Simple Joys: Bedtime Stories
Thank you all so much for your sweet response to my intro post. I’m not at all surprised that so many of you could relate regardless of what season you are in. It makes me so happy to know that you are searching for your simple joys, too. I hope you’ll share them with me! Today I’m sharing a simple joy that we take pretty seriously in our family.
Story time! From the beginning we read to our kids any chance we could get, but especially before bed. It’s part of our bed time routine; jammies, teeth brushed, read, then lights out. I should admit that I never have been a big reader. I don’t hate reading, it’s just not my go-to thing to do when I have free time. But, seeing the sense of wonder and excitement in my child’s eyes makes it that much more important. Do I get tired of reading the same books over and over? Yep! (I’m sure I’m not alone in this!) Our youngest sure doesn’t seem to mind though. He has the tenacity to read the same books every single day. I just have to keep reminding myself that repetition is an important part to the learning process for his eager little mind.
Reading is such a simple thing to do, but have you ever thought about what kind of impact it actually has? Through reading aloud, children learn the power of tone and emotion in speech. They get to use their imaginations and feel a sense of wonder without being visually overwhelmed. (You, know like devices tend to do.)
Reading opens a whole new world to kids. That translates into adulthood right? It still feels good to curl up and read a book or look through a magazine. It can be a way to wind down or escape the stresses of a hard day. It’s no different for children. They may not have the same stresses but regardless, as Dr. Seuss once said, “children want the same thing we want. To laugh, to be challenged, to be entertained, and delighted.”
Do you remember your favorite book (or books) growing up? I sure do. I loved anything Roald Dahl. (The BFG was my favorite!) Of course, Dr. Seuss has been a favorite in our house for the last few years. Some of Dr. Seuss’ books can be challenging to read, but luckily the kiddos don’t mind as we fumble through some of those crazy words. You know what I’ve found? It’s not so much about reading the words; it’s more about the quality time. Sitting near you or on your lap, hearing a soothing voice, giggling at the funny parts, those are the simple joys. That is what they’ll remember.
In light of our simple joy and in honor of March being National Reading Month, I want to share with you 5 ways to foster a love for reading and encourage good reading habits.
Reading consistently. Pick a time you can read regularly or add it to a routine. In our house, each child gets to pick a book or chapter to read with us right before bed.
Make a game out of it! Not all children will sit and listen to someone read; some kiddos just want to move! Create a scavenger hunt of notes around the house using simple words they know (or pictures for younger kiddos) to give the clues to find the next hint. For more ideas, all you have to do is type “reading games” into the Pinterest search bar. The options are endless! Is your child into art? Cool! Read them a story and have them use their creativity to draw a picture about it.
Use fun resources. Visit your local library, listen to books on audio or try out a reading app! I know, I know, kids get enough screen time as it is, right? I totally agree. We limit screen time, but if they’re going to be on it, then they might as well learn.
Get crafty. Make bookmarks. There are so many DIY’s to choose from out there, but these cute little monsters from Easy Peasy and Fun blog are my favorite! Click here to view the tutorial!
Volunteer. If you don’t have children or your children are grown, you can still encourage reading by volunteering to read at schools, children’s hospitals, or libraries. Kiddos can do this, too. I imagine there are nursing facilities that would love to have children show off their reading skills and visit with them. Encourage reading and teach them to serve, that’s a win-win for sure!
I hope that in reading about our family’s simple joy, you have been inspired to encourage the joy of reading in your family or in those around you. I hope that you see that there is more to reading than just reading! There are so many ways to encourage reading. Have fun and enjoy these moment for, they are fleeting!
PS - If you are looking for some early reading tools, then definitely check this brand out. I couldn't recommend them more. Our 3.5 year old picked these books up and started reading so I ordered more sets! He loves them so much so that he agreed to the photo shoot below! Even though we just discovered them, BOB books have been around for 40 years! In our experience, the books help build knowledge, yet are simple enough to build confidence. The latter alone is so important for any emerging reader. The book sets are available on their website (you can click the picture of their products below) as well as on Amazon. Oh, and they also have a reading app available in your App Store, too!