When confronted with having to pick a story for your children, you might be initially tempted to think that all children’s book can be easily read and understood by just about every child. After all, why would bookstores and libraries even dedicate an entire section to children’s literature? But you see, children’s books aren’t a one size fits all affair. Just like how you may often find yourself spending a considerable amount of time shopping for the right kinds of clothes or toys for your children, you should also spend some time in choosing the perfect story for your children¾ones that they can enjoy reading.
Why Are Stories Important for Your Children’s Growth and Development?
Aside from touching things and playing games, your children are trying to make sense of the world around them by reading stories. Here are some reasons why stories are essential to your children’s growth and development:
- Stories expose your children to new words.
As you may not have all the time in the world to teach your children every single word they need to learn, reading stories makes it easier for them to learn new words that they can use in their daily lives.
● Learning new words by reading stories helps your children develop their language skills faster.
● Reading stories also helps expand your children’s vocabulary which can help them in the future, not only in school, but also if ever they decide to pursue writing.
2. Stories foster your children’s imagination and creativity.
As children are natural explorers, reading stories provides them with an avenue where they can make up an entirely different world altogether, one where everything is possible.
● Your children can let their creativity run wild by imagining situations that are otherwise impossible in real life.
● A story need not be overly fantastical and out of this world all the time though, as even just letting your children read one that’s set in a real-life place that they’re entirely unfamiliar with can help them imagine what the said place looks like, despite not having visited it at all.
3. Stories help your children learn about empathy.
Reading stories lets your children process real-life situations and relate to what other people are experiencing.
● A relatable story can teach your children to empathize with other people who are also dealing with similar or trying situations that they themselves face.
● A story with a lead character in very much the same situation as that of your children can help them realize that they’re not alone after all.
What Things Should You Consider in Choosing the Perfect Story for Your Children?
Choosing the perfect story for your children can become a cumbersome process¾especially with so many children’s books being put out left and right. Reading these tips should make it easier for you to decide which story to buy in a bookstore or what one to check out from a library.
1. Know your children’s current interests.
Finding out about your children’s current interests are can make you decide faster what kinds of stories are most likely to tickle their fancy.
● Aside from getting to know what your children are currently interested in, you should also try to determine what might be future interests, and choose books that will allow them to explore these.
● Finding out which things are connected to your children’s interests would help you choose stories that are somewhat relevant to their primary interests, even if not explicitly tackling them.
● Movies are a great way to find books that your children will be interested in¾what your children watch may also be a part of a must-read book-to-movie series.
2. Use the five-finger rule when choosing stories for your children.
Your children should be able to enjoy reading stories without having to come across too many words with meanings they don’t know at all.
● To quickly check if the story you chose for your children to read is suitable for their current vocabulary level, you should apply the five-finger rule.
● The five-finger rule asks for your children to read a page of a story and count how many unfamiliar words they would happen to come across while doing so.
● If there’s only one unfamiliar word on a page, or even no unknown words at all, the story itself is already too easy for your children to read and wouldn’t challenge their reading skills.
● If there are two to three unfamiliar words in a page of a story, you should let your children read the story as it would make them want to consult a dictionary to find out what a specific unfamiliar word means¾which makes for a good challenge while learning something new at the same time.
● If there are four to five unfamiliar words in a page of a story, you might want to hold back on either buying or checking out the story for your children until their vocabulary skills are already sharpened enough for them to read it.
3. Ask your children if they understood the story they’ve just read.
Choosing the perfect story for your children is more than just picking a book that they’ll be able to read effortlessly.
● Whatever story you decide on for your children to read should also be one that they would quickly comprehend.
● You should tell your children to pause for a while after having read a few pages of the story you picked for them and ask them to recall what they’ve just read.
Your children may enjoy reading stories or might grow up to dislike reading as a whole, so it is essential for them to come across the right story suitable for their reading level. With these tips, you should be able to easily choose the perfect story for your children so that whatever you decide to buy in a bookstore or check out from a library can turn into one of your children’s favorites. Who knows, maybe they’ll choose those very same stories too, once they get to have children of their own.
Sarah is a passionate writer and advocate for donating stories to the less fortunate. She currently works for BookRazor.com and enjoys reading her favorite novels in her pastime. She has a loving and very supportive family and enjoys visiting book signing events whenever she can.