Friday, February 8, 2013

Ways to Fit Reading into a Busy Life

Natalie has always been able to sit still for long periods of time if something holds her interest, but William is completely different.  While Natalie would bring me book after book to read sitting in my lap, William rarely ever brings a single book.  For a while, I was worried he wouldn't like reading, but he does enjoy books.  William just doesn't enjoy sitting still when he doesn't have to.  So, to get reading into his day, we do the following. 

  1. Meals and snacks.  I read to the kids while they have breakfast, snack, and lunch.  (Dinner is left for just conversation, though in my parents' house growing up dinner was when my dad read aloud to us).  This works because William is buckled into his chair.  If his interest wanes, he just plays with something on the table.  
  2. The car.  This was the first place I really saw William taking an interest in books.  He had a small board book clipped to his car seat with links.  I'd look back at him in the mirror, and he would be looking intently at the pictures and turning the pages.  Because he had nothing else to do, William slowed down enough to check out books. 
  3. Bath.  There are special books you can buy just for the bath.  (Some of them are called bubble books).  This is another great time to explore books where the selection of toys is limited and your child can't run away!
  4. The Library.  If you take your child to the library, he can't help but notice and explore some of the books.  Furthermore, if you go to story time, even if he doesn't sit still, he will still hear the stories (and see the example of the older children). 
  5. Toys.  Books should always be an option with your toys.  If they are there, your child will eventually find them, even if you don't bring his attention to them. 
  6. Diaper bag.  Always have a book or two in the diaper bag for when you have to wait.  This is particularly good for restaurants, but also works for other places like the doctor's office. 
  7. Bedtime.  Reading at bedtime has been a tradition for both of my kids pretty much since birth.  They expect it and enjoy it.  Some of our best moments of the day happen during bedtime reading.  When William got to be a bit more active, sometimes we barely got through one book, but we stuck with it and now he is excited to pick out his books out of the bucket with Daddy every night, even if they don't always read any one book start to finish some nights. 

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