What your child will love and learn
Seeing your child spark up a friendship with a character in a story is a really special thing. Characters are the driving force of a story and can bring so much more to your child’s life beyond the time spent reading.
Children can learn a lot from stories and their narratives, but the words, actions and scenarios of the characters can cross over into your own child’s learning and development. When your child gets to know a character, learning about their habits and their adventures, that 30 minutes of escapism can have an amazing impact on your child off the pages too.
Establishing that relationship between your child and a character is at the forefront of Little Letters so here are 5 reasons why the characters in stories are important for our little readers and what they will get out of it…
Time to relax
Reading stories can be a really helpful tool to help your child relax. Making story time a part of their bedtime routine from early on will encourage your child to switch off and fully escape into the world of the characters in the story. The familiarity of a character they are particularly fond of will help to soothe and relax your child. The rhyming and/or repetition of different pictures in the story can also set a really calming mood to enhance a lovely bonding time for you and your child before bedtime.
Reading about the feelings of characters in the story will help your child to recognise their own feelings and encourage them to empathise with the feelings of other people in their lives. When a story contains feelings of happiness, sadness or any other emotions, your child will start to discover that feelings are in fact very normal. This should in turn help your child to understand their feelings a lot more and encourage them to express them.
As your child gets to know the characters in the stories they read, it will build self esteem and confidence. Reading about a character’s life and adventures will show your child what other people’s worlds look like and help your child to make sense of the world they live in. Your child will start to draw differences and similarities which will install confidence in the future when meeting new people or dealing with cultural differences.
Stories and picture books are a great way to help teach your child simple concepts of shapes, colours, numbers and much more, but actually, reading about characters in stories will give your child a greater understanding of physical everyday concepts. For example, brushing their teeth, taking care of animals, using a knife and fork, collecting pebbles etc. Seeing characters do all these things will encourage your child to put these things into practice in their own world.
Fantasy v. Reality
A lot of the stories your child will read will be fiction to start with and will send you both into a fantasy world, however, although the settings will be make-believe remember that the narrative and key messages surrounding the characters can translate into everyday life for your child.
Furthermore, fiction and fantasy can in fact encourage your child to chase their dreams, and adopt the mindset that nothing is impossible!