Story time

Reading books to your children at bedtime is a long-standing and, as far as I’m concerned, important tradition. I think the best way to introduce your children to the love of literature is to read to them from the day they’re born.

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  • Reading books to your children at bedtime is a long-standing and, as far as I’m concerned, important tradition. I think the best way to introduce your children to the love of literature is to read to them from the day they’re born.

  • However, as a writer, I’m constantly making up stories in my head (those voices are always talking to me!). When my sons were little, one night as I was tucking them in we’d forgotten to choose a book. Knowing that if I let them out of bed to choose one, it’d be another half hour before I got them back into bed, I decided instead to tell them a story.

  • I began telling them a story of two brothers and their adventures with a dragon. Of course the stars of the story shared names with my sons. They loved it! After that, every night they wanted more, and we continued to build on the same story. I didn’t realize what an impact my making up stories rather than just reading them was having on the boys until a few years ago.

  • My sons, now grown, were excited when I published my first book. Their only question was how soon I was going to write and publish the story I’d made up for them years ago. I had no idea they even remembered the story, but they do, and they want it in print.

  • I’m so glad I took the time to do something a little outside the box, something that all these years later my children remember and cherish. Something as simple as making up a story for them, and spending the time to share it with them.

  • Starting Your Own Story time Tradition

  • How can you begin a similar tradition? It’s simple. Think of what your kids enjoy: dinosaurs, princesses, horses, bike riding, dancing, singing ... anything they enjoy.

  • Once you have a theme, then make your kids the star. Begin telling them a story, even if you have to borrow from another well-known story.

  • Begin with, “Once upon a time there was a girl/boy named ...” You’ll be surprised at how soon your own tale begins to emerge and veers from where you began.

  • Remember, it doesn’t have to be the next Harry Potter; it only has to come from your love of your kids. They’ll feel it, and love it better than any book you read them. Try telling a story to your kids tonight and see for yourself how cherished story time can be.

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