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“We need your stories like air….” —Christina Steinbrecher-Pfandt, a mother at Harvey Milk Civil Rights Academy, San Francisco.  

This image is from my new Toy Storybooks project for kids. More info to come soon!

For many stories your kids will love, see my book Grandmother Spider’s Web of Wonders.

And here are some thoughts about why children need stories (Thanks to Nal’ibali.):

1. Stories help your children develop their imagination and creativity.

2. Stories help your children to develop their language and thinking, especially when they hear or read them in their home languages.

3. Stories provide examples to your children of how people meet the challenges that face them.

4. It’s never too early to start – 75% of what children will learn in their lifetime is learnt by the age of two! So, whether your baby is chewing on a board book or your toddler wants you to tell the same story over and over again, your children are gaining essential knowledge about language and stories that will also benefit them later as they learn to read.

5. Even 15 minutes of reading with your children each day can expose them to 1 million written words in a year.

6. Being told stories and being read to at home are the things most likely to help make your children successful learners at school.

7. Children who have enjoyable storytelling and reading experiences at home are more likely to be motivated to read.

8. Reading aloud with children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.

9. Books contain many words that children are unlikely to encounter frequently in spoken language.

10. The single most significant factor influencing a child’s early educational success is an introduction to books and being read to at home prior to beginning school.

11. Children who know adults who read for pleasure take it for granted that reading is a valuable and worthwhile activity.

12. School children who are told stories are the first to form abstract concepts across the curriculum. Being told stories boosts language and, by feeding the child’s imagination, develops abstract thought.

13. Children who read a lot as opposed to watching television develop longer attention spans.

14. When reading feels good to children, they become readers. We all repeat things that are pleasurable.

15. Children are more likely to continue to be readers in homes where books and reading are valued.

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