In the Bay Area, children have some great opportunities to explore science concepts, with destinations like the Children’s Discovery Museum in San Jose, the Chabot Science Center in Oakland, the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley. At storytime, we can nurture that interest with themes that appeal to young preschoolers while still conveying some basic science information. There are several great picture books on habitats, which can introduce the idea of what a habitat is. You can follow that up by showing kids some animals, like a lizard or a hermit crab, and showing what habitats they require. You can find great ideas for preschool craft projects about habitats at kcedventures.
Cole, Henry. ON THE WAY TO THE BEACH. Many kids will relate to this brief story about walking on the beach; gatefold pages open to show various animals in that habitat.
Fleming, Denise. IN THE SMALL, SMALL POND. IN THE TALL, TALL GRASS. WHERE ONCE THERE WAS A WOOD. Fleming’s handmade colorful paper collages illustrate these rhyming descriptions of the animals found in various habitats. Fun even for toddler time.
Berkes, Marianne. OVER IN THE OCEAN IN A CORAL REEF. The many animals of the coral reef are celebrated in this variation on the song “Over in the Meadow.”
Cowcher, Helen. RAIN FOREST. A simple description of the Rain Forest of South America, with distinctive color illustrations.
Mora, Pat. LISTEN TO THE DESERT/OYE AL DESIERTO. A simple, melodic description of the desert, told in English and Spanish.
Mazer, Anne. THE SALAMANDER ROOM. A boy imagines changing his room into a habitat for salamanders.