There is nothing more precious than snuggling up with your kids and reading your favorite bedtime stories together. Reading before bedtime has proven to be a great way to improve the cognitive and literary skills of kids, while simultaneously making bedtime a lot more fun and engaging.
Children are generally the most responsive before bed. Tired after a long day, bedtime can be a great time to weave in some morals into their brains while you read bedtime stories subtly intertwined with great lessons. It’s also an excellent way to bond with your kids, and devote some time to them exclusively in this fast paced world.
But how can you make the most out of bedtime story time? We’ve got a few tips and tricks to keep you covered.
Story time doesn’t have to be long and monotonous and doesn’t require you to be bound for hours. Just sparing around fifteen to twenty minutes daily can be very fruitful. However, it is always a great idea to be regular. Try sticking to a bedtime ritual, which should ideally include your child brushing their teeth and changing into their pajamas, ending at you snuggling up to your favorite book. Reading a good story can also help them relax and calm down, getting them into sleepy mode real quick.
Live the story
The best way to keep your kids hooked is to act out their favorite characters. Make it comical by giving that little mouse a squeaky voice, or add thrill by roaring out loud every time the lion shows up. You can even act out some of the scenes with your kids, and let all those imaginative juices flow. You’ll surely end up with some great belly laughs and even better memories by the end of it.
Engage in conversation.
Reading moral-some stories before bed is a great way to evoke some important conversations about the good and the bad. Talk about alternative scenarios that the characters could have been in, or what lessons your child will take from the central character. Try to talk about how your child can think of a similar situation or dilemma in their own life.
But be careful, the purpose is not to academically test your kid, but to engage in healthy discussions. Try to foster healthy morals from an early age so that kids understand their significance over time.
Try finding the appropriate age level content for your kids. Focusing on age bracket can be essential for making story time a good learning experience. If the story or vocabulary is too complicated, your child may grow tired of the story too quickly and it may defeat the purpose. It is always a good idea to let your kids browse to find stories they may seem interested in. This will give them a sense of ownership and increase their interest in the entire activity.
Let daddy take over.
According to research, children who have their father’s read to them at bedtime tend to perform better at school. A lot of little boys associate ‘reading’ with being a girly activity. Getting dad to read at bedtime is a great way to break those stereotypes and get boys to start thinking or reading as a fun activity.
Who said you need books?
Times have changed now, and who says you need a trip to the library or a book in hand for story time. Browse limitless sources online and find various stories, from five minute bedtime stories to longer versions of your favorite fairytales. Besides, even a light excerpt from a newspaper, or a comic book or anything you have on hand can suffice as reading material. The purpose is to be able to include reading as part of your child’s daily routine, no matter what the source.
Take it a step further
Don’t shy away from creating sequels to your favorite stories. Continue the same story the next day, with same characters but an entirely new adventure. Let your child imagine scenarios and scenes with their favorite characters. This can be a great way to boost their creativity and imaginative skills.
Another way to make story time fun is to come up with stories with your child as the central character. They’ll surely feel a lot more involved if you use their name in the story and they’ll surely be hooked till the end to see where the story takes them.
All in all, there is no right or wrong way to be going through bedtime, but we hope this article helps you make it a little more effective. While you don’t necessarily need to devote a large time slot to these activities, scientifically speaking, story time should last at least 8 to 9 minutes each day for it to be effective in having a lasting impact on your child and being effectively incorporated into your child’s routine.
Thus try to incorporate just a few minutes into your routine to make memories that will last a lifetime.