Reading is a passion of mine. I have read my entire life and still gobble up books like there is no tomorrow which probably isn’t that surprising considering my father teaches English at the University of QLD. The importance of books and reading were instilled in me from birth and reading is as natural as eating or breathing, I am constantly amazed with how many people I know who rarely read a novel.
This love of reading is something I hope to pass onto my children as 2 very clear and positive things have come out of research surrounding children and books:
1. Having lots of books in households with young children equate to more intelligent kids. I’m hoping this doesn’t have to be physical books because I sadly culled 2/3 of my books to make room for her nursery!
2. Reading to children from birth improves their speech, vocabulary and communication which makes dealing with the terrible two’s considerably easier. Children who can articulate what they are feeling with words are less inclined to resort to tantrums to get the message across.
If like me, your interested in finding out more about these studies or childhood development in general I strongly recommend checking out the Life documentary series. The series follows 11 Australian children and aims to find out what gives children the best chances at life. I found the studies fascinating and can’t wait for Life at 7 to be released.
I have been purchasing books here and there over the last 4 months and recently made an effort to fit reading to her into her bedtime routine. While it doesn’t always go exactly to plan, our current late afternoon – to bed routine (the only routine we actually try to stick to!) is:
4:00pm – 5:00pm: Walk Time.
1 hour at a leisurely pace to the local park in the Sleepy Wrap or Baby Bjorn. Hopefully she has a nap during this – sadly it rarely happens she’s too excited looking around.
5:30pm – 5:45pm: Bath Time.
She loves her bath!
5:45pm – 6:20pm: Calm Play/Cuddle Time.
Generally this is with her on my lap in front of the tv with low volume and I cuddle her while she sucks on her dummy and holds her pink bear/security blanket comforter.
6:20pm – 6:30pm: Story Time.
We move into her nursery where she is propped into a corner pillow on the couch and I read her a bed time story.
6:30pm: Feed time.
To keep her feeling secure and initiate sleep time, I always turn the lights off and do this feed with a night light and her Sheep Sleep set to Mothers Heartbeat – a sound which is what she’s gone to bed with since she first came home from the hospital.
7:00pm: Bed time.
Yay! Time for me to have a break, much needed shower and eat dinner.
I’m amazed at how much she enjoys being read to and now she is a bit older its clear to see that she’s definitely curious at the pages turning, the pictures and rhythm of the story – I often get a good giggle out of her even if she’s getting overtired.
While buying books for her I thought back on what books I remember from childhood and I can’t believe how many of them are still considered popular for children today. Currently the books in her library are:
(Includes: The Going to Bed Book, Horns to Toes, Opposites, But Not the Hippopotamus)
(Includes: The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, and Fox in Socks)
(Includes: The Princess and the Frog, The Little Mermaid, Cinderella, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty)