Favorite Books, Reading

Teaching Kids to Love Books

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Not to brag, but my son loves books. He may not be able to read them yet, but he loves them. While I realize that some children are more naturally drawn to books than others, I’d like to offer some tips of ways to teach your kids to love books.

Read to Them

Schedule a time to read to your children at least once a day. Make it part of your routine! Like many other summer reading challenges, I encourage you to read 30 minutes a day to your kids! I know attention spans can be short, so consider breaking up the reading times. In our schedule, we read after breakfast, before our son’s nap, and before bedtime. This means we only have to do 10 minutes at a time, although often it goes longer than that. And once your child learns how to read, don’t stop reading to them! My mom would often read to us even in our teens, just to get us hooked on a book she knew we would love. Often she would tell us, “I’ll just read the first two chapters, and if you don’t like it, we can return it.” Inevitably she would finish reading and we would fight over who would get the book next so we could finish it.

Go to the Library Often

I recommend going to the library once a week. I remember as a child we would go to the library and load up on books for the week. It’s the best way to be able to cycle through books so you can keep your child engaged in reading. Be sure to let your kids help pick some of the books they will read that week. Sure, you may end up with some books that you don’t like as much, but you may end up finding some treasures. (Stay tuned for next week when I discuss “Ways to Find Books Your Children Will Love”). If it’s hard to make time for the library, I highly encourage reserving books online and making use of library book drop-offs. This means you only have to make a 5-10 minute trip to the library to drop off past books and pick up the books you have on hold.

Attend Story Time

I am constantly learning how to be a more engaging reader through our library’s story time. Each librarian has their own way of adding expression and voice to the book they are reading. Often this encourages children to be more engaged in the books. I’ve learned how to look for places in books where I can engage my son in the story (making animal noises, pointing out different details in pictures, saying a repetitive phrase). Kids love to feel involved, especially when they can’t read on their own yet.

Reorganize Your Books

This is a tip I got from a friend, who wrote a beautiful blog post on how she decided to organize her books. I’ll just include this quote about the results: “Though I didn’t add a single new book during this clean-up process, it was as if my kids were seeing them all anew. They spent the rest of the day exclaiming over books they thought were lost and enjoying entire collections or author groups.”

Get New Books

There’s just something exciting about getting a new book. The book lover that I am would much rather my son get a new book as a gift than a new toy to junk up our house. Because of this, we have a separate Amazon Wishlist just of children’s books. If you can’t afford to buy new books all the time, consider shopping at your library’s book sales. We found some great classics at our local library sale this year.

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Library Book Sale Haul

You can also see if your area is part of the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, where your child can receive a free, age-appropriate book once a month from the time they are born until they are 5!

Happy Reading!

Why I Needed a Mom Vacation

Holidays

A Pinterest Easter with a Toddler

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I had high aspirations this Easter to make it the most fun-filled event ever. I created an Easter Board on Pinterest and tried out several of the ideas. Here’s how it went:

-Fingerpainting: Fail. D is not interested in doing different cute designs to go through the week of Easter. So just know that any finger painting you see that requires a steady hand should probably be for ages 3+.

-Printables: Most were too advanced for my son. We ended up just trying out the Easter Finger Puzzle. This lead to a meltdown because I wouldn’t let D cut out the square and fold it. I would recommend cutting it out ahead of time, letting your little color it, and then folding it when they aren’t looking, so you don’t have to hear “No I DO IT!!!”

-Dying Eggs: D had lots of fun and I was slightly stressed he would drink the dyed water we dunked the eggs in. Let’s just say there’s a reason I added some “Getting Dye off of Hands” pins to the board. You’re welcome.

-Easter Books: Win! We checked out eight Easter books from the library. While they were all cute, my favorite was Looking For Easter, because I felt like it tied in more of the true meaning of Easter (new life). IMG_1381

-Non-candy Egg fillings: I would highly recommend this, because D got plenty of candy from other sources on Easter. We chose to put a toddler sock in each egg and he was just as excited to get those as he was the candy. (These were patterned socks we let him pick out at the store a few weeks ago). I loved the other non-candy filling ideas on the pinterest board, and look forward to trying them in later years.

-Reusing Plastic Eggs: So far we’ve only tried making the egg maracas from this video, and they were a huge hit! We have so many eggs left from the four Easter egg hunts we did this week, so I look forward to figuring out other uses for them.

-Christ-centered activities: Since D is still young for most of the ideas I pinned, I went for just drawing a picture of Christ on the cross and Christ rising from the tomb. That seemed to resonate with him the most. I also introduced him to Handel’s Hallelujah chorus and he now constantly requests it. Music is a powerful tool in teaching children.

-Food: We used our hard-boiled dyed eggs to make Eggs Benedict for dinner. We also tried out this Resurrection Roll Recipe. If you do these rolls, be aware that they will have liquid inside from the melted marshmallow. I chose to make mine in a muffin tin instead of a cake pan, which led to some spilling in the oven. Despite that, these were delicious and worth the effort. IMG_1482

We had a wonderful week leading up to Easter, and I hope this post can give you some ideas for next year!

Why I Needed a Mom Vacation