Reading stories is an activity that fosters children’s cognitive and emotional development, and also helps to strengthen family bonds. However, not all stories are suitable for all ages and interests. In this article, we will offer you some tips on how to choose the right story for your child according to their age and interests.
Ages 0 to 2 years old
During the first years of life, it is advisable for stories to be short and simple, with colourful and eye-catching illustrations. Naturally, babies and toddlers do not yet understand complex plots and need a simple narrative that allows them to focus on the images and words that their parents are relating to them. In addition, it is important that the stories chosen for this stage are lighthearted and positive in content, as young children are very sensitive and can be easily frightened.
Some recommended stories for this stage are classics such as “The Ugly Duckling”, “The Hare and the Tortoise” or “The Hen with the Golden Eggs”. These stories are short, easy to understand and have positive morals that help children understand concepts such as friendship, perseverance and gratitude.
In addition, the stories chosen for this stage can have sensory elements that stimulate the child’s development, such as different textures on the pages or sounds that imitate the animals in the story. It is also important for parents or caregivers to emphasise the details of the illustrations and colours to help children develop their observation skills and creativity.
Ages 3 to 5 years
At this stage children become more interested in stories and adventures. At this age it is advisable to choose stories with funny characters and familiar everyday situations. You can also choose stories with rhymes and repetition, as this helps children remember the story and anticipate what will happen next.
Some recommended stories for this stage are “The Three Little Pigs” or “Cinderella”. These stories have characters that children can easily identify with, and often present situations in which the characters have to face a problem and find a creative solution. In addition, these stories can help children develop their sense of humour and their ability to empathise with others.
At this stage, parents or caregivers can encourage children’s active participation in the reading of the story. For example, they can ask them to complete rhymes or make gestures that imitate the characters. This helps children to become more involved in the story and to develop their creativity and imagination.
Ages 6 to 8 years old
At this stage, children begin to read on their own, so it is advisable to choose stories that have a more complex plot and more developed characters. You can also choose stories that present situations that children can apply to their own lives, such as friendship, teamwork or conflict resolution.
Some recommended stories for this stage are “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”, “Treasure Island” and “The Little Prince”. These stories have a more complex plot and characters that children can easily identify with. In addition, they present situations involving friendship, teamwork and conflict resolution.
At this age, it is important to encourage children to read independently. Parents or caregivers can help them choose books that interest and excite them. It is also advisable for children to have access to a library or a varied selection of books at home, so they can explore different genres and reading styles.
In addition, at this age children may begin to enjoy reading aloud chapters of longer books. This allows them to follow the plot of the story and enjoy reading for longer periods of time, while also strengthening their attention span and reading comprehension.
Ages 9 to 12 years old
At this stage, children are ready to read longer and more complex stories. The stories chosen for this stage should have well-defined characters and a plot that engages them from the beginning. In addition, it is advisable to choose stories that present different points of view and encourage critical reflection.
Some recommended stories for this stage are “Harry Potter”, “The Chronicles of Narnia” or “The Lord of the Rings” series. These stories have complex characters and a plot that develops over several books. In addition, they present situations that encourage critical reflection on discrimination, loyalty and the value of friendship.
At this age, parents or caregivers can encourage shared reading with children, in which a chapter of the book is read together and the most relevant aspects of the story are discussed. This helps children develop their critical capacity and reading comprehension, and also strengthens the emotional bond between parents and children.
In addition, at this age it is recommended that children have access to a variety of literary genres, such as poetry, drama and graphic novels. This allows them to broaden their literary horizons and develop their creativity and imagination through different forms of expression.
How to choose the right story according to a child’s likes and dislikes
In addition to taking into account the child’s age, it is important for parents or caregivers to pay attention to the child’s interests and preferences when choosing a story. Children have different and unique interests, and choosing a story that they like can motivate them to read more and enjoy reading.
One way to get to know your child’s tastes is to ask them directly what kinds of stories they like or what characters catch their attention. You can also observe their interests in other areas – which cartoons, games or toys they prefer, for instance.
Once you know your child’s interests, you can choose a story that suits their interests. For example, if the child likes animals, you can choose stories with animals as the main characters. If the child likes science fiction, you can choose stories of this genre.
In conclusion, choosing the right story for a child depends on their age and interests. It is important for parents or caregivers to pay attention to these aspects when choosing a story as this can motivate children to read more and enjoy reading. In addition, reading stories is an activity that fosters children’s cognitive and emotional development, and can strengthen family bonds through shared reading. Therefore, choosing the right story can have a significant impact on children’s development and well-being.