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The magic of sharing a book with your toddler

Posted on 2 Mar, 2017 by Sarah Hart

World Book Day dread…

My heart always sinks a bit when I see the school newsletter…..”World Book Day – dress up as your favourite character!”  I know I’m not alone when I state that I hate this palaver of finding or putting together an outfit for both my children. Truly, I find it a real pain! This year, I cheated with my daughter. She said she wanted to dress as Stanley Yelnats from “Holes” by Lois Sachar so I bought her an orange jumpsuit of Ebay.  Easy peasy!

One down, one left to sort….but my son, said he didn’t know. He made a last minute decision this week  that he’d like to be a Tin Tin, so I’ve managed to get away with not having to buy anything for him. We have a little white dog, a white polar shirt and a V-neck jumper and we’ll quiff his hair with gel. Phew, sorted for another year! I make it sound like I always give my kids the choice to decide what they would like to go as…..I haven’t! Very often, it was a quick Google of “World Book Day Costume Ideas” and I would say “Oh, why don’t you go as ______?” Therefore, if you are anything like me, you may like to browse my World Book Day Pinterest board to gather inspiration in preparation for next year 😉

Every year, I feel it’s the same….a mad panic of cobbling an outfit together, and I’m not normally one to wish away their childhood…. BUT this is one aspect of their school days which I will never miss! If it’s not Egyptian Day (please dress up as an Egyptian)  or, Roald Dahl Day (choose your favourite Roald Dahl character to dress up as), then it’s Italian day (please find something red, green and white to wear)  or an outfit for their yearly play. Sourcing an outfit for some kind of dress up day was one aspect of parenting that I wasn’t prepared for when my children started school!

Sharing a book with your toddler…

Anyhow, despite me really loathing the dressing up part of World Book Day, I do love the sentiment – it’s a day to really celebrate authors, illustrators, stories, books and reading.  (You can visit this site to find out more about World Book Day) And that can only ever be a good thing. Our whole family love books. And it’s the one activity I used to really enjoy when my two children were tiny…..I could never refuse them if they brought over a book for me to read to them. Nothing beats them sitting your lap, smelling their hair (does anyone else love smelling their children’s hair?!) and sharing a book together with your toddler.

And you can’t begin too early……if your little ones are happy to sit with you whilst you point at pictures and share the book, then do it! Babies and toddlers love to hear the rhythm, tones and inflections of your voice. Fingers crossed, they’ll develop a love of reading that will last a lifetime.

So I thought I’d share with you some of our favourite stories (suitable for the under 5s) from when our children were little (aside from the obvious Julia Donaldson stories which were all wonderful):

  •  The Elephant & The Bad Baby – by Raymond Briggs
  •  You Choose –  by Pippa Goodhart
  • Don’t Put Your Finger in The Jelly, Nelly – by Nick Sharratt
  • Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy – Lynley Dodds
  • Peepo – by Allan Ahlberg
  • Giraffes Can’t Dance – by Giles Andreae
  • Click Clack Moo, Cows that Type – by Doreen Cronin
  • Duck In The Truck – by Jez Alborough
  • Bear Snores On – by Karma Wilson
  • Isabel’s Noisy Tummy – by David McKee
  • Dogger – by Shirley Hughes
  • Green Eggs and Ham – by Dr Seuss
  • Gorilla – by Anthony Browne
  • Peace At Last – by Jill Murphy
World Book Day, sharing a book with your toddler, great titles for toddlers

I really could go on and on! And if you enjoy these, the above authors have written lots of other fabulous titles! I have a loft full of books that I truly can’t bear to part with, and yes I did spend a huge amount of money on creating a mini library for our children…….but you don’t need to always buy the books. Trips to the local library are a real thrill for children and best of all, don’t cost a penny 🙂 Or another idea is to have a book swap with your mum friends!

So, whatever outfit you have managed to put together this week for school or nursery, pat yourself on the back for getting through another World Book Day! And get sharing a book or two with your toddler or older child!

Happy World Book Day!

Love Sarah x

world book day, sharing a book with a toddler

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