Photo Credit: Getty Images
This may surprise you, but even though we read every night to our children as part of their bedtime routine, this is not my favorite time of the day. Sure, I love snuggling with them, but lying down in a darkened room with a book, or four in my case, is just a recipe for what I call "sleep-reading." I think every tired parent has been caught nodding off and suddenly reading gibberish words that are not even in the story!
My favorite times to read with my kids are sprinkled throughout the day. I love that reading or listening to a story can remedy almost any challenging situation. If they're distressed, sitting in a lap with a book is comforting. If they need distraction from a heated moment, taking a break to listen to a story can help. Five to ten minutes of focused, one-on-one time with a story has done wonders for my mom guilt before I leave for work, or my lack of energy later in the day.
During the summer, you can make the ordinary extraordinary just by declaring a special time or place for reading. For example, you can help your kids build a reading fort inside or outside and give them flashlights to read by. Instead of movie night, try book afternoon, complete with popcorn and treats, and don't forget to bring your own book!
Sometimes reading is best when it's just random and contagious. When my kids see my husband and me reading, it isn't long before they crack open their own books and join us, even our 2 year old!
Over the last 5 weeks I've learned that reading can happen anytime anywhere, and every little bit counts, especially during the summer. Whether it's road signs on a road trip or chapter books under a tree, sharing the joy of reading with your kids is invaluable.
When is your favorite time of day to read with your children?
Have a wonderful summer and happy reading!
Your iVoice, Christine