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Studies have shown the importance of a good night’s sleep for the physical and emotional health of your child. Part of assuring that your child gets the sleep they require is establishing a bedtime routine. In order to relax your child’s mind and get them ready for sleep, try making time for bedtime stories. To do so, consider doing the following:

story time

Read Every Night

It will not take long for your child to get into the routine of a nightly reading time and anticipate it with pleasure. Consistency is important. Read every night for about the same length of time and try not to skip a night. It will not be long until the promise of reading time as part of the bedtime routine makes other evening tasks, such as homework and bath time, run more smoothly.

Read Your Child’s Favourite

Preschool children frequently have a favourite book they love and want you to read repeatedly. Since repetition is important for language learning, read their favourite whenever requested. Additionally, the comfort derived from hearing a story they know and love helps a child calm down for a restful night’s sleep.

Make a Plan

In order to make time for bedtime stories, plan ahead by doing the following:

  • Schedule Reading

Look at your daily schedule and made adjustments so that the time you need for reading at bedtime is available.

  • Plan Your Reading

Map out what you plan to read a week or even a month ahead of time in order to avoid wasting time deciding on a book.

  • Set Realistic Expectations

Although experts recommend reading for 20 minutes each night, adjust the time to meet your child’s needs. Every child is different and you may spend more or less time, depending upon the age and interests of your child.

Engage Your Child

Take time and look at the word and pictures in the book you choose together. Ask your child questions that relate to the story. Once your child is a bit older, ask them to look for certain words and letters. Having your child actively engaged increases the benefits of your reading time together.

Enjoying bedtime stories with your kids is not only a great way to bond but also provides many benefits:

  • Helps develop communication skills
  • Improves school performance
  • Increases vocabulary
  • Leads to a better imagination

Keep Reading

It is never too early to start reading to your child, nor is there a need to stop when they reach a certain age. Keep reading as long as you both enjoy it. Your older child may enjoy reading to you. Ask your child’s teacher for suggestions. Also, visit the library with your child to pick out books on subjects of interest to them.

Tips:

  • Make sure the books are age-appropriate.
  • Keep books within reach of your child’s bed so choosing one is easy.
  • Read books prescribed for a higher grade or reading level as long as you both find it enjoyable.

Spending only fifteen to twenty minutes reading to your child at bedtime paves the way for a restful night’s sleep. Making time for bedtime stories also creates the foundation for a lifelong love of reading.

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