The reading bug

The reading bug


I heard a comment on the radio today that said that a third of children under the age of 7 never have a bed time story read to them, and of the ones that do have stories read to them, only 13% have them read to them every night. On further investigation there are several articles on this of which this one in The Guardian is one.

Now, I’m most certainly not claiming that we are super parents. We definitely take shortcuts, or easy routes, on so many things – from letting Elliot watch episode upon episode of Thomas, or giving up too soon each time we try to get him to eat any recognisable vegetable, and giving in too often when he asks for a new engine, or an ice cream. But, one thing we do do, religiously, is read to him EVERY night, pretty much without fail. We’ve done this since he was about 3 or 4 months old.

I see it as one of the most important things any parent can do. It is a wonderful thing to see a child interested in and gripped by a story – Elliot definitely has his favourites, and these change frequently. We’re currently reading quite a few books about new babies, and becoming a big brother (for obvious reasons!) He is able to recognise many words by sight, and can recount many books himself – especially ones like The Gruffalo!

I can’t imagine a childhood without books. I remember the joy of reading, and devouring book after book once i could read by myself. Maybe its this that makes me certain that spending time reading to Elliot should be at the top of our priority list each evening rather than tidying/hoovering/watching TV. it really saddens me that so many children don’t experience this.

Imagination is so important to a growing child, as is having the ability to empathise with others – these are two things that reading teaches without us having to really get involved.

The other reason I think reading every day is a good idea is that much debated subject among mummy-types: the routine. Having a set bedtime routine since Elliot was very tiny, regardless of the highs and lows of the day, has meant that we have had a child that 99% of the time sleeps right through and wakes happy and excited to start his day. Again, I don’t claim to be any sort of expert, but for us it seemed common sense that if our little man had the same bedtime cues each evening – bath, milk, stories, bed – that he’d soon realise what these meant and we’d have a child that went to bed easily. Ok so it doesn’t always work, and we do occasionally have tears and tantrums, but he knows the routine, and we just follow it through regardless of any tantrums and we end up with a child in bed, mostly before 8, and then an evening to ourselves. I really do think that reading every night has helped with that.

Elliot now happily sits and “reads” by himself, and some of his favourite trips are to the library or the book shop to choose new books to bring home.

Secretly I’m hoping that the Pirate Pete Potty Book, and Charlie and Lola: I Will Not Ever Never Eat A Tomato, will go some way to helping us with our current challenges in other areas of parenting – after all, books are magic!

Watch this space…


Elliot at (nearly) 33 months – the digital child


You were 32 months old in August, and I realise I’ve not blogged about you for a little while.

I thought it would a a good idea to capture some of your most favourite things at the moment, before time flies on and we forget.

As well as Thomas and Friends, which despite my best efforts you seem to be currently quite obsessed by, you have an eclectic mix of things that interest and excite you at the moment.

Some of these are found on my iPhone which does mean that your main refrain at the moment is “I have mummy’s phone?” and we are having to restrict access (for my battery as much as any other reason!)

Your top favourite app at the moment is Endless Alphabet, which is a spelling app for children who are probably a bit older than you – it has words such as gargantuan in it which you now know how to spell! It’s really good, has catchy music and little monsters that act out what all the words mean.




Another app you like is Touch and Write which we have on the iPad. This app is brilliant as we’ve programmed in a list of words ourselves – your name, family names etc. – and you love writing the letters in the words and then popping the bubbles at the end. There are also lists of common words, and letters and number shapes for you to draw over. You love choosing different things to write with – shaving foam, chocolate sauce, lime jelly, ketchup etc.

Touch and Write for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad on the iTunes App Store - Google_2013-09-02_13-35-43

Touch and Write for iPhone, iPod touch and iPad on the iTunes App Store - Google_2013-09-02_13-36-05

writing with ketchup? yes please…

As well as apps, you seem to be enjoying listening to music too. Daddy likes to play the guitar so you and he often have singing sessions. We also like to listen to music in the car, so you’re beginning to have your own favourites. You biggest favourite right now is “Rosie” by Paul Simon (otherwise known as Me and Julio down by the schoolyard) – you even know most of the words, which has to be the cutest thing ever!



singing “Rosie” in the car

I can’t believe how familar you are with all things digital already, you’re not even 3!

Scary times!

Lots of love, Mummy xx

Fun with a two year old

I’m beginning to realise the many good things about having a 2 year old around. Elliot is so much fun right now, and picking up things like a sponge – he knows all his letters and we’re having fun trying to teach him the phonic sounds that go with them. He loves to get them wrong on purpose and make us laugh.

After nursery today, Elliot was enjoying counting raisins back into their box and it made me think of a good game we could play.

I took a piece of card, an espresso cup (to draw around) and some colouring pens and made a counting game for the numbers 1-5. (The card wasn’t quite big enough to get up to 10, and by that point our raisin supply was being depleted rather rapidly!)




The best part was the eating at the end!

I’m thinking this game will be used again and again, with pennies, little stones, beads or even daisies (if we ever get some sunshine!)