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.
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.
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.
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.
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, 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!