Enjoying a story together (and if it gets them into bed quicker…bonus)
Being a parent, it has always been important to me to have a solid bedtime routine to help settle my children at night (and thankfully, for me, I have never had too much trouble to get them into bed!). Part of that routine is having a bedtime story, as I am sure many mums and dads do. My eldest has a few favourite go to stories, there is no harm in re-reading the same ones over and over although a little repetitive, but I often choose the book, so that we have a bit of variety! With the youngest it is more a case of few words with plenty of pictures to look at and describe, but nevertheless a perfect opportunity for a cuddle whilst building good reading habits. There are many benefits to having a bedtime story – both for child and the parent / Grandparent / sibling or whoever the reader may be, here are a few with some perfect story book suggestions –
Reading is proven to relax our minds – and we all know a child’s mind runs at 100mph! So what better way is there to snuggle up and read together, to calm them from the days’ activities, switch off and soothe them to sleep. It can also help to put a child’s mind at rest from anything bothering them as many stories for children relate to common childhood worries. The Ultimate Survival Guide To Monsters Under The Bed is a humorous picture book guaranteed to banish the worries and make a monster free bedtime if you follow the step-by-step guide.
Having quality time doing something together is so important, setting aside a few minutes to read a short story without any distractions (like phones, tablets, tv’s) can help increase your children’s wellbeing and your bond. A story can trigger all sorts of questions and are a great tool for understanding the world around us, children will often identify with characters in a story so taking time to explain and talk about what’s happening in the book can help them with life’s lessons. The Bad Day is perfect for any child to identify with and offers many talking points and contains a powerful message about working together.
Reading aloud to a child stimulates their imagination, as they follow the story, they will visualise it in their mind. Asking questions like ‘what do you think will happen next’ will encourage them to use their imagination further and will also help develop problem solving skills, rational thinking, and comprehension. There are so many non-fiction books that can take a child into a make believe world where, for instance, it is possible for a zebra wearing a ballet tutu to be doing the shopping in space, these types of weird and wonderful situations allows them to opens their mind to a wealth of possibilities whilst learning to differentiate between real life and make believe. Pinocchio You Can Tell A Fairy Tale will prompt children to retell the story in their own unique way – decide what happens and change the story each time you read!
4. Developing their vocabulary
Another widely proven benefit of reading is helping to develop a child’s vocabulary; it does not matter what book you are reading it is the words that they are gaining. They will learn about the meanings of words depending on the context of the story, learn how words fit together to build sentences and broaden their own word bank. Even better if they are following the words with you it will help with their spelling and writing too! Our Stories for 1, 2, 3 & 4 Year Olds have age appropriate vocabulary and a great choice for little ones. Check out 365 Words Every Kid Should Know for a fun way to learn about silly, funny, old, new and tricky words.