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Children and Books

By Sarah Holt

Children and good books go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or salt and pepper. Read on to find out why it can be so valuable to get the kids interested in reasding and how to encourage this.

Why Children and Books Belong Together

Books can provide experiences and knowledge that are not available to children in other ways. Books can transport them into other worlds, other cultures, and other situations. They can be used for resources, encouragement, or just for the fun of it.

Another reason children and books belong together? Children not only find out more about the world, but in doing so can learn a lot about themselves as well. They may see possibilities for future occupations or hobbies in books, or values that they identify with. Dreams may be triggered through books as children discover many interesting and exciting facets of the world they live in. The possibilities are many.

Books can also provide information that children may be uncomfortable talking to someone else about. They can give kids tools and resources for dealing with many things, from depression to bullying. There are also books out there that can teach children how to talk to others about what is bothering them in a productive and manageable way.

Encouraging the Connection Between Children and Books

Some children seem to love books without encouragement. These children will often find a book that is enjoyable and use every free moment to read it. But what about the kids who seem to cringe when they are required to read anything? Don't despair. Read on to find out how to encourage the connection between children and books, when this connection does not seem to come naturally.

Find out what the child likes, for example hobbies and activities. Then find books on these subjects. Often times it is not that children do not like books, but that they have not experienced ones that inspire them.

Inspiration may come from experiencing new genres. Even a child who is exposed to a vast quantity of books may need some guidance in distinguishing genres and finding where his/her interests are. Encourage trying out all kinds of books, even ones that do not appeal at first. This may take some persuasion or creativity. For example, a reward system can be used where they earn something once they read a book from each category, where each category is a different genre.

Find books that children relate to. This often means one where the main characters are in the same age range as the child. It also may be useful to find ones where the characters are experiencing similar life events. The more a child can relate to a book the more they may feel a connection to it.

Bringing children and books together is an ongoing process. In order to accommodate this it is useful to have a library card, or access to a large quantity of books. This way as children grow and change, the books available to them will continue to provide what they are looking for.

Now that we have explored the connection between children and reading, and provided tools for nurturing this connection, it's time to go find some books!

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Children and Education - Beyond School

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