Bedtime story

I’ve always read my kids bedtime stories ever since my eldest was 18 months (except when I was breastfeeding and husband took over reading duties for the others). We all really enjoy the bedtime stories. It’s good relaxation, good for them to learn language and a love of books, and for me to share my love of books with them.

My only rule has always been that we must read something I enjoy. We started out on Julia Donaldson, Lauren Child and Dr Seuss, moving on to Horrid Henry, then Mr Gum and Jeremy Strong, before ending up with Harry Potter and Skulduggery Pleasant.

I put a lot into my reading – expression and funny voices – and I vary the pace and the volume to build tension or humour. It helps the kids to really appreciate stories and understand the way they should (I think!) be read.

I fell into a pattern of reading to my daughter first, then reading to the two boys together. It was time-consuming, but we all enjoyed it. The boys then had a few minutes to read on their own too before they went to sleep, so they had the best of both worlds.

The kids have their own favourite books they read too – my younger son is obsessed with Beast Quest and has read them all. They are great for encouraging boys to read, but they are pretty formulaic, and I don’t enjoy reading them myself. The boys have also read all the Harry Potters themselves, but still like me reading them out loud to them.

But then something happened. The Olympics. The kids loved the Olympics. They wanted to stay up and watch it, so they did that instead of their bedtime stories. And once the Olympics were over, we never really went back. They were too busy procrastinating and somehow it just got too late for a story.

We’ve lost a little bit of quality time and a little bit of relaxation. I feel especially sorry for my daughter, who is only 6. I think it’s especially important she still has a story, but I miss reading to the boys too.

I might manage to read to the boys once a week at most. We have been ploughing through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire for months. My daughter gets probably two or three sessions a week. We’ve been reading the Enchanted Wood (the one before the more-famous Faraway Tree) for weeks and weeks.

I don’t want to lose that special time with them. It’s time to get a grip of bedtime and reinstate those bedtime stories.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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  1. Sadly, both daughters started saying they prefer to read on their own at around 10 years old….I have very fond memories of my Mum reading to my sister and I on a Sunday afternoon until we were really quite old. The Faraway Tree is a favourite of my son’s too, now wondering if he’s old enough to read Harry Potter….

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  2. I don’t think my mum and dad ever read to me! I got my first Famous Five for my 6th birthday and had read them all by the time I was 7! 10 is not a bad age to decide you don’t want someone to read to you any more, even though it’s a shame. Younger son likes me to read to him when his brother is at Scouts, which is nice. I may even break the Beast Quest rule then sometimes. Thanks very much for commenting, Suzanne, I really appreciate it.

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  3. I need to read more, and encourage the children to read more. The 3 youngest have more books for Christmas with the intention of reading more.

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  4. Any recommendations for our next read? We read every evening, but it’s a challenge to find chapter books that both Euan will enjoy and Isla be able to track along with. We loved the faraway tree books (my old copies!) and are currently on book 42 of the (very American) magic treehouse series. I think at 3, Isla’s still too young for Harry Potter!

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  5. That’s good, Pinkoddy. You can’t beat more books and lots of reading!
    Shona – I would totally recommend Jeremy Strong if you can get him over there. Very funny, gentle slapstick and he’s written loads of books!

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  6. i need to read more to my daughter but she love to write and draw at bedtime all of my boys are to old now 🙂 thanks for linking up with us at welcome to the weekend hop 🙂

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  7. My kids love bedtime stories. Actually, we have 5 of them, so that’s a lot of reading. LOL! So we started a new ritual. Bedtime audiobooks. There’s lots of sites to download them, but we use one site in particular because the stories are all original and free. Here’s the link, if anyone is interested.

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