He’s Been Reading to His Kids at Bedtime for 22 Years!


Chris Blair

We often say children spell love T-I-M-E.

But I wonder if they don’t also spell it R-E-A-D.

Chris and Pam Blair of Mt. Healthy, Ohio, are parents to five great kids. On Facebook, Pam recently posted this photo of Chris reading aloud and said:

This man has been reading to the kids about every night for nearly 22 years. He started reading to Courtney when she was an infant. He’s read everything–from classics, historical novels, and fantasy to delightful children’s literature.

After reading he prays with the whole family, then tucks in each child, taking time to talk to each one about their day, or anything that’s on their heart. Our kids LOVE their bedtime routine. Who wouldn’t with such an attentive, intentional daddy?

I agree, Pam! What a wonderful way to speak blessing to children year after year!

Quick … choose a good book, then make a plan to start reading aloud to your kids. (Bedtime could be the perfect time, but if another time of day works better, that’s fine too!)

If you need help finding the best books to read, one good resource is The Read-Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease. (And I’m giving away a copy as part of this week’s celebration of the release of my new book, Words to Dream On!)

Here are some read-aloud tips to get you started.

• Try varying your voice or adding sound effects as you read. No need to be shy!

• If you’re reading an illustrated book, take time to talk about the pictures. Invite your child to tell you what’s happening in a picture, how a character in an illustration is feeling, or what might happen next.

• Let your child interrupt the story to ask questions.

• Encourage younger children to hold the book and turn the pages as you read.

• Try to relate a story to your child’s real-world experiences, for example, “Do you remember when our family took a trip?” or “That donkey looks like the one you rode at the petting zoo.”

• If your child likes to read aloud, take turns. Let him read to you.

• Remember that good books are made to be read more than once.

Happy reading, and sweet dreams!

To celebrate the release of my new book, Words to Dream On: Bedtime Bible Stories and Prayers, I’m doing a different giveaway here on my blog each week in February! The winner of last week’s giveaway is Hillary Bullions. Congratulations!

THIS WEEK’S PRIZE: An autographed copy of Words to Dream On plus a copy of The Read-Aloud Handbook, by Jim Trelease.

The giveaway begins now and ends Saturday, February 14, at 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time. Winner must live within the continental United States.

To enter the giveaway, just leave “I’d love to win” as a comment below OR sign up for my quarterly newsletter (use the box at the left).

Winner will be announced in my post on Monday, February 16.

– Diane

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