Tip Tuesday — Reading with Kids

The internet’s been down all day here so Tip Tuesday is gonna be mostly on Wednesday this week but I know you can roll “wid” it because y’all are cool like that.

When Laylee was first born, I read to her obsessively. I had all kinds of reading goals, plans and agendas and I loved the way we bonded over our favorite books. Now that Magoo has joined the posse, I find myself armed with books as a weapon to encourage naps, bedtime and something like quiet behavior in church.

He doesn’t seem to have an attention span worth mentioning and since most of our books don’t growl or explode, they’re of very little interest to him.

Laylee still loves stories but she wants to pick her own now and they’re often either so long or so annoying that I try not to suggest story time unless I’m trying to bribe her into narcolepsy.

book coverI’ve felt guilty about our mounting family illiteracy but not as guilty as I’ve felt about my many other areas of personal parental inadequacy so I’ve let it slide. Sometime between 6 months and 10 years ago, Sourcebooks sent me a review copy of Reading with Babies, Toddlers and Twos: A Guide to Reading, Choosing and Loving Books Together.

I finally pulled it out last month and found it was really a quick read and much to my surprise, it did not make me feel a bit guilty, only encouraged to do better. It’s full of great tips, quotes and stories about reading but the best part is that it’s crammed with lists of books for nearly every early age, stage and personality type.

I enjoyed the book and the renewed excitement my kids and I have found for reading so much that I decided to send it on to my sister-in-law as a baby present… But I couldn’t part with all those fabu lists so now I have to go and spend actual money on the darn thing.

My 3 favorite tips from the book are:

-Relax and let your kids enjoy their books, even if it means letting them love Curious George to a pitiful paper monkey death.

-Have your kids grab a couple of books on your way out the door so they have something to occupy them in the car. This will build their bond with books and may give you a couple of seconds’ peace as you drive or a helpful diversion in a checkout line.

-Take small chunks of time throughout the day to sit down and read with your kids, not just one big fat story marathon and not just at bedtime.

What tips do you have to encourage reading for children of all ages?

What books should no children’s library be without?

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