J. Elizabeth Mills
Peppa’s Halloween Party, by Eone
Peppa’s Windy Fall Day, by Scholastic
I See Fall, by Charles Ghigna
Pete The Cat: Five Little Pumpkins, by James Dean
A Fairy-Tale Fall, by Apple Jordan
Room on the Broom, by Julia Donaldson
Animals in Fall, by Martha E H Rustad
Fall Weather, by Martha E H Rustad
Curious George Apple Harvest, by H.A. Rey
Why Do Leaves Change Color? by Betsy Maestro
Apples and Pumpkins, by Anne Rockwell
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves! by Lucille Colandro
There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat! by Lucille Colandro
Pinkalicious Pink or Treat, by Victoria Kann
Pinkalicious and the Pink Pumpkin, by Victoria Kann
Pinkalicious: Apples, Apples, Apples! by Victoria Kann
Amelia Bedelia’s First Apple Pie, by Herman Parish
The Leaf Man, by Lois Ehlert
The Leaves Fall All Around, by Steve Mack
Pumpkin Town! by Katie McKy
Pumpkin Soup, by Helen Cooper
Fancy Nancy’s Fabulous Fall Storybook Collection, by Jane O’Connor
We’re Going on a Leaf Hunt, by Steve Metzger
It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, by Charles M. Schulz
Magic Tree House #30: Haunted Castle on Hallows Eve, by Mary Pope Osborne
Junie B., First Grader: Boo…and I Mean It! by Barbara Park
Arthur Jumps into Fall, by Marc Brown
Berenstain Bears Trick or Treat, by Stan Berenstain
Strega Nona’s Harvest, by Tomie dePaola
Apples for Everyone, by Jill Esbaum
Pumpkin jack, by Will Hubbell
How Big Could Your Pumpkin Grow? by Wendell Minor
We Gather Together: Celebrating the Harvest Season, by Wendy Pfeffer
Apples, Apples Everywhere!: Learning About Apple Harvests, by Robin Koontz
Possum’s Harvest Moon, by Anne Hunter
Hello, Harvest Moon, by Ralph Fletcher
Pumpkin Pumpkin, by Jeanne Titherington
Johnny Appleseed, by Reeve Lindbergh
How Do Apples Grow? by Betsy Maestro
A Moon of My Own, by Jennifer Rustgi
Little Critter: The Fall Festival, by Mercer Mayer
Fall Leaves, by Don L Curry
It’s Fall, by Linda Glaser
How Do You Know It’s Fall? by Lisa M. Herrington
What other books would you like to add to the list? I would love to hear from you.
Be sure to share your read aloud pictures & state your pledge to read more to your children on my Facebook page!
Pssst… Stay tuned for my FREE fall learning activities!
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