“Story time with my kids is the best way to settle them down for bedtime, while creating a gentle transition from story land to dream land.”

 

When we share a story with our kids, we weave a world of imagination for their developing minds. There is nothing more loving and cozy than tucking under the covers with our children and opening worlds in their little brains with books.  I cherish story time with my kids and find it is the best way to settle them down for bedtime, while creating a gentle transition from story land to dream land.

Ideally, we can start reading to our children from a very young age, but the elementary years are a special time to really engage with your children through storytelling. My kids are nine and eleven and we have kept up our nighttime tradition of a chapter of a book before bed. It invites conversation, laughter and even tears. We talk about how the story made them feel and what they thought of the characters and who they reminded them of.  My children were so moved by the book, Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt that it took them a little while to process the emotions of it. We talked at length about life and love and loss. I will always be grateful to that book for the insights it inspired in my kids.

Creating a love of stories, is essential to drawing out an imaginative and critically thinking mind. When we offer different perspectives, different types of people and new ideas through books, we open up our children’s minds and inner vision in ways no movie can. We have all had the experience of feeling short changed when a film did not live up to the book, because nothing can beat our own imaginations. And to this point, I urge you to read your kids the stories before showing them the film version. Read to them the Harry Potter story before they see how Hollywood recreated Diagon Alley or Hogwarts Dining Hall. Allow their own rich imagination to fill in the corners and the colors with life as they drift off to sleep. A love of books is a gift for a lifetime and they will feel valued and loved by the time you spend with them.

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