Marshall and I are both book lovers. We go through highs and lows where we read a lot and then we don’t read at all, but we both enjoy reading. As we’ve gotten older it seems like it becomes more and more important way for us to relax and unwind from our everyday. I’m hoping that we will pass this on to London.
Even from the very beginning, maybe when she was 2 months old, we would read three books to her before bed time and naps. I think my main motivation for this was that I NEED sleep to be a decent human being and over and over you hear how important routine is so your child can pick up the cues that it’s time to sleep. It was part of our wind-down routine, but now those times are honestly some of my favorite parts of each day.
Out of the last four non fictions books that I’ve read, covering topics on parenting, early childhood development and homeschooling, I picked up a recurring, underlying theme. The Importance of Connection. This to me was one of the ‘duh’ moments. It seems so obvious. As parents we do a lot of multi-tasking and my time with London reading has no interruptions. No cleaning, No work, No Phone, No Laundry. Just me, her and a story that we get to share together. It’s a time and space connection for both us and often it can reset a rough morning before naps.
As London is getting older we have begun to explore a few chapter books. I wanted to share with you what we have read so far and enjoyed and what we (me) have on our list, along with a few tips I’ve learned through trial and error. Listening to a chapter book is completely different than picture books and fairy tales, it takes some getting used to for you little.
It is incredibly challenging for kids to sit still and listen. Try to read to your kid while they are eating at snack time or give them something that they can do on their own that is quiet and doesn’t require much of your assistance (i.e. blocks, coloring, puzzles, etc.). Don’t think that they aren’t listening just because their hands are busy. There is plenty of research that says young children actually listen and retain information better when their hands a busy because their mind is awake and engaged. I bet you’d be surprised the conversations you can have with your kiddo after you read to them like this.
Now, if you are in the car a lot with multiple kids and school drop off and work commute try out a children’s audio book. You could listen in the car, while making dinner, bath time and still reap the benefits of connection and developmental benefits. In this scenario you would get that connection after the story where you talk about a character or something exciting that happened in a chapter. Maybe instead of turning the tv on after dinner you read a chapter book as a family!? IDK, but I do believe there is a way to incorporate reading aloud into a weekly rhythm. London and I don’t read a chapter book everyday, but we do 3-4 times a week. The goal is to not force it, because then it won’t be fun for you or your kids.
Below are a few of the books that we have read or are currently reading, along with a handful of books on the list to be read. We were fortunate to have most of these books at our local library to check out, but I did include links to Amazon below.
1.Matilda by Roald Dahl 2.The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne 3.Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl 4.The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren 5.Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren 6. Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder 7. Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard and Florence Atwater 8.Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White 9.The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett 10. A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett 11. The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo 12. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
books that we have enjoyed
- Matilda by Roald Dahl
- The Complete Tales of Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
- The Children of Noisy Village by Astrid Lindgren
Books we are currently reading
- Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lindgren
- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilde
Books to read
- Mr. Popper’s Penguin by Richard and Patricia Atwater
- Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
- The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
If your kids don’t seem interested right now, don’t worry. This is actually our third time trying to get through Pippi Longstocking!! But every time I start from the beginning and this time she is even requesting it be read. I guess, maybe it’s kind of like new food in that way?? Your kids are just learning this skill and how to appreciate it, don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t go exactly as you want it to the first time around. Let’s be honest, most of parenting doesn’t!!
Do you have any favorite books for kids? What’s your reading routine?