Mamma Filz does Bedtime Bookhabit

Hello! I am Filza aka Mamma Filz. I was delighted to be asked by Claire to discuss my Bookhabit bedtime routine for my little ladies. I am mamma to a 4 year old and 1 year girls and we live in Newcastle upon Tyne. We are book enthusiasts and we love to share over on my blog http://www.mammafilz.com and on Instagram too @mamma_filz.

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My eldest and I have always enjoyed sharing stories and I’ve always enjoyed those extra cuddles before bedtime. Completing a bedtime routine now for two children, well it certainly gets more entertaining and perhaps a little more tiring too.

My husband’s job can require him to travel away a lot and as his destinations are so varied, long haul and short haul, it can sometimes include being away in weekends too. When he is home we get both our girls ready for bed or one of us tidies downstairs while the other baths the girls and gets them dressed.  We are both normally done by the time its time to snuggle up together and share a story. Should he not be home of course things are different so I shall share what we do when that is the case.

I don’t bath my girls each night and sometimes we have showers as they are much quicker! However, if it is a bath night I bath both my girls together complete with bath toys which may consist of bath books, wind up toys and something they both love, sponge letters.

pastedImage (1)Once out the bath, I get them both out at the same time, (eldest snuggles in her towel while I get the youngest changed) we are set for brushing teeth and prepare for story time.

Books are everywhere around our home, in baskets, on bookcases, low shelving and in boxes. I have always wanted books to be easily accessible for my children and I really believe that it is important in creating a positive relationship with reading in your home. It is also great for children to be able to explore a range of books which not only exposes them to a variety of texts but also allows them to find what they like and dislike in the form of literacy. Adding to that I also think it is important for children to see adults modelling reading and bedtime stories are a great opportunity for that.

In my 4 year old’s bedroom, as well as having some low shelving that my 1 year old can also access, she has some shelves which are home to frequent reads but don’t hold as many books. These avoid searching for favourite books and it is also not far from her bed which is rather handy.

pastedImage (6)With the help of these accessible shelves my girls choose bedtime stories. When I am parenting alone I like to read stories to them together. My girls choose a story each, sometimes more and we share the book together. Occasionally if my youngest isn’t enjoying the book my eldest has chosen, she tends to get busy with books that she has chosen herself. I don’t disturb her or direct her to listen and just let her enjoy her own quiet reading time and she re-joins when she wants to. As she’s getting older though I find that she is able to be attentive for a longer picture book read and adores carefully looking at illustrations.

After sharing stories we might talk about the book or expand on points in the story that my girls may have highlighted. We then say some bedtime prayers in Arabic and I kiss them goodnight.

Some of our favourite reads these past couple weeks are pictured in the shelving below.

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Some of these picture books I’ve shared in more detail over in my blog. The Girls (https://mammafilz.com/2018/07/30/touring-picture-book-club-the-girls-by-lauren-ace-and-illustrated-by-jenny-lovlie/)

Zeki Gets a Check Up (https://mammafilz.com/2018/05/25/book-review-zeki-gets-a-check-up-by-anna-mcquinn-and-illustrated-by-ruth-hearson/)

I love you a big as the world (https://mammafilz.com/2017/03/02/i-love-you-as-big-as-the-world/).

We are considering having my girls share a room together soon. Perhaps bedtime routine will change, perhaps even become a little easier? We shall have to see.

Thank you Claire for having me visit.

Filza

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Filza, thank you so much for taking the time to share your bedtime Bookhabit and some of your girls’ favourite reads with us. It’s been lovely to find out a little more about you. I think I will be coming back to this post and rereading for inspo when I reach the stage where baby Bookhabit can have a shared bedtime story with her big sister!

Claire x

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De’s Bedtime Bookhabit

IMG_1602Our Bedtime Bookhabit

Hello, my name is De. I live in Sydney, Australia with my 3 (soon to be 4) year old son. Here’s our Bookhabit Bedtime.

Our evening routine changed last year when I became a single mother. Whereas I had once had the assistance of my son’s dad in the evenings, I was now the only adult in the house. Doing everything on my own meant that by the time evening rolled around, I was ready for bed myself. I could hardly keep my eyes open at 7pm to read together, let alone clean up the house afterwards.

So, I merged our evening routines and now we do everything together, very early! This way, we both have the energy to enjoy story time.

Dinner:

So, we eat dinner together at 4:30pm. 4:30?! I hear you say. Yes, I’m all ready for life as a retiree.

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Clean up and bath

While I clean up the kitchen and pack the dishwasher, my son normally watches TV or plays for a bit. Sometimes he helps me with the dishes. He bathes, I shower and we’re both fed, clean and in our pyjamas by 5:30pm.

