So many readers grow up listening to parents, guardians and siblings read bedtime stories from a very early age. Bedtime reading inspires a love of books and is sure to start any child off on a reading journey but what other benefits does it bring?
Below are just some of the reasons why taking the time to read a child a bedtime story every evening is such a positive habit.
Stories inspire imaginations
No matter what their age, a bedtime story will excite children in so many ways. From the pleasing combination of flowing text and striking artwork in picture books to readers and chapter books that will help develop spoken and written language skills as children grow older, nothing inspires creative thinking more than a wonderful story. Maybe your child will even write their own bedtime story one day after hearing so many incredible tales? They could even end up winning our Bedtime Story Competition one day!
Books introduce key concepts, emotions and morals
From books about feelings and fitting in to gentle introductions to emotions and different cultures, there is so much to learn from stories from a young age. Many board books introduce everyday first words with plenty of bold pictures while gentle stories like Topsy and Tim will introduce first experiences including learning to swim and visiting the dentist for the first time. As children progress from readers to chapter books, the plots become more complex and will inspire plenty of lively discussion between you and your happy young reader.
Reading helps develop language development, dexterity and motor skills
As well as helping with their emotional and social development, the tactile nature of a book can help children enhance their dexterity. While reading aloud to your children, why not get them to grip the pages with their finger and thumb and turn them over. This adds to the shared experience and will help improve their motor skills. Many early years books have tactile pages to touch and the language used in book progresses as children develop their reading fluency - from nonsense words and phonics to short sentences and eventually fully formed chapters.
Sharing a story helps children form a bond with parents and establish a routine
Reading a story after bath time and before sleep will help get children into a regular habit and settle into a routine. It will also help parents or guardians form a close bond with children as they share the excitement and wonder of a good story. As children get older and start to become more familiar with their favourite tales and recognise words by sight, you'll even be able to share reading aloud and make memories you'll cherish forever.
Bedtime reading helps children unwind, get better quality sleep and find happiness
Children will find comfort and happiness in the regular routine of a story before bed. It will help settle them down and soothe them to sleep. In the recent The Book People Reading Survey, over 90% of parents recognises that listening to stories and reading books helped children feel happier and less stressed. After reading the story, why not ask your child what they liked about it and how it made them feel?
What were your favourite bedtime stories growing up? Let us know! Your child also has the chance to enter our Bedtime Story Competition and have the chance to be one of the UK's youngest published authors.