Although you wouldn’t know it by how much time they spend plugged into cell phones, tablets, laptops, computers, televisions, and video games, one of the purest forms of joy and wonder your grandchildren can receive still comes from books.
From the board books that first expose babies and toddlers to the wonderful world of words and photos to the imaginary worlds of Narnia, Hogwarts, and Never-Never Land, books have the power to transport the reader, regardless of their age, into the most incredible place of all – our own imaginations.
Grandparents seldom get as much time with their grandchildren as they would like, whether it’s because of physical distance, work-life balance, or simply too many extracurricular activities pulling your grandkids in one hundred different directions.
So when you are able to spend time with them, you want to make it count, which often leads to extravagant expenses like trips to the toy store, the mall, or both, that often have your own children shaking their heads.
But a trip to your local library, or even more preferable, a trip to a comfortable couch or chair with a book you can read together, is one of the most definable, powerful memories you can share with a child. Being able to explore with a child through a book – be it introducing them to fictitious characters, wild animals, how things are made, or far-away places, is one of the very best ways you can connect with them on multiple levels, and forge a bond that will last long after the visit ends.
It’s always fun to read a child their favorite book when you go for a visit, but consider pulling from a list of classic listed here within to give your favorite grandchild the opportunity to.
Goodnight, Moon by Margaret Wise Brown: A timeless classic that repeats the theme of wishing everything in our own little world “Good night.” Absolutely perfect if you’re babysitting and getting a little someone ready for a nap or to head to sleep.
Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin, Jr.; Rhyming and exposing children to the whole pantheon of the animal kingdom, with colors to boot, this is a frequent classic that is a huge hit for a variety of ages, and more than likely you’ll be asked to read it more than once! For those on the cusp of daycare or preschool, the ending featuring the teacher and children can be a nice bridge to helping little ones become familiar and comfortable with the idea of a classroom environment.
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss: Is there anyone, anywhere who doesn’t get a small on their face at the mention of the good doctor? And this one in particular can be a perfect cure for a rainy day inside. The Cat himself is unlike anyone most children have met, whimsical, a bit disobedient, but redeems himself at the end. The fast-paced rhyming is perfect for helping novice readers sound out words.
Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White. Some pig! The beauty of the barnyard and the powerful message of making friends with someone who looks very different from you come into play here. For many children, this could be their first time reading about death, especially of a character they be very fond of. If someone in their family or a friend’s family has passed away, this can be an ideal way to help them understand the naturalness of death, and how we live on through our children and our friends after we’re gone.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis: How often did we go to an older relative’s house, convinced that somehow, somewhere was a secret staircase, a portal, a passageway that would lead us off on an amazing adventure? For Lucy Pensieve, and soon after her brothers and sisters, that’s exactly what happens when they disappear through the titular wardrobe into Narnia, a land where animals talk, magic is real, and a winter brought forth by an evil witch with plans to rule forever. If your children are being raised in the Christian faith, you might want to use this to draw parallels to Christianity, as C.S. Lewis wrote the novels from a religious background, with Aslan the noble lion as his Jesus figure. Making that connection can serve as an excellent opening first foray into the fact that books can have multiple meanings.
The best news about books is that there’s no wrong one to choose to read with children. A trip to the library or a used book store can let your grandchild explore the kinds of things they like, while you make suggestions from what you see and what you remember from growing up yourself and from reading to your own children.
Discovery Village At Westchase offers a variety of senior living programs to keep seniors healthy and active. Learn about our senior living options and amenities today when you contact us at 813.536.4723.