I’ve been reading to my son since I first found out that I was pregnant. I was around 13 weeks along at the time, (and yes, I did know that he couldn’t hear at this point in gestation). I haven’t stopped reading to him since.
Literature has always been my thing, even when I was little. My mom started reading to me and my sister since we were babies. She has a degree in education and my daily routine as a child was almost set up like a school. Most people would cringe when hearing that and I have to admit that I am not a parent that sets up a daily routine for my son. I let him pick the routine instead of fighting him all of the time and I’ve come to find out that he makes his own just fine. I just happen to work around his routine, imputing the activities that I see fit. My mother’s routine was one full of wonder, excitement, and adventures consisting of cooking, making faux musical instruments, art projects, reading, crafts, and having a Hawaiian luau in the middle of our living room during a snow storm. Every day was a new day with new activities that were fun and exciting. My mother made my childhood full of love and learning. She cultivated my love of learning, reading, writing, and I haven’t stopped since.
Four college degrees later, (one being my B.A. in English and creative writing), I find that even though I have a different parenting style than my mother, I’m not too far off grid from what she did with me. Books are central in my life and I plan on showing Beau the fun and excitement of them as well.
Now an 11-month-old and on the move constantly, it’s hard to find a time when he’s sitting still. He crawls, stands and shuffling to and fro, only stopping when something is interesting. Besides when he is sleeping, (and even then he seems to toss and turn all the time), he is always getting into something. As he gets older, I notice that he doesn’t want to sit still during reading time. We read around 3 to 4 books a day, spacing them a part. Even when he is on the move, he likes to hear the story, (when I stop he comes over to see what the matter with me is and why I’ve all of a sudden stopped reading). We usually have a morning book, (this one is usually a really short story), an afternoon book for right before when he naps, (I let him pick this one himself since he’s already over there pulling at least one book off of the shelf), and a good night book, (the longer story).
Since he has been born, (not including the ones that I read to him while he was still in the womb), we have read more books than I can count and in the past 3 weeks, we have read over 50 books, (and yes, we have ran out of the books at our house and the library has since became our new best friend). Reading is a big part of our daily routine and we have truly bonded over this process. Personally, I think reading should be essential in everyone’s lives, (whether you have a child or not). No, you don’t have to read multiple books a day, (this is something we do for fun), but one book a day is good to strive for. Trust me; your child will learn to look forward to this activity daily. My son knows when it’s book time and when we don’t do it, his routine that he has created for himself gets messed up.
Below is a list of my “little mover’s” favorite stories. He has a lot of favorites, (there is no way that I can add them all to this list), and so I just mentioned his favorites that he actually sits still for when I read them. These are also books that have a good moral as well. By the way, these books are in no particular order and if your child finds that he or she has favorites different than these listed; please email me your favorites, (firstname.lastname@example.org), so I can add them to our reading list!
- Eco Babies Wear Green by Michelle Sinclair Colman
- The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams
- Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle
- I Love You Through and Through by Bernadette Rossetti-Shustak
- Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
- Hands are Not for Hurting by Nora Gaydos
- If You Give a Pig a Party by Laura Numeroff
- The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister
- The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
- Oh, the Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss