Character education has become a corner stone in preschool development. Families and teachers continue to realize how important the preschool years are for developing important character traits in their children. As the preschool world moves away from only letters and numbers, teachers are adapting by bringing in new STEM ideas, character building, and much more! Check out these awesome books that are perfect to start the conversation about character traits.
Character Traits are Important, Simple as That
Our facility has implemented our Pillars of Character over the past two years, which gives our classroom a different character trait to focus on each month. This is a great way to start off, and I encourage you to pick a trait each month to focus on. In my own home, we have a trait a month as well. My husband and I decide the month prior what we would like the children to focus on the upcoming month, usually something they have been struggling with the month before. It gives us a focus for the month and helps develop their character in new and exciting ways.
Top Five Books to Teach Character to Preschoolers
These books are in no particular order, but instead help highlight one or more of the character traits you are looking at teaching. These books have become staples in my classroom, and are not only educational, but fun to read as well.
This book is about thirteen girls that are modeled after women who changed the world. Each person has a chance to tell their story and show children that you can change the world in your own way. Not only is this book about being a strong female, it is perfect for all children to see that their differences are really strengths. That, by pushing through hard times to reach their goals, children really can do big things and make a big difference. I love how this book teaches resilience, growth mindset, and empowerment.
This is absolutely one of my favorites! A grandfather teaches his grandson that everyone has a bucket, and you effect how full someone's bucket is. Your actions can help fill or empty someone's bucket. I have even used this book to help with staff education, by talking about how you do not know what a student is going through when they enter your doors. It is important to be filling buckets instead of emptying them. This book teaches about kindness and responsibility.
One More Bonus Title, because Why Not?
I decided you need one more bonus title, because this book is newer to me, but is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I have not yet implemented it into my classroom, but cannot wait to read it and have the discussion that follows. I simply love the message this book brings.
Gender stereotypes are slowly becoming a thing of the past, and I cannot support it enough! In my classroom, we encourage everyone to play and do everything. This book supports that message and I love it. The book talks about how girls and boys can choose what they want to do because it is something they like to do, not because it is assigned to a gender. I do love that this book also touches on that it is okay for girls to pick things more directed towards them, and vice versa for boys. While gender stereotypes need to go, I do not want the students in my classroom to think it is a bad thing to like something that is geared towards them. This book works hard to address that you can choose whatever you like, nobody else needs to have a say. I love how this book teaches equality and empowerment.
I hope these books quickly make their way into your library, either at home or in your classroom. They all have such strong, but fun messages and do a great job to encourage children to be their strong, independent selves. As preschool classrooms move back into a play based, question led teaching atmosphere, I hope more teachers jump on the character building aspect of preschool. I always say that I am teaching preschoolers to be better humans, through academic, social, and character education. Hopefully, more and more classrooms will continue to move that way.