Some of the books mentioned in this post were sent to me as samples. This post contains affiliate links.
I heard a disturbing stat the other day – more than half the children in the US will not hear a bedtime story tonight. Reading to my kids each night has never been a question, but a necessity in my house. It’s our time to unwind, relax, and bond. It’s the perfect ending to the day, for all of us.
March is National Reading Awareness Month, so I felt like this was an important time to bring this up. Millions of children don’t hear bedtime stories at night and more than 1 in 3 children arrive at kindergarten without skills necessary for learning. Some of those kids begin kindergarten having been read to for as few as 25 hours. That seriously breaks my heart.
Groups like readaloud.org stress that 15 minutes a day reading to a child is the single most important thing you can do to prepare a child for learning.
Not only does reading aloud to kids help develop language and literacy skills, but it also has health benefits, including brain development since it helps with focus and concentration. It even helps children develop a sense of security, rest well and stay calm.
As Bear has grown older, she’s slowly phasing out of board books, so we’ve begun a library of longer, paper-page books. Here are a few of our recent additions:
Buck and Miss Penny’s Day at the Beach by Nina Aarthun: An adorable story of two money pals, a dollar bill and a penny.
Camp Nana Papa by Donnie Cranfill: A tale of a fun-filled weekend at Grandma and Grandpa’s house (take $5 off with code THEBOOK)
The Pirate Train by Nicole & Jack Fisk: Written by a mother son duo, this adorable book combines two kid favorites – a pirate family and a choo choo train!
Kobee Manatee: A Wild Weather Adventure by Robert Scott Thayer: Kobee travels the mighty Atlantic and powerful Gulf Stream during a hurricane to surprise his sister Kim on her birthday.
I Wonder… by Essea White: Do you ever wonder if sheep knit woolen socks or if llamas dance on mountain rocks? This cute book makes you wonder…
A Mermaid Called Marissa by Georgie Cornwell: After wandering from her underwater home, Marissa discovers new friends who have been affected by hazards such as plastic waste as she tries to make her way home.
Positive Thoughts, Positive Life by T.E. Corner: Follows a little girl Kylie who has a positive outlook on life and believes in herself.
Planting My Values by Lynn Powell: Introduces values such as empathy, honesty and respect through a sweet story of a young boy with simple rhymes.
Randa, Mattie, & Michael: A Trip to the Beach by Bill and Sherry Truby: Written by friends of my stepdad, this book journeys to Panama City Beach, Florida and introduces beach-themed words to kids.
You’re never too busy to skip a book. You can even read in the car (unless you get car sick, in which, you may want to pass on the following suggestions)! My friends at Diono came up with this cute infographic about utilizing “wasted” car ride time.
Driving is the perfect opportunity to encourage kids to pick up a book and catch up on their reading, instead of being entranced by cell phones and texting.