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Evening just before bedtime is my kids’ favorite interval of the day. That’s when we snuggle up and read a book. It’s a great way to put the busyness behind us, and settle down for the night and connect as a family.

Reading out loud to your kids has lots of benefits. It’s a great way to foster relationships as well as help them with language development. It also strengthens the part of the brain associated with visual imagery. This helps them with creativity and imagination.

Sometimes we read a couple of shorter books the kids have chosen, but lately we have been readingchapters from longer ones. We always pause to look at pictures in the books and take time to talk about them or the characters. We also ask the kids what they think the characters feel or what they think will happen next. Lately we have been reading Harry PotterThe Magical Tree House and The Secret Zoo.

And I have found that reading at the same time every night helps with routines. The boys are excited to find out what will happen next in the story, so they happily get into their p.j.s and brush their teeth, eager to start reading. When we read to our two youngest children, Liam (7) and Noah (9), I have noticed that even our 13-year-old sometimes will listen. 

I have been reading to my kids since they were babies because I believe they are never too young to be read to.

Fredrika Syren

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