Encouraging and nurturing a love of reading with our children is by far the most precious and powerful way we can support their education both now and many years down the line. We are all lovers of books in our house and we could easily open up our own book shop or library. I am a firm believer that books should, without doubt, always be part of a present to children. Books should be seen as a treat. Christmas, birthdays and treats for good behaviour, sleeping in own bed all night etc, usually result in the purchase of a new book. With so many to choose from, we are always spoilt for choice.
To ensure that this love we have for books does not die out, I am always presenting books in a new way and hoping J and G will be excited by story time. With the introduction of Ted to our lives this week (see post here) and J’s desire to learn to read, Ted has been leaving little surprises, activities and gifts for J and G to enjoy. On J’s arrival back from nursery today, he was greeted with a Story Den. This consisted of a few upturned cushions on the sofa, a bed sheet draped over to make a roof and a cosy duvet to make it inviting. Inside, Ted waited. He had put a basket of stories for J and G to explore and a few of G’s texture books too. Inside he had included J’s wooden letter stand.
It was absolutely gorgeous to see them both exploring books together. Such an easy and simple thing to do but they loved it.
I am utterly and unashamedly proud of the fact that Baby G, at 11 months old, loves nothing more than sitting and flicking the pages of a book. She adores it and whenever grumpy (quite a bit at the moment) a book will momentarily get her out of it.
As I sat back and let J and G enjoy books in peace and private, I thought about the fact that their little minds were whizzing with all the lovely things these books have to offer. Is it wrong that for that instant, I would’ve given anything to read their thoughts? As well as sharing books aloud, it is also lovely to just let them do their own thing with a book. J often breaks into song when he is looking through a book and it is lovely to see and hear.
Another proud moment came when J used his wooden letter stand to go through the sounds he knows. He is now up to about 18 and he says them beautifully. It was super cute that he called ‘b, d, q and p’ all ‘p’ and said, ‘why are their so many ‘p’ sounds Mummy?’ It’s easy to see why he got confused and my guess is it will confuse him for a long while yet. Learning their sounds is SOOO tricky! Poor little angels.
After a while, I got into the den and we shared about five stories until the heat became unbearable and I felt I needed to come up for air!!! Haha! Not only are books an invaluable learning opportunity, but they also offer the chance to have cuddles, snuggles and uninterrupted time with your children. What more could we want out of life?
After sharing lots of stories, singing songs and having giggles, J sat back with ‘Wriggle and Roar’ and Ted and had a ‘chillax’ after a busy day!! Whatever the problem, children love a good den, so when it reaches grouchy hour, reach for the bed sheets and make up a den! I find it’s a winner every time.