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  • Suzanne Rightley

Fiction - Still A Great Gift Idea for Kids

Books may seem like an outdated gift idea for kids this year, however it's worth noting that a new fiction story is still a novelty for children, tweens, and teens.


The Many Merits of Children's Fiction


Improves Critical Thinking

  • Reading story books remains one of the best ways for children to develop independent thinking skills. ‘Toy trends’ come and go, but exploring life, through the written word, continues to be timeless adventures for kids of all ages and a welcome gift.

  • Bear in mind that books delve into the thoughts and behaviours of other people – how these individuals respond to the world – what works for them, what doesn’t, how their actions and reactions affect others, consequences of behaviour, and etc.

  • In other words, a child safely learns what other people experience in life, a life that may or may not be similar to their own.

  • Furthermore, children are given an opportunity to ‘intuitively’ form opinions, establish values, evaluate merits of character traits, and so much more as they gather information about the world outside of their immediate environment.

  • Therefore, books do make great gifts for kids…however, choose them wisely considering how impressionable children are at different ages.


Increases Vocabulary and Strenghtens Grammar Skills

  • A well-written children’s book will include a broad use of the English language. A properly constructed sentence will utilize the ‘inference’ concept which makes a word’s definition obvious. Furthermore, e-readers have built in definition software. Hovering over a word means kids quickly learn new words while enjoying uninterrupted reading.

  • Plenty of quality reading time means a child builds a familiarity for a foundation in sentence/paragraph structure, lively dialogue, and etc. This will prove invaluable for future creative writing, essays, reports, and so forth.


Encourages Quality Quiet Time

  • Life has become overly stressful for many children today. Social media and busy schedules mean a child’s day can be demanding, leaving many children pressured to ‘keep up’.

  • Leisurely reading, that has no objective, other than ‘getting lost’ in a make-believe story, can provide a child’s growing brain some peace and relaxation. Similar to walking outdoors without earbuds delivering lyrics or podcasts hashing out problems, a ‘mindless’ walk enables a person to appreciate the smells, sounds, and visuals of nature. Likewise, fiction allows the mind to wander in the imagination.


Advances Comprehension Levels

  • It might go without saying, however the ability to understand what a person is reading is a life skill developed during childhood – thanks to both fiction and non-fiction content.

  • Understanding what we read is paramount in importance, but something that we generally take for granted.

  • Providing children with an abundance of varied reading material cannot be underestimated in its value.

  • Determine what a child finds most interesting (usually something that has a certain amount of humour) and broaden their learning experience from there.


A Parent's ‘To Do’ List of Suggestions


Many parents spend hours and hours reading books with their toddlers and preschoolers. This provides quality time to discuss a variety of topics and life skills.

Then one day, their children are reading on their own and their shared reading experience drops off…


Although young readers may not require their parents’ assistance, it is worth noting that children continue to need guidance throughout their formative years.


Therefore…

  • Be aware of your child’s reading choices; busy lifestyles mean many things slip by parents; consider that the books your child is reading may be replacing your wise counsel

  • If the books they choose are inappropriate and potentially harmful, strive not to be critical of their choice but rather critical of the content; take the opportunity to explain why the material is not what you expect them to read

  • Remember that the books your child chooses is their choice – not yours; do not make demands that they read non-fiction if they prefer fiction or vice versa or insist they read mystery stories if they do not enjoy them. Whodunnits may by your preferred genre but your child may love science-fiction

  • If possible… read as many of the books your child chooses yourself; knowing the content of the books your child is reading provides an opportunity for discussion – try to keep it upbeat and friendly, share your thoughts and hopefully your child will share his or hers…


Life is a learning journey and books provide an excellent resource for open, frank discusssions on which to build parent/child relationships to last a life time.


Thanks for the visit


Suzanne Rightley is an author of children’s fiction stories. Visit her author page to discover if her books would make a reading gift for the child you know and love.

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