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10 Tested (and Cheap) Preschool Books to Boost Language Skills

Are you a speech-language pathologist, preschool teacher, or intervention specialist searching for cheap preschool books? Are you hoping to add new books to your book collection? This blog post recommends 10 children’s books that are engaging and fun for preschoolers. Whether you’re trying to build your book collection, or simply planning to visit your local library, you’ll love these ideas to encourage language development for young minds! This blog post also recommends places to find cheap preschool books. 

Need some ideas for fantastic (but cheap) books to read with preschool students? Check out these cheap preschool books ideas recommended by a speech-language pathologist

This post contains affiliate links, which means we could receive a commission if you click a link and purchase something that we have recommended.

Why Books Are Important for Language Development

Books are such a great way to increase language!

They also offer vocabulary exposure, such as exposure to tier II vocabulary words, that students won’t hear in everyday conversation.

Kids of all ages can benefit from listening to stories read aloud, or from reading to themselves. 

Another benefit is that kids books are fun, and offer a much-needed break from screen time. Screen time has been linked to communication disorders.

Speech-language pathologists love using books as a tool in therapy as a fun way to address a variety of speech and language objectives.

References: 

Robertson, S. (2017). The ASHA Leader22(12), 34–35. doi:10.1044/leader.scm.22122017.34

Aplesset. (2023). What Does Too Much Screen Time Do to Kids’ Brains? Retrieved from https://healthmatters.nyp.org/what-does-too-much-screen-time-do-to-childrens-brains/

Where To Find Cheap Preschool Books

It’s no secret that SLPs (and other educators) are often dealing with small materials budgets- or paying for materials out of pocket.

Educators are often searching for discounted books in good condition to use with students.

With that said, here are some places to find cheap books to use in therapy or the classroom:

  1. Of course, this goes without saying, but don’t forget about the children’s section of your local library!
  2. Create a wish list on Amazon and share it with friends or family
  3. Check out the bargain bin on Reading Warehouse for low prices
  4. Better World Books offers discounted used books- plus they raise funds for libraries and literacy
  5. Thrift stores can offer great deals (check out ThriftBooks online to learn about their educator discount program) 
  6. A book outlet such as Half Price Books can offer good finds- and Half Price Books offers a teacher discount
  7. Ask in your neighborhood Facebook group! Many parents may be willing to make free donations to neighbors
  8. Don’t forget to check out local garage sales for some fun finds
  9. If you want free digital books, Vooks offers free books for teachers- and they have a great selection of books to use in therapy!
  10. Scholastic has a huge selection, and they offer book clubs to help educators start classroom libraries
  11. Children’s consignment stores may also offer discounted books that a young reader (or listener) might enjoy. Google “children’s consignment stores with books near me” to get started.

Please also spread the word to parents about Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library! This program provides great books for free to children between the ages of 1-5. 

The program sends out paperback books (one per month) for each child until the age of 5!

This blog post lists 10 cheap preschool books for teachers and speech-language pathologists to read to students to increase language skills.

Top Picks: Preschool Books

Here are my top picks for preschool books! I have linked to the paperback version in most cases. 

  1. Ty’s Travels: Lab Magic by Kelly Starling Lyons is a fantastic book to add to your collection. This story showcases brothers who love science and have a blast visiting a museum. Plus, this book promotes diversity. It is ideal for the age groups of 3-6. 
  2. Looking for a great book series? Check out the Bear Books by Karma Wilson. I love these books because they incorporate so much tier II vocabulary along with bright illustrations. To start, look into Bear Feels Scared
  3. Don’t Push the Button by Bill Cotter is such an engaging, interactive book! I love this book for imitating gestures and also just sharing the message that books are FUN!
  4. You can’t go wrong with adding Little Blue Truck by Alice Shertle to your preschool book collection. I love this book for targeting imitating sounds (vehicle sounds and animal sounds), but there are so many language skills you can target with this series!
  5. Talk about fun- your students will ask to listen to Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin over and over again! 
  6. Some of my students with communication disorders are not ready for longer picture books yet. I love all of the Leslie Patricelli books, especially Yummy Yucky. We work on imitating gestures, like a thumbs up for yummy things, and a thumbs down for yucky things. 
  7. The Mitten by Jan Brett is a classic story that you’ll read every winter with your students. This is a great book to invest in. Plus, you can do lots of fun mitten crafts while working on story retelling!
  8. Okay, not to just focus on winter, but who doesn’t love The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats? This one should be a must-have for your library.
  9. I’m a huge fan of I Can Do Hard Things by Gabi Garcia. This book has such a positive message about listening to your inner voice.
  10. Check out the There Was an Old Lady series by Lucille Collandro! This is a great series for working on sequencing. One of my favorites is There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books

Children’s Books for Speech Therapy: Ultimate Book List

Check out this article to see a comprehensive list of the best books for speech therapy.

This article explains how to use a book during your speech therapy session.

 In addition, it lists the best high-quality children’s books to target specific speech sounds, vocabulary development, story retelling, and spatial concepts. It also contains a section of recommended wordless picture books and books that promote diversity and inclusion. 

Best Books for Older Kids

Don’t worry, I have book recommendations for older kids as well! 

These books are specifically geared for 4th and 5th graders. 

Summary

In summary, it is possible to find high-quality cheap preschool books in a variety of places. Reading aloud to children is such a great activity because it is a great way to increase language skills. Children get exposure to a lot of tier II vocabulary that they don’t hear in everyday conversation. 

Teachers and speech-language pathologists may wish to check out the Reading Warehouse, Amazon, Better World Books, ThriftBooks, Half Price Books, local garage sales, Facebook groups, Vooks, or Scholastic.

Scroll up to see a list of 10 incredible preschool books. 

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