“The more that you read, the more things you will know.
The more you learn, the more places you’ll go.”
- Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!
Finding Time To Read Together
Let's face it; we're all busy again. Those few months of being quarantined with our families gave us all the opportunity to spend more solid time with one another.
We watched movies, played games, cooked grand meals, and spent genuine time together -- no rushing, nowhere else to be. Just solid family time.
But, as soon as things started getting back to normal (ish), our schedules filled up and those days filled with nothing but free time turned into faint memories. Gone -- or at least limited -- are the movie nights, the family dinners, and, perhaps what I'm most upset about, is the ample amount of time for a before-bed story.
While our days are back to filling up with work, long commutes, sports, and everything else in between, it's important to find time for the things we love so much as well as the things that benefit our children greatly.
The Benefits of Reading to Children
Whether it’s before bed, after lunch, or squeezed into your once again busy schedule, dedicating time every day to read out loud to your child has an overwhelming list of benefits for their growth and well-being.
Stories help build a child’s imagination. Imagination fuels everything we think about, create, and do; it helps us develop our goals and dreams all while adding elements of learning and fun.
Reading to your child allows them to temporarily escape to another world within a story, giving them the opportunity to illustrate the story with their growing minds. In times like these, a temporary escape can be just what's needed.
Reading together is a true bonding experience. Adding story-time to your daily routine will give both you and your child something to look forward to every day and, better yet, it’s something you will be doing together.
No matter what time you do it each day, reading out loud to your child will give you both a sense of intimacy and closeness.
The calming effects are outstanding. If your little one is restless, agitated, or just plain grumpy, reading to them provides relief. According to a study at the University of Sussex, getting lost within a story lowers heart rates and eases muscle tension, allowing the body to relax. The same study found that reading can reduce stress better and faster than other relaxation methods such as drinking tea or listening to music. Again, in times like these...
And the moral of this story is… a true learning moment. The situations a story’s characters find themselves in, the relationships they build, and the lessons they learn will all resonate with your child in a way that will help them grow and develop.
While everyone adjusts to schooling being different this year, reading will help kids learn in ways they might not get to experience today.
Story Time: Fun and Educational Books for Children
Here are some great and well-loved books that are both fun and educational for children. And, in my opinion, I think they'll look pretty great on your bookshelf.
Books About Diversity:
All Are Welcome: Discover a school where—no matter what—young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated. Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other's traditions. A school that shows the world as we will make it to be.
Lovely: Big, small, curly, straight, loud, quiet, smooth, wrinkly. Lovely explores a world of differences that all add up to the same thing: we are all lovely!
I Love Saturdays y Domingos: Saturdays and Sundays are very special days for the child in this story. On Saturdays, she visits Grandma and Grandpa, who come from a European-American background, and on Sundays -- los domingos -- she visits Abuelito y Abuelita, who are Mexican-American. While the two sets of grandparents are different in many ways, they also have a great deal in common -- in particular, their love for their granddaughter. While we follow our narrator to the circus and the pier, share stories from her grandparents' pasts, and celebrate her birthday, the depth and joy of both cultures are conveyed in Spanish and English. This affirmation of both heritages will speak to all children who want to know more about their own families and ethnic backgrounds.
Books About Girls Who Code:
The New Girl Code: Launch Of A Fashion App: This book tells the story of 15-year-old Charlie, who discovers her love for coding and most importantly, herself, as she enters her sophomore year of high school. Charlie, who lives in Brooklyn, feels awkward and uncertain about things - about her future, friendships, lack of relationships, and even more so, about breaking barriers that once for boys only, the area of technology. When she discovers her love of fashion, she notices changes about herself and her friendships. This gives her the confidence to program an app, called The Fashionist.
Girl Code - Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done: Perfect for aspiring coders everywhere, Girl Code is the story of two teenage tech phenoms who met at Girls Who Code summer camp, teamed up to create a viral video game, and ended up becoming world-famous.
Girls Who Code - Learn to Code and Change the World: Whether you’re a girl who’s never coded before, a girl who codes, or a parent raising one, this entertaining book will have you itching to create your own apps, games, and robots to make the world a better place.
For more books about girls who code, click here.
Books About Representation That Feature Disabled Characters
King For A Day: Basant is here, with feasts and parties to celebrate the arrival of spring. But what Malik is looking forward to most is doing battle from his rooftop with Falcon, the special kite he has built for speed. Today is Malik s chance to be the best kite fighter, the king of Basant. In two fierce battles, Malik takes down the kites flown by the bully next door. Then Malik moves on, guiding Falcon into leaps, swirls, and dives, slashing strings and plucking kites from the sky. By the end of the day, Malik has a big pile of captured kites. He is the king! But then the bully reappears, trying to take a kite from a girl in the alley below. With a sudden act of kingly generosity, Malik finds the perfect way to help the girl. This lively, contemporary story introduces readers to a centuries-old festival and the traditional sport of kite fighting, and to a spirited, determined young boy who masters the sport while finding his own way to face and overcome life s challenges.
Joy: Fern’s Nanna has not been herself of late. And when Mum remarks that all the joy seems to have gone out of her life, Fern decides to fetch the joy back. With her catching-kit at the ready, she goes to the park and finds joy in all sorts of unusual places. Whooooshh! But Fern soon realizes that joy doesn’t fit in a bag, or a box or a tin! How will she manage to bring some back to Nanna? Emotional, funny, and uplifting, this beautiful picture book has a strong message about empathy and maintaining loving relationships with our grandparents. Guaranteed to bring a bit of joy into every reader’s life, this story is a pure delight.
Charlotte and the Quiet Place: Charlotte likes quiet. But wherever Charlotte goes, she is surrounded by noise, noise, noise—her yipping dog, Otto; the squeaky, creaky swings; the warbling, wailing sirens. Even in the library, children yammer and yell. Where can Charlotte find a quiet place? Sara Woolley’s magnificent watercolors bring Charlotte’s city to life when Otto leads her on a wild chase through the park. There, Charlotte discovers a quiet place where she never would have imagined! Sometimes children need a break from our noisy, over-stimulating world. Charlotte and the Quiet Place shows how a child learns and practices mindful breathing on her own and experiences the beauty of silence. All children will relate to the unfolding adventure and message of self-discovery and empowerment. Parents, teachers, and caretakers of highly active or sensitive children will find this story especially useful.
For even more wonderful bedtime stories for kids, ones that you will enjoy reading and ones that you'll take pride in sharing, click here.