Who should you be reading to?
Research shows there are benefits of reading to babies even still in the womb. Babies as young as 25-26 weeks of gestation have been shown to respond to sound. Reading to young children helps to grow their vocabularies and imaginations. School-aged children have the attention span and memory capabilities to introduce books with short chapters allowing you to read one or two each night building on the story over time. Even middle-school children and older benefit from reading together. You can read to them, they can read to you, or you can each read the same book and discuss it at bedtime.
What are the best bedtime stories?
The favorite books in my house for younger children:
- My No No No Day – Rebecca Patterson
- The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson
- What if Everybody Did That? – Ellen Javernick
- Little Blue Truck – Alice Schertle & Jill McElmurry
Our favorite books for middle schoolers:
- Spy School Series – Stuart Gibbs
- Fudge Series of Books – Judy Blume
- Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling (of course!)
- The Middle School Series – James Patterson, Chris Tebbetts
When should I read to them?
As often as you can! Reading regularly, at least once a day preferably, offers the most benefit. Just before nap or bedtime as a routine can help set the mood for sleep and hopefully inspire some great dreams.
Where can I get books?
Why should I add this to our routine?
If you’re not already reading to your children each night, let me implore you to start. Not only is this a moment to shake off the stresses of the day, forgive yourself the moments when you raised your voice or got frustrated through the day and set aside this moment to read to them. When you tell an animated story you both finish the night on a high note, and you’ll also be introducing them to new words and different ways to use the ones they know, effectively expanding their vocabulary and connecting all those neural pathways. Reading is also a way to grow their imaginations and teach important moral lessons like how to treat people.