Are you a passionate reader, and would like your kids to inherit the same passion? Well, love for literature develops in childhood, and you will surely fall in love with the world of the written word a second time if you decide to explore it together with your children. So, for a passionate reader, it’s a double win. Also because you will enjoy their experiences and interpretations, observing from their point of view, and you can often learn something yourself.
Why is reading important?
Reading is one of the key factors in the development of every child, and an excellent ally for parents and all those involved in the upbringing of children. In the early development of a child, when the skills that enable it to communicate with the world around it are established and developed, books found on bookandbear.com can really become true friends that will lay a good foundation for the formation of many useful skills in the long run.
In preschool development, i.e. while the child is still not literate, adults, parents, teachers, and educators play an important role in introducing the child to the world of literature. Reading and telling stories will certainly provoke the child’s curious nature, while the efforts of adults can contribute to strengthening the child’s love for books. One of the most important reasons why children should be read to is language and cognitive development. At the earliest age when the child expands their knowledge every day and very quickly, reading will contribute to the enrichment of vocabulary. Vocabulary expansion greatly improves oral and later written expression, thus strengthening the child’s self-confidence. And what better way to do that, than through some quality animal books, or fables?
Why should books and stories of animals be a must-have?
Animals are something children connect to very quickly, from their earliest days. Barking, miauing, and mooing are some of the first sounds that children learn to pronounce. Every visit to a grandmother in the village or a neighbor who raises a small cow for the kids is a truly exciting event. Also, if you were to ask children what was the most fun they’ve ever done, a family visit to the zoo would surely be in the top five most common answers. From an early age, children are fascinated by animals, their voices, and their movements. They often develop special relationships with them and learn to love and empathize with them.
At the same time, animals are also symbols of human nature. The fox is wise and cunning; the wolf is evil and a tyrant, the lion is the ruler, the rabbit is naive, the ant and the bee are diligent, the cricket is lazy, etc. Every fable has a lesson at the end (of course). With the lesson, the writer wants to show how some human traits (through the characters of animals) are good and desirable, while others are undesirable. Below are some more advantages of reading books about animals to your children.
Developing and boosting communication skills
Listening is the first language activity that children encounter, long before they have learned to speak. It is through listening to animal stories that the child enriches their vocabulary and creates a connection between sounds and the meaning of words. When listening to the parent’s voice, the child learns how each word should be pronounced and what it means. In addition, by regularly listening to animal stories, a certain vocabulary enters the child’s subconscious more and more. For example, if stories related to the animals are often read to it, the child will over time very easily recognize which actions are related to which animal. Thus, it will be encouraged to talk about them even when the book is not in sight.
Educational picture books and stories of animals often talk about feelings that are an integral part of children’s lives. They regularly express basic human feelings such as happiness or sadness, and characters make it easier for a child to understand them. When it focuses on a certain character who is experiencing periods of sadness, the child will not feel as if he alone is being exposed but will hear about the feelings through the characters’ adventures. After reading, it is easier for it to talk about what, for example, the character experienced in kindergarten, than about that alone. But that will help it to open up and understand and express its feelings more easily.
Developing focus on an action
Each reading or telling of an animal story takes a certain period of time (but it is not recommended for more than 10 to 15 minutes at a time), which requires the child to learn to focus on a specific action. While listening to the story, the child will learn how to be present and how to really hear the story, without playing with toys, bothering the pet, or something else. Of course, the learning process will take time, but this will help him in later childhood to develop focus on any activity, both in school and outside it.
Encouraging critical thinking
A child should be taught critical thinking from an early age. Animal stories are a great way to do this by talking about the text you read. After each reading or telling of a story, it is necessary to discuss its content and the actions of the characters with the child. At the same time, it is important to ask open-ended questions, that is, those that ask for an answer that goes beyond a simple confirmation or denial.
Ultimately, listening to animal stories strongly encourages the development of children’s imagination. The characters in the stories and fairy tales have a touch of fantasy in them, which will encourage the child to explore the limits of what is possible. In addition, after listening to the story, you can offer the child other activities that will necessarily require it to use its imagination and brain cells. For example, you can ask to draw a certain animal from the story, to think about how to change the end of the story or add a new character to it, or you can encourage it to prepare a real small dramatization of the story for the rest of the family, i.e. a play based on the story. The possibilities for playing, are endless.