Category: Literacy & Language

17 Weather Books for Kids

17 Weather Books for Kids

Over the last week, we have seen practically every kind of weather: snow, ice, rain, thunderstorms, and even fog! The girls and I have enjoyed exploring the changes happening outside as the snow thaws and reveals a huge, muddy mess waiting in our yard. To deal with the rainy days, we’ve stopped by the library to grab some weather books for kids. Along with books from our own collection, my children have been reading about types of weather throughout the four seasons and making a list of experiments to try over the weekend.

Adding a stack of books next to the couch can make learning about any subject more fun. Some homeschooling families call this strategy “strewing,” and it’s worked well for us since the girls were toddlers! I like to make sure to include a variety of books, including fiction and non-fiction to interest both of my kids.

17 Fun Weather Books for Kids

17 Weather Books for Kids

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

Being Safe With Weather by Susan Kesselring

Clouds by Anne Rockwell

Clouds by Marion Dane Bauer

Flash, Crash, Rumble, and Roll by Franklyn M. Branley

Kipper’s Book of Weather by Mick Inkpen (board book)

Let’s Investigate with Nate: The Water Cycle by Nate Ball

Little Cloud by Eric Carle

On the Same Day in March by Marilyn Singer

Precipitation by Frances Purslow

Rain by Marion Dane Bauer

Rainbows (Science Matters)

Rain Feet by Angela Johnson

The Cloud Book by Tomie de Paola

Thundercake by Patricia Polacco

Weather Poems for All Seasons selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Weird But True Facts About Weather by Lauren Coss

What Will the Weather Be? by Lynda DeWitt


Weather Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers

We like to start any new unit of study with books. If you’re looking for hands-on ideas for your preschool and Kindergarten kids, be sure to check out our 40 fun learning activities all about weather, available here


What are your favorite weather books for kids?

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17 Fun Books All About Weather

8 Fun Rainbow Books for Kids

8 Fun Rainbow Books for Kids

Young children love learning about rainbows, and books are always a fun way to discover more about a topic. Whether you purchase a new book or two or borrow them them from the library, these rainbow books for kids are sure to capture your child’s interest!

(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you. You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

Our Favorite Rainbow Books for Kids

If you have a science- and math-minded kid, he/she might enjoy a non-fiction book that explains why rainbows exist.

Light Makes a Rainbow by Sharon Coan is a beautiful book with simple words and sentences. The science is definitely not “dumbed down,” though. The book introduces light as energy, light waves, wavelengths, and Roy G. Biv. It also includes a couple of hands-on science activities in the back for your family try together. We will definitely be adding this one to our family collection!

A great companion book to Light Makes a Rainbow is A Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman (author of Corduroy)! It’s a playful book about a young child who chases a rainbow after a rainstorm. When the child gets back home, there is a rainbow reflected on the wall from the water in a fishbowl.

Our favorite fiction book about rainbows is Elmer and the Rainbow by David McKee. This sweet story follows a kind and unique elephant who works together with other animals in his community. They search for the beginning of the rainbow, which has mysteriously lost its colors. I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s heartwarming and teaches about giving to others.

Our girls grew up watching Signing Time, so Rainbow Salad is one of our favorite songs whenever we’re in the kitchen. You can watch it here:

For follow-up, you might want to add the board book Strawberries are Red by Petr Horacek to your family reading nook. It’s a simple way to reinforce colors through a toddler’s favorite way of learning: eating!

Finally, if your family likes to grow flowers, Lois Ehlert’s Planting a Rainbow is a terrific book for kids of all ages! After reading the story, you could plant flower seeds or buy an assortment of artificial flowers for your child to “plant” again and again, all year long.


Do you have a hands-on learner? Check out our tactile rainbow activities!


More Rainbow Books for Kids

Just this week, the girls and I sat down to do an online storytime for The Play School Club community. We found a few fabulous rainbow-themed books that also include animals and friendship themes like Elmer and the Rainbow, and I wanted to share those here:

Finally, if your child enjoys interactive books, be sure to check out What Makes a Rainbow? by Betty Ann Schwartz. The “magic” ribbons accumulate throughout the story, leaving a rainbow behind at the end of the book.

What are your favorite rainbow books for kids?

Leave a comment and let me know!


Rainbow Learning Activities for Toddlers & Preschoolers

Grab our FREE Rainbow-Themed Activities for Toddlers and Preschoolers while you’re here!

