When I was 17 I spent the summer working as a mother's helper for three children aged 6, 4 and 1. When they got up in the morning I would read them stories and when they went to bed at night I would read them stories. I even helped the oldest learn to read and I realized that my story telling inspired him to want to read stories of his own.
The magic of books
When you read to a child you show them the magic of words. These words can ignite their imaginations, send them to new worlds or help them understand their own world better. It can help them learn how to construct their language and inspire them to want to learn more.
Even when a child can read on their own, reading with them is important.
When a story is followed with some questions like "how did it make you feel?" "What might you have done?" It can inspire conversation. It can strengthen skills like problem solving and it can help children to relate to others.
The Emotional Animal Alphabet series
In the Emotional Animal Alphabet series the characters deal with different emotions and various scenarios. These books have inspired children to connect to the emotion or situation and begin a conversation about how they felt in a similar one.
A chance for children to explain their feelings is a wonderful and healthy opportunity. And being able to participate in this conversation with children is a beautiful gift.
If you would like a chance to open up some discussions on emotions with your child you can purchase the entire Emotional Animal Alphabet series from the author.
This reading of Optimistic Octopus can get you started.
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
― Emilie Buchwald