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Stories for Values and Good Habits in Children

Do you have a favourite book/series? Have you ever thought about why it is your favourite? Even when the entire story line is not perfect (it can never be), you are drawn to it over and over. You maybe drawn to a different book in different stages of your life, but there may still be some that will remain eternal favourites.

If I reflect on my favourite books/series, the main attraction for me has been associating with the characters, figuring out what was best in them, associating with those traits in myself, and trying to emulate those that I thought I didn't have as yet. Hermione was who I thought I was - follow the rules, do everything right, strive to be the best. But Fred amd George had traits I wanted in me - dare to follow your dreams, don't compare yourself with others, it only matters that you are the best version of yourself. Howard Roarke taught me that it is important to have conviction in your own work - it does not matter what others think, so long as you are happy with your work.

Experience at Morning Glorie's preschool in South City 1, and now our online preschool in India tells us that the same holds true for toddlers as well. Children as small as even 18 months love listening to stories, associate with the characters as those stories get repeated, or if you are following a series, and are very effective tools in helping inculcate a set of values and good habits.

Used right, over period of time, you can simply use your child's favourite character/s to create your own stories, maybe with the help of simple props, and use them for values and habits not being covered in those books.

To illustrate, I will share a series of books that we use at Morning Glorie's preschool in South City 1, and online preschool in India. This series follows a naughty monkey called Bubbles, his brother Joey and his monkey mamma. Now you may note that the series uses a monkey rather than a human child. However, children are still able to associate with the characters, perhaps better than if they were humans - you skip the preaching part by making the problem a part of a different species, get there is excitement because of that difference.

This is a 12 book series, sharing the titles for your reference - 

  1. Bubbles is honest
  2. Bubbles owns up
  3. Bubbles is lost
  4. Bubbles is greedy
  5. Bubbles is careless
  6. Bubbles finds a red ball
  7. Bubbles goes to school
  8. Bubbles has a toothache
  9. Bubbles the artist
  10. Bubbles the litterbug
  11. Bubbles plays with fire
  12. Bubbles is selfish
These are available to purchase from Amazon in case you would like to check them out. You can find them by clicking on the pictures below -

As you can see, this series covers a whole range of topics which we wish to share with our kids. Each story typically starts off with something wrong that Bubbles does, the consequences he faces for his actions, say for instance burning his fingers playing with matches, or getting lost when he leaves his mamma's hand in the market, and so on, his mother making him understand his mistake and Bubbles promising to be good in the future.

We have used this series extensively in our preschool program, both in our preschool in south city 1, as well as our online preschool in India. We try to tell these stories in a language and setting the children can understand (not necessarily exactly as they are narrated in the books), and we take them a step further by using familiar characters to talk about values we believe in. For instance, Bubbles did not share his toys, Bubbles pushed his friend, Bubbles teased his brother Joey, Bubbles fell down and hurt himself, Bubbles did not eat his fruits and veggies and so on. 

The children are so familiar with these characters, that they become a part of their routine. They want to know what happened to Bubbles, and they themselves tell us what Bubbles should have done. Sometimes they tell us they share incidents from home, where they were also naughty like Bubbles, and then told us what they will do the next time something similar happens.

Children also love hearing stories from Panchtantra, mythology, Peppa and so many more. The best part is that you can always ensure that there is a takeaway from every story - whether it is a value, a good habit, a life skill, or anything else, which said directly, can sound preachy even to a 2 or 3 year old. When they hear the stories, and look at the pictures or the props, just like us, they are also transported into someone else's world. At a younger age, they possibly have much more vivid imaginations than we do as adults, and the story seems much more real to them.

Use this, not just as a tool, but also for some beautiful bonding time with your child. We know that we do :)

Next Up - Right Brain Development - What the Hype is All About



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