Four years old children have expanded their curiosity to things beyond their daily environment (home and school). For example, when they learn that lion lives in Africa, they will be curious to find out more about Africa. They will ask a lot questions about it which seems endless. It’s because after they get the answer of their first question, they may ask another questions which is based from the new information they get. They are able to do that because their cognitive skills have developed a lot since the age of three. At this age, they are able to absorb and process information faster than when they were three. And this enables them to think of many question in a short time.
The condition can be the right moment to give different kinds of books with the ones given at the age of three. Here is the types of books which are suitable for 4 years old children:
- Informative books such as book about animals, plants, science, culture, places, transportation, etc.
Choose suitable book for 4 years old children. Therefore, the book’s language level won’t be too difficult to understand by 4 years old. After we read the book for them, it’s better to relate the information from the book with children’s surrounding. This can be done by asking questions such as whether they have seen what’s on the book, where they’ve seen it, what did they do when they saw it, etc. Then, it will be better, if we take children go outing to see what they’ve seen on the book (if it is possible as what we read on the book may exist at faraway place. Therefore, it’s impossible to visit).
2. Books which require children to do activities such as experimenting or making art and craft.
These kinds of books usually have lots of pictures instead of the writing. Therefore, children can follow the instruction by looking at the pictures. Yet, it doesn’t mean they can do it by themselves, we still have to accompany them when they experimenting or making craft. Therefore, we can give explanation which they need to understand the science concept and supervise them, just in case there are some experiments or craft projects which still require adults supervision. Hence, give minimum help or guidance (only when it’s needed) and give them the maximum freedom to do the experiment and making craft independently. Doing the activities will give children more insight about the information they want to know.
3. First dictionary and encyclopedia.
As children getting new information from the reading or from doing experiment, they will hear new words or new concept. Another sources to get the word meaning or explanation are from dictionary and encyclopedia. Teach children how to use them. At the age of 4, they usually have recognized alphabet. So, when they want to know a word meaning or information, teach them to recognize the first letter of the word/keywords (to look information from encyclopedia). Then, teach them to look for the letter at the index of the dictionary or encyclopedia. After they find the word meaning/ the information, we can read them.
4. Phonic Books
At the age of four, children commonly have recognized the alphabets. Yet, they still don’t know that alphabets are basically the representation of the sound we bring out. So, it’s the right time to start learning phonics as this will be a basic to learn how to read. Therefore, give children phonics book set. It is usually leveled up from the basic to the advance. Always start giving children the book from the basic and level up the book when they have mastered each level.
5. Logical thinking and math books
Children’s ability in logical thinking and math must have developed a lot since the age of three. It’s the right time to give books which can practice their logical thinking and math. These kinds of books is usually leveled up too. So, as phonic books, start from the basic and level up when they have mastered each level.
6. Literature Books
Reading children story or rhyme is an activity we must keep doing. Hence, there are things we can do more after we read for 4 years old children. Ask them about the characters, the events in the story, what do they like or don’t like about the story or characters, etc. This can be a way to check whether they understand the story (reading comprehension). The ability to comprehend the story is very important as it’s needed when they learn how to read later.
Then, explain also to them about the part of the book itself such as: the title, the author, the publisher, chapter, page, etc. Knowing the part of the book is a good basic for further learning such as in writing lesson (in terms of making a writing, not in writing the alphabets)
Those are the book types for 4 years old children. As children commonly have entered school at this age, it’s better to match some books with the ones given at school. Therefore, children will get more chance to comprehend the book they read. So, collect books which are suitable for 4 years old children at home, as those will be good source to answer lots of children’s questions. By reading them, they will know that books are one source to get the information they want to know. And this understanding will be a good basic for their further lesson in the later stage of education such as researching and writing.