Start Reading Young
Don’t wait to start reading with your kids. You can start from the day they are born if you want to. Some families read as a way to bond with their children from a young age. Sometimes we are caught up with newborn baby life and all of the little tasks that we forget to truly interact with our little babies. Reading is perfect because it is a calming activity; you are talking to your child, awake or asleep, and it can instill a good reading routine early on.
Reading is a platform to discuss topics, learn more and—most importantly—ask questions. Reading is not just about the words on the page but it is about where the book can take you. Books let imaginations soar and opens the door for parents to easily talk to their children by pointing out images on the page, asking how they believe the story should end or what they would do in different scenarios.
Reading is Important
Reading with your children and taking the time to read shows your kids that reading is important. Reading is an everyday activity;we read constantly in everyday life: street signs, newspapers, recipes, arts and crafts instructions, board games and all types of books. Our children follow our lead when it comes to reading. If they see us reading then they want to as well. When I pick up a book to read to my daughters, my youngest (18-months) picks up a book and flips through pages while she is listening to the story. They want to be just like us!
The Joy of Reading – But Too Busy?
Parents have the best of intentions at keeping a regular schedule or bedtime routine but life does not always fit into that schedule. I find bedtime can be more of a chaotic time than a calm, restful, and relaxing winding-down event. Our aim is to read books together before bed, but we can easily fall out of the routine and miss nighttime reading depending on how early we get ready or if our youngest is not yet asleep or over tired, preventing her from joining in. Instead of reading at nighttime we read throughout the day. When my oldest child comes home from school, we read together or she reads one of her books to her sisters, which they love!
At night when we just cannot get it together to read as a family, we put on a podcast so the girls can listen to a story. Podcasts encourage kids to use their imagination to visualize the story. My girls currently are loving What If World – Stories for Kids by Eric O’Keeffe. Eric takes a question from kids and turns them into a story each week. The girls look forward to the next weeks’ episode and what story he will create from a ‘What If’ question.
Books, Books and More Books … Never too Many Books
As a family, we love books! We are in no way a minimalist book family. We have a range of books for every age and genre. We have our favourite books next the kids’ beds and we change up the books in the living room so we have a variety to choose from.
If you are in need of a last minute gift idea, or just a change up from your current book rotation check these out. Head to your local bookstore or click the link to amazon.
1. Peek a Who? By Nina Laden
This is a very cute book and great for the peek-a-boo phase. This book is well loved at home.
2. On the Night You Were Born by Nancy Tillman
This sweet book is a wonderful bedtime story and one that you can read from a very early age to your child. Nancy Tillman has an array of beautifully written and illustrated stories. The adults will love these as much as the kids.
3. Busy City by Maddie Frost
I purchase these Indestructibles books for all the new babes in the family. They are lots of fun and built for the way babies read — with their mouth! These books have a unique design for safety and convenience, Indestructibles are printed on lightweight, nontoxic paper material, easy to clean (even dishwasher safe), and 100% chew, rip, bend, and drool proof.
4. Jillian Jiggs by Phoebe Gilman
It is clear to see after reading Jillian Jiggs why is continues to be year after year a top pick. I loved this story as a child and now I love reading it to my girls. We read it so often that the girls and myself have memorized it!
5. Don’t Call me Pig by Conrad Storad
The best part about having Grandparents that travel is the books that come home with them. We love reading this book that my stepmother picked up in the Sonoran Desert. This is a story teaches kids about an animal that may look like a pig but is definitely NOT a pig. This book is educational and a fun read.
6. The Good for Nothing Button by Charise Mericle Harper
This is just one of many clever and entertaining books in the ELEPHANT & PIGGIE like reading series. The story is funny easy read and the kids can join in and read with you.
7. Mortimer by Robert Munsch
When we think of classic stories, Robert Munsch is the top pick. I can even hear his voice telling the story as I read to my girls. If you haven’t read Mortimer, you have to! I suggest you read this book before your kids are drifting off to sleep as it is best read with assistance and there may be some yelling!
8. Zoo Faces by Lucy Schultz
Zoo Faces is a fun book for the younger kids. As you read the story you put the book up to your face or your child’s and it turns into a mask and you become the animal. My 4 and 6-year old like reading it to their younger sister as it is repetitive and they get to be the animals.
9. Usborne The Big Book of the Body by Minna Lacey
Do you have an inquisitive child? A child who wants to know everything and has some awesome questions to boot? Usborne has loads of great books, and lots of science based books. My oldest daughter loves science and everything to do with the human body. She has a few body books, but this one is pretty awesome. With 4 giant fold out sections, it goes over how the body works together.
If you have preteens or children who ask questions that you may not be ready or know the answer to, purchase some body anatomy books. Your children can look through the books and ask questions. You can read the book to them in a way that encourages conversation about the body. It is perfectly fine to be nervous discussing the human body but as parents it is our job, so this is a great way to start young and have age-appropriate talks with your kids.
10. In the Town All Year Round by Rotraut Susanne Berner
Do you have a child with a vivid imagination and likes to create their own stories? Or as a parent, do you like to change it up night time stories? In the Town all Year Round is beautifully illustrated and has the same characters in their town throughout the seasons. There are hints of what to look for and you can create a story based on what is happening and where the characters are going. We received this book as a gift three years ago and is still a favourite read.