Of course, you know my solution – books.
There's nothing like getting lost in a spellbinding story while sitting in front of the air conditioning or under a giant shade tree on a hot summer day. It's a cure for boredom that never fails. It may sound old-fashioned, yet it has worked forever and will continue to work as long as we pass the secret down to subsequent generations.
One way to cultivate this solution to boredom is to allow the children and teenagers the freedom to choose books they find interesting, peppered with suggested titles you recall from your childhood. Exposing the kids to a variety of reading material from both the past and the present expands their minds and their worlds to include different perspectives, ideas, cultures, and lifestyles from the present as well as earlier times.
It's important to encourage young readers to try out some of the classics – books that have been around for a while. These stories have withstood the test of time and give the kids a taste of what life was like before iPhones. That not only includes the late 20th century but further back when going to town entailed hitching up a horse and wagon.
Of course, with older children, especially teens, your suggestions automatically indicate a book they want to stay from. Far away! That's why it's more effective if you start augmenting their collection before your kids consider you too antiquated to know anything.
I hate to admit it, but I don't remember too much about the books I loved as a little tike, except for Mother Goose's Nursery Rhymes and a very battered copy of Cowboy Sam. So, as a grown-up, I've attempted to make up for my poor memory by reading beloved stories by Dr. Seuss, Richard Scarry, Beatrice Potter, and many other classic authors to my preschoolers and elementary school students.
The following list of classic books may trigger your memory and be good candidates to get for your child or grandchild (or yourself).
Corduroy by Don Freeman
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle
Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Meyer
The Poky Little Puppy by Janette Sebring Lowrey
Elementary and Middle Grade
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C S Lewis
Black Beauty by Anna Sewell
Heidi by Johanna Spyri
Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: The Magical Car by Ian Fleming
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Pippy Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Charlotte's Web by E.B. White
Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Where the Red Fern Grows - Wilson Rawls
Jane Eyre by Jane Austen
Moby Dick by Herman Melville
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
This is only a starting point. So many lovely classics are sitting out there just waiting to be read. Go ahead. Think of a book that had an impact on you and suggest it to your child. Remember, asking your child to read a classic doesn't mean you're asking them to not read books they enjoy -- but rather to diversify their reading and try something new!
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