Read To Them :: Who, What, When, Where, Why

    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?

    Our home library started thanks to Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Some areas are currently underfunded, but if you’re in an area where books are available your child can receive a free book in the mail every month through age 5! Some of our favorites have come to us this way. We also prefer books to birthday cards; new or well-loved a personal note inside becomes a gift in itself. “Read the book from PawPaw” is something you’ll hear time after time. Maybe the most obvious place to get books is Amazon! They started as a used book site and still offer some of the absolute best deals on new and used 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.

    Are you already reading at bedtime? What are your favorite stories?

    Sarah is a Cecilia native currently living in Lafayette's oil center. She's the mom to a Brady Bunch of 7 children ages 13 to 5. Married to Clint, her 'environmental superhero', they enjoy traveling often. The self-proclaimed queen of big family travel planning; she's also taken up GLAMPing as she explores the State and National Parks as part of their year of road schooling. Sarah started Real Product Talk, a product testing and secret shopper service, with her online bestie of 10+ years in 2014 and continues to grow as a major player in her field. When she's not working from home, she's can be found serving the less fortunate in Lafayette alongside Lafayette Mom Writer Ali Comeaux and their non-profit, With Love, Acadiana.


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