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Reading "Little House" to Your Children

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/24/2006 | Kids & Teens
It's one of the hardest things to do in this day and age of hyper-active kids and super busy, multi-tasking parents... but spending good quality time with your children doesn't have to be a painful torture tactic.

One of the best, most enjoyable things you can do with your kids is to read to them. This is a great way to connect with them and to share different parts of your life story in a natural, easy, and relaxed setting.

One of the best books, or sets of books, to start reading your kids, is the "Little House on the Prairie" series. Beginning in the late 1800's, it tells the story of a distant, almost forgotten, time in American history. A time that many of us might not believe ever existed, if Laura Ingalls hadn't shared her life with us.

Can you imagine living without cars, without light switches, without TVs? Well, once you start reading "Little House", you will be transported, in your imagination, back to moments that seem almost surreal. A time where kids actually played outside, and got dirt between their toes and beneath their fingernails. Where children were thrilled to get 1 or 2 holiday gifts, and enjoyed playing with them for months afterwards. A place where adults planted, grew, hunted and prepared their own foods, right from the land they were living on.

The Little House "picture" can't be painted completely rosy, either. There are some statements and beliefs, throughout the series, that can make you cringe. You may even want to reconstruct how they are read to your kids. For example, almost all of the comments about Native Americans are derogatory. But you can not just sweep American history under a rug, or hide it, in the hopes that all the painful parts will just disappear or go away. Remembering the struggles and accomplishments is a large part of sharing and passing on your heritage to your children.

Your kids will probably be excited to share such relaxing, enjoyable quality time with you. Plus the thrill of each chapter will provide a rich and pleasant adventure for you and them.

Whether fighting a bear in hand-to-hand combat, or traveling all night across a frozen lake, or enjoying the beauty of Jack Frost's artwork on a window pane, you are sure to find something that you and your children will love in the "Little House" series. So make plans to start reading to your kids, and open up a whole new world of imaginative possibilities.