Why Fiction is Key to a Kiddo’s Reading and Writing Education

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Of the many reasons why I love writing, perhaps the most crucial one is because I adored reading books as a child.

Reading has long been known as a powerful way to both entertain children and develop their minds, and this is something that I try to apply in my own parenting as well.

However, a recent study of over 2,500 parents and children in America reveals a decline in children reading for pleasure, from 60% of children in 2010 to 51% in 2015. In today’s busy world full of distractions and alternative activities, reading together with your child might not always take the top priority, but there are plenty of reasons why it should.

Fiction books, in particular, hold a tremendous amount of potential in helping children develop essential life skills that can help them in the long run.

Here are some reasons why fiction is key to a child’s reading and writing education. 

Reading has long been known as a powerful way to both entertain children and develop their minds.

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Broadening Horizons

One of the most obvious benefits of fiction for children is that it introduces them to characters, concepts, and relationships that they don’t necessarily see in everyday life.

The Conversation explains that this opportunity to learn more about people and things outside of their experiences – and perhaps, of the realm of possibility – broadens their worldview, encourages curiosity, and invites young readers to make connections between fictitious scenarios and their own social reality. 

Developing Cognitive Skills

In addition to expanding their imagination, fiction books help hone better concentration, memory, and analytical skills. The consequential nature of the events and situations relayed in fiction – as opposed to other children’s reading materials like encyclopedias and textbooks – help them develop these cognitive skills.

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Helping Ease Anxiety

Not a lot of adults understand or place a lot of value in the stress children feel, but the Child Development Institute affirms that children commonly experience anxiety in the face of important life events. These include going to school for the first time, meeting other children, or even taking exams, which can make them feel alienated and different from their peers.

Good children’s fiction helps them deal with this, by overcoming those worries and introducing them to characters and situations that they can relate to. In this way, reading fiction can help children better adjust to their surroundings and deal with their anxieties.

Reading fiction can help children better adjust to their surroundings and deal with their anxieties.

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Learning Empathy

A little known benefit of fiction for young readers is that it can also affect the way they relate to and interact with others. The BBC shares that children who read fiction regularly find it easier to understand more people and demonstrate a significantly higher level of empathy than their non-reading peers.

They also have better theory of mind, or the ability to understand that other people have their own thoughts and feelings that might be different from one’s own.

These social skills are not only important in handling conflict and doing well in teams, but can also help them understand and predict other people’s behavior, a skill that can help them in a variety of fronts in the future.

Letting Children be Creative Too

This empathy also empowers children in their own creative pursuits. As in many endeavors, being exposed to good fiction helps children develop the ability to create their own good ones as well, no matter what form their creative energy chooses to manifest itself in.

Award-winning children’s author and illustrator Chris Riddell highlighted this in his acceptance speech that was shared in a blog post on Tootsa. The Children’s Laureate 2015-2017 appointee said,

“I want to put the joy of creativity, of drawing everyday, of having a go and being surprised at what one can achieve with just a pencil and an idea at the heart of my term as Laureate.”

 Riddell’s “Have a go and be surprised at what you can achieve” attitude is one of the most amazing delights of being a mom, resulting in creative drawings and stories like those made by Charlie and Maddi featured here on the Write Away Mommy blog.

Of course, one way to encourage your children to read and write fiction is to be there for them every step of the way.

What are your thoughts on children reading ​​​​​fiction?

About the Guest Blogger


DreamyMommy_RJ is an entrepreneur by day, freelance writer by night, and mother of two at all times. When she’s not managing her small business or slaving over an open word document, she loves spending time with her children and listening to their elaborate fantasy stories.

13 thoughts on “Why Fiction is Key to a Kiddo’s Reading and Writing Education

  1. I think it also increases a child’s vocabulary because it’s put into a context that they are interested in and care about. Sometimes my 3yo will say something to me and I have to ask, “Who taught you those words?” Today it was “risky”. We were riding bicycles and she let me know that the bumps on the road were “risky”. Seriously, what preschooler says that?

  2. A brilliant take on reading and encouraging kids to read! You so resonated my idea of reading fiction in your blog. Now I feel all the more empowered and motivated for taking out time to read personally and also do the same for my kid. A beautiful write up.

  3. My youngest sister once brought a book to school and she was bullied and her classmates called her a nerd. I couldn’t agree more with this article that reading is a must have for kids. But after what happened with my sister, I thought that parents should guide their children first before anything else.

  4. From my personal experience in life, I can say that reading whether fiction or non-fiction changes your personality in a really good way. I mean, you can tell if a person is well read or not, just by listening to them for a few seconds. I totally agree with fiction being more interesting for kids. I learned so much about different countries, religions, cultures, and history by reading fiction. Non-fiction is too much information packed in small pages, and it is more often than not uninteresting.
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  5. A splendid interpretation of perusing and urging children to peruse! You so reverberated my concept of perusing fiction in your blog. Presently I feel all the more engaged and spurred for setting aside out an opportunity to peruse actually and furthermore do likewise for my child. An excellent review.

  6. An unbelievable understanding of scrutinizing and asking youngsters to examine! You so resonated with my idea of examining fiction in your blog. Directly I feel all the more connected with and impelled for putting aside out a chance to examine real and moreover do in like manner for my youngster. A great audit.

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