Top 5 Color Themed Books and Resources

Top 5 Color Themed Books and Resources for Read Across America Week National Reading Month Book Recommendations for Kids Tuneful Teaching Kathy Schumacher MT-BC

To celebrate National Reading Month and Read Across America Week 2024, I am sharing a list of my top five color themed books and resources.

Books like these help kids learn their colors, of course, but it's fun thinking about all of the other skills we can target—especially once kids know all of the names of the colors. One example of this is vocal turn taking.

When kids are experiencing a delay in speech development, one of the first skills I target in music therapy is developing their ability to engage with me through call and response play. This "my turn/your turn" structure can look as simple as playing a drum or tapping different body parts with a maraca.

The goal is for the child to not only imitate me but also to stay focused and engaged with me in a back and forth way, the same as when we communicate with someone!

All of these music based resources can be used in this way by simply pausing and waiting for the child to fill in the last sentence of each page or phrase. The fact that they are music based makes the learning all the more fun and effective.

1. "I Can Read Colors" & "I Can Read More Colors"

by Nellie Edge

I love these color themed "big books" previously available from Nellie Edge. They were among the first singable books I purchased over 20 years ago and are still loved by kids. These are also the books that inspired the My Color Book that I wrote, the difference being that the song structure I chose puts the color word at the end of each phrase.

Unfortunately, these books are not currently available as a big book option, but a set of 22 mini "read and sing" books are available on Teachers Pay Teachers for only $5 and includes both of these. It is safe to say that kids love these mini books because they are "mini" AND they get to take them home! Be sure to check out Nellie Edge on Instagram and all of the other resources she has available on her website. 

2. "My Color Book" 

by Kathy Schumacher

I wrote this book to help children who were learning to label colors. The association of having a familiar object (e.g. frog, pumpkin) helps with learning the color names. The structure of the song provides melodic and rhythmic cues to help children fill in the name of the color at the end of phrases.

This book is always a hit with children. The melody is very calming and provides focus for kids who are struggling to regulate their bodies. This color themed book also pairs beautifully with sign language. See below for a video teaching all of the signs for My Color Book available in my online store here.

3. "Colors of the Winter"

by Nancy Stewart

This is a beautiful book for the winter season. It also works well for performances and school programs. There is a free download of sheet music, mp3 recording, backing track, and printable visuals available here! Nancy Stewart has a significant number of free resources on her website so check them out while you are there.

I chose to make my own version of the printable book so that the third verse gives an opportunity for left to right tracking using colored circles. It also gives an image for the chorus as pictured below. If you're interested in this version, click here for the free download!

4. "Rainbow Carrots"

by Kathy Schumacher

Well, this one isn't a book yet, but "Rainbow Carrots" is probably one of my favorite songs I have ever written. I have hopes of turning it into a children's book in the future. This song was debuted in my Tuneful Tots music classes last summer and was a HUGE hit. This link will take you to a blog post including a free printable to accompany the song.

I'm also in the process of crocheting a set of colored carrots for a 3D version of interactive manipulatives. Truth be told, crocheting is the only way I can stay awake when riding in a car or trying to watch a movie but it is something I enjoy and find relaxing. When I finish the set I'm working on now, I will be doing a giveaway so be sure to follow me on Instagram and Facebook where I will announce the giveaway!

5. "Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes"

by James Dean & Eric Litwin

Pete the Cat is a big deal in children's lives where I live. Several of them even have Pete the Cat shoes! Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes was the first in the series, published way back in 2010. It's also the best one, in my opinion (although Four Groovy Buttons is a close second).

This book is even more engaging by using this simple visual where kids can physically remove the color word and replace it with a new word to change the meaning of the sentence. This is an early skill on the Phonological Awareness Developmental Continuum and helps develop skills for sound manipulation.

When kids are struggling with learning to communicate verbally, the printed words offer a helpful structure for imitation of words and phrases using call and response and a gradual release of responsibility. My favorite way to structure this activity is to laminate the word cards, attach magnets to the back, and physically move them on a magnetic dry erase board.

For kids who are just starting to communicate verbally, I like to start by modeling the entire sentence while pointing to the words. The next step is pointing to one word at a time as my client repeats the word. The tactile and rhythmic prompt of touching the laminated words provides an additional prompt for eliciting speech.

Click here for the free Pete the Cat: I Love My White Shoes Printable!

BONUS: Stretchy Band Movement Song

"Round the Rainbow" is based on a song created by Rachel  Rambach over at Listen & Learn Music. Click here to hear the original version. It is roughly based on the tune of "Farmer in the Dell."

The adaptation I like to use with kids uses the first half of Rachel's structure but adds a call and response B section where kids practice answering a question using a simple minor 3rd melody. Click here to get your own Stretchy Band!

I have plans for getting some video footage of this in the near future, so be sure to stay connected through Instagram and Facebook to see it. Video examples make it so much easier to implement new session ideas!

It's fun to look through my book collection and create lists of my favorites by category. I have plans for my top alphabet books and number books in the works. Any other themes you would like me to cover? Contact me here with your ideas!

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