I’ve always been fascinated with books, right from a very young age I loved to read. There was not an MS read-a-thon that I would miss and my reading card was always filled with a long list of books. I even remember as a teenager being excited by the prospect of going to my local library and then spending hours there browsing around before borrowing a pile of books to take home with me. Although I was a big fiction reader, I also really enjoyed non-fiction. Even as an adult, whenever I moved house the first thing I would do is join the local library.
I’m not sure where the love of books came from as I don’t remember my parents creating any reading ritual with my brother and I. My dad loves to read though so maybe I picked it up from him. Even now, my love of books continues with my shelves filled to the brink. The thought of a Kindle makes me want to be sick…how can I ever part with those beautiful physical books…a Kindle just doesn’t cut it for me.
Our neighbours on one side are very academic sort of folks. When Ruby was born, they gave her a gift of some beautiful books such as “The Very Hungry Caterpillar“,”Where Is The Green Sheep” and a few other classic kids stories. They also leant me a book to read myself titled “Reading Magic” by Mem Fox. It basically teaches you how your child can learn to read before school simply by reading aloud to them and making it fun. In her book she talks about reading three times a day if possible and the three books should be a favourite one, a familiar one and a new one. It’s also about having fun. Mem shares a story in her book of a father that reads to his child and will open the book upside down and his child says “no daddy, the other way”. She says playing little games like trying to find the same word throughout the book helps create the fun as well as teaching kids to identify words.
I absolutely love the concept and it got me thinking about how I would like Ruby to also appreciate the value of reading and encourage her from an early age to enjoy it. I would love to create a bedtime ritual for her where she has her bath, dresses in her PJs, says good night to daddy and Roxy and then we jump into her bed for story time before sleep.
Do you have a similar ritual in your house?