by Nikki Ducas
We’ve all heard the saying, “All I really need to know about how to live and what to do and how to be I learned in kindergarten.” As parents, we’ve come to realize the information in Robert Fulghum’s book is reality. If we are to raise great children with good character, then we should instill in them early, life-long lessons that teach positive character development.
Children tend to gravitate toward other children that act like them. So, remember the rules of the sandbox—share, play fair, don’t hit, and admit when you are wrong—and teach your children to treat others the way you want to be treated.
Research shows that early literacy is critical in children’s development, so why not shape your little one’s character values through reading good books together.
Here are a handful of book suggestions that impart important lessons, add value and enrichment to children’s lives and encourage young readers to believe in the power of their dreams, overcome their fears and reach big goals
1. Fizz Chapter Book Series by Lesley Gibbes
Fizz is a little dog that longs for adventure and has big dreams of joining the police academy. He wants to be a rescue dog and save others, but some of the bigger dogs tell him he is not a good fit for the police academy.
The Lesson: This chapter book series for early elementary students focuses on theme of not judging a book (or dog) by its cover, and persevering in the midst of adversity.
2. Jonathan James and the What If Monster by Michelle Nelson-Schmidt
Jonathan James is a little boy with many fears. He worries about trying something new because something bad might happen.
The Lesson: This story flips fear on its side and reveals how children (and adults) may miss many opportunities when they don’t step out in faith and take a risk.
3. Amelia Who Could Fly by Mara dal Corso
A story of Amelia Earhart’s childhood and how she developed her dream of flying around the world.
The Lesson: This book will capture the hearts of children and adults alike and resonates with themes such as determination, perseverance, and imagination against all odds.
4. What Will Danny Do Today? by Pippa Goodhart
This book helps children develop a sense of confidence in their own choices. Children get to help Danny make decisions about his daily routine such as: What will he wear? What will he eat? Where will he go after school? What will he read?
The Lesson: A favorite of preschool teachers, this book engages both reluctant and avid readers as they actively engage in each choice Danny makes and how his day unfolds.
5. Illustrated Stories from Aesop by Susanna Davidson
A collection of over thirty Aesop’s fables that teach life lessons about themes such as greed, pride, trickery, and friendship.
The Lesson: Each story has an important moral to teach and will speak the hearts of young children as well as older readers.
It’s said that children who are raised with character values will spread kindness, add value, be determined and self-supporting, and persistent when they leave the sandbox and embark on the world. That starts at home with you, your child, and good books that reinforce great character.