How to calm tired toddlers,
in those moments when
life is just a little too much…
The last couple of weeks have involved various childhood diseases, plummeting temperatures, and potty training. It has been hard to get us all out of the front door and back in again. There have been frayed nerves and tempers before tea time (and sometimes before breakfast/coffee/lunch/tea/ and bed time) Serious meltdowns over lego.
So here is a list of our favorite books for calming down. These are usually books with no drama, not much plot, and awesome illustrations. Pictures which pull kids in and keep their attention. I’ve written this list with our just turned 3 year old twins in mind, but our 5 year old loves any book at any time, so he joins in too.
- Anything by Shirley Hughes is always a winner, but Lucy and Tom at the Seaside* is especially restorative. The family go on a train trip to the beach. They play games, swim in the sea, eat ice creams, build sandcastles, write their names in the sand, get the train home again. That’s it. It doesn’t have a traditional plot – no twists or turns. My little listeners are taken into another world through Hughes’ wonderful illustrations, and eventually come out of it again having had a cracking day at the beach.
2. Richard Scarry is an institution in our household. Lowly and Huckle are members of the family. But for calming toddlers, you can’t beat Best Word Book Ever. We have so many favorite pages: the trains, the trucks, the seasons, the animals. There lots of things point out on each page. We have a large hardback edition and it’s perfect for all the kids cuddling up on the sofa for a big read.
3. When you need a bit of calm time, alphabet books are great. Little kids find them predictable and reassuring. Our favorite is London ABC, by Ben Hawkes. It takes you through all the sights of London, from the Crown Jewels to the Underground, via the Marathon and a Roast Dinner. It is quirky and especially nice if you are an exiled Londoner, and you want your kids to be able to recognize a London Bus and Big Ben.
4. Usborne Books have a lovely series called ‘1001 Things to Spot’; we have 1001 Things to Spot in the Town. Each page has a lot of detail in it, and around the edges there are pictures of things to find in the scene. For example, 5 dogs, 10 buses, 7 ice creams, so it also works as a counting book. But even without the counting, my kids find the illustrations so absorbing.
5. Faster, Faster, Nice And Slow is a sweet book by Nick Sharratt and Sue Heap. It’s a simple book about opposites, with two characters, Nick and Sue. It makes our list of favorites especially for our girl/boy twin beans, who love hearing about how two people can enjoy different things, but still be the best of friends…
*The Amazon links in this post are affiliate links – thank you so much!
Linking up with Women with Intention 🙂