Reading to children is important. Beyond literacy skills (academic), books provide children with value and character lessons.
A voracious reader since young, I find that while I might easily forget the actual content of books, the messages, lessons and how the book made me "feel" stayed with me for the longest time.
Likewise, for children who are impressionable and love to be read to, they might not remember the exact content, but the messages of books are internalised through repeated readings, possibly shaping a part of who they are.
How Do Books Teach Values & Build Character?
- Books provide role model references to learn from - protagonists' personality, behaviour, attitudes - and depict how these protagonists overcome life situations.
- Books broadem children's perception of diversity - making them aware that there are people in the world similar and different like him/her.
- Books help to build empathy in children so they can better visualise someone else's story or journey.
- Books teach children about self-worth (My recommendation of Positive Affirmation Books here). When respected and loved for who they are, children can then respect and display love for people around.
- Books have "catchy" lines that may resonate with children and encourage them through hard circumstances. My toddler loves to say, "I can always try again" (a line from "I Can Do Hard Things" by Grace Byers whenever she fails at something.)
- Books provoke discussions about what is right or wrong/ethical or unethical.
10+ Character Building Books for Montessori Toddlers to Learn Values
While every parent prioritises different values and values are interpreted differently (i.e. what's a kind act to me might not seem like one to you), by and large, we're generally raising our children to be kind, respectful, brave, resilient, responsible and independent.
These are 10+ Montessori-friendly books that explore these character traits and demonstrate what it means to exemplify these characteristics through stories.
1. "Be Kind" by Pat Zietlow Miller
2. "When You Are Brave" by Pat Zietlow Miller
3. "Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You" by Sonia Sotomayor
4. "I'm Thankful" by Terri-sue hill
5. "Trying" by Kobi Yamada
6. "I Can Do Hard Things: Mindful Affirmations for Kids" by Gabi Garcia
7. "I Believe I Can" by Grace Byers
8. "Listening with My Heart: A story of kindness and self-compassion" by Gabi Garcia
9. "The Big Umbrella" by Amy June Bates
A great book about inclusion and hospitality towards others.
10. "Most People" by Michael Leannah
11. "I Am One: A Book of Action" by Susan Verde
12. "I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness" by Susan Verde
13. "I Am Human: A Book of Empathy" by Susan Verde
14. "I Am Love: A Book of Compassion" by Susan Verde
15. "My Strong Mind II: A children's book about resilience, growth mindset, confidence, mental health and positive emotions" by Niels van Hove
16. "What If Everybody Did That? " By Ellen Javernick
17. "Speak up" by Miranda Paul
18. "The Invisible Boy" by Trudy Ludwig
I hope you find keepsakes from the list above that you'll love reading and re-reading to your little ones!
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.