Non-fiction is seen as more valuable than fantasy or science fiction (SF) tales. The Conversation, a digital news resource, notes that people who call themselves “serious readers” gravitate towards stories of people in realistic circumstances. Fantasy and SF books, meanwhile, belong to pop culture and, consequently, contain writing that is assumed to be of lower quality.
Parent Circle, a website dedicated to parenthood, adds that some adults even discourage kids from reading SF. They believe that young readers can’t understand its complicated themes.
That’s not the case for many SF stories, however. In fact, SF opens children’s minds to the wonders of the world.
Science fiction shows children the “what-ifs” of the world. What if cars could fly, or what if people could go to Jupiter. It teaches them how the world could look like with the power of science and technology.
For instance, Studentreasures.com, a company that publishes children’s stories, notes that reading about space can teach a child about what’s beyond the horizon, including the existence of other life forms.
Additionally, by stimulating children’s imagination, SF helps them build certain abilities. An active imagination develops problem-solving skills, fosters creativity, and helps kids create healthy coping mechanisms for intense emotions.
Inspiring Kids to Read and Write SF
Parents and teachers who want to introduce children to SF can pique their interest through stories. The Parent Circle recommends reading news about scientific discoveries, natural disasters, and innovative machines. Discuss how these can impact your daily lives. Can a cyborg do the dishes? How would kids go to school if people kept dinosaurs as pets?
You can also watch age-appropriate movies like Jurassic Park. Buy SF books for children like A Wrinkle in Time, which they can read during leisure time.
SF stretches the imagination and shows children endless possibilities. Stories about science and technology spark curiosity and create a springboard for innovative ideas. So, the next time a child asks for a bedtime story, tell them a tale that’s out of this world.