Story time with your children
Even when your child is old enough to read on their own, sharing the world of literature together is a wonderful way to spend time with your child as well as sharing stories and adventures you wouldn’t otherwise share.
Hearing your voice filled with expression and emotion over ‘just’ reading the words in their minds makes a book more real and more exciting to a child. And when a child is excited about a book, they’ll be more likely to want another book and then another and another and….
Reading to your young children
Preschool children enjoy The Berenstain Bears and any of the Dr. Seuss books as well as traditional story books of all kinds.
Early elementary aged children (K-1st) will thoroughly enjoy The Berenstain Bears. Children can relate to the issues Brother and Sister face and will learn important lessons in character development. Other series children this age will enjoy include Amelia Bedelia, Madeline, Henry and Mudge and The Boxcar Children.
Peggy Parish’ Amelia Bedelia keeps everyone laughing at her sill antics. No one but this zany maid would put clothes on a chicken or draw a picture of the living room curtains.
Madeline, the sweet little orphan in Paris always seems to get herself in a bit of a jam, but thanks to her quick wit and the loving and gentle Miss Clavel, Madeline always leaves us safe and sound.
The Boxcar Children have been around for ages, but they are still a delight to read about. Their ability to love and care for one another is what being a sibling is all about.
A boy and his dog-that’s Henry and Mudge. Nothing so extraordinary or exciting happens here-just life through the eyes of a little boy. Very relational for young readers and reassuring.
Children in grades 2 through 4 will love the Little House Books, Junie B. Jones, Diary of a Wimpy Kid, books by Beverly Cleary and The Magic School Bus series. The Babysitter Club books were huge twenty years ago, but there’s a reason for that-they’re fun for little girls in this age group.
Laura Ingalls Wilder recounts her life growing up in the wilderness of America in the 1800s in the Little House Books. These books are ageless and priceless-but no less loved than they were a couple of generations ago.
Junie B. Jones-you gotta love her. But you can also breathe a sigh of relief that she’s not yours. Even boys will enjoy her somewhat innocent antics with ‘Meany Jim’ and ‘Handsome Warren’.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid books leave you cheering for Greg. Even though these books are about a middle schooler, kids can understand his plight of being smaller, shyer, intimidated and wondering how to navigate his life.
Learning is downright fun when you do it on the Magic School Bus. The human body, under the sea, in the forest…you name it, you’ll learn all about it on that bus.
Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne and Stacey took the world by storm several years ago when they formed their babysitting club. The lessons learned about life and friendship are still relevant and provide parents with great opportunities to carry on conversations after the last page has been read.
Mid elementary aged-children
Children in grades 4-6 will also enjoy the Little House Books, Diary of a Wimpy Kid and the Babysitter Club series. But there’s more! Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, the American Girl series of books and The Chronicles of Narnia books will make for excellent reading and sharing.
Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys have been around since the 1940s.Yep, that’s old, but these books never go out of style. In fact, the older books are much more fun and intriguing than the newer, more modern story lines. You don’t mess with perfection.
The American Girl books feature girls from a variety of eras in history. The Wild West, post-slavery Civil War, The American Revolution, WWII, the Great Depression and more; you and your children will learn a lot about American history as well as growing up, friendships and family.
The Narnia books by C. S. Lewis are classics. The symbolism within the story is bold and forthright. Character and honor-you can’t read these books without understanding these things are life skills we should all possess in the full.
When to read
Reading aloud brings people together. Both the reader and listener(s) are focused on the characters and plot-going places together they’ve never been. Reading aloud entertains; taking people’s minds off their trouble and their pain. It passes time that would otherwise seem to drag.
Read to your children:
- At bedtime
- While they wait for the bus
- When they are sick
- Rainy days (instead of television)
- When they’re out of sorts (it calms them down)
- While they are enjoying a snack