Reading Dads – the Mutterings of a Fool (his words not ours)

With Father's Day coming up, we wanted to get a dad's perspective on reading with little ones. So, we asked Ben from the popular blog Mutterings of a Fool to be our guest blogger. Here he shares his experience of reading with his children and passes on some tips on how to make that experience as great as possible.

DSC_0143Reading a bedtime story has always
been my domain, my 15 minutes of quality time with my daughter and I love it.
As a working parent those few minutes are so valuable not only to help me bond
with her but also for her development. I love watching her as we read a book
for the 2nd/3rd/4th time and you can see new
things click into place. She starts to learn the story, spot the mouse on each
page or make the noises of the animals in the book.

Now she has reached the stage
(aged two) that she can tell me what is happening on each page, the general gist
of the story of course not word for word. She’s not THAT clever. Best of all
she now absolutely loves books, we already have a good collection going and if
you sit down for more than 5 seconds you can guarantee she will hand you a book
to read to her.


However I won’t lie to you,
reading The Jolly Postman for the 20th night in a row (no
exaggeration) does get a little wearing. Even I’m fed up with the letter from The Three Little Pigs by that stage. But I recently read some research on this
that suggests reading the same book over and over again means that children
learn more words than reading lots of different books. The researchers believe
that a child learns something new each time they read the book. The first time
they may pick up just the story, the second time some of the emotions and so

Maybe it is worth persevering
after all?

However to make your life easier
I find it useful to steer the book choice towards an author or authors you like
reading. If you enjoy the books then this will come through in your voice and
make the repetition bearable. In our house it’s a close call between Shirley
and Janet and Allan Ahlberg for the most popular. A little bit retro I
know but I love the fact that the books are about the story and not just a TV
character and Matilda is currently completely obsessed with anything involving

Choosing books you like is a good
start but as a dad you also need to embrace your inner child. You know the one
that likes crawling around on the floor after your baby or playing hide and
seek or (and my speciality) blowing raspberries on any exposed bit of flesh. I
can’t be the only dad that takes great pleasure in embracing this inner child
in putting on voices when reading? I do a mean angry cat impression and my
sleepy bear impression is second to none.


So there you have it; pick a
favourite author, read the same book repeatedly and do silly voices. You heard
it here first.

Thanks Ben for a great post and a very happy Father's Day to you and all the other dads out there!

Win Win Win! As a Father's Day treat, we've got three sets of these five wonderful Peppa Pig books to give away. 

PP books
If you would like to win a copy of Daddy Pig's Fun Run, My Grandpa, On the Move!, Oink Oink! and Peppa Goes Swimming, just leave a comment below, letting us know which book you are asked to read over and over (and over) again! We'll then select three winners at random*! Good luck!

* Leave your comment by midnight 21st June 2013. Winners will be selected and notified by 26th June 2013. Terms and Conditions can be found here.

25 thoughts on “Reading Dads – the Mutterings of a Fool (his words not ours)

  1. Kiley says:

    The Bedtime Bear – A pop-up book for bedtime, by Ian Whybrow and Axel Scheffler. I must admit our 2 year old does most of the ‘reading’ on this one though, but she loves it!

  2. Andrew Parkyn says:

    Julia Donaldson’s The Gruffalo has been read countless times in our house and my son can now repeat most of the story complete with actions. But it is still an excellent book.

  3. caroline martin says:

    Snuggle Bunny (puppet book) by Jon Lambert. My 2 year old has always loved interacting with the Bunny and recently surprised us by reciting the words from the book, clearly all that repetition has payed off!

  4. Emma Holbrook says:

    The troll by Julia Donaldson. Every night it’s the same, it’s usually mummy asking if we can change and I get a flat no

  5. Kerry Newton says:

    We do have a selection of books and our little lady gets to pick 3 every night! Come on daisy by Jane Simmons has been loved by all three of our kids and is nearly falling to bits.

  6. Catherine Killen says:

    Calm down Borris is the daytime favourite in my household- my five year old still loves to be chased by Borris’ tickly kisses and my 21 month old daughter adores him! For bedtime my son insists on a non fiction book so we cuddle up with our copy of ‘My First Questions and Answers Book’ and my daughter enjoys all of the Night Garden books.

  7. Michelle K says:

    Wonderful 🙂 at 18 months I leave the last words off of each sentence and our little girl finishes them for us! Even the words anti-gravity boots! Absolutely wonderful to see our bookworm tracing the words like mummy and daddy as she pretends to read to herself

  8. James Scarr says:

    Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd. Both our boys absolutely love the rhyming and repetition of these books not to mention the various dogs and the tales they get up to.

  9. Rebecca says:

    Maisy books, you can do a few in each sitting! Followed by any nursery rhyme book seems to be our bedtime routine at present

  10. Suzie Williams says:

    In our house it’s “The Tiger who came to Tea” by Judith Kerr. Our twins take it in turns to finish the sentences and turn the pages!

  11. L Bond says:

    Anything by Julia Donaldson – especially ‘The Snail and the Whale’ which always brings a lump to my throat!

  12. Sam Brett says:

    Dear Santa by Rod Campbell – yes, I know its not anywhere near Christmas – but the girls still love it and want to read it every night!

  13. Lucy Tyler says:

    Peppa Pig, George’s First Day at Playgroup – I think the whole family probably knows it off by heart now, even the dog!!!

  14. Leanne says:

    Peppa pig the big day out at potato city! My daughters are 22 months n 8 months
    They both love me reading that book. Whenever i say its time for quiet
    time 22month old always gets that book!

  15. Jhumana says:

    Well me as a mum think that patience is the important. So be patient to your children. I have 2 children and they drive me crazy. But no matter what I am patient. I’m also pregnant so wish me luck with 3 children all together.

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