Bonding through Books

Editor’s Note: Looking for fun, friendly and thought-provoking discussions about children’s books? Join our new group: Wee Bookworms!

 

Books serve many purposes to many people. We turn to books for reference and entertainment, looking for answers, inspiration, a smile, a laugh or even a good cry. Reading a book can be a means to sit back, relax and recharge during a busy day and can offer a way to reconnect with the people we love. If you resolve to read one book with your child each day, by the end of the year you will have spent over 24 hours of quality time together.

Sometimes we find ourselves in a bedtime book rut. Reading stories together as a sleepy time routine can be a significant and wonderful ritual but there are also many other ways families can enjoy books together.  Here are some ideas on how you can incorporate reading with your children into your daily life and bond through a book.

 

Wake Up to a Story

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Before bed, choose one book you can all awake to. Snuggle up with your children and re-establish a connection to start off your day.

Books to Check Out:

 

    Books are Portable

 

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Take some along in case you find a few free moments during a shopping adventure or while running errands. Connecting over a book can be helpful in easing high emotions and avoiding meltdowns after a long day in the car. Pull over, get cozy and take a few minutes to enjoy a story together.

Books to Check Out:

Immerse yourself

What is the book about? Where does the story take place? If you are reading about a snowy landscape then consider bundling up and heading outside, into the winter weather, to add atmosphere and adventure. A construction book? Plop down on the nearest dirt or sand pile. What are the characters eating or wearing? Grabbing a relevant bite of food or searching for a creative way to mimic an animal or outfit can be a fun way to immerse into a story.

Books to Check Out:

Choose a Theme for the Day or Week

Find books which relate to this theme, either loosely or directly. A foreign country is a popular topic for many families; incorporating the country’s food and traditions into their day. Very young children might also enjoy color or animal themes. Pick a color or animal and point them out in the books as you read.

Books to Check Out:

 

Connection Time

Many of us have a time of day when we guide our children to a quiet activity, such as reading. There is merit in having some time alone to quietly collect our thoughts and unwind. Less of a common practice is connection time. We may purpose to reconnect with our children throughout our day, but how about making it a ritual and setting specific time aside to do so? Grab some books and cozy up together.  Expect it to become an eagerly anticipated time of day.

Books to Check Out:

Books on Screen

 

For those with much older children, choose a book to read together and then watch the movie as a family. Discuss how the books and movie varied and what you did and did not like. For those who love acting and theatre, put on a family production reenacting scenes as you want them to be.

Books to Check Out:

 

Family Theatrics

 

Do you fancy the above idea but don’t watch movies or TV? Choose a favorite book and act out the story or a scene.  This can be as simple as pretending with young children to be Aesop’s Fables Tortoise and Hare, to directing and planning well thought-out theatrical productions with older children. Appoint a family member as a cameraman to document and record the fun.

 

Books to Check Out:

 

Spread the Love

 

Find connection within your tribe, neighborhood and community by sharing the love of reading. Invite your friends for a planned or impromptu storytime experience. Do this at your house or perhaps a local bookstore, library, park or business. Take turns hosting, with the other families, as it becomes an established and well-attended event.

Books to Check Out:

 

 

In Sight, in Mind

 

Place baskets, crates, tote bags or small piles of books around the house.  Choose places where family members often sit or high-traffic areas where they are out of the way but pleasingly in sight. Catching a glimpse of these books and always having them in reach may increase their chances of being picked up and read. I love decorating my home with my favorite children’s books; they bring me joy and inspiration when I see them.

Books to Check Out:

These are some ideas to inspire you to have fun and be creative. They are meant to evolve and grow within your unique family. Start small… or big; be as simple or extravagant as you want to be. Now go forth and read together… and share in the comments about how your family is bonding through books.

 

 

 

 

About Marissa Bloom

Marissa Bloom, emerging children’s author and publisher, spends her days with her husband and two young children – playing, eating, napping, exploring, creating catastrophic messes and almost usually cleaning them up. She supports families through their breastfeeding journey and in incorporating gentle parenting practices into their lives. Marissa encourages everyone to seek out knowledge, truth and understanding; to aspire to wisdom and enlightenment. She finds joy inspiring family, friends and unsuspecting bystanders to recognize kindness and beauty within themselves and others. For more info on her books or to connect, visit her on Facebook or at MarissaBloomBooks.com. Be sure to check out the Mothering Wee Bookworms Group Marissa leads in discussion of great children’s books and reviews of new releases.