Bookbug Detective: sitting still for stories

Sitting still for stories
Category: Bookbug

The Bookbug Detective is here to help you with any questions you have about books and reading for your little one. Thank you to everyone who has sent in their questions so far. The Detective has selected a question to answer below. If you'd like some book recommendations or advice send the Bookbug Detective an email or post you question in the comments below!

Do you have any advice on keeping my son still to have his stories read to him? As you can see in the photo, he sits still with a book in his buggy, but I can’t exactly bring it out every time! Emma

I know it can be really frustrating not being able to get through the whole story, but please don’t be discouraged. It honestly doesn’t matter! Your son is still getting the benefit of having books around and sharing them with you (for however short a period of time), so don’t feel bad about not completing each story.

Please don’t be discouraged - it honestly doesn’t matter!

My advice would be just to read with him for as long as he wants – don’t pressurise him as this might put him off completely. The last thing we want is for stories to become a chore for him! Just say, “that’s fine, we’ll come back to it later”. The days of children sitting quietly in a corner are definitely behind us. Toddlers love to be up and about and exploring (as I’m sure you know!) and this should be encouraged.  You’ll probably find that if you keep going with bits of stories he’ll gradually want more and will sit for longer.

There are some things that might help engage him with stories more. First of all, letting children choose what they read can work wonders (even if it’s one you’ve read millions of times before). Pop down to your local library and help him choose some books to borrow.

I’d also suggest picking stories with actions and repeated phrases – this will allow him to be active but also engage with the story. Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett;.Shark in the Park by Nick Sharratt; Cock-a-Moo-Moo by Juliet Dallas-Cont and Doing the Animal Bop by Jan Ormerod are great examples of this type of story.

Monkey and Me by Emily Gravett
We have lots of great book suggestions on our website so why not explore our themed book lists

You could also try introducing some kind of story area, maybe with a special blanket or rug, which would help make story time into a natural routine. And of course, a bedtime story is the perfect way to round off the day. I hope this helps – let me know how you get on.

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Catch up on the previous Bookbug Detective blogs for advice on everything from books for expectant siblings to advice on babies chewing library books.

Kirsty Sinclair

Kirsty Sinclair is the Early Years Outreach Co-ordinator for Scottish Book Trust.