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We all have a tendency to let family routines slip a bit during school breaks. Summer Break can wreak havoc on your family’s schedule, with its longer days and late nights. And Winter Break usually involves later bedtimes, lots of excitement and probably more sugar than usual!

The end of a school break is a great time to re-evaluate and re-establish your family’s bedtime reading routine. Doing this a few days before the break ends makes it easier to start implementing an earlier bedtime and creating a more structured routine before school actually starts up again.

Here are seven tips for rebooting your family’s bedtime reading ritual.

Create Buy-In

1. Ignite your children’s enthusiasm and create buy-in by treating this reboot as a big deal. Let your own excitement show when you announce this project, and involve the whole family.

2. Rummage through your family library, pull out a selection of familiar picture books, and let each child pick a few favorites.

Provide Fun New Books

3. Do a little research, and find out what new titles have been released for your children’s age ranges. Ask your librarian for recommendations, check out my Pinterest board, and browse Amazon to find new books that match your children’s current interests. (Remember that picture books are typically written at a third or fourth grade level, and are still appealing to older children.)

4. Broaden your search – if you haven’t already, it might be time to start introducing chapter books to your family’s bedtime reading ritual. Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White and My Father’s Dragon by Ruth Stiles Gannett are terrific first choices.

5. Let each child set aside a couple of books to look at or read in bed for a few minutes after you have read aloud.

Make It Cozy

6. Depending upon your children’s ages, provide a new plush friend or a soft throw blanket.

7. Snuggle up and enjoy! Reading aloud creates strong family bonds and memories your children will cherish forever.

Ease the Transition for Your Whole Family

Re-adjusting after a school break can be tough, but revitalizing your bedtime reading ritual a few days ahead of time can ease the transition for your whole family!

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