Bedtime stories are such a vital part of a child’s development and routine, not only in terms of their reading and writing skills, but also in their understanding of the world, promoting a love of reading and creating a real sense of nurture between you and your child.
So, here are some really simple tips!
1. Pick a great story:
Choose the story with your little one as then they are far more likely to want to listen and join in with story time. We are so lucky that there are so many fantastic children’s authors and illustrators out there so there are a huge number of books to choose from.
📢 Tip : Use your local library as they should have a great selection of children’s books, and again, involve your child in choosing the books.
📢 Tip: Some great authors to take a look at are Johnny Duddle, Mini Grey, Rob Biddulph, Oliver Jeffers, Julia Donaldson (obviously) and T.S Elliot (Skimbleshanks, Macavity, Mr Mistoffelees etc). I will do another blog on great story books in the very near future as it really needs it’s own post!!
2. Make sure it’s the right time:
A bedtime story is all about spending quality time with your child, where they can feel loved, nurtured and relaxed so that they can hopefully then drift off into a lovely deep sleep!
However, if your child is absolutely exhausted and seems like they are ready to go straight to sleep it’s not the best idea to keep them awake for a bedtime story. Just try again tomorrow. 😃
It goes without saying but if you sound interested when reading a book your child will be far more likely to engage with the story. Ask them questions about the cover of the book. What do they think the story is about? What type of story do they think it is and why? Look through the pictures and have a chat about what is happening.
4. Use different voices for different characters:
This really helps the story to come alive and your child will far more easily picture the story in their head. Get your child to join in and use the voices as well.
I’ll use the example of the Three Little Pigs as it is a story that most of us will know.
The Three Little Pigs
Big Bad Wolf (in a loud,deep,voice): “Little Pig, Little Pig let me in!”
Little Pig (in a high pitched voice): “Not by the hair on my chinny,chin,chin.”
You get the picture. It’s not rocket science!
5. Use actions:
Another tip which helps your little ones to picture the story and deepen their understanding of the story. Just as with the voices, get your little ones to do the actions as well.
The Three Little Pigs
“ Then I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house down!”
Get your children to pretend to try and blow the little pig’s house down. The bigger and more enthusiastic the actions, the better!
I know I said it would be 5 top tips but the last tip is very simple:
Even if you don’t feel like doing funny voices or actions (and let's face it some days we're just not up to it) the fact that you are reading a story at all is a huge bonus to your little one, so enjoy it!
🔰Your child will develop an enjoyment associated with this special time and reading.
🔰Listening to stories deepens their creative thinking skills.
🔰Their reading, writing and vocabulary will develop.
🔰Your child will feel secure and relaxed which will aid sleep! Yay!
🔰They will develop a greater understanding of others, feelings and the world around them.
Take a look at our "Supporting Phonics and Reading Workshop" at the The Garden Gallery in Farnham, on Wednesday 26th of June. The workshop has already received fantastic reviews in both Haslemere and Farnham and there is currently 20% off when you book with a friend.
We'd love to see you there 😃!