Click here!


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8 Fun Rainbow Books for Kids

The Importance of Nursery Rhymes in Literacy Development

The Importance of Nursery Rhymes in Literacy Development

Everything I know about early literacy, I learned from Mem Fox.

Our first child was born in the summer of 2008, about 14 weeks before her due date. I spent the first six weeks of her life (AKA “maternity leave”) sitting in an uncomfortable chair by her isolette. I couldn’t hold her or feed her, pick out her clothes, or doing anything that a new mother gets to do, really.

This was pre-smartphone (and we couldn’t have our phones on in the NICU anyway). I passed the time by working on a cross-stitch project for her “someday” bedroom and reading tons of books.

One of the first books I remember reading during those long summer days was Reading Magic by Mem Fox.

As an elementary school teacher, I knew all about early literacy and helping kids fall in love with books in a classroom setting. As a first time mom, though, I had very little clue about what I should be doing with my newborn daughter to set a good foundation for early literacy.

Mem’s sweet words showed me the ONE thing that I COULD do in those early days of our daughter’s long NICU stay: I could read to her.

The best time to start reading aloud to a baby is the day it is born. --Mem Fox

I brought in tote bags of picture books from my years in the classroom and set them up on the shelf next to her isolette. I read book after book to her, and then I switched to chapter books to make them last longer. We read Ramona the Brave and Gooney Bird Greene. I read to her from my own books, too.

Before long, I was able to take her out of her isolette, feed her small bottles of milk, and pick out her clothes. But our favorite activity to do together was READ. The foundation had been set.

By the time our second daughter was born (on time) three years later, I was ready for her! I packed Mem’s beautiful book Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes in my hospital bag. Within hours of her delivery, I was reading aloud.


I’ve talked about Mem Fox and Reading Magic here on the blog before.

Today, I want to talk about the importance of nursery rhymes, which she covers in chapter 10.

Why nursery rhymes are important for early literacy development!

We all know that young children have short attention spans, which makes songs and short rhymes a perfect fit. And as Mem says, “Songs and rhymes provide comforting rhythms in children’s early lives and also expose kids to gorgeous forms of language. They are a natural extension to the heartbeat of the mother and the rhythmic rocking of a child in loving arms or in a cradle.

Songs and rhymes allow busy families to play with language on the go:

  • in the car
  • waiting in line at the grocery store
  • even during those countless bathroom hours while potty-training!

Nursery rhymes can help with preschool literacy development, too! Young children learn new vocabulary and begin to anticipate the missing rhyming words at the end of each line.

“From songs [and nursery rhymes], children learn words, sentences, rhythm, rhyme, and repetition, all of which they’ll find later in the books they read.”

–Mem Fox, Reading Magic

Rhymers will be readers: it's that simple. --Mem Fox

The importance of nursery rhymes cannot be overstated or underestimated. According to Reading Magic, “experts in literacy development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.”

How do we incorporate nursery rhymes into every day play?

  • Invest in a quality anthology of Mother Goose or other rhymes.
  • Write a few on index cards and place them around your home.
    • Put one on the bathroom sink to recite while washing hands.
    • Hang one above the changing table to make wiggly changes a little easier.
    • Keep one or two in the diaper bag for the next time you’re stuck in a waiting room.
  • Choose one rhyme a month to focus on together. Plan a few fun extension activities that coordinate nicely, like a relay race up a hill for Jack and Jill.
  • Add more rhymes to your child’s educational playlist and let it run during independent play time.

“Once children have masses of rhythmic gems like these in their heads, they’ll have a huge store of information to bring to the task of learning to read, a nice fat bank of language: words, phrases, structures, and grammar.”

–Mem Fox, Reading Magic

What are your thoughts on the importance of nursery rhymes?


Watch the Facebook LIVE on this topic, and then check out the nursery rhymes FREEBIE in our Resource Library!


Nursery Rhymes Family Activity Guide

We’ve just released our NEW nursery rhyme Family Activity Guide for busy families with kiddos ages 2-6. There are 10 popular rhymes included, each with four FUN, hands-on learn activities that you can do any time of the year! Focus on one rhyme a month or do all forty activities in one unit study–the choice is up to you.

The guide is part of our affordable monthly subscription program, The Play School Club. Learn more here!