Wrap Their World in Books

My first love was reading.  I read constantly as a child.  I remember my mom would take me to the mall each Friday after school and we would buy 2-3 books at Waldenbooks.  I would then spend the weekend lost in those books.  

Then I became a first grade teacher.  And I learned the importance of having kids read.  I did my best to instill a love of reading into each student every year.  I built up my classroom library and my personal library with quality children’s books.  

Then I became a mom.  I continue to love books.  And I continue to instill that love of reading – just in my own three little sweeties.  I do my best to wrap everyday life in literature.  We read for fun.  We read to learn.  The books I choose might be because we love the book, because it matches our outfit, or because it ties in to the outing we are on that day.  I am wrapping their little world in books so they will see those connections all the time.

Have you ever seen the graphic below?  I used to send it home with my parents after Parent Information Night.  It’s sobering, to say the least.  

If you don’t love to read, that’s ok!  You can still pass on a love of reading to your kids.  Children’s books are usually fun and it’s easy enough to ‘fake’ loving reading when you read them quality books.  

Not all books are created equal.  I see lots of books at the dollar store.  Rarely is there one worth even a dollar.  I remember getting some board books (the hardcover and hard page books meant for tiny fingers so they won’t rip the pages) and there was SO much text on each page!  Board books are for tiny humans – babies – they don’t need long text.  They need short and sing-song language.  

From the earliest age I read books to London.  And when we went somewhere – I brought along a book or two or three that matched where we were.  I wrapped her experiences in rich vocabulary and showed how the books matched real life.  I did the same with the other two.

Here she is at a farm visit pointing at the picture that matched what she saw.  This is the experience that really reminded me to try and bring books into our daily life.

I even find ways to bring books into our day if we don’t go anywhere.  You’re wearing a pig dress and playing with your piggy?  Let’s read This Little Piggy today.  

Look how excited October is in the second picture when she found the monkey on her shirt like the monkey in the book.  I just happened to catch her amazement. Score!

We’re wearing candy outfits?  Let’s play Candyland and read Coco’s Candy Shop.

When we are at church – we have special bags filled with Christian based Berenstain Bears books and picture Bibles.  We have read them over and over so when the girls peruse them at church, they know the stories already.

Another fun ‘aha’ moment captured – Braxton realizing that his truck matches the book we were looking at.  It’s almost like Mama planned it that way!

One of my favorite memories of going to this farm was when October retold the entire books of The Little Red Hen to the chickens.  We brought the book because the farm was harvesting their wheat field the old fashioned way and I knew it would match one of the pages in the book.  What a fun surprise to see my little love want to share the whole story with the chickens.

I enjoy combining my love of children’s books and children’s clothes.  We read tons and tons of books each day and I like when I can find one that matches us.

Have you ever read Dragon was Terrible?  You need to if you haven’t.  This photo wasn’t staged.  I tried to take a picture of Braxton in his dragon outfit with the book.  But he kept crying because he wanted to read the book.  So no picture with his cute dragon shirt, but a cute picture to remind me of how much he loves that book.

There are lots of children’s books about life experiences.  The Berenstain Bears made their empire on that idea.  So anytime I can, we wrap our daily life in reading.

Going to the dentist?  I have a book for that.  Going to the doctor?  I have a book for that.

P.S. Braxton is a bit sad I’m taking a picture instead of holding him.  That’s why he has that concerned expression on his face.

I will NEVER forget this trip to the zoo.  I brought along a book and some toys so Braxton could enjoy the zoo as much as the girls.  While visiting the penguins he found them in his book and October showed them the penguin toy.  But then she got really frustrated at the penguins because they weren’t paying attention to them!  It was adorable.  Some of my favorite memories come from little moments like these.  And every time I read that book (because we read and re-read them books alllllllllllllll the time) then I recall that special memory.