What Do You Do When Your Children Become Too Old To Sit On Your Lap?

Recently I have noticed a great deal on social media about reading to children with some fabulous quotes and photos such as ‘Children are made readers in the laps of their parents’ or ‘There is no app to replace your lap. Read to your child.’ However, what do you do when your child no longer fits on your lap, or wants to sit on your lap?

When your child is young you spend many hours reading to them, then teaching them to read, and then comes that wonderful day when you find them reading to themselves and you are thrilled. But, as happened to me, I found my daughter happy to read on her own and my services became redundant. I began to miss that special time of enjoying stories together and wished I could go back to that snuggly time.

However, a few months ago I bought a book that I said was for my daughter to read, but in reality it was a masquerade as I wanted to read the book myself. So, upon receipt of the book I told my daughter this was a book I thought we could read together. She looked a bit baffled but decided to go along with it. Together we learnt about different Philosophers and discussed big topics such as ‘Shouldn’t men and women be equal?’, ‘Who says what’s right or wrong?’, ‘ Do we need rules?’ ‘ Are all animals equal?’. Some nights my daughter would read to me whilst I cooked, other nights we would snuggle up on the sofa and I would read to her. Not every night, I should add, homework and chores seem to get in the way, but there is always a book that we are sharing together.

On occasion we do not read a book together but there are books that we recommend to each other and discuss the parts we enjoyed and what we felt about the characters. A friend of mine reads classics to her children such as the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, also an excellent idea as these stories should be read and re-read.

What I have found with this shared reading is that it has been wonderful to be able to discuss the story or topic with my daughter and get her views. It has also been very educational for me learning or re-learning things or discovering amazing children’s literature that is very poignant and thought provoking. And in all honesty some books are so much more fascinating than adult fiction

So she may be too big for my lap now, but we have found a way to still share some wonderful books together.



Here are a few ideas for you…

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit



When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr

This is a children’s novel first published in 1971. It is a semi-autobiographical story of a young Jewish girl and her family escaping the Nazis and the journey they experience. The family escaped through Switzerland, spent some time in Paris, before finally arriving in England in 1936.


The Earth Is Singing


The Earth is Singing is closely based on the true story of the Jews of Riga, The Earth is Singing is a tale of love and loss, betrayal and survival.

My name is Hanna. I am 15. I am Latvian. I live with my mother and grandmother. My father is missing, taken by the Russians. I have a boyfriend and I’m training to be a dancer. But none of that is important any more. Because the Nazis have arrived, and I am a Jew. And as far as they are concerned, that is all that matters. This is my story.



100 Things To know About Science


100 Things To Know About Science is an engaging and accessible introduction with information on exactly 100 science topics that will fascinate and inspire children – and adults too.

Packed with facts and colourful infographics on both familiar and less familiar topics from the Earth’s magnetic poles to spider venom and black holes.




Children's Book Of Philosophy


Children’s Book of Philosophy will help you delve into the minds of the world’s most famous philosophers and discover the answers to the world’s big questions – the perfect introduction to philosophy.

From Socrates and Aristotle to Kant and Confucius, meet the thinkers and theories which shaped our world. Find answers to life’s big questions such as ‘Who am I?’ or ‘Should I ever tell a lie?’ and what philosophy is.



Usbourne Encyclopedia World History


The Encyclopedia of World History is a comprehensive introduction to world history from prehistoric times to the start of the 21st century, including information on dinosaurs, the first humans, Ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome, Medieval Europe, the World Wars and other major events in history.

Magnificently illustrated with a wealth of images depicting key events and everyday life in times gone by, as well as maps, charts and photographs.




Article by:  Ophelia Gartside*, who is the founder and Chief Bookworm at Little English Bookworm. You can contact Ophelia by visiting her Facebook page or by clicking on the following website.

Last updated:  Tuesday 13th October, 2015


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* I own a pop-up book shop and I appear at schools, kindergartens, clubs and libraries throughout Europe, but especially Luxembourg. I am half English and half French, grew up in Spain and have lived in all these countries and Germany. I now live in Luxembourg. I have 2 children who are bilingual aged 10 and 5. I previously worked for a number of big corporations but fortunately I decided to start my own business selling children’s books and it is absolutely the best job I have ever had.