Reading a book is one of my favorite things as a parent, probably because it is usually followed by bed time. Bed time for my child means I can finally relax with my own wine time. As much as I love playing with my kids and watching them learn new things, it is often physically exhausting.
Snuggling up with my little ones and settling in with a good story helps bring all the excitement and energy to a close for the day. Story time isn’t always easy, though, since my little energizer bunnies think that they should keep playing all day and night. I have found that keeping a routine of having a bath and story before going to bed helps the kids ease into sleeping. When we have a particularly good story to read, the kids are less likely to be skittish and will finally nestle in for a long night’s sleep.
For my daughter, choosing the best book is not that difficult. Like most little girls, she loves Barbie, and any story where Barbie is whisked away to somewhere fantastic or dreamy is always a winner. One such Barbie book that we found recently is “Barbie’s Enchanted Adventures.” This one is great because it contains three stories in one, which helps when trying to make the pocketbook strings stretch a little further.
The three stories are Barbie as Thumbelina, Barbie & The Diamond Castle, and Barbie as The Island Princess. Thumbelina is my personal favorite since it reminds me of the classic fairy tale from my childhood. My daughter prefers Barbie & The Diamond Castle, and I can’t say I blame her. Who wouldn’t want a Diamond Castle? When we sit down to read, we have a little talk about which one to read. It never fails that she will pick that one, so I have to sneak the others in every now and then.
Another one of her favorite Barbie books is “I Can Be a Rock Star.” My husband and I are both into rock music and play a little guitar, so I guess the love for music must be in her genes. This story is great because it shows Barbie trying out for a rock star contest, but to do her best she needs help from her friends. I like that the story shows how everyone needs help from friends or family to be successful. It takes the pressure off to realize that we don’t have to struggle on our own.
When we read Barbie’s “I Can Be a Rock Star,” my daughter will sometimes ask to play our guitars and practice to be a rock star. Since this defeats the purpose of a bedtime story, I found this book is better to read right after she wakes up from nap time. She usually needs a little time to wake up and become energized, and this one does the trick.
Of course, with both Barbie books, she has to bring out her Barbie to help act out certain parts. Sometimes this makes her wind up again, so I have to remind her that Barbie is tired and wants to hear the story, too. It’s amazing to me how little imaginations never seem to need time to rest.
Finally, after two or three readings of the same story, my precious little ones will close their eyes, and the house is strangely quiet and still. I breathe a sigh and realize we made it through another day.