'The balancing act': how to keep reading fun in a busy family

Published on: 20 September 2017

Blogger Kate is always on the go, so knows how tricky it can be to find the time to read. Now she’s found a way to make it an exciting part of the family routine – and, as a bonus, it’s a great boredom buster too… 

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As a busy mum to three young children, I find that life is a constant balancing act. Weekday mornings are always frantic and, if we manage to get out of the house and we are all wearing our own clothes, matching shoes and without toothpaste smeared around our mouths, I consider that to be a huge success!

After school is often just as chaotic, as the younger children are tired and hungry. There’s tea to be cooked, homework to be done, and my five-year-old’s impressive list of social activities to accompany her to. So how, with all this going on, do we find time to read together everyday?

Well, reading for fun is very important to us as a family and it always has been. I’ve previously blogged about why I read to my children as babies. Now they are a bit older (one is at school and another at nursery), it is definitely getting increasingly difficult to find time for stories – but last year, we still managed to read a different book together each day.

The key lies with making the most of any time we do have, being a little creative, and sometimes cheating!

Here are our top tips for making time to read 

Read at bedtime

We try to do this every night and it has become part of our bedtime routine. The children choose their own books and it usually works but sometimes, if the children are too tired or restless, it doesn’t, and that’s OK because we…

Break it down

We choose to read a shorter story or even just a few pages. The thinking behind this is that something is better than nothing, and we are still sticking to some sort of routine!

Always carry a book

Keep a book in your bag or in the car and then any spare time you do have, for example, waiting for appointments or travelling on the train, can be used to read together. I often read to my younger two children when we are waiting for a swimming lesson or school to finish – it  is also a great boredom buster!

Think about audiobooks

So this is where the cheating comes in. I often pop audiobooks on when we are in the car and the children have the books in the back. This again is making the most of the spare time we do have and even (sometimes) stops the sibling squabbling. It works wonders, unless of course your child gets travel sick!

Try story time at the library

Again, this is cheating, as I’m not reading to them, but I take my younger children to the weekly storytime sessions at the library. They love it and I get to browse the books, so everyone wins!

I do hope that our tips will help you find more time to read together as a family. If you have any tips of your own, please do share them using #TimeToRead on Twitter.

Kate is a family blogger and certainly not a parenting expert! She primarily reviews children’s books with her three Mini Reviewers at Along Came Poppy.

Time to Read

Time sharing stories is time well spent. We want parents and carers to keep reading to their child, even once they've reached primary school or started to read on their own.

If you read books together, it's a great way to bond, talk about the day, and have a lot of fun!

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