Wouldn’t it be great if we were able to help prepare our little ones for certain first experiences?
I know that I looked for books that would help my daughter understand what it would be like when her baby sister arrived because it’s not easy for children to accept or understand why there is a new baby in the house.
How about the first time they have to go to hospital, or school or even if they have to move house?
All these things can be quite daunting, especially when they are so young. As parents we should make sure our children are prepared and have the opportunity to ask questions so that we can put any worries they have to rest.
So now, I want to introduce you to some of Usborne’s First Experiences books. You know I am a fan of Usborne. I absolutely love their books! Their First Experiences collection is one of my favourites.
Some of the titles include:
Going to the Hospital
Each story starts with introducing a family. Going to the Hospital features the Bell family. Their family consists of Mr and Mrs Bell, Ben, Bess, Simba the cat and Jack and Jill, their pet fish.
The story is about Ben who is suffering with an ear ache. We follow his health journey after he has a check-up with his GP and then has to go into hospital for an operation. In the end, he is fit and healthy and able to go home.
The illustrations are beautiful – as they always are with Usborne books! The illustrations are full of detail and some are quite funny too. My favourite image has to be the one in the children’s ward.
It is full of colour and there’s so much going on, plenty of opportunity to talk to your child about what might be going on, why each child is in hospital and what they might be thinking.
When we first meet Ben in the book, he appears sad and in pain. As we progress through the book, we see how the expressions on his face changes and he starts to look happier.
This will leave your child reassured that going to hospital isn’t such a bad thing and its ok to be a little scared but the hospital is there to make us better.
The New Baby
The Bunn family are expecting a new baby! Tom and Lucy are going to have a new baby sister. The family also includes Bertie, their cat and Spock, the dog. Mrs. Bunn is heavily pregnant and most likely going through the nesting period as the story begins with the family decorating the baby’s room.
It’s a real family effort. The children are helping and Mrs. Bunn is painting the crib. Mr. Bunn is already taking a rest with a cup of tea but Mrs. Bunn keeps going! I’m sure plenty of us mums can relate to that situation!!
Labour sets off in the middle of the night, (as always!), and Mrs. Bunn goes to hospital while the grandparents take care of Tom and Lucy. Little Susie is born and the children visit her in hospital. When they take her home, everybody helps to look after the new baby. I love how Mrs. Bunn is breastfeeding the baby. The children read to the baby and help with bathing her.
This book really helps explain what happens when a new baby is on the way and helps children to understand that they have a special role to play too and the baby needs them as much as mum and dad. The New Baby can help really help fill the gaps too, the parts our children do not see, such as weighing and measuring the baby, and why they wear name tags on their wrists and ankles.
I love this book. It has a warm happy feel throughout and will help your child feel that having a new baby is really a wonderful thing.
Going to School
Going to school is a real adventure in this book. Polly and Percy live with the parents, Mr and Mrs Peach, Sidney the gerbil, Percy the cat and Ping and pong, the kittens. Polly and Percy are twins and it is their first day at school. They live above the Marsh family and Millie Marsh is going to school for the first time too.
The story looks at a day at school, from the moment they wake up to the end of the school day. Polly is a little apprehensive, just like many of our own children might be on their first day at school. Percy, on the other hand, seems quite happy and even wants to take his pet gerbil with him! Sadly, Sidney the gerbil has to go home.
Sometimes anxiety in our children can come from not knowing what to expect and not having an understanding of the process or routine of a school day. My daughters were both very different. One cried bucket loads and the other told me to go home!
This book definitely would have helped my daughters prepare for their first day at school. I mean, reading this book makes me want to go back to school again! Polly and Percy have a fun-packed day, playing indoors and outdoors, singing, playing instruments, reading and making friends. Polly even overcomes her nerves and takes part. The children even stop to take a break and have a snack.
There is so much going on in each picture and so much to talk about. It’s quite fun trying to stop Polly and Percy to see what they’re up to on each page. This book provides a wonderful insight into a day at school and any child would love to read this book.
I remember moving house as a child and I did not like it at all. It’s a completely different experience as a child. The Spark family sell their home and Mr and Mrs Spark, Sophie, Sam, Patch the dog and Peter the rabbit are mobbing house. The children are part of the whole process from visiting their new home, packing up and moving. All along, it seems as though the children are having a real adventure.
Sophie and Sam get their own rooms, meet new neighbours and make new friends. Mrs. Tobbit, from next door, even brings them a nice big chocolate cake to welcome them. There is a real sense of happiness about the Spark family’s move.
Again, the illustrations are packed full of humour and detail, giving you and your child plenty of opportunity for discussion.
By the end of the day, the family are so tired from the move; they fall asleep in their new home. Moving house can really be a good experience.
The Little Book for First Experiences
This book consists of nine first experience stories including the stories mentioned above. Further titles in this book include, Going to the Doctor, Going to the Dentist, The New Puppy, Going on a Plane and Going to a Party. If you’re looking for an all-in-one book of first experiences, then this is the one to get.
It is compact and every story is written in a friendly and amusing way to help your child feel comfortable with situations they may find themselves in for the first time.
Just like the Usborne Farmyard Tale series, these books have also been written in a very special way to help young children succeed in their first efforts to read. The stories are written using short, simpler text at the top of the page and longer text at the bottom of the page allowing your child to read the text they feel more comfortable with.
Take it in turns when you read so that your child read some of the text and you read some too. This helps to build confidence and will encourage your child to join in. Eventually, your child will read the whole story by themselves!
And don’t forget to look out for the yellow duck hiding on every double page!
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