Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Why You Should Read Classic Children's Books to Modern Kids

A parent recently told me that her kids would never be interested in reading the books she read as a child because they were too old fashioned. It struck me that in my experience, this was definitely not the case.

I read the books I treasured as a little girl to my boys and not withstanding the gender difference, they loved them. Some were considered classics, but most just held beautiful childhood memories for me. The reason I read them to my children is because I believed in the deep resonance they had with me that must have stuck with me for some reason.  They held a truth that my heart recognised and I wanted to share with and teach that truth to my family.  If history has taught us anything, it is that stories always endure.

Here are my top 5 reasons to read your favourite books to your kids.

1. It connects you.

One of the most beautiful things in life is sharing books you read as a child. I loved the old books my mother and grandmother had from their childhood and read to me. They connected me to their lives and history.
2. Today’s kids will still understand.

If it is a good story, children with enjoy it, no matter if the writing style is not what they are used to. In fact, it is an excellent vocabulary building tool and reading extension for creative thinking to expose them to different sentence structure. Children’s books celebrate universal themes that are timeless.


3. You have fun reading them out loud.

Share your excitement and enjoyment by reading the books aloud. The children will respond to your joy and it is a great way to initiate open conversation about why you loved the book and what about it has stayed with you over the years.

 4. Explore other perspectives

Kids can understand whose point of view a story is coming from if you take the time to explain the social context it was written in. Balance it out, talk about it. Being able to see things from a variety of perspectives is a big step in tolerance and moral development. It can also give kids a historical context…depending on how old they think you are.


5. Extend the learning

Use the reading as a starting point to fire you children’s imagination and extend their learning to a trip to the museum or another place of interest that can expand on the concepts and historical context discussed in the story. Seeing how far we have come has its place. Books can be portals through time and space and the more children are exposed to the organic value of reading and the meaning it has for them in their day to day lives.


My favourite childhood books are too many to list here, but I will give you my top 5 series and authors.

Anne of Green Gables series

Little House on the Prairie series

Enid Blyton Books

Beatrix Potter Books

Mem Fox Books


I would love to know what books framed your childhood. Please let me know in the comments.

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