Share it Sundays – Our favourite books

Share it Sundays – Our favourite books

If you’re a follower of this blog, you’ll know how much we like books and reading in this house. Elliot has been enjoying a daily bedtime story (or two, or three occasionally!) since he was only a month or so old, and Alexander regularly joins in now we’re establishing a proper night routine for him too.

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Some of our favourite books at the moment are:

Winnie the Pooh– these are a firm favourite here, and Daddy normally has to read a chapter every night. Elliot especially likes the chapter headings, and recently I’ve heard him making up similar phrases himself “Chapter 9, in which Auntie Jen comes for tea…”

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Biff, Chip and Kipper books– Elliot loves his “biff chipper” books, and these have really helped him learn to read. He’s only 3 and is already able to read many of the books we have. Elliot really loves the mazes and games in the books too.

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Green Eggs and Ham– this is a recent addition to our bookshelves in an attempt to get the variety of food to extend beyond fish fingers and spaghetti shapes! Elliot loves the rhyming nature of the book and can read most of it himself already.

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The Church Mice series– the tales of Samson the cat and Arthur and Humphrey the mice. Elliot loves these books (nearly as much as Daddy!)

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Thomas the Tank Engine– we have a HUGE number of Thomas books, and Elliot loves to add to his collection whenever we pass a bookshop. This one was a life saver on a rainy weekend in a caravan last year – it’s a wonderful selection of stickers and games, which we all enjoyed. I’m seriously tempted to buy a second one for our next holiday!

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I’m linking up to Oh So Amelia for Share it Sunday, which promises to be an exciting series of link ups which I’m really looking forward to following. Click here to see other favourite children’s books…

ohsoamelia

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The reading bug

The reading bug

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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…

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You at 17 months!

You at 17 months!

My little dude seems to be growing up so very quickly, and before I turn round and suddenly have an 17 year old, I wanted to take a snapshot to remember him at 17 months.

So, Elliot, this is you at 17 months:

Your likes…1. Singing, dancing, making music generally. Current favourites are “Heads, Shoulders, Knees and Toes”, “Wind the Bobbin Up” and “The Wheels on the Bus”, playing the xylophone along with Daddy playing guitar. You two are fab! My favourite times are spinning round and dancing like a loon to any type of music – we like a good bit of Reggae on a Saturday morning at the moment.

2. Bath time with Daddy – here you seem to enjoy soaking everyone involved, not to mention the floor! Popping bubbles and knocking rubber ducks over the side are popular bath time activities! This also encorporates another of your likes – tickles! – especially on toes and tummy! We love your chuckles and your beaming smile!

3. Grandparent cuddles – spending a day a week with each “set”, means you have such a lovely relationship with all 4 grandparents. Looking at trees and leaves with Grandad. I know he has a goal of training you to help him on his allotment, so I’m sure your gardening skills will come in useful!

4. Books – you can happily spend hours looking at books and reading to yourself, and we often spend time with you getting books for us to share one after the other and snuggling up on my lap to read together. Long may this continue, a love of books will take you anywhere you ever want to go my love, and let you escape into any adventure whenever you want.

5. Colouring – well, scribbling at the moment! We’re so intrigued to know whether you’ll be left handed like me or right handed like your Dad. At the moment it looks like you’re ambidextrous (or just trying to please us both!) I’ll make sure I post some of your masterpieces up here!

6. Lastly, muslins – we would all be lost if there was not at least one muslin within arms reach at all times, 24/7! They are the answer to all life’s ills at the moment, and you look particularly cute twiddling one in your fingers while you suck your thumb!

Your dislikes…
1. You really don’t like hats, of any kind, that come anywhere near your head. The only place you wear them is at nursery, and I’ve no idea how they do that!

2. Reaching the end of your bottle. It always seems to end too soon doesn’t it? I think you get this from me to be honest as secretly I always hope that the food never ends.

3. Stickers, or sticky things generally.I’m hoping that this isn’t a sign of OCD. With all the craft activities you do at nursery I’m sure this won’t be an issue for long.

4. You don’t like it when the mega blocks or sticklebricks are stuck together – the fact that they are meant to stick together hasn’t quite got through to you yet, so we spend lots of time with you ripping them apart.

5. Having your hands sneakily let go when walking. You freeze like a statue and flop in a heap! I’ve come to realise that you’re going to do things in your own time and not be rushed, we’ll get there I’m sure, hopefully very soon as our backs are beginning to ache and you may end up with parents that walk like penguins 🙂

I am so excited to see how your likes and dislikes change over the coming years, I promise to make little notes like this that we can share when I do indeed have a 17 year old son (that sounds very scary right now!)

Lots of love,

Mummy

xxx