At Playstories, we love creating books that inspire your child to read. In fact, we’ve taken classic kids books that we grew up with and given them a decidedly modern twist. Your child becomes the star of the book and their name and a character that looks like them features throughout the story. Classic kids stories have an amazing ability to get your child reading and turn them into lifelong bookworms! Check out these five benefits that we’ve discovered in reading classic books to your kids.
1. Classic kids books are a modern marvel
Reading classic kids books to your children can have huge benefits for their development down the road. According to Jim Trelease, author of The Read-Aloud Handbook, reading aloud to your child is THE most important thing you can do for your child. In fact, across multiple studies, he and other scholars have shown that the number one developmental factor for children entering kindergarten with success was the extent to which their parents read to them. They discovered that of those who were read to, most had IQs as much as 40 points higher than those whose parents didn’t value reading to their children.
2. Classic kids books inspire your child’s inner hero
The educational and developmental benefits of reading aloud to children are amazing but that’s not all. Classic kids books inspire our children to greater heights. Daniel is one of Playstories’ satisfied customers. He shared that when his kids were small they loved the adventures of Peter Pan in the classic by JM Barrie. “I don’t even know how many times I have read that book to my kids. They love it so much and quite often pretend to be Peter, Wendy, Michael, and John.” While imagining being the hero in a book is fun, Daniel’s children were also absorbing classic values of heroism, justice and fair play. Daniel says, “As much as my kids enjoy silly books like Captain Underpants, I feel like the old classics do more to instill values in them that they will carry throughout their lives.”
3. Reading aloud is a classic way to bring you closer to your child
Every parent has experienced the intense bonding that happens when you sit down on the couch with your child and read a book together. Much more than learning is going on. As you sit together, physiologists have found that breathing is calmed and your heartbeats can slow and even start to beat in sync! The physical contact between a parent and a child is incredibly important and reading aloud provides a golden opportunity for that. Researchers have even determined that reading aloud can be an effective means of reducing stress levels for the parent and the child.
4. The best classic stories are interactive
Reading with your child is a completely immersive experience. They are hearing the words, pointing at pictures and even acting out what is happening. It’s an exciting activity and fairy tales are perfect for this. We all remember reading the Three Little Pigs” and repeating the classic line, “I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll BLOW your house down!” For a modern take on that classic, why not try the Playstories’ The Tale of The Three Little Pigs that puts your child into the book? They will see themselves in the classic story and want you to read it to them again and again! Another highly interactive children’s classic is the Playstories’ The Tale of The Little Red Riding Hood. We all love saying, “Why is your mouth so large, Grandma?” Our interactive version has a humorous twist on this book that will leave your child giggling with delight.
5. Long term benefits of reading classics to your kids
According to Jim Trelease, children who have parents that read to them consistently experience five crucial benefits that set them up for academic success and winning at the game of life. First, read-alouds build vocabulary. And there’s no better way to help your child get off to a great start in school than by building their vocabulary. Second, read-alouds associate reading with pleasure. Your child will naturally look forward to reading instead of dreading it like children who have had limited contact with books. Third, read-alouds provide crucial background knowledge that helps kids make sense of the world. Fourth, it provides a reading model. Your kids naturally imitate you. And when they see you reading and enjoying books, they will too! Fifth and finally, read-alouds create a crucial desire to learn how to read. And that motivation will get them reading faster and sooner!
So where can you get started on reading classic kids books?
As a new parent, the prospect of finding classic books to read to your child can be intimidating. If you don’t know where to start or your parents didn’t read to you when you were young, here are some titles to get you started.
- Peter Pan
- Through The Looking Glass
- Charlotte’s Web
- The Tale of The Three Little Pigs – Playstories
- The Tale of The Little Red Riding Hood – Playstories
You can also ask the children’s librarian at your public library for other recommendations.