Happy World Book Day! Who else is celebrating today? My eldest child, Evie, is so excited to go off to school today dressed as her favourite book character, which is currently the lion from the book The Lion Inside.
I definitely seem to have passed my love of books onto her. She is absolute book mad. So much so, she’s been fluently reading books by herself since she was just three years old. In fact, books are such a big part of Evie’s life that not one day goes by where we don’t read her a book.
Our favourite time to read books together is at bedtime. I am semi-convinced that our daily bedtime story reading is the reason why Evie has been able to read so well from such a young age. I also have bedtime stories to thank for us regularly getting a good night sleep, for Evie developing a good attention span and so much more.
5 Benefits Of Bedtime Stories
There are actually so many proven, amazing benefits to reading bedtime stories to kids of all ages (yes, even babies). Below I’ll post 5 of our favourites.
1. Bedtime Stories Can Help Kids To Sleep
Honestly, this is the main reason we started to read to Evie regularly at bedtime. Books before bed not only help kids to wind down and relax at the end of the day, but they are also a great way to introduce ‘routine’ which helps signal bedtime to even the youngest of children.
Although I used to read to Evie everyday as a baby, it was mostly in the day time. We only introduced bedtime books just before she turned ten months old.
I used to really struggle with settling her at night time until I introduced books before bed. I used to put her in her pjs, then straight to her cot and the crying would begin. Then, after recommendations from a few other parents, I introduced the ‘bath, book, bed routine’.
I planned to try it over the space of a week and if it didn’t work I was going to give it up and try something else. But, by day three Evie had already started to recognise that a bath, followed by a book meant time to sleep and amazingly it worked and we have never looked back.
2. Bedtime Stories Are Great For Helping Imaginations To Develop
Benefit number two, bedtime stories are amazing for helping kids to develop wonderful imaginations. Stories can really inspire the way that kids play and the way that they interact socially. I love watching Evie play with her toys and her friends and I can see that most of her imaginative play ideas come from stories.
Books have also helped her to develop her own storytelling skills and we regularly play a fun game where we make up a story together, where each of us has to add on a sentence to the other persons and see how it turns out.
3. Bedtime Stories Can Help With Attention Span
Book reading can really help with a kids attention span. In fact, if you read to your baby or toddler regularly (aka every night) you can actually help to lengthen their attention span as reading bedtimes stories develops focus and habit in the form of sitting still and listening to a story.
4. Bedtime Stories Help Kids To Learn About The World Around Them
I know a couple of parents who have said that they feel silly reading to their baby because babies don’t understand stories yet. But, we found reading to Evie, even when she was a newborn, such a huge benefit. Little ones brains are like sponges and long before babies even start speaking, they are absorbing information and learning about language by listening to us speak.
Telling stories is a benefit as it teaches kids of all ages (even babies) new words that you might not necessarily use in everyday conversation. Books also teach them to read from left to right (they can follow your finger), how words look and sound and they can also be a huge teacher of general knowledge and as well as helping kids to understand the world around them through stories.
5. Bedtime Stories Are Great For Family Bonding
Benefit number five; bedtime stories are great for helping you to develop a closer bond with your kids. For us, bedtime stories give us a great opportunity to chill out together at the end of a busy day. We love nothing more than cuddling in all together and taking it in turn to read books. We have a routine in our house where we always choose a book each; one Evie wants to read and one I want to read. When Evie was younger I’d read them both to her before bed, but now she’s a fluent reader, she reads one to me and I read the other.
Bedtime stories are such a lovely end to our day and I can definitely thank them for making Evie such a passionate reader. Now we also have a newborn baby, we’re going to continue our bedtime story reading, but also involve him so our love of books is passed on and so he can also reap all of the benefits of bedtime stories.
Those were just a few benefits of reading bedtime stories to your kids. There are definitely so many more. The only question now is though…
What is the best bedtime story?
The company Happy Beds actually looked into this in time for World Book Day and Happy Beds research reveals the UK’s favourite bedtime book. Check it out and let us know if that’s yours or your kids favourite too!
If you’re looking for even more book inspiration, do check out some of our ‘what’s on our bookshelf’ posts:
- The Tree The Key And Me – The Best Personalised Kids Book
- What’s On Evie’s Spring Bookshelf
- What’s On Evie’s Autumn Bookshelf
Do you read to your kids at bedtime? Can you think of any other benefits to reading bedtime stories? Let me know in the comments below.