Long gone are the days when we all snuggled up in bed and read aloud. When my kids were younger they used to love reading books together before bed. It was our nightly ritual regardless of where we were. Our bookshelves were overflowing with a wide variety of books, which at times made the book selection process somewhat drawn out but worth it.
Once the teen/tween years hit that snugly, pre-bedtime ritual was cast by the wayside and independent reading took over. Although I know that’s completely normal, I still miss reading books aloud together. Now our reading “together” consists of being in the same room and reading different books at the same time. And that’s a rare occasion. I guess that’s what happens when you have teenagers.
It turns out that all that reading aloud with our kids may actually help them in the long-run. A new study was just released by Scholastic which stresses how important it is to read aloud with your kids. According to the study:
“One of the most important things parents can do, beyond keeping kids healthy and safe, is to read with them. That means starting when they are newborns and not even able to talk, and continuing well beyond the years that they can read by themselves. Study after study shows that early reading with children helps them learn to speak, interact, bond with parents and read early themselves, and reading with kids who already know how to read helps them feel close to caretakers, understand the world around them and be empathetic citizens of the world.”
When choosing books to add to your family library, Liza Baker the Editorial Director at Scholastic says it’s important to look for books that have “culturally or ethnically diverse story lines, settings or characters.”
Here are a few favorite read aloud books with a diversity theme:
It’s Okay To Be Different was one of our favorite books when my kids were little. This book is for the younger crowd and addresses acceptance, understanding, and confidence. The bright, bold and colorful pages along with the silly pictures will hold any young child’s attention. Hopefully, this book will spark plenty of family discussions.
All Kinds of Families! addresses what it means to be a family. It introduces children to non-traditional families and how you can make a family out of anything. All you need is love.
One Green Apple eloquently shares a story about a new kid in school from a different country who doesn’t speak the same language as her classmates. Farah, a young Muslim immigrant, takes a trip with her class to an apple orchard. As the class works together to make apple cider she finally begins to connect with the other students and starts to feel that she belongs.
When a new student who doesn’t speak English shows up at school this book, Chocolate Milk, Por Favor: Celebrating Diversity with Empathy, shares the importance of friendship and kindness.
Wonder a must read for the 8-12-year-olds (and everyone older). Auggie, a 10-year-old boy is like all other 10-year-olds except he has a facial deformity. After being homeschooled his entire life he’s sent to public school in 5th grade. This book asks us to reevaluate what the true meaning of “normal” really is. A fabulous story of friendship and fitting in.
Here are a few more favorites to read together:
- 10 Must-Have Green Books for Kids
- If you want to cook together (what could be better?!) check out 15 Great Cookbooks for Kids of All Ages
Do you have any favorite books about diversity?