For much of my kids lives they had two parents that worked pretty demanding corporate positions. Since during the week our quality family time was limited to the evening we established a fairly strict bedtime routine- bath, pjs, reading a story, song and bed. Even now that they are 4 and 7 we have few days that we deviate from the routine. There are obviously some situations that it can change it like when we shower after the pool earlier in the day or maybe my daughter doesn’t feel like reading at night but at least 80% of the time between 7pm-8pm some step of the process is going down.
Since reading is part of our daily routine we have gone through quite a few books. As I kid I LOVED reading and I knew that it was something I waned to instill in them starting very young. Although as the kids have gotten older my daughter now reads to us and my son’s interests have changed from animals to dinosaurs to superheroes then back to dinosaurs.
Finding books that last through all the phases and that don’t drive me crazy reading a million times can be challenging but today I wanted to share the ones that have made our family’s favorite list.
Baby/ Toddler Books
- Bear Book Series (Wants More, Snores On, New Friend) & Series 2 (Scared, Sick, Loose Tooth)
- Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?
- The Very Hungry Caterpillar
- Goodnight Moon
- Guess How Much I Love You
- Where is the Green Sheep
- Giraffes Can’t Dance
- Bear of my Heart
- I’ll see you in the morning
- Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site & Steam Train Dream Train Set
At this age I tried to get most of our books as board books so little hands would not rip pages as we read. Most of these books we read with both kids and are still in good enough shape to donate in a few years (there are many we still read weekly!). The book I’ll see you in the morning I read to my daughter nearly every night for what felt like a year so I still tear up reading it since she is now so big!
Don’t forget you can pin any of these pictures to save this post on Pinterest for baby shower ideas, future kids or grandparent gift list ideas.
Preschool/ Pre-K Books
- Dragons Love Tacos & Dragons Love Tacos 2
- Uni the Unicorn & Uni the Unicorn Dreams Come True
- Where do Diggers Sleep at Night
- Little Blue Truck & Little Blue Truck Leads the Way
- The Prince’s Bedtime
- Gobble, Gobble Mooo Tractor Book
- Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
- 5 Minute Pinkalicous Stories
- 5 Minute Fancy Nancy Stories
- There is a Bird on your head!
- Billie’s Animal Hospital Adventure (see my full post on the series)
- Nibbles The Dinosaur Guide
- The Dinosaur Who Lost his Roar
- Harry and the Bucketful of Dinosaurs
- Underpants for Ants
This is the age where we start to read a little bit longer books as well as ones that maybe have a bit of a lesson in them. My daughter went through a STRONG phase with Pinkalicious and I think we might own every single book. Some I would get as hardback, paperback or board book many times depending on what was cheapest or who it was for.
If you have noticed this is our longest list because having my daughter already go through this phase and my son right in the middle so many of these are on our current rotation.
Early Elementary School
- The Giving Tree
- Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls gift set (1&2)
- The Princess in Black
- Fairy Unicorn
- Little Bear
- Phoebe and her Unicorn
Now that my daughter can read on her own we have a split of books that she is able to read and then ones that I read to her with a bit of a lesson or learning component. I was initially a little concerned about the Phoebe books because they are written like a comic book but was told by teacher friends those are actually even more of a challenge in reading since they have to follow the thought bubbles so fun and reading…win!
If you haven’t noticed most of these are geared more towards girls, well that’s because my daughter is the oldest and here is where our experience ends so any boy moms let me know what is on your shelf!
Since you have noticed we are a family of consistency we also are loyal to being cozy and comfy at bedtime. For the past 7 years I have pretty much only put my kids in Hanna Andersson pjs. These organic cotton pajamas are sized by height so for many years my kids will stay in one size for about 1.5 years before they grow out of them. They are thick, soft, do not shrink and barely fade (which is why they have a devout resell following).
Now when I want to get comfy and cozy I’m pulling out my Skye Joggers and Cozy Chelsea Sweatshirt from Gibson. Both these pieces are like a lightweight fleece so soft but not too heavy for hot TX weather. The joggers I’m in a large then I roll the waistband once, the sweatshirt I also have in L for an oversized feel (but runs tts).
I hope you spend some good quality time with your kiddos this summer. I am trying to slow down and really appreciate this time while they are little to get all the snuggles in while they still let me.
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