Almost every parent will tell you that their favourite time of day is bedtime, and I agree! I love bedtime because I love reading to my children. Don’t be fooled, just like everybody else our bedtime is loud, stressful, full of kiddy cajoling, toddler wrangling, pyjama peril and toothbrush tantrums, but once that is finally done with then its story time.
Reading aloud to the kids at bedtime didn’t come naturally to me, it felt very unnatural and strange, full of mid sentence yawns, stuttering rhymes and repeating myself over and over.
With my oldest two boys (11 and 13) I very rarely read to them when they were young and now I regret it.
I don’t really remember being read to by my parents and I am not sure if they ever did, but I do remember when I was starting to read on my own they bought me endless comics to help me learn to read, the first of which I still remember now “The Forty Thieves of Baghdad” (or BagHerDad as my young brain parsed it out).
The comic book format was perfect to keep me interested as when I began to struggle with the words I could figure it out by looking at the pictures.
Reading aloud isn’t the easiest thing to do especially if you aren’t a strong reader yourself but FrugalMrsW encouraged me to try and make reading part of the bedtime routine for Daisy. Reluctantly I agreed, and at first I struggled with it, but eventually i began to enjoy it, and all it took was the right books.
The “That’s Not My” range are great for the under two’s that don’t have a very long attention span and they have lots of different textures to feel inside, Daisy absolutely loved these books when she was little and I must admit “That’s Not My Pirate” is one of my faves, Any excuse to talk like a pirate is OK with me.
I Also recently discovered that in the “That’s Not My” range there is a little white mouse hiding somewhere on each page that Jake loves to find.
As daisy has gotten older she has moved onto the longer books and some of my personal favorites that are great fun to read and give me lots of opportunity to do character voices and make things a little bit of a giggle before bedtime.
These are some of our favourite bedtime books and as you can tell from the titles they provide a little silliness, adventure and fun.
A Harvard University study published around Summer 2015 suggests that Dads reading to their children can be especially beneficial, but not because they are any better at it than Mums, apparently its due to context.
The study suggests that Males have a tendency to ask different kinds of questions about the story for example : Dad is more likely to say something like, ‘Oh look, a ladder. Do you remember when I had that ladder in my truck?’ Dr Duursma who was involved with the study suggests “That is great for children’s language development because they have to use their brains more. It’s more cognitively challenging.”
Finally and most importantly Dads, just read to your kids, its fun and its special to them and to you. It might be difficult at first but it gets easier, its worth the effort and you wont regret it.