bedtime stories · board books · OBSERVATIONS · picture books

Slumber Party Reading

Ever since I read Lauren Donovan’s “Embracing the Nerdy” post which took readers back to her 8th birthday party, I’ve been thinking about the role reading can and should play when kids gather together for slumber parties.  I know my friends and I never read books at slumber parties when we were in elementary and middle school.  However, as a literacy specialist, Lauren’s post sang to me.  I thought it was cute, but I couldn’t imagine suggesting it to my daughter and her future friends when she becomes old enough to host slumber parties at our home. However, if it’s initiated by my daughter or her friends, then I won’t be stopping it!

That being said, my best friend and her family spent the weekend with us.  Saturday was spent trying to stay cool in our house, at a nearby swimming pool, and in a restaurant.  Today we braved the heat at Dutch Wonderland.  However, yesterday’s heat wave and today’s theme park, something magical happened between our toddlers.  After they fought over most of the toys in the house, they sat down and “read” together.  Isabelle grabbed one of her favorites, Bizzy Bear: Let’s Get to Work! by Benji Davies, off of the coffee table’s shelf.  Addy, my friend’s daughter, grabbed The City ABC Book by Zoran Milich.  Then, as the series of photographs my husband took of the two of them illustrate, Isabelle shared Bizzy Bear with Addy.  In fact, from the pile that I found on the floor after the two of them went to sleep, it seems like they were passing a lot of books back and forth.

I hate to say it, but I missed the entire reading event.  I was upstairs changing into my p.j.’s before putting Isabelle down to sleep.  My husband witnessed it.  Thankfully he took some pictures of the toddlers together, enjoying some books and some quiet time before they went to sleep.  I’m so glad I was able to witness the two of them initiating reading together thanks to his quick thinking when he grabbed the camera.


16 thoughts on “Slumber Party Reading

  1. So, so cute, Stacey. I’m glad your husband took the photos too, because the moment is to be captured. I read that nerdy post too. I don’t remember ever reading at a slumber party, either, but when one friend and I spent the night tougher, we read. Both of us, I guess, were nerdy readers and didn’t go long without a book. Thanks for this!

  2. I love the idea of reading together as a “social event.” I do fondly remember spending the night with my cousin who had a huge “comic book” collection and reading “all night.” We’d swap back and forth looking for lines to be repeated in Superman and Archie comio books! My own kids watched a lot of videos at slumber parties but I probably could have coaxed them into doing some reading with a pile of good comics!

  3. What a sweet moment! Just yesterday a friend and colleague was giving me Sharon Creech’s new ARC book and she asked my daughter, “Does Mommy love books?” And she replied with a yes. Then my friend asked my daughter if she liked books, and again she replied with a yes. And she’s two! Makes my heart sing! I love that the two little ones decided to sit, read, and share! And so thoughtful of your husband to know to snap a picture to share with you!

  4. Such a joy! Earlier this year we were at my oldest daughter’s soccer game. My 5 year old was thrilled to see one of her kindergarten friends, as well as a teacher’s son who is a year younger. They played and played, but when my youngest pulled out a book, the other two sat on either side of her leaning in to hear the story. I grabbed for the camera as well. I agree with you – when they initiate it, it can be magic.

  5. Just the sweetest picture! Funny, but your post reminded me that for the longest time my kids (especially the girls) always asked for a story time even when we had kids sleeping over … I have lovely memories of this, especially these days when such story times are a thing of the distant past…

  6. I’m torn because I never encouraged my children to read at a slumber party, but I am now sad that I never did. My best friend and I, growing up, always spent time reading when we stayed at each other’s house. It is such a nice memory that I had forgotten. When my (grown up) family goes to the beach we often sit together in silence as we read on the beach. I guess we have become nerdy after all. Thank you for posting this!

  7. What a fantastic moment. I don’t recall reading with friends at slumber parties unless hiding behind magazines while your friends watch scary movies counts. I love your new blog!

  8. I love this! I think it’s pretty special that your husband was able to catch it on camera too! That will continue to be a treasure for a long time to come! I had many sleepovers as a child but only two friends I remember reading with. One friend and I would actually share a book and read it together. The other friend and I would sit with our own books and read…anywhere, anytime…we loved books!

  9. What a magical moment – and forever captured! May they continue that love of reading throughout their lives!

  10. Stacey,
    Thank you so much for reminding everyone about the importance of sitting and reading. Whether it be at a slumber party, on the floor of a bookstore, or in a child’s closet, the act of reading itself is so critical. With the amount of activities that draw our children’s attention away from the written word, we need to advertise to the general public how critical it is to make time in our day to read. The beauty of a child reading says it all!

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