Simple Parenting

Great Ways to Make Bedtime Reading Super Connected

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We all know reading with kids is good for their brains, but it’s also good for the heart and soul—an awesome way to reconnect with your kiddo after a long, busy day.  Here are 3 ways to make bedtime reading super special (the first one is PERFECT if your little bean likes hearing the same book over and over 😅).

TIP 1️⃣: Ask questions.

Ask about what they see on the page or what’s happening in the plot. You’ll find there are a million things to notice once you start looking at the details.

Say hello to the little mouse on each page, search for a certain letter or word your little one is starting to recognize, or talk about everything from the expressions on characters’ faces to the colors of their shoes.

Doing stuff like that was especially helpful when my boys wanted to read the same books on repeat—finding new ways to enjoy the same book kept me in the moment, instead of zoning out to words I’d practically memorized.

TIP 2️⃣: Take turns reading.

Even if your kid can’t read the words yet or fully understand the plot the way you do, they’ll have their own ways of telling the story—whether it’s one they’ve heard 1,000 times or they’re just narrating what they see in the pictures.

You can even act out the story together in silly voices, or by asking your kid to demonstrate some of the action verbs with their hands.

And be sure to let them tell it creatively rather than correcting them—you don’t want to miss out on their (often adorable or hilarious) version of the story!

TIP 3️⃣: Tie the stories into your real life.

Whenever you can, pick books that relate to what’s actually going on in your family. Books on topics like kids adjusting to daycare, or getting ready for an exciting visit from Grandma can offer new perspectives and give your kiddo a chance to talk about how they’re feeling.

But it’s not just for the tough stuff! I love baking with my oldest, so sometimes our bedtime “stories” are cookbooks so we can plan our next treat. 🍪😋

However you choose to make reading time special, it’s always a good excuse to cuddle with your kiddo on your lap—while they still fit! 💞

Robyn is Editor-in-Chief at ParentsTogether and is co-author of several NYTimes bestselling anthologies. She lives in southern Michigan with her husband and five children.