Archives For what you need to teach kids

What determines the best short stories for children can really be summarised in a few words.

1. What do you really want for your kids to experience?

short stories for children

Credit: Nicole Johnston Pinterest

Are the sort stories purely for entertainment and to pass some time as a hobby?

Do you want to teach your child something specific, like manners, taking turns, dealing with bullies, taking care of a new baby etc?

I think you get my drift.

Now once you have this part worked out, the rest becomes a whole lot easier.

2. Content

Now you know the type of content you are looking for because you have an end in mind.

3. Age approprite content

Next you need to consider the childs age. Whe it comes to short stories for children, you need to ensure you get an age appropriate book. Too young and its won't challenge them enough, too mature for them and the content will go over their head and won't hold their interest.

 

4. Age appropriate presentation

With your childs age in consideration, now you need to select a book that is visually stimulating particularly for younger age groups with fewer words, and ones that have more appropriate pictures and text or text only for older children. Particularly older kids will not want to read anything they consider too "babyish" for them.

5. Well written content

Ensure the book is well written first before purchasing. Slang, words that make no sense, etc will do your child no favors and if anything will serve to confuse them as they learn to expand their english vocabulary

6. Questionble or problematic content?

Again back to content. I have come across some books with pretty dubious content and some awful clangers that will raise more problems and questions in a child. Even books deemed suitable for younger age groups have raised questionable topics in what would appear to be quite "innocent" books, so please be aware!

7. How it all ends

Cast your eyes to the end of the book. Does it look like an appropriate ending for a book. I remember one child in floods of tears reading a book, and at the end of the book, the child who was missing from school died and the child struggled badly with this idea and it took her a long time to get over the fear of being absent from school or having class mates "out sick" also, so again, something to consider. If in doubt, type in the book name and type review next to it to see what others are saying about the book.

8. Attention and concentration span

What is the attention and concentration span like for the reader? Although short stories for kids are just that, they need to contain just the right amount of information for them to hold their interest and keep them turning the page. Even if you have to read to them, still they need to be able to listen to and connect with the story.

9. Particular interest or hobby

Of course, if a child has a particular interest, chosing books in that category is something that makes sense unless of course you want them to expand their interests. Try to chose books that will stimulate and challenge a little so their reading will evolve.

10. Books to remember and keep

Some books are life long companion type of books and will stick with your child for years, especially books in a series will end up being firm favorites when your child likes the writing style of the author.

11. Imagination

For kids with active imaginations, or even kids whose imaginations you want to expand and develop, chose books with less or no visuals. Once of course there is sufficient descriptive content to set the scene for the story in their minds. In this case, ensure the child can read in a quiet place or you read to your child where you won't be disturbed. Set the scene using descriptive language, change your tone and expressions so your child will follow along and get absorbed in the story.

On a parting note, remember books make faithful friends, expand the mind, develop the expressive vocabulary, pass many hours of wonderful time in places you can only enter through your mind and give your child the very best life has to offer. Happy reading and I really hope you find these factors helpful in finding the best short stories for children.

Orla Kelly

 

 

 

what to do when you feel stuckDo you know when I first started to write, I had no idea where it was going but now looking back I see how I got my messages through to my kids.

For example
1. The bunch of unlikely forest animals that came together represent the diverse cross section of people my kids will meet in life, different personalities, problems etc
2. Owly the main character represents the inner wisdom of a child and about bringing out the best in themselves
3. Victor Vulture "appears" to be a bad guy but appearances can be deceptive and sometimes when we mess up there is a good and valid reason behind it
4. Magic Medicine Tree represent the healing power of nature and about looking after our environment and the world around us.
5. Spirit of the Forest represents the life force all around us and is an unseen spirit that guides and looks over the forest and all its inhabitants. It won't help unless asked!
6. The twist-little messages that teach something of value to kids and this is how the story in my childrens books comes together!

 

Enjoy

kiss Find the best times to really interact with your kids, to get into their headspace and to see what has shown up in their day or see what has been building up to an "event" in their life.

It can serve as a way to download whatever has been troubling them and to sort things out. Otherwise the chances are they will try to sort it out in their head when the lights go out and they may lie awake or pay you a visit in the erly hours saying they had a bad dream or can't sleep.

Sometimes reading stories can trigger something in a child that reminds them of an unresolved issue, or it may relax them enough that they thoughts come out in their own good time.

Even if things are okay, it is good to incorporate the following into your time with your child.

1. Tell them they are in a safe place where they will come to no harm. Some kids find it hard to switch off at night. Something may have happened and they feel threatened or unsure of themselves. Reminding them they are in a safe protected space is very important.

2. Tell them they are loved and that will never change except grow. Feeling loved does not come from the amount of material things you give to a child but comes from the presence of being their unconditionally for them and from forming a deep bond or connection with them. Sometimes you may use tough love but whatever lesson that a child will learn once it comes in a loving nurturing way, will ultimately have the desired effect.

3. Tell them that you are there for them no matter what happens, even if they are at fault or have done something they shouldn't have done. We all mess up and kids do test boundaries and push them every now and then. Its one way how they learn to interact with the world around them and see where and how they fit in. They are not at the stage where they can rationalize like adults and they do not have our experience to know what will most likely cause problems or more importantly the consequences of these problems. So it is important to help first before allocating blame! Solve the problem first then dissect and review afterwards. Easier said than done, I know!

10288799_838885396126226_7886228772885837026_n4. Tell them it is okay to ask for help or report something serious because that is the right thing to do. It is important to keep the channels of communication open no matter what happens so children feel they can approach with any troubes they are having. Imagine if the fear of punishment was worse than them confiding  their worries. They would feel helpless, trapped, isolated and alone. No-one wants this and no-one benefits either.

5. Tell them different things they did to make you proud and explain why. This is a great way to end the night,but can and should be done anytime, filling their thoughts with positivity, not bloated ego just positivity, there is a difference. Explaining what they did that was so wonderful, even small things is a good way of re-inforcing positive behaviours and outcomes and helps prioritize in a childs mind, more positive events to model. Orla Kelly