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Stories to inspire your pre-schoolers

Children’s books are a great way to introduce some of the values associated with charity

Dean Lisk

While the concepts of charity and philanthropy may be too abstract for young children to understand, Kathy Buckworth said it is still possible for parents, grandparents and guardians to teach them the values associated with them.

“At that age, it is tricky to explain the concept, but what we can do is talk to them about sharing and giving in terms of toy sharing and being kind to other people,” said the host and creator of the Go To Grandma podcast.

She said with her three grandchildren, the oldest of which is just starting prekindergarten, this comes from watching the older members of her family be kind to each other, but also through reinforcing their own acts of sharing and giving things away — like exchanging their toys with friends.

“It is the role modelling at that age that is also important,” she said.

Reading to them, Buckworth said, is another way to introduce those values to younger children. She recently went to her local library and found a few children’s books that include stories about sharing, kindness and friendship.

‘Let’s Share,’ by P.K. Hallinan

Buckworth said the book starts by discussing sharing toys and games and ends by telling children how it is also important to share their own feelings.

“I like that, because kids know about sharing toys, and it takes them through the importance of their emotions,” she said.

‘Should I Share My Ice Cream,’ by Mo Willems

This book is all about an elephant who is facing a dilemma. He wants to eat his ice cream, but he also feels like he should share it with his friend, who is a pig. “He takes so long deciding that the ice cream melts, so the pig ends up buying the elephant an ice cream, so he feels better,” said

Buckworth. “It touches on emotional sharing and also the importance of having people around you who you can share with.”

‘Capybara is Friends with Everyone,’ by Maddie Frost

Buckworth said this story is centred on a kind capybara who goes around helping everyone around him

— he mows their lawns, finds ants for the anteaters, brings people their mail and lunch.

“He meets a sloth, and the sloth doesn’t want him to do anything, and it drives the sloth crazy that he keeps offering to do things. The sloth finally says, ‘Just hang out with me.’ So, the message with this one is not everyone wants you to help them, just pay attention to what their needs are.”

‘The Berenstain Bears and the Trouble with Chores,’ by Stan and Jan Berenstain

In this entry in the popular book series, Mama Bear has to do all the work in the house because no one is helping her and she doesn’t get to attend the flower show or quilting show she wants to go to.

Finally, the rest of the family decides to chip in and help Mama so she can enjoy her time. “That is a story of a family working together and I like that message,” Buckworth said.





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