Books can help children prepare for returning to school!
By Simran Divatia
It’s almost that time again! September is right around the corner, and either little ones are preparing to go to school, or they’re already there! I remember how excited I would get at the end of the summer, when it was time to go back to school. My bag would be all set, filled with colourful stationary in a pretty pencil case, and best of all, a new book for reading time. Books kept me calm if I felt nervous about the next day: I would escape into a world where the characters could do anything, and that reminded me that I could do anything too! Books are amazing for helping children feel prepared for the experience of school, whether it’s starting a new year or starting fresh in a different school altogether.
Books like Thinker: My Puppy Poet and Me show that school can be a fun and interesting place! When Jace leaves every morning for school, his dog Thinker wants to come with him. He wants to do all the things he hears about from Jace, like raising his paw in class, or going outside on the slide during break. By presenting school as somewhere that Thinker wants to go, it encourages children to get exciting about going there as well! Even if they’re nervous or scared, children should be encouraged to have a positive view of school, even before they get there.
Reading can encourage children to try new things, be brave, and make new friends. It is more important than ever that children go to school knowing that they will meet all kinds of different people, and that they are accepting and understanding of everyone around them. Take the story of The Orange House: the Orange House feels left out, because she is different to the other buildings, and doesn’t feel like she is as good as them! But the other buildings see her differences as strengths, and they celebrate and support her, rather than letting her feel alone.
Our upcoming picture book There’s Room for Everyone also shares a wonderful message about tolerance. It encourages children to accept and include the people around them! There is always room for one more person to eat lunch with, play tag with, or share books with! Children need to be shown the importance of having empathy, and being kind to one another, which will make school more fun for everyone! Books are great resources to promote children to be more understanding, exposing them to different cultures and belief systems, making the classroom environment a more open and accepting space.
So whether school is starting in a few days, or the children have already started to settle in, take a look at some fun picture books to make sure that they are feeling confident, comfortable and ready to make new friends. And of course, don’t forget to pack a new book for reading time!
Simran is an intern with Tiny Owl
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- Why diverse picture books are a great resource for schools! – A Blog Post
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