How To Read With Your Kids When You’re Not Around

Many of our first memories of books and reading go back to our parents. Many children read bedtime stories with mom or dad just before drifting off to sleep. Research has shown that reading with children or reading to children is integral in building a relationship with books, as well as the act of reading itself. Reading with your child is a heartwarming activity that can build memories and moments that you will cherish forever.

So what are you to do when you are not at home to read with them? If you are a parent with an occupation that requires that you travel often or if you happen to work nights, it may be difficult to keep up with this tradition but it is still important that you make time to read with your child. Sure, kids can read with others and will learn to read on their own, but studies have shown that the special relationship between kids and parents in regards to the act of reading itself is important. Luckily, there are plenty of things you can do in order to make sure that you never miss a bedtime story.

Reading Books via Video Chat

1. Call them. The simplest thing you can do is to call your child around the time that they’re going to sleep and read to them over the phone. Not only is this something that you would normally do anyway, but by reading a story during your phone call, you can make your conversations even more special. Even though you would call them to say good night and to ask them about their day regardless, adding the story to your conversation will build even more memories even if you are not physically present.

2. Video chat with them. Thanks to smart phones, tablets, and laptops many parents can use video chatting or web chatting to see their child face-to-face as they talk, share thoughts about their day, and provide them with the opportunity to share a book visually as well as audibly. This way, your child can see your face and interact with you as closely as if you were right there with them. Alternatively, your child can read a book to you as well! No matter who’s reading, it’s the interaction that really counts.

3. Tape a video or a CD. Sometimes, time differences can make video chatting or calling in real-time difficult. This may be an issue for parents who are in the military or work overseas for other reasons. Taking the time to tape yourself reading a book can allow your child to access the story and your voice whenever they like. Even though you may not physically be interacting with them at the time that they are listening to or watching your recording, this gesture can still hold a lot of meaning for both you and your child. This means that your child can listen to or watch a recording whenever they want to read the story, and especially whenever they miss you, which can help with the distance a great deal. If you want to make sure that your child has watched or listened, make sure to ask them questions about the recording as well as the story when you get the chance to call or correspond with them. By doing this, you can incentivize them to read and make sure that they are getting that quality time with you while also building their reading and listening skills.

4. Write a book together! Get out the crayons and construction paper, it’s time to write your own story. Just as having recordings available provide you with some cherished keepsakes for the rest of your lives, making a book together can help you make memories more concrete. Sit down with your child and write! Come up with a creative story, each of you writing and illustrating your very own copies. This way, you can keep your books on you wherever you are and your child will never feel alone.

Never Too Young to Write a Book

Writing a novel is a big achievement. Many adults aspire to write a novel one day but rarely find the time or the right story to tell. Kids have imaginations that run wild, so why not tap into those novel writing aspirations early on? Kids can be picky about books, but they may be more likely to pick up new ones if they know that they have written one themselves.
Child drawing pictures for her book
Working on a book with your kids can be beneficial. Not only will kids be able to exercise their creativity, but they will also be actively exercising their writing and communication skills with the help of their innate creativity. Writing a book is a great artistic activity for kids of any age. Craft and retail department stores usually have all of the materials that you need: blank books or journals, crayons or markers, glitter and glue, you name it. Some may even carry book making kits with all of the materials that you might need included along with some fun guides, suggestions and additions. A great website with great book making materials for kids is
Once you have all of your ingredients, kids can begin brainstorming about what they may want their book to be about. They can retell a story of something that happened to them in the past year, such as a fun family vacation or an exciting achievement at school. Encourage them to use photos but drawing pictures can also work, allowing them to be expressive and imaginative. Kids can also write about fantastical stories. They can make up their own fairy tale, write about an adventure that they would like to have someday, or write about characters that they have thought up on their own.
If kids are looking for inspiration, they can look to books and stories that they already love. Even researching for ideas can open them up to new material. No matter where the inspiration comes from, their final product will be something that they can be proud of for years to come. Not only that, but it can serve as a great piece of memorabilia from their childhood as they get older.  You can even pitch their stories to independent publishers such as

Tying in activities with key learning skills can be easy. Writing and crafting a book cannot only unleash a child’s imagination but it can help them learn how to best use their skills and improve them all while having fun.