The benefits of reading books with children
Reading with children invites communication, bonding, and shared experiences. Whether you are reading to a classroom or snuggled up with your kiddo at the end of the day, reading together has many benefits.
The shared reading experience happens even in groups. For example, teachers read aloud to help their students with cognitive development, language and literacy skills, and other competencies. Sharing the experience of reading during elementary school years creates a bond and fosters a healthy habit—reading!
Reading teaches children language development, critical thinking skills, and new words. Teachers and parents alike see how reading sparks imaginations and improves listening skills. As a parent, reading to my own children was a very special time for me.
It was so special, in fact, that I wrote my own book series!
With its layered messaging and numerous teaching opportunities, the Zuko and Allie Puff series will help parents and teachers experience the benefits of reading and SO MUCH more.
What children get out of reading
There are so many benefits! In this blog, I’ll touch on three of them.
- Improved communication
Reading opens the door to improved communication between children and adults. By discussing books, children build a level of comfort talking with adults.
Kids can also explore how Zuko and Allie Puff’s experiences relate to their own, and at the same understand how to practice using Aristotelian virtues.
Children who are used to talking about their lives in the context of a book may feel more comfortable interacting with adults outside of reading, opening the door to improved lines of communication during other life moments.1
- Bonding moments
Reading leads to laughter, discovery, questioning, understanding, and relating. (read more about how picture books promote empathy here) When shared, these are all opportunities for bonding.
Like me, you may have special memories of reading a book with a child or being read to as a child yourself. The bonding comes in that moment when we connect—laughing at an illustration, asking why something happened, discussing the meaning behind the story, and simply the time spent together.
There are many opportunities for bonding when reading the Zuko and Allie Puff series. The characters share silly moments accompanied by funny illustrations. They make mistakes, learn how to fix them, and rise above. The puppies use Aristotle’s virtues to guide their choices, and they encourage children to make a promise to be kind.
In the classroom, reading is a special time between the teacher and students. At home, reading is an opportunity to slow down and soak up time together with your child(ren.
- Shared experiences
Reading a book with a child is a shared experience to treasure for a lifetime. When an adult is reading one-on-one with a child, only those two are present at that moment . . . hearing the story, having discussions, and creating shared experiences that are later remembered fondly.
I have the most wonderful memories of reading The Three Little Pigs, The Gingerbread Man, Rumpelstiltskin, and Goldilocks and the Three Bears with my mom. I also have the best memories of reading the same books with my children. It’s not just about the stories—it’s about sharing time and experiences with the people I love so very much.
The Zuko and Allie Puff series presents characters and stories that children and adults will love to share and discuss.
Why it’s important to read with children
When adults read with children, books come to life!
Acting out the stories, doing the voices, and really getting into it gives the books additional context and meaning. Talking about a story’s messages and themes after reading helps kids to understand them even better.
In the Zuko and Allie Puff books, the learning layered throughout presents great opportunities for these types of discussions.
Topics include Aristotle’s virtues, social and environmental issues, and geography.
Aristotle’s virtues are presented in the books as a way to do good in the world. Each book focuses on a different virtue that parents and teachers can discuss with children—they can also look for the word on Zuko’s medal!
If you are interested in learning more, sign up for the email list to receive a free booklet titled “The Super Puppies and Aristotle’s Virtues“. The guide explains what each virtue means and asks children how they could apply each one in their lives. Plus, you get recipes, crafts, and more to help you spend quality time with your kids!
Social and environmental issues
Zuko and Allie Puff use their superpowers to tackle various social and environmental issues. As with the virtues, these topics present opportunities for adults to refer back to the illustrations and hold meaningful discussions with children.
Some of the puppies’ missions address tsunamis, the ozone layer, melting sea ice, air pollution, deforestation, ocean pollution, and space junk. One book is dedicated to address the topic of bullying/cyberbullying—where the super puppies ask children to make a promise to be kind.
Zuko and Allie Puff’s solutions are cartoonish, but they can act as building blocks to conversations about real-world efforts to solve these problems. Perhaps some children might even be inspired to grow up to find solutions of their own!
Some books include a mission location map to help children understand the geography associated with environmental issues.
Illustrations depict ecosystems like the rainforest and the ocean, animals like seals and polar bears, and even outer space. This allows adults to introduce scientific topics in a fun and approachable way.
Is your interest piqued?
Do you love sharing the reading experience (and all it offers) with the children in your life? Are you interested in bonding over Zuko and Allie Puff’s adventures?
Sign up below for the mailing list to receive the booklet The Super Puppies and Aristotle’s Virtues, and you’ll be the first to know when Zuko and Allie Puff are heading on a new adventure! PLUS you’ll get weekly messages with kid-friendly recipes, crafts, and more!
If you are thinking, “What’s with all the Aristotle references?” then this is the blog for you: “How Aristotle’s Virtues Help Us Raise Successful Kids: Happy, Confident, and Fulfilled!”