Reading to our kids

There are pretty much a bazillion reason to read to your kids. Big kids, little kids, babies toddlers, school age…. you get the idea. I don’t need to tell you all the benefits or quote all the studies and research about reading out loud as a parent.

This post contains affiliate links, but you know I got your back and only share products I love and stand behind. I paid my own hard-earned money on the products I mention, and want to share what I love.

bedspread / fur pillowMadeline / Olivia / Radiant Child /
A Ball for Daisy / Finding Winnie 

We have personally seen so many benefits of reading to our two kids and have made it a daily habit since they were born. Obviously it is hard to say that certain things are single handedly different because we read daily but here are some things I have noticed from reading.

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Vocabulary– Riggs uses so many word that he hears from books. Just last night he was telling us he was a Oystercatcher, I literally had no idea what it was and thought he was making it up until my husband said it was a bird from a new book they read.

Knowledge– Reading has definitely increased and added to the knowledge that Riggs has. How cool is it that we can read all about trains and the different parts of the body in 15-20 minutes and then later that day explore dinosaurs or emotions. It’s an easy way to explore new things, introduce new topics, and learn about any subject. I am always surprised how much Riggs is picking up on and remembering and how many random facts he has stored in that little mind of his.

Attention Span-Even Etta can sit with us and read 1-2 books. She isn’t even a year but her attention span is becoming longer and longer and she is practicing sitting and listening. Its so interesting to see the progression of Riggs and his attention span, he is a very active little boy but has learned over time to sit and pay attention as we read.

Imagination and memory- It is so fun to see how much Riggs remembers when we read a book. He usually likes to “read” it to me or Etta after we finish and it is so amazing how much he remembers. He also will incooperate whatever was in our book in his play, and I know that by reading we are helping his imagination and little world grow.

Speaking– Another thing I have noticed when reading to babies is their speaking and communication skills seem to be jump started. Speaking is a huge skill that takes lots of practice and is learned through imitating and example. Sitting and listening to the cadence, tones and fluctuation in a voice as babies listen to you read is invaluable.

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Quality time- Our family reading time in one of the most precious times of the day. Most nights as part of our bedtime routine we all climb in bed and read together. We cuddle close and share loves and kisses. It is a perfect end to the day to be together and a nice way to calm down and get ready for bed.

Independent (non screen time) activity– We TRY really hard to only watch one show a week, and this usually happens on Monday morning during Etta’s nap when I want to get my house put back together after the weekend. It is my favorite day of the week! But that still leaves me a few additional times during the week that I need to do laundry, dishes, prep dinner, or go to the bathroom alone (ha ha). It would be easy to just turn on the TV or hand the kids an iPad, but it isn’t recommended for babies younger than two and honestly for us it isn’t ideal for Riggs either. Books make an easy quiet and/or individual activity that they can do on their own for 20-30 minutes while I am not 100% involved. We keep a basket of board books (read: not easily destroyed) where the kids can reach and it has been fun to hear the stories that Riggs comes up with for Etta.

bedspread / fur pillow / Knobby pillow / knit pillow / This Is Not My Hat /Locomotive / Olivia

We have an unofficial goal (maybe it is official now that I am writing it down!) to read at least 3 books a day to the kids. Last year we wanted to build our collection and we tried to get a book a week for the whole year. We hit that mark! We counted books that were given to us for birthdays and on holidays and it surprisingly added up really quick. Our children’s book collection is really coming along, and it is exciting to see how much the kids love to explore a new book we bring home.

We are also focusing on collecting all the Caldecott winner books over the next few years. These books have the most beautiful illustrations and art and we love to get lost in the images.

Here are some of the Caldecott books we got recently for Christmas that we have been loving.

This is Not My Hat / Locomotive / A ball for Daisy / finding Winnie /
Radiant Child / Olivia / Madeline 

With collecting all these book we have had to create some space in our tiny place to store them all.

In our room we have a little “reading nook” in the corner. It is practical and pretty book storage that we rotate through regularly. We keep board books on the bottom shelf and I find the kids here multiple times a day looking through books on their own. The rest of the shelf  has baskets we use for storage, and pictures and art.
bookshelf / rug / Letter board / knit pillow / Fur Pillow / Euro pillow / sheep skin

In the kids room we have open shelving dedicated to books, this is where we keep the majority of our children’s books. It is overwhelming sometimes to make sure we are reading all the books we have and not just have them sit there. We rotate through the shelves and move books to our bedroom book shelf every few month. We store a few toys on the shelves along with baskets of blocks and baby toys.

kids kitchen / wire basket (similar) / stuffed animals / wooden toys / baby toys


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I am looking for a better way to organize the books by topic so that when something specific comes up I know where to look for any particular book. Martin Luther king day was recently, and I know we have a few books that go great with the holiday… but it isn’t an easy task to sort through them all. If you have any great ideas, let me know!

2 replies to “Reading to our kids

  1. YES! I’m also a big fan of reading to the little one, and have seen just how much it’s helping her and setting her up for success. I’m also trying to figure out a way to make the books easily accessible and easy to find, without feeling like they are EVERYWHERE (most often under me when I try to sit down).


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