In my part of the world, it’s now cold. The leaves are off the trees, the days are short, and the wind is chilly. While reading is a year-round past time for me and the kids, we kick it up a notch in winter. It just seems natural. Cuddled up with a blanket, a good book and a cup of something warm and delicious….preferably with a fire roaring in the fireplace…just seems right. So I thought I’d do a blog post on all things READING.
First off, let me tell you what you probably already know. Everything you ever read or watch about child-rearing will probably mention something about reading to your kids….from birth on. There are books after books and blog post after blog post about all the good things you can do for your children and tips and tricks and yadda yadda yadda. But the one consistent thing that nobody will ever disagree with you on is that instilling a lifelong love of reading in your child will never steer them wrong. So super bonus for me since I LOVE reading. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. And I’ve loved it from little on. I started reading very early, and I can remember the first night I stayed up late and finished my first early chapter book. It was about Amelia Earhart, and I finished at 10 or 11 pm. WELL past my bedtime. I came out to tell my mom that I finished. You could tell she was surprised at first that I was still up, but ultimately she couldn’t be mad. I learned the “up late reading” thing from her. And she learned from her mom. And Grandma learned from Great Grandma.
SO. I read to the kids a lot. Currently, we have 94 items checked out of the library. Five books and magazines are mine. The rest are picture books and children’s chapter books. We read nearly every night. In winter, when it gets dark at 5pm, it’s not unheard of for us to be in our pajamas ready for bed at 6:15pm. We then read 5 to 15 picture books and easy readers, followed by a chapter or two or three from a chapter book. I love reading time. My kids would listen to books forever, and it’s such a nice snuggle time.
Besides reading at night, we head to libraries during the day. A library should be a kid’s second home. In the area we live, there are so many libraries within easy driving distance. I suggest you try them all if you have kids. Each one will have different toys to play with, different busy boxes to check out, and different books to check out. Each library organizes differently too, which can make a visit more interesting. For example, Mt Horeb has their chapter books and series books easily shelved by series. They also have some awesome busy boxes. Cross Plains has a wonderful room for story time or quiet reading, as well as a neat environmental collection. Alisha Ashman has many of their picture books shelved by theme. Looking for fairytales? They are to the right, colors and shapes, straight ahead. AA also has the best collection of Rainbow Fairy books, just FYI. 🙂
And, you probably already know this next tidbit, but as a new mom, I did NOT. You can check a book out from any library and return to any library. This was a big deal when I figured this out. I’m probably the last person on the planet to figure that out, but it was awesome when I did. Some libraries have drive-up book slots. Very helpful for when you have two sleeping kids in the car!
And don’t forget about free library programming. Storytimes, craft times, movie nights. It’s not just for the summer reading programs. Winter has some events too!
So what books should you get?
There are lists upon lists upon lists. Here are some of my favorites:
And right now I have this book home from the library, and it has given me GREAT ideas:
And lastly, there are SO many activities you can do after reading stories. Just do a Pinterest search for ideas. You’ll come up with more than you ever thought possible. Like making deliciously plain vanilla cupcakes after reading Cupcake by Charise Harper (did it last week). Or making Lorax mustaches after reading The Lorax by Dr. Suess. Or making your own “Don’t Let the Pigeon….” books. The list goes on and on and on.
Happy reading everyone!