Every evening when dinner is done, the boys run to the bathroom for their bath. We fill the tub up bubbly with Tubby Todd, dump in too many toys, and scrub the remnants of dinner off them.
Without skipping a beat, once done in the tub they run their little bare bottoms to the bookshelf and pick out a couple of books. Their little pitter patter toddles are the cutest as they make their way back to their room, grins spread wide across their faces.
We love reading.
Reading takes up a lot of our time and I don't hate it.
LB is in grad school to become an elementary teacher. He read if you read with your babies and toddlers for 20 minutes a day, they'll likely have the reading skills of an 8th grader by 5th grade. Studies also reveal the inability to read and crime are intimately connected.
Rhyming books help babies and toddlers put words together.
Pictures and words teach them language.
The interaction and bonding happening is healthy and necessary on countless levels.
A huge thing easy to forget, is that books are the main way for our children to learn about the world they live in; books are their first encounter with this world.
Picture books are some of the very first visuals children get of our world in all of its diversity and beauty and variations. Books are filled with information, seeping into their subconsciousness as reality. We choose our books with intention. Reading with intentionality, seeing what the message in your kids' book is, will help shape our future generation.
So we make reading a priority.
We purposefully choose books with diversity and different ways of living. We don't want our babies growing into toddlers and into adults thinking their experience is the only type of lived experience.
We want to offer them an entire global view of the nations and people and cultures our big Creator God created.
What would be so cool is if we all committed to doing this with our kids—there would be far less "Why is your skin dirty/brown/that way?" out of the mouths of elementary students. I've been asked a number of times by innocent 5 year olds, "Why is his skin that way?" or "Why is he black?" Fair question and there is zero shame in talking about skin color (usually the parent of said child shh's and scoots away awkwardly), but how cool would it be if our families already talked about this kind of stuff at home?
We should be teaching our kids at a young age not everyone looks the same, but that doesn't make them any less valuable or human. So here are some amazing books you can begin incorporating into your library!
Few things are as sweet as when one of my little ones brings me a book and crawls into my lap.
Here are our favorite toddler books:
I cannot recommend this book enough. If we want to raise kids who love well, easily and naturally, we need to teach them not all families look the same. Not all people look the same. And each family and person has immense value and worth.
The Skin You Live In: this book is so many good things.
A few more of our fav's:
Currently on my wish list to purchase is:
Shopping With Dad by Matt Harvey and Miriam Latimer
The Wheels on The Tuk Tuk by Kabir Sehgal and Surishtha Sehgal
Jabari Jumps by Gaia Cornwall
Early Sunday Morning by Denene Millner
I love following Wear Truth & Gold on Instagram because she often posts about books and I have a running wish list on Amazon, many from her suggestions!
What are your favorite books for your toddlers and kids?
Bonus points if you leave links in the comments!
You may also like: One Small Way To Teach Our Kids to Celebrate Diversity