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

Bad Nana

If having a child changes your life, having a grandchild changes your parents. Even the most stern, firm parents suddenly seem to find their softer side and turn into the most terrible spoilers (junk food, toys, you  name it…) However, there is no denying the bond is a special one, and I for one and forever grateful that my girls have wonderful grandparents in their lives that they adore. No surprise then that the subject of today’s chapter book is the ultimate grandparent, Bad Nana.

Firstly, Sophy Henn’s debut chapter book, is without doubt the most colourful chapter book I have ever seen. Its luminous pink and green colour way is extended from the front cover, throughout the book and instantly draws you in. As my daughter (age 5) is only just exploring chapter books, the illustrations are very important to helping her engage and she was delighted not only with the pictures in their own right but that she recognised the style of one of her favourite author/illustrators (she is a big fan of Edie, Pass it on and the PomPom stories and Baby Bookhabit loves the Ted boardbooks). Sophy Henn’s signature style is unmistakable and it’s lovely to see it in a new format.

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The story itself is told by Jeannie, Bad Nana’s granddaughter, in an almost stream of consciousness style. It’s very informal, almost chatty, which makes it a lot of fun to read. It also has a lot of Jeannie’s observations about the characters which are funny and, as a seasoned teacher, sound very authentic. Some of the subtler parts were sometimes missed by my five year old (as I’m sure will be the case for a while yet with most chapter books) but I know the girls in my Year 3 class last year would have loved it and so although it may not be a particularly challenging read for older children they would still get lots of enjoyment from reading it. (It always makes me a bit sad when children stop reading books solely because they are easy to read regardless of the fact that they would enjoy it, but that’s a post for another day…)

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The character of Bad Nana herself is perfect for anyone who likes to get up to a bit of mischief with their grandparents. Bad Nana is funny, glamorous and assertive. She is an unlikely hero, but they are my favourite type. She is excellent at serving a bit of comeuppance to those who need it and takes no nonsense. She carries around a big, shiny black bag which holds everything she needs to sort things out and, like every grandparent I know, is never without a sweet treat (she enjoys sherbet lemons). But most of all what she does is highlight how wonderful it is to have a person who is always on your side, is happy to help you out of sticky situations with a good helping of mischief and can make an ordinary day into something wonderful.

 

As you can probably tell, we loved the book. The colours, illustrations, characters were all so different to what we have read before but it still feels real and familiar. When I see the knowing look, passing between Bad Nana and Jeannie on the front cover I am instantly reminded of the look I sometimes catch between my mum and daughter. And I think in a world of sometimes dubious role models, Bad Nana could be the perfect reminder that the people we look up to can often be much closer to home.

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(Bad Nana and the orginal Bad Grandma!)

 

BookBairn’s bedtime habit

If you have found your way to my blog you will no doubt follow plenty of fantastic book bloggers and enthusiasts. Today I would like to introduce one of my favourites and my first guest blogger, Kim aka Book Bairn, whose instagram is full of great recommends and LOADS of exciting book parcels! Here she shares what works for her little family at bedtime. Enjoy!

I think most parents will have heard the old adage that perfecting your bedtime routine will help your child sleep well. Well… in our experience your child probably needs to be sleeping well before the consistency of a bedtime routine really means a whole lot. But that is a much longer story!

BookBairn is now two and we have been doing the same bedtime routine for about a year now and most nights she falls asleep well. Having said all that we are expecting a new baby in April and I’m sure her routine will be disrupted and will change to accommodate her little brother too!

Daddy Arrives Home

IMG_6042BookBairn’s Daddy works an hour’s commute from home and usually walks in the door just in time to warm some milk and snuggle with his girl on the sofa in front of one her favourite Cbeebies shows. We usually watch TV or something on the iPad for fifteen minutes or so and then BookBairn tells her Daddy about that day’s highlights (with less and less input from me as she learns to say more herself!).

Toothbrushing and PJs

We used to do bath every night before bed but as BookBairn suffers from eczema we have cut her baths to an afternoon activity a couple of times a week. So instead, Daddy takes her to wash her face, brush her teeth, apply her coconut oil/eczema cream and get into her PJs.

Favourites Shelf

IMG_6041If you pop over to our blog or follow our social media you will see that BookBairn has two long shelves packed with her favourite and current reads. I try to change this regularly because whilst I know reading the same story over and over again is beneficial for her development it can get a bit tiresome for Daddy and I. We always let her choose from the shelf, and choose who is to read the book. More often than not, it’s ‘mummy’s knees’ but sometimes Daddy gets a turn and sometimes now she reads ‘on her own’. We usually read two stories and then have cuddles and night night kisses.

Cuddles and Song

Usually, BookBairn cuddles her favourite toy in her daddy’s arms and he sings her a lullaby of her choice. He then says something along the lines of “Mummy and Daddy love you and we are right next door if you need us. Sweet dreams” and then sings Edelweiss. Daddy then switches on the mobile above the cot which also plays Edelweiss.

Drifting off to sleep…

Usually there is then a little chat between BookBairn and her toy lion, Louis (who goes everywhere with her). And more recently we’ve heard her singing Twinkle Twinkle to him over the baby monitor.

 

And that’s it! We cross our fingers and even now (after she’s slept through the night nearly every night for over a year) I still pray that she will drift off and sleep all night.

To see our current favourite bedtime reads please check out this link: http://bookbairn.blogspot.co.uk/p/favourites-shelf.html

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Thanks Kim! It’s so lovely to hear about how other people enjoy this special time of the day (and then, all being well, breathe a huge sigh of relief and get ready to enjoy some grown up time!) If you have enjoyed this, make sure you pop over to her blog and have a read through some of her other posts, she’s a great blogger and you are sure to find loads of great picture book recommendations (there are some links below to help you find her).

About Kim: Kim lives in Scotland with her daughter, nicknamed BookBairn, husband and much-adored pet rabbit and is expecting baby number two in Spring. She has always enjoyed reading books, a passion inherited from her librarian-mother, and hopes to pass on this love of books to her little BookBairn. A teacher on career-break to spend more time with BookBairn, she is passionate about baby-led reading where little ones have free to reign to choose what they read and make mountains of book mess throughout the house.

http://bookbairn.blogspot.co.uk/

Social media links:

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/BookBairn/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/BookBairn

Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/bookbairn/

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!