Why Bedtime Stories are the Best Time!
Storytime Magazine (Guest)
One of the most treasured memories many of us have, are of being read stories at bedtime.
There is also compelling evidence that bedtime stories are hugely beneficial to children on many levels.
The Storytime team often get asked by parents about how to make bedtime storytelling a part of a bedtime routine. So they have put together a few reasons why bedtime stories matter and some most frequent questions they have about the best approach to this routine!
Why are bedtime stories important?
They give you special ‘together time’ as a family.
They leave your children with happy childhood memories.
They help develop early language skills.
They boost vocabulary at all age levels.
They improve literacy rates in children.
They help kids fall in love with reading – something that lasts a lifetime.
They promote imaginative thinking and creativity.
They bring happiness and laughter.
They help to settle them down and sleep better.
1. When should I start reading bedtime stories to my child?
It’s never too early! Reading to your child from an early age can help them to develop sound recognition, which helps to boost language skills and broaden their vocabulary.
2. When is the best time to read bedtime stories?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question! You should share bedtime stories when your child is receptive enough to enjoy them. That could be before bath-time, before pyjamas, after pyjamas, in your special ‘story chair’ or tucked up in bed. If you’re not sure when the ideal time is, try different times until you find the one that works best for your child.
3. How long should I read for?
This largely depends on the age of your child The reading charity BookTrust recommends that you aim for at least 10 minutes of reading every day. We advise reading for 10 minutes when your children are very little and gradually increasing the time as they get older.
4. How should I read bedtime stories?
We advise parents to read with enthusiasm – don’t be afraid of coming up with different voices for characters! If you manage to bring the story to life, you captivate your child and get them involved in the reading experience. As they become more confident, they will love to do shared reading and join in the storytelling.
5. What stories should I read?
It is best if you chose stories that your child enjoys! The best bedtime stories for children tend to have the following themes:
They’re funny or downright silly.
They feature things that children can relate to, such as discovering new things, learning to share, being brave, starting school, or even disliking vegetables.
They star favourite characters, like pirates, dinosaurs and animals.
They transport kids to imaginary places or other worlds, such as outer space or under the sea.
Classic fairy tales are popular for a reason!
Your favourite stories as a child! They would love to hear what you enjoyed and it would be extra special to read them again.
6. Is there an age limit to “bedtime” stories?
Not at all! You can do it for as long as you both enjoy it… and as your child grows so can the content and books you share evolve too! Sometimes you will read alongside each other and enjoy being together or talking about a passage of a book even. It is a great habit that keeps on giving for as long as you would like!
Of course, every issue of Storytime magazine features many stories that should appeal to your little one! We read our tales out loud as we write them to make sure they sound good, and we recently introduced a special bedtime-story section entitled ‘Short Stories, Big Dreams’. These short-but-sweet tales make wonderful reading for kids who are just drifting off to sleep…
If you don’t already read your little one bedtime stories, we hope you will give it a try. There are few things in the world that give so many positive benefits while being so enjoyable! Sweet dreams everyone!
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