One of the best and easiest ways to bond with children and build their language skills is to read to them. Great reading habits often start at home, and its advantages can extend beyond the obvious. The simple act of reading or relaying an oral story to children can deter behavioral problems such as hyperactivity, aggression, and attention disorders. With so many benefits, reading stories to or with kids can be considered an investment in their happiness, socialization, and success.
Some of the first stories that children are introduced to as infants and toddlers are nursery rhymes. These simple, short stories often function as a way to build language skills and support their senses. For instance, "Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Moe" instructs kids on how to count, while a rhyme like "Bingo" can teach spelling and rhyming and introduce children to the concept of musicality. Songs like "I'm a Little Teapot" that feature accompanying dance routines can help with body coordination, and "The Itsy Bitsy Spider" may illustrate the wonders of nature's littlest creatures.
To teach kids about morality and ethics, many teachers and parents use Aesop's fables during story time. These short stories impart important lessons about life through animal characters that children can easily recognize. For example, "The Crow and the Pitcher" can teach kids to value intelligence and resourcefulness, "The Two Goats" can illustrate the benefits of flexibility and teamwork, and "The Plane Tree" can help children recognize all of the special gifts that surround them.
If you're interested in broadening your child's social horizons, consider sharing fairy tales and fables from different cultures. Should you desire to inform kids about history, deconstruct fairy tales and discuss their origins. Many fairy tales were created as responses to historical events and social issues of their time. In particular, British fairy tales have a reputation for reflecting important events and contemporary issues, while American fairy tales often function as a moral mirror for society.
Older kids may delight in the sharing of fairy tales as they were originally written. The first versions of stories by the Brothers Grimm featured dark comedy, violence, and blood and guts. These initial iterations can be the perfect literary alternative to horror movies while also giving teenagers an introduction to the type of stories that were popular in the 1800s. For students of both history and literature, they're sure to provide a fascinating journey into a different (and more macabre) era.
Visit the following links for more information about children's stories:
- Reading Aloud to Young Children Has Benefits for Behavior and Attention
- Why Reading to Kids Helps Them Thrive
- Benefits of Reading Fairy Tales to Children
- Short Stories for Children
- Children's Stories to Read Aloud From Your Phone
- Grimm's Fairy Tales
- Fairy Tales for Kids
- The Dark History of Ten Fairy Tales
- Aesop's Fables
- Classics for Young People
- The Nursery Rhyme Book
- Why the British Tell Better Children's Stories