The 2.6 Challenge: Our bedtime story marathon

Today should have been the London Marathon, an event which sees brave / crazy / inspiring individuals run 26.2 miles around the capital city, almost always for a good cause.

It is the world’s biggest one-day fundraising event, raising £66.4 million for charities in 2019. But this year this will not happen due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

This is not the only fundraising event which has been cancelled, meaning many charities are struggling at a time when they are needed most, reducing or stopping services, placing staff on furlough and fearing for their future.

The 2.6 Challenge is on a mission to save our charities, asking home heroes to tackle an activity around the 2.6 or 26 theme. This could be running 2.6 miles, doing an online workout with 26 friends or some other feat of endurance.

We’ve decided to do a bedtime story marathon in aid of BookTrust, the reading charity. It felt appropriate given our blog theme, plus it is also something we can do at home to stay safe.

We are incredibly lucky to have access to many beautiful books, to bring us joy and teach the boys about first concepts, imagination and feelings. Plus they are a way to pass the time while we are waiting for the world to become a safer place again. But lots of children do not – and that isn’t fair.

The 26 books we will be reading

Throughout today we will be sitting down to read our chosen books. As there are 26, we have chosen titles to correspond to the letters of the alphabet. Here is our list:

A – Animalphabet by Julia Donaldson and Sharon King-Chai

B – The Bumblebear by Nadia Shireen

C – Chocolate Cake by Michael Rosen and Kevin Waldron

D – The Detective Dog by Julia Donaldson and Sara Ogilvie

E – Each Peach Pear Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

F – Frog in Love by Max Velthuijs

G – Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown and Clement Hurd

H – Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy by Lynley Dodd

I – I Thought I Saw A… Lion by Lydia Nichols

J – Little Master Kipling: The Jungle Book – An Animals Primer by Jennifer Adams

K – Kevin by Rob Biddulph

L – Let’s Explore With Ted by Sophy Henn

M – Maisy Goes To London by Lucy Cousins

N – Not Now, Bernard by David McKee

O – Oi Frog! by Kes Gray and Jim Field

P – Paddington by Michael Bond, illustrated by R.W. Alley

Q – The Queen’s Hat by Steve Antony

R – Rhyme Crime by Jon Burgerman

S – Shh! We Have A Plan by Chris Haughton

T – The Tiger Who Came To Tea by Judith Kerr

U – Unicorn: A Magical Book of Colours by Patricia Hegarty

V – The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

W – Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

X – Max the Brave by Ed Vere (X was a tricky one!)

Y – You’re All My Favourites by Sam McBratney and Anita Jeram

Z – Grandma Z by Daniel Gray-Barnett

If you would like to sponsor us, you can donate at our JustGiving page

Why not tackle your own bedtime story marathon this week and raise money for your chosen charity too? All the information can be found at twopointsixchallenge.co.uk

UPDATE: Monday 27 April, 8.25am

We did it! At shortly after 7.30am yesterday, we read the final page of the final book and crossed the finishing line of our marathon.

From Animalphabet to Grandma Z

Baby Bookworm was so proud he gave me an impromptu high five and asked: “Can we read some more?!”

There were times during the first few stories when I feared we wouldn’t even make it halfway. As we read Animalphabet while getting dressed at 10am, he was resistant to sitting and listening. A bike ride with his dad was looming, it sounded much more fun.

But I used my best reading voice and the interactive flaps in the book to hold his attention. One down, 25 to go…

Letter C done!

Between writing a big work project I shared the books with the boys in spurts. A few over lunch, a handful lying on the sofa. And soon we were halfway.

From here, he began to embrace the challenge. I had purposely chosen stories I knew he loved as well as interactive titles and a mix of long and short reads.

Even his little brother listened intently as we rattled through N to T at teatime, refuelling on scrambled eggs and bananas.

It was lovely when he climbed onto my lap to cuddle up and listen more closely.

Letter V – The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Two more stories in the bath, leaving four to enjoy in bed. And as we reached the final page of Grandma Z, we were exhausted but elated.

The end!

I felt so proud of him for staying the course. Not just listening and humouring me, but engaging with the stories too.

Being in lockdown as a family while missing grandparents and trying to work without childcare has been challenging for all of us. This felt like a special bonding moment and helped to pass the time in a positive fashion too.

We enjoyed lots of cuddles while reading

Better still, we have raised £122 plus Gift Aid and counting for BookTrust.

You may also like…

Create a #readarainbow to support key workers

Help BookTrust give a child in care a book for Christmas

Book-themed activities to keep kids entertained during lockdown

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