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How to Deal With Reading the Same Book 100 Times

Try these 6 suggestions for making repeat read-alouds fresh and fun for you and your toddler.
on February 26, 2015
 

I hear all the time from parents how annoying it is for them to read the same book 100 times. Often what parents are looking for me to tell them is that it's OK to throw the book away.

Don't throw it away.

Sorry, you probably want to throw it at me now, don't you?

Young kids thrive on repetition. They thrive on connection, and if they have a favorite book, then you are doing a bang-up job. They are connected to that book. That book is a security object for them, and clearly you are reading to them a lot. That is rad. So before we get to my suggestions on how to handle it, let me applaud you. You are doing great!

OK. This is the part where I actually help you fix this.  These are my suggestions to deal with the mind-numbing repetition of reading the same book over and over to your toddler.

1.    Read in funny accents. I can only read Maisy Cleans Up in an Irish accent because my daughter drove me to insanity with it. Funny enough, I enjoy reading it like that. Problem solved.
2.    Read TO the book. I swear I am not insane -- this actually works. Explain to your toddler that the book wants to hear a new story. Let your child cuddle up with the book and read something new.
3.    Find books with the same character or by the same author and illustrator. Yes you will probably end up reading THAT book over and over, but it will be a few weeks before you want to bang your head against the wall.
4.    Read two books at bedtime. Parent chooses one, child chooses the other. In my experience, a few nights of this, and the old favorite isn't always chosen. If it is, at least you get to add some variety.
5.    You read a new book and have them read you their old favorite. Don't worry if they aren't “really” reading yet. Trust me, they can tell you the story!
6.    Realize that in 20 years, this book will be one that you associate with your children and cherish. You have every right to be bored to tears by it now, but soon enough their tastes will change and it will just be another book on the shelf. You may even find yourself reading it in an Irish accent with no kids in sight.
 

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