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Bedtime stories: Why you should read them every night!


Bedtime stories for kids – A thing of the past?

Once upon a time bedtime stories were a way for families to bond at the end of the day, snuggled up reading together before going to sleep. However with so many other things available now, T.V, I-pads, video games, it seems that bedtime stories for many families are a thing of the past.

I was honestly shocked when reading a study which reported that just 64% of families with children under seven read to their children before bed. For many parents who are too busy, or too stressed at the end of their work day, letting children fall asleep to technology is becoming the norm.

Bedtime stories have been part of our routine since my children were born. Even before they could understand what we were saying, or notice any pictures on the book, we would sit with them every night before bed and read a story. As a child, I remember my mother sitting with me reading bedtime stories every night, and so it feels natural to be doing the same thing with my own children.

It’s not that I am against all technology, in fact in this day and age screen time can sometimes be beneficial if used in the right way. However there is a time and place, and there are so many reasons why bedtime stories for kids are more important.

Bedtime stories help to create routine

Children like routine, they like to know what is coming next. If your children have been out and about running around all day, a good cuddle and a bedtime story can help calm them down and reduce their stress levels, helping them sleep better at night.

It also helps them to know that it actually is bed time. My boys know that that after the bedtime story and singing a couple of songs, that it is time to sleep, and I am lucky to have two very good sleepers.

Reading together helps build your child’s vocabulary

When it comes to learning vocabulary, reading books to your children gives them the opportunity to hear words that they may not otherwise hear, especially bigger words that you may not use often when speaking to them.

Bedtime stories also improve children’s memory. Before using words themselves, they need to hear them a few times, and with repetition of the same story, (and we all know how children love to read the same story 100 times over) they will remember the words and what is coming next.

Bedtime stories increase your child’s imagination

A child’s imagination has no limits, but it needs stimulating. By listening to a bedtime story and looking at the pictures, children are able to imagine, dream, and predict what is coming next.

I tend to get lots of “why did he do that, or why is he going there?” Questioning what is going on in the story and why things are happening helps to develop a child’s comprehension.

Bedtime stories every night help to create a stronger bond

After a long day using up all of their energy, there’s nothing better than snuggling up with your child on the couch or in bed and reading a bedtime story together. Spending time together engaging in something you both enjoy can help creates a stronger bond between you.

Reading every day creates good habits

Children learn a lot from us, and rely on us to create good habits. Reading bedtime stories to your children, it sets them up for a lifetime of a love for reading.

Bedtime Stories Kids Love!

Here is a list of our favourite bedtime stories for kids!

Read bedtime stories every night

Reading to your children every day is extremely important not only for their literacy skills but for their overall development. While it isn’t always possible for many parents to spend hours reading with their children, a quick bedtime story or two before it is time to sleep can still have a great impact. I will keep reading bedtime stories to my children for years to come, and hope to install good reading habits so that they will enjoy reading to themselves all the way into adulthood.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world” Albert Einstein

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  1. As a pediatrician, I completely agree with all of this!! I’m concerned about the prevalence of screens in our children’s generation. Not only is reading superior for all of the aforementioned reasons, screens have negative effects on sleep hygiene, attention span, behavior, and physical health. Thank you for writing about this important topic!

  2. Amy Winters

    My husband was wondering why I read to our baby every night before bed. I tell him it was because my mother would do it for me. As I was reading through your article, you state that reading books helps children learn vocabulary. I appreciate you writing such a great article about children’s bedtime stories and why it is vital for their growth.

  3. Renny

    But what should I do if mu child is not interested in bedtime story? I try but she just doesn’t want to sit still. She will try to grab the book or flips the pages very fast or just throws it away,.. she is just turn 2.

    • Comment by post author

      Hi Renny,
      Consistency is key, making it a routine. Even if your little one doesn’t want to read, you can sit and read a book to her while she plays with another book or toy. Be enthusiastic, do “voices” of characters, make it sound exciting so that she will want to look at the book.
      Also try different books, for toddlers hard cover books, books with windows, pop ups, touch and feel etc. They are great to start off with!
      Good luck 🙂

  4. Terrific points and right on target. I still love reading to my 8 year old, even though he reads on his own. We have so much fun together just relaxing and enjoying a book.

  5. Loved your post and I was shocked too and the low readers! I wholeheartedly agree with routine and I do believe that part of my children’s imagination is from reading. It is so vital but also such a special bonding time with your children.

  6. As an ex-English teacher I cannot even begin to express how important it is that children learn to read early and view it as an enjoyable experience. Bedtime reading certainly would be a huge part of this.

    I understand parents have time stresses but surely even ten minutes can be found for what is also a bonding time?

    I also recognise that some parents don’t feel comfortable reading. There are apps, websites and audio books that can help there too.

    Be aware that the children I’ve encountered from the age of 11 who can barely read have often been the ones that weren’t encouraged to read in any shape or form. I’m not saying everyone has to be an accomplished reader, far from it, but we all need basic reading skills to negotiate life. It should be added to the list of what every child needs to be equipped with for life.

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