5 Practical Tips to Master Bedtime Reading
Bedtime reading is one of the most underrated gems of parenthood. Although not many parents realise, bedtime reading actually holds a multitude of benefits for the parent and for the child. Regular bedtime reading in babies and toddlers is scientifically proven to promote brain development, and imagination, and enhance language development.
However, bedtime reading can be challenging for some parents and children. Getting the child into the right mood and mindset to enjoy a good book before sleeping is not always easy. Sometimes, even convincing the child to relax when it’s time for a bedtime story can be overwhelming.
If you’re a parent trying bedtime reading for the first time, or you’re a frustrated storyteller, trying every means to get your reluctant reader to love books, here are 5 easy and practical tips to master bedtime reading at home!
Get your child ready to sleep
The first step to getting your child to a bedtime mood is to prepare them for bed. Let them take a shower and change into their bedclothes, drink their milk, brush their teeth, and comb their hair. When kids follow a routine like this before bedtime, you are sending signals to their brain that it is indeed, the time to relax and prepare for sleep.
It’s also important to avoid the use of gadgets to condition them for bedtime. Also, avoid overly hyper activities that will get your child’s energy up before bedtime.
Make bedtime reading a routine
Having a night time routine is an effective way to get your child in the mood for a bedtime story. Some kids have their favourite toys that they’d love to cuddle in bed. Most kids like to be snuggled in bed, share a blanket, and keep them close in preparation to read a book with them.
A regular, nightly routine signals your child’s brain that it’s time to relax. Moreover, it gives your child the assurance that reading a story together is comforting and reassuring!
Let your child choose the book!
A study by the National Literacy Trust found that one of the reasons why children refuse to read is because they are simply not interested in the book they are reading. So, in order for the child to get excited about the book they are reading, allow them to choose the book they like.
A practical choice is getting a personalised book. The same study by the National Literacy Trust found that children are more engaged when reading personalised books vs non-personalised books. The study even showed that children’s reading comprehension increased by 40% when reading personalised books.
Books with personalised elements give the reader a sense of personal ownership in the text, it is an important element in perceiving oneself as a reader (Dymore and Griffiths, 2010)!
Cuddle and Make Memories!
Bedtime reading is a special time of the day when you can spend alone time with your child without distraction. This is especially true to working parents who spend the whole day out to work. A bedtime reading routine gives you the special chance to be alone with your child and explore the written world together in a storybook.
Reading together also gives you the opportunity for the child to open up about their feeling, building trust between you and your child. Older children enjoy having special one-on-one time where they can be close to you. For many children, hearing the parent’s voices and having them close gives a comforting feeling!
Enjoy! Bedtime reading is such an amazing bonding moment between you are your little one! You are creating a lifetime-worth of memories when you read and bond with your child. So, cuddle them a little longer, grab another book to read, and snuggle them close a little more. The world can wait, but this moment can’t. So, grab your chance while they’re young and enjoy every storytime!