The resistance

IMG_1592We get our heat packs ready, brush teeth (with much resistance) and faff about until I’m able to convince him that it’s time for bed, after some yoghurt and strawberries, that is. It’s 6:30 and we’re both ready for bed.

Books

Reading has always been a key part of my life and I view the passing of this gift onto my son as one of the most important parts of my role as his mother. So, to be sure that our bedtime stories are done well, our entire afternoon and evenings hinge around being ready for bed early enough.

IMG_1596My son started sleeping in my bed last year, which means bedtime stories are now shared in our big, comfy bed. Darcy the cat is often involved too, mostly against his will.

IMG_1599We read four books at night. We tend to stick to current faves for a few weeks, then I try to introduce a new book into the mix. We’re currently reading Billions of Bricks, Superman; an origin story, Gaston and Stickman (an old favourite brought back by my son).

IMG_1600At this stage they are all picture books, a mixture of fiction stories about animals and non-fiction. Space and dinosaurs have been hot topics over the past year. My son’s recently shown an interest in comics so that’s an exciting genre for us both.

After stories, we say a prayer of gratitude, then it’s hugs, kisses and goodnights. Whilst he’s drifting off to sleep, I check out what’s been happening on Instagram or read a book for myself and I’m asleep soon after.

The changes we made to our evening routine have made it a much more enjoyable time, because neither of us is beside ourselves with fatigue at this earlier time and sharing a bed means much less nagging and bedtime battles because he knows I’m going to be there.

So, that’s it, our Bookhabit Bedtime.

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I have loved reading this post. I think that it is so inspiring to see how De has literally rearranged her daily routines because bedtime stories are such a huge priority for her family. If you’d like to know more about the books she loves and what she and her (supercute) son are reading at the moment, be sure to follow along on Instagram. You can find her at @booksandbabycinos Thanks so much for sharing, De!

Claire x

Bookhabit bedtime

We all know that reading our children a bedtime story is seen as a good way of settling our children down for the night and a cozy way to build up a bond at the end of what is often a frantic day’s activities. But that’s not to say that there is only one right way to do it. Today I will share our routine with you and then over the coming weeks I will welcome guest posts by lots of other parents from around the world. Enjoy!

Little Miss Bookhabit’s bedtime stories

fullsizerender-12It’s worth saying that she is four years old and has no siblings. Although the timings have changed a little with age, the routine has been pretty much the same since she was in her cot.

Time to go upstairs…

Bathtime is usually with Daddy unless he is working late as it gives them a bit of time to play and chat together. Once she’s out of the bath I take over with the drying and dressing shenanigans (this part can take a while!) and try to get a comb through her hair…

Then…

Storytime. She chooses two books, one for Daddy to read and one for me to read. She decides who reads what and then we settle down. She sleeps in a bunk bed so we have storytime on a beanbag which rests up against a radiator. It’s not on full blast but it’s enough to get us nice and cosy. Usually she climbs onto the lap of the person reading so she gets a good look at the pictures. Daddy reads first and then me, unless it’s one of the days he is working late and then I get to do both. Very occasionally she will let us choose our own stories but it’s rare!

After that…

She chooses a song to sing. It’s usually a Nursery Rhyme/ Counting song type of thing and I do the singing unless she’s still feeling wide awake. Sometimes I get requests for a disney theme which can be interesting as I only really know the chorus of most of them and it turns into more of a humming/ lalala-ing type of thing. Recently she has started to go without the song because she’s been really tired but I’m hoping it will make a come back when she’s ready.

img_8858Finally…

She climbs into the bunk bed, we get plenty of cuddles and kisses and Molly the mouse ready with her (she’s still a label sucker and loves the toys from ikea with the super long labels) and then it’s lights out. Well, except for the grow clock, night light and the landing light outside her door so it’s darker rather than fully dark.

Usually that’s enough to get her off to sleep and then I can get on with the task of being an adult again!

Tips and Tricks?

I find having a dimmer switch very useful so we don’t have to have the light on at full strength. Other than that we just try to keep it pretty similar most nights. This is one of my favourite times of day and so if she’s being tired and a bit difficult I try to just slow down and remember that these story times won’t last forever.

Favourite Five Bedtime Stories

Quick Quack Quentin by Kes Gray and Jim Field

Anything with Angelina Ballerina in it (Katherine Holabird and Helen Craig)

Any of the Winnie the Witch stories (Valerie Thomas and Korky Paul)

The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright and Jim Field

The Bear and the Piano by David Litchfield

And there you have it. That’s how we do bedtime stories in our house. I’d love to know how you do yours and of course, if you fancy collaborating and sharing your bedtime stories with us, send me an email or contact me on instagram. Happy reading!