There is something magical about stories. They have the power to retain the attention of any child, provided they are told in the right manner. They have the capacity to teach children anything they must learn.
Stories have the ability to reach out and comfort a child in distress and let him or her know that they are not alone. They let children know about things that happen, happy as well as sad. They enable children to be spectators to conflicts and give them the luxury of being able to decide what’s good and what’s bad. Above all, they act as a bonding force that brings parent and child together; grandparent and grandchild together; teacher and student together and so on.
A beautiful way to experience different emotions
Reading a story with your child, observing their reactions to different aspects of the story, watching them smile when they see funny illustrations, hearing them laugh at a joke in a story, answering their questions and so on is an experience that you would have gone through especially if you are a person who loves books. For a child, it is a window to a world he or she doesn’t know. It is a safe place to explore, enjoy and ask questions.
“We experience the emotions in the story together. We laugh together, we feel sad together and so on. These emotional experiences bind us together.” says Mrs.Poonam Sethi, a school teacher with several years of experience teaching very young children. She makes it a point to always start the day in class with a story. She says it is during this time that she develops an emotional bond with her students whom she affectionately calls as ‘her children’.
The first step to a life long journey of reading for pleasure
Children who are read to early on, begin to associate the reading activity as a fun activity and when it comes to reading the same favourite books on their own, it is less daunting as they are familiar with the story and perhaps with many of the words as well. Speaking to Reading Journey about the importance of reading and telling children stories, Mrs.Poonam Sethi, sums it up most aptly by saying,
“These foundation years are most important for absorbing new words learnt through stories and oral language, help retain the words for use later. Enhancing listening skills and comprehension helps children to understand and follow instructions in class.”
If you would like read more about she has to say on encouraging children to read for pleasure, the full interview is available to read on Reading Journey by MerryGoBooks
Stories enable children to imagine a world different from what they see around them. This helps in making them more curious which paves the way to productive learning. Illustrations in children’s books enable them to imagine the unknown world and understand the story better.
Why is enriching imagination important?
Imagination is instrumental in enhancing creative thinking. Children learn a lot from books based on their imagination. One of the reasons they enjoy a story is because they like what they are able to imagine. This inevitably gets translated in play, especially when they are in the process of creating something new. It could be something that they build or even a story that they make up to play either with themselves or with friends. Imagination is what makes play more fun. Imagination makes learning new things fun. In the long run it even helps children remember things better.
The ability of imagination as a tool to enable children remember things easily comes in hand especially when they are beginning to read. They are familiar with the sounds of words and have a picture in their minds about what the word means. As a result trying to read a word that they already know so much about becomes a lot less daunting.
Children when familiar with the sounds of words and have a picture in their minds about what the word means, trying to read a word that they already know so much about, becomes a lot less daunting.
A great way to relax
Curling up with a book at the end of the day is something an avid reader would love to do. Nothing works better than an interesting and entertaining story to relax your nerves at the end of the day. Growing up isn’t easy and children definitely need some quiet time to simply unwind. Bedtime story sessions are great way to instil the love of reading in children.
If you would like to be part of a reading community that discusses about making reading fun for children, MerryGoBooks has a quickly growing community on Facebook- THE READING JOURNEY. Please feel free to join in and talk about your experiences in this regard, ask for book recommendations, suggestions to get your child interested in reading and so on. Looking forward to seeing you there.