"When children play ..."
I remember my first childhood favorite: "I Can do it Myself," a book from a Sesame Street book series. As a pre-teen, I remember reading "The Baby Sitter's Club" series, and in between discovering my favorite books, I spent a lot of time creating stories of my own. Aside from my diaries and journals, I created what in my mind, using my own imagination, were real stories. I think it is very important for children and young adults to read, not only for the sake of literacy, but it is an excellent way to connect with their own stories ... or create them!
Not too long ago, I realized that this runs in the family. My mother has always been a bookworm, and I remember watching her as she sat on the patio with her suspense novels. From the corner of my eye, as I played in the backyard, I would squeal, "Watch this!" She would peep at me over her reading glasses and smile as I turned cartwheels and polished my limbo skills for P.E class.
Not too long ago, my mother shared with me, that as a child, she created stories using voice recorders. She would record her voice as one character, then record her voice as the next character, and so on, until the story was complete. How fascinating would it be to stumble upon a box and find something like this?! I could only imagine.
I read Yvonne Hertzberger's article, "Passing the Torch," and I love that theme. In the spirit of keeping that theme going, from my mother to me, from me to my daughter, the reading/writing bug has shown its marks. My daughter, who is seven years old, has read "Three Billy Goats Gruff" so many times, that we have lost count. (Now, she is gravitating toward books about sports).
A couple weeks ago, I found her creating stories for her little brother and their stuffed animals. She has also begun creating picture books. She says she is going to be an author/illustrator, and it seems that each time she reads or is read to, she is inspired.
I believe, when children read, they are able to add vital layers to who they are, such as the ability to visualize and empathize. When children play, they are able to use their imaginations to expound upon everything they see and feel. The more children read, the more their imaginations grow; the more children create as they are inspired, the more they learn through observation.
When children read, their imaginations play. A vivid imagination and an unquenchable thirst for knowledge, will take our children beyond our wildest dreams.
"Indeed, learning to write may be a part of learning to read. For all I know, writing comes out of a superior devotion to reading."
— Eudora Welty
"The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more you learn, the more places you'll go."
— Dr. Seuss, "I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!"
RH Ramsey - books, excerpts, interviews and more on her blog!