How Books Help Kids Discover Interests

Kids Discover Interests

A book can be opened time and time again revealing something new each time to the reader. Maybe it’s the illustration, story line, or the way it makes the reader feel. It’s one of the reasons we are passionate about creating children’s books!

Books can also help kids discover interests or what “makes them tick.” Discovering this at a young age can help a child tremendously as they grow. 

According to psychologist Silvan Tomkins, “It is interest which is primary. Interest supports both what is necessary for life and what is possible.”  Helping a child discover their interests early on is a gift to them.

Book Examples

Let’s take our personalized book, Following Featherbottom, as an example. The story is written around the child’s name, therefore each letter page spelling the child’s name will depict a different country. 

If the child’s name is Tyler James, Felix Featherbottom would travel around the world and stop in a country that begins with each letter. For the letter “T,” Felix might stop in Thailand or Tunisia. For the letter “Y,” he might stop in the Yukon. He travels to different countries until Tyler James’ name is spelled out.

As “Tyler” spells out his name through rhymes, he is introduced to different countries. 

“For a T in Thailand, we’ll listen for snoring. And get set for takeoff if we hear a tiger RRRoaring.”

“High in the Yukon, we can spy a Y. I’ll yodel ‘yoo-hoo’ and await a reply.”

“For an L in Lebanon, let’s spend a little time, Climbing a ladder for lemons and limes.”

“An E in Ethiopia will make the earth shake, ‘Cause elephant footsteps feel like an earthquake.”

“In a rainforest in Rio I’ll need a raincoat, To pick up an R and avoid a sore throat.”

“Tyler” might want to linger on the page about Ethiopia because it shows a picture of an elephant and he is interested in elephants. You might head to the library to check out books about elephants so he can learn more about them. 

In addition, each letter page in Following Featherbottom also has “I Spy” objects that can be found. For an “L” in Lebanon, the child can spy a ladder, ladybug, leapfrog, leash, lemons, lemur, limbs, limes, llama and loop. 

I Spy book

Not only does this introduce new words to the child, but you can talk about the meaning of each one. If the child seems particularly excited about llamas, then check out the book series, Llama, Llama by Anna Dewdney. If he/she asked a lot of questions about lemurs, find books on that topic.

Or perhaps the child loves to play sports. For example, our son played baseball a few years ago and was really into learning more about it. We found a series related to baseball called the Ballpark Mystery Series. He devoured every book in that series!

My kids have always loved Legos and we’ve read many books where the Lego characters come to life. They also enjoy drawing comics and find graphic novels fun to read.

One of our sons is quite curious and finds it fun to read about weird facts. I think he owns every one of National Geographic’s Weird But True book series…which means I, too, know lots of weird but true facts!

Listen and Encourage 

The key to discovering a child’s interest through books is by listening to them and pausing throughout the story to answer their questions. By listening when the child asks a question, you are validating what the child thinks and feels is important. This allows them to gain confidence in deciphering where their interests lie.

Encourage the child to find books related to what excites them. And if they aren’t sure, then check out books on many topics and let them decide as you read through them together. 

Since there is a book written on just about every topic, the possibilities are endless when it comes to discovering a child’s interest through books.

Share a book with a child today and help them come one step closer to discovering their passion!

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