I used to be an avid reader before my DD was born. She is going turn 4 soon and my reading time has gone down significantly. I'm trying to make time for adult reading again, and I was wondering how other parents incorporate reading into their day. I've been trying to squeeze some reading time in once my daughter goes to bed, but I already have so much else that I do during that time that it doesn't work. Do you set them up with an activity and then read, do you try to get them to look at picture books while you read? What works for you?
And welcome to Mothering!!
What works best for me is taking the kids somewhere more interesting and fun than the the house, like a park, playground, creek, or children's museum, and letting them play while I read. I have two of them, so they can play with each other. But when my oldest was 4, she was willing to play by herself while I sat nearby, especially if there were other kids there.
I keep a book in my purse. While I wait for the kids to buckle themselves, while I wait in the school carpool line, on the rare occasion they are playing nicely at the park...that's when I read.
Partner to R ('03); Parent to T ('07), A ('10), and E ('13)
I have a 2 and 4 year old, and I rock/lay down with both of them to go to sleep. This Christmas my husband bought me a Kindle and it is probably the best gift ever. I turn the backlight way down low and read under the covers or in the rocking chair as they fall asleep. I've gone from virtually no adult reading (for pleasure...I read a lot at work) to 2-3 books a week.
Best. Gift. Ever.
Mama to F (3/09) and S (3/11); and never forgetting my babe gone too soon (4/10).
I agree. I value reading a great deal and make time for it every day. And I like to read in front of my kids -- in addition to just enjoying it, I like that it sends a positive message about reading being a fun down-time activity, and that it sends the message that I give myself down-time instead of just working for the family all day.
That said, I do remember how hard it could be to get reading time in with toddlers. I bring a book to the park -- we have a tiny, safe park in our neighborhood where there isn't a risk of a kid wandering off unnoticed or being out of my sight while we're there. I also leave a book on the kitchen counter, and read a few pages if I have a few minutes between steps in my cooking process. And I always, always read at bedtime, even if it's just a few pages before I pass out. I love my Nook for this time of day because I can read without disturbing my hubby by turning the light on.
If your DD will sit happily in a jogging stroller for a while, you could listen to an audio book while walking. That wouldn't have worked with my DD, who was a chatterbox in the jogging stroller, but when my DS was that age he'd just sort of zone out and watch the scenery, so I totally could have had earbuds in with him.
When my daughter was very small, she would play for hours with the sand and water table, ooblik (equal parts water and corn starch), or play doh.. If the weather was tolerable, we would sit outside...even cold and bundled up or sweltering or raining, as long as it was life-threatening all of these activities seem more fun outside in the shade when it's hot or in the sunshine when it's cold. I got a lot of reading done then.
I wish I'd had a Kindle when she was a baby, but I'm pretty sure they hadn't been invented yet. She NEVER slept and when she did, I often spent hours (if not the whole night) rocking her. A book gets heavy, a book light is cumbersome. A Kindle would've been perfect. As it was I nearly went blind watching episodes of Frasier with the sound off and the subtitles on.
I think it's about to get a lot easier! At four and beyond, you really won't have to watch your LO every second like you do a toddler. I think at about 4 or 4.5, DD really got going in her imaginative play. She can play for hours with a playmobil or calico critters set up while I lay on the couch and read. It is luxurious.
-Ecstatic mommy to amazing DD, 2/07 :
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