The back-to-school season marks a lot of excitement and a lot of change for our children. Books often allow us to expose kids to ideas and environments they may not encounter on a daily basis. That is why I love using these back-to-school books to support my clients in speech therapy during this time of transition.

In general, exposure to books provides countless benefits such as: learning new vocabulary, organizing thoughts and ideas, learning new sentence structures, building narrative language skills, developing inferencing and problem-solving skills, fostering imagination, social-emotional development, promoting attention to tasks, and strengthening listening comprehension.

My Favorite Back-to-School Books

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg

The small twist at the end of this story makes this back-to-school my #1 choice. I love using “First Day Jitters” to build predicting and inferencing skills for kids. The book is also great for talking to kids about being nervous on the first day of school and the ways they can manage or talk about these feelings with people who will support them.

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes

Anything by Kevin Henkes is especially great. His book “Chrysanthemum” tells a lovely story that is perfect for the whole year, but especially poignant for back-to-school season. Chrysanthemum is a mouse who gets teased on the first day of school about her name. It’s a book that shares a great lesson about self-esteem and acceptance.

If You Take a Mouse to School by Laura Numeroff

I love using all the books in this series to help kids build their auditory memory skills. We read through the whole book or a few pages at a time and try to remember all of the things the mouse wants to take to school, in the order they are discussed. I’ve also used this book as part of a community-based lesson where my client and I write a shopping list for back-to-school supplies and then go to the store to shop for them.

We Don’t Eat Our Classmates by Ryan T. Higgins

This book is great for the preschool crowd. Little Penelope is a little nervous and a lot excited about her first day of school. She has many questions about what her classmates will be like, for example, “Will they be nice?” A sentiment we can all relate to! However, Penelope finds it may be hard to make human friends when you are a dinosaur. This story is sure to delight.

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi

This back-to-school book tells the story of a young girl about to enter school after her family has immigrated from Korea. She wonders if she should choose an American name to help her fit in.  She also feels anxious about whether the other kids will like her. This beautiful story speaks to anyone who has ever been the new kid or welcomed one into their familiar surroundings. It also shows us the power of acceptance and accepting who we are.

Splat the Cat: Back to School, Splat! by Rob Scotton

Oh that silly cat, Splat. He is ready to share with his new classmates all about his exciting summer adventures but how can he choose just one?! This book is a great introduction to teaching children to tell stories, work on sequencing, and have an opportunity to relate to each other on this first day back-to-school over their summer of fun.

Did your favorite back-to-school books make my list? Remember that books are the perfect activity for Playing With Purpose, so if you would like more ideas on you can use books year-round for building a child’s speech and language skills with books then check out this post in my series!

Hope your 2019-2020 school year gets off to a great start.

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