Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Reading Bed Time Tales to your Toddler

Being a working Mom means a hectic evening with the little one. The two hours I get after I get home is the most precious time of the day. Strictly divided into three slots of dinner time, play time and bed time, (and the fourth is my slot of MY Time after she sleeps!). My 1.5 year old SSS is becoming naughtier by the day and with extended play times, her dinner time and bed time are fast morphing into play time as well!

While her favorite activity is running around the house, and opening all the drawers and kitchen cabinets she can, my favorite activity is definitely not fetching the balls she throws!  Being from a family of avid readers, my personal favorite activity is reading of course and reading to her is a delightful way of spending time with her. Alas! The only time I get to do that is at bed time! Dangling a pretty picture book is the easiest way to divert her attention from ransacking her cupboard for socks and get her to clamber to the bed!

If you are Mom, you may tell me how short their attention spans are and how difficult it is to make them read, but patience is key. Here are some of my tips to make your kids read –
  1. Get board books with bright pictures. The larger the pictures the better it is.
  2. Large Pictures of animals, objects they recognize make for ideal reading
  3. Forget long stories of the Arabian nights and Gulliver’s travels for now. Read small stories that have very few sentences on each page.
  4. You don’t have to read. Spin a different story around the picture
  5. Point out little objects in the picture
  6. Allow them to turn the pages.
  7. If they start tearing pages, tell them a firm No and take away the book for a while
  8. Start off for as much time as they let you read to them.
  9. You read! If they see you reading, they will want to automatically read too
  10. Patience Patience Patience
Of course, I make it sound easier than it really is. Truth is, it is hard work, but I am hoping it pays well in the long run!

Now the only problem is, once they start reading, there is no stopping them. If a juicy mystery can keep me up till wee hours of the night, the teddy bear tales are just as powerful in invoking tears and tantrums to not put the book down and to finish the stories! Then the only thing you can then do is offer that glass of warm milk, change her diaper, switch off the lights and sing her favorite nursery rhymes to lull her to sleep. And that my dear readers, is how SSS sleeps a cozy night to sweet dreams of crows and fairies and cows!

What books do you read to your child?


  1. I agree that's harder than it sounds, reading stories to your toddler out of a book. I had invented quite a few series of my own for my twins about cats, dogs squirrels and monkeys and even trees which they really seemed to love. Latter on I used to tell them a lot of improvised science fiction... Thankfully, they have caught on reading and are only restrained by their studies. You are doing a great job with your cute daughter.

  2. Thanks USP. I am barely surprised that your daughters are avid readers! They are your daughters after all :). I hope SSS goes the way as she grows up!

  3. All these efforts you are taking despite your hectic schedule in cultivating reading habis in Shivani will bear fruits. Your guidelines to make kids pick up a book and read it with interest will help other mums too.