Stories have much deeper connections to human lives than we can ever think. They have the power to inspire us, motivate us and encourage us to take life decisions. Stories read or demonstrated to children can make a difference in their lives. It helps children learn values and develop beliefs. Story books selected for preschoolers should not be challenging. The books with challenging content or vocabulary can discourage them or lower their self-confidence. On the other hand the adults should also ensure that the stories selected are also not very easy for them. The easy reading stories will not give them enough practice with vocabulary.
Let us look at some other factors that can help us to select appropriate story books for our preschoolers.
- Age appropriate and relatable story: By the time children land in preschool, they are in good place to begin reading words. Hence, they mostly enjoy stories with little complexed sentences than toddlers who merely like stories with rhyming and less words. A good story will always keep preschoolers’ attention while read by an adult. The stories for preschoolers should be selected with an idea that gives a sense of fun element along with learning.
- Engaging and simple language: One of the aims to make the preschoolers read story books is to expose them to vocabulary. Encountering new words and understanding its meaning remains important. However, the preschoolers will enjoy the stories only when they can comprehend the plot. Hence, it becomes important for the parents and teachers to choose stories that are easy for them to comprehend. The moment preschoolers start understanding the language, it will become more engaging and interesting for them. Reading stories in different languages at this age can also help children become multi-lingual leading to better communication with people around them.
- Culturally appropriate: India is an absolutely diversified country. Indians come from multi-lingual and multi-cultural background. Keeping this in mind, selecting an appropriate story becomes all the more important. Exposing preschoolers to stories with westernized characters can be confusing and difficult to relate. On the other hand, stories with Indian plot, characters and setting can help preschoolers learn about the different Indian cultures and values we belong to.
- Stimulates mind and imagination: Reading can in general be very beneficial to the brain. It can help brain develop new connections. Reading story books more often can also help preschoolers develop concentration. While reading a story or being read, the descriptions often gets converted into images and our brain begins to run the story. And so, happens with young preschoolers which often transforms into activities like pretend play.
- Learning based message: It is important to have stories with a learning for preschoolers. They are one of the best mediums to teach young children about important values, manners and way of living. The stories also allow preschoolers to learn about different thematic concepts like family, nature, animals, friendship and so much more.
Today, with technology rapidly overpowering our lifestyles, many families and schools have started adopting laptops, tablets and kindle to download picture or story books. There are multiple story books available in the market that not only has mythological stories but also moral/value-based learning stories based on Indian context. Some of the examples are:
1. Why do we celebrate holi Why do we celebrate HOLI: HOLI FESTIVAL (Unravel Festivals)
2. What can I be? What can I be?: A story for Preschoolers and Kindergarteners.
- The Jungle Crew https://www.amazon.in/Jungle-Crew-Bedtime-Stories-Children-ebook/dp/B0137GNKQY/ref=sr_1_19?keywords=kindle+picture+books&qid=1579452327&sr=8-19
- Ramadan my first fast Ramadan My First Fast (Unravel Festivals Book 1)
Storytelling and reading indeed provides children with opportunities for learning packed with new ideas and information. It is our primary responsibility as adults to develop a love for reading among our pre-schoolers. Let us wow together to read new stories to our pre-schoolers every week.
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