As a parent I began reading to my pregnant belly, I wanted my children to love books as much as I did, and still do! I have read to all three of my children each and every night. I made it my mission to have the biggest collection of kids bedtime story books.
As a small child I adored when Grandma would take time out of her day to read me a story. She did not always read me a story book with pictures, but rather a chapter book. I would sit on the floor anxiously awaiting to hear the next adventure!
These days, we are down a member during story time, but on the rare occasion Gavin will put away his teenage pride and join in on a chapter or two of his favorites.
The importance of reading to your children
Reading aloud to children fosters their imaginations, it helps them expand their understanding of the world around them. It helps young children develop language and listening skills, children are like sponges, they absorb everything. The more you spend time reading with them the more they have the potential to learn. Take time to talk about what you are reading, look at the pictures together, what do you feel when you see them or hear a certain word?
It promotes quality time together at a reasonable price, and sometimes free. There is no need to purchase books, utilizing your local library is an excellent way to find great stories. Often times libraries offer reading circles for families to come and enjoy a story read by a librarian, or if you are very lucky the author of a book.
The benefits of reading to your children are numerous, and the possibilities endless.
Imagine going on a nightly adventure right from the comfort of your very own bed, where will you go? who will you meet? what will you learn?
Perhaps on a pirate ship sailing the high seas, or meeting a family of bears who can drive cars and quilt quilts? Maybe you’ll learn some silly rhymes from Dr Seuss, “Oh the places you’ll go”
Where to start?
There is no right or wrong when it comes to reading to your children. The important part is that you are reading! When Gavin was firstborn, I tried to set a schedule for bed time stories, it quickly began feeling like a chore! When you are already exhausted, and uninterested, reading to your child is the last thing you want to do.
My suggestion, find a time that works well for both you and your children, perhaps an early morning story, or a mid-afternoon read?
Reading can literally take place anywhere or anytime! For example, keep some books in your car, that way you are able to take them with you to Dr appointments, long waits, or even while your partner is making a mad rush into the store for that last minute item.
Often times I would read stories to the kids while they had their baths, they would happily be playing, and often times not fully paying attention, but I read anyways. It was much better than sitting their in awkward silence while they splashed their lives away.
Quick story or chapter book?
This is totally up to you!
I found that while the kids were really young, a long-drawn-out chapter book was of no interest to restless children who wanted to bounce around. So I chose smaller, quick books with plenty of pictures that we could look at and talk about together.
As the kids got older and were able to slow down to focus, I chose chapter books that we could read together, sometimes they have pictures, and some times they do not.
Our choices vary, sometimes we choose books by our favorite character, or because a movie may be coming out and we would like to know the story beforehand. Other times, the cover artwork has grabbed our attention and we would like to know more.
We have so many favorite stories, and characters, I would need an entire chapter to list them all. We love the fun and silly Melanie Watt, and Mo Williams, just as much as we love the classics, C. S Lewis and A. A Milne.
My all time favorite, even to this day is and always will be Charlotte’s Web by E. B White. This was a story I asked Grandma to read to me time and time again. Oddly enough, or perhaps not so odd, my daughters enjoyed this book, they often ask me to read it again. We absolutely love Templeton the rat!
Currently we are reading The Wind In The Willows by Kenneth Grahame, a story that I had read as a child but forgotten most of the tale. We are enjoying the story so far, especially the quirky character Toad.
You can purchase your copy at Amazon.ca
It is not uncommon for us to choose our favorite titles to give as gifts at birthday parties, holidays, baby showers, or as a just because!
Passing The Tradition On
It is my hopes that one day I like my grandmother, will be able to share all of these stories and many many more with my very own grandchildren.
And perhaps my children will follow in our footsteps and read to their children, and enjoy every moment of it!
As I wrote this I thought of all the stories we have read together, and of all the fun times we had reading them. The memory that sticks out the most to me currently is of Gavin as a new born. I vividly remember reading him One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish by Dr Seuss, and thinking to my self ” I hope this never ends, I hope you never grow up”
Gavin is now going into high school, they grow so fast! Cherish each and every single moment, make as many memories for your self and for them!
What stories are your favorite? Share them with us in the comments, we are always looking for new stories!