Rotating Your Books, Seasonally

I love books. I mean, I love books in the way that I would happily live in a library. One could argue that I have used homeschooling as an excuse to buy tons of books. As a result, my home is full of books. Most of us think of this as a good thing. However, if your children are small, too many books can actually be overwhelming for them. Do your children have this problem?

If there are too many books on the shelf, a child often can’t choose one to read. They can’t see the forest for the trees, as the expression goes. They may even avoid choosing books to look at because there are just too many. This is especially challenging when your child is still in the picture book stage of life. A small bookcase can hold over a hundred thin picture books, which is far more than most children can mentally sort through.

Sorting Picture Books

The simple solution seems to be getting rid of some of your books, but that is a heartbreaking idea! So instead, I suggest rotating your child’s book selection, seasonally. This method can work no matter where you live, even if you do not have 4 seasons outside.

First, obtain 4 boxes that are big enough to hold a stack of children’s books. Label each box with a season, or a set of about 3 months. You can add labels with tape or just write on the box with a washable marker.  I prefer to group December, January, and February, as winter, March, April, and May as spring, June, July, and August as summer, and September, October, and November as fall.  Now, look through your child’s books and start putting any books that go with a particular season into the right box. For example, if you have books focused on a holiday that is set in a certain season, whether it is Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Valentine’s, you can toss that in the box that goes with the month that the holiday takes place.  You can also toss in books about the seasons into the corresponding box. The Snowy Day goes in winter. Books about bunnies and chicks go in spring.

Non-Fiction too!

At my house, this sorting method also helped me to add non-fiction books to each box. We had many fiction and non-fiction books and easy readers that fit into these categories. Once each box has all the seasonally appropriate stories, you can add a selection of other books you have on hand. Personally, I like to make sure each box has a variety of characters and stories. Fables, folk tales, and fairy tales get equally spread out between the 4 boxes.

If you have children of different ages, be sure you have mixed in your board books with your big kid books for every box. You don’t want your toddler to get mad that there are no books for her in one of the boxes. Hopefully, your 100 children’s picture books are now sorted into boxes of about 25 books each. This is a perfectly reasonable number of books for your child to read and re-read for a few months. Don’t forget that you can still visit the library and read other books beyond these.

Now that you have sorted your books, you can deposit one box of books onto your child’s bookshelf. The shelf will be much less full, but also easier to clean up and manage. If your child tends to pull them all off the shelf, clean-up will go much faster after this. The 4 boxes, including the empty one, should be put into the top of a closet or other space out of the way until it is time to rotate your books. Rotating them is easy, as you just load up the empty box, and unload the next season onto the shelf.

Why I like it so much

The thing I love about this method is that it keeps the books you own fresh and on topic. Maybe other parents don’t care, but I disliked reading books about Christmas in July. I much prefer to read books that correspond to the current season and holidays we are celebrating. I think it also helps kids to have a better sense of time passing and to make better associations with real life and the books they read. Books are more topical for kids this way, too.

What do you think? Will this work for your family?

Oh, hi there!
It’s nice to meet you.

Sign up to receive our latest blog post, news about sales, and sneak peeks of new products in your inbox.

We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


About the Author

nimble_asset_Laura-in-floral-shirt-with-treesLaura Sowdon, OTR/L is an occupational therapist, writer, speaker, educator, and creator of the Five Senses Literature Lessons homeschool curriculum. She has worked as an occupational therapist with children in public and private schools, as well as private practice. Laura has taught and managed homeschool co-ops as well as homeschooling her own three children. Laura is dedicated to the idea of educating children at a pace that aligns with brain and physical development milestones and respects neurodiversity in all its forms.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.