While I don’t yet have children of my own, I know just from growing up in a big family that even the simplest everyday routines are insanely busy with kids!
Especially now, as children have increasing access to the entertainment possibilities of “screen time,” getting them to be interested in stories, especially storybooks, could feel like an impossible feat.
Here are a few ideas for how you can make space for good stories in your family’s everyday routine!
Audiobooks in Car rides: Whether you are road-tripping or running quick errands, time in the car can be perfect for popping in a great audiobook. Audiobooks give children the opportunity to be immersed in a story using their imaginations, and you can share this with them while you are driving! An audiobook that I remember loving growing up is of course the Narnian Chronicles! This version by Focus on the Family is a classic!
Audiobooks Whenever: But audiobooks don’t have to be limited to car rides! If they are a hit with your family, they can be a great way to get everyone sharing a great story during quiet activities like arts and crafts, during simple chores, or while getting ready for bed or settling in for a nap. There are tons of other great audio story options available through Audible.com, like this version of George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin!
Make Trips to the Library or Bookstore a Celebrated Outing: Children love an exciting trip, and just going to the library or bookstore can be just that. Giving them the treat of exploring and picking out their own book or two can help them get excited about reading with you and give them a sense of ownership about the activity. Articulating that these should be “fun” books, not just “school” books could also help!
Bedtime Stories: In my experience babysitting, I have seen that most kids really crave a slow peaceful ritual when it comes to going to bed. There is a reason the habit of “bedtime stories” is such a classic idea. Taking even just 5 or 10 minutes to read to your kids as they settle in to bed is a great way to spend quality time with them, while sharing the nourishing power of a good book–quality entertainment without the blue light of a screen.
I would love to hear about the creative ways you fit stories into your family’s routines in the comments below! Thanks for reading!